Posts Tagged ‘Cliche’

Canada in Ruggish Show of Ten-Pin Aggression Following Trump Election

November 19, 2016

angrypoutine1

The shock election of Donald G. Trump to the U.S. presidency last week sent up a massive “ZOMG” shaped smoke signal from the collective skateboard camp. While New York’s useful wooden toy ambassador Billy Rohan sought to build bridges between Tompkins and Trump Tower, international ripples and wrinkles almost immediately rippled and wrinkled up as the globe at large cocked an eyebrow and looked over the tops of its glasses at a Trump-headed United States.

Already, there are signs that cross-border skateboard relations may be fraying. Fresh off the Brexit break-up, Liverpoolian ditch-slasher Geoff Rowley cut his remaining ties to the Americanized Flip, while Brazilian-born Rodrigo TX bounced from North Philly’s DGK. And late this week, reports of Cliche’s demise under Dwindle left an Eiffel-tower sized hole in skating’s increasingly Francophiliac soul.

Whereas much of the Trump campaign focused on trans-oceanal misdeeds by China and Mexico, his threats to rehash NAFTA, the Bushian trade policy beloved to Canada’s shivering cabals of beerbrewers, mining conglomerates and wealthy bears, posed a risk too great to go unchallenged by Dime Mtl’s specialist bowling posse. In a swaggering display of cross-border belligerence, Canadians scrambled several athletes to wear sunglasses indoors and create a show of force in a bowling alley, a shot across the bow of Canada’s neighbor to the south following months of heated campaign-trail rhetoric.

The aggressive bowling video, unnerving in its feats of raw agility and power throws, seemed calculated to strike at Trump’s vulnerabilities. Dime bowlers, enriched by their own line of clothing items and yellow shirts, don’t wait for the strike to be scored, they “just start kissing,” no Tic-Tac. The cross-alley throw, bouncing into the gutter and then out again to pick up a spare no Wisconsin pollster could have envisioned, is a clear metaphor for Trump’s come-from-behind win. And yet as wall after wall of pins fall to the Dime squadron’s merciless strikes, the video file seems to defy any attempted fence-building that could slow the flood of cheap Canadian goods, manufactured by low-paid penguins and elk, into the trembling hands of U.S. consumer-purchasers.

How many hours will it take Lucas Puig to go to Palace? With Miles Silvas apparently headed to GuyKo’s Numbers, is Max Geronzi the world’s hottest free agent? Is Canada feeling itself, after Dime already upended the dominance of the U.S. contest circuit via its Glory Challenges, and its endearingly urbane Bunt aims to do likewise in the increasingly vibrant skate podcast market? Does the involvement of Jamal Smith and Forrest Edwards suggest Canada already has cultivated sympathizers on U.S. soils? Could a trade war erupt over hard rock Canadian maple and tall tees, or would a stronger Canadian dollar drag down overseas sales of premium quality Dime shirts?

Callin All the Girls, Do You Hear Me? All Around the World, City to City. Cheers to the Girls, More Juice to the Guys, Now I Got a Chicken and a Goose in the Ride

January 23, 2016

WampaDood

The alleged, unnamed and unknowable ice world lurking beyond the confines of the generally regarded universe this week became the latest cosmic force to challenge skating’s long-held but fading belief in the Spicolian maxim that, tasty ledges/gaps/bowls and a cool buzz in hand, all will be fine. This supposed “massive perturber” of some description seemed to taunt skateboarders globally in a general and taunting way. ‘See me, my powerful magnetic fields and my girth,’ it seemed to intone from beyond this solar system. ‘I spread my galactic influence among dwarf planets and, literally, chill.’ And yet on earth, vigils are held online and amongst the square-block granite pocket of Love Park, which the powers that be have determined must be gathered up and remade in a fashion devoid of crack rocks, fistfights, switch heelflips and backside noseblunts.

