Posts Tagged ‘Bronze 56k’

Davos Man And The Risk-To-Reward Ratio Of The Frontside 180

January 20, 2020

He is knowed as the Oracle of Thousand Oaks. From an ergonomically conscious, low-emissions chair, Mikey Taylor gazes from full-bleed windows upon an empire to hold — sands and wave, manicured desert fauna, native wood, electricalized vehicles, a rain garden. It is a world of opportunity, progression, mindful hustle and passion, with no single-use plastics, preserving natural spaces and personal wealths for future generations. On the weekends, good wine, and good friends.

The game is real estate development. The stakes: Working capital, and maybe, your life. First in are the sharp-nosed swift simmers that take the choicest, juiciest morsels and move along when the throbbing, silvery schools press in. For these must settle for smaller, faster, needier bites, budging and shoving and taking what they can. Always hurried, for you know what comes next: The massive, ironclad submersibles, their snaky sucking hoses pulling in everything not fast enough to flee, their bowels a-churn with knives and rotors chopping all into low-cost slurry for the industrial meat farms that pulsate privately above.

This is the world, and its strife. Mikey Taylor unscrews his hydroflask and regards the waves. As Commune Capital’s president and managing principle, his fiduciary duty is to be the early swimmer, not a slurry-bound slowpoke. There are buildings to be gut rehabbed, multi-unit leasables to be securitized, tracts to be acquired at auction for a song. And yet, it is all the same sea. What if there were another?

Bronze 56K became the first company to drop a skate video in the ’20s, earning several experience points and perhaps a cash award. (As a privately held company Bronze 56K is not obligated to publicize its financial performance.) ‘Hardware For The Masses’ revealed itself to be another timeless entry in Bronze 56K’s discography, now arguably among the most consistent of any company currently in operation. Bronze 56K always has been a spendthrift entity, repurposing defunct software logos, beer commercials and Wolfenstein 3D editions to conjure among the most powerful branded shirt conglomerates east of St. Louis.

Can tricks too be exhumed, gently brushed and refurbished in a retrofied way to again command a market premium? Bronze’s cultural dumpster divers work these seams too. Consider the humble frontside 180. The board goes up, it turns, you turn, and ride away clean. For decades far too basic for lines, and after thorough early-00s hucking by the likes of Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Kerry Getz and Jamie Thomas, it summarily was cast aside as a stair or gap rattler in favor of variations involving flips, shove-its and/or switch-stance. For years the frontside 180 rotted as though entombed beneath an aromatic, regenerative compost heap. Then arrived muckraking New Jerusalemer Dick Rizzo, coiled and unshaven. In Quasi’s seminal ‘Mother’ Dick Rizzo boosts back-to-back frontside 180s down the Bronx’s Jerome Ave banks, turns a switch one over a gold rail under security pressure and goes regular off a miniscule bump to standard-sized bar; in Bust Crew’s deep-tissue tingling ‘Nightmare Van’ last year, he jumps another frontside 180 into a kinked bank ride-out. Italian Bronzester Jacopo Carozzi likes them, and in ‘Hardware for the Masses’ Adrian Vega turns one over the Pulaski wall in a line, while GangCorp youngster Dougie pops one off a bump to stair, and on IG frontside 180s over a studily built wooden bench.

As the World Economic Forum convenes this week to ponder the monetary conundrums of our time, could Mikey Taylor’s financial technicians, uninspired by rental returns and flexy property valuations, direct their intellectual horsepower and florid body heat toward overlooked tricks such as the frontside 180 that exhibit solid returns and honest thrills even if they may not feature in a Primitive vid? Does the frontside 180’s market valuation increase, and the potential return on investment decrease, with each such clip collected in a Bronze 56K vid? Does former SOTY Kyle Walker’s frontside 180 in ‘Be Free’ stand as an early indicator that the trick is ripe for a ’20s resurgence?

