Confidential to Certain Incensed and Outspoken Fans of Redd Kross and Jeff McDonald You know, folks, there's this thing you might want to look into, commonly known as a "joke." Webster's New World College Dictionary defines a "joke," in part, as "a thing done or said merely in fun." (The fourth definition of "joke" may also be of personal interest to you.) And you shouldn't be curious about "joking" just because Riff Raff likes "jokes," but because your hero, Jeff McDonald, apparently does too. His outburst at the July 14 Redd Kross show at Slim's -- something along the lines of, "This next song is dedicated to the asshole at the SF Weekly who says I sound like Vince Neil!" -- was doubtless a "joke." In admiration of the wag that McDonald revealed himself to be, we countered with another "joke." Sure, we could announce our "jokes" with one of those colon-and-parenthesis smiley-face constructs often seen in e-mail [: )], but then, that ruins the whole point of "irony." (Irony, per Webster's: "A method of humorous or subtly sarcastic expression in which the intended meaning of the words is the direct opposite of their usual sense.") Phrases like "you wish you sounded like Vince Neil" are probably intended ironically, unless offered in a Mstley CrYe fanzine. To reiterate: We were "joking"; Jeff McDonald was "joking." Unless, of course, Jeff McDonald is a moron, in which case he might not have been "joking," but, instead, "serious." And that would just be too terrible to contemplate, wouldn't it? (M.B.)
Ida Called It Something Else Bands go through growing pains as much as do people, shedding earlier incarnations like dead skin. Local all-girl band Ida has emerged from just such a transformation as Vida, a new band replete with changes in lineup, sound, and name. The decision to scrap Ida stemmed from a growing disharmony between the band and the upbeat sound people came to expect. "The songs from our CD Troublemaker were more upbeat, which became really annoying in later years, and led people to peg us as a cute girl band," says guitarist and vocalist Lynnea Scalora. The lineup change was equally gradual. Original drummer Lisa Maslowe spent less time with the band and more time finishing college, allowing ex-Mountain Pigs drummer David Pankenier to fill in and eventually replace Maslowe altogether. Collectively, these shifts led to Vida pursuing a darker sound -- what Scalora describes as "secret agent rock," with influences like X and Steel Pole Bathtub. In spite of all the changes, the band has not forgotten its past; expect to hear a few Ida songs at future Vida shows. (R.A.)
12 Things That Riff Raff Feels Completely Indifferent About 1) Odwalla Monster C Light. 2) School crossings. 3) Jazz spots that are called "soul patches." 4) Queen Helene Mud Packs. 5) Anisette. 6) Metallica sightings. 7) Metallica sightings with strippers. 8) New potatoes with endive. 9) Unsubstantiated rumors that R.E.M. will be recording their next album at Toast Studios -- a local facility. 10) Feral cats. 11) Glass cleaner with disinfectant. 12) Alex Bennett leaving Live 105. (S.T.)
What "Hell Bent for Leather" Really Meant All Along For two nights in San Diego last week, local queer rockers Pansy Division mutated into what could only be called Pansy Priest. The transformation came about when Judas Priest's former frontman, Rob Halford, joined Pansy Division onstage for a cover of Priest's "Breakin' the Law." After meeting Halford during San Francisco's Gay Pride weekend, Pansy Division invited him to attend one of their shows, promising to play their altered version of the aforementioned song. (They call theirs "Breakin' the Sodomy Law.") Halford, whose schedule has been none-too-cluttered since he left Judas Priest in 1991, agreed not only to show up, but to sing along. During San Diego's Gay Pride Weekend, Halford fulfilled his promise. However, metal fans should put down the hair spray and let the devil sign go limp -- Halford is about as likely to repeat the event as he is to rock out with Judas Priest ever again. (R.A.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.