Philadelphia’s scene is to be cut loose from its best-beloved anchor, one it has exhumed before, at a time when that exalted god technology has enabled companies of varying stripe to cleave themselves from any particular municipality or even geography in a sort of freewheeling rootlessness. Companies design boards from Sweden, Cals Nor and So, Ohio, London and elsewhere, order them pressed in China and Mexico, warehousing them here and there before shipping them to kickflipping endorsers on any number of coasts and wherever Jake Johnson may roam. The photo and video spoils are beamed onto Instagram for consumption via mobile phone between classes, at work or in the john, with decks and premiumly priced t-shirts or sockwear readily hawked to admirers from internet web stores.

Yet much like the sun-hugging planets that owe their atmospheric colorations and ore riches to the gravitational gravity of the one true sun, there is a human case to be made that skate empires’ staying power rests in large part upon some local and geographical cornerstone. Deluxe is synonymous with the Bay, Sk8Mafia with San Diego, even the Osiris parts. Palace is filming their video all in London. Dime and Quartersnacks have fashioned clout from their towns and gained the ability to develop proprietary shirts and sweaters. Pitfalls threaten those who may wander: Alien Workshop, emboldened after adopting Philadelphia and New York as its “Photosynthesis” touchstones, floundered in its effort to launch the borderless and meandering Seek. Blueprint and Cliche surrendered a certain cache when they traded their across-the-pond concentrations to sign up the same US pros courted by California companies, skating the same palm-shaded hubbas. Plan B’s widely known ‘Tru, B’ vid was rumored to have been filmed at exclusive marble plazas on eight continents which includes the secret one.

5Boro is named for New York and so is its new ‘5BNY’ video, which boasts the capacity to open with a black-and-white cityscape motif soundtracked to jazz music that doesn’t come off all contrived, and next by showing tricks from Sylvester Eduardo, a crusher in the ‘Welcome to Hell’ mold who can muscle through some burly 50-50s and wallies and also do floaty frontside pop shove-its and frontside 360s. (Sometimes in Raps, always nice to see on the East Coast.) He’s the first among the ‘5BNY’ lineup to crisscross streets choked with pedestrians, street vendors, autos, commentary-spewing passersby and the rest of the bros, up to and including Quim Cardona*. Karim Callender glides through some of the more lackadasical nosegrinds in a while and Rob Gonyon exhibits power camo and a notable noseblunt shove-it before the scene is cleared for Jordan Trahan, this era’s 360 flip king, tossing off little-seen noseslide 50-50 combinations and no-push lines with impeccable arms, a boss over-the-can carver and probably never enough 360 flips. There could be a whole part of the 360 flips.

Similarly debuting in this blogging site’s fiscal 2016, Isle’s long-awaited ‘Vase’ comes soaked in London brick and feels sort of like a prodigal son type of homecoming after Blueprint’s unfortunate last years and ill-advised dabbles in Americana, such as the still difficult to understand decision to open a video with ‘Birdhouse In Ur Soul.’ This streamlined and gallery-damaged lot rebuild via mixed media and the same type of dollar-store intro inventiveness that helped ‘Bag of Suck’ endure as well as the editing-bay hokum of ‘Fully Flared’, but it is Tom Knox, Chris Jones, Nick Jensen and Casper Brooker who thrust their hands into London’s cracked and smoke-stained guts — Tom Knox’s vision seems not to stop at tricks that could be done at spots but to see spots around corners, overhead or behind parked vehicles, most ridiculously on tricks like the loading dock drop-down to street-gap 360 flip, or the gables-scraping tailslides. Sixteen or so years removed from ‘WFTW’s pint-size gap switch kickflipper Nick Jensen still has vicious South Bank lines and a switch backside nosegrind worthy of Steve Durante while Casper Brooker has the video’s best frontside shove-it and a wild South Bank kickflip transfer. The best section is Chris Jones, with his avant garde switch heelflip and switch manual hops across the sidewalks, which peaks with the careening tunnel runs (the ride out on the backside kickflip).