8. Nick Ferro — ‘Its Time’

December 24, 2018


As is customary, Bronze 56K and Gucci Mane functioned on similar wavelengths in 2018 — both renowned for prolific output, facial tats and murder in legal self-defense, this year both chose to take time crafting their latest projects. This sweaty labor shows in Bronze’s ‘Its Time,’ an internet YouTube file uploaded in tribute to C1RCA’s 2007 movie ‘It’s Time,’ only without the apostrophe, because street life doesn’t allow much room for punctuation and the seconds needed to tap ‘123’ and differentiate the apostrophe from the suspiciously similar comma could cost your life. Like the ribs at a strip club lunch buffet, Buggy Talls has been slowly marinating in Wyoming-based Bronze’s thick and lustrous sauce for several years, and now appears solidly ‘in the window’ — see him gnaw his way up a wall switch to k-grind, backside flip out from a frontside bluntslide with the power of an emotional Transworld video, back-to-back bigspinning light-footedly down Parisian stone, the way the Californians do. The jacket game on the switch 180 manual impossible out is accurately judged to be among the year’s coldest.

Lory Vincent, Call Your Office: The Enduring Legacy of ‘Haulin Ass to Hall and Oates’

September 23, 2018

Birthdays in the maple-and-urethane sphere are volatile aftairs, equal parts euphoria at making it thus far in compiling a body of work, and trepidation at drawing side-eyes for being past the prime, ripe for replacement or worse yet, parody. Ten years in, Powell, Girl and World were near the height of their respective powers; at 20, it was a different story, with partners and prowess faded, half-joking talk of curses and financial sponsors pondering various asset combinations to recapture growth. Make it to 30 and you are entitled to coast on reissues, at 40, open your own museum.

For videos it’s different, as the internet age places years-ago classics and ahead-of-their-time overlookeds into constant combat with the daily deluge of parts, semi-lengths and tour clips. Here, the skate-culture snake or cobra or whatever nibbles at its own tail, occasionally taking a bite: Witness Pontus Alv’s overt callbacks to H-Street vids in Polars’ recent opuses, Bronze’s highly eroticized Adio and Alien Workshop pastiches, Girl’s wink toward a Cory Kennedy ‘Yeah Right’ part in 2015’s ‘Wet Dream.’ Marc Johnson, promoting a new deck-and-t-shirt concern Business & Co., this month unveiled a YouToob mashup featuring some regularly referenced Neil Blender and Sean Young footage, along with scenes from recent Habitat collabee ‘Twin Peaks’ to say… something.

To call the history of single-artist soundtracked skate videos patchy is to be charitable. Element’s ‘This Is My…’ full-length, sonically appointed by Odd Nosdam, reclines couchbound on the mostly-inoffensive-but-barely-there end of the spectrum; on the other pogos Flip’s ‘Xtremely Sorry,’ cast out of a poorly-attended Midwestern Warp Tour stop on general principle. ‘Haulin,’ as well as higher-profile but less-on-the-line efforts like DNA entrustung Mr. Dibbs to usher in Habitat’s inaugural offering for the ‘Photosynthesis’ midsection, suggest dudes may have been doing it wrong. Some twist on Bill Clinton’s ‘92 campaign-trail warhammer such as ‘it’s the songs, stupid,’ probably applies.

At the time of its 2008 publication, ‘Haulin Ass to Hall and Oates’ struck many as an unlikely combo. For many years, the Bronx’s Big Punisher stood as skateboarders’ primary musical idol, an individual of limited means who traded upon his skill, creativity and sheer force of will to amass fame and wealth and extreme physical mass. Those were the dreams of many tween skaters. And yet on the low, Hall and Oates potentially surpass Pun’s achievements, while aligning closely with the evolving skate-ethos. Daryl Hall’s multi-instrumental mastery carries weight in skating’s still-going ATV age, and his knowing way with women — at least in song — serves as a high-water mark for the confidence skateboarders require to manage personal brands in a new and virtually streamy media environment. Separately, John Oates’ moustache exemplifies today’s ‘send it bro’ spirit. As a team they are the best-selling musical duo in history and have achieved success selling t-shirts at above-market rates, a cornerstone of fiscal prowess in today’s skate game.

Released 10 years ago this year, Ian Shulman and Tom Carter’s most enduring contribution to the skate video canon mingles Hall’s and Oates’ glossy but oft-dark tales of late-’70s love on the rocks with that damp grittiness particular to the Pacific Northwest. At a time when jangling indie rock reigned supreme in vid soundtracks and Transworld’s fading video legacy fell back on incense-scented vinyl, Two Hawks Young switch bigspin boardslides one of the chunky Hendrix rails to ‘Baby Come Back;’ Mike de Leon rocks fat tongue Reeboks and launches a serious wallie, while Daryl Hall stands stoic awaiting ‘Maneater’s signature sax bleat and on-screen text deadpans, ‘Montage.’ A yung Matt Gottwig sails a gap to nosegrind, Owen Jones hardflips into a wallride to fakie, John Oates ice grills the camera and Ryan Strangland flicks a magical-looking heelflip backside tailslide to fakie.

