The burgeoning web 3.0 endeavor “Already Been Done” nets a gimme mention on our web-space today by posting up some 411 industry section-era Josh Kalis footage that has the Love Park ledges, DC Lynx and wind pants you might expect, but also spices things up some with a few lesser-used arrows from the Kalis quiver (switch frontside crooked grind, reverse Pupecki) and some of that urban camo with the dark red blotches. A cursory search of Wikipedia’s camoflague page has revealed little as to the technical name of this camo persuasion. If anybody (such as the camo professors of Quartersnacks maybe) should know the identity of the black/white/dark gray/dark red camouflage pattern please chime in below so I can avoid looking so silly next time some good footage pops up that somehow incorporates this pattern.
Posts Tagged ‘411’
In case you don’t understand, I’ma make it understood again
Right up front let me just tell you how I’m generally unreliable and a veteran procrastinator: I hollered at frozen in carbonite quite some time ago to see if he wanted to do kind of a point/counterpoint thing about 411’s star-crossed “On Video” series, after I issued some smart remark about it and he nobly rose to On’s defense. So he wrote some shit and sent it to me. In the ensuing months, love affairs were launched, puppies lost and reclaimed, missiles deployed and a black man became president. And eventually I decided I needed to get on it before the cow jumps over the fucking moon.
Oh, and in all that time I didn’t watch or download or stream a single piece of On Video footage, and I know there’s at least one floating around my hard-drive. I think it’s the Rodney Mullen one, which I did watch at one point, and downloaded years later in hopes that it was the Love Park issue and I could comb it for Kalis footage to include in this project. But, I didn’t even watch that. And, I never bought any.
Which is basically what I imagine the guestbook at the On Video wake would have read. “Never bought one.” “Watched part of it at my cousin’s house once.” “Got ‘Reel to Real’ instead.” “Too much talking.” Et cetera. On Video, beloved by some, ignored by others, bought by very few. It was definitely a much-welcome lifesaver those long Wednesday mornings when I worked a skate shop, but even then I don’t recall watching one more than once or twice, with the possible exception of the half-hour Danny Way love-feast. And didn’t ever buy one, even with my mighty 10%-above-cost discount.
I did purchase the Arcade tour video, but that’s a whole other ball of worms and just one of my several personal problems.
Which is not to say the forward-thinking On series, and their obnoxious magazine ads with the inexplicable giant red dots, served zero purpose aside from running down the Natas-Satan name imbroglio to half-wit sixth graders. Fueled by a great abundance of tour footage, in an age when each and every road trip was deemed worthy of its own 411 segment (or a section in the abysmal “Around the World” videos), On got people thinking about the history, personalities and places skateboarding has produced over the past few decades as a subject worthy of serious consideration for your independent documentaries or vanity press books or what have you, at roughly the same time the current incarnation of skateboarding was powdering its collective nose for star turns on ESPN, MTV, and any numbers of theaters near you.
Frozen in Carbonite lauds On Video, rightly, for parsing the process behind pivotal video parts, people, places in skateboarding, ideas that were picked and expanded upon by the Stacy Peraltas and Epicly Later’ds and various others. Interesting, sometimes intriguing, usually at least marginally entertaining. But when the chips have been counted and so on, to me the process will forever be second to the finished product, burger over bun, the four-point-five second clip rather than the 90 intense minutes it took to climb the fence, pass over the generator and camera bags, patch the cracks and set up the lights.
Hearing Marc Johnson emphasize the stress and drama that went into making “Fully Flared” doesn’t put the proverbial balls any closer to the wall when it comes to Alex Olson’s part, or make the see-saw slow motion any less distracting. Commentaries are fine, and I enjoyed hearing about Guy Mariano’s favorite hat and the Girl honchos’ ruminations on rap music in video parts, but after one or two times through I’m back to the Earth Wind & Fire, thank you. And trying to build a skate video around the documentary idea hasn’t proved especially successful, at least to me (and I’m thinking mainly of the at-times eyeball-rolling “Hot Chocolate” video here).
