ABD by Bob Burnquist BTW
In the past BTO has been accused by certain haters and pharisees of favoring lefties, so in a way it’s something that I’m even giving the new goof-heavy TWS vid the time of day. But just as summer wouldn’t be summer without a slick Bonnier Corp. production, summer on the internet wouldn’t be quite as sweet without an undercooked examination said DVD, and hey, it’s another year of free Transworld I guess. I got birdcages to line out here, people.
The danger with evolving into an institution, at least as far as the wonderful world of skateboard videos goes, is the risk of devolving into formula, and TWS definitely has one, with variances depending on who’s behind the lens in any given year. So it’s worth noting what “RFF” does in terms of coloring outside the lines laid down by Evans*, Hunt, et al–mostly a slim 35-minute runtime that again dispenses with the voiceovers (best move TWS vids have made in the last six years, besides filming Richard Angelides) and most of the bum footage. This time around the Holland/Ray duo leave the dusty 70’s roadhouse rock in favor of a color-splashed perpetual motion machine similar to the one that powered Nike’s “Debacle” vid, but with a little more of a retro 80’s feel. One personal highlight was the intro’s opening synth line, which had me thinking for a hot second that “RFF” would dare to be stupid, though these hopes were soon dashed like so many Weird Al Grammy dreams.
The skating I was more mixed on. Kellen James is definitely sipping on that I-can-fuck-with-Koston juice, and who knows, maybe he can these days. There’s credit to be given to dudes who see the classical appeal in switch k-grinding handrails and his nollie bigspin backside tailslide is mean; also liked how he got all Kyle Leeper on those pavilion blocks and the round-the-way switch noseblunt. Nice part with the perfect first-section song, and while there’s only so many frontside shoves out of backside lipslides that the world needs, the world is Kellen James’ oyster right now as far as skateboard tricks go, which seems like a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, I forgot to mention before how I was a fan of Joey Brezinski’s 180 switch manual-body varial line.
Fun historical analogues in the montage, not limited to Slash’s Bartman tee–Dan Peterka comes out of retirement for a mondo kink boardslide and Theotis Beasley touches down on a backside double heelflip, and while I’m sure somebody somewhere has done one since the heady days of “Big Pants Small Wheels,” I’ll be durned if I’ve seen one personally. At a certain point though I start thinking that this is an album that would’ve made a better EP, and that point is Corey Duffel, who to me always looks like he’s posing for an Alternative Press pull-out poster; his brand of punk rawk has a kind of calculatedness that’s summed up really well in the credits-footage bluntslide, where he knocks some loosened knobs off a ledge and scatters them in front of the camera, just so. We’ll note for the record the progressive aspects of this section (sports jerseys, hugging Cameron Boutte), give props to the backside tailslide, note that adding nosegrabs generally does not make a trick compelling, and move along.
Recently unretired Matt Beach is quite different, in a few different ways. I don’t know what his ass is shaped like for instance, and I feel a bit bad that this part didn’t much move me… even in his Firm heyday I wasn’t a terribly big fan of the Beach, but I am glad he’s back, because it’s another notch in the altruistic column for Nike Inc. and I think skateboarding right now needs more people with his type of mindset in general. Good tricks were the switch tailslide switch kickflip, the ice powerslide and that frontside blunt pop to fakie, and it’s cool that this dude can come out of the wilderness and bust Jimmy Carlin ledge tricks if he wants to. Nice but lengthy song too, although the last trick is worth the wait and one for the books, whatever those are and wherever they’re kept.
*Slow-mo headstand kid was a definite shout-out
Tags: Biz Markie, Bobby Worrest, Bonnier Corp., Corey Duffel, Goofy, goofy footed skateboarders, Kellen James, matt beach, montages, pharisees, right foot forward, Ryan Gallant, Transworld, Walt Disney, Weird Al Yankovic