Posts Tagged ‘Krooked’

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 7 — Alex Olson, ‘Gnar Gnar’

July 9, 2019

Long before the techno music, the abdicated Girl pro slot and the post-‘Fully Flared’ shoe-sponsor shuffle, there was a plaid-clad spikey-haired yungster going off over a few sessions in London for a Mark Gonzales/Sam Salganik VHS-exclusive video project. In its way ‘Gnar Gnar’ captures the purest-form Alex Olson, with all the elements in place: the flannels, the poked backside tailslides, those gorilla arms, the frontside tailslides and backside ollies boosted for a camcorder still a few years away from being picked up by Palace.

Running Mates

November 6, 2016

zaphod

The key to unlocking value in any low-margin business is to maximize efficiency. This is the core truth of commerce and business underpinning a meritocracy in which the fastest copy machine is showered with honorariums and shiny treasure, where specialized mining equipment sniffs and scrapes out rare earth minerals and makes rich men of those who once swung picks, where clean factories churn out safe, packaged meal pills to cheaply feed a growing world labor base and quell any angry strife that could negatively impact production schedules.

Fragmentation and heightened competition from both nimble upstarts and well-heeled corporate gargantuates has similarly trampled profit margins in the skate biz with a trampling motion similar to that of an interplanetary trampling elephant. All around, there is a great diminishing, or distilling, depending where you sit: magazines skimpier, as photos, interviews and footage stream daily off mobile-optimized cloud platforms; years-in-the-making videos winnowed down to one-off web parts and Instagram snippets that ebb and flow on tidal transfer speeds; pro model shoes reserved for an anointed few, while the rest pick out seasonal color schemes.

In a fractured age is the team roster next for culling? The sprawling headcounts still collected by the Baker Boys, Crailtap and FuckingAwesome/Hockey contingents argue otherwise. But increasingly difficult-to-capture attention spans have sent up signals that tag teams, rather than baseball diamond or football field-ready lineups, are better suited for plattering more-meaty video offerings relative to the drip-drop of individual internet parts. Bear witness, would you, to the Bobby Worrest/Hjalte Halberg “Looks OK to Me” double feature that sort of awesomely and ominously asserts itself as the stoke-per-second leader in video releases this year at a svelte 9:46 minutes.

These brothers in Swooshdom maybe aren’t an immediately intuitive matchup, per se. But rattle through enough immactulate back-to-back ledge/flatground combos that, when drizzled out over enough countries’ spots, consistently hollering and clapping for one another, and associated homeboys collected along the way (Reese Forbes – fantastic), and it clicks in the spirit of Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen, Brian Wenning and Anthony Pappalardo, Mike Carroll and Rick Howard. Hjalte Halberg’s pop shove it frontside crooked grind line and Bobby Worrest’s line at New York’s three-up/three-down are among tons of highlights, along with the grate tricks and the entire Pulaski park section.

As two-dude videos come back into vogue, could a two-man team that is cheap to send on the road, less prone to complex beefing factions and capable of filming one another become the ultimate in independent contractor efficiency? Has the cozy relationship between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad made the time right for Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik to rekindle their partnership? Is Bobby Worrest’s fakie flip and switch shove-it landing in time with the snare hit a quiet nod to Rob Pluhowski’s often overlooked and downbeat-friendly Element part and/or a sign that videos could revive the days when wheel impacts comfortably coexisted with metronomes?

1. Bobby Worrest – ‘Hometown Turf Killer’

December 31, 2014


Are ‘au natural’ street plazas going the way of the proverbial buffalo as city councils approve expensively designed, corporate-sponsored alternatives to be tucked safely away from the gentle arts of commerce and civic life? Was Bobby Worrest, by soaking his first and best of three 2014 video parts exclusively in DC’s notoriously hard-to-skate Pulaski plaza, making a point to us all about using every part of such diminishing urban resources, from its highly regarded dish to the bitty handrails? Was he really high-tailing it from the cops at 00:25? Such questions are unanswerable at best and at worst open up the possibility of galactic damnation, which would make it incrementally more difficult to draw continued pleasure from the way Bobby Worrest threads his way through the spot, sometimes seeming to chart his route on the fly (like the line with the frontside 180 nosegrind revert), getting chummy with ledges and with no wack tricks. His lines in this part are varied and deep with hard tricks (switch frontside bluntslide, switch kickflip backside tailslide, switch kickflip frontside noseslide, etc etc), sparing little notice for traffic of the human or auto persuasion. Whether it was the U.S. government shutdown, Zero’s molar-rattling ‘Cold War’ vid, salvation via Nike from the dregs of shoe sponsorlessness or just ‘his people’ (as pictured following the final switch flip), something kindled a fire beneath Bobby Worrest’s sneakers this past year, and the adoring populace can only hope it continues to bubble, blister and blacken his foot-flesh well into 2015.

