Archive for February, 2010

Thug Motivation

February 28, 2010


Let’s get it

The latest in a grand tradition of blurring the line between pro and regular old bro, the imperatively titled “Yougottagetthat!” may be best represented by its “Bob & Bobby” section, which finds a slimmer-than-usual-looking Worrest switch backside noseblunting alongside the husky section shopper yet very agile switch b/s kickflipper Bob Reynolds, while Bun-B describes various ways of hiding drugs in your car before you sell them off. It’s not a terrifically serious video (though there will probably be some hurt feelings in the Blackbox camp as the credits roll and Jamie Thomas is mysteriously left off certain thank-you lists), but the stacking of some good shop-vid level tricks alongside the work of paid professionals such as Dan Murphy and Mike Peterson suggests a good-faith effort to document the vital and vigorous North Carolinian scene, fueled as it is by canned beer and Cam’ron. You can tell they’re easygoing because so many Nike shoes and Consolidated boards are peacefully coexisting.

Opening act and heir to the Colt Cannon throne of alliterating proto-names Conor Champion straddles this line, positioned as he is for breakout hot-shoe status thanks to a can-do attitude and close working relationship with frontside crooked grinds, both regulars and switch. This dude gets off some crazy moves, including a buried switch feeble grind on a handrail, makes DC shoes look good and has this one line that ends with a b/s smith grind down a modest rail and is sorta reminiscent of a mid-90s LA playground romp. The SPOT website suggests that he’s currently trying his luck with the flow vortex that is the Crailtap camp, so hopefully he’s put a moratorium on attaining recognized status over there before moving on to other pastures, since it would be a shame to see this dude’s tricks slip too far into obscurity.

Mike Peterson and Kyle Berard, two blue-collar bowl types who I don’t follow too closely, both have nice sections and Berard (think it’s Berard) gets hairy on the coping with a switch hurricane grind that is kind of a “wow” move, since it follows right after a regular one. Young Alien Gilbert Crockett does his thing with the swooping launches and cat-footed landings, noseblunting this tall ledge and catching a lofty frontside shove-it. Brett Abramsky, co-director with Reynolds, casts a big 360 flip into a smoothly paved hill at what looks like a scarily fun speed, and kind of resembles Cliche’s Javier Mendizabal.

Past-and-perhaps-present NC transplant Dan Murphy anchors, advertising up front his switch to the magic F and unloading a lot of his Mystery deck footage in the process. Solid is the word that most often comes to mind with regards to this dude’s footage but he’ll occasionally throw in an eyebrow-raiser like the long switch frontside blunt in this section, or the textbook-edition nollie backside flip down some blocks that serve to remind he may not be the knuckle-dragging gap jumper his college keg-party background suggests to some of us. Although it was nice to see that mega-rail jump pop up here as well as in that internet clip a few months back. One thing about Dan Murphy is that he seems to work hard for his tricks and it’s nice to see a dude on the Nike payroll willing to suit up in gloves, a hat and hooded sweatshirt for the purposes of rounding out a section in his friends’ vid.

The Skateboard Mag put up a remix edition of this part the other day but it doesn’t quite measure up to the original, which boasts one of three good songs off the Clipse album — you can and should consider buying this DVD off the fellows who made it as it features talented dudes taking themselves none too seriously and two (count em) songs with Cam’ron.

Street Sweeper

February 27, 2010

Between these Pappalardo clips, Deluxe’s zip-zinger features and this recent Brent Atchley commercial there seems to be a wave of cruising-oriented video coming out lately, coincidental or not. Depending on who’s doing the cruisering and where, such clips can be alternately boring, sublime or non-affecting, but all these clips recently reminded me of the above Tom Penny part from one of my most favorite and least-discussed videos, ATM Click’s “Come Together.” An early Manzoori/Miner production at a time when both were sponsored by the company, after working through some early days of being Gonz’s new and soon-to-be-discarded toy (and prior to its current form as a “mini logo” deck purveyour). The company was some type of sister to New School and home to a budding Jon West, who skated to “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie in this video that was really more like an extended friends-section, roping in everybody from Mat O’Brien to Hondo Soto to Jamie Thomas to Mike Frazier to a clip of Rob “Sluggo” Boyce hitting what looks like a backyard kicker on a snowboard. This mini-part by Penny gets squeezed in somewhere in the middle and is really just a couple launches at the Santa Rosa park and a lengthy street ramble that puts a lot of the dude’s greatness front and center — the supernaturally relaxed mannerisms, casually caught flips and a general kind of meandering genius. The song works too.

