Archive for August, 2008

Takin care of business

August 29, 2008


And working overtime

This is the 100th post on BTO (an acronym I didn’t even think of until Mike Munzenrider used it) so how about we flip the script today: original content, as opposed to me running off at the mouth on everybody else’s shit. Well, sort of original. This is a video I edited together a while back featuring about eight minutes of Josh Kalis footage yanked from guest tricks, montages, 411′s, bonus sections and whatnot. It’s not exhaustive by any means, but I used pretty much everything I had at my disposal, running from the “Heavy Metal” days to Big Brother’s “boob” to a board set-up feature in one of the last 411s before they switched the format. Lennie Kirk, Fred Gall and Stevie Williams make appearances. I’m by no means any kind of video editor and I used some pretty wack software. So the parts that suck, that’s my excuse, and any parts that are good I definitely did on purpose for sure.

And before I forget, thanks to everybody that’s read the blathering here, written nice things about the site, linked here, and chimed in with a comment or whatever.

Addendum: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that AWS Filmworks has put up a bunch of updates this past week, most recently a clip of Jake Johnson ramrodding a huge switch wallride in Minneapolis. The other clips are also the shit.

Streets is talkin

August 28, 2008


It burns

Recently overheard:

Mark Gonzales heartily endorses Jim Greco’s new zebra pants: “jim, I hope you never stop man. we love you like a brother. hey do these things come in like size 48″

Bo Turner, my personal hero, airs out half the skateboard industry: “A lot of problems I had with people stemmed from their attitudes, like Jamie Thomas and Chad Muska. I would meet these people and be, like, ‘These guys are such fucking fags.’ You know, assholes so stuck on themselves. It was fucking retarded.”

On European skaters: “[A]ll I could think about was some goofy-looking pale guy with some gay French accent who had rotten teeth and never took showers.”

On Ryan Sheckler: “[W]atching his show sometimes, it seems that all of his problems stem from two things: pussy and f**ked-up parents.”

On Chris Gentry: “I’ll be honest, the whole white rapper thing to me was the biggest joke ever.”

On Rob Dyrdek: “I knew then that he’d turned into the little prick I always thought he was. You see, he and I were like brothers at one time, and now he’s Hollywood Rob.”

On Cairo Foster: “I don’t care how good you are, you don’t nollie hardflip a bench with Coke bottle glasses, Jnco jeans that are 10 sizes too big, and a huggie pink shirt at the Skatepark of Tampa and not get made fun of.”

On Josh Kalis: “if I ever see you again, I will fucking murder you. Don’t call Sarge and ask why. You know why, you fucking coward.”

On Jason Lee: “Fuck you, Jason Lee.”

On others: “Fuck all of you.”

Amazing. On a less physically threatening note, Quartersnacks, who you really should order multiple videos from right now, posted what is probably the single best Youtube video clip I’ve seen since somebody forwarded me this lion/buffalo/crocodile battle royale, and though it’s more or less made the rounds at this point, it bears watching again, and again and again. And then again later on when you’re drunk at your computer and everybody else has gone to sleep.

Behold the Nandez:


No joke indeed…

Midsummer Video Roundup: Short Ends

August 27, 2008


Dy-no-mite!

With dark, earnest features reminiscent of a young John Cusack and a fringe the size of the Oahu pipeline, AWS wonder-kid Jake Johnson puts his limitations as a skateboarder right up front in the newish Chapman promo “Short Ends,” starting off his part by bumbling the landing on a nollie 360 flip backside 5-0 grind. I know, I know… no pole jam involved anywhere? I was thinking the same exact thing. But, he’s still new so maybe we’ll cut him a break.

This is Jake Johnson’s big debut part, sort of, in that he is now a somebody in this wild and woolly skateboard industry. And though he never gets around to landing the… ah… n/360f/bs/5-0, he brings the bazooka for several minutes of pure, uncut Colombian destruction at notable New York skate spots. Such as, that one ledge by the water. Or that yellow bar over the driveway bump. Or that one other ledge by all the buildings.

