Let’s Stay Friends

Hold on to your genre

Once upon a time there was a band called Ween, two brothers in blurred vision and fractured humor who made cheaply recorded records full of bizarre and beautiful ditties dedicated to squelching weasels, juicy trees, Mexican restaurant menus and persons called “Jilm.” Born of hotboxed bedrooms in that fabled decade of the 1980s, the Ween bros for years beckoned listeners to follow as they stumbled sidelong into new nooks and crannies of their aural rabbit-hole, until at a certain point they decided to try their hand at actual songs – cleaning up the rattling fuzz, taking the delirious helium out of their voices and scaling back on the copious chemical consumption that fueled the fever dreams of their early days. Few begrudged the evolution and broader success followed, but that beloved loopy spark was diminished.

Try as I might to shrug it off I’m having a hard time not feeling similarly wistful re: Blueprint’s annexation of U.S. amateurs in recent years, most recently highlighted in this “Make Friends With Marty (Murawski)” clip teasing the hotly anticipated “Make Friends With the Colour Blue” vid. There’s nothing much wrong with the skating of Murawski or his Bostonian brother-in-boards Kevin Coakley, who preceded his entry to Blueprint’s ranks; aesthetically these two guys are fine but you kinda wonder to what purpose they’re seeking out these US dudes, overlooked by domestic operators either fairly or not.

It is tough to hold it against Blueprint, particularly in tenuous economic times, for aspiring to be more than “just” a British concern. They’ve earned a seat among the top-tier outfits of the world by virtue of output, progression, very nice graphic design and general staying power over the years, etc. But I recall putting on “Waiting for the World” and cocking an appreciative eyebrow at the meticulously constructed intro, like a TV-shaped portal into an empire of overcast skies, decrepit ledges and red phone booths made for the the “unique vision” of the thing, in the earnest parlance of a Tim Gunn. The rather ripping Brady/Jensen footage in the “Make Friends” clip is a good/current example, and their approach got these dudes into the biggest vid of the past five years, so they’re doing something right.

This is all sounding kind of “you know, when I was a kid…” and whatnot, which is true, but Blueprint’s got global heft to its name and the hope is it’s put to good use, as opposed to loading up the new BP holo-vid in ten year’s time and seeing a load of the same Arizona ditches and San Diego handrails that recently appeared in the 20th-anniversary SK8Mafia video for instance. Keeping it gutter, and so on. Probably these reservations will fall to the side when “MFWTCB” arrives, and I’ll buy it regardless, but in the meantime I’ll wonder why you’d fish overseas when there are bass like this to be boated in your own backyard.

Addendum: Do you think Brady frontside flips into that thing for the video?

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18 Responses to “Let’s Stay Friends”

  1. bobo Says:

    It does seem that Blueprint are trying very hard to ‘break America’, possibly as a result of the fact that they’re now backed by US money. Maybe a stipulation of the post-Faze 7 deal was that they had to reach or maintain a certain level of brand awareness or popularity in the US; it does seem that Murawski was fast tracked to pro status ahead of arguably more deserving, longer serving members of the team. The US is notoriously hard for foreign companies and foreign skaters to crack though (their have been numerous cases of anglicising names to try and endear riders to Americans, Wade Des Ormeaux for one), so if stuff like Murawski going pro ahead of others or Berrics PR weeks are what’s going to keep Blueprint alive then I’m all for it.

  2. smorales Says:

    put Nugget on!

  3. spod Says:

    FUCKING WEIRD, I was just listening to a new Week track they just released for this cancer cause and was lamenting the very same thing. All I want is that magic back, but it’s just not there. Still good songs, but my mind is no longer blowing.

  4. Jonathan Says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you and say that I love this guys trick selection and style. I am patiently awaiting this video.

  5. ray Says:

    i was hoping for a link to that ween-soundtracked section from that old SMA video. ah well…

  6. Paul Says:

    Best Brady section since L&F, three thumbs up

  7. Ralph Says:

    Lucien rides for Palace!

    What happened to Steph Morgan??

  8. Lionz Says:

    I like Murawski’s ledge work a lot

  9. rudy Says:

    I say “yay” for Marty and Blueprint.

  10. pulv Says:

    I say “yawn”

  11. well Says:

    i guess it’s blueprints international initiative to pick up US riders. it is strange but too many people agree on how good some of those skaters they picked up so let’s just wait and see.

  12. Tony Says:

    Kinda expected that lucien clip to end with the cloverfield monster tearing down one of the backgroud buildings.

  13. English man Says:

    From what i understand the purpose of Marty’s web clip was to use all the AZ ditch clips and stuff that would not fit in well with the aesthetic of a traditional Blueprint video release. Really looking forward to seeing the video, can not wait to see what Coakley has footage wise. Not seen much from him previously apart from that blog clip they had of him where he nollie flipped into that bank at the P.J spot in Boston.

  14. awissman Says:

    the whoop de whoop nosegrind that Marty does in that clip alone deserves his name on the bottom of a wheelie board. Shit was hotter than a red headed tit fuck.

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