If the Isle bros can successfully reclaim London via the vital and eminently rewatchable ‘Vase,’ is it similarly possible to cultivate new roots for one’s ‘personal brand’? Surely Jereme Rogers’ years in the wilderness and before had already taken him through Las Vegas, but his recent King of the Strip video part positioned Jereme Rogers’ current formulation of hedonism, fashion mishaps and face-tatted self-aggrandizement** as a persona ready-made for Las Vegas’ rentable, plasticine and transient sin. Whereas Lennie Kirk fused spirituality with a certain on- and off-board brutality, Jereme Rogers proffers an elixir of wealth-seeking Christianity and shameless excess that seems suited to Las Vegas’ neon-heated Gamblor lairs, all-u-can-consume buffets and drive-thru wedding chapels.

Could Las Vegas provide a blinging launchpad for Jereme Rogers’ long-awaited skateboard comeback? Could an as-yet unknown icy giant hold a gap or obstacle that Jordan Trahan could not 360 flip or would its slackened gravitational pull enable even greater 360 flip feats? Why must Pluto keep getting dissed? Has any skate concern successfully transplanted itself? How come it’s been so long since somebody used Big Pun?

*Who has come to occupy an East Coast station that approximates the gonzo exuberance of Chad Muska, or maybe Smolik
**which his jail bid seems to have dulled right?

1. Max Geronzi – ‘Gypsy Life’

December 31, 2015

Tenured psychology professors in 1985 formulated the ‘Francis Buxton’ principle to warn of spendthrift excess, dangerous gorging and aquatic Godzilla delusions that may arise from privileged upbringing, a cautionary stance that should be paid mind by the ‘everyone can do every trick’ generation, particularly given an ongoing fixation on 1980s artifacts including but not limited to bonelesses and sport vests. Cliché’s contrast pocketeer Max Geronzi, one of those seemingly capable of doing every trick, also appears imbued with the good sense to know what ones are worth trying as he runs the streetstyle gamut from Photosynthesis tech lines to flip-in-flip-outs to tall rails to bump-to-bar crust spots, griptape hanging off the nose and a Jake Johnson arm on the switch ollie into the bank. In spite of dated lifestyle-shot jumbling, the mysterious and swirly grab bag of seldom-seen-elsewhere maneuvers Max Geronzi pulls from – switch late shove-it, fakie frontside bluntslide, nollie backside 180 to switch 5-0, on a rail – and razory execution on more straightforward gnar like the full-tilt switch nose manual and the towering switch 360 flip off the Barcelona wave make his ‘Gypsy Life’ section more rewatchable than nearly any other video part this year.

An Item About the ‘Gypsy Life’ Vid that Maybe Was Gonna Be Called ‘How Cliche Got Its Louvre Back’

April 25, 2015

freedomfries

As the pot of boiling molten lead that is euro zone’s economic crisis continues to upend itself over the continental bloc, scalding and blistering the region’s economic back and dribbling into the frayed and threadbare underpants of its long term growth prospects, seeking sales abroad makes sound business sense. In recent years Blueprint and Cliche have followed the trail blazed decades back by Flip, settling into So Cal distributorships and placing themselves into contention to sign American handrail hopefuls and carve forth that ever-succulent slice of the lucrative US boards market, with the throbbily rising greenback translating to ever-larger piles of euros and related European commodities such as wine, Matif wheat and heavily sold David Hasslehoff albums.

Cliché’s latest vid arrives entitled ‘Gypsy Life,’ perhaps in a nod to the company’s Frommian series of tours as well as its increasingly nationless nature. A decade ago, in the ‘Bon Appetit’/French Fred era that elevated Cliche to the world stage, Australian phenom Cale Nuske represented a major off-continent shift in Jereme Daclin’s teambuilding. Two years after that Cliché scooped Arcadian manual-pad mixologist Joey Brezinski who had languished for a time in a kind of post-Tyron Olson teammate limbo, considered to be a uniquely singular experience, and also representing Cliché’s initial foray into employing Americans.

While Lucas Puig, that postnaturally gifted ledge soothsayer, and drop-down sweatsuit maestro JB Gillet remain spiritual viceroys, the current Gypsy Cliché is more multinational than ever, with Frenchmen representing just over one-third of the team; U.S. riders now make up the largest non-French bloc, with the remainder split between the U.K., euro zone and Australia. While Palace and Polar ball for position in an effort to crack some long-standing glass ceiling long constraining east-of-the-Atlantic hardgoods operators, Cliché’s recent hires of the triple set-thundering Paul Hart, transition muncher Brad McClain and schoolyard impressionists like Daniel Espinoza and the now-FA’d Kevin Bradley give the company firm US positioning in several relevant subgenres.