Jimmy Lannon: Your Little Hoodrat Friend

February 21, 2010


Killa season

Prior mutterings in this space asked readers to imagine a more perfect world, in which magical creatures offered significant discounts on quality goods and towheaded Floridian Jimmy Lannon was a well-paid professional. Balding scientists with spectacles and powerful space telescopes continue the search for this land, but the new vid from Sunshine State VX impresario Joe Perrin offers a fully realized glimpse, as Lannon bops and wheelies his way through sun-drenched alleyways, ollieing every hydrant and waist-high pole in sight.

This dude is so good to watch and a prime example of making a sorta focused trick list go a long ways (not to insinuate he’s limited at all). Lannon gets as urban as your favorite borough-combing cords wearer with more pop and a penchant for fakie ollieing up big ledges. In this alternate universe we’ve described the hot approach is fakieing up shit rather than riding up rails; Steve Durante, you are on the guest list.

Rumors swirl that Jimmy Lannon, a longtime Lakai flow box recipient, basically showed himself the door at Element after declining to climb aboard its floundering footwear ship, and who knows whether that’s true or if it was a wise longterm career move, but the footage for sure was better served with a Junior MAFIA-flavored ender section in “The Dango Is Dead” than being trimmed and tucked into whatever next Element project. On that note we’re obligated to point out that it’s worth investing in the DVD, which comes with the OG “Dango” as well as “The Good Life” and a handful of other videos that make you realize Montessi’s Westside shop at this point boasts a video franchise that’s both longer and more quality than some board and shoe outfits. There’s also a sick part from a kid called Jonathan Cruz who does nice-looking nosegrinds in tight spaces, order it off Westside’s site.

The Only Olympics We Need Is the Bong Olympics Brah

February 18, 2010


Rings n’ things

There’s a famous saying in skateboarding that goes, “the only Olympics we need is the Bong Olympics, brah.” I believe the phrase was first coined by Tony Alva on the set of a “Police Academy” prequel and the “brah” might have really been a “bro.” Yet the point still stands. As these words are fumblingly typed out, world records are being broken, dreams realized and untold riches crammed into the overflowing piggybanks of the International Olympic Committee in Whistler, Canada, in part thanks to skateboarding’s redheaded stepchild, snowboarding. They also say that the road to Olympic gold is paved in gold, but as illustrated by the pixels above, it’s clear that reaching for those rings is perilous too.

There’s an interesting poll going right now over at Skatedaily.net that currently indicates about 60% of the literate skateboard website reading populace knows what skater Tonya Harding, skier Bode Miller and Polish pole vault jumper Władysław Kozakiewicz learned the hard way, which is to say that for free-thinking maverick types, it’s better to avoid the Olympic juggernaut altogether. Yet there remain those in the pro-skateboard realm as well as the business side (mostly the business side) for whom the allure of Olympic glory is only too seductive. It is they who look upon an event schedule already crowded up with badminton, archery and fast running and say “me too” in service of country and that catch-all greater good, “bringing skateboarding to more kids.” CCS check-out page meet Visa card, etc.

As entertaining as it is to dream up potential uniforms for the West Coast-weighted U.S. Skate Team*, and imagine the inner battles raging between inner demons and the certainty of across-the-board urinalysis, it would seem folly to pound this particular square peg into the Olympics’ gold-plated hole, if for no other reason than it would probably require the shaving-off of whatever edges remain. The yellow precious metal lured Captain Blackbeard to a watery grave, and even Curly proved that you can’t take it with you.

And beyond plunder, what would the big O bring to skateboarding beyond a healthy dose of good-natured jingoism and hours of painful narration? Remember the “harnie”? It is for this reason we can and should applaud every Mike V hockey stands brawl, every Antwuan Dixon face tattoo, every Lizard King Satan quotation and web-archived Ybor City drug arrest; they may ultimately be all that stands between us and the doom that lies in the comedown after all gold rushes, brahs.