And you know what – there’s something to be said for the apocrypha of skateboarding, stories that belong to them what who was there or somehow passed down via skateboard shop bullshitting, post-video screening mullings or after you’ve been at the spot a couple hours and everybody’s spending more time shooting the shit than trying tricks anymore. As valuable as the Andy Roy Big Brother interview remains, as a document and, yes, a manifesto for living one’s life, there’s something vaguely sad about the idea of it being reduced to a handful of jpgs to be bandied about messageboards and LOL’ed over. It’s sort of disappointing to think that anybody with a cable modem can click through the highlights of “Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies,” a video that used to be next to impossible to see, much less own.
Insert here bitter old man comment re: earning it, building character, etc.
It’s certainly not like I hated On Video. And it’s not like I don’t love Epicly Later’d (though my shriveled internet grinch heart did break a bit when Pappalardo and Wenning didn’t get back together at the end of the most recent episode). Without On’s at times fumbly foundation-building, maybe O’Dell wouldn’t have been able to nail it as he seems to have done – disposable, free-of-charge slices of skateboard lore in easy-to-digest six-minute bites, to be viewed and forgotten as necessary, bought on disc by the library-builders. It remains to be seen how often I come back to the DVD of season one, which I didn’t pay for… or the Lakai box set, which I did. (Sans Blu-Ray players, too.) The grand fool-maker time will no doubt reveal which ends up being the better investment…
Like many a faceless internet blowhard, there is little I hate more than being wrong, and I would sooner plunge my face into a soggy pile of Frank Gerwer’s befouled trousers than admit it. Yet over the six months or so that I’ve yammered away in this space I’ve definitely been completely totally wrong about a few things, and my conscience won’t let me watch Trapasso’s part in the new TWS vid again until I’ve set things straight, although most of these are fairly obvious. Anyhow. Boil the Ocean regrets the following errors:
Adio: not actually out of business
I sort of jumped on board with the rumor-mongers on this one, mostly because it seemed so plausible to me. Like, why wouldn’t Adio go out of business? Yet as Duffs has taught us time and time again, it takes some fairly extraordinary fucking up to fall out of the skateboard shoe game. And although several of Adio’s higher-profile dudes jumped ship and they apparently closed a warehouse and fired a bunch of people, they do indeed keep on keepin’ on with the business of making ugly skate shoes for slow-witted Journeys customers. But, they still have a pretty solid team in place (Brezinski, Broussard, Montoya), and provided Kenny Anderson doesn’t fall under the spell of the Converse dollar they may well outlive Dekline.
As if to prove they’re not only still around, but have enough extra money to buy an HD camera, Adio put up this podcast a few weeks ago that features some pretty gnarly skating by Nick Dompierre and the rest.
411vm: Still existing in some form or another
More news that seemed a long time coming, except that as soon as I said something about it 411 changed their website into some portal to action sports-themed Friendster knockoff Skateboard.com, with this announcement, which was later removed. (And the 411 website is now back to its normal self, such as it is.) As Europeskate notes both these skateboard media powerhouses belong to the illustrious Wasserman Media Group so this may be more of a reshuffling than 411′s card being pulled, but for now, the future of those free DVDs in cardboard sleeves remains in question, so maybe I wasn’t actually wrong, yet.
Es shoe designs not all that bad
Like most other thinking people I made fun of Es shoes’ more out-there designs when they unveiled their fall 2008 goods, but I don’t think I really gave them enough credit for doggedly sticking with their tradition of teched-out shoes in a time when the fashion pendulum has swung so far toward the minimal. Also, having gone through several pairs of the Square One, I ought to say that it’s probably one of the best skate shoes made right now, and in Es’s storied history. Which isn’t to say that Es doesn’t make some ridiculous, silly-looking damn shoes. But the percentage of wearable shoes put out by Es is probably about equal to the average skate shoe company, except that instead of numerous Dunk/Era/Half-Cab/Stan Smith rehashes, Es makes neon spaceship boots. Which is of course their God-given right as an American company owned by a French freestyler.
