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J a n u a r y 2012

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2 12 NEW YEAR. NEW LOOK.

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TABLE of CONTENTS ON THE COVER 62 42 40 22

Austin Butler Canaan Smith FashionDemocracy NAVEN

FASHION 6 8 10 45 46 58 72

Nordic Track Spring Accessories FRM Style Battle of the Brands Mad Tea Party CrazyHotClothes Mid Winter’s Night Dream

COLUMNS 12 14 15 16 17 19 38 88 89 90

Home Take It or Leave It Beauty Save the Drama Why You Should Care Dish RADAR TakeOneDown Train Wrecked In this Corner


M O N T H L Y frontrowmonthly.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gina Hussar MANAGING DIRECTOR Edwin Shaw DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT Isabella LaQuatra ART DIRECTOR Rob Soltis SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Shaylee Capatolla SENIOR FASHION EDITOR Nicole Myers ACCESSORIES EDITOR Kaitlyn McCall Pieri BEAUTY EDITOR Bethany Montecalvo SENIOR MARKET EDITOR Charissa Livingston GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Kasia Mano FEATURED WRITERS Matt Caruso, Adam Hornyak, Jeffrey Clouser, Ashley Abraham, Aaron Valentic, Shaylee Capatolla, Charissa Livingston, Rob Soltis, Allison O’Connor, Cortny Booth, Elisa Llera, Leigh Morrow Calhoun, Dana Vogel, David Waselkow, Ryan Bunker, Lynn Sambuco WEST COAST CORRESPONDENTS LOS ANGELES Gina Tomassone SEATTLE Leigh Morrow Calhoun DENVER Sarah Ewalt WEST COAST PRODUCTION MANAGER Felicia Gargani MIAMI Marie Colom WASHINGTON D.C. Jeffrey Clouser NEW YORK CITY Julienne Shaw INTERNATIONAL LONDON Sara Antes Rigg NEW ZEALAND Rahat Chaudry BLOG DIRECTORS DIRECTOR OF LIFE AND ENTERTAINMENT Shaylee Capatolla DIRECTOR OF FASHION RELATED CONTENT Ryan Bunker DIRECTOR OF ARTS AND CULTURE Cortny Booth COVER PHOTOGRAPHY - Krizia Vega MODELED - Austin Butler Front Row Monthly is a publication of Front Row Monthly Inc. www.frontrowmonthly.com frontrowmonthly@gmail.com 412.585.1445


FRM EDITOR LETTER

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

There is something amazing about the start of the new year. It’s as though every misstep, every regret from the previous year is wiped away and we get to reinvent ourselves and our paths once again. It can be incredibly empowering if we allow it to be! This year, FRM will be growing even more and we are so excited about what the future holds, and are grateful to our readers for joining us on the journey. What better way to start off the new year than a chat with Tinseltown’s latest hottie Austin Butler. Austin may have made a name for himself on the Disney channel a few years ago but now, he is getting ready to take Hollywood by storm with a series of “grown up” projects, proving that he’s here to stay.

Also, FRM headed west for a shoot at a beautiful estate outside of Los Angeles with Kym and Alexis McClay, the powerhouse beauties behind NAVEN, the fashion line that is showing up on more red carpets than Ryan Seacrest! And...(sigh)...give me a minute...Canaan Smith!!! Country music’s newest star sat down with FRM contributing writer Candace Orlandi. (Bitch. ;) He is gorgeous, sweet and just so happens to be incredibly talented with a voice like velvet. In other words, he is perfect. Period. Enjoy! And Happy New Year from the staff of FRM!

Gina

areyouscared? 210 Federal Street, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15212 info@scaredbunnyentertainment.com J a n u a r y 2012

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FASHION

The Nordic Track To

WINTER by Nicole Myers

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n my dreams, I spend the cold winter months in a secluded Norwegian winter chalet surrounded by the smell of fresh pine, a bundle of logs stacked uniformly from floor to ceiling and a crackling fire. Ryan Gosling is there. He built our home from reclaimed wood with his bare hands. I have bangs. Unfortunately, I just received note from Ryan’s camp that he cannot attend this years snuggle fest. Someone has prior engagements on set and with Eva Menendez. Sigh. Thankfully, my calendar has filled up with numerous invites to exquisite post-holiday gatherings to keep me occupied. One in particular, an invite to an ugly Christmas sweater party, allows me to pull inspiration from the Nordic getaway of my dreams. Instead of skimming the racks of a local vintage shop for a perfectly worn and dated textile, the Nordic sweater is this year’s designer solution to winter apparel. Historically, Norwegian women used Nordic sweaters as signs of affection. They would knit for their loved one and in return, a marriage proposal usually ensued. These days, this classic pattern serves as a fashionable way to keep festive and warm with out looking over the top. And if a proposal follows, well then, so be it. There is just something about being wrapped in luxurious wool that makes us look and feel irresistible! Take a look at a few of our favorite finds! New Brunswick Sweater $188 - Anthropoligie.com Red Moose Lace-up Fair Isle Sweater Slipper $24 - Urban Outfitters.com Hue Nordic Print Tights $45 - Norsdstroms.com Design History Oversized Poncho $155 - Saksfithavenue.com

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J a n u a r y 2012

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FASHION

ACCESSORIES: LOOK FORWARD

TO SPRING! by Kaitlyn McCall Pieri

2012 Spring Color Trends

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ust as winter is coming to a close we begin to look ahead and think about what warmer, sunnier days are yet to come. Believe it or not, spring is in the near future and the 2012 color trends are being showcased on all of the most famous Resort Runways in Paris, Milan and the like. Violet, rust, peach, emerald, turquoise and greys are some of the most popular shades for spring. Accessories such as bags, shoes and jewelry are the easiest ways to welcome the new color trends. Get ahead of the game! Check out three fresh looks that will help you make a swanky and stylish leap into Spring!

The combination of Proenza Schouler’s peach suede bag and Pour La Victoire’s grey rust snake print heels would be great paired with a flouncy printed dress or a high wasted skirt, tights and blouse. Turquoise is a spring favorite and goes great with most any color combination. Add a watch for a sophisticated touch and a floppy hat for an eminent daytime look.

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My two favorite pieces, the Giuseppe Zanotti royal blue wedges and the timeless Yves Saint Laurent Arty Ring join together for the second look. The emerald stone partnered with the royal wedges is a unique combination, yet right on trend with the 2012 spring colors. This look is great for an evening out paired with a black, mustard or tan structured dress.

The final look is comfy and casual, combining grey, gold and violet; three colors I would not usually pair together. Yet this combination seems effortlessly chic. Laid-back pieces like this mustard scarf and skinny tan leather belt make a pair of Chanel dangle earrings look like an everyday item. Set these accessories with some high-wasted jeans and a light sweater for the daytime, or a black blazer and white tank for the evening. Forget the dreary days of winter and think Spring! At least in your closet. Kaitlyn Pieri is FRM’s Accessories Editor. Follow Kaitlyn at TheUrbanFlamingo.blogspot.com

J a n u a r y 2012

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FASHION

FRM

STYLE by Cortny Booth

Cold weather gotcha’ down? Warm up with these trendy winter must-haves!

DOWN JACKEY $650 - Moncler.com

PENDELTON MESSANGER BAG $148 - Nordstrom.com

BURBERRY SCARF $375 - Burberry.com

THERMAL PJ SET $39.50 - Victoriassecret.com

FINGERLESS MITTEN GLOVES $14 - Amazon.com

BCBGENERATION BOOTS $125 - Zappos.com

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FASHION

GO HARD, OR GO HOME! by Ryan Bunker

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he late Coco Chanel once stated. “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Clothes have always been thought of as a means of expressing ourselves- or who we dream to be. By going to a department store, ripping the pre-styled outfit off the mannequin and wearing it as is, you are broadcasting a message to the entire world that you, one, have no creativity, and two, really don’t take pride in your appearance. It is understandable that you are insecure in your fashion ability, but, even if you fail miserably at creating a look, at least YOU created it; no one else. In the fashion scene today, we are seeing many ballsy, ‘I dress for me’ looks. After having mixed feelings on this for some time, I have warmed up to the idea. Icon’s like Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga are the epitome of this look, sporting outlandish, one-of-a-kind, head- turning pieces that make you ask, “Really?” Yes! Really! After all, it’s these very icons that you cannot take your eyes off of and whose self-imagined outfits inspire trends all over the world. Obviously, dressing up like Gaga or Nicki may be an unreasonable aspiration for many, (I mean we do have day jobs), however, taking

J a n u a r y 2012

risks and stepping outside of the box is the perfect way to project to everyone that you are fun and adventurous and not at all afraid of yourself. Nothing says, ‘I am boring as hell and have no flare whatsoever’ like the plain jane white tee and jeans. Instead of going the safe route designed to make you invisible in a sea of the ordinarily dressed, go bold and make a statement! Now take a look at this gorgeous gal. Her fall pallet cape, black faux fur snood, black stockings, and knee high boots, creates a unique and bold look that is both reserved and head-turning in its own right. Now who would you rather look like? This new year, do not go drab and dull. Pop out of your shell Gaga style and try personalized looks. GO HARD, OR GO HOME! Pretty please… White tee image courtesy of fashionjunkii.com Cape Image courtesy of us.asos.com

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HOME

Clean & Easy

Home Office Stylish and practical pieces to pull your workspace together perfectly.

