Archive for March, 2009

The Golden Raspberry

March 31, 2009


Speak softly and carry a big stick

One of my enduring favorite skate magazine features is the annual T-Eddy Awards in the Thrasher SOTY issue, that yearly hodgepodge of good-natured shit talking, cheap shots, cheaper puns and legitimate kudos that generally makes up the most gloriously yellow of skateboard journalism. They poke fun at Markovitch a lot. This year’s edition lauds the sort-of predictable (Battle at the Berrics, Austin TX, Lizard King), the perhaps less so (Everen Stallion, Matt Beach, Carroll’s fruity scarf) and includes a handful of the delicious zingers that the internet peanut gallery holds so dear. My favorite: SKATE MOSS – Dylan Rieder.

So, a few favorites from past years (don’t ask what happened to 2005)… it’s interesting, looking at ten years of these things in quick succession, you can track the progression of some dudes’ careers and almost pinpoint when certain names lost their spark and became smoldering joke-butts, or when some little kid started being taken serious. Or, as in the case of JR Blastoff: little kid, taken serious, and then in 2009… BABY TALK – Jereme Rogers.

2008:
MUPPET ENVY
Figgy and Furby

MANOREXIC
Ragdoll

2007:
STILL WAITING
Fully Flared

STEVIE RAY GONE
Bastien Salabanzi

WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE
Gio Reda

2006:
BEEN THERE, RODE FOR THAT
Kris Markovich

BUTTER FACE
Hubba Girls

2006:
THAT JOKE ISN’T FUNNY ANYMORE
Nate Sherwood

2004:
BAKER FAKER
Hellrose

SKATE OR DIANETICS
Jim Greco

ANTHONY OGLESBY
Anthony Mosely

GONE PHISHIN’
Rasa Libre

2003:
JUST FRIENDS
Jerry and Louie

SPUD WEBB
Brandon Biebel

BERT AND ERNIE
Ramondetta and Torres

2002:
SHOP VID SHOCKER
PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life

TOUR VIDEO RECIPE
Fireworks, strippers, bunk skating, hotel alarms, security morons

2001:
CEASE AND DILLSIST
Steffan Attardo

CHOMP CHAMP
Gabe Morford

CHOMP CHUMP
Pat Canale

Midwinter Video Roundup: Quartersnacks “Mind Field” Re-Edit

March 29, 2009


Straight up now

I was going to do one of these video-focused postings about the Untitled video where I gave all the skaters names of characters in the midcentury Bible story epic “Ben Hur,” except it started to seem like a lot of work real quick because I haven’t seen “Ben Hur” (not sober anyhow) in a good long while. So whatever. Then I thought about how I should have done one on the Lakai “Final Flare” box set, but it’s been like three months since the goddamn thing came out and you can probably imagine where I’d go with it anyway: the no-sound-all-slow HD feature is basically 20 minutes of footage stretched over a 45-minute snowboard video canvas, the unused footage is bonkers, a bunch of Alex Olson’s best tricks somehow weren’t used (barrier tailslide, nollie b/s 180 over the bar), that fantastic Australia/B.O.B. tour clip is in there, the documentary veers a bit too far into the “Hot Chocolate” lane for comfort and leaves you wondering whether Carroll considered handing Ty Evans his walking papers once the whole thing was over with. One of the issues I have with his approach to making skate videos is the way the drama/emotion often gets turned up to 11… his sensibilities still seem like a weird match for the minds behind the goldfish chase and “Paco,” even all these years since “Beware of the Flare.”

You get the feeling that the Quartersnacks dudes maybe had a similar reaction to “Mind Field,” but instead of snarking around about it on the internet (or in addition to) they took it upon themselves to tear the original to pieces and put it back together in new shapes of their own choosing – a Google image search-inflected reframing of the Greg Hunt masterpiece, compressed to under 30 minutes and strained through a filter of Drumma Boy and “Fresh Prince” that sifts out all the Dinosaur Jr, most of the artsiness and half the dudes’ parts (they kept Arto?). Favored sections are expanded by way of b-roll footage and, as the situation warrants, QS seagull/cigarette equivalents in the form of ’80s tap-dance routines, cameos from the likes of Tom Jones and Lennie Kirk, and an update to the Carter-Dill tapes. Obvious highlights are Jeezy/Johnson and Kalis’s Trick Daddy epic, along with the musical tributes to Dylan Rieder’s fair features. This AVE part is perhaps better than the original and the shocking return of a dearly departed Workshopper at the very end throws everything about the original video (if not the entire universe) into question.