6. Jake Johnson – ‘Static 4’

December 26, 2014


While making Jake Johnson the marquee no-complier, wallrider and shove-it man on Polar may have been a concept terminal in its redundancy, it is enduringly awesome to see the dude apply his raw and wiry talent to the genre, birthed as much by Josh Stewart’s ‘Static’ series as anything else, and stretch it to gobsmacking distances. Jake Johnson’s line down the black bank etched itself into Alien Workshop’s apparent eulogy and in profile recalls those dudes surfing Portugal’s freak waves, while the now-famed frontside slappy down Clipper pops up with as little warning as the idea that anybody would try such a thing at that spot in the first place. The squalling guitars here are a serviceable Dinosaur Jr approximation and if there’s any knock at all on this footage it might be that there’s plenty more room for Jake Johnson to unbottle some of deep-web technical ability, like the fakie ollie to front blunt, but it is fabulous to watch him in this zone.

Too Many Cooks

November 19, 2014

slayersal

Roots-rocking revivalist Yasiin Bey famously claimed in space that the knack to flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. So shall it be for SOTY, and the yearlong subliminal toilings or lack thereof that may or may not place a 24th precious metaled and pantsed man atop some lucky pro’s professionally burbling toilet tank. Whereas recent bald-faced attempts to remake personal brands in the Thrasher mode, just happening to drop video projects near year’s end whilst wearing around S-A-D tees, generally have fallen flat, low-key schralping one’s fanny off in front of the proper HD lenses may yet prove to be the reliable path. Consider:

Cory Kennedy: A cheeseburger in paradise on a seven-day weekend, Cory Kennedy this year has spent much of his permanent vacation garbing himself in gift-shop merchandise on Thrasher-affiliated tours. His love affair with crust continues and ‘what-me-worry’ Oakley blading approach to life has taken him into the deep end sans pads, another plus in the Thrasher galaxy. Certain stony adventures truly put him on the road alongside various Bru-Rayers, Fourstars and the current SOTY clique, but has he been hittin hard enough between all the good times to shut the door on would-be campaigners?

Bobby Worrest: In recent years Bobby Worrest’s inclusion on such a list may have served merely as Facebook Timeline-ready clickbait for aging e-commercers reminiscing on early Brick Harbor clips, but consider: Ten years into his career, the DC-area’s kid beard has sidestepped career distractions as varied and alluring as shoe-sponsor travails and a potential second life as a right-wing pundit, only to switch backside noseblunt a handrail in one of his three video parts this year, each certified urban grade with no artificial flavors and seasonings. A hard-earned corporate sponsor paycheck may be a consolation prize if Thrasher fails to be won over by days of Pulaski clip-logging.

Wes Kremer: Similar to now-teammate Jake Brown giggling his way around the loop at Tampa that one year, Wes Kremer wobblingly cruised through to late-summer bomb the galaxy via an unassuming video that contained a wallie late-shove it over a chunky hubba, a slappy b/s 5-0 down some other hubba and one of the larger switch backside bigspin flips on offer recently. (It also copped a TWS cover for the curtain call, which you could look like as a plus or a minus in Thrasherland.) Then this week he did it again, running yet another slappy variation down the Clipper ledge, hucking massive shifty kickflips and resurrecting hallowed Peter Smolik career touchstones. Wes Kremer approaches Jake Johnson level wallrides, keeps his bushings slack and meanwhile seems like he’d be doing much the same shit whether they were handing awards out for it or not, so the Phelps brain-trust could easily do worse.

