Posts Tagged ‘Kellen James’

Doin’ the Mud Foot

August 9, 2009

goofy_skateboarding
ABD by Bob Burnquist BTW

In the past BTO has been accused by certain haters and pharisees of favoring lefties, so in a way it’s something that I’m even giving the new goof-heavy TWS vid the time of day. But just as summer wouldn’t be summer without a slick Bonnier Corp. production, summer on the internet wouldn’t be quite as sweet without an undercooked examination said DVD, and hey, it’s another year of free Transworld I guess. I got birdcages to line out here, people.

The danger with evolving into an institution, at least as far as the wonderful world of skateboard videos goes, is the risk of devolving into formula, and TWS definitely has one, with variances depending on who’s behind the lens in any given year. So it’s worth noting what “RFF” does in terms of coloring outside the lines laid down by Evans*, Hunt, et al–mostly a slim 35-minute runtime that again dispenses with the voiceovers (best move TWS vids have made in the last six years, besides filming Richard Angelides) and most of the bum footage. This time around the Holland/Ray duo leave the dusty 70’s roadhouse rock in favor of a color-splashed perpetual motion machine similar to the one that powered Nike’s “Debacle” vid, but with a little more of a retro 80’s feel. One personal highlight was the intro’s opening synth line, which had me thinking for a hot second that “RFF” would dare to be stupid, though these hopes were soon dashed like so many Weird Al Grammy dreams.

The skating I was more mixed on. Kellen James is definitely sipping on that I-can-fuck-with-Koston juice, and who knows, maybe he can these days. There’s credit to be given to dudes who see the classical appeal in switch k-grinding handrails and his nollie bigspin backside tailslide is mean; also liked how he got all Kyle Leeper on those pavilion blocks and the round-the-way switch noseblunt. Nice part with the perfect first-section song, and while there’s only so many frontside shoves out of backside lipslides that the world needs, the world is Kellen James’ oyster right now as far as skateboard tricks go, which seems like a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, I forgot to mention before how I was a fan of Joey Brezinski’s 180 switch manual-body varial line.

Fun historical analogues in the montage, not limited to Slash’s Bartman tee–Dan Peterka comes out of retirement for a mondo kink boardslide and Theotis Beasley touches down on a backside double heelflip, and while I’m sure somebody somewhere has done one since the heady days of “Big Pants Small Wheels,” I’ll be durned if I’ve seen one personally. At a certain point though I start thinking that this is an album that would’ve made a better EP, and that point is Corey Duffel, who to me always looks like he’s posing for an Alternative Press pull-out poster; his brand of punk rawk has a kind of calculatedness that’s summed up really well in the credits-footage bluntslide, where he knocks some loosened knobs off a ledge and scatters them in front of the camera, just so. We’ll note for the record the progressive aspects of this section (sports jerseys, hugging Cameron Boutte), give props to the backside tailslide, note that adding nosegrabs generally does not make a trick compelling, and move along.

Recently unretired Matt Beach is quite different, in a few different ways. I don’t know what his ass is shaped like for instance, and I feel a bit bad that this part didn’t much move me… even in his Firm heyday I wasn’t a terribly big fan of the Beach, but I am glad he’s back, because it’s another notch in the altruistic column for Nike Inc. and I think skateboarding right now needs more people with his type of mindset in general. Good tricks were the switch tailslide switch kickflip, the ice powerslide and that frontside blunt pop to fakie, and it’s cool that this dude can come out of the wilderness and bust Jimmy Carlin ledge tricks if he wants to. Nice but lengthy song too, although the last trick is worth the wait and one for the books, whatever those are and wherever they’re kept.

*Slow-mo headstand kid was a definite shout-out

TWS Is Down For The Goofs

January 29, 2009


Does that make me Clarabelle Cow

Transworld Skateboarding presents the first video I will buy that includes a Corey Duffel part. How long do you think he was sitting on that Biebel jersey, hotly anticipating the highest-profile occasion on which to break it out for film documentation? Yes, it’s a new America.

More to the point: I think it would be a moderately good look (or at least a semi-refreshing change of pace) if TWS traded in their dads’ Northern Lights-scented 8 track tape collection for some type of minimal techno soundtrack for this video. And the rainbow quick-cut collage clips make me think of the Tomorrowland motif or whatever I imagined Plan B’s “Superfuture” promo was getting at, until the Beatles kicked in. Do it TWS, keep us guessing.

At this point I would like to turn the blog over to the controlled chaos of the TWS comments section, in deference to their unbending wisdom and powerful variance.

OMG this is going to be the sickest skatevideo ever !!!!!!!!!!!!:P

i know ima get hated on, but its kinda weird they make an all goofy vid

dope skating+time lapse traffic footage+skaters silhouettes on the beach=transworld vid

I heard Bobby did the Canadian Embassy 21 stair and he is saving the footy for this!

HELL YEA RAY RAY DEFINITLY DIFFERENT WIT THE EDITING BUT HEY ITS COOL 2009 STAY ON DA GRIND

8. Kellen James, “Jus Liv’n”

December 23, 2008

Time was, actual skating – the “putting in work” popularized by labor movement mavens Rob & Big – won you absolutely no career points in the pro skateboarding game, and keeping a low profile was an art best cultivated in darkened Los Angeles clubs or the occasional “rave party” (as the kids called them back then). The advent of the video age, coinciding with cash money once again pouring into skating, changed that, with the likes of Brad Staba (who’s successfully kept work-putting-in at bay for most of the last decade) bemoaning the unending pursuit of footage back in “Modus.” The distressing humanity of a Super 8 tour in the “Final Flare” documentary is enough to make me feel for the Carrolls and Howards and maybe even Marianos (who more or less perfected profiling-as-career) who are old enough to remember a time when every day wasn’t spent feverishly filming, and YouTube hadn’t yet reduced the shelf life of video parts to a matter of weeks.

But here we are. Kellen James is one of these young Turks with the energy and know-how to film a six minute part of ridiculously hard tricks (switch f/s bluntslide, switch f/s smith grind, cabellerial b/s tailslide bigspin etc etc), and also confident enough the skating will hold people’s interest that he sets it all to a kind of tuneless Jay-Z mash-up. With everybody from Stefan Janoski to Jimmy Cao turning in multi-song parts maybe this is what you need to do to get peoples’ attention, but it helps that James has the firepower of a Sean Malto and a powerful beard to boot. To seal the deal, why not pump out another few minutes of tricks. Hardest working dude this year for sure, if you count skating for Peter Smolik as working and not some sort of bizarre daily pleasure cruise.

Get it how you live

April 24, 2008

While MJ kind of pushed it to and past the outer limits last year, there’s something to be said for video parts that you can kind of get lost in, where by the time they’re over you’re remembering tricks here and lines there and for a while each re-watch is a process of discovery (or something). Mike Carroll has made a few of these parts, Lavar in Trilogy of course, and a lot of lesser skaters.

Time will judge this new part from freshly minted Sk8Mafia pro Kellen James, who pushes the six-minute mark and strings together enough crazy tricks that I’m not going to name them off. The mash-up music selection is kind of questionable but it’s a banger of a part for sure. Some may whine about paid dues and such, but this dude has been around longer than a while and if logging footage week in and week out on the TWS website doesn’t count as doing your time, I mean, jesus.

Personally I had no idea he was even half this good, and if I wanted to get bitter here I could harp on about any number of tricks that would make better TSM covers than a Sheckler air-ball kickflip, but let’s give Kellen James his moment in the sun here and hold up a toast to more video parts like this to freak out and rewind for a few months.