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Moon Wishing on a Star

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

He may not have the energy of legendary Who drummer Keith Moon and he probably can’t hit like Dodger great Wally Moon, but Melborne Moon, who performs Tuesday night at cozy Cafe Voltaire in Ventura, can certainly sing better than either. With a stunning collection of introspective songs from his four albums, including his most recent, “Planet Life,” singer-songwriter Moon will have plenty of tunes (more than 60 originals) to choose from.

With no band members, and thus no math problems when splitting the cash at the end of a gig, Moon is the owner and operator of this musical operation. He has a powerful, clear voice and accompanies himself either on guitar or keyboard. He doesn’t really rock, so the mosh pit is in no danger of going off. Moon music lies somewhere between Elton John and Harry Nilsson.

Originally from Mariposa, the twentysomething Moon has since relocated to Goleta. In the past, he spent his summers working on dude ranches in Wyoming and Colorado. These days, Moon works the front desk of a motel and plays a couple of times a month, usually at a coffeehouse or some such place where people actually come to hear the music rather than talk over it.

During a recent gig, Moon played one of those interminable local street fairs--the events locals generally avoid like the plague because annoying tourists and traffic jams aren’t that much fun. Anyway, Moon was setting up on Main Street and whom does he spot among the people milling around? Why, none other than Terry Farrell a.k.a Lt. Cmdr. Dax from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

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Moon did what any serious Daxophile would do--he had someone watch his gear and like a wolf after a pork chop pursued Farrell into Nicholby’s across the street, where he gave her a CD. Later, she even watched Moon play a few songs. Hey, you never know, but one day Moon may be playing Quark’s bar on “DS9.” As I was saying, those street fairs can be great.

To hear him yourself, beam over to Cozy’s for the 7:30 p.m. show, which will set you back exactly two bucks. The venue, home to industrial-strength coffee, great food and a zillion kinds of beer, is located around the corner from Metro Nite Club at 34 N. Palm St. Call them at 641-1743.

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Turning to the dark side of the moon, Type O Negative will validate the scowls of all those gothic “junk rock” types during a Sunday night gig at the Ventura Theatre promoting its latest album, “October Rust.” The dress code, I’m sure, will lean toward black, as tortured souls congregate to hear songs such as “Die With Me” and “Pain.” Resident hunk and bass player Peter Steele thinks it isn’t as depressing as all that.

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“People think we’re negative when we’re merely objective. Our motto is simple: No matter what you do, you’re going to die anyway, so you might as well do what you want.”

Steele is nonetheless quite the master of menace. He has written plenty of songs about sexism, fascism, racism and other bad-trip scenarios. But none of them rivals that old standby the broken heart.

Here’s the dedication to “Bloody Kisses,” their 1993 album that has since gone gold: “This entire opus is respectively dedicated to all those who have loved unconditionally only to have their hearts unanesthetically ripped out: Base not your joy upon the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No hope. No fear.”

“I think if you’re really heartbroken, it takes at least two years to get over it,” he said. “The best way to get over it is to find someone else. Hey, pain and sex make for great songs.”

A philosophy that seems to go over big with the women, particularly since he posed for Playgirl not long ago.

Steele may be loud and he may even be depressing, but he is never late, a quality definitely lacking in most musicians. Members of the Brooklyn-based quartet not only have watches, but watches that work.

“Type O Negative is always on time, just like I called you on time,” he said. “We’re four guys that had day jobs and are used to punching the time clock. . . . I hate lateness. I’ll wait for someone for five minutes, then if they don’t show up, I leave. I can’t disrespect the fans by being late.”

Also on the bill are Sister Machine Gun and Drain. This 8 p.m. show will set you back $13. The Ventura Theatre is at 26 Chestnut St. Call them at 648-1888 to find out more.

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