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Here's Five: Princess Chelsea's Top Jonathan Richman Songs

Here's Five: Princess Chelsea's Top Jonathan Richman Songs

Chelsea Nikkel / Chris Cudby / Wednesday 13th April, 2022 10:25AM

In appreciation of the timeless work of US songwriting great Jonathan Richman, Tāmaki Makaurau's Princess Chelsea aka Chelsea Nikkel cooked up her top five favourite songs by the Modern Lovers frontman. Still releasing on the regular, Richman's vastly influential, no-dud musical career spans over fifty years, including last month's Cold Pizza & Other Hot Stuff EP. Playing a limited capacity preview event for her new album Everything Is Going To Be Alright with band this Saturday at Neck of The Woods, you'd better grab tickets for the mega-popular NZ artist's only local show in the near future before it's too late. Dive into Princess Chelsea's special ALL CAPS commentary below, written after having a few sips while riding the waves on the Waiheke Island ferry....


Princess Chelsea
Saturday 16th April - Neck Of The Woods, Auckland w/ Coast Arcade

Tickets available HERE via UTR (Waged / Unwaged options available)

"TOP 5 JONATHAN RICHMAN SONGS I WROTE DRUNK ON FERRY MAYBE KEEP ALL CAPS" - Princess Chelsea


1. 'AFFECTION'

THIS INCREDIBLE LIVE PERFORMANCE KIND OF SUMS UP JONATHAN RICHMAN IN MY OPINION. RESTRAINED, QUIET, SMART. POST 'THE MODERN LOVERS' ON HIS CONFUSINGLY TITLED 'JONATHAN RICHMAN AND THE MODERN LOVERS — BACK IN YOUR LIFE'. IT’S GOT SUBTLE DYNAMICS OF THE VELVET UNDERGROUND’S THIRD ALBUM (THE BLACK ONE WITH CANDY SAYS) AND WEARS A MASSIVE VU INFLUENCE ON ITS SLEEVE BUT THE LYRICS LEAN RIGHT INTO HIS STRAIGHT EDGE PURITY BOI STYLE — “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE STARVING FOR AFFECTION”. I AM DRUNK ON THE FERRY WRITING THIS I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SUCH DYNAMIC CONTROL, SUCH WISDOM AND SUCH RESTRAINED PLAYING FROM A GUITAR VIRTUOSO. THEY SAY ROADRUNNER MAY HAVE STARTED PUNK BUT THIS IS WAY MORE PUNK THAN ROADRUNNER. COS IT'S SISSY AS HELL WHEN EVERYONE IN THE 70S WAS BEING A BAD BOI I LOVE IT.

THIS IS ALL I STRIVE TO BE AS A LIVE MUSICIAN AND A SONGWRITER. LESS IS MORE BITCH.


2. 'HOSPITAL'

THE BEST TRACK IMO ON JONATHAN'S DEBUT 'THE MODERN LOVERS'. SIMILAR VIBES — RESTRAINED, COOL, AND VERY VU INSPIRED BUT THE LYRICS AND A VOCAL PERFORMANCE THAT IS NOT AFRAID TO BE A CHEESY GOOD BOI SET IT APART FROM OTHER ART SCHOOL JUNKIES THAT WERE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL. I LOVE LOU REED BUT JONATHAN RICHMAN WOULD NEVER WEAR SUNGLASSES INSIDE AND I BET LOU IS JEALOUS OF THIS SONG. LOU REED IS AMAZING.


3. 'THAT SUMMER FEELING'

THAT SUMMER FEELING — FROM HIS 1992 SOLO ALBUM THE BEST ONE ‘I JONATHAN‘. HE WAS REALLY JUST SOLO AT THIS POINT ALTHOUGH FORMED A LIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH TOMMY HIS DRUMMER WHO HE STILL PLAYS WITH AS A 2 PIECE TO THIS DAY. GREATLY INFLUENCED BY DJANGO RHEINHART, AND FLAMENCO MUSIC — JONATHAN’S VIRTUOSITY ON THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR IS ON DISPLAY THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE ALBUM. THIS BALLAD IS A POEM, A STUNNER, IT WILL FLOOR YOU. IT DESCRIBES A BITTERSWEET NOSTALGIA THAT IS BEAUTIFUL AND MAKES YOU WANT TO PUKE AT THE SAME TIME. THAT SUMMER FEELING IS GONNA HAUNT YOU ONE DAY IN YOUR LIFE. IT’S A BIT SPRINGSTEENY — NEBRASKA. AS A PIECE OF WRITING IT WOULD BE A KNOCK OUT, BUT HE PUT IT TO A BEAUTIFUL MELODIC SONG. AND THEN HE PERFORMS IT LIKE A WIZARD.


4. 'PLEA FOR TENDERNESS' (UNRELEASED DEMO)

THIS IS A LIVE JAM IN WHICH JONATHAN VOCALLY FREESTYLES OVER HIS BAND JAMMING AND STARTS CRYING ABOUT A GIRL. I BELIEVE HIM AND I DON’T THINK HE IS FAKING IT. IT SOUNDS WANKY TO CHOOSE AN UNRELEASED DEMO BECAUSE USUALLY THEY ARE ACTUALLY SHIT AND NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THEM BUT JUST LISTEN TO THIS. ITS GOT THE VELVET UNDERGROUND SHIT GOING ON BUT THIS IMPROVISED SPOKEN WORD PATTI SMITH INSPIRED MONOLOGUE — THAT ALSO REMINDS ME OF SOME WASHINGTON DC EARLY BANDS LIKE INDIAN SUMMER IN THAT HE JUST STARTS WAILING AND CRYING AND REALLY GETTING 'EMO' BEFORE EMO WAS A THING. IT'S LONG BUT IT GETS BETTER EVERY MINUTE.


5. 'LET HER GO INTO THE DARKNESS'

FROM HIS SOLO ALBUM ‘YOU MUST ASK THE HEART’ IT IS MY SECOND FAVOURITE SOLO ALBUM OF HIS AFTER ‘I JONATHAN’ AND JUST EDGING ABOVE ‘JONATHAN GOES COUNTRY’. ON THE ALBUM COVER HE IS PATTING CAT SMILING LIKE A TOTAL DORK / AKA PUNK. THIS ALBUM WAS PROBABLY RECORDED AROUND THE TIME BEN STILLER (WHO IS AN AMAZING PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR BY THE WAY) GOT HIM TO HIDE IN A TREE AND BE LIKE KIND OF A MEMEY MUSIC GUY IN ‘THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY’. IT COULD BE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A FATHER OR A BOYFRIEND. BUT I LOVE THE MESSAGE OF LETTING THE LADY, THE GIRL DO WHAT SHE HAS TO DO — TO LEARN A HARD LESSON. AND THE MINOR SHIFT ON "LET HER GO INTO THE DARKNESS, LET HER LEARN FROM ALL THE THINGS THERE…" IT'S SAD. BUT NICE. IT'S FEMINIST. IT REMINDS ME OF DANIEL JOHNSTON IN ITS LYRICAL SIMPLICITY. I LOVE JONATHAN RICHMAN SO MUCH. I WANT TO BRING HIM TO NEW ZEALAND AGAIN. BUT HE DOESN'T LIKE FLYING BECAUSE OF HOW IT AFFECTS THE PLANET. HE IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST. SORRY I AM DRUNK.

Links
princesschelsea.lilchiefrecords.com/
jonathanrichman.bandcamp.com/

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