By Kati Smith

FF

unctional chic is a design trend unctional chic is a design trend that utilizes that utilizes an effortless style an effortless style and practical pieces. It is and practical pieces. It is easy to easy toany transform room an office transform roomany into an into office with with thisindesign in mind. paintthe the walls walls this design mind. JustJust paint white and and you to to get get started! This white youare areready ready started! design celebrates the workthe youwork will doyou in the This design celebrates will space with exposed storage, rough finishes, clean do in the space with exposed storage, lines andfinishes, bold colors.clean The muted the rough linescanvas andof bold white walls andmuted black desk will allow lot of colors. The canvas of for thea white exploration when desk it comes to allow the other walls and black will for aspects a lot of of the office, like a bright green in the desk chair or exploration when it comes to the other a red floor aspects of pouf the for office, like a bright green

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in the desk chair or a red floor pouf for your guests to sit on. Try an accent wall of a your guests to sit on. Try an accent wall patterned wallpaper to break up the space even of a patterned wallpaper to break up further or even to draw coloror inspiration for draw the the space even further even to rest ofinspiration the room. Eclecticism helpfulofinthe an office color for theis rest room. space to keep your eyes interested and your to Eclecticism is helpful in an office space mind open. traditional desk works well with keep your A eyes interested and your mind a modern chair and even leaves room for an open. A traditional desk works well with style tableand lamp. There isn’t aroom lot youfor aindustrial modern chair even leaves canindustrial do wrong when styling yourlamp. space There into a clean an style table isn’t and easy office. If it suits your work process, it suits a lot you can do wrong when styling your the space! space into a clean and easy office. If it suits your work process, it suits the space!

Office by Heather Anderson via Flickr.com, My Kinda Home Office by Sayeh Pezeshki via Flickr.com, Home Office by Candi Mandi via Flickr.com, Office Details by Candi Mandi via Flickr.com, Home Office by Nina Holst via Flickr.com, Home Studio by I. Laux via Flickr.com, Office Makeover by Sayeh Pezeshki via Flickr.com | FrM | frontrowmonthly.com

J an uary 2012


modcloth wall prints / $15 - $25 west elm industrial task table lamp / $69

forma notebooks / $20

ikea kassett storage box / $10

ikea leksvik desk / $149

terrain pressed pot / $18

cb2 knitted pouf / $90 cb2 bubble office chair / $199 J a n u a r y 2012

anthropologie dotswold wallpaper / $88 frontrowmonthly.com | FrM |

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ADVICE

Take it or Leave it IS MY GIRLFRIEND CHEATING???

SHAYLEE SAYS:

FRM takes on your trickiest dilemmas. (Notice we didn’t say that we solve them. In fact, we may make it worse.) A few words of wisdom from two polar opposite pools of thought.

Dear FRM, I have never written to you before, but I really need your advice.  I have suspected for some time now that my girlfriend has been cheating on me. You know the usual signs... Often, when the phone rings I answer, and the caller hangs up. She has been going out with ‘the girls’ a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, ‘just some friends from work. You don’t know them.’ I always try to stay awake to look out for her coming home, but I usually fall asleep, not knowing when she finally gets home. Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just didn’t want to know the truth, but last night she went out again.  Should I follow her?  Approach it head on?? Help!!! 

Dear Reader, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems as though your GF is in fact hiding something. Keep in mind that I did not say she’s in fact cheating on you; but appears to be hiding something, nonetheless. If this were a few short years ago I would have responded with something along the lines of “Umm what are you waiting for!? Are you crazy!? Get in the car! We’re following her!” However, these days, I prefer to advise a much calmer approach to all relationship dilemmas. Approach it head on but not in the crazed, scorned, stalker kind of way. Communicate! It’s completely healthy to question her with your concerns. Be prepared to read her. Look for any and all signs of lying, and listen to your gut. If after your conversation you still do not feel at ease. Swing by and pick me up… we’re following her ass! ;)

ADAM SAYS:

Dear Reader, Dude.  She’s cheating on you.  How are you that dense that you don’t see the obvious signs?  First and foremost, how does she look?  If she’s hot, it may be worth fighting this one out and following her to see if she’s unfaithful, but if she is anything less than an 8 1/2, I would write it off and move on to the next woman that will most likely cheat on you.  Look inside yourself to see what you did wrong.  Are you bad in bed?  Does your breath stink?  Any severe acne that makes your face look like an oatmeal cookie?  She’s a girlfriend, not a wife, and there are plenty of other women out there that will eventually find out that you don’t shower or that your dance moves are cause for libel.  Dump the cheating whore that you’re with and get back out on the dating scene. Editor’s Note-(sigh, Adam Adam Adam….)

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BEAUTY

SAVEYOUR SKIN We all know what the Winter brings. When the air turns to a winter chill, it can turn your skin into a piece of leather in a blink of an eye. by Bethany Montecalvo So what can you do when the outside temperature falls and you turn on your furnace and eeeeek... Your skin little by little turns dry and flaky? Follow my go-to list and keep your skin smooth and sexy and your butt as soft as a baby’s.

only things that are exposed, (well let’s hope.) In that kind of weather there are still harmful sun rays. If there is snow, the harmful sun rays hit right off the snow like a mirror and bam……. Right on to your pretty face. A sun burn isn’t cute.

Skip the hot! Bath or shower with luke-warm water.

Check your ingredients

I know guys, I love my hot showers just like the rest of ya’ll but don’t be mad at the messenger. Truth is truth my friends. Hot is harsh! And please don’t use anti-bacterial washes in the winter. Holy dry skin. The anti-bacterial ingredient is called Triclocarban. It indeed kills germs but it also kills the good germs too. We need the good germs to fight off sickness and other gross things you don’t want me to get into. Don’t use body washes or shampoos that have sodium laureth sulfate in it. It dries out and strips our skin and hair of our oils we desperately need. That’s the same ingredient that gives us bubbles and suds and it’s in our laundry detergents. Just use a mild body wash. Try Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in Peppermint. Delicious!

Moisturize right after you jump out of the shower or tub

Give yourself a good pat down, don’t rub your skin. Be gently because we only have one body so treat it like gold. When you are still a bit damp, use a cream base moisturizer that is free of fragrance, dyes, colors. Try looking up vegan body care. If you have extremely dry skin, just use extra virgin olive oil. Yes EVOO as Rachael Ray would say. Just put EVOO in a spray bottle and use your favorite essential oil smell to jazz it up and there you go. You don’t need to buy body oil that has alcohol and fragrance in it that will just dry your skin. Not to mention, you’ll save a little money!

Maintain your soft skin all throughout the day. 24/7 baby

If you wash your hands, use a natural hand cream. If your skin is dry, then reapply moisturizer throughout the day. It’s your barrier for your skin.

Wear SPF to exposed areas In higher altitudes your skin will get dry more quickly. Your hands and face are usually the

Make sure your skin care, body care, and hair care do not have common chemical irritants. You can just Google that and a whole bunch of scary chemicals will pop up for you.

If you have oily skin but are dry…

Instead of using your normal cleanser to dry out your skin, try switching over to a gel based cleanser. I love Hylunia, Facial Gel Cleanser. It’s great for oily skin and it won’t stripe your skin and make it feel bone dry. Yay!!!!

Makeup:

Use an oil free tinted moisturizer as a nice thin base and then use a pressed mineral powder. The trick with the pressed powder is to apply with a powder puff and apply in a rocking motion. It will press the makeup and set it on your skin and it will hide the dry patches.

If you have normal to dry skin

Try using cleansing milk without any irritants in it. I know this might sound crazy but try a 60/40 ratio of EVOO and organic castor oil. Make your own cleanser and save a ton. Check out theoilcleansingmethod.com it’s a wonderful article that describes this cleansing method.

More on Makeup:

Ladies and Gent’s use a primer and it will save your skin’s life. Not only will it fill in fine lines but it will give you that velvety smooth look and help makeup to stay put!! I love 100% Pure Primer. No silicone in that, just pure vitamin’s and antioxidants with resveratrol. And it has amazing light reflecting pigments. I love 100% Pure Luminous Light Reflecting Primer from www.100percentpure.com. You’ll down-right glow baby! Bethany Montecalvo is FRM’s Beauty Editor. For more information visit bethanymontecalvo.com

PHOTO

Nicole Mueller

MODEL

Kait Schoeb J a n u a r y 2012

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POINT OF VIEW

SAVE THE DRAMA!

KEEP THE RESOLUTION

FOR ONCE!

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t’s that time of year again! Bring on the New Year Resolutions, people! January 1st is collectively looked at as a fresh, clean slate… the perfect day to turn over a new leaf. All over you will hear the enthusiastic sounds of “I’m going to lose ten pounds!” “I’m going to keep my space organized!” “I’m only going to cheat on my girlfriend once a month!” Whatever your goal may be, kudos to you for setting it! Sadly though, right after the act of setting those resolutions, we start to hear things like “I’ll start my diet tomorrow after I eat ¾ of this Lucky News Year’s Pretzel.” Or, “I’m so hung over from last night; I’ll clean this room tomorrow.” And, “Man, that Vegas trip is coming up! I might have to cheat a few times this month, but come February —I’m a changed man!” How soon we forget our eagerness to better ourselves. More often than not, our resolutions turn into broken promises. Luckily, I have devised a plan to help you make your resolutions last. First of all, in order to achieve your goals, they must be realistic. You have to understand that commitment is key! And, you must be aware that things don’t happen over night! Let’s start with square one…

Set a Realistic Goal

Set a goal for yourself that is actually attainable. Sure, it’s great to believe that all things are possible. But, let’s keep it real. If you say you’re going to fit into your high school jeans by February and you need to drop 50 just to button them— you need to allow yourself more time! I believe you can lose the weight, just be realistic about it! This way you won’t give up too easily and the commitment/patience part will come naturally.

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by Shaylee Capatolla

Commit

You owe it to yourself to fully commit to the things you desire. It’s not going to be easy, but as long as there is commitment--failure is unlikely. Let criticism fuel your aspirations; use it to your full advantage. Let mistakes guide your way into the future. Live and learn! Learn and apply! Don’t give up just because you have a bad day. Tomorrow, pick up where you left off!