In Cliché’s bid for cross-borderdom, it is Lyonnaise hot shoe Max Geronzi` who makes the most powerful argument for France’s continued dominion, uncorking probably the best video part so far this year – Thrasher drew the easy comparison to Puig but for our unconverted francs the better metric is Chewy Cannon, whose nervy energy, switch ollie poke and merciless flick Max Geronzi closely approximates. He also constructs some of the more incredible lines in a while, weaving in poorly understood tricks such as the fakie frontside bluntslide, an arcane god few recently have prayed to beyond the house of Cobra Chris Cole. In another frightening turn, Max Geronzi backside lipslides a legit handrail out of a manual.

With some three parts under his belt so far this year, is Max Geronzi preparing for a Mark Suciu-esque run of productivity that can only end under the crushing drudgery and long-term wisdom of pursuing higher education? Is French still regarded as the international language of ledges? Is JJ Rousseau still recording footage? Did the boy seriously backside lipslide a handrail from a manual? If what Joey Brezinski said years back about using EA Skate to craft new manual combinations, would this qualify him as the first dual-level professional both on board and on screen?

Has Handrail Skating Entered Middle Age?

April 17, 2015

muska_handrail_help_call

“Nobody pays taxes on Mars,” the old saying goes, and it rings as true today as it ever was. For the astronaut, moustachioed and physically capable of handling several Gs, space travel draws a fat, black dividing line between youth and that which comes after; no man, they say, is the same after penetrating celestial orbit. For the ancient dinosaurs, to enter middle age was a feat accomplished by only the clever and ruthless, and these became chieftans and enriched warlords.

Today little has changed. History barrels forward similar to a kettle of fine fish packed into a barrel and rolled downhill and, come this time next year, handrail skating will be 30 years removed from those nervy days when Mark Gonzales and Natas Kaupas took it in their heads to ollie air up onto safely secured hand-bannisters and chart a bold and zesty course toward best-trick contest purses, ponderous stair counts, bike-lock controversies and the occasional bloody discharge. There was a gawky, turn-of-the-decade adolescence, followed by a coming of age under the dauntless feet of Duffy, Kirchart, Thomas and Muska, and the bigger-longer-taller maturation spree pursued in the early aughts by the Flip-Zero-Baker contingent.

Wither the handrail in 2015? In the last year and a half Transworld has featured just a single handrail trick on its cover, as page counts dwindle and TWS embraces wallrides and assorted transition terrains. Over at Thrasher, which cover-wise years ago threw in its lot with the Wade Speyer side of the tech-vs-gnar continuum, handrail tricks as a percentage of covers each year seem to have plateaued.

handrails_graph1

Is handrail skating becoming engulfed in a midlife crisis, with nollie heelflip crooked grinds widely regarded as passe, 39 stair curvers suggesting some possible upper limit and El Toro gelded? Resurgent bowls, abrupt transitions and even the vert ramp seem to have splintered handrail skating into restless and nomadic tribes, including displaced wallriders, wall-rejecting against-the-grainers, deep-crouching over-the-toppers, body varialing rewinders and a Mariano-bred stripe of small-bar uber-tech.

Recent signals however suggest that a certain purity of the round slanted bar continues to draw admirers, even without a fire-engine red, glasspacked sports car or wallie on. Australian dervish Jack Fardell, in the process of extensively notching some unholy San Francisco skatespot bedpost, commanded Thrasher’s May cover with a rabid 50-50 grind down a kinked beast that had bucked known master John Cardiel more than a decade back. Further south Paul Hart, a Floridian partly responsible for shifting Cliche’s center of gravity increasingly west of the Atlantic, recorded a sit-and-stare worthy nollie backside noseblunt to fakie sequence that naturally occurred also near the end of an Arto-aspiring ‘Gypsy Life’ section.

