Rock & Pop

Jonathan Richman

When: Tue., Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m. 2014

East Bay resident and legendary troubadour Jonathan Richman seems wary of technology, publicity, and, inexplicably, guitar straps, but he’s delighted to give ecstatic performances at modest local clubs — as evidenced by three consecutive shows starting this week at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd Street, San Francisco). For the last interview he granted to a local paper, Richman provided handwritten responses to handwritten questions exchanged through the mail. While mid-song at his Burger Boogaloo performance in 2013, Richman used one hand to shoo away a photographer and clutched a strapless acoustic guitar in the other. In fact, Richman spontaneously changes his songs a lot in concert. He’ll pause, raise an eyebrow, and gaze longingly through the crowd during poignant moments, or ad-lib extended lyrics with feverish intensity during others. With only his acoustic guitar and Tommy Larkins’ minimal percussion, Richman commands more charisma and grace than any amount of gadgetry, spectacle, and hype can possibly garner.

Sam Lefebvre

Price: $15

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