Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Biebel’

#Trendwatch 2015: Personal Responsibility

August 12, 2015

Drink-More-Water-5

What soul-eroding wreckage hath the tucked-in shirt craze of 2011 wrought? Plenty of yesteryear’s rascally character tropes increasingly are unapplicable in a brave land where oil-enriched royal dynasties shut down portions of their kingdoms to enable drone-powered filming romps and barely a month can pass without some Manhattan periodical fawning over skaters’ fashion sensibilities, amid assorted rumors of cats and dogs living together and stenchful glimpses of a new dinosaur age.

For alerts and rumours indicating the far reach of skateboarding’s current enamourment with grown manning look no further than Thrasher, that digital content barony built on crushed tall cans, DIY concrete projects and ill-considered body art, which presented this summer’s landmark ‘Stay Flared’ tour firstly as a lesson in proper diet and taking care of one’s self. Its poster child is Brandon Biebel, he of Redline binges and the pack-a-day Ja Rule voice:

Stay Flared saw an equally intense Biebel, though followers of his social media will know that this one is deadly serious about skateboarding, driven by healthy living and more pumped up than ever before. Most telling was his water consumption, specifically his ritual of “kicking a gallon” i.e. drinking at least a gallon of water every day.

“You want to join this club? You ready to kick a gallon?” he asked, incredulously.

The gallon club already involved several of the Stay Flared crew and Andrew Reynolds explained that back in LA they often send each other photos of crushed jugs throughout the day.

“These guys are drinking a gallon of water before 2 pm,” he said. “It’s pretty competitive. It’s, like, ‘Shit, I better start skating so I can finish my gallon!”

Reynolds’ involvement in the burgeoning and bubbly 2015 water affair is perhaps no great surprise given his years of sobriety recently augmented by ice-baths, fair-trade bananas, some sciatic foam roller and a substance known as ‘arnica gel’ (full list available in the Stay Flared Thrasher). But in an age where Fred Gall embraces domestic bliss and Andy Roy can hold down a $1000/month apartment in the most expensive city in America, it is fair to ponder a potential shift at hand.

With message-board vitriol poured steamily over do-nothing pros unable to film semi-regular Instagram clips that, in years past, would have been rewarded with Polo gear or studded belts for their devotion to various piling-out programmes, it is easy to attribute a more-responsible pro populace to the vagaries and ravages of age, mainly the fearsome potential of a day-job sentence lurking behind any final photo incentive cheque. Yet 90s babies also have proven themselves increasingly upstanding, between Austyn Gillette’s Habitat-endorsed high school ender, Mark Suciu’s BA pursuits and the Sabotage dudes methodically smoothing the Love Park ground and disposing of trash in the bargain, moves that recall the late-1990s citizenry of ledge-repainter Jeremy Wray.

Such are the lofty heights tested by this new wave of behavioral responsibility that Ride Channel of late has taken to truth-testing Slap Board rumors and garnering responses from the likes of Crailtap tour muncher Sam Smyth regarding alleged lynchpin teamrider permutations. Whether the Girl camp felt compelled to address potentially material and market-moving news in light of its recent investment injection remains needlessly speculated upon in the darknet.

Are more such fits of dependibility, sensible living and all-out rational action to come as various pros and industry andministrators test the fat tail of mortgage-debt exposure, and corporate structures absorb further xtreme properties? Do the recent spate of upstart board concerns require more self-starter fluid wrung from the industry’s collective pores, or instead offer a greased-up window that creakily enables hedonistic backsliding motions? Is Andy Roy next in line to host an HGTV show that harnesses his prison background for the purpose of frugally decorating tiny houses? Would the industry have found itself on a much different path had Rocco never repaid that one loan shark?