Is a midlife crisis a healthy and productive exercise for handrail skating generally? When handrail skating begins wearing tight polo shirts with the collars flipped up, pumping weights and loudly quoting Rae Sremmurd lyrics, at what point should a friend intervene? Will people start painting gray handrails black and then denying it? Will photoshopping gray handrails black represent the greatest ethical quandary to confront Instagram accountholders in the years ahead? Could Thrasher re-run this Kasai cover next month without anyone being the wiser except probably Jason Dill?

Slim, French and Dynomite

June 20, 2012

As a sorta postscript to the last couple rambles, formerly Cliched professional JJ Rousseau offers one spin on a post-honeymoon occupation, setting in as lensman for a day at the foundation with recent summertime ambassador Lucas Puig. He seems to be vying with Mark Suciu for lines of the year, will anybody in the Crailtap production get in their way? Section bears ties with another former pro, Alphonso Rawls, who reveals that the three-stripe idea has been done not once but twice before. That frontside 180 to fakie manual, I can’t stand it..

Summertime Mixtape #5: Lucas Puig “Bon Appetit”

June 8, 2012

As the Mediterranean breezes, expansive vineyards and reported peccadilloes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn suggest, France can be an easygoing place, illustrated herein by the major-production video debut of the nation’s favorite four-wheeled son in Cliche’s “Bon Appetit,” set to a freewheeling Zappa jangler. Back when this came out–not that long ago really, but seems like a while ago–people began drawing comparisons between young Puig and Mouse-era Mariano, and while these comparisons haven’t borne out over time given both dudes’ eventual embrace of tricky ledge combos, they did wind up endorsing the same kind of shoes, so the possibility remains that some of those original comparison-drawers were psychic. I was and remain ‘psyched’ regarding a lot of the relatively simple but well-chosen moves in this part, namely the kickflip backside shifty, the fakie frontside flip off the wedge, those backside noseblunt variations on the little banked ledge, the spin on the switch 360 flip over the channel and the smattering of dork tricks in the middle. Lucas Puig tapdances across sculpture gardens and sunny public spaces, plus there’s a JB Gillett feature, without which no summer can really be complete. In closing, we hope you have enjoyed this rare run of several posts across consecutive days, or at least the video clips.

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 40-31

November 7, 2009

A general disclaimer about the list to follow ought to start with noting that most lists of this sort are pretty much bullshit anyway, designed to ignite pointless debate and sell women’s health magazines or ad spots on VH1, and this one may not be much different really. However, given that this is an internet blog site, and the end of a decade is approaching, fate holds that a list must be made. I thought about whether it should be billed as the 40 “best” videos of the past decade, or the 40 “most significant,” or the 40 “most favoritest of BTO” but in the end we’re opting to call it something altogether different and stupid and just get on with things. Special shout to Skim the Fat, where from I got most of these images, is that site still going? Anyhow, numbers 40 through 30:

40. “It’s Official,” 2005
its_official

An overall pretty awesome video marred by a Kanye-heavy soundtrack and a few too many Lenny Rivas quotables, Kayo Corp’s stab at a “Trilogy” featured the national debut of gap-gliding Kenny Hoyle and SF sweatpants fan Robbie Holmes, alongside solid turns from all-stars Jackson Curtain, Karl Watson and a damn Marcus McBride part. I don’t know if Marcus McBride is the Z-Ro of skateboarding, exactly, but he’s something. “Official” probably could’ve done with more Richard Angelides and some editing where Quim Cardona was concerned but this video is one that probably doesn’t get rewatched as often as it should. Chany Jeanguenin skates vert in it.

39. “Skate More,” 2005
skate_more

Daewon Song’s self-reinvention for a post-picnic table world helped vault him to SOTY status off the back of DVS’s debut full-length, but the Python-flavored “Skate More” also boasted the feel-good part of the year straight from the happy feet of Jeron Wilson who floats the slickest heelflip that Jason Dill had ever seen. 2005 was a banner year for Keith Hufnagel as well, putting out two ollie-riffic sections, and this DVS video also offers a glimpse of the ever-shifting Dill in his New York denizen phase and the mixed bag that is Jereme Rogers’ best part to date; also Busenitz/Zered Basset and a more-interesting-than-usual Mikey Taylor contribution.

