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Pop Music Reviews : Tribute Concert Shows Kinks' Range

February 20, 1995|STEVE HOCHMAN

"I feel like I'm in somebody else's dream," said Dave Davies, appearing as the special guest in a tribute concert to the Kinks on Friday at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica.

For the past 30 years, Dave has been the junior partner to brother Ray in the legendary band, itself something of a junior partner in many minds to British Invasion contemporaries the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Who.

Davies' remark captured the unofficial theme of the evening, a benefit for Jimmy Carter's Habitat for Humanity organization. Friday's selections came mostly from the Kinks' '60s heyday--including Dave's set featuring his own Kinks klassic "Death of a Clown" and the band's signature "You Really Got Me." It's a remarkable, though often overlooked, catalogue of thrashy rockers and melancholic mini-dramas, populated by a near-Shakespearean cast of dreamers and schemers.

That range was brought alive by a lineup of primarily L.A.-based acts, mixing veterans who are keeping their own dream alive--notably Carla Olson (rocking hard on the ironic "Top of the Pops") and Gary Eaton (delving into Ray Davies' droll country side with "Muswell Hillbilly")--and promising newer acts, including the lush, Posies-like Wondermints.

Looking ready for another go at the rock dream was the night's other "special" act: the Plimsouls, reunited after a decade. Fronted by a now-bearded Peter Case, the quartet sounded every bit ready to reassert itself as one of L.A. rock's all-time best.

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