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Two guys lose the indie rock cred they never had and join the tragic rock god nesting doll set without a drug habit, or more than one chick, or a single original lyric between them both.

When Owen Noone shows up at a Peoria open mic night, sings Guns N’ Roses and buys the guy in the corner a beer, the most indie thing about him is his independent wealth. The next day, he buys the same guy a Telecaster. The guy, whom Owen will soon christen the Marauder, picks up the Alan Lomax Penguin folk song anthology, which he recognizes from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged sessions. Owen takes off for a year—did we mention that in his day job he’s a professional baseball player?—but returns on the Marauder’s graduation day to go on tour. What tour? No problem: Owen’s got a truck and a trust fund! Soon the duo’s “pseudofolkpunk” is the hottest act in Iowa City. More truly perplexing plot shifts follow: A hurricane floods Owen’s mansion; depressed, the boys book a suite in NYC (presumably the servants called the contractor); Owen strolls into CBGB’s, gets a gig, and meets a chick walking her dog. Less than a week later, she quits her job, heads to California with the boys, and marries Owen in Vegas. Meanwhile, they hear their song on the radio, which reminds them that they gave some guy in NYC permission to put out their EP. Overnight (of course) success follows, along with a scuffle with Owen’s estranged congressman father (now it’s political, dude!), the predictable struggle with a crass major label, and Owen’s eventual (sort of literal) flame-out, which is so absurd it would give rock stars a bad name—if believing anyone other than Weird Al Yankovic could make an indie rock career out of borrowed material and a hit single out of “Yankee Doodle” weren’t already stretching credibility.

Oh, well, whatever. Nevermind.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 1-58234-497-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2004