Practice Patience

One of the biggest contributing factors to losing sight of a goal is to expect things to happen overnight. Be patient! Success comes from many days of hard work, and, in some cases, bumps along the way. It will be an everyday battle, but through time and commitment... you can get there! “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there” - Josh Billings Or how about… “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” - Confucius So there you have it! Listen to me (oh yeah, and Confucius) and your New Year’s Resolution just might last longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage! Here’s to hoping everyone saves as much drama as possible in 2012! Happy New Year, all!

J an uary 2012


POINT OF VIEW

Why You Should Care

by David Waselkow

THE POLITICS OF THREAT: PRESIDENTS AND US FOREIGN POLICY

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he International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently released a report detailing an investigation into the accumulation of enriched uranium by Iran. Though Iran may not be marching towards establishing a nuclear weapons program they are clearing moving in that direction and the 5 metric tons of enriched uranium Iran now possesses is a few, small steps away from graduating to weapons grade. China has been on the US radar since the end of the cold war (if not before) as the next menacing threat. Not too long ago India was the next biggest threat. Then it was Islam. Then it was the possibility of global disease. Then it was China. Then it was North Korea. Then it was Islam (again). The only theme in US foreign policy bigger than threat is the idea that the US and other states have to search for threats, and perhaps even need them to have a foreign policy. Some theoretical orientations argue that conflict is endemic in an anarchical international system. Because there is no authority in the system higher than the state, each state is compelled to secure and protect what is in their national interest. Every other state in the system is a potential threat, and prudence dictates awareness of and management strategies for that threat. One of the greatest historians ever, Thucydides, in his History of the Peloponnesian War, argued that the cause of war between Athens and Sparta was the growth in Athenian power and the “alarm” this “sparked” in Sparta. Threat brings about fear, and fear seems to drive policy. This orientation does a good job of explaining conflict in the international system, but is not as well-equipped at explaining cooperation or peace. Philosophy about foreign affairs is conditioned in many by the assumption that because conflict is inevitable, states are compelled to acquire and protect power if for no other reason than no one is going to do it for them. Yet the attempt to acquire or secure power by one state elicits concern in its neighbor. The neighbor takes steps to secure their own power position and the other reacts. Sparta sees the Athenians gaining power and becomes afraid. Athens sees Sparta and believes they have reason to be afraid. In other words, the better one gets at defending against potential threats, the more threats they create. In international relations theory it is referred to as the “security dilemma.” That dilemma remains part of the context of foreign policy decision-making to this day. The conventional wisdom on US foreign policy that prevails in scholarship suggests that the president is uniquely situated to influence, direct, and implement foreign policy. Despite the separation of powers and the role that individual members of Congress may play in attempting to shape foreign policy, the president is thought to be the sole, singular, and most powerful player in the formulation, development, and implementation of policy. The War Powers Act is widely regarded as legislative rhetoric with no teeth or viable enforcement mechanism. The president, as the Chief Officer of the Executive branch, has near sole authority over all of the institutions and bureaucracies that shape and initiate

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foreign policy objectives. That Congress matters can be measured in small and seemingly insignificant aspects of the decision- making process like appropriations and legislative oversight. Congress can restrain presidential adventurism after the fact by contesting funding to agencies or institutions that represent an aggregation in the wealth of presidential power, or have an executive branch official stand tall before a sub-committee that 7 people watch on C-SPAN. But in times of crisis, in times of defining foreign policy objectives, and in the day-to-day conduct of foreign relations, the president is without exception the definitive actor. A second significant theme in US foreign policy is what happens in crisis. For decades, scholars have illustrated the “rally effect”- citizens tend to “rally around” the president for leadership and decisionmaking. Members of Congress tend to do the same, at least initially, regardless of party politics. The country rallied behind President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It rallied behind President George Bush during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It rallied around the second President Bush in the wake of the attacks of September 11. The rally effect can be short-lived (and often is), and the immediate but fragile consensus that appears to build can quickly wane (and often does), but the larger point is that in the critical moment, the undercurrent of support for the president simply because he is president cannot be denied, and that effect can have tremendous influence on the decision making process in crisis as well as the long-term posture and consequences of US foreign policy. History is not without other important lessons about the president and foreign policy. When then Senator Kennedy was running for President, part of his campaign was to exploit the perception held by many that the Eisenhower Administration had allowed a “missile gap” to occur between the US and the former Soviet Union. In the early days of the Cold War- and really well into the Reagan Administration- a big barometer for measuring US success in the military supremacy contest between the two was to count the number of intermediate- and long-range ballistic missiles the US had and compare that count with how many the former Soviet Union had. In a world governed by the belief in a policy of “mutually assured destruction,” he who had the most missiles won. On the campaign trail, Kennedy blasted the Eisenhower Administration for “slipping” and allowing this missile gap to occur. Of course we now know, and Kennedy learned shortly after taking office, that there was no missile gap. The threat that there may be one, however, seemed to be enough. Presidents and presidential candidates have the single most definitive effect on US foreign policy. We know from the example of the Kennedy campaign and his Administration, and from all other campaigns and administrations, that in the moment it may not matter whether the president or the presidential candidate is right. It just matters what they think and what they believe. After all, it is

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based on our perception and opinion of what they think and believe that we make decisions about their viability as presidential candidates and their performance as presidents. By extension, it matters what people and officials in other countries in the international system think and believe about what the president or presidential candidate thinks or believes. A good illustration of this is what happened near the end of the Carter Administration. Every evening on the major news networks there was a “ticker” noting how many days the hostages had been held in Iran and by implication how many days the Carter Administration had been powerless to change that. After the horrible failure at Desert One to rescue the hostages where several US special operatives were killed in a blundering helicopter crash before they even hit the ground, Ronald Reagan was on the campaign trail. And the day Reagan was inaugurated was the day the hostages were freed. In the second presidential debate between then Vice President Al Gore and then Governor George Bush, Bush took Gore to task for the Clinton Administration’s pattern of “nation building.” A few short years later in the Bush Administration, the US was engaged in two of the biggest nation building efforts and generation-long commitments to foreign countries in its history: Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the many lessons learned about US foreign policy, we also know that most voters really don’t know a lot about, or care much, about foreign policy issues. Domestic policy is far too pressing, especially in times of “peace” or at least in the absence of the next major foreign policy crisis. Taxes, social security, health care, the job market, education- these are the issues that capture the bulwark of the American voter’s attention. In fact, we know that when members of Congress engage in foreign policy issues they are often punished at the polls by their constituents for allowing their focus to wander outside the fence line of their own backyard. In the end, then, when we think of presidents and of presidential candidates, it seems reasonable that we should think a great deal about what they think about foreign policy. Why should you care about US foreign policy or presidents from Kennedy to Bush? Because right now there is a Republican presidential debate, and because right now, the Obama Administration is gearing-up for a second term. For decades Americans have heard about the biggest threat facing the nation. China, Islamic fundamentalists, economic contagion in Europe and Southeast Asia, the anarchical nature of Africa, the problem of transnational terrorism, the threat of worldwide plagueall of these heavy hitters have, at one time or another, been “the next big thing” in US foreign policy. And the person who articulates for the nation what that next big thing is going to be from one administration to the next is the president. We should care about and listen for what these candidates think is most threatening or frightening. Chances are, that will be at the center of foreign policy for the next four years. We look an awful lot like Athens. But every Athens needs its Sparta. In the end, perhaps we should ask the most salient question of all: Is foreign policy about threat identification and assessment, or is it about something else? Perhaps that is the first level of thinking we should investigate as candidates blaze trails to the very Oval Office that then articulates those answers for us all. And there is another reason as well. Getting a sense of what they know and believe beforehand then becomes the standard by which we measure their performance. And in democratic governance, that is called accountability. Whether you believe in “another four years” or that it is “time for a change,” what you believe is likely better served by what you know about what they think.

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Front Row Monthly is currently seeking a few creative forwardthinking individuals for the following positions. - writers - graphic design interns - independent sales reps

Serious inquiries may apply to info@frontrowmonthly.com

J an uary 2012


FOOD

FRM

DISH by Shannon Parrish

Call them Gougeres, bigne, chouqettes au Fromage or simply cheese puffs. However you refer to them, these wonderful puffs of savory dough are downright addictive. It’s easy to consume at least ten of these babies before even realizing you’ve done it. You can vary the cheese and herbs however you like, depending on what kind of mood you’re in. Just make sure to use a sharp firm cheese, and fresh herbs will result in the most flavorful puffs. They’re quite versatile and perfect for entertaining; slice them in half and sandwich around a slice of prosciutto, fill the puffs with a wonderful cream such as an olive and herb Mascarpone (recipe below) or simply serve them on their own. The best part is they are a cinch to make and come together quickly for last minute entertaining.

Make the cheese puffs Yield: 24-30 puffs

CREAM PUFFS

ball in the middle of the pan when stirred. Remove from heat and let cool, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and add the eggs one at a time mixing until well incorporated (move quickly so the eggs don’t cook). Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in ½ cup of parmesan cheese (and herbs, if using). Fill a piping bag with a round metal tip and pipe the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet about the size of a cherry tomato or slightly larger, spaced 2” apart. Top each puff with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F, baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool completely before filling or enjoy them warm on their own.

Make the Cream Filling Yield: 1 ½ cups

½ cup water

8 oz.

Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes (for quicker melting)

2 Tbsp

sour cream

2 Tbsp

red onion, finely minced

1 Tbsp

capers, finely chopped

½ cup

pitted mixed olives, finely chopped

1 Tbsp

fresh chives, chopped

1 tsp

Italian parsley, chopped

¼ tsp

salt

Fresh

ground black pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour 2 large eggs ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (or any sharp cheese of your choice) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure to have all of your ingredients measured and ready to use as the steps move quickly! Combine the water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat until butter is fully melted, stirring occasionally. Dump the flour into the butter mixture all at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well incorporated and begins to form a loose J a n u a r y 2012

Bring all of the ingredients to room temperature so that it will be easier for the ingredients to combine. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Fill a piping bag with a round metal tip and add the filling. Carefully pierce the side of the puff with the tip and pipe with the cream until completely filled. Chop the ingredients as finely as possible so that they don’t get clogged in the tip. These cream puffs are delicious when paired with a crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio. The hardest part about making these cream puffs is trying not to eat them all before your guests arrive! Oh what the hell. You deserve it. ;)

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EVA’S STORY by Shaylee Capatolla

As each day passes millions of children and teens wake up to go to school. A place where one attends in order to learn, grow, and build friendships. At the same time, thousands of those children and teens wake up in fear. They wake up in fear, because they are bullied. They are day after day broken down, because of who they are, how they look, and how they act. Bullying is a problem that affects a majority of students, and it’s starting to have everyone; including major celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Brittany Snow, and Ellen DeGeneres worried. Adults don’t always have the chance to see it, and they may not understand how extreme bullying can get.

But, bullying is just a part of life, right? Wrong! Even if the theory that “everyone is bullied at one point or another during their lifetime” holds true, it doesn’t take away the scars--it doesn’t take away the shame a victim may feel. Bullying can take many forms, but no one form is any less damaging than another. Regardless of how one is bullied, it eradicates selfesteem and eliminates confidence. School bullying is on the rise, and with the help of “cyber-bullying” it doesn’t cease as the “end of the day” bell rings. It follows it’s victims home. It’s always connected. This incredibly serious issue has spun out of control. It has no limits and hold no barred. Victims are scarred for a lifetime, can end up hospitalized, and some, in an effort to escape their shame, take their own lives. In a place where young people are sent in order to attain an education they are instead, all too often, emotionally scarred and beaten. One teen shares her story in an effort to comfort other victims; with the hopes of deterring bullies to act out abusively. On a September day of her sophomore year of High School, Eva Smith was a typical student going about a typical day. Suddenly, that all changed when she became the victim of a violent assault from a bully at her school. Gone in an instant was the “confident, bubbly, smiling girl with a bounce in her step…all of that was smashed out of me in the hallway.” Eva chatted with FRM’s Shaylee Capatolla to revisit that painful day…. Every time I look in the mirror, I see it: that jagged vertical scar running between my eyebrows. I can cover it with makeup and few will even notice it. But, I know it is there and I still feel the pain from it. If you rub your finger over the scar, you can feel the damaged tissue. It will never go away. Nor will the scar. And nor will the pain. There are thousands of boys and girls of all ages facing serious illnesses or disabilities. Often just by looking at them, we can see signs of their suffering and hurt. When you look at my face, you may notice the scar. But, you will have a more difficult time seeing the emotional scars inside me. During the usual change of classes, Eva stood in the hallway talking with friends when the unknown girl came from behind and began slapping the sophomore student in the face. The hits grew stronger, as Eva remembers, and her hair being pulled and her head slammed against a series of lockers. “The final blow was against the edge of a cement block wall and the blood began to flow.”

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After being rushed to the Emergency Room, doctors told her she was lucky to be alive; lucky to have survived the severe concussion she had experienced with the attack.

Over the next few weeks Eva experienced petit mal seizures and suffered from severe headaches and blurry vision. She was in the run for valedictorian and school became a pressing subject. She also missed 5 weeks of volleyball and lost her starting spot at the game she enjoyed so much. Eva explains that going through the court system was difficult as well. “Each time I heard the banter in the courtroom, and each time I saw the girl who attacked me, I hurt more. I became withdrawn and very scared of being in public. I was constantly looking over my shoulder.” And today, 7 years later; Eva continues to suffer….. “Not a day goes by that I do not think about or deal with some emotion because of that attack. In no way am I the same person I was before that day. The affects of the attack have caused so much emotional pain for my family and me. We all suffered and continue to suffer. There is no drug or medical procedure that will erase or cure what happened to me. Some days are better than others. I deal with the guilt, depression and anxiety of being so vulnerable and for being the target. I am much less trusting than ever and much more assertive, and I wonder if it will ever change for me—in seven years it has not. The old Eva is gone. My attacker took her away.” She concludes…. “Yes, I am alive. Yes, I am active and involved in many activities. Yes, my parents still have me to hug and love. Yes, I still suffer. And, yes, I still hurt. The scar on the outside is visible, but the scars on the inside are hidden. With each day, they are hidden deeper inside, until one day, hopefully I will not find them. That day will come. Until then, I keep smiling and keep praying!” For any victims who may be reading this, smile and pray. My name is Shaylee Capatolla and I was a victim of High School Bullying. Yes, I too was bullied, just about 9 years ago. I personally suffered for many years from self confidence issues and a total lack of self worth. I fell suffered from not one, but two “girl fights”. It had gotten so out of hand that I had no other choice than to change schools. And, although I may not have visible scars to remind me as Eva does, I have the pain in my heart. But, for me the pain is no longer related to my personal experience. Why? Because, by smiling and praying I have overcome. The pain I feel is now the empathy I have for fellow victims who haven’t yet had their chance to triumph over. They haven’t yet been able to take back the person they were before the bullying began. But just as Eva says, that day will come for her. Just as it will for all victims—that is if we continue to smile, pray and BELIEVE.

J an uary 2012


Heather Harris Hair & Makeup Artist

Specializing in: Color, Highlights, Cuts, Keratin Treatments, Eyelash Extensions, Bridal & Special Events

Crystal Long with

MEMORIES BY CRYSTAL PHOTOGRAPHY We Specialize In... HIGH FASHION FAMILY PORTRAITS SENIOR PORTRAITS CHILDREN BABIES SPORTS MATERNITY LANDSCAPE WEDDINGS BOUDOIR And much more!

MemoriesByCrystalOnline.com

Located in the Eastern Panhandle, also willing to travel! J a n u a r y 2012

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NA by Nicole Myers

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AVEN NAVEN, the life-long dream of LA based twin sisters Kym and Alexis McClay, became a reality in 2007 when they launched their first line to much anticipation. Fast forward to present day and NAVEN is housed in over 200 hundred stores across North America and their designs are seen on the likes of Katy Perry, The Kardashian sisters, Kelly Osbourne, Guiliana Rancic and Kristin Cavallari. With a nod to classic fit and exquisite tailoring, NAVEN’s designs exude vitality through vivid color and whimsical details. The NAVEN woman is empowered, sexy and grabs hold of life every day. The McClay sisters have become a force to be reckoned with in the industry. And they just happen to be movie-star gorgeous! Jealous much? FRM caught up with the designer duo in L.A. for a conversation about what inspires them and a sneak peek at what’s to come! FRM: When did you first become interested in fashion?

Kym and Alexis: Naven started in 2007. Once we completed our degrees, we saw a void in the market for what we considered to be the perfect “Dream Closet”. That “Dream Closet” is what became the backbone for NAVEN. FRM: Whom or what inspires the designs?

Kym and Alexis: Our inspiration comes from everyday life, for example; a color scheme for a printed blouse could come from the colors in a flower, the angular structure of a dress, from city architecture, the theme of a collection from an Old Hollywood movie. We take those tangible inspirations and create our “Dream Closet” each season to the next. FRM: What is one thing every woman should have in her closet? Kym and Alexis: Girls don’t get jealous, (too late), but we’ve gotta say owning our own fashion company definitely created our very own “Dream Closet” of handpicked NAVEN styles. If we had to narrow it down to our wardrobe “must-haves” we’d have to say that we can’t live without our NAVEN Bombshell Dresses in Pop Pink and Vegas Blue. Another to die for style; NAVEN’s Oversized Silk Blouse in Sand and Black, paired with a NAVEN Skinny Mini in Chartreuse or Poison Purple. To top the “Best Dressed list” every time you step out, it’s the NAVEN Party all the way.

Kym and Alexis: From a young age we knew our hearts beat to fashion. The kicker; sitting at our desks at 14 years-old in High School, sketching out drawings in Home Ec. for the school fashion show. At that point we never dreamt that it would lead to owning NAVEN. Our path was ignited with the desire to pursue fashion which later lead into Kym completed her degree in Fashion Design at FIDM and (Alexis’s) Business/Marketing degree at Pepperdine University. Shortly after followed invaluable experience gained working for large companies. Finally the birth of NAVEN in 2007 as a Los Angeles based line, designed by both of us started what would be a great carrier in Fashion.

FRM: What are three words to describe NAVEN?

FRM: Who were your style icons growing up?

FRM: You guys never stop! What’s a great statement piece for other women on the go?

