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LAist Interview: Brian Wilson

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Photo by James Minchin III/used by permission

It's a great week to be a Brian Wilson fan in Southern California, with the release of a great new DVD package, an in-person signing and, finally, a performance of his very fine new album in the city that inspired it.

Wilson and his long-standing team of supporting players, which includes his latest songwriting partner, Scott Bennett, and several members of local retro-pop overlords the Wondermints, have been doing That Lucky Old Sun as a full-length piece to audiences just about everywhere but Southern California since last year. Although he did play a few songs from it at the Hollywood Bowl in September, this Wednesday's show at the Wiltern is the first chance his hometown crowd gets to hear it in full.

It's a risky move, centering a night around your new album, when your audience is powerfully drawn by the old stuff. But he's been making it work, because That Lucky Old Sun is a strong piece of music. It has all the elements Beach Boys fans are looking for, familiar sounding but still inventive. No other rock songwriter does this kind of stuff with the human voice anymore, nor has a band capable of singing like this. And if they can get those trademark harmonies sounding as pristine as they do on the live portion of this DVD, it should be a rare treat.