Archive for July, 2011

We Travel Back In Time To The Year 2006 For A Cautionary Tale About Beef, Wisdom and Standing Your Ground (That Also References Big Punisher [RIP 1971 - 2000])

July 23, 2011

It was the fall of 2006. Americans were marking one year since the devastating hurricane-floods in the South, the unlikely St. Louis Cardinals stunned the baseball world by winning it all over the Detroit Cardinals, and Shawn Carter was laying the groundwork for an un-retirement by racing autos in beer commercials and, later, selling beef. Several months beforehand, Cam’ron had twice done the once-unthinkable in one swoop, releasing a sort of shitty album and targeting his former boss Jay-Z in an extended dis record that made suggestive remarks and accused Jay-Z of copying raps off of others. The then-retired rap music mogul ultimately crushed Cam with a surprisingly effective weapon, silence. The message was that the “Purple Haze” emcee did not rise to his level.

Flash forward to the fall-time, when Jay-Z is prepping his return. Following attacks by ascendant Killa protege Jim Jones, Jay-Z threw caution to the wind and recorded a response over the by-then acclaimed Jim Jones single “We Fly High” — an eyebrow-raising move that proved catastrophic when Jimmy hours later utterly buried Jay-Z by basically giggling and randomly commenting over S. Carter’s version, turning in some rhymes and a mothballed Juelz Santana verse and general trash-talking. Jay-Z went on to release some albums that sorta diminished his legacy while marrying Beyonce and befriending the guy from Coldplay and other celebs, elevating his net worth to nearly $1 billion.

Yet as he lies asleep on his solid gold bed, next to his megastar-model spouse, fingers aching from counting his riches, belly full of expensive hamburgers, you have to wonder if his eyes remain open, teeth grinding as his mind echoes with Jim Jones’ comments about Big Pun whacking him in the head with a Cristal bottle in a club all those years ago, and wondering if things could have turned out different.

Ricky Oyola Would Like You Lousy Kids To Stay Off The Lawn, Stop Pushing Switch Mongo

July 19, 2011

At a moment in time when our graybeard forefathers are pursuing Hollywood starlets a fraction of their age it’s refreshing and reassuring to see an elder statesman straighten his back, hike his pants well past the bellybutton and deliver a verbal threshing to all deserving whippersnappers out here: witness streetstyle legend Ricky Oyola’s VBS turn, front-loaded with do’s, don’ts, shoulda-beens and topical lectures that come off more bemused than bitter, in this longtime fan’s estimation.

Ricky Oyola has earned his bully porch-seat from which to shout and wave various objects at skateboarding’s wayward youth. He has on film one of the best switch kickflips ever performed (flat gap in the street, Sub Zero vid), did switch backside shifty ollies and for those around at the time it’s not overstating it to say his “Underachievers” section shifted skating’s point of view for some years afterward. So let him say his piece: having to stick up for himself, his friends and town, possibly sometimes all at once, living in the shadow of New York City and California, skating uphill to school in the rain both ways — there may be few better suited to a role as what may be the first post-young skateboarder, righteously rattling his cane at an industry obsessed with youth and not properly thinking out which end of the board they’re going to pop off next when filming their lines.

A certain world-weariness seems to have replaced the belly-fire that prompted vagrant beatings and sober instructions as to how one skated the Love Park ledges, and as an occasional grumbler on various topics beginning with “kids these days” it’s nice to see someone with a legitimate claim comfortably shift into the role of loudly complaining oldster. There is a goal and purpose to growing old and the luxury of righteously bitching is at the top of the list. You’d think this opens up a whole new realm of potential sponsorship deals to supplement Traffic — pro model arch supports or knee braces, stretching videos, Aleve, etc.

Ty Evans Captures The Delicate Majesty Of Skateboarding On A Log (In 3D)

July 14, 2011

Big Brother Magazine famously compared skateboarding first to shit, then to a number two, and finally to crap before women’s literature magnate Larry Flynt deemed the topic below his standards and unpublishable. Now the time is 2011 and videographer Ty Evans has recast the log in a new and dignified light, bathing it in expensive three dimensional effects and slow motion to unveil the inner glory of the act.

Ty Evans produced the Girl skateboards short feature “Unbeleafable” with the help and bankroll of pants maker Levis. The clip depicts honest and earnest friends just having fun, skating on some logs and playfully throwing leaves at one another and giggling. The ‘board brand uses the wild purity of the forest to showcase some of Girl’s most youthful riders in a lighthearted romp. “Come on!” amateur Raven Tershy seems to invite with a twinkling eye. “Let’s see what lies just around the next bend.”

Other videos such as “Mouse,” “The Storm” and “Chicagof” have tried and failed to capture the solitude and thrumming power potential to be discovered within yourself, when shredding a treebranch with your own bros. Ty Evans succeeds using a combination of technical effects, powerful filming hardware and pulsating French techno music, the result both breathtaking and inspiring and tearful all at once. Ty Evans’ artistic creation challenges the viewer to behold the beauty and grandeur of slow motion and true three dimensions like how they did it in “Avatar,” which special effects also made into the greatest film achievement of all time, and leaves you to ponder these things for another four minutes as the credits roll.

The combination of gently fluttering leaves, flipping boards and slow motion methods rank as a prime milestone in the halls of film, and the brazen originality and sly humor of the short film stand easily among past Crailtap camp productions.

“Unbeleafable” is unrated. It features many leaves, some of them dead, and a few slams.