Anyway, a total tour de force, I think they still have it up for download here. Nobody go suing anybody now…

Suspect Chin Music

March 26, 2009


The spaghetti pretzel-man way

Karl Watson is one of those dudes who, you know, definitely has paid his dues and deserves a shot at running his own company if he wants to, but kind of bums you out because there’s clearly going to be some give-and-take with regard to his on-board coverage (see also: Stevie Williams/DGK, Robbie Gangemi/Vehicle, Ricky Oyola/Traffic, etc). But when the wheels start a-rolling he’s apparently all in: despite catching the business end of an errant board and breaking his fucking face at Tampa last weekend, he moseyed back into the bullring to slide this frontside nose/frontside tail thingamajig, a trick that would probably for sure look silly and grotesque under the feet of most. Karl Watson is justly known for his cheerful demeanor but when he’s out of the game (hopefully a good while from now) he’ll hopefully have secured a well-earned spot as one of the all-time bizarro ledge wizards. For the time being, enjoy the smoothies.

(PS Where the fuck was I while Tampa Pro was going on last weekend? Lenny Rivas’s buddy flashes a gun at Antwuan Dixon, who’s later banned for life from the SPOT for heaving rocks onto a freeway and causing general havok; Chris Gentry stomps out some poor girl’s windshield; Javier Nunez nollie frontside heelflip nosegrinds a rail and Jereme Rogers shows up with a goddamn face tattoo. Blowing it…)

Active Ride Shop Attacks Bankruptcy Monster With +30 Sword of Discounts

March 26, 2009


Free shoelace belt, schadenfreude included with every order

Wherefore art thou, Active Erica lifestyle spin-off brand? Dark whispers surround the retail business these days and while the cynical among us may chuckle at the tumbling same-store comparisons of megamall corpo-goons, the Chapter 11 filing of Active Ride Shop, despite its generic clothing line and often clue-deprived layabout employees, hits a bit closer to home as a skateboarder-established business that has maintained at least one foot in the legit skateboard sphere, even while riding the web/mailorder blimp to untold riches during the boom years.

Ah yes. The boom years, when Brian Wenning leased a Bentley, filming video parts on American soil was tres gauche and a spacious suburban California home was just a shoe deal/zero-down mortgage away. In many ways it was a simpler time, free of the heated and conflicted emotions that troubled us in the aftermath of the Osiris video (embodied by the Aftermath Tour, and to a lesser extent Aftermath Records). My memory is not what it used to be, but I remember it more or less exactly like this.

What does a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing mean for Active? Jeff Harbaugh, an action sports industry consultant who I can imagine sporting a goatee, explains in 1500 or so words over at TWS Business. Now I’m no lawyer, though I served as an understudy for this kid who played one in a poorly received junior high play, but I will attempt the same feat in 150 words: Basically Active has four months to get their shit together, conferring with legal wizards and big suppliers (read: skateboard distributors) to figure out how best to keep the crazy blimp afloat, as in the current climate you can imagine no skate company is especially eager to see a major buyer of hard and soft goods snuff it.

(Only 57 words! Note, the remaining unused words I have divided into several tranches according to their relative risk, packaged as securities and sold the lot off to investment banks, where noisy professionals are already at work structuring complex debt instruments around them – a plan assured to reward everyone handsomely and forever.)

There have been convincing arguments made to separate Active out from the likes of Zumiez*, PacSun and even famed Steve Rocco flip-job CCS, but the fact remains that on-premises miniramps or not, those semi-monthly catalogs and website saw Active eat off the plate of many a local skateboard shop, in the US and elsewhere, who haven’t had an easy ride either. I can’t say if Active is more or less worthy as far as “giving back to skating,” whatever that means in 2009, but I suppose the coming months will determine whether it’s worthy as a commercial enterprise. You would imagine that it is, though maybe in slimmed-down form. (There is an easy Active Erica joke in there somewhere for those who seek it.) If not, we’ll survive, yeah, but I can’t imagine things will be looking too hot for other entities on the brink of the abyss.

Regardless, people losing jobs is scary and not funny even when the economy isn’t in the toilet. Unless you’re one of those reptilian demons who works for AIG and bathes in kitten blood during your spare time. Because those guys are the total blurst.

