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Midnight Hour Livens Up

July 29, 1993

The newest venue in Ventura, the Midnight Hour, is doing local rock fans a favor by bringing south bands that are popular in Santa Barbara. This Saturday is going to be an uncommon rager beginning around 3 p.m. when three of S.B's best--Tao Jonz, the Upbeat and the Wedding Band--will be showcased, along with the Ska-Daddyz out of Silver Strand. Call 641-2112 for show times.

Tao Jonz, musically, probably the best band in Santa Barbara, recently released its second CD. They play rock with some funky undertones and add about everything else in a virtually indescribable landslide of original, but groovy, foot candy. They can sing, too. The witty band name is no fluke, either. Besides being clever, they're smart. Guitar player Jimmy the Working Man recently got his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC Santa Barbara. So make that Dr. Jimmy the Working Man.

The Upbeat, out of Carpinteria, is the ultimate ska party band. Eight guys, seven years, two sets--but they do those two sets really well. Like Lion I's on steroids, the Upbeat has a wild horn section that will have your feet twitching in your sleep long after the show's over. The English Beat, the Specials, Bad Manners--name 'em--the Upbeat is as good as any ska band.

Opening will be the Ska-Daddyz, dance-crazed finheads in their own right. At one point they're going to jam with the Upbeat. Imagine 15 finheads on the stage doing the ska thing.

Closing will be the Wedding Band, which has ruled Santa Barbara on Tuesday nights for nearly a decade. Spencer Barnitz sings while a bunch of his buddies from other bands do an all-cover song gig.

The Midnight Hour at 281 W. Main St. is the last place on the way out of town heading north. If you get to the Ventura River bridge, you have gone too far.

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