• Photo courtesy Dangerbird

    When playing to a sea of hipsters wearing balloon animals on their heads, one can't help but laugh and muddle his words.

    Alex Brown Church can definitely be forgiven for repeatedly forgetting the lyrics to his songs at the Skirball Center last Friday night. His band, Sea Wolf, was playing its first hometown gig in two long years, and the jitters and cheeky self-flagellation were evident. Plus, a spirit of wackiness overtook the venue as part of its Into the Night: Playtime event, where the over-21 crowd adorned itself in goofy arts and crafts, and gallivanted through an abstract recreation of Noah's Ark.
    Maybe if this encouraged childishness were allayed, Sea Wolf would have gotten a better reception. Drunkards were loudly babbling over the musicians' quiet serenades led by Church's folksy musings about gypsies and wintry spectacles.

    In the midst of these velvety numbers, caressed by Joyce Lee's cello, the group did present a rousing rendition of the new single, "Old Friend." It serves as a preview into a perkier Sea Wolf as Church prepares to unveil Old World Romance (Dangerbird) on September 11th ("an easy date to remember," he supposed aloud).

    Troubadours such as the ruggedly handsome Church aren't generally scene-chewers onstage, so a golf clap goes out to Sea Wolf on their timid but pleasant return to the Los Angeles live-concert realm.

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