Burton/Gravis not the devil, probably
I realize I’ve gone pretty hard at Burton and Alien for everything that’s transpired over there recently, and I don’t really take any of it back, but I do think the above shoe from the upcoming Gravis “IVSkate” venture is cool.
This week brought the long-anticipated but no less vaguely sad news that 411 Video Magazine’s life support was finally pulled by the core bros over at Wasserman Media Group. (Commentary by another recent Wasserman acquisition: “I’m still creatively in control of the site.” Live and learn…)
411 has existed on the fringes now for a good while, and it’s been like a decade since new issues were met with any kind of anticipation. So in a way it’s impressive they made it this far, but wonders never cease when it comes to beating dollars out of dead horses in the skateboard industry. Look at NSS. Shit, look at Duffs.
These days, though, it would probably come as a surprise to your average New Era’ed hardflipper that people used to pay for 411s, much less subscribe to get it in the mail. And among those who do recall 411′s glory days, you’re hard pressed to find anybody wax nostalgic about any issue past 30, with the exception of the Gino/Keenan/Pupecki “Roomies” in 38. I’ll go as high as 39 myself, but you know I stay having low standards.
The point is, 411′s demise has been written on the wall for some time now. A few of the telltale signs along the way:
Es Menikmati released
Fred Mortagne’s biopic/skate epic ushered in an age of blockbuster videos, washed down with a generous helping of slow motion, fancy graphics and generators. For better or worse the Es super team helped raise the bar as far as tricks, lengthy parts and production value, and in a matter of years poor 411 would find it more difficult to source footage of high-profile dudes to sprinkle between the up-and-comers and washed-ups in the Chaos sections.
411 decides to put dudes’ faces on the cover
The Skateboard Mag tried this one too, with the fairly impressive result of making Dave Carnie somehow feel like more of a pervert than he already is. The Stance approach didn’t work for TWS, and even in this age of rock star pro skaters, what self-respecting 14-year-old really wants to look into Muska’s stoned bedroom eyes every time he puts on the Cliche chaos? Note to all those still considering a portrait cover: use artwork.
Lance Mountain stops hosting
The little things, you know? I appreciate Mikey Taylor and his undying devotion to Roc-a-Fella as much as the next guy, but it just ain’t the same. Like when they tried remixing the theme song.
You know you’re running out of ideas when you start taking cues from ESPN and MTV. At this point it was pretty clear they were getting hard up for money. Speaking of, didn’t 411 also put out that video of Mike Vallely’s fights?
Podcasts and Field Logs and Wednesday Woes too. Free, quick-downloading video in tolerable quality has skateboarding on a 24-hour footage cycle now, and whatever scraps Company X might have thrown to a 411 in the past now go to the website, the Youtube channel or the “Special Edition” DVD*. Videographers like Josh Stewart will happily tell you at great length how difficult it is to sell even hotly anticipated DVD releases in this day and age, and although Weiss somehow keeps pumping out Digitals, 411 a couple years ago gave up trying to charge American money for their videos, and in the process turned each new edition into a branding vehicle for this company or that. They’ve made some effort at orienting their site around new clips, as well as something bizarre called 411VS that appears to be some kind of fantasy skateboarding league, but there’s a lot of footage out there now, and only so many minutes in the average skateboarder’s Internet day, in between checking the Slap board, cleansing the browser history of porn links and reloading the bong.
Today 411′s website offers you a look at a flyer for a Krux kickflip challenge. Meanwhile the Berrics has new footage of Sean Malto, Eric Koston, Mike Barker and Erik Ellington. You see where I’m going with this. So long 411.