Kym and Alexis: Believe it or not, we grew up as tom boys. We lived in beautiful British Columbia, Canada until we were 18 years old, surrounded by trees to climb, lakes to wakeboard on, and a million rinks to skate. Our icons were not in fashion, they were regular strong people, like my dad, Wayne, my teachers, people that impacted our self-worth. We always believed that we were as tough as the boys, which later on grew into this “Girl Power” attitude, which is displayed in NAVEN’s pop colors, and empowering fits. As soon as we got our feet wet in the amazing world of fashion, and became refined around the edges, we started to appreciate designers like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Zac Posen. FRM: How did NAVEN get its start? J a n u a r y 2012

Kym and Alexis: Empowering, Bright, Sexy FRM: What are your favorite pieces in the Spring 2011 collection? Kym and Alexis: The Biker Jacket in Pop Pink faux Leather, the Leopard Long Maxi Skirt, and The Orange Crush and Pop Pink 2 toned Oversized Blouse. FRM: What can we expect from NAVEN in the future? Kym and Alexis: Look out for a “Starry Eyed” filled Summer 2012 collection and Naven’s runway show in March 2012

Kym and Alexis: The Naven Blazer in Black Silk to keep things clean. Pair it with Monroe Shorts in Navy Blue and a Kimono Top in Peach to keep things fresh and young. FRM: Who do you design for? Kym and Alexis: Being California girls, we always try to incorporate off the runway looks into a wearable outfit. The fashionista we design for loves to be daring with sexy fits, and play with bold colors in her wardrobe. She is fashion forward, confident and sexy. FRM: In other words, she is very much like the designing sisters behind this to-die-for line! frontrowmonthly.com | FrM |

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Amber Asaly, Amber Asaly photography amberasaly.tumblr.com facebook.com/amberasalyphotography

HAIR AND MAKEUP

Heather Harris for Blo Out Lounge, Costa Mesa and MAC Cosmetics facebook.com/pages/Heather-HarrisHair-and-Makeup-Artist/181356748542990

MODELED

Kym and Alexis McClay

CLOTHING

Naven naven.net

PRODUCED BY

FRM’s L.A. Production

J a n u a r y 2012

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NEXT BIG THING FRM Radar’s Hot Read

THE BOOK OF THE HUNGER GAMES BY SUZANNE COLLINS a book review by Allison O’Connor Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death - televised for all of Panem to see.

RADAR

FRONT ROW

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love. WINNING WILL MAKE YOU FAMOUS. LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH. Ok, so you’re possibly wondering why I’m reviewing A) a “young adult” book, B) an “old” book, and C) a book everyone has gone over ad nauseum. I can understand that. I really can. The book’s original target audience was young adults and it has been marketed all over the place. Now there’s a Facebook page for it, an upcoming movie, and it seems like everyone knows all about it. The thing is, not everyone knows all about it. Adults frequently think they know all about it and dismiss it quickly, as if it were below them. (I notice this a lot with the Harry Potter books as well, but that’s neither here nor there.) The Hunger Games is the start of a wonderful trilogy that will make you wake up a little and think of futures and possibilities. It will make you delve into yourself and wonder what kind of person you are and possibly what kind of person you could be. And that is exactly the way I think the New Year needs to begin. You need to read the entire trilogy, not just the first one. (Besides, you have to know how it ends, right? You can’t just go part of the way through and then bail!) So the books are, “The Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire”, and “Mockingjay”. Suzanne Collins weaves this tapestry of emotions, characters, and a horribly changed world. Once a year, during the Hunger Games, children go head to head in a fight for life to win for their district and the prize of money, fame, and a lifetime of respect. I’d almost be willing to say it’s a modern take on The Running Man, but it’s so much better.

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The Hunger Games pits children of all classes against each other, letting no child be exempt from the possibility of fighting to the death. When Katniss Everdeen volunteers to go into the games in place of her sister, one of the two children originally chosen to fight for their district, things change. Nobody has ever gone in place of another in The Games. This, of course, brings about a great deal of publicity and attention to an already mediafueled game. The series will take you through a story of political corruption, human persistence, and just what is right and wrong about society. Thiseseries is a perfect way to start off the New Year. Read The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, and lose yourself in a science-fiction type world, with a truly human feel. Throw in a bit of romance and drama and you have a series for every taste. Please join me next month for my nod to Valentine’s Day with a twist. Allison M. O’Connor is Front Row Monthly’s contributing book reviewer. For more from Allison, please visit aliverse.com J an uary 2012


FRM Radar’s Hot Trends

RED LIPS

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”Gwyneth Paltrow Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese. All kick-ass women, all women you’d want to be like and all fans of the super sexy power pout! Ruby red lips are a hot trend for winter and why not? Nothing punches out a grey day faster than a bright, come-hither smile. Red is the color of power, the color of sex. A star shows up on the red carpet with red lips and the gossip mags go wild. Sometimes it’s all you need. A ponytail and jeans is instantly chic with one key accessory-hot lips! Here are three of our faves to try: Obsessed Minerals Lipstick in Azalea mineralobsessed.com Chanel Rouge Allure chanel.com Cover Girl Queen Collection in See Red covergirl.com 

candace orlandi CanDeVa’s Salon facebook.com/candevasalon

Freelance Entertainment Hair and Makeup Artist Fashion • Film • Music • Celebrity Wedding • On Location and more candaceorlandi@me.com candaceorlandi.com facebook.com/candaceorlandi

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NEXT BIG THING

FASHION DEMOCRACY by Sarah Davis

D

o you ever sort through clothes at your favorite stores and feel a bit lost? Do you sometimes feel like you’re searching for a piece of clothing that you can see clearly in your mind, but that you can’t seem to find anywhere? Well, there is a cure. With Useabrand.com, you decide what goes on the racks.  Each month, the website runs a design contest. Visualizing the perfect little black dress? Submit a design to useabrand.com. People from all over the world vote to choose a winning design, and then in-house designers step in to refine details, choose fabrics and bring the piece to life. You are the fashion designer & you vote for the winner. This is otherwise known as a fashion democracy.  Useabrand was founded in 2007 by Moritz Baier and Anna Rihl, but, they say, it is kept alive by the people who participate.   “A fashion democracy is the opposite of a fashion dictatorship. At useabrand.com, anybody can affect which designs will be produced, which upcoming designers one supports, etc,” says cofounder of the company, Anna Rihl. “The customer can vote directly for which clothes are offered in the webshop.” Not only does Anna deal directly with who has the winning designs every month & the sourcing of all materials used for each article of clothing, she also manages the flagship store in Vienna.   So, how exactly does this process work?  Step 1: “You draw your idea, scan it or capture it with your cellphone camera, upload it and then promote it,” explains the CEO & cofounder of the company, Moritz Baier.  “The last one of these steps is the one that matters the most.  If you do a good promotion in Facebook, email, or however, you have much higher chance of winning.” 

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Step 2: Users from all over the world vote on which design they’d like to see made. The Useabrand team steps in and turns the design into actual clothing.  Aside from the satisfaction of winning the contest & knowing that people all over the world are wearing their designs, the winning designers receive a portion of every piece sold via the Internet.  (Anna informs us that the designers usually receive about 5 Euros for each piece sold.) If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this company, it’s because it is based out of Vienna, Austria. However, Useabrand.com is quickly making waves and is expanding its reach to the US.  As more and more people participate by submitting designs and voting each month, the company’s international following continues to grow. Why participate?  Even if you’re someone who thinks designing is not your thing, you should look twice at this company. Useabrand.com gives every fashion-loving consumer a chance to have a hand in the fashion industry and to direct the trends. Plus, it promotes GREEN VALUES.  One of their goals is to replace “mass production with mass participation.”  Perfection! They do not use sweatshops and all of their fabrics are eco-friendly.  Designs are sold for about 45200 dollars.   If you’re as excited as I am to see something this unique hit the fashion world, check out their website.  Or, if you’re feeling bold and creative, submit one of your designs.  Why not? We’re all voting for you. useabrand.com Sarah Davis is the Editor-in-Chief of Style and Wisdom at styleandwisdom.com. J an uary 2012


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NEXT BIG THING From the Amazing Race to Center Stage: Our Interview with Country Star on the Rise

CANAAN SMITH

by Candace Orlandi

2012 is shaping up to be THE year for Country music singer/ songwriter Canaan Smith; fresh off the heels of signing a deal with Mercury Records in 2010, Canaan spent most of 2011 writing, recording and on a radio tour promoting his debut single, “We Got Us” (which will be released to radio January 9th). While on his radio tour, Canaan had the opportunity to open for music superstars such as LeAnn Rimes, David Cook, Gavin DeGraw, and Vince Gill, garnering a fan following as diverse as the singer himself. Canaan has been working hard and on a nonstop schedule lately, but he took some time out of his busy promotion tour to talk with us about his career: FRM: Your first single “We Got Us” -which you wrote- is about to hit radio; what does the song represent for you? Canaan: “We Got Us” just comes from a place of honesty from me. When people are trying to start their lives togetherespecially in times like these-it’s extra tough and I think when everyone starts out they feel that young innocence that being in love brings and you believe that love really is all you need to make it. I’ve been there, I’ve matured in my view of that now after being and growing in a relationship, that you really need a lot to keep it working, but love is definitely where it all starts and ends. So this song supports that theory of being young and believing in each other and believing you can make it, no matter what. FRM: This isn’t the first song you’ve been a part of that’s been a success on radio; you were co-writer on Love and Theft’s 2009 single “Runaway”. Although that must have felt good to have a song you wrote do so well, how does it feel to have your face and voice bringing this song to life and to people? Canaan: It’s literally like the best feeling in the world and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was always tough for me to think that I had to give away a song that I wrote because it was a part of me that was going out there, and I always wanted to interpret those songs myself so badly, from where I was at the time I wrote them and be able to have people connect with me on that level. I do however think the timing now is right and the world is ready to hear who I am and I’m so ready to show them. Being able to finally be that voice behind that song is going to be really incredible. FRM: You’ve been a Professional Songwriter for a while now in Nashville, what’s your muse or your writing style for getting what you want out there in your music? Canaan: Instrumentation really comes from so many different places, so it’s just different every time, but I guess the norm for me is probably a melody coming out first, or I’ll just sit down with a guitar or my keyboard and just find something that speaks to me at the time. That’ll set the tune for what the song should be written about; I think every song wants to say something very specific based on its melody, so I try to start

