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Publicity TKO In keeping with the current spirit of publicity in San Francisco, Riff Raff offers no comment on the reported scuffle between OMC frontman Pauly Fuemana and his local record label representative. Word got around that Fuemana, a Maori crooner from New Zealand, decked Mercury Records' Dan Phippen at the OMC's July 24 Great American Music Hall show. OMC, once the Otara Millionaires Club and now just an empty acronym, are the band responsible for that "How Bizarre" hit that plays heavily on hits-heavy radio stations. From his home last Thursday, Phippen had this to say: "No comment. I have to refer you back to New York." "No comment," said Sage Robinson, the Mercury Records publicist who works with OMC in New York. "We are looking into it and we have no further information." No comment from Jennifer Roy at the Great American Music Hall either; she wasn't at the hall at the time, and the night manager who worked the OMC show didn't directly witness anything. Gabby Medecki, the publicist for Live 105, which sponsored the concert, says she didn't hear anything until after the show -- and that was all hearsay. No comment there. Louis Kaplan, the programming director at Alice KLLC-FM 97.3, says OMC was supposed to stop by the radio station around 4 p.m. that day, but missed the appointment. Unfortunately Kaplan wasn't at the show, and has no comment about the singer's behavior at the Great American. All of this nothing adds up to only one thing, a Zen koan for the modern age: If a publicist falls in a crowded hall and nobody is there to see it .... Nah, wait. We know what you're really thinking: If this OMC guy can really take it out of publicists, when can we get him back in San Francisco? (J.S.)

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, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.


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