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ROCKTALK : An Explosion of Music : Local lineup for Fourth of July weekend will be a bonanza of hot performances ranging from raging ska to high-powered reggae.

June 24, 1993|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

"Oh man, I love beer, but I may have to rent a couple of kidneys and a liver for that weekend," said bass player Paul Shinn of the Ska-Daddyz after checking out the lineup of local bands for the Fourth of July weekend.

It's going to be the musical equivalent of sweeps week on TV--you know those two weeks of the year when they show all the good movies in the world at the same time.

So if you think there's nothing to do and no good bands, and if you stay home for that whole weekend, then you may as well just face the facts: Shut up and get cable and subscribe to Reader's Digest. Otherwise, dust off those dancin' shoes, spare kidneys are optional.

It all gets going next Thursday night at the Midnight Hour in Ventura with raging ska from the Silver Strand in Oxnard performed by Shinn's band, who are real finheads (surfers).

Headlining are the Upbeat, who play some really raging ska out of Carpinteria. The Upbeat consist of eight guys, two hours of stuff, no name on the drums, no T-shirts, no tape, no big deal. There's an Upbeat sticker in the bathroom at Toes Tavern that completes the advertising campaign for this year. Imagine Lion I's on steroids. Imagine yourself dancing till you drop. If you want objectivity, read the business section. The Upbeat rages.

On Friday night, it's Rust and In Between Jobs at the Bermuda Triangle in Ventura. Rust, an east Ventura band that has obviously heard Neil Young before, outdraws every band in town except for Lion I's. They also pack the dance floor.

On Saturday, it's a birthday party--the reggae-powered dance band, Lion I's, is going to be 5 years old. The wingding will be at the American Legion Hall in Ventura with the Ska-Daddyz opening.

It will be the last gig for guitarist Dave Spasiano, who will continue with the band as the manager. A replacement guitarist has yet to be named, but expect Lion I's to start playing even more than they do now. A few blocks away, Santa Barbara favorites Spencer the Gardener will make their Midnight Hour debut.

On Sunday, the Fourth, Raging Arb & the Redheads will celebrate their 10th anniversary at the Midnight Hour. The 10 years of Raging Arb include their celebrated breakup in late 1991, a thinly veiled yet successful ploy to get their picture on the cover of this section. They even went so far as to make "See Ya Later" T-shirts, but the breakup lasted about as long as the honeymoon following Bill and Al's excellent election. And now you can't get rid of Arb with cops and crowbars; and they will probably be doing "Como Se Llama" when they are 50, or when Mick Jagger is 75 doing "Satisfaction."

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The Midnight Hour has a new outdoor stage out where the horseshoe pits used to be. Inside, they have a near-perfect sound system, and the best jukebox anywhere. They actually have local bands (so far Santa Barbara locals) on the jukebox. Besides the usual suspects of classic rock, you can groove to Los Guys, Spencer the Gardener and Tao Jonz.

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Raging Arb & the Redheads, those Ventura locals who have been responsible for more dancers, one-night stands, divorces and hangovers than practically all other local bands combined, are actually threatening an unsuspecting public with some new music. They'll be in the studio this week. It's been eight years since their one and only album, so maybe, it's time.

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In the new CD department, Pinching Judy, who used to be Something For Nothing, has a new release entitled "When Breathing Stops." It's hard but melodic. Singer John Lombardo blows a gasket all over the place and yet keeps his cool; and Jason Bays and Mario Falso are about the best bass/guitar duo around these parts. CDs are available at Beat City in Ventura.

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