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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

August 22, 1996

FRIDAY: Blues Guitar

When Chris Cain was a kid, his parents took him to see artists such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, Johnny Otis, Freddie King and Fats Domino. And look what happened. These days, Cain is a gifted blues guitarist out of San Jose with three albums to his credit, including his latest, "Somewhere Along the Way."

You can catch Cain 'n' gang in action at Joe Daddy's, 211 E. Santa Clara St. in Ventura. Rick Reeves & the Future Blues Band will open the proceedings at about 9 p.m. The cost? A reasonable $5. For more information, call 'em at 643-3264.

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SATURDAY: Astronomical

The Ventura County Astronomical Society will hold sway come sundown at the Moorpark College Observatory for the next installment of its summer astronomy series. This time around it's "The Milky Way, Our Home," a slide show and informative discussion about the galaxy and more.

For stargazers--neophytes and veterans alike--the real fun begins after the lecture when the observatory's many telescopes are set up for a tour of the summer sky. The observatory's powerful 14-inch Celestron telescope will be available for viewing celestial bodies.

The program will begin at 8:30 p.m. and is free of charge. For more information, call the society's STARLINE at 529-7813. Or, visit the group's Web site at http://www.serve.net /vcas/vcas.html.

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MONDAY: Love & Rockets

More explosive than amorous, Love & Rockets will appear at the Ventura Theatre for an 8 p.m. gig. Locals Lowlife and Enok (formerly Ariel) will open.

Love & Rockets, featuring Daniel Ash on guitar, David J on bass and Kevin Haskins on drums, is a band that makes a lot of noise for three guys, and has survived in various incarnations for nearly 20 years.

They began as the moody Bauhaus, a band that could cause Mister Rogers to wear black, then Ash and Haskins formed Tones on Tail, a band responsible for the bizarre hit "Go!" that still pops up on KROQ.

When not breaking up or squabbling, Love & Rockets has made a series of arresting, interesting and generally psycho albums since the group's 1985 debut, which featured its first single, a wild rendition of the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion." The newest album, and presumably the reason for all that driving, is "Sweet F.A."

The venue is at 26 Chestnut St. Call 648-1888 to find out more about this $15 show.

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UP THE COAST

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, will host its popular and fun-filled family event, "Great Garden Nature Night," from 6:30 to 9:30 Saturday.

After snacking on a light meal, participants will follow a team of naturalists and educators in a search for nocturnal animals, all the while listening to tales of American Indian legends.

Families will also explore trails through the garden's redwood grove, over the historic Mission Dam and across Campbell Bridge. If that isn't enough, astronomer Richard Reed will point out stars and planets with the help of telescopes.

The cost for nonmembers is $20 per person, $50 per family; members pay $15 per person, $35 families. Preregistration is required. Call 682-4726.

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A GLANCE AHEAD

Labor Day activities around Ventura County will include Moorpark's annual Family Picnic & International Fair, from 3-7 p.m. Sept. 2 at Arroyo Vista Community Park.

Besides continuous live entertainment, there will be crafts, food and informational booths, children's activities, exotic animals, a bike show and other activities.

The park is at 4550 Tierra Rejada Road, just off Countrywood Drive in Moorpark. Admission is free. For more information, call 529-6864, Ext. 231.

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