Will ‘Haulin Ass to Hall and Oates’ ever attain its rightful place within the skate video pantheon, or will it primarily remain valued for helping clear skateshops of lingering and unworthy kids at closing time? Must Joey Johnson’s nollie noseblunt and other ledge tricks truly rank among the greatest post-‘Trilogy’ uses of the Gideon Choi pants? Do you agree that Chromeo looked sort of shook jamming with Daryl Hall at his house?

The Rise of The Noseslide Shove It Heralds The Age of Dad Tricks

April 15, 2016

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Is skateboarding as we know it courting wholesale disaster and destruction? The resounding answer ultimately must be a form of ‘idk but..’ as a steadily swirling swirl of lifestyle choices, fashion accessories and increasingly, tricks themselves increasingly bear the mark of the paterfamilias, to increasingly risky and questionable ends.

The current ‘dad’ fad is little shock when you consider how skating, once a rebellious youthful subculture prior to its modern format as a joint venture of several global footwear manufacturers, previously offered a haven for broken-homed kids that in many cases was preferable to careers in substance abuse or strong-armed robbery. Generations later the youngsters now look up to second-generation pros such as Alex Olson and Riley Hawk, who skate with their dads, swap pro models and career advice as they forge dynasties that can rule over taxpayer-funded bowls and prefabricated plaza spots for eons to come, battling rival clans across the cosmos for wealth and prestige and lucrative mineral deposits.

Dadness already had been stoked to a near-inferno by the widespread re-adoption of loose-fit, faded denim jeans, sometimes with a sensible cuff-roll well suited to low-impact cycling or safely depressing the pedals of a used minivan. Soon after, hat designers including Huf and Bronze56K elevated the dad cap from musty closet shelves and lost-and-found bins to a lofty $36 pricepoint item that comes in fetching pastels, equally at home flipping an 8.5″ popsicle or being flipped via Ebay for healthy multiples of its retail price.

Yet whereas any geek off the proverbial street can outfit himself in dad garb, cultivate convincing flab in pursuit of a lusted-for dad bod and feign a tiresome lifestyle of early bedtimes and a mind-eroding 9-to-5, dadness also has revealed itself gradually through long-passe streetstyle maneuvers. The varial flip, which only style dieties bearing names such as Brian Anderson, Mike Carroll and Jordan Trahan can lift to the level of the tolerable, once was not the sort of move performed in mixed company, but no more; body varial, same deal.

The noseslide shove-it, which elbowed aside no-complies, shove-its and wallrides as well as threatening light balls to capture precious screen time in Polar’s energizing ‘I Like It Here Inside My Mind,’ again resurfaced in this week’s Bronze promo ‘Plug,’, marking a new apex in ‘dad’ tricks that may be difficult to surpass. Fifteen years since Rob Welsh nearly single-handedly rescued the noseslide from that doomed scrap pile of tricks too basic for blocks and too ‘Muska’ for handrails, a new era beckons in which legs weary from four presidential terms’ worth of pop-outs are offered respite via a mellow 90-degree shove in the direction the board already is headed, a ‘tech’ trick in the same spirit as the ‘extra mild’ salsas hawked by the jug in Midwestern box stores.

How uncomfortably deep is skating willing to take its dad fixations? Does the unfortunate prophecy of the star-crossed Theban king Oedipus, who slew his father and married his mother, suggest that skating will thrust some metaphorical harpoon through surfing before turning an altogether different and still more troubling metaphorical harpoon toward roller-skating? Is there a convoluted version of the Sphinx’s riddle that could include a basic noseslide in the ‘morning,’ the late-90s favorite with the 270 shove it the hard way for the ‘afternoon,’ and then the current/dad version in the ‘night?’ Will ruin and chaos soon follow, or could the frontside tailslide shove-it be next?

