Darn That Dream
'The Birth of The Cool'
Every important place has its icons. Paris has the Art Deco subway entrances, opera house and Le Tour Eiffel; London's got bridges; New York has the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. But what can Southern California boast? Loads of well-placed transplanted palm trees and youngsters with big dreams, sure. Anything else? Well, the Orange County Museum of Art has dedicated an exhibit to the art, artists, architects and even cars that visually exemplify SoCal culture. Los Angeles, the dusty city of lost angels set between the desert and the sea, has Pierre Koenig's Stahl house set high in the hills, movie stars from the 1950s, the Beverly Hills Hotel and the singular experience of blazing down Pacific Coast Highway in a beautiful, pricey Porsche. Or pretending that one day you might be fortunate enough to look over the LA Basin in a gorgeous vintage dress while sitting in the Stahl house. Cool.
"The Birth of the Cool" at the Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Wed. & Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Through Jan. 6. $8-$10.
Who birthed punk rock? Some say Iggy, some say the Ramones, some deluded souls even argue the Sex Pistols, but Jonathan Richman can lay legitimate claim to being one of the first post-psychedelia musicians to record and release the kind of back-to-basics, no-frills rock that the punk movement eventually championed.
With his band the Modern Lovers, Richman released some of the most timeless music to come out of the era. Songs such as "Roadrunner" and "I'm Straight" showed that almost anyone with a guitar and a keen eye could perform worthwhile music. Though the band broke up before their first album was released, Richman has continued to perform and release records under his own name. He brings his singular talent to Long Beach this Saturday. Tickets are presale only, so get on it!
Live! On Stage: Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins on drums at //concert//
Wolfmother, Wolf Parade, Steppenwolf, Los Lobos, Patrick Wolf, Peter and the Wolf, Wolf Eyes, PB Wolf . . . Did I miss any?
While the name may seem overdone—wolves are the badasses of the freaking world, didn't you know?—Sea Wolf, otherwise known as Alex Brown Church, is also a member of another LA-based group, Irving. As one of the co-singer/songwriters, Church further sharpened his skills for penning floaty, quirky alt-pop. But he found himself with a handful of leftover numbers that didn't quite fit that Irving sound. And thus: Sea Wolf.
He signed to Dangerbird Records this past year, and a couple of hundred plays of dreamy pop hit "You're a Wolf" on Indie 103 and KCRW later, Church found himself an indie LA staple. Looks like Sea Wolf's added himself to the ranks.
Sea Wolf performs at the Rhythm Lounge, 245 Pine Ave., Long Beach, (562) 435-4288; www.rhythm-lounge.com. Sat., 8 p.m. $12. 21+.