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 3 – Jeron Wilson ‘Skate More’

July 8, 2015


‘Skate More’ was DVS shoes’ Terry Gilliam-infused answer to the blockbuster shoe video parade of the early aughts, and while Mikey Taylor and Jereme Rogers supplied handrailing hammers and Jason Dill pushed gritty gravitas in knee socks, it was Daewon Song’s circus of tech and the 1990s-aged swagger from Chico Brenes and Jeron Wilson that spiritually grounded the project. Jeron Wilson’s heelflips, nollied over a fire hydrant or straight-up over gaps, detonate like bombs and a range of other tricks get soundly handled (switch frontside 360 over the bench, switch 180 up onto the big block in Australia) en route to a plenty dazzling ender for the time (or this one). Song and Girl-heavies friend section seals the deal.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 2 #2 – Brandon Biebel and Brian Wenning ‘Subtleties’

June 26, 2014

This video part showcases the freewheeling lackadaisically achievable solely through sporting xtra-large t-shirts and pants long of flapping denim leg. It’s a little bit of a challenge to buy into Transworld’s positioning of Biebel and Wenning as a summer buddy-pro duo, given that they skate none of the same spots here and indeed do not even seem to be on screen together, but there is enough common technical ground beneath those frayed cuffs to argue favorably for this part somewhere in the lower levels of the high temple of shared video parts, somewhere beneath your Hsu/Barletta, Carroll/Howard, Kirchart/Klein and Way/McKay. The Pier 7 blocks generally are some of the best backdrops for Brandon Biebel’s manualing prowess and he is known to have puffed out his big t-shirt at least eight dozen times over the course of recording these tricks. At this point in time Wenning still hovered near the height of his powers, his last line here worthy of bringing up in any conversation about the best lines within the Transworld video catalogue and notable too for featuring among the last colors of the original Lynx, which beyond all expectation or reason has since proven impossible for DC to revive without screwing up some major detail.

Jason Dill And His Shirt Raise Important Concerns About Submitting To The Man, Dudes

April 25, 2011

swallow(if you can) from william strobeck on Vimeo.

Iconoclast boardsportsman and outspoken tastemaker Jason Dill is back at it again, this week controversially dropping video footage that prominently features a tucked-in t-shirt. The web clip, posted above, proved instantly divisive on the ‘Net and has raised fresh questions around the “institutionalization” of skateboarding as corporate interests exert ever greater control over team dress codes and branding.

The issue has festered since the early ’00s when Baker/Bootleg teamriders sparked outrage and tingled curiosities by donning fitted sportcoats. The latest escapade by Dill, known for provocative fashion choices such as Diesel jeans and nudity, alarmed industry observers already concerned about the growing influence of “the man.”

Jason Dill first signaled an embrace of the tuck last summer when he, along with noted dressers Alex Olson and Eli Reed, were spotted tucking in tank-tops at the Maloof Money Factory contest. Dill recently reprised that look at Brandon Biebel’s skatepark where he demonstrated that a more-constricted waistline need not interfere with basketballing feats. But expanding the initiative to include t-shirts opens a new front in the steadily growing furor and presents aging boarders with another dilemma around the already murky standards of conduct in the elder statesman role.

A little over a decade ago Dill spoke of chafing under the norms of mid-90s California skate-code, which required a certain bagginess of pant and support for Wu-Tang Clan singles. Could his venture into tucking shirts reveal similar discomfort with fashion standards that have in the past 10 years more closely aligned with Jason Dill’s personal tastebuds re: tightness and expense? Is this really a big marketing ploy for a new line of Fucking-Awesome belt buckles? And will Jason Dill laugh all the way to the bank as five years from now we all vigorously are tucking and he sharply moves to un-tuck in a scenario that is like Dr. Seuss’ cautionary tale about the Sneetches?