It’s an amazing part, not just because it’s one insane feat after another (fire hydrant varial heelflip, thread-the-needle k-grind transfer, the frontside flip into the hubba, etc etc) but because he’s one of those preternaturally gifted kids with supreme confidence as far as timing and putting down tricks, the kind of kid you have to assume will be reincarnated as a legless lizard or a disabled wombat in the next life since he’s obviously cashed in all his good karma for his current life. He skates sort of like Janoski but without the soft-shoe landings and a different menu of maneuvers. The switch flip backside tailslide on the Philly rail is in there.

The rest of the video’s pretty good too, like the Traffic promo it’s nice and short. Three parts and a montage. Brendan Leddy, who you may remember as Sam Weir in “Freaks and Geeks,” bags a beaut of a backside smith grind across a long ledge, and notables such has Luis Tolentino, Billy Rohan and a backside grabbin’ Vinny Ponte appear in the montage, ahead of some really sick shit from some little shit by the name of Mike Marks. Luke Malaney, who has the other part, bangs a big switch pop shove-it over a block and into a bank, along with a pop shove-it nosegrind down a handrail which was particularly awesome.

What’s the deal with Chapman though? Their website has transformed into an ad for the new video but it used to detail their woodshop operation, supplying decks to Zoo and so on. Now, anyone who remembers the heyday of Xenu-fearing circus trick ringmaster Danny Gonzales remembers that Chapman once was a branded hardgoods outfit with its own team, graphics, etc–check TWS if you don’t believe me. (Up-and-coming ams like Scott Pazelt and Anthony Furlong!) So what’s the deal with these guys now–is this an all-woodshop team? Does Chapman also make blanks? And if they do… are they driving themselves out of business by doing so?!

If only I had the answers. This video is really good though, and I’m not just saying that out of my slavish devotion to Jake Johnson. Order it from Quartersnacks along with their new video, which is probably way better than that gimmicky Nas album that came out last month.

Survival of the fittest

August 26, 2008


It’s not unusual

When people talk about how it’s good for skating to get as big as possible—and usually these are the people who have a vested interest in selling skateboard products to the sons of Joe Sixpack, of course—they talk about how it’s more money in pros’ pockets, more support for skateparks, and more recognition for skating in general. Never mind that this money probably finds its way into the pocket of a pro who’s already leasing a luxury SUV (as opposed to your Joey Peppers or John Igeis), or that the new skatepark is yet another modular three-foot-high tennis court conversion, and you’re still getting kicked off the local manual pad by a sweaty, moustachioed fellow in a fake cop car who angrily refers to your sweet ride as “them rollerboards.”

Separate from all of this are the little indignities suffered when this skateboarding way of life, if you can call it that, is squinted at, hmmm’ed over and sadly misinterpreted by any number of parties who wouldn’t bother if not for the prospect of a quick dollar. With that in mind, behold the Men’s Fitness guide to five of the best skateparks our nation has to offer. Wouldn’t you know it, they manage to name-check Tony Hawk and the X-Games in the first sentence.

Men’s Fitness on the Vans park in Orange: “Don’t worry, if you forget your board you can rent one for just five bucks a session.”

On the “Louisville Extreme Park”: “The park is also open to in-line skaters and bicycle enthusiasts.”

On the Vans park in, uh, Orlando this time: “If you need a break from all that skating, there is an arcade area with the latest games.”

On the Kona skatepark in Jacksonville: “15,000-square-foot X-game style course with metal surface.”

On the Encinitas YMCA: “It’s not unusual to see guys like Bucky Lasik, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, and Shaun White practicing their moves at this extreme sport Mecca. That’s because the Ecke features one of the greatest vertical ramps in the country. In fact, it’s the same one that was used at the 2004 X Games.”

Coming next month: Our “extreme 15” list of must-haves for an afternoon BBQ/session at Portland’s notorious “Burn Side” skatepark, including Lil’ SmokeyTM grill (don’t forget a couple packs of Ballpark FranksTM for the bros!), ErgoLoungerTM Aluminum Portable Chaise LoungeTM, syringes, and a “grip” of PowerBarsTM and PowerAdeTM!

