Today would be a fabulous day to visit the opening of the 4-day Ojai Film Festival. A new addition this year will be the “youth shorts” created by junior filmmakers. See www.filmfestival.ojai.net for further information on showtimes, ticket prices and directions. Tonight, the anonymously named Johnny A. will be producing sultry guitar sounds at the Ventura Theater. He’s played alongside Aerosmith, the Cars, Eric Clapton, Santana and, unfortunately, even Hootie. Forgive him for his sin and show up at 7:30 p.m. Tix are $15 and can be purchased by calling 583-8700.
Gong! Gda-gda-gda-gong! This is Artsweek’s impression of what you will hear should you attend the free World Kulintang Institute’s Ancient Gong Drum Music from the southern Philippines. Show starts at 8 p.m. in the MCC Theater. Note to self: do not attend this event if hungover. Though the critical events occurred before most students were conceived, tonight you can take a step back in time and listen to former Defense Department Analyst Daniel Ellsberg tell how he helped bring an end to the Nixon/Vietnam era. Tickets are $8. Show is in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall at 8.
Daring adventure… passionate love… and Gill-Man? Yes, “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954) is being brought to I.V. Theater courtesy of the Santa Barbara Film Society as part of their “Fright Night” series. The best part? It’s in 3-D, meaning there will be goofy blue-and-red glasses! Hooray! Tickets are $3, show starts at 8. Also tonight, the Hardtofind (7190 Hollister Ave., next to the Food Bank) will play host to a bevy of local bands including Hero & Victor, Kissing Tigers and Drama, among others. Show starts at 8 and get a discount with canned food.
Though tonight may not be your last dance with Mary Jane, come feel Tom Petty’s pain as he performs alongside folkster Jackson Browne at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Tickets start at $48. Show is at 6. Also tonight, Arts & Lectures present the documentaries War Photographer and Alone With War. The first follows award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey as he travels through battlegrounds like Kosovo and Palestine. The latter documents the staggering devastation of Lebanon’s Civil War. Show starts at 7:30. Call 893-3535 for further info.
Not many musicians have their album dubbed one of the best five in their genre of the last decade by Rolling Stone, but that’s exactly what bluesman Keb’ Mo’ accomplished in 1994. He’s since won two Grammys and will be scintillating, no doubt, as he performs at 8 tonight in Campbell Hall. Tickets start at $16. Call 893-3535. Dust off the hemp-trousers and natty-dreds, because it’s going to be a long night as the String Cheese Incident (a.k.a. “the Cheese”) rocks the Cal Poly Rec. Center tonight. Located at One Grand Ave. in SLO. Starts at 8. Call 756-1405.
Tuesday, 10/29/Wednesday 10/30
Two words: “Donnie Darko.” Yes, the cult classic featuring yummy ascending star Jake Gyllenhaal (“The Good Girl,” “Moonlight Mile”) will be showing in I.V. Theater on Tuesday night. Directed by Richard Kelly, it tells the freakish story of a boy with “emotional problems” who has visions of a 6-foot bloody bunny. Huh? Just watch and be dazzled. We promise. Tickets are $3 at the door. As for Wednesday, the Coach House will offer local pop-punk demigods the Ataris, alongside Sugarcult. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased at Just Play Music, 619 State St.