*By the way, TWSB’s Josh Hunter earns a gold star for slogging through the Zumiez 10K filing

Big Gun

March 23, 2009

While we’re well past the era where I’d just as soon turn my nose up at some piece of mega-gnar skating, dismissing it as lowbrow gloryhounding, I was still kind of surprised how much this titanic Dan Murphy ollie shocked me. Footage here (via Platinum Seagulls); the switch frontside flip and nollie flip are monstrous in their own ways.

Midwinter Video Roundup: “Don’t Act Famous”

March 21, 2009


Celebrity apprentice

This video I bought because it had a part from Julian Quevado, a dude I would wholeheartedly recommend to celebrators of the Lockwood picnic table school of skateboarding – rarely turning more than 180 degrees at any one time, lotsa k-grinds, does the right tricks switch. And, he’s apparently not the type to film a four-minute epic part, since I’ve never seen more than a couple minutes of footage from him at any one time. Which is just fine. This Toebock part will do for a while – few since AVE have gotten as much quality mileage out of the switch frontside crooked grind and he seems to have total mastery over his switch kickflip, kind of pointing it down post-catch, it’s sweet.

“Don’t Act Famous,” made by former Popwarrior Adam Crew, includes lots and lots of montages, which you could interpret as Adam Crew having a lot of friends, but apparently not enough to defend his van from a midnight break-in that claimed most of the footage that would have gone toward a long-awaited Adam Crew part (if the SBN SOTY interview to be believed). Which is unfortunate since the fella always had good tricks in the various Popwar promos and does a pretty ballsy gap-backside tailslide thing in this video.

Another ballsy choice is kicking the video off with multiple montages, which I always find harder to get into than a one-dude part, kind of like how a compilation record never packs the same punch an official album does. A lot of times you have to really pay attention to find the gems but they are there: a Manik team cameo in the Washington section featuring various b/s 180 nosegrind efforts from Jordan Sanchez; Two Hawks Young has a unique name, a moustache and hardflips; Mikey Chin frontside flips in the fog and Ryan Casado brings heat to all different types of spots (see: power ollie over sidewalk/down steps).

The ginger prince of Oregon has a full-length section with an ingenious throwback intro. He too indulges in the switch frontside crooked grinds amid lots of lines where he plies his stock in trade, nice-looking basics down mid-size gaps, the occasional backside flip floater off a bump, and the closing frontside wallride blaster is a bunch of bananas.

Between gunslinging and soda-whipping in the kitchen the Toebock team shifts to the Bay where Frank Castanette charges and Josh Matthews switch 5-0s a no-joke handrail. There’s cameos from the Tiltomode types, including the much-missed and heavily bearded Jesse Erickson who really needs to have a great deal of footage in this supposed new video they’re doing. There’s this other kid Kevin McGowan who’s probably one of the best dudes in the video. There’s a tall nollie b/s nosegrind 180 amongst a bunch of other crazy shit.

Also worth noting is a blissful detour to the Santa Rosa skatepark, which in this internet half-wit’s opinion should sooner or later command the same reverence ascribed to the Wallows and Combi Bowl and so on. (Was there a kickflip Miller flip here?)

Crew & co. wrap the vid in Colorado where Gordie Cousino crams as many possible flip tricks into his runs and the young Angel Ramirez kickflips mightily – Jerrod Saba, in footage allegedly recycled from the Krux video, does nosemanual firecrackers, miniseries 5-0s and cab flips into banks. Then we have Tyler Price, who I was watching and thinking that he should’ve been on early-period Circa, when Colt Cannon was the hot shoe of the day and big backside flips were the done thing. Wouldn’t you know a bit later on I caught some Circa stickers on his board, so there you go, certified footwear soothsayer. Point being, Tyler Price loves the giant backside flips, and Zep. Also, a sweet melon grab. You could order this DVD from the Toebock site right now, it has a good soundtrack.

Midwinter Video Roundup: Am Chowder

March 20, 2009


Extra good with the soda

I have this secret theory that the ultimate reasoning behind Brad Staba’s alleged master plan to require everyone on Skate Mental to wear Nikes is really about the fat photo incentive checks keeping all the kids paid to a certain degree, and maybe less likely to raise a stink when asked to model a Mike Carroll chest-hair T-shirt for the Crailtap catalogue. But who can know these things.