Carpooling on the Fully Flared expressway

August 24, 2008

Marc Johnson and Tyler Bledsoe, regular/switch and switch/regular. I hear they use the same dog groomer.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

Midsummer Video Roundup: Deja Vu

August 24, 2008


Make it reign

I’m kind of 50-50 on the videographer-as-skate celebrity thing that really got going around the “Chomp on This” era. I mean I’m all for mission-specific wheels and 20-stair switch firecrackers, but filmer shoe colors and grown men throwing junior high-grade tantrums at security guards gets a little “ehh…”

Howevers, I do think it’s cool and a long time coming that skate filmer/editor types be recognized as legitimate auteurs of a sort, which Cliche is doing with their new Deja Vu project, having a bunch of well-known dudes edit together old footage of the French company’s team. (I really like Cliche’s skaters and their art, but between packaging “Freedom Fries” as part of a box set and now getting a whole new video out of recycled footage, Daclin & co. definitely know how to milk the skate video.)

So, part-by-part:

RB Umali/JB Gillette: amis in initials, Umali provides a serviceable East Coast take on a JB career retrospecticus, including a heavy helping of tricks from JB’s sadly overlooked late-period 411 profile. Gothamist he is, Umali subs in some New York rap for the tongue-twister French linguistics we know and love from JB Gillette video parts. Nice sampler plate from a dude who came up with a mid-90s World pedigree and now matches his XL sweatpants with the mantle of a Euro legend.

Greg Hunt/Ricardo Fonseca: Hunt cobbles together a solid part’s worth of Fonseca footage, and I appreciate the all-around burliness and the fact that he has love for nollie hardflips in the 1990s tradition. But I always got the impression that Fonseca’s skills translated better in person than on video, kinked hubba k-grinds notwithstanding.

Roger Bagely/Joey Brezinski: I’m not sure what Boston/Adio alum Bagely has against young Jojo but between the Nelly Furtado and the fast-motion I found this part hard to watch. It seriously seemed like half the tricks were sped up, and not just like a few seconds of pushing in a line. I dig this sort of thing when done tastefully but this part really puzzled me.

Scuba Steve/Cale Nuske: It was nice to see Cale Nuske’s Bon Appetit part again, it’s been a while.

Mike Manzoori/Javier Mendizabal: Mike Manzoori is for my money (generally not more than $8 American) one of the best working skate videographers out, with his pal Jon Miner, and Mendizabal can be counted on for some of the best shit in any video he graces, so this part is definitely one of the best remixes here. It’s cool to see a younger Mendizabal gliding backside noseblunts on street along with his current assortment of alley-oop lip tricks.

Ewan Bowman/Charles Collette: Kids in E-France-ica. The radio wave music mix is interesting I guess.

Dan Wolfe/Jeremie Daclin: Dan Wolfe does his best to punch up a few minutes’ worth of Jeremie Daclin footage, who in recent years looks like he belongs more behind an actuary’s desk than on a handrail. The part gets more interesting toward the end when it gets back to Daclin’s old days charging beefy hubbas, though the clip of him carving the tanker thing still trips me out.

Dan Magee/Andrew Brophy: Brophy Getts Off with his inhuman pop and pavement-cracking landings, massive 360 flips and Prince guitar squeals. Probably the best section, song-wise if nothing else. Where was the humongous switch heelflip at Southbank though?

Ty Evans/Lucas Puig: I’m interpreting this part as a big slow-motion high-def middle finger to Ty detractors globally, which I guess would include me at times. Entirely in slow-mo, techno-tinged piano twinking as the only sound, it really works in an arty way for a while. But even with a kid as gifted as Lucas Puig, eight full minutes of slow-mo one-off tricks gets boring. The rumor is that Ty sent over the section all in HD or something and the Cliche guys couldn’t properly rip the footage, and ended up having to film the thing off a TV, and while I have no idea if that’s true or not the grainy video does add to the whole effect. But if artsyness was the goal, they missed out on a prime opportunity for a Gonzesque touch by filming the TV footage with a Canon Elph or something.

The video’s up now on the Cliche website along with Puig’s new ad, which is ridiculous as usual. JJ Rousseau and Jan Kliewer were much missed.