38. “Get Familiar,” 2006
getfamiliar

Chris Hall’s sneakerhead-financed East-by-West coast document should’ve maybe leaned a bit heavier on the retro elements, like I always thought the electro songs used for the intro clips would’ve made an interesting soundtrack for the whole thing. “Get Familiar” though was a worthy addition to a long line of self-produced East Coast videos with a pretty stacked lineup in a still-skinny Bobby Worrest, a skinnier yet Zach Lyons, EE vets Barley and Forbes and the resurgent duo of Joey Pepper and James Craig (the backside bigspin flip is a career highlight). Curveball parts come from Daewon and Mark Gonzales before gun-slinging Darren Harper controversially closes the video with some baggy denim stylings, crazy pop and that silly floater of a switch frontside shove-it.

37. “Waiting For the World,” 2000
WFTW

It’s kind of fucked up how John Rattray’s section in this video was this devil’s bargain that earned him the glitz and glamour associated with Zero, Elwood and Osiris sponsorships, while at the same time siphoning away Blueprint’s heaviest dude, but these things happen. Nowadays WFTW looks kind of dated, especially Paul Carter’s Osiris pants and the Souls of Mischief song, but in 2000 the video itself was a serious stylistic push forward (the intro in particular) and generally served as a statement of purpose for the British skateboard scene, especially for those of us outside it, putting everybody onto the likes of Paul Shier, Colin Kennedy, a pint-sized Nick Jensen and the loopy genius of Mark Baines, leading up to John Rattray’s Britpop-powered star turn.

36. “Cash Money Vagrant,” 2003
cash_money_vagrant

There was really no reasonable or feasible way for Anti Hero to try and follow up “Fucktards” but their stab at a semi-conventional video in the midst of restocking the team for the concrete park decade is laudable enough and a fun one to throw in now and again. Young(er) and dirty Frank Gerwer does half his frontside k-grinds on Firm boards and Tony Trujillo rejects the Transworld gloss that helped mold his SOTY bid, alongside contributions from Cardiel, Hewitt and most of the other Anti-Heros that matter. It’s short, there is a little lo-fi themed skit that ties the whole thing together and they make it safely to Benecia at the end (spoiler alert). Interestingly, this site is selling a copy for $1300.

35. “Dying To Live,” 2002
dying_to_live

In some ways it’s easy to bag on this vid, what with Jamie Thomas’s very dramatic intro, the beginning of Adrian Lopez’s career slide and Jon Allie’s sort of boring opener part. But as with most Zero productions the editing is sharp, the music fantastic and there is enough good here that “Dying to Live” probably can be considered fairly underrated at this point – Ryan Smith in his young and hungry days, paired with Nirvana, Matt Mumford to Queen, bespectacled Lindsay Robertson’s crushing slow-mo intro, and Chris Cole kickflip backside noseblunting a damn handrail amid a characteristically ridiculous part that capped his fresh-to-hesh migration. And, it had a sweet friends section, something that’s kind of fallen by the way-side in recent years.

34. “7 Year Glitch,” 2002
7_year_glitch

It seems like forever ago that New Deal even was a company and most of these dudes have been scattered to the four winds at this point, and where Fabrizio Santos is concerned, this all may be for the best. But this video, which preceded New Deal’s folding pretty quickly, contains one of the better Ricky Oyola lines captured on video, a lot of good Europe footage before all the spots were played, and the type of diverse lineup that’s generally been tossed in favor of appealing to this or that sub-sub-demographic. There is vert skating and Rob G has a nice run that’s filmed via a stationary long-lens, also, Chad Tim Tim at the early stages of being underappreciated for more or less ten years. Probably you could trace Kenny Reed’s nearly decade-long wandering in the international wilderness to the filming of this project, and maybe the marathon backside 5-0 to backside tail in particular. The one with the kid on the bike.

