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Bands Warming Up

Hot weather sounds nearly upon us.


You don't have to wait till summer to get into the spirit of the season.

The eighth annual Cajun Creole Festival happens this weekend in Simi Valley with the likes of Al Rapone & Bonne Musique Zydeco, Tony Delafose, Joe Simien, local rockers Acadiana and others. Call 520-4894 to find out more.

The Ventura Theatre, under new management, has yet to announce any truly exciting gigs, and the renovations have taken longer than expected.

The next rock show is Dokken on June 5, with Suicidal Tendencies on June 6. There's a reggae show with Eek-A-Mouse on June 20, and some of those geezers of rock--such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer--will play soon. None of this is cause to cancel cable, but Avalon Attractions is taking over the booking, so expect some good stuff in the future (648-5700).

Michael Kaufer, who is to blame for the annual Ojai Bowlful of Blues, will do a '50s-themed gig at Lake Casitas with music, presumably something that even Beaver Cleaver would enjoy, scheduled for July 19 (646-7230). In the meantime, Kaufer is bringing the Zydeco music of C.J. Chenier to Cafe Voltaire (641-1743) at the Livery in Ventura. That show is June 6 and will, no doubt, incite a different style of dancing than will be going on at the Ventura Theatre that night.

The Camarillo Arts Council (987-7847) will sponsor a six-concert series through the summer with the Estrada Brothers kicking it off June 7 in Constitution Park. Shows include Steel Parade on July 12 and the California Cajun Orchestra on Aug. 16.

Henson's Acoustic Music Festival is slated for Aug. 9 in Camarillo's Dizdar Park (482-6115).

Oxnard will resume its weekly Heritage Square summer concerts June 20 with Spencer the Gardener. Acadiana will play on July 4th and Southern Cross will play July 25 (483-7960).

The more noteworthy (and newsworthy) events in Ventura are pending.

The Ventura County Fair (648-3376), which will run from Aug. 13-21, has scheduled Dishwalla, Weird Al Yankovic, Trisha Yearwood with John Berry, the Neville Brothers, the Tubes, Crystal Bernard, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Smokin' Armadillos, Survivor, the Surfaris, Connie Francis, Righteous Brothers, Tracy Lawrence with Matt King and a "Fiesta Day Concert."

The other big wingding, California Beach Party (654-7830), scheduled Sept. 20-21, hasn't decided yet on its soundtrack.

Up the coast this weekend, it's the Santa Barbara Brew Festival (675-8745) at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, offering 200 beers plus a stellar lineup of ska bands.

The Santa Barbara County Bowl (962-7411) will have famous rock stars all summer, beginning with ZZ Top on Sunday. But this one is sold out. Other bowl shows include Tony Bennett on June 21 and the Wallflowers and Fiona Apple on June 27. Crosby, Stills & Nash will entertain Sept. 27.

And don't miss this one: July 30, Ventura County Fairgrounds (648-3376), Phish, the greatest live band in the world. Be there.

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