Ross Clark was the Editor–in–Chief from January 2003 to December 2003.
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Ross Clark was the Editor–in–Chief from January 2003 to December 2003.
Street sat down with Patti Smith at her October 9 performance at the Free Library of Philadelphia to discuss her show at the ICA. "Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith" is the first museum exhibition of Smith's work and is on view at the ICA through December 7. Additionally, Smith will perform tonight at 8 p.m. at the Zellerbach Theatre.
For the music snob, the first concert occupies a sacred space. Whether awful or amazing, we remember that first show, be it grooving to New Kids on the Block or sitting with your parents, suffering through a James Taylor set. I lost my auditory virginity to Bush. While the emotional scars may be hard to see, the physical ones still remain as this show also marked my first cigarette burn -- she was 40 and drunk, and she mistook my arm for an ashtray. But I just let the pain fuel my seventh grade angst. Licking my wound as I watched Gavin Rossdale emote, I quickly realized that it's "the little things that kill."
Class of '03 in da hizz-ouz...Sink or Swim? We sank!!!..."I do what I want"...Ghetto Quad...TCCICCUR2G2B4G10...TMJ + MSM: Tru Luv Waits...Bros B4 Ho's...Pukin' At The Deck...Fling of '99...Twattin' it up at CosŒ...No Tips for BM at BB's...Cancun!!!...Penn Madness Group (oral favors do not guarantee victory)...Seniors Rule...Shoot for the sun and you might hit a star! Oh my God, so I'm totally like, NOT graduating. And I'm, like, really glad that I'm not. Because an entrance into either the drudgerous eight hour workday or the ranks of the unemployed means that Daddy cuts me off. As my father so lovingly reminded me during their annual visit last weekend, "Son, only a little more than 365 days until you get cut off!" But Dad, at least I can still relish in my last year in college. I'm looking forward to my senior year in my posh new pad complete with French maid service, well French in the sense that they once occupied Vietnam. But there seems to be a little misunderstanding between me and my future roomies, mainly stemming from the fact that they don't understand that I neither cook nor clean. Once I attempted to iron a shirt and ended up just burning a hole in one of sleeves. I tried to be fair about it. I tried to work out a deal ("I'll buy your groceries and you can cook and clean for me"). But the girls don't seem to understand. And it's not like I was even asking for that much. When diplomacy fails, force becomes necessary. "Do you think you got lactose intolerance kind of how like when girls live together and they all, you know.."
Tomorrow, the shit hits the fan. And I'm really scared for it. You see, my family is coming to town for the weekend - yes, the entire weekend. But, it's not their visit that frightens me; rather it's that they are coming on Easter. As the first Gentile ("Goy" as you like) to run this magazine in the past decade or two, I am aware that some of you readers may be unfamiliar with this holiday. Indeed, this may be the first mention of it in this 3" x 4" space in the entire history of our little publication. So, brace yourselves. In reminiscing about this holiday, I recollect all my fond memories associated with it -- the chocolate bunnies, Sunday dinner at my grandmother's house, and the annual Easter egg hunt at the club. Then I am confronted with a jarring memory associated with this day of rebirth and fluffy newborn chickens -- the matching outfits. Sometime in mid-February, my mother would begin the process of selecting our Easter outfits. We would all be dragged around to countless children's clothing stores so that my mother could assemble some sort of family palette of matching colors. Unavoidably, this "palette" would always be centered around a pastel color, in effect making us all look like oversized Easter eggs. It was never enough for me and my brother's outfits to match, instead the entire family had to be coordinated. Out of all the Easters, one stands out in my mind strongly. My mother used to run this children's clothing line out of our house once a year ("Just Ducky") and part of the deal was that she got a certain number of clothes free. As my brother and I wouldn't be caught dead in any of the garb, naturally my sister, Kathryn, got to enjoy all the spoils. One of the outfits my mother selected was a special Easter outfit for her. All I remember is that it centered around some sort of poofy, smocked dress. The best part of the whole ensemble was that it was topped off with a red hat. To say the least, my sister looked ridiculous. Somehow, she endured the entire process even in spite of all the nasty comments my brother and I made. However, her situation improved once we arrived at church. There we encountered a young girl dressed all in white with a matching bonnet. I guess her mother never quite got over a childhood fascination with Little House on the Prairie or maybe she was just out to punish her daughter. But as we left church that Easter Sunday, my dad turned to my sister and remarked, "Well Kathryn, it could have been worst. At least your mother didn't make you wear a bonnet." So as my parents pull into Penn tomorrow evening, I'll be on the sidewalk mouthing a little prayer: "Please Mom, just please don't make us wear matching outfits to church this Sunday"
