Archive for June, 2018

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Nate Broussard, ‘Static III’

June 28, 2018

In an era of loud arms and storked rollaways, Nate Broussard’s velvet-soft way with ledges and flip tricks seems a warm, calm ocean away. It is too lazy to say lazy —- gentle or patient maybe, not making the hoard or the feet or the knees work any harder than needed, just the right amount of pop to get up onto the block or over the rail, absorbing enough impact to mellowishly surf toward the next one. Even on tricks as abrupt or jarring as the switch 360 flip revert or the street gap to nose manual or the opening volcano boost to nose pivot, there’s improbably smooth resolution. His kickflip over the bar and past the grate must be remembered in song, his lines at the UK ledge spot should be enshrined. At a time when skating seems to have room for so many hangers-on and backward-looking career retconning, you hope this dude’s fade from the scene has been deliberate.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Donovon Piscopo, ‘Hockey Promo’

June 27, 2018

At some point, under the tutelage of dockworker-period Jason Dill and Pomade-packing AVE, yung Donovon Piscopo cast off his slim denim cuffs and went in for the hazy and vaguely violent beach-scuzz vibe of the California underbelly that roots the Hockey project. He’d already been refining his tricks away from the no-comply tailslide flip-outs, and for this no-tunes intro clip him and big John Fitzgerald soundtracked to their scrapes, impacts and background yelps —- Donovon Piscopo with a lower-key hand in the high-pop movement that emerged as a refreshed progression venue as handrails and stair counts took a breather. His bank to front blunt is huge in this vid, the backside smith grind to backside tailslide held to a crazy degree, the backside flip over the barrier caught in the 90-degree neighborhood and steered firmly the rest of the way around.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Kris Markovich, ‘Fight Fire with Fire’

June 26, 2018

Similar to the Wu and the Simpsons, both early-90s contemporaries, Kris Markovich’s questionable late-career moves have had the unfortunate effect of clouding a massive legacy for kids who weren’t around to catch a convincing decade-long run, and requiring oldsters who do to talk like annoyed oldsters. Nevertheless, his catalogue stands, and the somewhat fairly maligned Prime captured Kris Markovich during his angsty and nomadic World period for what’s surely among the company’s better-aging contributions to ‘the culture’: for the period, one of the top inward heelflips on offer, into shit even; Markovich staples like the backside 180 nosegrind, some big jumps, the speed; and not too deep yet into the white tees/blue jeans/white shoes era to dispense with the noseslides to fakie and fakie ollies that could merit fresh Instagram burn today. The closing 360 flip’s audible catch is a triumph of Steve Albini-style open-room sound engineering.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Lindsey Robertson, ‘Dying to Live’

June 25, 2018


A jaunty reggae tune for a one-man stress section introed at the time a singular figure — a glasses-wearing Florida kid enamored of heelflips, frontside noseslides and off-kilter tricks such as the (probably correctly) rarely spotted street stalefish. Lindsey Robertson’s part arrived at a time when a major board company still could uncork unknown talents in big videos, and Zero got somewhat questionable moves like the heelflip indy grab over with some help from the murky Jefferson Airplane single and a structure that sort of inverted the Zero template, opening with repeated slow-mo knockouts. Would that your summer is carefree enough to launch massive ollies, throw a shaka and then casually observe your own hand motions.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Girl ‘Road Trip,’ 411VM Issue 39

June 24, 2018

Arriving shortly after Rick Howard and Mike Carroll joined forces with Ty Evans, this entry closed out 411VM’s midperiod and set the stage for the bloated, high-concept video escapades of the 2000s that would help sink 411 itself and eventually become an albatross for nearly all companies possessing the dollars to still attempt them. This clip also marked a historical juncture for Girl itself, featuring the handrail-heavy pickup Rick McCrank in his absolute prime and Eric Koston still ascending toward the height of his Sparkles-era powers. All the Ty-isms are there too: an intro that spans a third of the clip, stridently emotive techno-pop, high-fives and camera mugs, slow-mo. Rick McCrank whipping a switch ghetto bird on a battered QP, Mike Carroll refurbishing some of his ‘Modus’ moves like the nollie flip to backside 5-0, Rick Howard shove-iting into and out of a backside nosegrind, Eric Koston going the distance on a wiggly bar, everybody in Es shoes, launch ramps and an ostrich — nobody in 2O00 could touch it.