Boil the Ocean Is Out Here Asking The Tough Questions About The Transworld Vid Dudes

July 9, 2011

When is a Transworld video not another Transworld video? Why is a raven like a writing desk? Who framed Radric Davis? Should censored Waka Flocka songs be allowed in skateboard videos? Or allowed whatsoever? If this blog website had snappy answers to any of the above it would be a more worthwhile endeavor for all, but like the increasingly malleable nature of the annual TWS video-offering itself, the only true answer may lie in an enigmatic vortex.

Does Mike Anderson embody the Transworld vid in 2011? Multi-platform media company Bonnier Corp may like to think so. Fashionably bearded and blessed by forefathers like the Gonz as well as this-gen figureheads such as Van Wastell, Mike Anderson is doing the right tricks and with panache. His switch 360 flip has meat on the bones and he can face down speed wobbles on hills and waterslides but what got me going more so than footage I’ve seen of this dude in the past is the almost disdainful nonchalance upon doing whatever trick. Thinking here ride-aways from the kickflip 50-50 stall and the frontside flip 50-50 on that humper-doodle. And maybe also the gap to switch backside 50-50, one of the better tricks in the whole video. To zero out the equation we can nod to the quiet gnarliness of the switch frontside 50-50 on the skinny bar, one of those I didn’t really notice the first couple times through.

Almost 30 videotapes/DVDs/mp4 files into the Transworld dynasty the makers tend to dig themselves into stylistic ruts but at this point they’ve got enough well-worn components to flex here and there. Witness the return of the intro montage for this one, with Toy bros trading shots at the same spot, some Leo Romero and a sorta puzzling-looking trick in a line by Josh Kalis. Judicious slow-mo applied to Dylan Rieder’s latest bench-clearing impossible that is as mind-bending as any of his other recent ones. Theotis Beasley and Nestor Judkins make their turns as rookie professionals and in the interest of a Beasley-esque focus on the positive it’s worth noting the thing of beauty that is the handrail kickflip backside tailslide in his part rather than moaning further regarding the uncalled-for censorship of an innocent Waka Flocka.

Was stoked to see Shane O’Neill’s ender-tribute to the Muska’s legendary kinker grind, many a summer Transworld vid ago, but to capture the hazed-out hands-in-the-air spirit of the Muska you really have to skip ahead to Wes Kremer’s fairly brilliant showing here, one of those examples of a dude who can put together a pretty complete skate video part without seeming to sweat it all that much. Shreds transition (pop-shove it noseslide), knows retro (kickflip tailgrab should have been in the section), gets gnarly (kink rail backside 50-50), can slow-float moves like the frontside shove-it over the bench, like how Kareem Campbell used to. By the time he wraps up the hydrant ollie line it’s consistent carnage until the end and if this early-90s get-live hip-hop closing part song thing becomes a trend, at least Wes Kremer is getting in on it while it’s still cresting.

Previously the late-model TWS vids have been compared to recent entries in the AC/DC catalog, with some comfort factor in knowing what you’re going to get, but this year I got to recalling that cliche about Chinese buffets and how you get stuffed only to be hungry again a few hours later — and how I’d be hard pressed to remember the last time “Hallelujiah” occupied the DVD tray, Tyler Bledsoe backside tailslides and all. Most new TWS vids at least initially seem to improve on the previous one but maybe in the era of daily webclips and internet-only parts the full-length production is bound to have a shorter shelf life especially if it’s a once-yearly affair? With the producers this time around seeming to make more of the fact that each summer’s TWS vid is filmed in “only one year” will they eventually shift the calendar to film for 18 months, or two years, to fully mobilize the hype machine for maximum sales powers? Would the Muska stand for his hardcore lyrics and/or lifestyle to be censored in a DVD? Didn’t say any of these questions would be answered, btw.

Above The Fruited Plain With Torey Pudwill, High On Freak Pills

July 4, 2011

Cue the kickflip lipslide to switch k-grind and out the door goes any notion that Torey Pudwill might put some kind of lid on the video game tricks in favor of putting his oodles of raw talent toward something like a concept-part, and that’s okay — Pudwill gets it in wearing mustard yellow sneakers and anything less than his usual all-the-way-turnt-up tech probably would be uncivilized. The line through those La Brea* ledges sparks the idea life again, until he goes supervillain with the backside noseblunt and starts kickflipping sidewalks and twirling over pic-a-nic tables, but when this dude applies himself to tricks like that bump-to-bar nosegrind and the backside smith grind through the blue kinker rail, if I was a cellar door searcher, I’d be glad Torey Pudwill’s not out there looking to eat my lunch the way it seems like he could really do on the energy-drink contest circuit if he had a good day.

When he did that looong backside noseblunt I sort of moaned and it came back louder after that launch-ramp b/s tailslide. Dario Rezk gets points for subtlety on an off-the-flat ender, even with pop being one of Pudwill’s stocks in trade. When it came out that Thrasher was going to be the exclusive home to this latest marquee web-part, and the ensuing hype cycle on the website in the last couple weeks, I got to thinking this was Plan B’s way of trying to slot Pudwill in for SOTY. It would be hard to argue with. No doubt these are precision moves, nollie flip backside tailslide bigspin flip out, but those arms work in his favor because if we’re putting a technician on the pedestal I’m going for the sweaty, hairy unhinged one versus the switch-flip-switch-b/s-tail-coloring inside the lines of Shane O’Neill, in some paint-by-numbers Janoski/flannel/backward snap-back ensemble. If Pudwill comes back with a part filmed in the second half of 2011 featuring a load of frontside tailslide and frontside smith grind tricks then it’ll be game over.

*Or wherever — you know, Danny Garcia localizes them


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