Archive for December, 2010

1. Lucien Clarke – “This Time Tomorrow”

December 31, 2010

As far as young bros on the come-up in 2010, this Lucien Clarke dude’s got it all — form, cool looking locales, those snapback hats with the different colored brims that took over Britain a year or two back, the accent, backside noseblunt slides on command, etc etc. There is a leisurely air to the lengthy lines he skates that promise a lifestyle behind solidly latched doors among woodgrain and glasses of brown liquor, if you could hang out there in a baggy sweatshirt and said hats with the colourful brims. The cliffhanger frontside shove-it over the crunchy hubba and the nollie backside flip shortly thereafter are highlights with heaps of night filming and switch backside kickflips. Bouncy older rap song and he’s on the Palace board company, this was my favorite part all year.

2. Jimmy Lannon – “The Dango Is Dead”

December 30, 2010

For my money the best nose-manualer working, Jimmy Lannon flows like a sweated up baggy t-shirt and mines the seam of inner-city bar-jumping to greater effect in the airier Florida zone, where he seems content to blast ollies all day long and sometimes balance on his front truck. If you boiled it down to a list of tricks this part in someone else’s hands might be some stony/soul moment but Jimmy Lannon’s view is more aggressive, short pants be damned. Ledge tricks cribbed from the old Mariano playbook and some of the best cheering sections captured on digital video this year (the nighttime line guys look like extras from one of RB Umali’s revisitations). Congratulate Jimmy Lannon for staying good and landing on the Magenta board company which posted up another mini-part the other day that features a nice switch backside bigspin out of a curb cut.

3. Andrew Allen – “Prevent This Tragedy”

December 29, 2010

A lot like Anthony Van Engelen did 10 years ago and Henry Sanchez did before that, Andrew Allen’s market strategy relies in part on bringing a hairball ramp-dog mentality to switch backside tailslides and frontside k-grinds — out the gate here he reverse suplexes a rail (backside) and careens into a big angry hill that eventually decides not to play nice. The big backside flip into the bank, switch backside 5-0 the creamy colored ledge and the switch b/s tail down that sorta wavy hubba emphasizes Andrew Allen’s smooth and sensitive side, and by the end he comes off a little better with the hills. “Prevent This Tragedy” was one of the better videos of the year, hopefully Thrasher keeps this ball rolling.

4. Guru Khalsa – “Origin”

December 28, 2010


(29:53)

Rewatching Guru Khalsa’s pretty heavy part in the Habitat video this fall, I got to wondering to what degree (if any) he maybe was brought up under the tutelage of Anthony Correa, who probably doesn’t get as much credit these days as he deserves for the low-key ripping he put in around the turn of the decade — was reminded as I tried and failed to find the Guru Khalsa “Origin” part online but instead came up with this old local vid part, where the first line is about as 1990s as it gets. Anyway in jarring contrast to somebody like Daryl Angel, who at least for me requires concentration to fully appreciate the difficulty of some of his tricks, Guru Khalsa’s emerged as one of the standout street stylers on the evolved Habitat team and is refining a mixture of general wildness and loose control. He shares the blessing of nollie b/s noseblunts with fellow Texan Jeremy Holmes and the “Origin” part put together a lot of his promise, his switch stuff got more difficult and he filmed several of the best-looking tricks in a video that also included skating from Steve Durante as well as a Stefan Janoski switch kickflip.

5. Jackson Curtin – “Give Me My Money Chico”

December 27, 2010

Don’t know any particular reasons why Jack Curtin isn’t regarded as one of the heaviest dudes out there these last few years, or maybe I’m just not moving in the right circles, but his appearance in the LRG video this year validates the thesis and about half the part is total carnage in the most Smash-TV sense possible — switch backside 5-0 the Clipper ledge, switch backside nosegrind (and pop-out) into the Courthouse ledge drop, switch ollie SBN’s Bay Area wall, switch frontside blunt at the Pyramid ledge, and all those tricks on the Chinese block (the last one would come in around the top of any year-end list I’d do on specific tricks). Still among skating’s best-dressed and the onliest dude still wearing Muska pants in 2010, really pulling for more from Jackson Curtin in the coming DGK production.

6. Dylan Rieder – “Dylan”

December 26, 2010

Whether or not he was as backed into a career-corner as his going-there “Epicly Later’d” made it sound, the Jake Burton-underwitten one-part promo wallop did a fine job resetting the gameboard for Dylan Rieder this fall. Earlier we were comparing him to Heath Kirchart due to danger-moves like the handrail switch flip and the boardslide to bus dodge, but rewatching this a few months later and there seems like a really “Visual Sound” tinge to some of this stuff like the bar ollie/frontside 180, the schoolyard line and that sidewalk run with the long lipslide on the white block… maybe it’s the button-ups. Still a little out to lunch on the Dracula cape-drawing moves with the forearm but supremely stoked on his left foot in the backside smith grind, resurrecting one of the better non-Penny kickflip shifties out there, and how many of his teammates filmed clips for his part.