Midwestern Exposure: Rust, Rubble and Rural Decay in ‘Grains’

June 10, 2018

Since fisheyes first were directed toward emptied swimming facilities, skate videos have possessed a flavour of the cultural tourist and voyeur, maybe: initially exporting southern California’s sunbleached concrete and asphalt-sculpted schoolyards, later letting couchbound pipe-packers tag along on late-night Manhattan missions, Europe’s summertime tour circuit and SPoT’s debauched drainage ditch runs. Rocketing board and shoe sales — fuel’d by THPS, Extreme Games and bulk-buying mall stores — bankrolled weekslong filming trips and demo tours to steadily more exotic locales: Watch enough vids from the 2000-2005 period and you’ll swear you know your way around Barcelona; earlier, Brazil got its own full-length and 411 eventually dedicated a series to various other Kenny Reedisms.

The skate industry’s subsequent economic ACL blowout and chronic fiscal pain since then bit deeply into travel budgets and placed a fresh focus on mining domestic urban crust and freshly combing flyover country. The widely shared misery of global economic upheaval and longterm decay have proven fertile, as Alien Workshop’s rekindled squad repeatedly probes Detroit’s sprawling grit and Rick McCrank centers an entire TV show around the concept. “Rural America is the new inner city,” the Wall Street Journal declared last year, pointing up employment scarcity, more people dying than being born, and a deepening pill epidemic. Bucolic visions of pitchforks and ice cream cones and golden-hour little league victories where losers walk away raring for the rematch are fading to the tune of dimestore murals on main street, exposing chipped brick and maybe a coupla shitty tags.

It is this graying canvass that Kevin DelGrosso and Chad Matthews stretch further into the Midwest’s lesser-traveled underbelly. Their video ‘Grains,’ filmed across the soybean belt of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio, veers far off interstate arteries and urban sprawls to extract tricks from crumbling loading docks in Joliet, dilapidated stadiums in Gary, polished-stone plaza ledges in downtown Peoria. In between years-dead narrators relaying factoids on corn production and Farm Belt infrastructure, ‘Grains’ picks through abandoned small-town storefronts, creaking trainyards and literal rubble for an hour’s worth of wallies, backside bigspins and rusted-rail boardslides to fakie.

Early on Riley Vaughn boosts a massive no-comply over a barrier and guides some drop-down manuals into an empty fountain, later Patty Barnas flicks a lovely backside flip into a different one; Seth Neetz gets down on some electric boxes and Brian Mangerson whips manual spins onto a pyramid spot that could’ve been ported from the greater NY area. One of the burlier parts goes to Eric Thomas, who brings a Muska-level noseslide and ollies out over a rail to a nervy nose manual to drop. There’s a kind of thrift-store grab bag of spots — plenty of ditches and under-bridge banks to walls but some real gems, like a brick wave in Gary and the dreamy wallride spot in Michigan City. Also some backroad artifacts and anachronisms: a Destructo trucks tee, multiple instances of the heelflip body varial, Blues Brothers graffiti, a pop-shove it to frontside smith grind, Zubaz shorts. The vid’s makers cop to a preference for the old-fashioned and antiquated, from the VX-1000 to the opening recommendation to watch on a TV screen, versus laptop or phone.

Could an influx of summertime spot-seeking pro tours inject a meaningful boost into groaning rust-belt economies, or would all out-of-town funds inevitably pad already-fattened pockets of liquor store tycoons? Will emptying-out rural towns eventually give way to village-sized DIYs, expanding upon the urban foundation spot concept? Will the threat of catching stray bullets at Lockwood come to be replaced by the possibility of a ‘Children of the Corn’ scenario in which bloothirsty tweens in old-school attire capture and gruesomely sacrifice unknowing passers-through to a nameless being that roams the fields?

‘Grains’ can be ordered here.