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 10-1

November 17, 2009

10. “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life,” 2002
PJ_Ladds_WHL

A stacked shop video that marked Jereme Rogers’ debut, Ryan Gallant’s elevation to journeyman status, a girl, and also happened to feature one dude who would realign street skateboarding for the still-new decade. Not sure what the ’00s analog to Guy Mariano’s part in “Mouse” would be (if there could indeed be one) but it might be possible to suggest PJ Ladd’s breakout section as this decade’s Mike Carroll/”Questionable.” The tricks – the last run – are so crazy and so well done, and the whole part is shot through with the type of energy that makes you want to push two more times and flip the board again, a feeling of actual fun being had in the process of blowing all those minds. It’s still hard to imagine how PJ Ladd could properly surpass this part, so in some respects it’s alright that he hasn’t really tried, because it still stands up fine by itself.

9. “Bag of Suck,” 2007

Tilt-moders put on their serious face for a more straightforward release with relatively few bells and whistles, if you don’t count a kinda all-star friends section, the most fantastic synchronized section next to “Hot Chocolate” and various Bones Brigade efforts, and some fairly awesome intros. Caswell Berry, completing the transition from ponytail to mental issues, makes a seven-year-old rap tune sound fresh, Big Joe Red pursues his continuing education in the BA school of outsized grace, and Jerry Hsu goes for broke with the type of understated slaying and style progression that transforms a careerist into a legend. Favorites from this part: the frontside 180 into the bank, the switch f/s shove-it over the rail, and that switch 360 flip he does on the Prince board.

8. “Yeah Right,” 2003

Full-lengths from Girl look to be a once-per-decade event nowadays, and given the inevitable team shuffles as well as the preordained hype/release euphoria/internet backlash/acceptance cycle that accompanies every video of this caliber these days, maybe that type of timeline is necessary. There’s some grousing to be done and fat that could be trimmed (Skatrix) but in spite of the still-evolving teens and the preoccupation with hammers and the Evans brand of overproduction this has all the well-loved hallmarks of a Girl vid, from the pink/invisible boards to Jeron Wilson’s switch 360 flip over the channel and Carroll’s last maneuver. The growing pains ensure that “Yeah Right” won’t compare favorably to the mid-90s golden age, but in the realm of skateboard companies, it’s something that the Crailtap empire is still around, much less making good videos, and Brandon Biebel footage ages like fine wine.

7. “Static II,” 2004

Josh Stewart struck aesthetic paydirt with the second helping of the ongoing “Static” series, searching for an alternative to perceived overwrought handrail epics, and helping birth the cellar-door subgenre while elevating Bob Puleo to internet diety. “Static 2” cemented Josh Stewart’s place among the bailgun wielders, offering well-deserved props for John Igei and Paul Shier, guest shots from the Habitat and Traffic squadrons, and the long-awaited answer to the question of what exactly Kenny Reed had been doing in between shopping for vintage camo pants and region-specific headwear. Josh Stewarts’ videos may not make him rich with gold, but he’s secured his status as a booster of the underground, which probably counts for something in Slap board rep points.

6. “Sorry,” 2002

Flip’s blaring, cussing’ teeth-gritting apology for whatever wasn’t real far removed from the “Baker2Gs” and the “Menikmatis” of the early part of the decade, as far as the skating, but editing-wise it came off way more immediate and unvarnished, a far better vehicle for the sort of skating brought to the table by the unwashed roustabout Ali Boulala, the slacker droop of Mark Appleyard’s drawers, the business side of Arto Saari’s flowing mane and the utterly without fear Geoff Rowley. Who’d have guessed that Bastien Salabanzi, primed for superstardom, would fade while Tom Penny’s shaky but expertly played return here would see him through the rest of the decade.

5. “Lost and Found,” 2005

Hands down the best video made east of the Atlantic in the last ten years and maybe ever, Blueprint’s “Lost and Found” saw the venerable U.K. company coming of age alongside its poster boy Nick Jensen in one of those rare 60-minute jobs that’s very possible to watch all the way through and not skip a part. The quality and sheer amount of footage is matched with sharp editing and generally good music (even, dare we say, the British rap music), and I can think of only a couple examples where dudes’ parts in this video were not the best shit they’ve put out so far (Danny Brady, Jensen, Neil Smith, Colin Kennedy, Chewy Cannon). What was on display in “Lost and Found” was beautiful spots and more than trick firepower a viewpoint and vision – things that few others really had going at the time, plus, Chewy Cannon’s nollie 360s.

