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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Different Strokes
On the cover
A scattering of regular patrons mills about the dimly lit room, stopping to chat at the edge of the small stage. Some wander into the side room to view the black and white photos of women in g-strings and oil paintings of two nude women in seductive embraces.

The Paper Heart gallery is calm on this third Thursday of the month. This is the night where the artists who currently have their work on display at the gallery come together, chatting casually at the beer and wine bar. Chatting with them is the gallery's owner, who seems part artist, part rocker with his straight, dark, shoulder-length hair and his bright red jacket.

Sex: Banging in the Bathroom
Tiffany Tcheng / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
On a slow night at Maloney's, bartender Renee Miller says it's not uncommon for couples to grab a quickie in the bathroom. Guess that explains why there's always a line when we gotta go. Although it is a slow night at Maloney's Tavern in Tempe, a small line is beginning to form outside the women's restroom as four women impatiently wait for their turns. A man walking into the men's room across from them yells, "Hey is there sex in there?" His cackles echo as he closes the door to the men's room.

Dating: Foreign Policy
Scott Pennelly / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
It's hard enough getting a date when you know how to play the game. Imagine trying to impress your date when you don't speak the language. One week after making his way across the Atlantic, French exchange student Geoffrey Marx met an American girl at a party. He smiled and leaned in, greeting the girl with a kiss on either cheek of the normal French introduction.

Inset: Living Canvas
Let me just start by saying that, even for a pretty daring person, my Friday night was quite the adventure. I arrived with a friend at The Paper Heart gallery off 7th Avenue and Grand Avenue in Phoenix with the preconceived notion that the night would be relatively short and definitely painless.

I was planning to meet artist Mark Greenawalt, a local body painter, who looks oddly like a mix between Tom Petty and Dwight Yoakam, and his model in order to shoot a picture for this story.

Off Key: The Ghost of Napster
It's always hard to draw the line between offering criticism and being a self-rightous ass, especially when I find myself driving with someone who listens to pop radio.

So, what's so bad about Top 40 music? For starters, I always thought American culture was based on plurality. You know: the melting pot, freedom of speech and all that jazz. Do you really think that the breadth of culture in our vast nation can be expressed by the handful of musicians currently on the air?

Local Limelight: Q&A with Todd Hoover

Photo courtesy of the January Taxi Todd Hoover wants to touch you. Not in any way that will get him arrested; but in a way that will make you say, "Wow, I'm touched...cool."

Hoover is a musician, and the 440 friends he has on Myspace.com seem to think he is a good one. See for yourself when Todd Hoover and the Invisible Teal release its self-titled debut album on Feb. 7.

Fashion: How to wear it
This spring, look for sophisticated styles reminiscent of 1960's tailored and clean-cut fashion lines that scream "good taste" and "high class."

For women, this means shirts with puffy capped sleeves and Peter Pan collars are must-haves. Wear one of these dressy tops under a fitted capped-sleeved blazer with a thick belt worn around the waist instead of the hips. Avoid wearing a long skirt with this look since you are covering so much skin on top already.

It's All Relative: Plug In, Hook Up
Online dating services are not something ASU students are in desperate need of. Considering the amount of fine specimens of both genders present on campus and the frequency of social gatherings powered by alcohol, finding a partner is far easier than a click of the mouse.

But even though you may think that the abundance of booty in your everyday environment makes Internet dating irrelevant, the creepiness factor involved may still be of interest to you.

Gadget Corner: Kicking the habit
We all know smoking is bad for us -- it causes lung cancer. The tobacco industry exploits its workers. The reasons why smoking sucks are plentiful. But if you're a smoker, I guarantee all you got out of the previous sentences was "Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda. Blah."

When you're a dedicated smoker -- like I was for five years -- quitting sounds great, except for one problem: you're addicted. Which is why I was delighted to discover "Quit Mozilla," a neat downloadable extra available to users of the Mozilla Firefox Web browser. It calculates how many cigarettes have gone unsmoked -- and more importantly, how much money I've saved -- since the day I quit smoking.

Top 5: Web comics you should be reading
1. Questionable Content:
This is hands-down the most emo comic on the Internet. It follows the non-adventures of Marten Reed as he pines for indie girls and listens to sad music. Plus there's a robot. Check it out at www.questionablecontent.net.

2. The Perry Bible Fellowship:
Nothing is as happy as it seems in this comic where fathers accept money from monsters that eat their children and bear cops deal out justice. Click over to www.thepbf.com.

Liner Notes: CD Reviews
Tribute albums have a tendency to be awful, especially when they consist of bands that are mediocre at best, contributing nothing new to the original track. The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins is no exception.

This album sounds a bit like hardcore/screamo band karaoke, with groups like Roses are Red and Vaux doing their best Billy Corgan impressions on "Cherub Rock" and "1979" respectively, while A static Lullaby opts to play "The Everlasting Gaze" as horrendously as if it were its own. The best track has got to be Murder by Death's mellow "They Only Come Out At Night," thanks to Adam Turla's vocals, which actually work outside of the realm of screaming. Save your money, kids.

Calendar: What's Happening
It might be sort of a cliche, but art really can be therapeutic and the Art Awakenings Program is proof. The program was set up with the mission "to empower mental health" through creative means including both visual art and poetry. Starting Thursday, Feb. 2 and running through Feb. 27 ASU's Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale (6110 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale) will showcase work created through the program. Some of this stuff is pretty powerful - we definitely recommend checking it out at the opening reception Feb. 7 from 7-9 p.m. For information call the Center at (480) 596-2660.

Editorial: From the Edge
Phoenix is a weird place to live. It's a place where people were never meant to live, and it certainly should never have gotten as large as it has. Yet for all the miles of pavement its citizens have laid across the Valley, they've failed to produce a real cultural center.

At least that's what conventional wisdom and the Valley's many naysayers would have us believe. But after five years here, I've learned that between the storage centers and box-shaped superstores, there actually is some culture to discover here. You just have to know where to look.

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