Archive for August, 2017

Summer of Good Vibes

August 21, 2017

The heady daytimes of midsummer were made for growing green things, construction projects and loving refurbishments, laying supplies and fortifications for the long winter nights ahead. What with its rolling papers and noon wakeups, skateboarding leans toward the lazily fiddling, devil-may-care grasshopper in the tale of old, or perhaps a chaotic Fraggle. But the bold ant, in its levelheaded industriousness and generous way, can provide an alternate insect avatar, and skating must never overlook the rebuildatory tendencies of the lowly Doozer. Half-submerged in a midsummer night’s dream of positive vibes, Bowl The Ocean site examines three visions of a world that is not yet the future, but could be.

Clint and Reef, Ollie Men: Since time’s beginning, skateboarders of all stripes have celebrated that singular and uniting thrill, the big jump. Even so, one of the biggest ollies of recent years has sown division. After dueling ollies down the Wilshire 15 and over the yellow poles (implanted for pure gnarlieness enhancement) appeared last year on the Instagram pages of Birdhouse bad boy Clint Walker and FA-affiliated ATLien Reef Johnson, Jenkem magazine probed the backstory — whereas Clint Walker had tamed the massive gap and sat on the photo in hopes of bagging Thrasher’s cover, comer-upper Shareef Grady unknowingly did the same ollie and, over Clint Walker’s career-minded protestations, they both wound up pushing their tricks to the socializing internet masses to get what shine they could. The scenario was a debacle made possible by a unique fender-bender involving old and new media, and though few hard feelings were aired publicly, nobody seemed satisfied with the outcome, which also had the effect of clouding a legitimately heavy trick.

This year, Jason Hernandez is videotaping Clint Walker and the rest of Tony Hawk’s brood for what’s being billed as ‘The End’ for a new generation. Clint Walker, who has nollie heelflipped atop bone-crushing canyons and conquered fear itself, will have an assuredly crazy part. But what about that one ollie, now loaded with so much baggage? An old caveman saying from the planet’s spryer years holds that ‘the crazy thing about baggage is that it’s lighter when a friend helps carry the load,’ and the statement never was truer than when applied to the Birdhouse video in progress. Imagine a break in the middle of Clint Walker’s section where he rolls up to the Wilshire 15 and Poles, then it cuts to him jumping it, but the camera keeps rolling and then Yung Reef comes right behind him and jumps it too, riding out into a torrent of bro hugs and high fives. The vibes would runneth over.

Lakai Collabo Matchup: Even upon opening a new chapter with a winning full-length built around mostly new faces, storied shoe group Lakai faces turbulence, over the past month reportedly having to send back and reprint all physical DVD copies on some music rights shit and Fort Miley burler Jon Sciano leaving, apparently to skate for Vans. Amid Lakai’s various high-profile team defections over the last few years, Blackpooler Danny Brady has held tight, getting a shoe design recently for his efforts.

Lakai’s collaborative shoe projects have run an extremely varied gamut of partners, from culture warrior Lena Dunham to certain Wild Things to further investments in pastel paneling via several sneakers colored by Illegal Civilization person Nico Hiraga. But the Danny Brady link provides a lane for Mike Carroll and Rick Howard to potentially something together with Palace, which has made deluxely curated bathrobes and swishy shirts with any number of mega sports gear manufacturers such as Adidas and Umbro and Reebok. Palace’s teaming with Bronze helped elevate the New York bolt factory to a sought-after street fashion sensation. A similar project could further invigorate Lakai and keep Danny Brady shod on his current productive path.

Brian Wenning For Hire: For those fumbling toward some nightlight amid dark hours of the soul this summer, Brian Wenning’s recent podcast unburdenings have left DNA Distribution devotees of a certain vintage aglow. By all accounts, Brian Wenning reached the bottom of his own self-fulfilling prophecy and a humble halfway-house rebuild seemingly has done wonders for his self-regard, career reassessment and, importantly, his switch backside nosegrinds. Slimmed down and again in DCs, Brian Wenning is starting to look like he never went anywhere, venturing back onto the road and appearing to deeply enjoy himself.

His could be a feel-good summertime story, especially as Habitat prepares to reissue one of his OG graphics in what looks like a tribute to clamoring back onto life’s board. But Al Davis, another former Habitater asked and answered what must be the ultimate question in the matter: ‘PUT HIM BACK ON!!!!’

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Was Nyjah’s Rave the Most 1990s Thing So Far This Summer?

August 5, 2017

Who killed not only Tupac, but Biggie, Big L and nearly shot Harlem crooner Keith Sweat over a girl? What did Tupac tell Nas after dissing him on camera in Bryant Park, what made Beanie Siegel blast a cop in Philadelphia, who did Madonna secretly set up to the feds, and what did Big Punisher look like when he was skinny? It’s all revealed in an engrossing Twitter ramble archived here detailing the most celebrated rap goons of the 1990s, who they beefed with, who they bankrolled and their deepest desires. This series of anonymous Twitter tweets rapidly has become required reading not just for rap music CD owners ‘of a certain age,’ but also many starry-eyed wonderers and would-be corporate climbers unafraid of plush jumpsuits and going upside a rival’s head with a bottle of champagne in the club. It was a decade of power and song, when Bill Clinton ruled from sea to sea, riches poured from freshly manufactured Internet computers, and bus-sized crocodiles wallowed in their own filth before stalking platinum-selling country music artists across the Great American West.

Truly, the 1990s is in again full swing. Last week Aesthetics and Elwood impresario Sal Barbier delivered a lengthy dissertation on shoe designerism and dreams of speed metal guitar wizardry amid Plan B’s mystical formation and Sole Tech’s triple cell division. DC affiliates John Shanahan and Josh Kalis have been hyping with Stevie Williams a Droors revival and around box-canyon campfires, whispers of an OG Lynx reissue. Living tributes to the decade’s virility now run the gamut, from the Flexfitted cut-and-sew of the latter years to the flapping cotton of the goofy boy era.

The title of 1990s grand master can ultimately be decided solely by a gory, wig-ripping battle royale set atop a mountain peak. But all of these recent activities overlook the most powerful recent entry that is an actual rave hosted by repeated contest winner Nyjah Houston, dripping with sports cars, autotuned lyrics, complaining neighbors, and Life Extention apparel. Webster’s dictionary defines a rave as an event containing techno music, DJs, dancing, garish outfits, sunglasses and positive vibes, and so it is obvious that Nyjah’s daytime soiree meets the classical definition of a Rave.

Raves were an important square in the cultural crazy quilt that was the 1990s. Ravers were lovingly tweaked via Fuct clothing while providing future inspiration for future lines of meticulously designed T-shirts. For many, these ‘techno campouts’ represented the future promise of endless possibilities and potential — much like Nyjah’s rave video:

“I remember reading a quote from Steve Albini in which he said that a thousand people standing in a field listening to electronic music and high on Ecstasy aren’t going to change the world,” Orrall says. “And I disagreed with him.”

Can a well-attended patio party, unmolested by cops, change the world or at least crown the summertime king of ’90s shit? After exhausting early 1990s fashion tropes is the next logical move to unearth Christian Hosoi’s spandex dabblings, or did the girl jeans period already effectively achieve this? Has a common love of raving united Ty Evans with Nyjah Houston to reclaim the glory of the ‘Feedback’/’Modus’ TWS vids? Do you think Nyjah will get a face tattoo?