4. “Fully Flared,” 2007

Although I dislike Band of Horses to the extent required by law, musical complaints toward the Lakai video now must be fairly viewed through the glorious kaleidoscope of Mannie Fresh, Jeezy and the best song Public Enemy made in about 15 years. Yes, the ledge combos are sometimes a bit much; no, this doesn’t a boring video make, and I think we can be glad that everybody else latched onto this idea instead of the tiresome pole jam-to-manual-to-wallie stuff being peddled in “Let’s Do This!” Here we have a resurgent Anthony Pappalardo, a world-conquering Lucas Puig, Mike Carroll’s best part in 9 years, Eric Koston at long last throwing the last-part weight from his shoulders, Brandon Biebel again, the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Fernandez and his fakie 360 flips, and the almost comic overkill of Marc Johnson’s 15-minute tour de force, all of which met our super lofty expectations. Also Guy Mariano came back and a bunch of shit blew up.

3. “Modus Operandi,” 2000

You maybe could say that the prototype for ’00s videos was first set with “Feedback,” which was in turn improved and expanded upon with “The Reason,” after which both were to be taken off the shelf and calmly stuffed into the toilet to make way for the “Modus” juggernaut. Nah, but this was one of those videos that, even though pretty self-indulgent some of the time, got a lot of people rethinking the way these little projects needed to be put together, and what they should try and “say.” Back before voiceovers earned the fast-forward button you had Marc Johnson reminiscing about misjudging a jock, and doing two separate ledge tricks on the same block in the same line; Chany Jeanguinin declaring his love for vert and ushering in the raw denim manual antics of Biebel; Mike Carroll, his neuroses and a shot at the perfect line; and Brian Anderson vouching for the power of visualizing your goals, wearing Axions and crushing hubbas to the tune of Muskabeatz. What a time to be alive..

2. “Sight Unseen,” 2001

The “Empire Strikes Back” of TWS vids, maybe, owing to the classic status and generally dark atmosphere clouding the Henry Sanchez, Dustin Dollin and particularly Heath Kirchart sections. First, though, there’s the blaring gnar of John Cardiel, the mile-long handrail and burly hubba moves ensuring a spot in the hearts of kids who don’t have the time to wade through Thrasher vids or access to “Fucktards.” Mostly inoffensive Tosh Townend plays this video’s Jordan Richter, bookended on one side by the unrepentant Henry Sanchez, Pupecki-grinding rails and at that point still better than so many other dudes, and the salivating assault of Dustin Dollin, lurching from kinked handrail to kickflip frontside blunt. Then lights out for Heath Kirchart’s symphony of destruction, the gap-to-blunt, and the best backside noseblunt committed to a rail at that point.

1. “Photosynthesis,” 2000

The platinum standard of modern (?) videos, in this random blog-site’s opinion. Variety and editing make this video a cohesive classic for the ages instead of some kinda “Time Code 2,” as long as you aren’t into vert skating and you can tolerate interludes concerned with hamburgers and javelin tossing. Van Engelen’s grease-fire ledge attack, Pappalardo’s clockwork precision, Fred Gall with one pants leg up, Danny Garcia demonstrating how to pop out of a backside tailslide, Wenning’s backside nosegrinds and switch heelflips, Josh Kalis doing “the” 360 flip and the walk down into Jason Dill’s bent world, back when he was doing all those 180s the hard way into ledge tricks and settling into New York. With most parts clocking in under 3 minutes and a runtime around 35:00 “Photosynthesis” rivals any video in the quantity/quality department and nearly all that have come since in terms of achievement in this medium – making something that’s cool to watch, gets you off the couch and has you thinking about watching it again when you get home with your socks still sweaty in your shoes.