An Interview with Ross Clark by Patrick Swayze 34th Street Magazine, is a magazine perpetually under attack for "making shit up." As a journalist, I wanted to get to the heart of the issue and find out whether this weekly tabloid was about fact or fabrication when it comes to interviewing celebrities. Recently, I sat down with Editor-in-Chief Ross Clark to find out as to whether this little rag was just another example of yellow journalism or the real deal. Patrick Swayze: Ross, do you fake your celebrities interviews or are they for real? Ross Clark: As the captain of this ship, I am here to dispel one vicious rumor that has been circulating as of late: We do not make up interviews. OK, well at least not usually. In all my years here, I can only recall one incident where we did indeed create a fictional interview. But it was with Miss America. And the circumstances were extenuating - we overslept. So for all the skeptics out there, we never fake it, except when Miss America is involved. PS: I love your sneakers, where did you get them? RC: There are some secrets that even I cannot reveal. PS: What would you like to say to all the skeptics out there who doubt your publication's journalistic integrity? RC: Listen people, the Patrick Swayze interview last week was real. Yes, the John Travolta interview two weeks ago was real. Do you think we could make shit like that up? It's flattering to think that people think that we are that creative, but in all honesty, we're not. Plus, it's much easier to just spend an hour sitting down with some B-rate celebrity, then going to all the effort of fictionalizing an entire interview. PS: So basically, you're all just a bunch of starfuckers? RC: I'm hesitant to use the word starfucker, I like to think of us as simply critics constantly trying to reveal The Truth Behind Pop Culture. So naturally, we love any opportunity to hang with celebrities. We want to know what they're wearing. We want to know if their breath smells. We want to know just how big it really is. Oh and Ivanka, if you're reading this, will you please be my bus partner on our history field trip to Gettysburg? PS: So what you're saying is that nobody puts baby in a corner? RC: Yeah, basically that's what it's all about.
In this time of war, I've been reflecting on what it means to be an American. As our troops are out fighting in the field, it seems that we have all decided that it's time to be patriotic. In the midst of all this U.S.A. fever, I find myself coming back to the question of what defines our country. And the only thing that comes to mind is asses. After a Spring Break spent in London, I've come to the conclusion that our country is suffering from an extreme shortage of belts. While you can find a belt in about any store in this city, it seems like people either aren't buying them or haven't quite figured out how to use them. Because I have seen way too many asses hanging out of pants these days. Quite frankly, it's inescapable. Everywhere I go, they confront me as if there is some sort of conspiracy of mooning at work. While paying for my sandwich at CosŒ the other day, the barista turned around and bent over - flashing her leopard skin thonged ass at me. During a concert at the Rotunda, a friend displayed her own thonged cheeks for public viewing. And one of my editors is constantly showing off his own hairy crack. From hairy frat boy ass to tanned sorority girl butt, I have seen them all. And I am none the wiser. In London, this whole ass issue was not a problem, as I did not see one British buttock the entire trip. While others may attribute this phenomenon to the British obsession with properness. I doubt there is anything specifically British about wearing a belt. Even the French understand the inappropriateness of flashing your two cheeks. And to all the citizens of this country who insist on eating Patriot fries and flushing Dom Perignon down the toilet, I have two French words for you: tight pants. I doubt that French fashion will ever catch on this side of the Atlantic, but at least such pants spare us from these constant displays of plumber's butt. The next time you slip on your favorite pair of jeans, how about grabbing something to cinch them a little tighter to your waist, at least for yours truly's sake. And remember, you can shake what your mamma gave ya, but next time please wear a belt.
This week my dad announced that he is running for Congress. I'm really hoping that he wins. While the fact that he could potentially be shaping national policy is thrilling enough in itself, I'm more excited about what the whole thing means for me. Because if my dad wins, that means I will become a Congressman's son. Although this position is quite a ways below President's son or even Vice President's son, it sure beats the hell out of Alderman's son, which is the position that I occupy now. I can trace my fascination with the idea back to around the time when the Forrest Gump Soundtrack came out. Out of all the tracks on the double CD, one of my favorites was Credence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son." While my friends revealed in the 60's activism of the song, I found myself identifying with those "fortunate ones" who CCR was targeting in the lyrics. As I sang along with the chorus, "It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son," I found myself thinking that while I wasn't a "senator's son" yet -- I certainly wouldn't mind becoming one sometime in the future. Yet at the same time, I have a few hesitations about becoming the son of a Congressman. Like for starters, am I going to need a bodyguard? And if I am going to have a bodyguard, what will my bodyguard's name be? In my head, I envision life as the son of a Congressman as a very demanding situation. Between constantly dodging the paparazzi, I have to deal with all the fake people who just want to be friends with me because my dad is a Congressman. And then there is my safety to consider. I feel that as the son of a Congressman, the chances of kidnapping increase exponentially (this is where said bodyguard factors in). But eventually I come back to my senses and realize that my little brother is best friends with the son of our current Congressman. And that kid doesn't have a bodyguard and all those kids ever do is mow lawns anyway. No bodyguards, no paparazzi. So I am making an appeal to my father. Come on Dad, how about forgetting about Robert Clark for N.C. Congressman in 2004 -- just shoot for Robert Clark for President in 2004.