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there. It’s like matching together pieces of a puzzle, you put these pieces together matching a melody to a certain scene. I guess it’s kind of scientific sometimes in that way, but in the end if you’re over thinking it and not feeling it, it’s useless because a song, a good song is really a gift. The ideas of my music that relate to me are like anything else you’re doing, if you believe in something personally and passionately, you’re going to want to guide it to that real place, and that’s really what I try to do with my music. FRM: Has music always been a driving force in your life? Did you fall in love with it during childhood or was it something you discovered later? Canaan: Music has definitely always been there for me. As a kid my parents bought us all instruments on Christmas one year, and I come from a bigger family, so we had a whole room full of instruments that I always had at my disposal. I could just go into my garage at any time and just play music, so I started learning what it meant to create music just by picking up those instruments. From there my friends and I actually started a band in middle school that we carried through to high school too. We’d play around and do some gigs, and I think I really got serious about music in college. It’s something that’s all been there and something I’ve been building for a lot of years. FRM: Country music is where you call home. You’re definitely bringing a different look and sound to the genre. So what about country music drew you in? Canaan: Country music really isn’t as much of a look or sound as it is a story for me, you know? I really feel like I’m just being myself and I want my music to be real and honest and that’s what Country music stands for. You can really relate to what people are singing about and you can picture yourself in their shoes or in that situation and I hope people can get that vision with my music too. FRM: Is there a message or feeling that you hope people can take away from listening to your music or seeing you live at a show? Canaan: I just hope people can get motivated by my music; it’s a lot of “feel good” music, but it’s also very passionate. I feel like my lyrics are me pouring out who I am and what I’m feeling, kind of like my view of the world. I hope people can be passionate about that and find themselves relating to it, like I have with music I’ve fallen for and related to from other artists. FRM: Let’s get personal. Canann: (laughs) ok. FRM: You’ve been on the road a lot lately, what’s something you can’t travel without? Canaan: I’m really addicted to my ipad, have to play Angry Birds or mess around on Garageband. I also bring this miniature ping pong set, it’s rad and keeps me entertained. FRM: What are some of your current favorite songs to jam to while on the road? Canaan: My list is really eclectic, but what I’ve been doing a lot lately is discovering crazy new music, like I’ll get on itunes J a n u a r y 2012

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NEXT BIG THING and put in a song by an artist I like, and you know how it’ll say, “if you like this song, then you might also like this…” well I always click that and end up following that rabbit hole until I find something I really love. It’s a great way to find new artists and songs. FRM: What’s your guilty pleasure song? Canaan: Oh man, really? Probably the whole “Up” album from Shania Twain. Yeah, that whole thing for sure. FRM: Any hidden talents? Canaan: I’m a pretty amazing corn hole (bean bags) player. Oh, and I can twist my arm 360 degrees. (ew.) FRM: Any pet peeves? Canaan: I like having a clean house. I don’t like things being thrown around everywhere. I absolutely hate, hate, hate, when my cell phone doesn’t work properly. My Droid freezes every day and I get really annoyed. FRM: You were on the Amazing Race season 15. Do you have any big fears that maybe would’ve slowed you down? Canaan: Snakes!! I’m an absolute sissy when it comes to snakes. It wouldn’t matter if it were a 6in. Gardener snake, if it were in my bedroom, I’d be out in the parking lot screaming. FRM: Do you have a dream collaboration? Canaan: Bruno Mars, or I’d love to do something with Kanye West, that’d be sick. FRM: Is there a song you wish you could take credit for writing? Canaan: “Please Remember Me” written by Rodney Crowell and Will Jennings, recorded by Tim McGraw. I absolutely love that song. FRM: With the New Year recently passing did you make any New Years Resolutions? Canaan: Well I never really make resolutions for something I want to change about myself, but I like more or less to set goals. I try to set goals for myself everyday so I guess I’m more like a walking resolution. FRM: You’re a very active person in staying in touch with fans on your twitter ( @Canaan smith) and facebook (facebook. com/canaansmithmusic) Canaan: I love people so much. I wouldn’t be able to be out there doing my music if people didn’t want to check it out or listen, so I’m very grateful when they want to hit my sites up and let me know they are enjoying what I’m doing. It means a lot to me so I love letting them know that and face book and twitter provide the perfect communication outlets for that to happen. FRM: So in other words, we have full permission to stalk you shamelessly? Canaan: Go for it! For more information on Canaan Smith, and to follow his music journey you can visit his official website at canaansmith.com and remember to keep your local radio stations on speed dial for the January 9th release of his debut single “We Got Us.”

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BATTLE OF THE BRANDS

Crazy for Christian Cota! by Charissa Livingston

W

rite this down: Christian Cota. FRM has been stalking Christian and his every designer move since his rise to designer stardom began. He first discovered his intense passion for art and design from his muses, his mother and his late grandmother and described their influence in his work, “Their manner of dress and their poise was always an education in elegance. They define the word.” But Christian didn’t always dream of being a fashion designer. He began by studying painting in Paris before embarking on a career in fashion.  After graduating Parsons School of Design in 2005, he founded his eponymous company in February of 2007.  For Spring 2008, Christian’s first collection incorporated the designer’s early influences: the simplistic grace of nature, blending organic forms with clean shapes.  Christian’s place in the industry was solidified when he received the Fashion Group International’s Women’s Ready to Wear Rising Star Award (That was a mouthful).  Then the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue named Christian Cota a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist. Cota was inducted as a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was also selected to participate in the CFDA’s 2012 – 2014 {FASHION INCUBATOR} program. Does he ever slow down? He’s named as a talent on the rise and is recognized among both retailers and celebrities. Notable actresses who have worn Christian Cota include Blake Lively, Emma Stone, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Tina Fey. We just can’t seem to get enough of his mesmerizing designs! Take a look at his SS12 collection and you will agree. His use of color is brilliant and his choice of fabric, todie-for. This is one name you don’t want to forget. For more of our fave designers follow us on facebook and twitter @FrontRowMonthly.

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PHOTOGRAPHER

Crystal Long/Memories by Crystal MemoriesbyCrystalOnline.com

MODELS

Brooke Long & Shannon Long

MAKEUP

Crystal Long

HAIR

Debbie Long

WARDROBE

Crystal Long

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Frida Pinto Frida Pinto smashed onto the scene when she starred in the awardwinning film Slumdog Millionaire. Since then she has solidified her place in Hollywood and on the red carpet, becoming both a formidable actress and a fashion icon.

A perfect mix of classic romanticism and sex appeal, Pinto has been featured on People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful People” list and Vogue’s list of Most Stylish Women. She also snagged a coveted beauty campaign with L’Oreal. But don’t be fooled. While arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world, Frida Pinto is, first and foremost, an actress. She takes her craft seriously, and brings an incredible amount of intensity and depth to every role. Most recently, Pinto starred opposite Mickey Rourke in the film Immortals. FRM’s contributing film critic, Chris Hill, sat down with Frida to talk about her role as the sensuous and mystical Phaedra. CH: Frida how was it working with Mickey (Rourke)? Was it scary?

CH: Why did you want to do a film like this? FP: I had done 3 very good independent films and I had a lot of fun working on those and I wanted to try something different. I enjoy watching big budget films and am completely enthralled and entertained by them, so why not be part of it as well and entertain other people? That was my idea behind wanting to be in this. CH: Wasn’t Planet of the Apes your first big blockbuster? FP: I actually shot this before Planet of the Apes. This was my first initiation into big budget films. CH: Will there be a sequel to Planet of the Apes? FP: I don’t know. You will have to ask the producers and the director. CH: Do you believe in Oracles? FP: I believe in some kind of a supernatural energy, a super power, I am not necessarily saying its religion or God or anything like that but I do believe it is somewhere. I don’t believe in someone being able to see the future so powerfully, but I do believe in powers. CH: Did you use a body double for the nude scene?

FP: (laughs) I love Mickey, I am not scared of him.

FP: Yes I did

CH: You take on an interesting role, that of Phaedra a mystical virgin? Does she lose her mystical powers when she loses her virginity? Why did you want to do this part?

CH: How did this compare to your roles in Slumdog and Planet of the Apes?

FP: That was the whole thing- it’s a conflict for Phaedra as well, between keeping her vision and falling in love, basically having one or the other would mean the loss of the other thing. So I guess the whole conflict (is what I was drawn to). Through the entire process she decides this is what she wants, she wants to be with Theseus, it renders a very human quality as well to Phaedra

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so she is not only mystical, which was very nice for Tarsem (Director Tarsem Singh) to include. She wants to feel those human feelings of being touched and feeling real joy.

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FP: I can’t compare this to Planet of the Apes but I can compare it to Slumdog Millionaire. We are talking about an independent film and a big studio film. You’re talking about working with a studio involved and the other where a director has a say in everything. What was amazing about Immortals was that Tarsem had the first word and the last word on everything and that for me felt great. At the end of the day, you enter a film as an actor

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CH: How do you feel playing someone with powers? FP: As an actor that’s what you live for-to be in an imaginary world. If you’re going to be playing yourself day in and day out it tends to get boring after a while. When you’re a kid and you watch TV or you read, you watch GI JOE and you think of yourself as the Baroness or Scarlett, there is a lot of imagination that comes into play. It’s the same thing. It’s reminding yourself, going back into childhood where there were no barriers and let your imagination take over. So when I was asked to play the priestess I felt I was born to do that. I don’t think for an actor it should be a difficult thing at all. CH: What was it like working with Henry Cavil FP: So inspirational is the only way to put it. He had a lot of things going on, he had to train himself to look a certain way. He had an amazing speech he had to give, so he had to work on that to come across as the convincing leader he is made up to be from the very beginning. The whole thing rested on his shoulders. To work with someone who had a lot going on but was so giving as a performer is very rare. I was very lucky to have that with Henry. Especially my very first scene which Tarsem decided to put me in. (The sex scene) CH: Do you do use mouthwash first? FP: (laughs) Those are secrets we can’t tell. CH: What has been your biggest struggle so far in the industry?

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knowing that your director is the captain of the ship and yes the producers put in the money, but you want the Director’s vision to be carried out in the film. So in that sense it didn’t feel like I was going to just be put in front of a green screen. There were a lot of things that helped as an actor having a more organic set and a living set and real cliffs and a real shrine. This was my first big budget film so from there, going to Planet of the Apes was easier. This was the bigger challenge, learning a whole new system to work in.

