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More Songs About Traffic and Sand

Few performers are better suited to preside over the end of yet another endless SoCal summer than Brian Wilson, who brings his band (as well as the L.A. Phil) to the Hollywood Bowl this weekend for three season-concluding shows of Beach Boys hits and stuff from Wilson's just-released solo disc, That Lucky Old Sun. The new album's quality depends upon your perspective: Compared to the gloriously realized version of Smile that Wilson finally released in 2004, its relatively straightforward pop tunes don't really inspire much in the way of amazement (alternate title suggestion: More Songs About Traffic and Sand). As a singer, though, Wilson sounds in finer fettle than he has in years, which lends the material on Old Sun — some of it penned in partnership with his old pal Van Dyke Parks — a healthy, optimistic glow. No one makes the mundaneness of everyday life in this town sound as enticing as Wilson does. Also Sat.-Sun.
Sept. 12-13, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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