Junior Trenchcoat Mafia

August 22, 2008


“From a smoke and pet-free home”

I hereby declare this Vintage Vision Street Wear trenchcoat to be my official pick for Ebay skateboard find of the millennium. Ordinarily I’d quietly bid on this and spend the rest of the summer lurking in alleyways and smoking cigarettes and occasionally pursuing my own brand of violent vigilantism, but it’s size small, and therefore incompatible with my muscular physique. Carbonite, you have kids, imagine how tough this would look walking into a first or second-grade classroom Sept. 2. For real, $19 is a bargain!

Midsummer Video Roundup: And Now

August 21, 2008


“Fuckin, I don’t know”

Okay, can I just tell you my favorite thing about this new Transworld video, even more so than Kenny Hoyle’s opening kickflip, or Richie Jackson’s paisley pirate outfits, or Nick Trapasso: no fucking voiceovers. This closely approximates my personal reaction, except on a couch. I was wearing basically the same amount of body armor.

Pretty much every time a TWS video has come out in the last few years I’m inclined to think “hmm, this is the best TWS video in years” which may or may not actually be the case after a few weeks of viewing. But this time, guys… this time for sure (no Bullwinkle) I think “And Now” really is the best TWS vids in quite some time. There’s been some hoopla in the magazine about how this is like the new “In Bloom,” which I can see, sort of. But that begs the question: who’s gonna plump up and fizzle out Alex Gall style? My money’s on Sean Malto personally. Mostly because he seems like such a volatile, angry drunk.

Transworld videos at this point are basically an institution, like Madonna for instance, and if you took the 20 or so videos they’ve put out over the last 15 years (TWS that is) you’d have a fairly accurate roadmap of trick trends, skateboard fashion, and evolving film/edit techniques that generally represent the best in skate videos at any particular point. A lot of the credit goes to Ty Evans, who presided over the TWS golden age of “Feedback”/”The Reason”/”Modus Operandi,” but the revolving cast of filmer/editors that has passed through those hallowed AOL/Time Warner doors since has taken up his blueprint and soldiered on, with mostly positive results. Filming innovations and high production value aside though, there’s Ty tropes that maintained long past their expiration date, like the intolerable voiceovers (some sounded like they were reading off a fucking teleprompter) and the vaguely hilarious inanity of the titles.

So it’s cool that “And Now,” humorously inane title aside, tones down the starry-eyed “wow, skating, man” aspect and keeps things moving. No overblown intro montage (not too overblown anyhow), no goddamn voiceovers, no skits unless you count Richie Jackson’s whole part. Reckless dumbass David Gravette comes out blasting with his charbroiled rail moves and winds things up with a trick that’s sure to get some novices sacked before the snow flies. Matt Miller I was really looking forward to and he came through with a solid part of fairly straightforward skating, fakie flip body varial noseblunt aside. (That’s what it was right? I had to rewind many times.) But generally he had a minimum of the polejam/wallie/manual combos that TWS videos have showcased heavily the last couple years.

That of course is handled with psychedelic aplomb by Richie Jackson, dark hippie avenger from Oz, who twirls and skids and somehow powerslides down stairs. Some of the tricks are pretty inspired and I was relieved to see him work in some more standard-issue shit, like the b/s 5-0 revert and the switch 360 flip, because sometimes I get the sinking feeling that these guys known for doing nutty/dork/novelty tricks all day long may not be able to actually skate any other way.

Kenny Hoyle is just great. The angle on that switch bigspin heelflip he does over the hump is so good. A prime example of a skater who on paper might not sound that sound exciting but the way he lands tricks does it all. I love watching this kid skate. Nick Trapasso is sort of the same (see the way he rides away from the double-set switch frontside heelflip) but freakishly talented enough to inspire head-scratching and rewinding. There’s some stuff I’m not into at all, like the nollie tuck-knee, but it’s hard to complain much. It’s like he can do anything. Both the song choice and the electric blue socks are kind of untouchable.