FP: The biggest struggle is getting your foot in the door. Once you get there you have to be brave enough to embrace all the challenges that come your way and make it happen for yourself. But the biggest struggle is how to get there in the first place. Not having any connections in the film industry whatsoever makes it very difficult. The one thing that keeps you going is the belief that it will happen. CH: How did you get your break? FP: I auditioned for my first film and I got it, my very first film. I waited for a very long time. And it happened with the right director and for the right reasons. CH: What are you up to next? FP: No idea. Sometimes you need space to recharge your batteries. CH: Where are you currently living? FP: BA (British Airways), I don’t have a home base but Mumbai is always home. CH: Thanks Frida. Looking forward to your next film.

info@frontrowmonthly.com

For more insights from Chris Hill, visit cinemaassassin.com J a n u a r y 2012

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Zac Efron, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner and now, Austin Butler. Because let’s face it, whether you’re 13 or 30, you cannot get enough of young Hollywood heartthrobs! And Austin Butler is the talk of tinsel town. Butler began his acting career at age 13, when he was discovered at the Orange County Fair. Since then he has built quite the respectable resume. Working with Disney, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, The CW and Lifetime, Austin quickly developed a substantial acting career that put him alongside some heavy hitters in the industry. He has been featured in popular shows such as Hannah Montana, Zoey 101, iCarly, Ruby and the Rockits, even CSI! And you may recognize him from feature films such as Aliens in the Attic and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, the smash hit spin-off of High School Musical. Currently, Austin stars in the ABC Family show Switched at Birth as Wilke. We were lucky enough to grab the busy actor between takes and found out that he has quite a love for music as well and is an avid guitar player. He’s an actor, a musician, a singer, a model and is one of Hollywood’s hottest young talents. What else is in store for this rising star? Austin Butler opens up about life, acting, sports, and even girls! (sigh…) FRM: So Austin, you’ve obviously had incredible roles with ABC and Disney, but your new material is for a more mature audience. How does it feel to break out of your element a little bit? AB: It feels incredible. It’s one of those things I’ve always kinda wanted to do, but in the beginning as an actor you can’t really chose where you want to go. You gotta take whatever you can get and now I’m at the point where I can be a little more choosy. I was originally going to play a jock, but now I’m playing a social outcast and it’s a little more challenging. FRM: What are you filming right now?

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AB: Intercept, it’s a pilot. I’m super excited about it: it’s action driven, and technology driven. I’m playing this guy who has this listening post, and he can hear your telephone calls. It’s a social experiment on a college campus. It ends up happening stronger than the character expected, so he takes it off campus…. If it gets picked up, it will start to shoot in February. So a couple months after that (it would come out). FRM: What’s your schedule like lately? AB: I am filming until 6am this morning. It’s 7 day weeks at the moment FRM: Any particular people who have inspired you during your time with ABC and the Disney channel? AB: Alexa Vega. (Ruby and The Rockits, Spy Kids). We have become really close, and I’m grateful for the experience with David Cassidythe original teen icon. I found out my mom was a big fan and had posters in her room, so I was pretty excited about that. FRM: What kind of work do you want to do in the future? AB: The kind of action I love is like Bourne Identity. Kinda smart, set in real life, I’d love to do something like that in the future. There are so many actors and directors I’d like to work with. FRM: You seem to kind of have fallen into acting, and were actually discovered at a fair. Is acting something you always had a passion for? AB: I started when I was 11 or 12. I’ve always loved movies. It never seemed like a possibility at all to do anything in the movies or TV or anything. I was a really shy kid, too. I couldn’t even order in a restaurant, I would have my mom do it for me. But then they drove me out to LA and I had an audition and I ended up doing extra work. It gave me the chance to sit back and really learn and break out of my shell. It was then that I started acting classes and met my manager, Lindsay Shaw.” FRM: Anything you want to tell your fans? Anything to look forward to? AB: Man, we have this new season of Switched At Birth that is coming out! And I’m so excited for the Intercept pilot!---Stay tuned fans! FRM: With being so busy how do you have time for a social life? (That’s our polite way of asking if you’re single.) AB: (laughs) Off limits. I kinda do have time to socialize. I have some time to skype, and if I have a couple days off I’ll visit with friends. FRM: GIRL friends? Ok we’ll let it go. Austin Butler was a pleasure to talk to and even more fun to shoot with! (We’re still blushing). Keep your eyes on this one. He’s your next leading man.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Krizia Vega

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Temira Duncan, Yellow Bubbles Photography, yellowbubbles.com

MODEL

Caity Maclennan

HAIR/MAKEUP

Amber Cherrybomb

WARDROBE

Amber Cherrybomb Altered Vintage and Macy’s San Francisco

JEWELRY

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POINT OF VIEW

TakeOneDown by Rob Soltis

I’ve never read a book, took a class or really care about the fine art/science of actual beer tasting. I’m just a guy from Pittsburgh that loves drinking draft beer and saw a need for a non-snobby, relatable guide for the average beer drinker…. Actually this is really just a way to justify to my wife all the expensive beer I drink. If you’re interested in “real” but not nearly as cool reviews, a simple google search will get you all kinds of lame sites.

Rogue Brewery

Yellow Snow IPA 12oz. Bottle - 6.2% ABV - $35ish/case

What they say

Yellow Snow is Rogue’s tribute to winter sports everywhere— downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country, ice hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and even curling. It will be available November 1st in select states where mountains and snow can be found. Pale golden in color with a hoppy fruity aroma. Big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppyness midpallet. Finishes with a characteristic lingering bitterness.

What I say

I wasn’t there or anything but I’m pretty sure this is how the conversation went down guys at Rogue tasted Yellow Snow for the first time. “Mmm our new winter seasonal is delicious. The aroma has a slight bitterness, with predominant citrus notes and a bit sweetness. I get notes of pine, grapefruit and sticky sweetness on the taste.... but uh it kind of looks like piss.”

The TakeOneDown.com Rating System

WOW! Top score. This beer is freakin amazing, give me another to

drink on the way to the distributor and call in sick tomorrow, I’m buying a keg MMMMM! Almost amazing, I’d totally spend the money on a case. Eh. Not bad, I’d order it again if there wasn’t anything else better. Bleh. It pretty much sucks, I’ll finish it but won’t ever buy it again. Bluuuck! Thats the best word I can come up with to describe the sound I make while puking.

“ I know dude, like that dehydrated, cloudy piss that wakes you up after a long night of drinking. You know the kind that lasts so long you use your head to brace yourself against the wall because you’re legs get tired.” “And it’s bitter like piss too!” ::awkward silence falls upon the room:: “uh, yeah. OK. So moving on, what are we naming it” “Screw it, let’s just own it. We’re from Portland and bike to work so we’re pretty much obligated to be witty and satirical.

Label

Like most Rogue labels it’s only three colors with a Soviet propaganda feel. I dig it.

Overall

mmmmm

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HUMOR

E E R I R K A N W C D Musically T Un-Inclined by Adam Hornyak

I

was fortunate enough to grow up in a family beaming with instrumental and vocal talent. The natural abilities took my siblings and me to new levels, from my brothers’ bands, to me playing piano under the direction of the Pittsburgh symphony. Several generations of Hornyaks have done exemplary work in the field of music, and we try to extend the tradition. Over the past year, I’ve developed an enjoyment of open mic nights. I can spend time with other musicians, and try out new stuff that I’ve been working on. At times, the others and I will tend to break away from the stage to get a drink, talk, or develop a sudden urge to piss (Note: peeing on a piano is what got me fired from the Pittsburgh symphony in the first place). During those breaks, a DJ will typically keep the music going by offering up karaoke to those that don’t play an instrument but want to partake in the fun. I decided to check out a new spot a while back, and that is when I met the karaoke phenomenon that I now call God. The guys and I played a handful of songs, and needed a rest, so I left the stage and began hitting on a woman in the crowd. A couple of people approached the microphone trying their hardest to belt out bad versions of Journey songs, as her and I sat and made fun of them. The big screen TV above listed the order of performers. One by one, they did their job, and one by one, they sucked. An odd name then appeared across the screen: “Rockstar Rick”. Who can this supposed superstar possibly be to anoint himself a rock star in a smoke-filled bar? We were on stage for 30 minutes, and never knew that we were playing for karaoke royalty. I was suddenly feeling queasy and upset that an ACTUAL rock star just witnessed my abysmal singing. The name was called out by the DJ. “Next up is Rockstar Rick!” Appearing out of nowhere, a man exited a broken bar stool, as the mentholated smoke in the room parted like the Red Sea, making way for someone who appeared to be ordained by the Lord Himself. He swaggered to the stage in what felt like slow motion, with more confidence than I have ever witnessed in anyone. When I see someone like this, I fear that they will have a voice that will blow everyone out of the room, embarrassing those of us who think we have talent. Honestly, I thought the woman I was with would peel off her panties, throwing them at him mid-chorus. Then he sang. This part is not easy for my heart to say aloud. I was expecting an angelic voice, filled with dynamic passion and steadfast control. Instead, I heard what I imagine it sounds like when a homeless person pukes under a bridge. I was floored, not so much because of the dreadful singing as the fact that he was wearing a T-shirt advertising his website. I had to race home immediately to see what this ridiculous site was all about. I entered my search engine and found myself looking at the most arrogant spot on the ENTIRE internet. Immediately, a photo of his short, overweight, mullet-headed, topless body, with a face adorned in Gene Simmons makeup corrupted my screen. Headings at the top announced dates and locations of appearances, a blog confirming