7. Danny Brady – “Make Friends With The Colour Blue”

December 25, 2010


(14:20)

The Blueprint video never got a proper rundown in this space when it came out last summer — briefly, seemed a gutsy project in a number of ways and not just because Shier/Magee brought the whole taco back from the brink. Starting and closing your first project in five or so years with the longest-serving members of the squad instead of any overt torch-passing was interesting, if only because the Blueprinters have made an effort to broaden beyond the British Isles in various ways these past few years. Jerome Campbell brought a young-Huf sort of street intensity to a lot of those overcast spots, the US dudes for various reasons aren’t my cup of tea, and after many a watch I still have trouble discerning between the two Nordic-named kids; Nick Jensen doing his thing to Portishead was a “why didn’t somebody think of this 5/10 years ago” moment and the whole “120 Minutes”-themed soundtrack I thought worked good even in spite of the TMBG opener, which continues to strike me as a bizarre choice.

While Vaughn Baker and Mikey Wright were missed Danny Brady rebounded fully from his sorta lukewarm Lakai appearance and recaptured a lot of the same type of nonchalant tech skating that made the “Lost & Found” opener so sweet. The Beach Boys reinterpretation bubbles up as Brady gets his Golden State on, deeper into the Pupecki grinds (are we cool with a frontside version) and going full Carroll on that frontside hurricane grind on the block — there is the Reynolds callback in the lovely framing of that fakie frontside flip. What really gets this section over though is when he breaks out all the stalls on the bank-to-high wall toward the end, maybe not fully shutting it down, but making sure his name comes up in italics and bold print if and when so-and-so has an ad doing such-and-such there a few years down the line and this all gets discussed on messageboards. Wish the big 180 over the South-Bank steps was in here, but what are you gonna do.

8. Justin Figueroa – “Stay Gold”

December 24, 2010

Looking back I wouldn’t have figured I’d be at the point where seeing a longhaired kid in tight jeans pilot a straight-up frontside boardslide down a rail would be refreshing, nor would I have picked Justin Figueroa to record one of the more rewatchable sections in the long-awaited Emerica vid, but here we are. Many of the thumbs-up to this dude’s section (begrudged or not) focused on the central line through the apartments, and I was on board there too, but the more times I rewatched “Stay Gold” the more times I wound up skipping Szafranksi and Spanky and even Marquise` Preston and sticking on this part, marveling at one of the very few to make nollie frontside feeble grinds and nollie backside 50-50s seem cool. Justin Figueroa’s got some drama to his frame when he comes off the handrails and looks relaxed at speed, rare for your greaseball hessian type and like Bryan Herman a validation of Reynolds’ choice in rail skaters. I like the switch backside flip, the nollie frontside boardslide and the 5-0 backside 180 out, which seems mighty scary on a big rail.

9. Conor Champion – “YOUGOTTAGETTHAT”

December 23, 2010

Regular sufferers of this blog-site will know that there are a number of cheap ways to win favor around here, and using Petey Pablo’s 2001 anthem “Raise Up” definitely is one. Conor Champion scores extra super major points for having a sweet alliterative name and demonstrating full commitment to smith and feeble grinds. I could go on about hopping out of switch b/s tails or the proper spin on the 360 flips or various other aspects of the fantastic skating in this part, but maybe would just mention that the line at night that starts with the fakie flip up the curb, with the briefest flash of a classical navy/white DC sticker, did more to revive long-faded feelings for that company than much else these past few years (with the possible exception of Josh Kalis’ recent 360 flip ad).

10. Cory Kennedy – “Beware of Sasquatch”

December 22, 2010

So okay, top ten video parts of the year as per this web-site blog space.

One of the major knocks on Cory Kennedy’s Wonderful-Horrible Life moment this year involved I think questions of street cred and authenticity, that his trick choices were a little too calculated or studied alongside the more usual issues of it all coming too easily to some suburbo-bro that nobody ever heard of. Which may or may not hold water, but if that’s the case, how come more people aren’t putting out sections like this? In a local vid? With like ten minutes of footage that’s good? Cory Kennedy invokes some of the same spirits that made an instant hero out of PJ Ladd 10 years ago, namely the melding of superman technical tricks with standard-issue kickflips, humor and enough sketchy ride-aways to humanize him a little bit. Devotion to frontside shove-its and backside tailslide shove-its goes a long ways too.


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