Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Did The Sabotage Dudes Make The Illegalest Video Of The Year Already?

January 19, 2013

halford

For many downtrodden and disillusioned teens in the 1990s, the famous “skateboarding is not a crime” bumper sticker offered the kind of all-caps catharsis that can only be had by blaring your opinion from the rear of an auto. Those were idealistic times, but with the turn of the century came the dot-com bubble bursting and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that sparked a nervier, more fearful era. In southern California, this new anxiety manifested itself in Shorty’s 2001 cautionary tale “Guilty,” which laid bare the real-world consequences that come from challenging the land’s law. According to unconfirmed rumors, the central storyline was inspired by Rodney Mullen’s brutal takedown and jailing of Shiloh Greathouse, whose time behind bars caused him to become a born-again step-hopper.

A decade later there are signs and siguls that the narrative may change again. DGK’s late-2012 release “Parental Advisory” reveled in lawbreaking of all shades, perpetrated by juveniles and presented in high-definition video format. Weeks later we have the Philadelphia-created video “Sabotage 3″ that comes like a thrice-dubbed “Faces of Death” bookend to DGK’s “Saw,” with an illegality quotient that nears previous high-water marks such as the drill fight in the Plan B video, or Muska brazenly spray-painting his own name on a wall in “Fulfill the Dream.” As far as grit, “Sabotage” guys Brian Panebianco and Ryan Higgins have bags. Across 35 minutes, within the general timeframe of ideal video length, viewers are treated to bums taking shits, street brawls, public consumption, graffiti tagging high above street level, various hustles, police raids and a dude bearing the name of “One Finger.” As if disobeying municipal and state statutes was not enough, several skate-video taboos are broken, including poached pro moves, drum-n-bass music and the execution of the “ghetto bird.” There are a couple clips of Brian Wenning, skating Love Park.

These are some committed dudes, down to link up trick combos on the Philadelphia city hall ledges even after they’ve been cracked to pieces in the process of a tear-down. They blast over the Love Park steps and cans and run from the neon-jacketed cops the same way Tony Montgomery and Kevin Taylor and Matt Reason used to do, but they have figured out some new ways to navigate not only the big ugly planters but also the tiles, propping up two at a time and skating them like a hip. And they mostly operate in the classic East Coast mode. Jon Hadley runs a stringy weed-dealer frame, black tank tops and a tough switch backside heelflip. Brian Panebianco maintains a stash of aged DCs and puts down nollie 360s similar to PJ Ladd. Tore Bevivino is on the Steve Durante tip with switch frontside blunts and switch heelflips out of switch b/s tailslides, plus some long ledge tricks over those planters. This video puts Ishod Wair back onto some East Coast spots that I always thought represent his skating the best, like the pop-out lines he does on the fountain ledge, and footage recorder Mark Suciu does a pretzel trick not seen before down one of those black micro rails.

Love Park is skated more than any other locale in this vid and between the runs up and down the fountain steps and the number of clips featuring day-glo EXP decks makes this probably the closest to a 2012/13 “Photosynthesis” that the market has to offer. They sell the DVD here for $15.

1. Mark Suciu – “Cross Continental”

December 31, 2012

Mark Suciu seemed to lurk around every corner in 2012, roaming the map and riddling spots with very hard tricks before resurfacing every few weeks with yet another video clip, earning him favorable comparisons to Gucci Mane in his prime. In recent months Suciu has ripped downtown San Jose, Spain, the southern U.S., Philadelphia and most recently New York, finding a new way over the courthouse cliff en route to an Adidas paycheck. And this all came after setting off 2012 with a skateshop part that digs deep into a trove of well-worn spots to unearth some bar-lifting lines and certain yet-to-be-dones. Views can and will differ as to the tastefulness of frontside reverts out of backside noseblunts or frontside crooks, but Suciu proponents were handed piles of ammunition this year in favor of a rare talent that gets over without slavish retreads of coast-specific tricks on coast-specific spots, hands-off editing and (aside from a little wavy animation) no punchlines and no gimmicks when it comes to execution. Mark Suciu in the “Cross Continental” part shakes out a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks, including the little-seen switch frontside smith grind and an immaculate hardflip, and rolls below nighttime lights of skate capitals on both coasts as he composes a love letter to turn-of-the-century urban classics like “Photosynthesis” and “Ryde or Die Vol. 2” and possibly the first “EST.” It is rare that he passes up the chance to add a flip trick up a curb or a 180-out at the bottom of a bank, and he packs multiple variations on 360 flips and 360s into the same line, but it still doesn’t come off all egregious. I for sure watched this part more than any other one this year and maybe more than any other part in the last couple years, up there with Dylan Reider and Jake Donnelly.

