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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

December 19, 1996

FRIDAY: Just Little Jonny

Jon Lawton of Little Jonny & the Giants fame will be traveling light this weekend. Guitarist Lawton will be doing a couple of gigs in Ventura without those Giants.

For one thing, it'll be infinitely easier to split the money at the end of the night, plus one guitar isn't too tough to tote around. Lawton will play Friday night at the Ash Street Coffee House and Monday night at Cafe Voltaire. Each gig is a mere three bucks.

A former guitar player for the Pontiax, Lawton moved to the Bay Area a few years ago. "No Mercy" is the second CD from the band, featuring eight Lawton originals.

The Ash Street Coffee House is at the corner of Ash and Main streets. Call 643-7817 to find out more about this 7 p.m. show. Cafe Voltaire is at 34 N. Palm St. Call them at 641-1743 to find out more about the 7:30 p.m. show.

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SATURDAY: Moon Shines

Melbourne Moon--a singer-songwriter out of Santa Barbara who plays keyboards and guitar, and sings as well as anyone you can name--will perform at Cafe Voltaire in Ventura. He has a great new album entitled "Planet Life," in which life is a hassle, eternally complicated by that insensitive significant other.

One of the great "Why me?" songs on this one is "Do Me a Favor." "The Present" builds to a hypnotic climax of soaring vocals--just another reason to check out Moon.

Moon performs solo in live appearances but has some stalwart assistance on the overproduced-to-near-perfection album, some of which compares favorably with Harry Nilsson, never a bad comparison.

Cafe Voltaire is at 34 N. Palm Street. Call them at 641-1743 to find out more about this free 7 p.m. show.

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SUNDAY: Multicultural Festival

The Oxnard Community Relations Commission will host its first Multicultural Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.

The event will feature an assortment of ethnic offerings--including live musical performances, art exhibits and demonstrations, and foods.

"The point is to raise cultural awareness and expose the diverse ethnic backgrounds in the Oxnard area that really aren't known about," said festival co-chairman Peter Erdos.

The event, with an all-volunteer field of performers and exhibitors, will include New Zealand yodeling, a Chinese dance troupe, Spanish folklorico dancers, a display of traditional South African clothing, silk painting and sculpture demonstrations and more.

Admission is free. The venue is at 800 Hobson Way. For more information, or to inquire about performing or exhibiting at the event, call 385-7947.

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UP THE COAST

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will celebrate the Winter Solstice--the longest night of the year--when it hosts "Winter Tales." The event will include historical and cultural discussions surrounding the annual occurrence, plus a performance by the Celtic group Queen Mab. Tickets are $8 for museum members, $10 for nonmembers. The museum is at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. For more information, call 682-4711.

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GLANCE AHEAD

Noted blues veteran Jackie Lomax will perform during a fund-raiser on Dec. 28 hosted by the Ojai Blues Band at the Ojai Center for the Arts, 113 S. Montgomery St.

Lomax, an Ojai resident, is credited as a founding figure in the British blues-rock invasion of the 1960s. For this 8 p.m. gig, he'll be joined by members of his own group and the Ojai Blues Band. The event, benefiting the arts center, will include a performance by the group Windance and a post-concert party. Advance tickets are $12.50; $15 at the door. For more information, call 646-0117 or 646-7107.

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