Ams Behaving Badly and The Struggle For Our Immortal Souls Dudes

January 9, 2016

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As the sleek and plush (if leased [and somehow less flavourful than the Honda Civics and cliff-bound Cadillacs of decades past]) Porsche that is skating’s motorvehicular avatar purrs into 2016, the dashbound is fruitlessly thumped again and again in a hapless bid to steady the jittery moral compass mounted somewhere south of the cracked rear view and fuzzy dice. Turmoil abounds. Tweenage inward heelflip lothario Baby Scumbag and self-styled switchstance deity Keelan Dadd stand accused of sexually exploiting a 12-year-old, drawing revulsion from all but their most loyal Instagram subscribers. Knox Godoy, that onetime Baker bidder for Billy Waldman status, assures Jenkem that a hybrid lifestyle of drug selling, professional chefing and knocking over the odd Wal-Greens is preferred over the comparatively stressful elements of pro-level boardsmanship. Elsewhere there is an uneasy peace to be made with contractually obligated energy-drink hoisting, ‘name’ pros openly endorsing Drake material and Thrasher ringing in this uncertain new year by dabbling in emoticons.

Polarization and its closely related national pasttime, the culture war, seem bound to lay hooks into the skating sphere as it embarks upon a bold age in which a pro can be sacked for too-loose poo talk, while Andy Roy, noted degenerate, holds forth as a wizened confidant and adviser. Mythmaking and condemnation continue their two-decade waltz* around a film meditation on trading HIV status and various assaults while Lenny Kirk admonishes snitches and trafficks in Biblical morality from behind bars:

“A lot of Americans don’t know these things. They’re too caught up with fake tits and butts, plastic surgery, gay sex, drugs, and how to get God out of America. Obsessed with themselves. The flesh. Perverted, influenced by bimbo hoes with twisted minds and famous because of pornos. America is heading to Hell yet they don’t think so. Some try to make it as if homosexuals are normal people but it’s a lie, a deception. You’re not born that way! Men move from viewing pornography to homosexuality, to rape, to incest and to pedophilia… from one glass of wine to abusive alcoholism and from smoking marijuana to crack cocaine.”

As skating’s graying corporate checkhandlers steer it toward an Olympic status and the balance sheet replenishing endorsement largesse to follow, skaters must determine whether they continue cheering bad guys. The general public already had split over Palace’s prodigal ‘old New York’er Shawn Powers’ art career, jacket game and skating generally, but the gulf widened this week upon digital unearthing of a clip in which Shawn Powers forcefully liberated several lobsters before sending several toward an untimely and preemptive broiling via wall.

Shawn Powers’ shock-and-awe campaign upon these semi-suspecting lobsters drew widespread shrugs and condemnation in turn within the skating sphere and without, amid calls for Palace to cease his sponsorship, police to jail him and aquatic beings across the region to rise up in moistened vengeance.

Skating of course already has had a long and fraught relationship with lobsters, mainly manifested through footwear color schemes. Lobsters, despite their cuddly appearance and gregarious ways, are among the most enigmatic and threatening invertebrates of the time. Long rumoured to possess the secrets of immortality, they will feast upon the flesh and carapaces of their own kind, spreading dangerous bacteria wherever they scuttle and threatening the toes and, indeed, the very souls of the unwary:

These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat…. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you. Leviticus 11:9, 12

Did Shawn Powers, possibly fresh off Chrome Ball Incident’s landmark Lennie Kirk post and a recent poll that voted God most likely to destroy humanity, simply seek to look out for immortal souls generally and avoid potential abominations by the best means possible? Would lobsters rather die briefly free on the pavement than live doomed behind glass? Dad-a-cham? Dum-a-chum? How does this clip not go in the next Bronze vid? What would Andy Roy do?

6. Dick Rizzo – ‘Trust’

December 26, 2015

Buoyed by a surname associated with intensely described roofing and auto repair, Dick Rizzo cemented a calendar year of powerful persuasion despite entanglements with the aged Elvis of postage stamp controversies past and ersatz poetry by Quentin Miller. In between uniquely musical bike-rack clankers and bidding for Huf wallride titlist the Bronze ‘Trust’ chapter offered viewers a long sip of Dick Rizzo’s broiling and magma-like psyche as he hopped skatestoppers at speed, switch grinded bars and united bizarrely positioned ground nubs via kickflip.