Then there’s Sean Malto, who seems to be the living, hardflipping nightmare of every skatepark old guy who narrows his eyes and mutters “damn kids” as some 9th-grader glides down the rail. Switch kickflip frontside k-grinds, cab feebles, et cetera. It goes on for some time. I can imagine people complaining that the marquee tricks have already been in ads, but for me, the full gnarliness of those tricks didn’t quite translate through the 2-D photo format, although that could just be my brain problem at work again. Malto, though: So much command and confidence, and he’s so young. At least he looks young. Trainwreck used to look young too. If my calculations above are correct Malto will soon be sleeved up and bloated from alcohol misuse, so as long as the legions of skatepark old guys can keep their guts in check til then, the last laugh may yet be theirs for the laughing.

In summary, best TWS video in years. I think. No voiceovers!

Two if by sea

August 19, 2008


Let the boys be boys

Okay, a quick video link update, since I have a bunch more videos I could write about but apparently I have yet to figure out how to make a video post that isn’t 1000 words long.

Slam City lookbook: the new catalog from London’s seminal skateshop, which remains difficult for jeg-lag addled foreigners to locate, even in this age of a stronger British pound. The catalog itself is alright, my favorite part being the two solid pages of nearly identical “Slam City Skates” t-shirts, but the money melon is on the second-to-last page where, if you wait out a couple minutes of high-def slo mo, you’re treated to a lengthy Craig Mack-powered whirlwind that is a who’s who of the 2008 UK skate scene. Chewy Cannon, yes.

Ohhh… on the UK tip, here’s something else: an all-too-brief line from none other than Carl Shipman including one of the more vicious transition moves I’ve seen this summer. I read an interview somewhere recently (48 blocks?) where he didn’t sound too eager to skate for a living again, but wouldn’t it be nice to see him astride a Stereo deck again? By the way both these links I stole off the lovely Tweaker blog.

Next: Twist your moustache and furrow your brow at this Gou Miyagi part from the “Overground Broadcasting” video:

One of the things that I thought kind of detracted from Richie Jackson’s otherwise pretty amazing part in “And Now” was the fact that a lot of those tricks couldn’t have been done without some lengthy set-up time as far as building or otherwise massaging spots to facilitate a powerslide chain-dangle wallride or whatever. (Let me tell you just how excited I am to see kids inevitably waxing up the ground at spots.) Gou Miyagi has a similarly twice-baked view of skateboarding but I like how he uses spots and objects the way they are to perform his bizarre and wonderful maneuvers; case in point, the bike rack. I don’t mind the editing at all either.

Finally, the always-current AWS Filmworks site put up a Dylan Rieder clip today that’s short but almost painfully good. The b/s nosegrind f/s revert took me back to Guy Mariano in Mouse. I basically watched this a dozen times today. As far as I remember the “Mind Field” video was supposed to premiere around, like, right now, but the dudes with the inside poop are supposedly saying it might be more like… early 09. I know, I know. Look at it this way, they’re definitely keeping it skate over there.

A different world

August 18, 2008


sigh

Now this here is retarded, fucked up and just plain goddamn silly on multiple levels. First off, let’s bear in mind our fedora hierarchy: Dick Tracy, Eddie Valiant, Dune, rail-thin douchebags who also own Chuck Taylors, everybody else. If they’re giving Greg Lutzka, who by all accounts is dumb as a sack of publicly educated doorknobs, a pro model fedora, they may as well give Fred Gall a damn space helmet.

Second, this corporate car-crash of a ménage à trois collabo is pretty presumptuous. I mean would this type of shit fly in GQ? (I ask because I don’t read GQ because when I’ve attempted to purchase an issue myself the gentleman at the newstand just looks at my threadbare garments and shakes his head in a depressed and weary manner.) One would have to assume that Daewon & co. are counting the days til Plan B takes the Lutz off their hands. Also: “frogskin” hat? Somebody get Mr. Burns on the line.

Now, I haven’t seen the board and sunglasses that presumably accompany this hat, but do you really need to? If you saw somebody with the whole kit at the local modular hockey-rink skatepark, it’s probably a safe bet that the person cannot 1. kickflip, 2. ollie, 3. drive (well), and 4. properly manage his/her finances, so keep your eyes peeled and remember those sales pitches for Brooklyn-located bridges, people.


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