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August 22, 1996


For all his surf-rock influences, Frank Black's career has missed the big commercial wave for alternative rock, even though his late '80s and early '90s band, the Pixies, played an important role as a crucial alt-rock touchstone for the likes of Nirvana. While Black's name frequently changes--he grew up Charles Thompson, became Black Francis as Pixies frontman, and flip-flopped the stage name for his solo career--his three solo albums have been fairly consistent in theme. Space and sci-fi scenarios figure strongly as Black, in yowling voice, tries to break free of the gravitational field of humdrum life.

Second-billed Frente offers a marked, if not all that interesting, contrast: Angie Hart fronts the Australian band with an innocuous wistfulness that's far afield from Black's hard, dense attack.

* Who: Frank Black.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, with Frente and Chalk Farm.

* Where: Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano.

* Whereabouts: Take Interstate 5 to Camino Capistrano and go left. The Coach House is in the Esplanade Plaza, on the right.

* Wherewithal: $15-$17.

* Where to call: (714) 496-8930.



Chatty TV personalities are common enough, but how often do you meet one that's an honest-to-gosh windbag?

Towering 30 feet over the free entertainment, information booths and displays at this weekend's third annual KCAL Fun Fest will be an inflatable Wild Wing character, star of KCAL's upcoming "Mighty Ducks" cartoon series. In his shadow: concerts by Dan Crow, Courtney Campbell and the Happy Crowd; interactive exhibits on family health, safety, products and services; demonstrations and crafts workshops.

* What: KCAL Fun Fest.

* When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

* Where: Adventure City/Hobby City, 10120 Beach Blvd., Stanton.

* Whereabouts: Exit the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at Beach Boulevard; go south. The park is at Beach and Ball Road.

* Wherewithal: Park admission and parking are free; discounted wristbands for unlimited rides, $7.95.

* Where to call: (818) 846-0400, Ext. 303 or (714) 236-9300, Ext. 7.



Outdoor wind and brass concerts have a long history, probably predating similar string programs in the open air, because the sound of winds and brass carries strongly and their distinctive timbre is less likely than violins to be muted by ambient noises. Judge for yourself when conductor Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony perform in a "Classical Brass" concert Saturday.

Burnette Dillon will play Giuseppe Tartini's Trumpet Concerto in D. John Reynolds will play Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat. The program also will include a Gabrieli Canzon for brass choir, Shostakovich's "Festive Overture" and Respighi's "Pines of Rome."

* What: Pacific Symphony "Classical Brass" program.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

* Where: Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8800 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Irvine Center Drive. Turn left at the end of the ramp if you're coming from the south, right if you're coming from the north.

* Wherewithal: $13-$51.

* Where to call: (714) 755-5799.



Perhaps you've seen Frida Kahlo's paintings. Friday at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, you can sample the celebrated Mexican artist's recipes, view papier-ma^che versions of her work (a series by Joaquin Villasen~or, "A Passion for Frida"), watch a film about her life, and even chat with a Frida impersonator (Kidseum's Genevieve Southgate, who calls herself a "Frida spirit").

Half a dozen Kahlo recipes, among them Jalisco red hominy soup and chicken mole Oaxaca with rice and plantains, remain on the Topaz Cafe menu through Aug. 30.

* What: Frida Kahlo Night.

* When: 6-9 p.m. Friday.

* Where: Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana.

* Whereabouts: Exit the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at Main Street; go south.

* Wherewithal: Museum activities are free.

* Where to call: (714) 567-3640. (Dinner reservations, [714] 835-2002.)

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