In Which We Discuss The Potential For Stacking Some American Dollars Via Spot Profiteering

January 25, 2012

When Josh Kalis talks about a growing shortage of organic skating and tricks in current videos and magazines he’s mostly talking about how filming has come to be oriented around missions rather than documenting whatever progression is coming out of an existing scene or spot or crew, and he has a point — the idea that the possibly most-recognized/followed spot is a California warehouse done up in shades of gray probably says something about the state of the union/kids these days/etc. But the discussion around Mark Suciu’s States-spanning video part throws out some broader questions about what constitutes real or genuine skating, amid explosive charges of what one friend termed “pseudo-east coasting.”

Oh? It’s hard to recall eastern-borns skating Southern Californian schoolyards being derided as west coast carpetbagging but let’s go with it here. Authenticity counts, or it used to. In the days of yore, like the 80s, “poseurs” served as shorthand for wannabe types looking to co-opt the image of skateboarding without paying the various tolls, such as being branded a loser/misfit/outcast in zones outside of California, as well as physical injuries and legal reprisals in all locations generally, or possibly owning Limpies. Shoulder chips were earned by those who slaved over hot asphalt in pursuit of a flip trick destined to go unloved by all but a handful of local peers. Or even more dire, skating a vert ramp.

The knock against Suciu (ten years ago you could maybe slot in another Habitat employee, Danny Garcia, in a similar fashion) I think is that he’s looking to mint an image by taking some California skatepark show to hallowed East Coast spots and thereby earn valuable blog-points that are redeemable* for blog-cred on widely observed messageboards, a surefire plan to reap riches and piles of endorsement goods. This type of NIMBY brainwave has forced young’ns in days past to pay respects to their forebears and earn respect in old-fashioned ways, in some cases by stepping up to the same shit they skated. An argument could be made that kids build more character skating Love Park nowadays in its more-illegal state versus the ’99-’00 heyday. But what would be an acceptable penance for growing up in California, indulging in some “Forecast” ledge combos and not bombing enough hills? At what point would it be cool for such a bro to take his shot at the Fred Gall ledge-to-handrail? Should Jake Johnson have taken heat for tilting at the Astor Cube? Were hard feelings harbored after Bob Puleo tried his hand over in London?

There’s legitimate gripes to be made when up-and-comers seek to launch their personal brands upon your El Toros and your Hubba Hideouts and your Macba 4s, especially if they’re foolishly snarling traffic for the builders of Burnside or the flag-planters at Embarcadero. Maybe the Love Park holdouts still feel this way when they look at the Mark Suciu part. I’ll grant that part of it is down to the dude involved — much less slack would be granted to, say, Ryan Sheckler if he concocted some video part that stitched together beloved Eastern seaboard plazas and a bunch of spots in New Jersey and whatnot. But I don’t get the impression that Mark Suciu is bereft of street cred, and if this is a calculated get-rich quick scheme on his part I think he’d do better to log hours on Google Earth looking for teeny stair sets to jump up, or figuring out where Elijah Berle shops for his outfits, or recording some private skatepark antics.

*but non-transferrable

Mark Suciu Pens “Photosythesis” Fan Fiction, Has Hudson News On Smash

January 17, 2012

What with the standalone physical-release full-length video production gradually scaling back to the more occasional “event” that they were up til the late 1990s, we’ve got some of these one-off web parts taking on a bigger profile and developing their own little hype cycles — the Dylan Rieder “Laterds” coinciding with his landmark statement of purpose for Gravis, Nyjah Huston’s biographical/career turning point as promotional peg for his Element clip last fall, Thrasher handing its website over to Plan B and Torrey Pudwill over the summer in the run-up to his midyear footage dump, and so on. Drama and promotion seem to be part of the effort to rise above the Youtue/Hellaclips/message-board footage din, which makes it notable in a different kind of a way when Mark Suciu and his Atlas store buddies show up and run the WWW table for a three-day weekend with very little fanfare or notice ahead of time.

