Posts Tagged ‘flannel’

Night Fever

December 21, 2009


We know how to do it

Despite the continental-sized chip on its shoulder, one of the things that made the 2004 Lordz wheels video “They Don’t Give A Fuck About Us” great was the exotic nature of these amazing spots the dudes were skating… wide-open and untouched plazas, old timey-looking buildings in the background, enough grime caked into the cracks on the sidewalks to make it interesting, cops who didn’t seem ready to draw down on four-wheeled miscreants, et cetera. The new “Night Prowler” video out of Japan has a similar thing going on but in a way that’s a lot more claustrophobic, like these walls and buildings are pressing in on the camera’s field of vision or something.

Flannel shirts, Vans and ski caps have fully taken over in Japan and Hiroki Muraoka is pretty exemplary of what’s going on for the next half hour: tall 50-50s, fast ollies, speedy lines and urban transition, all that. The mini-backside tailslide he does is great. Traffic’s Rich Adler makes an extended guest appearance, and there’s tricks from Soy Panday, Emanuel Guzman as well as the never-seen-enough Mike Manzoori of all people. Akira Imamura does a zany backside flip wallride thing and Deshi performs some Natas spin moves amid some sketchy 50-50s.

It might have something to do with the type of skating that’s going on, with a lot less gap-sailing and more of jamming the boards up, onto and over various obstacles and things that creates almost a constant clattering of urethane on stone, cement, steel and whatnot. I don’t know if there’s some kind of superior Japanese technology at work here but beyond the collage of streetlights, wallrides and transfer grinds what I took away from this vid was the sound of wheels rattling and skidding from surface to surface. It sounds interesting here, different from other videos it seems like, and you could picture ripping this to an mp3 and laying on your newly acquired rug, eyes half-closed with headphones on, listening to the sounds until yet another interloper cracks you across the jaw.

The Grimness and Grace of Heath Kirchart

February 16, 2009


Superbeast

Somehow, though a combination of reticence, grouchiness and no small amount of punishing gnarlitude, former crack cocaine purchaser and sometime bikini contest judge Heath Kirchart has over the years perfected the quality/quantity cocktail of skateboarding career moves that most never get right and others probably shouldn’t even bother with, to the degree that few dudes’ video parts are as hotly anticipated as the greasy-haired fellow who these days motors across the country decked out in somebody else’s military medals. It’s a beautiful thing, that such a willfully antisocial weirdo can surface once every few years, command our full attention, and yes, cement his place in the history books by earning the title of TWS’s Best All-Around Skater.

In terms of what he films Heath Kirchart generally isn’t reaching for the high-hanging tech/gnar fruits plucked by the likes of Chris Cole and Eric Koston, and he’s not chasing the biggest/highest/farthest challenges for bonus points either really. And it’s not as though he pulls from a bottomless bag of tricks either (shoutout to the bluntslide and backside flip). But there’s a kind of contemptuous recklessness in the way he skates, heaving himself onto a handrail or slowly twirling ten feet out of some skatepark bowl. And intensity. Oodles and oodles of piping hot intensity.

This sort of contemptuous nonchalance fuels Heath Kirchart’s thundering bloodbath of a bookend to “Mind Field” on a suitably dour Morrissey note as we lap up the usual tropes (backside noseblunt, switch kickflip, frontside noseslide, frontside tailslide) and some newer ones (switch heelflip, backside lipslide bigspin, kickflip nosegrind, the JT Aultz/ollie over to noseblunt slide); in the meantime we’re treated to a hyperventilating owl and an effort to loosen up the collar of the shoelace belt look for summer ’09. It’s not a party exactly – it seems like it never really is with this dude, even when him and Jeremy Klein were terrorizing shrubberies over a decade ago – but when he gets his inner whipsaw or whatever revved up there aren’t many who shove-it out over gaps or bomb frontside boardslides down hubbas or eat shit better than Heath Kirchart really. And it was nice to see the TSM covers, years old though they may be.


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