33. “Baker 3,” 2005
baker3

The Baker Bootleg video formula refined and distilled, taking the sometimes-interminable 90-minute slogs through the chopped-n-screwed Baker world and squishing it into something resembling a more straightforward format. Baker 3 also introduced the world to polar opposite ams Antwuan Dixon and Theotis Beasley, and helped Bryan Herman transition from a browless Reynolds fan to a grown up hardflipper with a world-class 360 flip. Somewhere in there Spanky skates to Morrissey (I know!) and Reynolds stretches his editing legs with some weird effects. Thinking back on this vid now I remember being vaguely shocked that Erik Ellington was capable of backside noseblunting a handrail, and after reading the recent Greco interview, I’m reminded that it was a bummer he didn’t end up using the Queen song for his comeback section.

32. “Bon Appetit,” 2003
bon_appetit

This video rightfully put Cliche on the global map, even though it retreaded that tiresome Yeah Yeah Yeahs song for the nth time and wasted so much top-drawer footage on endless region-specific montages – where is the rationale, I ask you, in sprinkling JJ Rousseu nosegrinds here and there in some Japan part when he could’ve had a full-length section to himself. French Fred’s editing choices aside, “Bon Appetit” dodges classic status but still boasts Lucas Puig’s best part to date (the nollie backside noseblunt), Jan Kleiwer getting his Hufnagel on, Rousseau in top form and a part from when Cale Nuske’s knees still worked that contains exactly one line, which is sick. Also, you should know that Ricardo Fonseca’s ponytail is meant to symbolize the virility of the European skate scene as a whole.

31. “Cheese & Crackers,” 2007
cheese_crackers

Chris Haslam and Daewon Song conspire to build a better mini-ramp mousetrap. Kind of like if the Tilt Moders got locked in a garage for a weekend with a miniramp and a sheet of high-powered blotter acid. When street skateboarding moves beyond its current love for manageable transitions this video could possibly become the current era’s “1281” but there’s a general retardedness that helps smooth out the troublesome physics problems associated with doing blunts behind a curtain, and all manner of other nonsense these dudes get into. Friends section features Carroll and Alex Olson and the human dynamo that is Giovanni Reda, remember, and Lewis Marnell’s bonus part is nice also.

Midwinter Video Roundup: Cle

February 25, 2009


An evening with Cliche

There is a clip in this new Cliche video “Cle,” where bespectacled company honcho Jeremie Daclin ambles into a cafe, sets aside his novelty cruising skateboard and orders a beer, all of which seems so terribly European to me. Like the way he snuggles up to the counter, oddly shakes hands with the sideburned bartender and bustles off to toast the lounge act in the next room. None of this has much to do with the skating or anything else really, aside from the overall mellow cabaret vibe and clean/no frills editing job, which is kind of a nice change of pace after three solid weeks of Mind Fielding.

JB Gillet catches the sensation too in a lengthy opening street ramble punctuated by a smith grind, all of which is overseen by Jesus and Daniel’s Lakai All-Star Shoe Band, strumming out the softly Spanish soundtrack to some switch noseblunt sliding and lazy-foot fakie bigspin flips. Still skatin’ those French benches, JB exchanges a lot of the ledge-combo fireworks for more classical Pier 7 fare (switch 180 nosegrind pop-out) before the handoff to Lucas Puig, who seconds Kalis’ nomination for the fakie 360 flip/switch 360 flip as the go-to two-trick line* for stair spots in early 2009. Amidst a bunch of hard tricks Puig resuscitates that ledge-to-bank spot from the Flip video with a particularly hot move, but as the part went on the more I began to think his style/execution probably peaked back in “Bon Apetit,” which I guess I kind of started seeing in the Lakai video. Something to do with his knees maybe. There is however a switch frontside heelflip over a road gap here that’s super good.

