BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right — these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. Hey, we know how it is — so many words to read, so little time to surf for free porn. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you, freeing up valuable nanoseconds that can now be better spent roughing up the suspect over at Suicide Girls or what have you. Every week we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey caramel center each edition. Why? Because we like you.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Stories like this are why bands like Clockcleaner, and punk rock “assholes” like frontman John Sharkey are, in fact, boring as hell. Being a dick may get you attention, but eventually it turns you into a one-trick pony and your band into a sideshow — which, while that may be part of the point, is actually a pretty unimpressive and wholly tiresome feat. Ooh, he pissed on a rival band’s merch! Ooh, he likes to get up in peoples’ comfort zones and alienate even their true fans!
Sharkey looks like a young William Burroughs.He smokes too much, and even when in the presence of infants or the elderly, curses too loudly. He revels in making people squirm, finding their comfort zone, and pushing right past it. He’s the kind of guy who would get a giant tattoo of a pineapple on his arm on a dare –and has.
At 19, Sharkey was sick of Philly, so he moved to Cleveland, where he was, by his own account, “a raging asshole.”
How very . . . hardcore and original. We are not impressed. Still, Brian McManus writes a solid, readable story, so maybe it’s not all bad. Also, they have a girl bassist, so props for that. But really, I can’t imagine a story pitch that would make me think this band, or its accompanying “controversy,” are interesting enough for a cover story.
CITY PAPER: Not being a “comics person,” I was almost tempted to throw this one — The Comics Issue — over to the Boss to consider. But I persevere, and am rewarded with several truly stellar comics out of the 16 submissions which are offered. Thankfully, there aren’t too many R. (or Aline) Crumb or Roz Chast knockoffs, full of spidery lines, dry humor and gangly-legged people making ironical observations. Of course, these comics aren’t funny ha-ha, in fact some are sadly beautiful. Take note, especially, of Donkey Punch, which delivers one of those surreal relationship moments, and Sip City, in which we find that the Kool-Aid dude may have ice cubes in his head, but in his dreams, he’s just a man like any other. A hat tip to the Swiercz for a good idea, well-executed.
INSIDE THE BOOK
PW: When is an Italian Market not an Italian Market? When it’s really called the Ninth Street Curb Market, for one thing, and when it’s filled with more vatos than camares, for another. Que onda, guero? Hey errrbody, it’s Butt Week over in Savage Love, and we’re not talking cigs here. Gather ’round and hear that old love story, where Mistress Asscrusher meets Worthless Buttslut and they pegged happily ever after! If that ain’t your way to have fun, son, wash it all away with a good burger and a little Three Dog Night.
CP: Is affordable housing “going green”? Doron Taussig susses it out. We breeders know that artsy pregnancy photographs are hardly a new thing, but photographer Jamie Lyn Giambrone takes it a step further, not just shooting the glowing mom-to-be in all her supersized, round-bellied glory, but documenting the birth itself. It’s a reminder that in childbirth, like child-rearing, the ugliest moments often make the most valuable memories. Will Philly’s old-school pioneers Tuff Crew, whose joints I used to tape record off of Lady B’s Sunday afternoon hip-hop show on Power 99 back in the day, keep their shit together enough to make it to a reunion gig at Tritone this weekend? Ahhh, the dramz.
WINNER: CP, even though we always thought Punchy was hotter.