It’s hard to overstate how good this part is but we’ll try here. Gone is the five-panel hat, but otherwise Mark Suciu and his collaborator Miguel Valle strip away the floppy hair, overwrought ledge combos and assorted other little kidisms from the already-good “Origin” section and double down on stuff like the rail ollie to backside lipslide on the block, and all those flip tricks atop the narrow curb. These dudes seem to work like a good musician/producer combo and are smart about how they put hard tricks in the frame here, like the backside noseblunt up against the wall or the backside tailslide pop-out at Pulaski Park in Washington DC which seems like the type of trick that’s been crying out to be done by somebody. No egregious slow-mo, or even any slow-mo. And some of these tricks and runs are way out of hand.

But past all that you get the feeling that this dude almost is working with a kind of plan. Jake Johnson talked a while back about messages. Not knowing a lot about what he was going for with this section, or Mark Suciu in general except that he comes out of the Bay Area and he’s a fan of vintage Pappalardo and he heeds advice from Brennan Conroy as to footage gathering, it lets you project or theorize a little bit as you oooohh/aaaahh through this footage for the eleventh time. A blurb in Transworld not long ago put him in Philadelphia on some for-the-fuck-of-it road trip that apparently netted the switch feeble grind and probably a lot of the other local stuff as well as the Occupy clip. Looking at the way he’s skating now and the places him and his friends choose to hit, you can put together some picture of a kid who’s getting a chance to put his own spin on a “Photosynthesis”/”Ryde or Die Vol. 1″/”Element World Tour”/”EST” — carving his initials into spots next to Anthony* Pappalardo, Josh Kalis, Fred Gall, Ricky Oyola, Tim O’Connor, Kevin Taylor, John Igei, etc.

People are out there talking about this part in the same fashion as PJ Ladd’s debut, and there’s one similarity as far as how the heaviness of the tricks and lines here** are balanced out by a general low-key approach. No costumes, the whole time you’re basically watching a dude in a t-shirt flipping his board down the street, neither him nor the dude with the camera tripping too much on the angle of the sun in the picture or a little blurry footage or a wayward backpack. Also the fakie b/s nosegrind shove-it in that last line gave this mid-90s torch-bearer goosebumps.

*Possibly my favorite Pappalardo photo of all-time, so it was awesome to see Mark Suciu flip the script at the same spot
**Did he seriously do all those tricks in SF on the same night..

Ten More From 2011

January 6, 2012

In no particular order. BTW, Deluxe posted up a link to Jake Donnelly’s missing “Since Day One” part that is salivated over in the posting below, so watch that too if you haven’t seen.

Chewy Cannon – “Tres Trill”
Switch wallie backside 180. RZA = PALACE TM

Torey Pudwill – “Big Bang”
Going forward there will always be a camp that solemnly believes Torey Pudwill was robbed for SOTY 2011 and they will always have a reasonable argument to make. Some of these tricks even six months later seem so obnoxiously difficult, like it’s not enough to jump a rail and lipslide a pic-a-nic table, then you gotta kickflip out too. But it’s hard not to cheer for this dude, his spring and zest for colorful shoes and big ledges.

Gou Miyagi – “Subspecies”
Don’t know much about this dude aside from the Slap interview a while back but have come to think of him as one of the precious few authentic weirdos that hopefully will always be able to find some kind of outlet in a skateboard, whether it’s gripped with felt squares or whatever.

Lucas Puig – Transworld Profile
Think I liked Lucas Puig more when he was a kid who seemed like he had the potential to do anything, versus the grown-up beast man who can and does do everything. I dig the idea of a French counterweight to the US-bred Kostons and Chris Coles and so on though, and Puig makes wise trick choices especially for one of the main proponents of the “Beware of the Flare” school of ledge combos. Also contains Lem Villemin’s challenge to Torrey Pudwill for backside tailslide of the year.

Tom Asta – Mystery pro part
The song got to me after a while, but the Love Park gap at night still is one of the more dramatic/picturesque settings for your power moves, reiterated in the new Mark Suciu ad.

