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Ears New York


The idea of spontaneous combustion worked well for Sun Ra. For years he asserted that he was never born but rather "combusted" on a street corner while no one was looking. Fact? Fiction?  Can't really say, though I do have my doubts. (He never once mentioned safety footwear...)


In 1999, when Brian Wilson toured without the Beach Boys for the first time and made his celebrated "comeback" from years of reclusiveness and stage fright, he opened his New York show at the Beacon Theater with "The Little Girl I Once Knew." An interesting choice, I thought, at the time. "The Little Girl..." is well known among Beach Boy enthusiasts; less so, among pop main-streamers. It is an unusually crafted song and record, distinguished by timely silences not favorable to mid-'60s radio programmers mandated to fill precious seconds with winning content. Here, on this special night, Wilson chose to re-launch himself with a song less connected to his reputation as hit-maker than songwriting craftsman.

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