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What singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman is watching, reading and enjoying

Jonathan Richman.

Angelina Castillo

Take some Velvet Underground. Take some Sgt. Pepper. And take whatever pill is in your jean-jacket pocket from 1975. The curious American singer, songwriter, guitarist and proto-punk adventurer Jonathan Richman is working on new music, which is always a cause for celebration. At the Opera House on Sunday, the Modern Lovers rocker will likely preview fresh retro sounds and material from his latest album Ishkode! Ishkode! too. Richman lets us in on his latest interests and fascinations.

What he just saw: "Peter Bratt's Dolores is a well-done documentary film about the life of agricultural labour activist Dolores Huerta. She worked with Cesar Chavez and is a fascinating person. She's still alive. I'm about to see Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, a movie (currently available on HBO Canada) about musicians of Native American heritage."

What he's reading: "Matisse the Master, A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954, by Hilary Spurling. What a book! The way artists and musicians have seen colour since 1909 has been different because of people like him and Picasso. This book goes into detail about that, and it's a great read."

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What he recently enjoyed: "If you can find a show by the duo Xylouris White, go. George Xylouris plays the lute and Jim White (he of the Dirty Three) plays drums. George sings the songs. I won't tell you any more. I want you to be surprised! We played a show with them last year and we're in New York with them at the Kitchen, Nov. 18 to 22."

Jonathan Richman plays Nov. 12, 6 p.m. $21. Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., ticketweb.ca.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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