Mike Anderson “Not Another TWS Video”
They are some fast feet

Gilbert Crockett – “Life Splicing No. 005″
Lifting his cat-pounce a few levels out there — was surprised the clip of the bench leap and the three-times manual weren’t held for some more prestigious release, but one of the upsides to the more-disposable nature of the web clip is a sort of throwback to the days when you could catch something inspiring between “Chaos” and the first “Wheels of Fortune.”

Travis Erickson – Santa Cruz part
Still one of the funnest to watch. Like to imagine he’s doing this stuff on his way home from work, keys hanging off the belt and backpack on.

Justin Brock – “Since Day One.”
When I think back on this section I think about the tricks off the bump and onto the shorty ledge, like the noseblunt, the Snowman-Eazy E mash-up and that long run through the park at the beginning. Justin Brock might not be your first choice as a thinking man’s skateboarder but I think he’s got more depth than he gets credit for.

Nick Boserio – “Life Splicing No. 004″
One of the better-edited parts made this year. Nosegrind through the kink was bananas

Skateboard Cinematographers Ready Casting Call For Seagull’s Replacement In Artsy-Fartsy Media Up/Downgrade

October 25, 2011

Ever since Henry Sanchez rendered street progression largely impossible by doing every trick in the mid-1990s, skating has been forced to put apply a new spin on old ideas, sometimes with a kickflip out. The advent of cheaply consumable home electronics ten years ago initiated the extension of this idea into the living room editing bay, where a new generation now has revitalized and celebrated the shitty quality that one can only achieve by filming on a clunky shoulder-ready VHS camcorder and the dual-VCR master tape compiling process. Two-liters of Shasta optional, but if Neon Indian and the chillwavers can mine cassette-tape hiss for bloggable revenues, why can’t VHS be the new super-8?

With the requisite ironic fist bump offered to Sam Salganik’s “Naughty” I really remember this idea hitting with the landmark “hello” clip from Palace that they’ve since evolved and hopefully are wringing out over some type of full-length, but in the meantime Atlanta bros Matt Swinsky and Matt Creasy have fetishized the static lines and tracking indicator (even if the 8-bit graphics are a little higher fi) to ground their generally awesome VHS Tape movie. Ryan Cooper’s heroin chic is a major highlight with ripping parts from Dan Plunkett and Chris Burns but the found/archival footage they weave in tinges the whole vid with a feeling of decay in several of the technological and cultural meanings you might imagine. Sort of like “Gummo” on a dying TV but with more Swooshes and with that one black/white checkerboard ledge spot as a key locale.

They maybe overdo the “tracking” thing by the end but the skating and wise soundtrack navigation keeps the concepts from getting too stale and it seems like one of the better videos to come out this year, for sure. Also wondering if the aesthetic will get plopped into more otherwise straight-ahead projects like last week’s barge through the Philly edition of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Keep the faith bros but I think the Philadelphia Stock Exchange sits a few blocks down Market St and now goes by the zesty acronym PHLX.

Rose-Coloured Glasses, Made In Philadelphia

August 1, 2011

Recently while aboard a luxury locomotive I gazed out the window to take in the urban decay and peacefully zoned out on the loading docks and warehouses, snapping to after realizing that it had been several minutes and probably it looked retarded to whatever secular co-passengers might’ve been paying attention. One of those increasingly seldom times when a person can still feel as though these pursuits might set them apart in some fundamental way from the rest of the whoevers, and coming on the heels of the pretty emotionally heavy Oyola “Later’ds,” casts Ricky/Bobby/Traffic and the rest in a whole different light.

I ask you, who but a truly cockeyed optimist looks for and sees potential for good times in a sea of crumbling concrete foundations and pissy public parks and disused traffic barriers? What sort of a person launches a hardgoods affair, in 2011, out of the east coast without Marc Ecko rhino pants money and with a full-time truck driving job? What sort of a person would professionally endorse this company? What sort of person devotes the last decade-plus to filming this stuff for unprofitable video enterprises? Does spot-seeking and those who live the attached lifestyle require a person to be naturally outfitted with rose-colored goggles, or are they earned like a samurai’s blade or a unicorn’s wish-granting powers?

Elsewhere on the east coast, Du Flocka Rant gives the children a reason to believe. (via quartersnacks)

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.