*with all due respect to the halfcab/brown cord/white tee ensemble and the DC Euro Supertours

Think Twice

February 15, 2010

From the Lizard King pro spotlight in this month’s Transworld – a simple case of no respect, or sparks aimed at the long-cooled Socal/Norcal tinderbox?

TWS: Do you ever think about how far you’ve come over the past four years? I mean, you used to ride for Think, and now you have some of the best sponsors out there.
LK: Yeah, exactly. It’s such a trip`, dude [laughs].

I mean, I don’t know who buys the boards either, but damn..

Let’s Discuss The Most Controversial Sequence On The Internet

February 12, 2010


Haters in time

An uproar burst forth upon the seas of gentlemanly internet discourse this week when a SkateboardMag blog revealed a photo sequence of Anthony Pappalardo, known professional, plying his trade with a couple of ollies. “Foul” cried thousands, claiming that not only could they ollie themselves, but that neither ollie was particularly big or dangerous. Both of these statements are true, but uncovering the deeper, more long-winded truth requires a trip through time.

It was once the year 2000. Flying cars were commonplace, personal credit was freely available and Anthony Pappalardo was executing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides while making “urban” pants choices. But today the clock has rolled back, erasing years of economic growth and trick progression. Ollies are back. Cruising on a 70s-inspired skateboard is the choice of dreaded granolas and professional shoe endorsers alike and the most popular show on television wallows in the hair-grease and flop-sweat of philandering 1960s ad executives.

Christopher Colombus, in an apocryphal story that dates back even further, once strutted into a state dinner when a hater (of some description) stopped him, perchance to hate. The gist of it was that CC was not that hot of an explorer, and that the West Indies would’ve been inevitably found by anybody who pointed their boat far west enough, et cetera. Colombus famously ice-grilled the guy and then told them that he bet anybody he could make an egg stand on its end. After others tried and failed, Colombus squished in one end of the egg and stood it up, declaring “now that you’ve seen me do it, it would be easy for anyone.”

So too with Pappalardo? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that Brooklyn woodshop. Someone on the Slap board said something to the effect that after watching the bonus footage on the “Prevent This Tragedy” DVD they were pissed at the blatant lack of effort APO seems to be putting forth, and after about 10 minutes of fast-forwarding, I saw the point (don’t ask me the time stamp, but he makes a couple half-hearted ollies onto a slanted plank on a hill, and bails an ollie).

You could make the argument though that there’s plenty of pro-types who’ve made their bones and sailed into their sunset years on a raft of coping slashes, frontside rocks and more recently switch 360 flips. Pappalardo may be pushing it as he retains a youthful look despite his hospital-patient pallor, and a pro model shoe may be kind of gratuitous, but I think he could still turn it on if he wanted to (citing the nollie 360 flip recently spun on Epicly Laterd). Does the fact that it’s a conscious decision make it more gratuitous? Or simply boost the level of his hustle?

Let’s Stay Friends

February 8, 2010


Hold on to your genre

Once upon a time there was a band called Ween, two brothers in blurred vision and fractured humor who made cheaply recorded records full of bizarre and beautiful ditties dedicated to squelching weasels, juicy trees, Mexican restaurant menus and persons called “Jilm.” Born of hotboxed bedrooms in that fabled decade of the 1980s, the Ween bros for years beckoned listeners to follow as they stumbled sidelong into new nooks and crannies of their aural rabbit-hole, until at a certain point they decided to try their hand at actual songs – cleaning up the rattling fuzz, taking the delirious helium out of their voices and scaling back on the copious chemical consumption that fueled the fever dreams of their early days. Few begrudged the evolution and broader success followed, but that beloved loopy spark was diminished.