Torey Pudwill: With the mane of a virile walrus and a love interest that could’ve come off the arm of a freshly IPO’d internet mogul, Torey Pudwill hardly requires Thrasher’s most-exclusive title to achieve fulfillment, but there he was last summer, bringing back the so-called suski grind, pushing his ever-longer backside tailslides and exhibiting that generally ludicrous pop en route to what’s billed as a blockbuster entry in the Plan B video, which for real really is seriously coming out. Torey Pudwill gifted unto High Speed Productions two Thrasher covers this year, but does his wiggly armed comet orbit close enough to the magazine’s star to get him over?

Dylan Rieder: Our black leather pant-clad dark horse candidate, Dylan Rieder’s muscular pop and eye for Soviet-era public art as background flair got him onto the front of Thrasher earlier this year, sporting sunglasses to boot. For all those years of brutality when Heath Kirchart prowled under the radar, could Dylan Rieder’s zeitgeist-capturing turn in Bill Strobeck’s “Cherry” and Berlin residency — including that pop out of the noseblunt — in support of his latest pro-model wing tip be too much for the Thrasher camp to resist? No other name on this list brought nudity to the table the way Dylan Rieder has this year; levels yall.

Separately, if Danny Way repeated off the strength of his Mega-RampingTM “DC Video” part last decade, should Tony Hawk merit a mention for recording two parts this year with time left over to tame the Nessie-like hoverboard? Where does Mark Suciu’s MJ-sized “Search the Horizon” opus fall for Thrasher’s fiscal-year purposes? How many Wasserman Clients this year will garner a coveted nomination?

Bobby Worrest’s Phenomenal Pulaski Part Offers A Glimpse Of The Great Skate Recession

March 9, 2014

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While recent ‘one-spot’ video sections have generally revolved around transition of one type or another, be it DIY concrete (Chet Childress, ‘God Save the Label’), mega-scope wood scaffolding (Bob Burnquist, ‘Dreamland’) or backyard dipping bowl (Lance Mountain’s still-amazing part from ‘Xtremely Sorry’), Eastern coast action-sport action hero Bobby Worrest this week released via the Internet a for-concentrate edition of his grimy, technical stylings filmed entirely at DC’s famed Pulaski Park. It’s easy to formulate arguments around why this is probably the ideal setting for Bobby Worrest’s brand of unvarnished ledge gnawing, the white and brownish blocks serving themselves up for any number of switch backside kickflips and noseslides, that seat-of-the-pants 180 nosegrind revert and a rarely observed backside noseblunt shove-it, peppered with various over-the-shoulder traffic checks, nose stalling and an abrupt half-cab end-runner.

It had been speculated that Bobby Worrest taped these tricks during the 2012 government shutdown, though various media accounts of the time period thoroughly debunk this era as some free-bust, sovereign credit rating-imperiling Shangri-la. Something far simpler and more grim may be at work here, that is, a shadowy economic strangler that seems to be marauding amongst the smaller, more independent industry members and choking them out in various financial ways.

Hark, ye: Erotica author and shop owner Chris Nieratko speaks on the slow death of the demo, wherein the ‘sad state of our economy has halted almost all domestic skate tours if they aren’t within a short van ride from Southern California.’ Elsewhere, Jamie Thomas posts an update on Black Box Distribution’s restructuring efforts, while Baker trimmed long-timers Braydon Szafranski, Kevin Long and Jeff Lenoce in what’s described as a survival tactic. Months-long jaunts to Barcelona seem to have been traded for weeks-long China visits or more common, domestic road-trips that increasingly appear pasted together by bros as opposed to cos.

A hometown-centric skate part of Bobby Worrest, himself a refugee of the Sole-Tech slim down, could reflect any number of other factors, such as a preference not to go anywhere or an abundance of stacked footage with an easy packaging hook. Would though such a futuristic vision of more-budget parts such as this be so dire? Brian Panebianco and Ryan Higgins delivered one of the best videos of the past 14 months centered on the resurgent Philly front that is doing what scenes used to do; that is, draw people to it rather than inspiring Orbitz email alerts for vacation destinations. Lucas Puig’s drip-drab of French foundation-spot footage over the past year regularly topped certain others’ polished video offerings, and the punctuation-marked Gravis clip that revived the Dylan Rieder movement years back earned Internet plaudits for deeply mining a close cluster of LA spots.

