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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | ROCKTALK

Sublime Expects Return of Its Fanatical Fans

The ska-reggae-rap group will appear at Nicholby's with those goofy surf rockers, Ziggens.

May 23, 1996|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Sublime show Sunday at Nicholby's should be even more fun than its gig last fall at the Ventura Theatre. This time label mates the Ziggens will open.

Sublime enjoys a fanatical following among skinheads, fin heads and skate heads in the South Coast, Long Beach and Orange County areas. To this list must be added our area, since the band with sporadic airplay packed the Ventura Theatre on a weeknight.

Owner-operators of its own label, Skunk Records, Sublime recorded a pair of albums of ska, reggae, rap and punk rock for less than $10,000 each. (Rock stars probably spend that much on lunch.) Both "40 Oz. To Freedom" (1992) and "Robbin' the Hood" (1994) are still selling well enough to stave off the dreaded day job. Sublime's newest, "Badfish," is an EP from last year.

According to the bio, Sublime was once the type of "below-average garage band that every kid wants to play his party." Since the 1988 debut, the group has evolved into a relatively respectable trio of musicians who probably can afford shirts by now, but apparently just don't like them.

The Ziggens, out of Buena Park by way of Wisconsin, are the latest wave of goofball rockers, joining the likes of The Presidents of the United States and the Butthole Surfers.

And for a bunch of Midwesterners, the Ziggens play some darn fine surf music from a repertoire of over 100 original songs. They also play ska, country, punk and rock music. "Tent City" may be the best ska song since the English Beat.

* The Sublime and Ziggens play Nicholby's, 404 E. Main St., Ventura, Sunday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8:30. Tickets are on sale now for $10. Call 653-2320.

In the Grooves: The Buds, the band of rock stars who play blues at the Hungry Hunter in Thousand Oaks on weekends--has released an album, "Thorn of a Rose." Recorded at the same venue last November, the album contains three originals among the dozen cuts.

The Buds are Buddy Sklar from the Spencer Davis Group, Chris Pinnick of Chicago fame and Chet McCracken of the Doobie Brothers. Pinnick, you may recall, suffered a heart attack on New Year's Eve and was near death. He's playing again at the T.O. venue on Friday and Saturday nights, but reportedly is awaiting a transplant. Call the Hungry Hunter at 497-3925.

In the Valley: Simi Valley, that is. The Mile High Band will be doing its country-rock thing at Roxanne's Coffee and More in one of the many strip malls at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Roxanne's, at 1464 Madera Road, is right next to the happening Mexican food chain, Baja Fresh. Call 520-3117 to find out more about this 8 p.m. free show, but don't ask for Roxanne. Actually, there is no Roxanne. But there is a guy named Rick who owns the place.

"Simi Valley is so dead, I could get Elton John here and only about a dozen people would show up," he said. "It's true. You could call up Elton and ask him."

Louisiana Purchase: Acadiana, those rockin' Realtors out of Oxnard, will play a 90-minute set Saturday at the Simi Valley Cajun Festival beginning at 2 p.m. The gig is at the corner of Tapo Canyon Road and Los Angeles Avenue. It's $10 then or $8 beforehand.

The band has a new vocalist, local blues guitarist Teresa Russell. She's been playing guitar since age 7, so she has that figured out. Russell replaces Denise York, who is doing what many Californians have done: move to Oregon, get rid of their California license plates, and tell other Californians that she's actually a native of the Beaver state.

Naturally it would have to be a couple of tourists, but Jim Belden and Annalee McKay from Oakland won Acadiana's first Cajun Dance Contest at the recent Channel Islands Harbor Days celebration. The winners get a free trip to Lafayette, La., for a real Cajun festival in September. Second-place winners, Joe Ferguson and Marilyn Kass of Los Angeles, won a trip to the Long Beach Cajun Festival.

Finally, Acadiana's last-Thursday-of-the-month gig at The Whale's Tail in Oxnard has been changed to Wednesdays. Call 984-7661 to find out more about the Simi Valley show or Acadiana news in general.

In the Past: During the Kingston Trio gig (their zillionth) last week at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, new guy George Grove hit it on the head when he noted: "We don't work very hard anymore. We're kicking off a four-day tour tonight."

They only played about 16 songs total and took an intermission. Since the songs are all about two or three minutes long, they were hardly overworked.

Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds, two-thirds of the Trio's original lineup, spent a lot of time telling jokes, maybe even more time talking than singing.

Sometimes Shane's vocals were too loud, overpowering the other two, but there were moments of pure magic on "M.T.A.," "Tom Dooley" and "Worried Man."

At 49, Grove is the youngster of the group. Discussing his 62-year-old partners, he said, "People ask me what it's like to play with two of the original members. Well, it's like being a curator at a museum. I'm the only one that can still bend over" as he scooped up a pick that Reynolds dropped on the floor.

Anyway, it was cool to see the legends in the flesh; Shane and Grove had ponytails, which was about double the pony-tail quotient in the audience.

The Kingston Trio made about 30 albums, with five in the Top 10 at one point, won a Grammy for "Tom Dooley," had the Beatles open for them, and probably paid for about half of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood.

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