Monday, May 07, 2007
Somehow, unbelievably, I missed listening to the Modern Lovers for twenty years up until a couple of weeks ago. All the reading mentions these guys as a pivotal link between what the Velvets were doing and what Punk then became, but for some reason i just blew it off.
In my head they marked the same area as James Chance and the Contortions. Don't ask me why it really makes no sense. Its just that sometimes in my personal cosmology of music there must be a little grease on the lens that allows me to misinterpret one band from another.
Well as I have said before delayed gratification can sometimes make the fruit that much sweeter.
Jonathan Richman (the lead singer) apparently thought of himself as carrying on the spirit of the Velvet Underground whom he adored. To me he seems like a slightly straighter version of Iggy or more precisely a perfect precursor to the three cord English version of punk and its decedent American Hardcore. While the Modern Lovers certainly flirted more with melody than either one of those venerable institutions the energy and force is certainly there.