If you took Loverboy lead singer Mike Reno's claims at face value, you'd think the bandana-clad, pink-leather-pants-wearing, Canuck fat ass and his band of merry wankers were still at the epicenter of pop culture. To wit, the '80s butt-rockers tout their Get Lucky (1981) jacket art as the driving influence behind the poster for the upcoming Charlie's Angels sequel, and Reno's red bandana (available on www.mikereno.com for $29.95) is described as "the single most recognizable accessory in modern rock."
Nu-uh, dude. First of all, your band's current tour itinerary includes a gig at a bowling alley in Sioux City, Iowa. Doesn't get any more Spinal Tap than that. And rest assured, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu won't be nursing vodka-crans on lane eight during the Hawkeye State pit-stop.
Furthermore, the only reason that headband was even in cool's ballpark was that most of your fans were jacked up on coke in the '80s. How else to explain the popularity of a band whose biggest hit, "Working for the Weekend," featured lyrics no more nuanced than "You want a piece of my heart?/You better start from the start"?
In short, Loverboy sucked chimpanzee balls. But that's not to say you shouldn't see them. They're so god-awful that they can't help but entertain, making them the Battlefield Earth of bands (7 and 9 p.m., Ameristar Casino's Bottleneck Blues Bar, St. Charles Landing, 636-940-4300, $25-$35). - Mike Seely
Hot Summer Poetry
In "At Roxy's Topless," a piece from his 1998 collection, A Question of Seeing, Donald Finkel waxes poetic about a strip-joint performer called "Cinnamon": "Because I felt round my thighs the chill of the surf she rose from, the salt in my wounds, the languor of deliverance ... thighs parted in a transcendent V, her sequinned pubes flaring an inch from my face among the crumpled singles." Wow. Finkel shows off his powers of perception and articulation at a book signing for his latest, Not So The Chairs: Selected and New Poems, at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-6731, free). -- Byron Kerman
Angry Young Men
(Mostly) Harmless Bashes audiences
The word "bash" can take two meanings -- a wild party or a royal collision. Writer/director Neil LaBute gets off on conflating pleasure and violence and trying to make the audience squirm. Bash: Latterday Plays by Neil LaBute, a collection of three one-act plays performed this weekend by (Mostly) Harmless Theatre, is a 1999 work from the fellow who wrote and directed such films as In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors.
"Iphigenia in Orem" is a monologue in which a young man tries to justify the horrible thing he did to his baby girl. "A Gaggle of Saints" juxtaposes the beauty of young romance with the savagery of a bloody act of gay-bashing. Get dramatic at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through July 13 at Washington University's A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard, $12-$15, 314-534-1111). -- Byron Kerman