I'm not one of those people who think everyone is better live. In fact, there are a number of musicians I'm perfectly happy never to see onstage. Jonathan Richman, however, is not one of them. He is definitely more amusing live. He's just so darned cute you wanna take him home and have a little tea party. Take Me To The Plaza features Richman and drummer Tommy Larkins in concert in San Francisco performing 19 tunes. Some of the tracks hearken way back to 1976, like Pablo Picasso, plus a few from the 80s, like Give Paris One More Chance, but lots of 'em are from his later records, including quite a few from Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eye Shadow. Of course, it opens with Let Her Go Into The Darkness from the There's Something About Mary soundtrack.
Onstage, Richman inserts little mock dialogues with himself into the music. Big fans will be thrilled with the interview segments where he discusses his conflict with Warner Brothers over not wanting to play Roadrunner on the road and more typical topics like his early influences (the soundtrack from Zorro, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Stooges) in his casual and intense, super-geeky manner. At 53, he's still like a big little kid.