Face of the Day – 7.31

Today’s face is Jonathan Richman.

Jonathan Richman

Wendy and I went and saw Jonathan Richman play at the Somerville Theater in 2011. It was a good show and a lot of fun. We live in Natick now, which is his home town. I can’t recall when I first heard his music but I suspect is was in 1985 when I worked at Mississippi’s restaurant in Kenmore Square. Everyone brought in tapes to play during their shifts and it was always a wildly eclectic mix.

Over the course of any night you’d be likely to hear the Meat Puppets, Frank Sinatra, Yellowman, Hank Williams, the Butthole Surfers, Johnny Cash, etc. The experience definitely broadened my taste in music.

Jonathan Richman’s music has always felt very playful to me. Sure there are some serious and thoughtful songs but most of them are just catchy, silly and fun. When we saw him play it was a pretty simple sound, just him on guitar and a drummer. Simple but awesome. And on the subject of awesome, Roadrunner is being considered as the official rock song of Massachusetts. It’s up again Dream On but come on, how could you not go with the Modern Lovers?

For your listening pleasure, here are a couple of songs by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Check ’em out.

Are they stupid or do they think we are?

Today the Republican Governors Association launched an advertising campaign targeting Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The gist of the campaign is that Governor Patrick is responsible for the State’s high unemployment rate (8.8% in August 2010). It made me wonder – how does our unemployment rate stack up against other states? How do states with Democratic governors stack up against states with Republican governors? How does Governor Patrick compare with other governors across the country?

Here’s what I learned:

– Of the 50 States, Massachusetts is 26th. Just about in the middle.
– The average unemployment rate for states with Democratic governors is 8.55%.
– The average unemployment rate for states with Republican governors is 8.67%.
– Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi, is the head of the Republican Governors Association.
– In August the unemployment rate in Mississippi was 10%.

These are very simple and demonstrable facts. They raised a few questions for me:

– Will the Republican Governors Association be running campaigns against any members whose states have higher unemployment rates than Massachusetts?
– Are the members of the Republican Governors Association stupid?
– Do the members of the Republican Governors Association think we are stupid?

I guess I’m just not understanding their point. I mean if Republican governors were running states with really *low* unemployment rates I suppose they’d have a point. They don’t. They are responsible for higher unemployment rates then their Democratic counterparts. Stupid.