Posts Tagged ‘ATM Click’

Passing Virtual Hats Versus Capturing Digital Trophies, While Our Machine Masters Sit in Silent Judgment

January 22, 2018

Throughout the age of man, humans have invented machines to get money. Printing-press produced money predated the first printed Bible by a cool nine or five centuries; more recent innovations have included the one-armed bandit and the automated teller machine clique. But as demonstrated by the Internet-based currency scheme Bitcoin, its value jingling intensely higher, computers have come to surpass them all.

Skateboarders are a subset of humans who use their ingenuity to find deeper purpose and sometimes lucrative thrills in automobile parking structures, cement swimming holes and metallic stair-climbing assisters. Just as they remade the concrete Jersey barrier into a gateway to unholy pleasures, they have fashioned the Internet into a digital sieve through which financial donations freely flow, while haters and modern life’s other harsh realities are easily filtered out.

This yung year of 2018 already has seen motivational Exxon Mobil tank-blaster J Scott Hands Down seek to parlay a considerable Instagram following into a sort of X-nest egg, angling for a $100K down payment on a video part and cost of living increase associated with quitting his day job and moving his family to California to pursue a highly profitable and stable career in skateboarding. J Scott’s solicitation of funds to penetrate professional skateboarding’s ranks came as noted Canadian Dan Pageau, famed for a pioneering switchstance slam on El Toro, sought thousands in recognition of his careerlong contributions to the culture as he made his own industry exit — following similar and earlier efforts by Youtube person Vinnie Banh and various others.

Dan Pageau and J Scott Hands Down are innovative and interesting in their own ways. But their ultimate undoings may lie in failing to grasp that increasingly, the Internet is the end, not the means. Consider: Despite certain chest thumpings over Street League contest purses rising to the hundreds of thousands, machines again demonstrate their money-making superiority. Within the burgeoning realm of E-sports, wherein children and men competitively play video games, contest winnings are magnitudes larger, rising well into eight figures, with consolation prizes including an absence of battered bones and comparatively fewer court dates.

Instead of hoping to stoke sympathy of skaters and assorted well-wishers via internet money-requesting platforms, should J Scott Hands Down, Dan Pageau and Vinnie Banh instead focus on stroking keyboards and tickling touchpads, to better appease our mechanized rulers, grab for digital brass rings and capture all the riches that can be crammed into virtual wallets? Did you know that pro video game players also indulge in industry drama and get kicked off teams? Can pros like Shane O’Neill and Nyjah Huston help to bridge the cultural gap between skateboarders and the artificially intelligent paymasters of the Internet? Has this limp joke been attempted in this blogging space already before? Will we know whether and when the singularity arrives if it is not posted to Instagram?


Summertime Mixtape Vol. 3 – Jon West ‘Come Together’

July 6, 2015

As 1990s Gonz detritus goes ATM Click didn’t come away with a high-mileage logo like Blind or buried-treasure video footage like 60/40 but it may have had the most vibrant second creative wind under the joint vision of Mike Manzoori and Jon Miner, those later constructors of Emerica’s emerald-tinted movies. ATM Click’s hazily cluttered full-length ‘Come Together,’ later xexored by Andrew Reynolds for Baker’s kitchen-sink approach to videomaking once the baton passed from J Strickland, starts with Jon West scrawling tracers by night across some prominent West Coast spots, getting pitched hard and dealing out some lesser-seen tricks for the time (smith grind 180, frontside salad) years before Foundation, the frontside hurricane grinds and horror movies.

Who’s Got It For Cheap

September 14, 2013


In the latest sign that we collectively have abandoned our humbler roots in favor of active sporting trophy cups and lucrative endorsement deals, one of the cardinal learnings of the 1990s seems to have faded from memory. Like so much L.A. confetti pushed before the broom of a blind disco custodian, skateboarders* seemingly have discarded their collective ambition to be like rap singers.

Perversely, more than a decade and a half since the grand fragmentation of street-skating into various splintered genres and jeans fittings, it is the black-denimed and tattooed long-hairs who seem closest to maintaining a form of business mind-meld with the likes of Gorilla Zoe and Charles Hamilton. As the internet buccaneers set sail and pillaged the profitability of compact discs and DVDs alike, urban musicians, many confident in their ability to subsidize any lost musical revenue with the street kind, largely abandoned the blockbuster commercial release ritual in favor of flooding the zone with a steady stream of sometimes tossed-off but generally more interesting and immediate free releases, oriented around building and maintaining a support base rather than trying to squeeze a shrinking number of dollars from an antiquated medium, which requires cutting in any number of increasingly irrelevant corporate interests to boot.

One-off web-centric video parts aside you maybe could draw a thin and blurry line between the decades-old concerns that still insist on a multi-year production process with the requisite release-date pushbacks, monthly ad campaigns and internal deadline turmoil that seem attendant upon such projects, versus the Magentas, Palaces and perhaps Adidases whose trip clips and internet parts skew more toward the mixtape format, without the gravity of a once-per-decade project pervading everything.

Jamie Thomas a few years ago, when Zero was like 20 dudes/dudettes deep, described a certain plan to release annually a video that would tot up whatever footage had amassed over that time period and push it out upon the salivating masses. It sounded logical, but “Cold War” seems to have wound up following the established build-and-release pattern, maybe due to Jamie Thomas’ famous adherence to rigid standards. But now comes Emerica with the first in their “Made” series, this one featuring about one-third of their team, in what’s alleged to be a succession of smaller videos that would appear to harken back to the medium’s optimal runtime of 20-30 minutes, as laid down under interplanetary law by wizened walruses able to communicate telepathically and also with crude grunting sounds.**

Must this be the way of the future for all as TV-stand real estate is ceded to Roku boxes and streaming services? Has already become the unofficial to the industry, and Quartersnacks its Traps N Trunks? If Mark Suciu has laid claim to the Gucci analog, who is our Lil B? Which company, if any, has the balls to release the skate-video equivalent of the long-feared “all-skits rap album”?

*Or maybe just those that don’t run companies***
**Nike purported to be doing something similar, but with 50 dudes on their team and several years between each video, it winds up being sort of a half-measure.
***That are not DGK or Selfish

Street Sweeper

February 27, 2010

Between these Pappalardo clips, Deluxe’s zip-zinger features and this recent Brent Atchley commercial there seems to be a wave of cruising-oriented video coming out lately, coincidental or not. Depending on who’s doing the cruisering and where, such clips can be alternately boring, sublime or non-affecting, but all these clips recently reminded me of the above Tom Penny part from one of my most favorite and least-discussed videos, ATM Click’s “Come Together.” An early Manzoori/Miner production at a time when both were sponsored by the company, after working through some early days of being Gonz’s new and soon-to-be-discarded toy (and prior to its current form as a “mini logo” deck purveyour). The company was some type of sister to New School and home to a budding Jon West, who skated to “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie in this video that was really more like an extended friends-section, roping in everybody from Mat O’Brien to Hondo Soto to Jamie Thomas to Mike Frazier to a clip of Rob “Sluggo” Boyce hitting what looks like a backyard kicker on a snowboard. This mini-part by Penny gets squeezed in somewhere in the middle and is really just a couple launches at the Santa Rosa park and a lengthy street ramble that puts a lot of the dude’s greatness front and center — the supernaturally relaxed mannerisms, casually caught flips and a general kind of meandering genius. The song works too.