So this little video, it was cool and all, except when it was done it left the feeling that I’d been watching the same dude more or less the entire time. I don’t know. I like Daryl Angel pretty good. We have a lot of fun with Ty Bruckheimer and his wide-eyed techno-reverence for top calibre skateboarding, but I thought that old HD test reel featuring lil’ Daryl Flannel worked pretty good as a showcase for really beautiful skate filming, even if the whole deal was in ultra-slow mo and comprised about 45 seconds of actual footage stretched to the length of a two-hour feature film. The Skate Mental promo is pretty much the opposite, two-song part with minimal filler and slow-mo. But I still felt like I seen a lot of these tricks already, just at a quarter of the speed and twice the resolution. The bar ollie to 50-50 caught me off-guard, he can get urban-creative; the switch backside tailslide on the barrier was big. Was the first song the Breeders? Fairly awesome either way.

With Shane no-apostrophe-Oneill I could almost fool myself into thinking it was Daryl Angel again, what with the backside bigspins and backside lipslides, except for certain tricks where it was like watching Jesus Fernandez. The nollie kickflip backside tailslide bigspin was pretty nutty and there was a nice “yeah” after one of his manual tricks. John Motta stands out I suppose because he brings more wallrides than the other dudes, and maybe more European footage, like the blazing backside 180 fakie manual helicoptero that was in Transworld I think? The varial heelflip to fakie grinder was cool and he did some convoluted ledge combo that I’m sure will have Joey Brezinski powering up “Skate 2″ with a quickness. And a slick backside lipslide to backside tail.

The sort-of homogeneous skating aside it’s truly cool that there seems to have been pretty much no effort put into the production of “Chowder,” and it incorporates a lot of elements I wish got more consideration when skate video “directors” are doing the modern day equivalent of hooking together their VCRs and thumbing the pause button… i.e., sub-15 minute run-time, no intro, some interesting angles on well-worn spots (bank to bench) and some lame humor. Also, setting a pedestrian aflame with the powerslide blowtorch. I really don’t know if they’re selling this video or what.

Ocean Literally Boils; Fish Flee En Masse While Websites Bearing Silly Names Contemplate the Meta-ness of It All

March 19, 2009


“This song’s about being buried by thousands of tons of molten lava…”

Here at the “boil the ocean” web place we try and keep the focus on skateboard-related stuffs as much as we can, but I would be remiss not to post this terribly crazy photo and related video of an underwater volcano near the South Pacific island of Tonga blowing the fuck up and in the process literally boiling the ocean. As longsuffering readers of this space are all too aware I could wax on for hundreds of words about the humanity* of it all, but when it comes to this sort of humbling, awesome natural event, the observations are best left to scientific professionals:

“It’s a very significant eruption, on quite a large scale,” said Keleti Mafi, the head of Tonga’s geological service.

No doubt… but of little comfort to mere humans such as Tongan fishing guide Lothar Slabon, who depends on volcanoes not exploding all over the place as a key component of his livelihood.

Mr Slabon and six others took a boat to within 100m of the volcano that has been erupting for days near the coast of the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

He spent two hours listening to dark rumblings “like drums” under the ocean and watching the hissing plumes of steam.

Mr Slabon said his excitement was mixed with sadness because a green and rocky island near which he loved to fish was being smothered in volcanic rock and ash.

But on the upside he got to see a giant, extended explosion. So, you know.

*marine mammality?

Balls of Steel

March 18, 2009

Matt Miller’s heave-ho to backside tailslide is a strong contender for trick of the month, if I were able to remember what month it is again. From the AVE TWS, which has some really good content including a pretty bonkers Jason Dill interview that I’d comment on if he didn’t threaten to knock out people who put him on their blogs. And clearly I have enough problems. On an unrelated note I think Third & Army makes a convincing case for the skatepark-as-street-plaza concept as more or less irrelevant.

Boil the Ocean Invites You To Be Witty on the Internet

March 13, 2009


Doctor Octopus: “You’ve spoiled my plans for the last time!”

Caption contest in the comments for this pic of a fully flaring Adelmo Jr., which I have been meaning to post for some time now, but words just fail me. Depending on the quantity/quality of responses we may do this again sometime so don’t go and fuck it up for everybody.

On a related note I fucked up and accidentally deleted a bunch of the most recent comments in a spam-related snafu – sorry bros.

Update: “mary jane” wins by way of multiple entries and judicious editing. TK is runner-up for literary flare.


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