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GOINGS ON SANTA BARBARA : Coming Home : Michael Franks returns to his hometown to gaze out at the ocean once more.

October 18, 1990|MAJA RADEVICH

Michael Franks sings on the title track of his new soundtrack: "Any time that reality makes me heartsick I come here just to stare at the blue Pacific."

Florida-based jazz composer-singer-musician Franks will be returning to the Pacific on Saturday to perform at the Arlington Theater at 8 p.m.

"I grew up in La Jolla and I could see the ocean from my window. It holds a lot of memories and emotions for me," Franks said in a recent phone interview.

To help tap into those memories and emotions, 46-year-old Franks returned to his hometown and rented an apartment only a few blocks from his childhood home. "I just sat in front of the window with my guitar, stared at the ocean and played, just like I used to when I was a kid," he said.

"People never seem to know what classification my music should be put under, and I don't know myself," said Franks, whose style includes elements of jazz, rhythm and blues, samba, Brazilian bossa nova, high-tech funk and anything else that might strike his imagination.

But not being able to pigeonhole his work hasn't stopped LPs such as "Sleeping Gypsy" and "The Camera Never Lies," and singles including "Popsicle Toes" and "Your Secret's Safe With Me" from climbing the charts. "Blue Pacific" has already made it to the top of Billboard's jazz list as well as Radio & Records' adult contemporary chart and the Garvin Report's adult alternative chart.

Tickets for the concert are $23 and $25, 963-4408.

Exhibits of antique airplanes offer a look at the past while a display of Space Station Freedom, scheduled to become the first permanently occupied space center, gives a glimpse of the future during the third annual Santa Barbara Airport Day.

The space station is the highlight of the "Soaring to New Heights" festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The assembly of the space station, a joint effort of more than 16 countries, is scheduled to begin in May, 1995,and crews should begin working and living on it full time by 1997.

The station, which will be visible from Earth as it orbits about 200 miles above, will be used to study the Earth's resources and environment and the effects of space life on humans.

The free celebration will also feature airplane rides, musical entertainment, a Young Aviator Hangar filled with hands-on science exhibits, a flight simulator for children, games and contests, and guest speakers including former a NASA shuttle pilot, Col. Robert Overmyer.

Exit U.S. 101 at Los Carneros Road, to Hollister Avenue, to Firestone Road, and follow the signs to the north side of the airport at Hangar 1. 967-7111.

The Turtle Island String Quartet, whose nucleus is jazz but with plenty of splotches of bluegrass, rock 'n' roll, New Age and Eastern and African rhythms, will perform at 8 tonight at UC Santa Barbara's Campbell Hall. Tickets are $11 to $15. 893-3535.

Also at UCSB, Rushworth Kidder, a senior columnist for The Christian Science Monitor, will give a free lecture on whether there exists a global code of ethics; 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Main Theatre.

The Ethnic Arts Film Series continues at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History tonight at 8 with two films: "A Weave of Time: The Story of a Navajo Family 1983-86," and "Navajo Silversmith." Suggested donation is $6. 682-4334.

The Ensemble Theatre Company's production of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Death of a Salesman" will continue through Dec. 1 at the Alhecama Theatre in Santa Barbara. Tickets range from $10 to $14. 962-8606.

Local and international teams will compete this weekend at the only wheelchair football tournament west of the Mississippi, at Santa Barbara's Leadbetter Beach parking lot: Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 962-1474.

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