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Jonathan Richman - "You Can Have a Cell Phone, That's OK, But Not Me" 7"
Yes, this is cheating, a hedge against the spottiness of Modern Lover Jonathan Richman's 2008 album, Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild. But the two songs on this subsequent 2009 7-inch are such a perfect example of an artist's defined philosophy carrying over decades. I had to make some room for it. Richman was the classic old-before-his-time worrier, railing against sex without love and weed-fueled avoidance at an improbably young age. The modern world of the 1970s was too much for him! So, faced with cell phones? Forget it, you can keep it. The single's b-side, the third recorded version of a song called "When We Refuse to Suffer", is maybe the most-concentrated single statement of a career built on forsaking pleasure that comes too easily. A hero.