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Van Dyke Parks; Clare and the Reasons


After a lifetime of artistic output, even Van Dyke Parks' biggest fans barely know the man. His fantastical story is the kind more often seen in fictional characters than in living, breathing human beings: as a child, a musical wunderkind and star of stage and screen; once grown, an eccentric, deity-touched session player, scorer, producer and singer/songwriter skirting the fringes of fame for more than four decades. Perhaps in some parallel universe, his madcap compositional theatrics — dabbling in classical, folk, pop, Tin Pan Alley, Broadway show tunes, and several genres taxonomists are still sweating over — are getting toasted by the masses in the same hoist as Mozart, Dylan, Wilson, Gershwin and Webber. In this one, oddly, it's his accenting gigs for which he's accredited: Brian Wilson's lyricist and labor-pain lightning rod on the 459-month Smile delivery, or Joanna Newsom's baton-wielding Leonard Bernstein for 2006's divisive, strings-hamstrung medieval faerie tale Ys. The 67-year-old is touring and sharing the stage with his favorite fey Brooklyn pop band, Clare and the Reasons, whose 2007 debut The Movie features contributions from Parks. Tickets $20. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

<p>Oct. 27

Van Dyke Parks with Clare and the Reasons

8 p.m. Wednesday

Tulane University, Freeman Auditorium, 1229 Broadway St.;

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