Try as I might to shrug it off I’m having a hard time not feeling similarly wistful re: Blueprint’s annexation of U.S. amateurs in recent years, most recently highlighted in this “Make Friends With Marty (Murawski)” clip teasing the hotly anticipated “Make Friends With the Colour Blue” vid. There’s nothing much wrong with the skating of Murawski or his Bostonian brother-in-boards Kevin Coakley, who preceded his entry to Blueprint’s ranks, though Coakley sometimes has left me nonplussed and Murawski’s manual madness in this most recent clip didn’t particularly move me, with a few exceptions including the manual to f/s 180 to switch manual to revert.

Aesthetically these two guys are fine and all but you kinda wonder to what purpose they’re seeking out these US dudes, overlooked by domestic operators either fairly or not; I suppose you can’t blame Blueprint, particularly in these tenuous economic times, for trying to be more than “just” a British concern. They’ve earned a seat among the top-tier outfits of the world by virtue of output, progression, very nice graphic design and general staying power over the years, etc. But I recall putting on “Waiting for the World” and cocking an appreciative eyebrow at the meticulously constructed intro, like a TV-shaped portal into an empire of overcast skies, decrepit ledges and red phone booths where the “unique vision” of the thing, in the earnest parlance of a Tim Gunn, more than made up for tricks that weren’t necessarily 411-opener flashpoints. The rather ripping Brady/Jensen footage in the “Make Friends” clip is a good/current example, and fuck, their approach got these dudes into the biggest vid of the past five years, so they’re doing something right.

This is all sounding kind of “you know, when I was a kid…” and whatnot, which is true, but Blueprint’s got some global heft to its name and the hope is it’s put to good use, as opposed to loading up the new BP holo-vid in ten year’s time and seeing a load of the same Arizona ditches and San Diego handrails that recently appeared in the 20th-anniversary SK8Mafia video for instance. Keeping it gutter, and so on. Probably I’ll be proven wrong on multiple fronts when “MFWTCB” arrives, and I’ll buy it regardless, but in the meantime I’ll continue to wonder why you’d fish overseas when there are bass like this to be boated in your own backyard.

Addendum: Do you think Brady frontside flips into that thing for the video? Holy fuck.

Getting the Dirt Out

February 6, 2010

News, of the best sort – belligerent loudmouth and Floridian style impresario Danny Renaud is well down the megaramp roll-in of recovery, recently captured mid-noseslide. What were we saying the other day?

Mapping Time and Space

February 4, 2010

Between the rap song, overcast skies and bench lines, there are shades of Time Code in this pro-preview clip of Guru Khalsa, which further showcases his devotion to the East Coast bun hairstyle. I don’t know if there’s more power or speed or something at play here but it seems like he’s got more confidence going on in a general sense, with some pretty thugged-out landings for a granola (in a good way). The step ascent line was sick and brought back a bizarre memory of Vinnie Ponte’s part in the Pig video, and there’s your completely off the wall video link of the day. The gap to frontside k-grind remains gnarly though I can’t recall where else it popped up recently, now that my mind is fixated upon the various ways in which Vinnie Ponte used to match his outfits to spots. If this is turning into DNA amateur week around here, here’s hoping new Steve Durante footage surfaces by Friday; while we wait, do as I did and pursue an ill-advised Google image search for the word “buns.”

Northwest Green

February 1, 2010

I guess what I took away most from Tyler Bledsoe’s interview feature in the recent Skate Board Mag, where he is crowned with that less-established but perhaps harder-working magazine award of “YBAM,” is that he likes the color teal. More than that, he employs it tastefully. It is most pronounced in the above pic, detailing a bossy backside tailslide where he had to launch past the handrail, and could alternately be a case of Bledsoe looking to expand his internet fan base, where teal was recently voted the most favorite shade of blue, or perhaps a show of Pacific Northwestern solidarity toward the Seattle Mariners.

Funny story: years back I dialogued with a bro on the DNA payroll as to the then-recent additions of Tyler Bledsoe and Grant Taylor, both of whom at the time were stubby gap-flippers of a (seemingly) run-of-the-mill persuasion. Bummed on ad space that could’ve instead shed light on the doings of AVE, for instance, I expressed reservations but “trust in Hill and Carter” was the top-line response, and although it took a few years, damn if he wasn’t right in the end. The question remains though whether there was some flickering spark or if budding greatness can be rubbed-off upon, kind of a nature/nurture type of debate for the Slap boards.


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