Mergers and Acquisitions Girl

In which the Girl attempts yet another unfriendly takeover!

It's been a while since we've felt the itch, the itch that whispers huskily, lovingly in our delicately molded and really quite perfect little ear, "Annex Poland." But with the multiple feathered headdresses we wear 'round these parts, what lands are really left for us to march on in this grand game of OC Weekly Risk?

We'll tell you what: we want Rich Kane's job. You'd better run, Rich. And you'd better hide. Because the Commie Girl Global Empire and Stuff Inc. is acquiring your Locals Only column, effective immediately. Our lawyers will be contacting you with the terms. And next season? Steve Lowery's Political Football. Oh, yes. You should never have let Osama bin Laden guest-predict the Super Bowl, Lowery. It shows an extraordinarily exploitable lack of work ethic, which we shall be delighted to manipulate for our own gain. We rub our hands in glee. Ours! It shall all be ours!

So, let's see. To take over Locals Only, we need to talk about music, preferably music that happened locally, while making fun of people, throwing in the phrase "guitar rawk" liberally and using the royal we—three things at which we're already quite adept. Piece of cake.

Mulch/Neve/Stroke 9 Galaxy Concert Theatre; Fabulous Thunderbirds Coach House; DeeDee Ramone Club Mesa

First up, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who actually played two weeks ago. But we were too busy writing about rock-star shenanigans at the Zebrahead/Burnin' Groove/Lit show at Club 369 to fit it in last week's column. (We've since received several e-mails clueing us in on even more rock-star soap operas going on at the same show. According to totally unsubstantiated gossip, A.Jay Popoff had two exes there trying desperately to woo him home again, while someone from Zebrahead was trying shamelessly to score digits while his girlfriend was in the ladies' room. And that wasn't even the heart-rending drama we were writing so obliquely about! Zoinks!) So, um, Thunderbirds. Right. According to our sources, the Coach House hasn't been that packed since Eddie Money ran onstage in his white suit. We sincerely hope that wasn't after Labor Day.

With Stephen Hodges abandoning our fledgling country project in favor of drumming with the Thunderbirds, they now have the exact same composition as James Harman's backing band, circa 1981. Damn you, Stephen Hodges!

Despite Hodges' perfidy, the Thunderbirds were chock-full of crunchy goodness. Kid Ramos and his ridiculously huge guns perpetrated all manner of guitar godhood, while the über-manly Kim Wilson, who looked as if he'd come straight from the exercise yard at Folsom Prison, with his threatening bald head and his huge muscle-bound body encased in wide-legged denim, danced around and blew and blew and blew his harp until we had a sympathetic coronary for him. Tuff Enough? You betcha! Everybody else was good, too, even Hodges. We guess. But while the musicianship was terrific—no: terrific—the party backstage was underwhelming. Those guys are old,and they pretty much just sat there. Especially Hodges. So we're going to have to demote them from a solid A+ for their music to a C- overall.

We had absolutely no desire to go see Stroke 9 at the Galaxy until lovely photographer Jeanne Rice suggested we look at Jan. 21's Calendar contents page, which featured a big glamour shot of the San Francisco buzz band. We haven't seen rock stars that yummy since George Michael went gay. "They've got that song 'Little Black Backpack,'" said Jeanne. "It's huge. It's a great song. I saw them, and I liked every song they played"—as if their songs were supposed to matter to us in the slightest. Duh.

We missed Mulch, whom we like immensely as people, but saw Neve, who are still playing their radio-friendly chick music, albeit with a slightly harder late-'90s edge. Will John Hughes please hurry up and put these kids on a soundtrack? Unfortunately, even though the Galaxy had put us on a backstage list, Stroke 9's tour manager, Doug, wasn't letting anyone within spitting range of the sought-after hotties. Apparently, the future rock stars are already testing their power, and we had to stay out in front of the stage with all the darling teenage girls reaching their X-ed hands (signifying no booze to the management) to the powerfully compelling singer, Luke, despite the fact that it was a school night. The place was packed. "We'll have a meet-and-greet after the show," Doug promised. Are there any worse words in the English language? Still, we bided our time with an extra-sauced moron who stood far too close even after we asked—and then yelled at—him not to and who eventually got 86ed after he weavingly grabbed someone's left breast for balance.

After the show, we waltzed backstage for the "meet-and-greet." (Isn't that so icky? Like the boys will fulfill their promotions requirements by dutifully saying hello?) There: A.Jay and Jeremy Popoff, being entirely sweet and charming, and the pie-fucker from the surprisingly tender American Pie, which actually made us cry at the end, but we're sensitive like that. We cried three times during The Waterboy.

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