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Neil Finn's Happy With the Sad Songs

Pop Music* The New Zealand performer, who has a new album out, says it's the melancholy tunes to which he's drawn.


Not too old to rock 'n' roll yet: The Orange County Performing Arts Center takes its deepest foray into the world of rock music with its May 31 booking of British progressive-rock band Jethro Tull.

"For a lot of the new population of people that come to the center, this is their era," said center president Jerry Mandel. "We'll be trying to do something like this at least once or twice a year."

The center has previously hosted a couple of members of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame--Ray Charles and Art Garfunkel--along with such adult pop acts as k.d. lang, Bette Midler and Chicago, most of whom now fall under the adult-contemporary umbrella.

"You're not going to see us do acid rock or heavy-metal bands," said Mandel, recalling Tull's Grammy award back in 1988 for hard rock-metal performance for its album "Crest of a Knave."

As the center's expansion moves ahead, the center's calendar will open up to more performances outside the usual emphasis on classical music, dance, opera and Broadway shows.

"We clearly need to ramp up," Mandel said. "So we're looking at [adding] a solid pop celebrity series." Ticket information: (714) 556-2787.

O.C. hip? VH-1's look at the Orange County music scene is set to air March 25, with a new title. The documentary originally was called "Behind the Orange Curtain," a name that's since been changed to "American Hip Factory." The show traces the stories of such local acts as the Offspring, No Doubt, Social Distortion, TSOL and the Adolescents through interviews and performance footage.

Angel flies: Linda Jemison, former owner of Linda's Doll Hut in Anaheim and a matriarch of the county's grass-roots music scene for more than a decade, is moving to Los Angeles to launch her new talent management business, Guardian Angel Entertainment.

She's managing pop-rock band Wonderlove and is also gradually moving into music supervision work for film and television. Jemison will live in the Los Feliz district but will keep her home in Fullerton "because so many of my family and friends are in Orange County. So I'll still be able to commute."

Jemison said Wonderlove has attracted scouts from several major labels and will play another industry showcase March 18 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. The show is free.

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