I have never been to jail. Nor am I planning on visiting one of these fine institutions anytime in the near future. While the prospect of having to use a metal toilet is daunting enough, what really frightens me is the inadequacy of the justice system when it comes to getting out of the slammer. After a recent visit to observe the D.C. court system at work, my fear is multiplied. When I left for the H. Carl Moultrie I Courthouse, I envisioned the place as a temple of justice with smooth-talking lawyers delivering eloquent speeches to dignified juries. But first-hand experience revealed a system that played more like a trashy talk show than a court of law. Having never served on a jury or needed to defend myself, I had always pictured the courtroom as an orderly institution where the cases moved along steadily as the audience sat hushed in the back. But after seeing the real thing at work, a more fitting description of the courtroom would be total chaos. With court employees bumbling about and dropping papers, the place felt more like Texas justice than Law and Order. Maybe I watch too many movies, but it seems to me that we have always been presented with an articulate and intimidating judge who commands the room, keeping long-winded lawyers and rambling witnesses in line during the course of the trial. But the judge I witnessed was a chronic mumbler who had enough trouble just controlling the background noise. Perhaps the entire day is best summed up by the people who were sitting on the row in front of me. I don't think I had ever seen actual prostitutes that close up before. But there, sitting in front of me, were two living prostitutes accompanied by a huge, hulking man who obviously was their pimp. With both of them dressed in tight clothes and wearing more make-up than Tammy Faye -- these were no church-going women to say the least. A more puzzling addition to each woman's ensemble was the lipstick kisses smattered about their necks and faces, looking like they had been attacked by someone's granny. But when they began to plant kisses on each other's faces, the cause of all those lipstick traces was revealed. Later that afternoon as I was walking out of the building, the two hookers were passing through the metal detector at the front door. While waiting for their purses to come through the scanner, they explained their situation to the security guard, "We got kicked out of court for kissin' each other." The old man replied, "There ain't nothin' wrong with free love." As the two walked towards the escalator, another woman in line remarked, "I don't think they's sistahs." I guess that's justice Jerry Springer style for you.
What is it like to be a Canadian in the music industry? I don't know. I don't really think of it. We spend so much time South of the Border it seems like we're kind of Americans in a way. However, Canada does a have a rep for producing a lot of bad music if you would, I'm not going to name any names, you can figure it out on your own. Being Canadian in the music scene honestly is way better than being American. We get money from the government for anything from our website to international tour support. Anything you can imagine, the government is willing to give you money to help your band pursue its career. We got (factor grants) for $10,000 for international tour support. What is the origin of your band name? Paul came up with the name. The concept is energy, more or less is what he was trying to get at. Any reference to the band on Sub Pop, Red Red Meat? No, I'd never heard of that band until we got signed to Sub Pop. What is it like to be on Sub Pop? Great. They've been nothing but supportive. In terms of independent labels, they're among the best, if not the best ever. What does your tour van look like? Actually, we just got a new van. But the one we had before that had a nice little odor to it. What model are you driving? Right now we're driving a Ford E350, it's diesel, 2003 model. We got a trailer. Quite nice actually, a lot nicer than what we're used to. Do you have any special amenities for the road? We have a laptop to keep track of everything. We have a Playstation 2, but I don't really play it that much. What would your ideal or dream tour van or trailer look like? I think having a van that was jacked up with big wheels would be kind of funny. It would be cool if it was snowing or whatever. Also, having a lift so that we wouldn't have to physically climb into it would be cool. And sometimes I think having a machine gun mounted to the front would be good, you know when you're driving sometimes... Animals or people? Either/or, whatever gets in the way. Groupies? Whatever, we're not worried about what we're going to hit. Who drives? I do a lot of the driving. And our road manager does a lot of the driving too. I prefer to drive.
Electroclash. One word simultaneously has the media buzzing about the newest "it" thing, kids dancing in clubs from Brooklyn to Berlin and critics dismissing the scene as nothing but over-hyped '80s nostalgia.
Street caught up with emo-scenesters the Juliana Theory following their stint at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on July 18. The Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rolling Rock vs. Yuengling) based rawkers are currently criss-crossing the country offering fans a sneak preview of material off their soon-to-be released third album. We sat down with guitarist Joshua Kosker to ask him a few questions concerning all things kosher. Juliana Theory's third full-length album Love is due out October 22 on Epic/Sony. Oh, and a word of advice, they're not going to play "This Is Not a Love Song," no matter how many times you beg "pretty please."
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