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how well he did the night before, and a store. A store? For what? Well, he sells the T-shirts. I HAD to get one. I tried to purchase mine, but the link didn’t work. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I decided to practice for a few weeks and go back to the bar to try out the new songs. I entered, and there he was, an aura surrounding his oversized body as he was enjoying a Coke at the bar. Without fail, I approached the legend. “Hey, aren’t you Rockstar Rick?” I said. “Yes”, he muttered in a quiet tone (probably saving his voice). “Can I buy you a drink?” I asked in hopes of possibly finding out more about the man behind the myth. “I don’t drink when I perform.” he softly told me. I have only met Rick twice, but if you know him like I think I do, it makes sense that he would be so fundamentally committed to his craft. “NEXT ON STAGE: ROCKSTAR RICK!!!!” screamed the DJ. The early crowd of four people went as wild as they could, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t do it again; completely murdering a version of an Elton John song. Once finished, he boastfully strutted back to his spot at the bar and ordered another soda. I had no choice but to stroke his ego in hopes of getting that fucking T-shirt. I screwed with him, telling him how great his singing was, as he was garnering an “I already know that” look on his face. I then mentioned that he should do something like, I don’t know…create a website? His eyes lit up, and he told me that he already had one. “Really?” I asked. “I need to check it out. What’s the address?” In a ninja-like move only seen on film, he spun his pudgy ass around and pointed to the address on his back. “Wow, that’s great! I have a friend in DC who is awesome at karaoke, and he needs to get a website and T’s made too. I should tell him about yours. Do you sell them?” “I do”, he emphatically said with a smile. “I have some in my car if you want to buy one.” $10 later, I owned a new t-shirt. I only wear it alone in my house so as not to have others touch the pious fabric. But if you would like your own, I can probably hook you up. To reach Adam, please send your complaints to frm.adamh@gmail.com

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HUMOR

I N T H I S CO R N E R Pound for pound and word for word, the best there is

MAT “Big Baby New Year” CARUSO

VS. SOCIAL INJUSTICE! The West Memphis Three were freed from prison on August 19, 2011, and nobody was happier about it than me!

concerts on their behalf like Vedder or Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks did. In fact, I didn’t do anything at all.

Well, except maybe them.

But, in my mind…and in my heart, I truly did care about their cause. And, in the interest of full and honest disclosure, dear readers, that level of passive support is pretty much all I’m really able to muster!

And their friends and family, of course. And maybe Eddie Vedder. OK, let’s just say I was pleased and leave it at that. For those of you who don’t know, the West Memphis Three were a trio of teenage boys who were sentenced to life in prison in1994 for the brutal murder of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The evidence against them, however, was sketchy at best, and the investigation and subsequent trial were the very definitions of injustice. The boys were fans of heavy metal music. The police and the townspeople seemed to think that this, along with their affinity for dressing in black, seemed to indict them of the crimes more so than any hard evidence to that fact. My attention was first drawn to this case via an HBO documentary that aired in 1996. After watching it I couldn’t help but feel awful for these boys. As a fan of heavy metal and hard rock music, I was appalled to think that my brethren could be discriminated against just because they happened to prefer Marilyn Manson and Metallica to Merle Haggard or dueling banjoes or whatever music happened to be popular in northeastern Arkansas. The HBO documentary went a long way in generating sympathy for the defendants as well; portraying them as misguided and misunderstood, while painting the townsfolk as toothless inbreeds whose primary evidence of God comes from the fact that rattlesnakes don’t bite them during church service. The police, as well, were depicted as inept; the bungling offspring of Barney Fife and Roscoe P. Coltrane. The film did enough, however, to spark my interest. I did some additional reading, spent countless hours researching the subject, and was both shocked and saddened to learn that, despite being a bit sensationalized at times, the documentary seemed accurate in its characterization of the grave injustice suffered upon the accused. I decided, then and there, to make their release, and the clearing of their names, my own personal crusade. Now, let’s not get carried away, I didn’t actually speak out on the subject or organize a rally or even join any formal protest like another activist might. I didn’t release any album or host any

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If I were independently wealthy, it may be a different story. Perhaps I would’ve gifted several thousand dollars to their defense fund or put together a public service announcement on their behalf. And if I weren’t so lazy, maybe I would’ve written a letter to my congressman or circulated a petition. But, alas, when it comes to excess disposable income or surplus motivation, I’m afraid I come up short on both counts. Instead, I’d wait patiently for the subject to come up in conversation (which I’m not sure that it ever did) so that I could boisterously avow that I fully support a re-trial and am a staunch advocate for their release. I would then stand there smugly and hope that whomever I was talking to was overwhelmed by my humanitarian stance, but not enough so to ask me what I actually did in terms of support or advocacy. And then in 2011, following years of faithful, if inactive, backing, my silent cries were heard; my noble efforts rewarded. The doors to the Arkansas State Penitentiary opened and the West Memphis Three walked out as free men! Now, there may be those of you out there who claim that I had little, or perhaps nothing, to do with righting this wrong. But before you judge, read on! With Messrs. Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley free, I suddenly found myself with a void in the area of my life that I devote to thinking about a good cause to pretend to back. It was time to find my newest crusade! Luckily I had within my arsenal the perfect tool to do just that: my subscription to People Magazine! And it didn’t take long! In fact, the prison gates in Arkansas had barely locked behind the West Memphis Three, but my attention had already turned elsewhere: to a young American student named Amanda Knox. For those of you unfamiliar with this sad tale, it is yet another case of blatant injustice, this time at the hands of the Italian government. Evidence placed Knox at the scene of the murder of another exchange student, Meredith Kercher. This was surprising to no one, seeing as how the two women shared a flat. However, J an uary 2012


despite an alibi and no motive, this seemed conclusive enough to the Italian Police to put together a conviction against Knox. Subsequently, she was interviewed for 50 hours over the days following the murder, without access to a lawyer, and with no audio or video recording of the interviews. Also, she was denied food, water, or a bathroom break until the interview, which ended in a controversial, and clearly coerced confession which was later recanted, had ended. Unlike the West Memphis Three, who were disparaged for their choice in music, Amanda Knox became vilified for her goofy and aloof behavior, which at times made her appear less like a victim and more like a retarded muppet. Still, despite her apparent failure to appreciate the severity of her situation, I was unable to overlook the fact that this appeared to me to be the case of an American wrongfully accused of a crime in a foreign country; one in which the interpretation of their laws, and worse, their form of justice and punishment, seemed to border on barbaric. I had found my newest cause! “My poor, fellow countryman!” I imagined I’d shout if and when I ever took to the streets in protest. The college she had attended in Perugia, Italy, “The University for Foreigners”, by its very name sounded like a bastion for prejudice against those dumb enough to enroll there. “Free Amanda – Free America” was the clever slogan I chose that would never find its way onto any sign. The Italian government had decided that Amanda Knox had killed Meredith Kercher as part of a Satanic ritual, despite nothing to suggest that she had even heard of the Occult, or that the murder had been committed in a violent rage fueled by, wait for it, smoking pot!

release. As I’d done for my last two successful undertakings, I planned only to think about it every now and again, and take comfort in the fact that, if I were a different person, perhaps I’d do more. And just like that, they too were free. And I didn’t even have to leave my couch. Take that, Slick Willie! Which brings us to 2012. In what can only be considered the best news possible for the unjustly treated or wrongly accused throughout the world, my docket is now clear. I’m looking for a cause to support and, let’s face it, if my track record is any indication, quickly bring to righteous resolution! The list of potential new causes for me to get behind seems endless. I could advocate a state-mandated vasectomy for the world’s horniest redneck, Jim Bob Duggar. Or, in the interest of fairness, a compulsory tubal ligation for his wife Michelle, the recipient of more sperm donations than an artificial insemination clinic. Or, I could direct my energies toward more important ventures, like helping Kris Humphries find another gold-digging publicity whore to settle down and grow old with. But I’m leaving it up to you, dear readers. I’m open to your suggestions. Email me your sob-stories, your tales of injustice, prejudice and inequality and I will come to your aid in the least intrusive and most passive way possible.

Justice would prevail! We would overcome!

Maybe I don’t deserve all of the credit for having freed the West Memphis Three, Amanda Knox and the three American hikers. But here are the facts, as we know them: I supported their cause, and now they are free. I don’t like labels. I’m not trying to say that I’m a hero….I leave that for you to decide.

And on October 3rd, 2011, we did!

I’m Matty C….and I solve problems!

The murder conviction against Amanda Knox was overturned and she was sent back home to the good ole US of A as a free woman, bringing to an end an episode that was as embarrassing to the Italian people as fascism or back hair.

Unlike the young men in Arkansas or young Ms. Knox, no part of me felt sorry for these three morons who were imprisoned in Iran under charges of espionage, which stemmed from them allegedly stumbling across the Iranian border while hiking in Iraq. First and foremost; who the fuck would go hiking in Iraq? No region in the world is currently more war-torn or less conducive to a nice weekend getaway! And what the hell is wrong with somewhere like Yosemite? You may run across a bear or two but at least you don’t have to worry about getting your extremities chopped off by hooded terrorists if you stray a few feet over an imaginary line. Still, I couldn’t help but view this as just one more opportunity that Iran took to show the world what a dick it is! And I wasn’t about to stand for it! Just as Bill Clinton had done a few years before for a couple of dipshit journalists who flirted too closely with the North Korean border, I had added the release of these three hikers to my inventory of worthy causes. Unlike Clinton however, I had no plans to actually visit the prison and attempt to negotiate their J a n u a r y 2012

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However, unlike the fifteen years that it took to bring justice to the WM3, I had rescued Amanda Knox in just a few short months. My powers, I surmised, must be getting stronger. This fact was quickly confirmed by the release of three American hikers whose case I had also recently decided to support!

Matt Caruso, Front Row Monthly’s hammerin’ humorist, levies literary jabs and written uppercuts at any and all subjects.

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Front Row Monthly | January 2012