Will coming years more deeply segment have-not pros from those lifted on tides of multinational sport apparel largesse, capable of securing weekend skate-spot permits for the pedigreed few that can command widespread online sales powers? Would this be a bad thing? Will the Great Recession and regulatory ‘uncertainty’ continue to hover long enough over landlords and property owners so as to give locale-bound professionals a reasonable buffer zone before having to expand their legal/ticket budgets? Have certain Barceloniyean bartenders begun to feel the financial pinch of fewer moneyed American professionals wetting their moneyed, professional whistles after long days of nude sunbathing, or did moneyed American professionals become/stay that way by judiciously regulating their tipping behaviours?

Bobby Worrest Vies With Danny Way To Be Skateboarding’s Eminent Conservative Thinker

May 2, 2011

Second perhaps only to the earth-shaking development that Usama Bin Laden had been discovered and killed in a high-value military operation was last night’s surprise emergence, pictured above, of Krooked Skateboards pro Bobby Worrest as a conservative commentator on Fox News Channel. Worrest, as he publicly hailed the elimination of Bin Laden as a terrorist threat to the U.S. and other sovereign locales around the globe, immediately fueled speculation that he had effectively thrown his hat into the ring to represent the views of extreme/conservative sportists in the coming election cycle.

By anteing up as such an “ambassador” of goodwill and bridge-constructor between the worlds of action sports and Republican thought, Worrest’s move also served to flag a coming generational shift in the role, held for more than a decade by Danny Way who has long embraced traditional family values. Way in the past 10 years has pushed to broaden his brief by traveling to emerging markets such as China, whose Giant Wall he leaped in 2005 to symbolize the converging paths of the Earth’s two remaining superpowers.

Worrest’s high-stakes gambit to situate himself as the prime mouthpiece of “Y” Generation skaters could brew turmoil among conservative ranks, which are seen reluctant to let go of Way, a proven performer who captured the galactic land speed record for skateboarding a few years ago. Worrest’s unshaven appearance is said to have ruffled feathers among senior party officials and he continues to be viewed by many as a classical “beltway insider” since he grew up less than an hour from Washington D.C.

Explaining his views on U.S. military commando operations abroad, Bobby Worrest in 2009 told ESPN Sports that the movie character John Rambo is “a big inspiration.”

7. Bobby Worrest – “Right Foot Forward”

December 24, 2009

Sometimes lost in the humorous digs toward Bobby “Big Government” Worrest’s fluctuating waistline, comical tattoo art and internet movie adventures is the fact that the lil beardo does some of the hardest tricks dreamable by those who do their deepest thinkings within the confines of a dive bar, as opposed to EAS2. The 360 flip noseslide pop-over is one of these, the up/down opening run on the block at DC’s Pulaski Park is another, and so is the backside tailslide kickflip out on a fairly legit handrailing. Bobby Worrest remains a BTO favorite because he is still pretty East Coast after all these years, stays awesome while not taking himself or his skating especially serious, kickflips humongous street gaps and continues to go by the name of “Bobby” well into his mid-20s, which is something. Thoughtless web uploaders have failed to make this section accessible via YouTube but the whole video’s up here, and the part in question starts around 11:10.

10. Luke Croker – Deluxe Catalogue

December 21, 2009

And off we go again, counting down this here blog-site’s top ten video parts of the year:

At some point along the space-time continuum, fair-haired Australian gangler Luke Croker evolved into the bloodthirsty and hard-charging Neanderthal depicted in this heavy section from last summer’s online Deluxe catalog, which shook the internet with an impact along the same lines as the invention of fire or a woolly mammoth careening off a cliff. Watch as Croker sweeps the stringy mane from his eyes like so many sabre-tooth tiger entrails, bludgeoning gaps and ledges with a technical speedball combo a la Anthony Van Engelen or a “Third-Eye Vision” Reese Forbes. He’s got this gift for landing tricks smooth and at speed but not making them look inconsequential. The orange rainbow backside tailslide is particularly fun-looking and wouldn’t it be nice to race around town, backside 180’ing up curbs the hard way.