The Mind of Jamie Thomas

March 13, 2011

Black Box impresario and fervent Iron Maiden fan Jamie Thomas has been alternately worshiped and decried in his couple decades of skateboard industry involvement/shaping, noted as an extreme games champion, extreme motivator, follower of Jesus, and budding maestro of consumer and business products and services by Big Four auditor Ernst & Young, who chose five years ago to enshrine JT for perpetuity in their hall of fame which can be visited during normal business hours. Got to thinking the other day, watching the Tom Asta debut pro video and musing on Jamie Thomas’ musings on Josh Kalis’ early years of sponsorship, about the way his brain works.

In the Kalis “Epicly Latered” the direct line Jamie Thomas draws between the raw vein tapped by both Lennie Kirk and Alex “Trainwreck” Gall for instance is one that my own slow-witted thought process hadn’t mapped out, but is fairly on point and could be extended maybe in both directions, back to the street-brawling style of previously noted Thomas favorite Sean Sheffey and then also Zeroites like Eric Ellington or the early years of Jim Greco, with the way he used to ollie way down onto the rail for tricks. In the past I’ve sometimes thought that Lennie Kirk shares some trick selection and freedom-of-arm movements with new Fallen signee Jackson Curtin but that prompted an argument I think — whatever the case, the period-jumping view into Alex Gall’s career via a look at Lennie Kirk’s quick burn in the context of a Kalis retrospective brought my browser to this reconsideration of Trainwreck’s tenure on Zero a decade back, of which I was a pretty major fan, touched off by his sudden Zero ad takeover and this 411 section:

All the easy jokes aside re: Alex Gall’s post-career body mass fluctuations, what’s worth celebrating is his visceral approach to landing tricks and occasionally skewed selection of moves (switch Japan air down stairs, lots of fakie ollies onto rails), highlighted here by the way Jamie Thomas would put together the old Zero videos — super quick cuts to tricks just before the dude snaps the ollie, translating to a lot of short parts, 80s guitar music, jeans, big jumps, etc. It didn’t seem real outlandish back then but making videos this way seems so far removed from the current practice of ramping the slow mo when a bro gets onto a trick, letting him slide and then ramping it up again for the landing, to the point where it’s hard to get any fix on what it would’ve looked like in real life.

In that respect it’s too bad Jamie Thomas doesn’t exert total control of the dual VCRs anymore, but as E&Y long ago recognized he has this expanding business empire to look after. The announcement in January that Chris Cole was being brought in as an equity partner in Zero seemed a sort of ingenious response to the DC pickup* and possibly the final step toward creating what could be a totally vertically integrated skateboard company — nearly all bases covered across the hardgoods/softgoods spectrum (including the all-powerful revenue generator of shoes, and a bargain-priced deck lineup), production at <a href = http://business.transworld.net/5059/uncategorized/offshore-manufacturing-alternative-black-box-has-found-a-way-to-lower-costs-without-going/>the Cinco Maderas plant in Mexico</a>, distribution, online store and <a href = http://www.crossroads-show.com/>trade show</a>, with rumors also on the hoof that Jamie Thomas has secured a venture capital investment from Bigfoot to acquire large swaths of Great Lakes-region forests, as well as a stableful of aging horses. Now with its marquee pros fully vested in the company’s expansion and a warehouse staffing/housing potential amateur talent, the circle nearly is complete.

As for Asta, currently enjoying a sort of “roadblock” campaign on the Black Box site linked to his pro debut (with boards immediately available in the online shop) — I support this dude’s judicious mix of do-it-all tech with more straightforward tricks like the half-cab over the sphere or the big frontside feeble grind, and you can tell he’s really going for it on some of these clips, like the big boost put onto that one backside flip. One of the best things about “This Time Tomorrow” was seeing Asta and a slew of other dudes reviving some of the classic Love Park/downtown Philadelphia street spots, and the ender-ender here is a nice bookend to Asta-backer Cole’s contribution to the fountain gap back in that TWS vid.

*Speaking of, I have a hard time believing that somebody at the company that cooked up the mega-ramp and the EuroSuperTour couldn’t construct better press-relations campaign for the Cole signing other than “good opportunity” — you almost feel bad for the dude after reading the fifth or sixth interview where they repeatedly hint at some giant novelty check signed by the brothers Way

Joe Krolick Chases Away This Blog-Site’s Case Of The Mondays

January 24, 2011

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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers