Posts Tagged ‘AVE’

Scenes From The Spring 2005 DNA Distribution Catalogue

April 15, 2018

Tha Agony and Tha Ecstasy

May 31, 2015

TrillFam

For all the mumblings of Peter Pan syndrome and deferred adulthood attached to pro-level boarding careers and various man-amhoods, such pursuits are not built for the emotionally unhinged: Marking one’s day-to-day progress by recording hard-fought clips destined to be trimmed to a few seconds each and pasted into a Thrashermagazine.com web-video in a couple years’ time, clinging to fleeting victories during which a hammer is performed, landed and hand-on-death-lens marked, then past, perchance to plow through a 30-pack and next week try for another one. Anthony Van Engelen speaks of grappling with emotional voids after completing big video projects, and witness the deep valleys leading to an uncertain but undeniably triumphant peak in Jamie Thomas’ cold war with the not-long-for-this-world Clipper ledge.

Love/hate relations betwixt bros and boards are to be understood and forcibly massaged when circumstances demand. But what of those emotional snake-runs entangling teamriders and sponsors, which have taken to marketing themselves as families and brotherhoods? Chris Cole and his new Plan B family exhibited their unbridled giddiness upon his joining the ‘Tru’ Tank this month, cheesing and fist-pumping and committing various spelling transgressions as the onetime Zero heavyweight apparently shelved any plans to market decks on his own and instead chose to endorse monocoloured boards with skulls and guitars manufactured by another company.

It’s hard to imagine the Black Box camp not feeling some type of way after clicking on this clip, given Zero’s role plucking Chris Cole from the World camp and providing a hard-rocking hessian launchpad for the next dozen years of his career; to boot, Chris Cole just a year before seemed to identify with Paul Rodriguez’ abrupt flying of the Plan B coop as a cue to carve out one’s own deck-centric microbrand: “I think at some point Paul figured out it wasn’t about Plan B selling Paul Rodriguez skateboards anymore, it was about him selling Plan B, and that’s the point where you start to realize you could be doing something more.”

Any career-minded gnar merchant gathers a certain amount of lumps along the road, and Jamie Thomas like other pros-turned-entrepreneurs signed up for an extra helping by starting his own companies and seeing dudes he put on later pack up and leave. But Zero proved to be one of the relatively few sellers of skate goods to not only publicly acknowledge the departure of a team lynchpin in Chris Cole, but go so far as to post a brief retrospective video and wish him well.

Few others do — Brandon Westgate’s decision in April to join the Element family after seven years holding down the Zoo York family passed with little notice on Zoo York’s Instagram. Gino Iannucci’s Slap board-shaking jump to Fucking Awesome just shy of 19 years as a red block head drew nary an official peep from the Crailtap camp, though months later his former teammates can’t finish interviews without being asked about it. Whereas Mic-E Reyes headbutt sendoffs now rank as just another hallowed memory of 1990s realness and sour jpgs are a Web 1.0-ready if rarely utilized substitute, the default seems to have become an Orwellian electronic eraser applied to the team webpage, removal of the defector from relevant social media hype circles and moving on.

Like insurance and the signing of openly gay athletes, is skateboarding again in danger of being outpaced by major-league sports when it comes to acknowledging contributions from longstanding-but-departing riders? The Seattle Mariners deployed a warm statement of gratitude when outfielder Ichiro Suzuki bounced after more than a decade on the squad, and later publicly big upped him when he got his 4000th hit playing for the Yankees.

Besides agreed-upon stacks of legal tenders, what if anything do companies owe their independent contractors who toil atop handrails and within ditches in the name of endorsement deals? In Alien Workshop’s ultimately transient dissolution last year, some of the then-remaining abductees seem to have received no official word of the shutdown at all, much less any word of thanks:

Jake Johnson: It’s a strange one. Nobody said good bye. Mike Hill didn’t throw in the towel. It’s strange. It was on the internet.

Omar Salazar: I never spoke to anyone. No one ever called me, I’m just like, who is running this thing? They got rid of the only dude who I was talking to [Chad] who told me to stick around. And that’s how you get rid of people after all these years? I was bummed and then got hurt.. But no phonecall. No Rob Dyrdek phonecall… I mean jesus, who are you, man? I thought we were homies, bro [laughs]. Just kidding. Whatever.
…And I still haven’t got a paycheck like, oh, here you go, thanks for your time. Cause I could sure as hell use that for my medical bill right now. Thats all I gotta say about that.

Should the resurfaced Alien Workshop, now promoting a new tribe, offer some parting nod to the former pros who hung on til the bitter end? Did Rocco write the former sponsors of riders he stole publish thank-you notes, or rather did he demand such sponsors publicly acknowledge the service of their former riders for purposes of free promotion? Do digital thank-you notes count? What is the Instagram equivalent of a dismissal-by-headbutt?

Torey Pudwill Sells the Sizzle, Not the Steak

November 5, 2014

tpudda

What is indulgence in a place and time wherein health-conscious pros promote GMO-free diets, former Pissdrunx advocate smoothie-centric nutrition and others cut short vacations to resume filming video parts? Torey Pudwill offers the 20-shot sequence version of 2pac’s “Hit Em Up,” devoting roughly 45% of this finished product to an extended outro/rollaway. Cynics will find easy jokes about showcasing a quieter pair of arms, but perhaps T-Puds takes advantage here of the ongoing ‘homage’ trend to instead foreshadow a coming vacation post-Plan B video.

The Incredible Shrinking Alien Workshop

February 23, 2014

thanks_ohio

Singular as it was to see the Dill/AVE ‘Dear John’ letter pop up on AWS’s site last spring, it is wild to look upon the ‘Team’ page in recent weeks and count just four working professionals and two amateurs, half the year-ago number, and relegating 30-years-young 2006 Sect inductee Omar Salazar to de-facto elder statesman status. Setting aside Heath Kirchart’s retired jersey and the mercurial standing of Rob Dyrdek the absentee landlord, if you were to trim now-departed ridership from the ‘Cinematographer’ section (and keep the between-clip clips) you’d get about a three-minute vignette; just three parts from ‘Mind Field’ would survive.

The narrative seems to go like this: aging bones and the lack of any equity stake in the company that employed them for some 15 years, Van Engelen and Dill dipped after seeing the title to DNA’s corporate UFO change hands multiple times in recent years, in the most recent case supposedly finding out only after the fact that Dyrdek had abruptly flipped the company to sunglass investor and Street League licensor Pacific Vector Holdings. (‘Despicable Me’ teaches us that a vector possesses direction and magnitude, while Pacific refers to the ocean that abuts California.) Sans these sometime-roomies and industry spirit-guides, Ohio-rooted bean-planter Kevin Terpening quietly exited, followed by the long-anticipated departure of Mikey Taylor, Grant Taylor’s seemingly preordained leap to Anti-Hero and most recently that of onetime franchise fakie 360-flipper and recent DKNY booster Dylan Rieder*.

The slow ebb of branded professional talent from the AWS roster over the past three quarters probably does not rise to the level of the World Industries ship-jumping of the mid-1990s or the nearly absolute Toy Machine team abscondiment that left Ed Templeton and Austin Stephens to rebuild by themselves the house of the Transmissionator. The steady grabbing of coats leaves open the question though as to whether the exodus has yet run its course. The curb-carving hair-greaser known to fans as Donovon Piscopo is seen to remain close with the DAVE contingent; hardly a fortnight can pass without wallride impresario Jake Johnson being instagrammed in close proximity to Polar hardgoods and he has really started to do a lot of no-complies these past 18 months.

Are the quartet of Jake Johnson, Omar Salazar, a recently reinvigorated and spectacleless Tyler Bledsoe, and Gilbert Crockett — who for one has voiced on the record his commitment to remaining aboard the grand Alien trip — strong enough to sustain and refresh this hallowed and murky well of Midwestern weirdness? Did recent “collaborations” with the estates of Warhol and Haring* signal a grasping at creative straws for a company with one of the strongest track records of art still going? To what extent are DNA’s new owners vexed by the exits, versus what their financial models may have divined prior to agreeing the purchase? Will the excellently disjointed TOUROHIO clip from late last year come to be seen as bridge or a bookend? Are the personnel moves to be interpreted as some right-sizing of DNA’s pro-level staffing, given Josh Kalis’ recent comments to the effect that even the MTV-moneyed boardroom chessboxer Dyrdek struggled to keep the company financially viable?

*Noting the Dill and Ave note, as the industry becomes increasingly press-release driven it seems more and more strange when companies keep silent on the departure of marquee names, especially those of years-long riders, instead quietly deleting them from their websites and re-screening their boards.
**does the world need a Radiohead album of Beatles covers?

Flexin

May 2, 2013

wanted

It has been widely theorized that Mother Earth, known around some parts as GAIA or “Big Bloo,” periodically unleashes natural disasters to right global wrongs and remind her solar passengers who’s boss. Hurricanes, earthquakes and several Ja Rule albums have been attributed to nature correcting itself in a natural fashion. There is an unconfirmed science rumor that the comet which ended the dinosaurs’ reign was actually minding its own business when the earth, weary from hauling heavy lizard flesh around the sun for eons on end, intentionally floated out into the troublesome space-rock’s path.

Flash forward several years to when Girl and Chocolate released their high-def opus, “Pretty Sweet,” ostensibly like ODB for the children staffing the team. If Guy Mariano’s comeback section half a decade earlier in the Lakai video proved he still had it, closing out a production otherwise given over to hot shoes who hadn’t yet picked up a board by the time Guy Mariano was sprinkling LA confetti upon jubilant skid row dealers sounded a clarion call to old dudes everywhere, in the same way that Eric Koston’s part in “The Chocolate Tour” a decade earlier inspired the true life story of “Murderball.”

Even as winter’s unrelenting icy grip has punished would-be green shoots attempting to poke their buds aboveground this spring, so too have industry oldsters answered this call over the past month, refusing to yield to the current crop of handrailers and manualites. Transworld’s generally short-in-the-tooth production “Perpetual Motion” gave the curtains to the non-threatening hammers and gently shampooed hair-stylings of Julian Davidson, but at that point the trick of the video (50-50 handrail gap, also in the running for overall filmed achievement of the year) had already been performed by Silas Baxter-Neal, who in that lineup of uppers and comers counted as its vet, when you factor in his old-soulness and general SOTY gravitas.

Weeks later the security camera-laced Deathwish production launched with the breakout section recorded by probably the oldest or second-oldest dude on the squad, Jim Greco, he for whom 1,000 cattle have been slain to date in the ongoing search for a jacket that encapsulates just how feckless he is feeling at any given moment. Greco darkslides, across benches and from 360 flips and down handrails and switchstance, but amongst all that razzle-dazzle he appears to have cleaned out five years’ accumulated DV tapes worth of backside 360 lipslides down big handrails and certain big jumps. Jim Greco’s own post-sobriety turn in “Baker 3” always seemed to me kind of scattered after his angry energy in “Misled Youth” and that “Baker2G” part that birthed a whole subgenre, but this one came off like he really, really wanted to go for it, kaleidoscopic outfits be damned.

Now as socialists around the world unite to march for solidarity and universal health-care coverage and tax deductible bail payments for regular- and goofy-footed independent contractors alike, Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen take their turn to shock the industry, except this time by quitting their jobs rather than doing them. Yet the abrupt flying of a couple decades-deep dudes from their long-time coop — where millionaire boss Rob Dyrdek had effectively given them lordship over the springier chickens — already is seen by message-board plutocrats and industry pundits as a game-changing moment and perhaps the greatest identity crisis facing Alien Workshop since Lennie Kirk seriously devoted himself to armed robbery.

Will Jason Dill get on Palace? Is skating inherently a young man’s game, except for vert and the giant mega-ramp, where it’s a middle-schooler’s and middle-ager’s game that may reward you with an SUV? Is Mark Suciu actually a 40-year-old bro who had been quietly filming in various towns under assumed names over the past 15 years, and is the steady release of footage a sign that he may have died sometime early last year, leaving the executors of his estate to periodically drizzle out tapes to sponsors in a Tupac-like series of posthumous releases that will subsidize the multiple wives he secretly and illegally maintained in small towns across the U.S.?

Airing Sundays At 10:00 PM Eastern

January 8, 2011

The debut episode of Shameless airs this Sunday and introduces the tragicomic family of poors called the Gallaghers. Alcoholic, longhaired single father Frank (Anthony Van Engelen) is too busy carousing to care for his children, leaving his daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to raise her five siblings in Chicago. Yes, poverty, that old bleak specter. We have here, the premise goes, a show set among the masses.

Shameless depicts poverty in far more than a quantitative sense. The show plays on so many stereotypes as to be white-trash porn. People steal cars, they steal from UNICEF, from the collection plate at St. Tim’s. “That’s my fucking bike!” a little girl yells at a fleeing Gallagher. Frank smokes, drinks (a lot), and is no stranger to the local cops.

Eleven Initial Thoughts on the Alien Video

February 9, 2009


via Epicly Laterd

-Jake Johnson had the best part.
-AVE got his handrail mojo back, in a major cot damn way (b/s nosegrind)
-for guys with their own, private skateparks, you’d think they could get more footage
-Kalis taking the bigspin-to-ledge switch made me want to, you know, something
-a handful of intentional-or-not homage/tributes to past DNA productions, among them Jake Johnson’s regular-footed Lenny Kirk, the wind-ups, Mikey Taylor’s nollie f/s noseslide to fakie and Heath Kirchart’s kickflip-as-pretelegraphed ender (sort of)
-Jason Dill’s abiding love for the indie-rock Phish is rather endearing
-Omar Salazar’s Stallone grind brought the house down
-Heath Kirchart, fuck, but err what happened to the all-white part?
-Mikey Taylor still rides for the long frontside 50-50
-A nice effect: somebody breaking a glass concurrent with Tyler Bledsoe touching down a bigspins
-A suitable amount of razzmatazz and middle-America flotsam.

Who out there thinks they can make a better video this year?

D’s Get Degrees

December 9, 2008


“Had a scholarship/but I blew that”

Before we get into the Nate Sherwood IQ test I would like to recommend that everyone who’s able take a moment out of their day and check out Nick` Dompierre’s new ad for Real. Holy shit, right? Now then.

I don’t write in this space for a job, which is good for a couple reasons: one, it probably wouldn’t carry the comprehensive benefits package to which I have become accustomed, and two, I would doubtless end up getting fired by none other than Nate Sherwood, which would be a whole other level of surreality that no number of MC Hammer sermons or Gary Coleman meltdowns could prepare me for. If you don’t know what I’m getting at, well, this is what I’m getting at:

I am just stating that unlike many other careers skateboarding has no quality control. This is just a brief brain storm of some of the basic things I feel a person should know before they write or talk about skateboarding as a job.

This is among the several pearls of wisdom doled out by Sherwood in the preface to the Skateboard IQ Test he devised and posted on Skateboard.com (no longer affiliated with 411VM). There are others, as well as an endearing, meandering tale of how the pressure-flipper from Portland rescued some Duffs master tapes en route to founding skateboarding’s answer to the National Gallery. (I think.)

Anyhow, on to the test. I’ve skated longer than 10 years and could probably do a convincing imitation of a boneless/powerslide and a backside 180/half cab. So that’s the application portion sorted. Next, the written exam, which I approach with no small amount of dread. Longtime readers (i.e., five months or more) will remember that such skateboard quizzes are kind of a Quixotic quest of mine. Nevertheless:

What is the key difference between an Inward 360 heel flip and a Lazar flip?
Oh, inward versus outward rotation on the shove, got it.

Who was the first skater to do a full cab ollie over a picnic table off flat? 

I’m guessing Matt Hensley, though I can only recall him doing them off a bump just now.

Who was the first to back smith a hand rail?
Jeremy Klein? It seemed like a big deal when I saw the World video…

Who invented the big spin?
Shit. Um. Lotti? That seems way too late. Maybe Natas? Shit…

Then they will have to list their top 20 favorite skaters of all time and why they are their favorite.
I’ll spare you. Ronnie Creager would be in there though. And Robbie Gangemi. AVE.

Alas, when we get to the bottom we find that Nate Sherwood chose not to list the answers, so off to Wikipedia, which was depressingly unhelpful.
-Caballerial, Full Cab or Cab, is an aerial skateboarding trick. It is another name for a Fakie backside 360 ollie.
-This trick was named after its inventor Mike Smith. It is considered by many to be the most difficult basic grind trick.The backside version was originated by deaf Florida powerhouse Monty Nolder.
-The trick is named after Brian Lotti, whose name sounds like “lottery.” His friend named the trick after the California Lottery’s Big Spin game.

Nate, if you read this, please provide the answers, as I’m interested to know how I performed on the test, though I suppose most of my answers for the written portion were the equivalent of filling in the ol’ Scantron sheet so the bubbles spell out “SLAYER” or something. I am, however, feeling somewhat more positive about my Berrics bracket, which remains intact after Mike Mo’s convincing win over Ramiro Salcedo last weekend.

Gee thing

April 27, 2008

DC TV, despite DC’s typically overdesigned web interface, is actually turning out to be pretty quality. A little while back they put up this Ryan Gee photo gallery that has a few gems from the last few years. I haven’t seen much of Gee’s shit recently, which may just mean that I’m not paying close enough attention, but for quite a while he was holding down the East Coast like few others. It looks like his personal site is still going, though there isn’t much new on there… this Maldonado shot is gold however.