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 30-21

November 9, 2009

30. “Beez 3: Unusual Protocol,” 2007
beez

The shadowy Midwestern Beez collective deconstructs the skateboard video, as well as the concept of skateboarding itself, and puts it back together in grotesque shapes of their own choosing via a technocolour-soaked nightmare that challenges (or occasionally outright assaults) the viewer. There were two Beez productions before this one, but the third installment takes things to fresh levels of depravity and ecstasy, often with a skateboard somewhere within the frame. Seeing this video for the first time can be a perspective-altering experience that people might not welcome or enjoy, at all, but the level of originality and sheer weirdness going on here are denied at one’s own peril. In ten years Beez will still have an unsettling and exhilarating effect on people.

29. “Inhabitants,” 2007
inhabitants

Serving more as a stylistic guidepost than the forward indicator that was “Mosaic,” Joe Castrucci’s second time around the Habitat mulberry bush was in some ways a little too straightforward and on-the-nose when it came to all the forestry footage and part-part-part-part sequencing. Skating- and presentation-wise it’s all pretty awesome though, and ages well in the way of DNA productions, with Steve Durante expanding upon ground earlier tilled by one Brian Wenning, Danny Garcia on the frontside shove nod, Fred Gall smashing buildings and Raymond Molinar spitting out tricks a little bit like a granola’d-out Henry Sanchez. Marc Johnson had SOTY in the bag for 2007, but if Thrasher was accepting of “Inhabitants” footage as a late-arriving 2008 entry, it’s sort of shocking Janoski wasn’t a heavier contender with this long time coming two-song ender section that highlights pretty much all the stuff he does good.

28. “Art Bars: Subtitles and Seagulls,” 2001
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Would we refer to this period as third-generation Foundation? Far removed from its Rocco-roots, the gold-plated glory of the “Rolling Thunder” era and emerging from the non-starter “Duty Now For the Future” realignment, by 2001 Beagle and Swank had put together a pretty classic lineup that included Kris Markovich at the height of his second wind (third, if you count Prime?), a gap-minded Ethan Fowler, Daniel Shimizu at the pinnacle of his giving a shit about shit, Mike Ruscyzk no-comply flipping up stair-sets and the Magic F debut of back-tail champ Justin Strubing all mixed up in washed-out colors and grainy film footage. For Foundation the decade would approach but never really top the “Art Bars” period, eventually ceding most of this team to attitudes and lethargy before settling for the cookie-cutter glam of Corey Duffel.

27. “Naughty/Gnar Gnar,” 2007/2008
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Mushing these two videos together is kind of cheating for the purposes of this type of nerdy list, but we’re gonna justify it because the originality at play re: production value, format, music, lineups and ah, yea, skating more than offsets the ham-handed attempt at a “big video” that was “Krooked Khronicles”… not a bad video by any means, but nothing close to what the KRK can scheme up. Blurring hazy nights and overcast days in New York, London, DC and parts unknown, Mark Gonzales and Sam Salganik cobble together the sort of unhinged collages that the Krooked camp is capable of, with a revolving cast of characters that fade in and out at the edges; these vids won’t go down as any kind of “Questionable”/”Virtual Reality” one-two punch but were a seriously soothing antidote after years of over-ramped slow-motion and the rising wave of HD productions.

26. “The Good Life,” 2006
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Jimmy Lannon ought to be rich and pro by now, and probably if this video part had come out in 1996, he would be, but then again if wishes were ponys I’d be running a profitable dog food factory and Danny Renaud would still be embarrassing other pro skaters right now. Building upon the foundation of the Dango, Joe Perrin’s Killa crew drips sweat and liquor across the Florida police’s favorite locales, with hulkster Jon Newport, flippiter Nick Matlin and Renaud the dirt dog fresh off vacation from Habitat. Ryan Nix’s closer part is pretty heavy and bad-ass enough to ensure his name will pop up in “where is ___?” threads for years to come but maybe the best section is John Buchanan, eating the brown acid and switch laser flipping when Torey Puds was still getting flowed from Shortys – there is a switch 360 flip in this section that’s nearly worth the price of admission by itself.

