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Friday, June 21, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Music

Vendetta Red, Alien Crime Syndicate rock Fremont Fair

Seattle Times staff reporter

The annual Fremont Fair charges out of the gate tonight with a fun run, and continues through the weekend with the customary (but never conventional) solstice parade, art-car exhibit, kids' activities, craft booths, music and dance on several stages and other entertainments.

The parade begins at noon Saturday in downtown Fremont; expect everything from wild costumes to no clothes at all, plus agitprop street theater and a lot of clowning around.

Bear in mind that the weekend's festivities draw thousands of people to the tiny Republic of Fremont, so parking can be challenging. Consider biking or skating to the fair (via the Burke-Gilman Trail), or even kayaking (along Lake Union). Metro bus routes 26 and 28 serve Fremont, and a special fair shuttle will run every 15 minutes from the University District to Fremont and beyond from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call 206-633-4409 or visit www.fremontfair.com.

Music highlights

This year's fair features Vendetta Red and Alien Crime Syndicate, two California-born bands that moved to Seattle, re-shaped here, cracked the big time ... and there the similarities sharply end.

Vendetta Red is a raging rock band that toes the line between hardcore-punk and emo. The quintet, led by the charismatic central California transplant Zach Davidson, has been in the studio with producer Jerry Finn (blink-182, Green Day, Weezer), working on an Epic Records debut. VR just finished a tour of Britain and is on the Warped Tour this summer.

Where Vendetta Red's music is full of youthful, desperate sincerity, Alien Crime Syndicate is a more seasoned band that dips its pop-rock deep into the pot of irony. "Ozzy," the serendipitous first song on its "XL From Coast to Coast" — recorded just before Mr. Osborne got his hit MTV show — has become a minor hit, though one wonders if listeners realize the "throw your hands in the air if you like Ozzy or Motley Crue" chorus is typical ACS chicanery. In any case, the strong listener response to "Ozzy" helped Alien Crime Syndicate land a release deal with V2 Records. ACS is led by Joe Reineke, who moved to Seattle from San Francisco, where he had a band called the Meices.

Vendetta Red is scheduled to perform Sunday at 2:30 p.m., followed by ACS at 4; both are playing on the Redhook Mainstage. Some 40 other Seattle acts will perform, including the likes of the marvelous singer-songwriter Willow (Saturday, 3:55 p.m., Evanston Avenue stage), and Seattle melodic rock veterans the Posies (7 p.m. Saturday, mainstage).

World and folk music highlights include Total Experience Gospel Choir (2:10 p.m. Saturday, mainstage), Das Root (5:30 p.m. Saturday, World & Dance stage), Kultur Shock (7:30 p.m. Saturday, World & Dance stage), Los Peligrosos (1:30 p.m. Saturday, Solstice Plaza stage), Rai (4:15 p.m. Sunday, Evanston Avenue Stage) and Cambalache (2 p.m. Sunday, World & Dance stage).

For details on bands and stages, go to www.fremontfair.com/schedule.html.

— Tom Scanlon, Paul de Barros and Lynn Jacobson

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