It's sometimes hard to remember, in the delirious broad sunlight of Brian Wilson's eternally hopeful and exquisitely ornate pop music, that the man's life is as harrowing as a Gothic horror novel. Few artists of the previous and present centuries have done more to beautify the rooms we all inhabit, and to enable the fundamental wildness of musical imaginings. Fewer still have worked from a place of such abject darkness, and certainly no one has wrought from such personal torments an extract so divinely sweet to the taste. The passage of the decades has been a devastation to Wilson, who narrowly escaped his own drug addiction and mental illness with his life, and yet more narrowly escaped the pharmaceutical brainwashing of Dr. Eugene Landys to finally complete SmiLE and, most recently, That Lucky Ol' Sun (Capitol). When it comes to Brian Wilson, hyperbole must be forgiven. Few have lived a more hyperbolic life.
Sat., Nov. 15, 8 p.m., 2008
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