25. “Menikmati,” 2000
menikmati

Kinda easy to mock now for the indulgent intros and goony music and general dramatics, but it was a shiny new decade and the kid Arto Saari was frontside boardsliding 20-stair handrails, switch backside lipsliding and blazing super hard lines all over the place in Koston 1’s. Despite the archive-raiding Tom Penny retrospecticus, which was itself a pretty crafty move, the feature length and obvious hard work that dudes put into “Menikmati” raised the bar for the video age to follow and helped bring to an end the era of the profile pro, for better or worse. Ronnie Creager’s sore-thumb appearance wears a little bit better than some of the others but there’s still some interesting stuff to be seen all these years later, like Bob Burnquist switch frontside nosesliding a hubba, the concept of a contest/demo section, and the dork-trick rodeo at the end that now seems weirdly ahead of its time. The last trick in this video is Eric Koston’s backside noseblunt on the Bricktown rail, now sorta quaint, at the time pretty much unheard of.

24. “North,” 2002
North

Bearing far more weight than any production prominently featuring a giant beaver ought to, Jeremy Petit’s landmark “North” played a big part in revitalizing the Canadian scene for international purposes and pointed the camera toward lesser-knowns that weren’t hooking their fingers and polishing icey Chinese mahjong symbols. This video was also one of the early beneficiaries of message-board buzz, if I remember right, with a blitzkreig part that put Keegan Sauder back on the map and the first of many Russ Milligan sections to feature a serious-business switch bigspin flip. Tony Ferguson rolled gracefully toward retirement too but the gem was Ted Degros’s magical opener part, with precision flip tricks like the second coming of Toy-era Kerry Getz and that exquisite lightness of foot that still makes you wonder why he is not somewhere blowing up right now. If we were going to tackle the thankless task of assembling some “100 best parts” list of the past decade this one would probably rank in the top 20.

23. “Roll Forever,” 2005
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This video stands in the long shadow of Real vids past, but holds up better than some others on the strength of a varied line-up and some future hall-o-famers getting comfortable with their own shit. Peter Ramdonetta for instance always left me sorta cold before hitting his stride around this period and pouring on the power-beast sauce with those kickflips. Darrell Stanton bic’ed his head and went absolutely bananas with the Clipper, and it was around this time that Dennis Busenitz and his mile-long powerslide skidmarks began amassing disciples for his current reign as underground king. Keith Hufnagel and Max Schaaf too. As a free full-length video with a generally good soundtrack, “Roll Forever” was for sure the high water mark of that year’s wave of promo DVDs, and unfortunately (or not) it was pretty much downhill from there…

22. “And Now,” 2008
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By 2008 TWS had through a process of slow elimination mostly removed the aspects of their videos that weighed them down (lengthy intros, sometimes painful voiceovers, multiple montages) in favor of a more focused formula that was still the standard in production-value gloss and heavy rosters. This one will probably remain as the best of the second half of the ’00s, along with “Time to Shine” maybe – Holland and Ray lucked out with a grab bag of hot-shoes-of-the-moment in Malto, Nick Trapasso and David Gravette, with Matt Miller doing some more tech stuff and Kenny Hoyle nollie backside 180ing off buildings, while Richie Jackson offers enchanted boat tours on rivers of chocolate and pole-jams all the bad little boys and girls.

21. “Manik Promo,” 2007
manik

When watching a video like “Fully Flared” or “Menikmati” it’s sometimes tempting around the 40-minute mark to concoct in your head super draconian rules for skateboard videos – must run no longer than 15 minutes, zero filler footage, minimal interludes and dead airtime, enough “artsiness” to keep it interesting, non-shitty music and surprises, that type of thing. The 2007 promo from the Pacific Northwest’s Manik checks off a lot of these boxes with a very tight four-part video that packs the tricks into its 11-minute runtime; of note are Mikey Burton’s warehouse run, Josh Anderson (now said to be fucking with Kayo Corp.) invoking the power of the Muska, and Jordan Sanchez’s light-speed kickflip catastrophe. While we’re on the topic, more videos maybe should consider incorporating classical music.