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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

June 20, 1996

TODAY: ONE LOUD NIGHT

Alice Cooper, the "Master of Shock Rock" will be bringing his theatrical rock extravaganza to the Ventura Theatre tonight. The Cooper show, equal parts heavy metal, testosterone, Maybelline and Freddy Krueger, will draw upon a career that has spawned a score of albums, including "Billion Dollar Babies," "Muscle of Love" and "Killer." And as long as there are teenagers, songs such as "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out" will never die. Opening the show and making a convincing case for punctuality will be Ventura rockers Fearless Vampire Killers, four guys who could make a statue's liver quiver, playing no quiet or slow ones. FVK has drawn up to 600 people on their own to the venue during several Local Rock Night gigs. Opening bands are supposed to begin at 8 p.m. The price is a scary $32.50. Call the venue at 648-1888.

SATURDAY: ONE FOR THE ROAD

Are you ready for a weird gig? Did you miss the Surf Punks and Journey in Hawaii a few years ago or, more recently, the Hymen Blasters and the Young Dubliners at the Ventura Theatre? Well, here's one that more than holds it own on the weirdness scale: 2 Lane Blacktop and the Bay City Rollers at Nicholby's in Ventura.

2 Lane Blacktop, named after a 1971 cult movie, is a boozy and bluesy rock band out of the Bay Area, sort of like Raging Arb & the Redheads, except with more twang. They have an album that came out last year that begins with the mother of all bad advice: "Let's get drunk and start all over again." And didn't the Bay City Rollers--with the original lead singer--do a bunch of bubble-gum pop songs many of us have been trying to forget? Nicholby's is upstairs at 404 E. Main St. Tickets are $8, with 2 Lane Blacktop opening about 9:30 p.m. Information: 653-2320.

IT'S A GAS

From 1971 to 1988, the roar of speedway motorcycles and all that methanol smoke filled the Tuesday night sky above the Ventura County Fairgrounds as riders with no fans, no tans and no brakes went fast, turned left and fell over at the Ventura Raceway. Speedway motorcycle racing has been gone for eight years and, since then, the high-banked dirt oval has become a big-time auto-racing venue, often featured on ESPN. But two-wheel fans can once again thrill to some old-time racing Saturday night at the Fifth Annual Vintage Short Track Races.

Famous names such as Indian, Harley-Davidson, Triumph and BSA will rev it up along with some lesser-known models such as Matchless, Crocker and Flying Merkel. Collectors, racers and retired racers will kick up some dirt on the one-fifth-mile oval in races beginning at 7 p.m. Practice begins two hours earlier.

The announcer will be the ever-witty Bruce Flanders, opening-night announcer for the first-ever speedway race at the Ventura Raceway in 1971. Admission: $12, children under 12 free.

On Sunday, it's the Ninth Annual San Buenaventura Antique & Classic Motorcycle Show & Exchange at the fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd. Admission for this event, which begins at 8 a.m., is $5; children under 12 free. Information: 650-6777.

UP THE COAST

* It's wacky, it's eclectic and it attracts throngs of sun worshipers and good-time revelers. Yep, it's the annual Summer Solstice Celebration, Santa Barbara-style. On Saturday the downtown area will fill to capacity as the festival highlight, the free-spirited noon parade, romps along State Street. From 1 to 5 p.m., Alameda Park will play host to the Family Festival, where lots of activities and entertainment can be had. Then it's over to the County Courthouse Sunken Garden for an evening program that includes Latin jazz, classical strains, dancing and much more. On Sunday afternoon, festivities return to the garden at 2:30 for the Santa Barbara Symphony's Tiny Tots Family Concert. All events are free. Call 965-3396. Internet site: http://www.silcom.com/solstice.

* The Santa Barbara Chamber Ballet will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it presents "Swan Lake" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Tickets: $17.50, $10 senior citizens and children 12 and under. Call 963-0761.

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