The badass Basque Javier Mendizabal looks the same as he ever did though, which is, a rare treat to watch on transition stuff or springing out of wallies or whatever it may be. There really is not enough footage of this dude, ever, and the street shit in this video is some of the best he’s done (see: switch backside noseblunts). Elsewhere Ricardo Fonseca has severed his ties with the ponytail and I’m wondering if it’s too late for Cale Nuske to avoid being one of the great coulda-been stories in skating at this point, despite being back on his flip-to-rail bullshit in a serious manner, hardflipping and nollie heelflipping into backside lipslides and whatnot. And human jack-in-the-box Joey Brezinski has another part full of gleefully flippant Joey Brezinski tricks, melding switch kickflips, manuals, backwards baseball caps and Barack ears. My personal favorite is the frontside noseslide 270 heelflip out, which would have been the most Joey Brezinski trick of all if it incorporated a nose manual down the bank.

The thing that bogs this mostly breezy video down isn’t the ams, although newcomer Flo Mirtan brings some of the most inconsequential tricks this side of “Forecast” (backside smith grind off the drop = good though); Charles Collette has improved on the “Kids in E-France-ica” thing and does real gnarly jumps into banks set to passion drumming, also, crazy gap to backside lipslides. What bugs me is all the interminable tour video footage that pads probably like 15 minutes onto this flick, allowing me to once again climb aboard my “too long” high-horse. But why Cliche insists on watering down their videos this way (see also “Bon Apetit”) is totally beyond me, maybe it’s their style. (Or French Fred’s, or “Junior’s”.) I can see a park section, you know. But they’ll throw in all kinds of street footage in there too – JJ Rousseau could have had a full section in BA with all the stuff from Japan. It’s fine that the Clicheiers are unbound to the standard skate video format, and the Wheel of Fortune was fun and whimsical, but by the third song…

Anyway, these transgressions are mostly washed away by the bonecrushingness of Australian headbanger Andrew Brophy and his strength ollies. Watching this part I found myself mentally warp-whistled away to Super Mario 3, World 4, where everything’s larger and one’s sense of scale is contorted. He does big shit on big shit, which sort of negates the size of the ledge or gap or green pipe, or whatever he happens to be skating – the forever blunt at three-up-three-down is a case in point. At the end of his part he gets his serious P-wing on with a serious ollie-after-ollie series that apparently got him over to pro status, but remember, when faced with the hammer-throwing Bowser you must, as all Australians know, go under.

*If you can call two tricks a line. Which I guess you probably can

Superpowers Enable Joey Brezinski to Blend In with Machinery

February 24, 2009

Joey Brezinski’s Transworld interview a couple months ago was entertaining for a variety of reasons, among them his challenges with the French language, designing video game characters based on SAD, and how he uses EA Skate to brainstorm his Rube Goldberg-esque trick combinations:

A lot of my tricks really do come out of that game. A lot of tricks take like five days after I do it for 30 minutes on the couch. In a way that game is mental training for physical training.

They also poke fun at him for basically not being able to come up with any single-frame photo material, which goes some way toward explaining the lame Colin McKay cover. But squinting and furrowing my brow at the sequence captions got me thinking about how Joey Brezinski on a trick-by-trick basis regularly executes some of the longest-named maneuvers currently running. Spoiler alert, here’s some of the more convoluted items from his excellent section in the new Cliche video “Cle” which we may discuss in further detail some day soon.*

-Fakie lipslide to nose manual to nollie backside bigspin (nine words, 57 characters)
-Switch nose manual to fakie nosegrind shove-it out (eight words, 51 characters)
-Kickflip nose manual nollie backside tailslide (seven words, 50 characters)
-Frontside 180 switch manual body varial manual 180 out (nine words, 54 characters)
-Frontside boardslide pop-up to fakie manual revert backside 180 out (10 words, 67 characters)
-Half-cab kickflip manual backside tailslide backside kickflip out (eight words, 65 characters)
-Half-cab frontside noseslide backside 270 manual revert (seven words, 55 characters)
-Nose manual nollie backside bigspin fakie manual fakie pop out (ten words, 62 characters)

Obviously this is the one and true benchmark by which we must measure his part in the upcoming Transworld video this summer. I think he’s got at least a 15-word trick in him, provided he is able to evade the MongoCorp assassins in San Vanelona or whatever it’s called.

*Note, I counted the spaces as characters because I’m not a crazy word monster who likes his words all mushed together in a big mush.