Posts Tagged ‘Michael Burnett’

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?

Boil the Ocean SOTY Short List 2009

October 11, 2009

busenitz_thunder
Just throw it in the bag

This year seems like last year, kind of, as far as there not being any type of clear front-runner for the most hallowed of skateboard awards that is not distributed in buckets by the Maloof brothers. There’s no Daewon or Danny Way or Arto Saari no-brainer, and while there are several semi-brainers (useful for commentors such as myself), the politics and squishy qualifications and completely opaque voting process makes it all the more interesting and fun to pointlessly speculate. And so we jump in.

Leo Romero: I kind of feel like if that Skateboarder cover had been a Thrasher we wouldn’t even be bloviating on this, but the uphill path of the inscrutable Leonard is part of his appeal – jumping ship from Baker to Toy Machine years after several former bloodsuckers headed headed the owner way and left Ed & co. with their hands in their pockets, alongside a general negative attitude that many have compared to Emerican elder Heath Kirchart. Leo has a potentially ground-shifting video part in store with “Stay Gold,” and while it will not drop this year, Phelps and his buddies have been known to move pre-emptively, and who doesn’t like to look smart?

Heath Kirchart: The buzz is that the Thrasher camp may not have enough love for the brooding bro with the red-carpet disses and vending machine business, but I don’t know. It’s not like the dude goes around handing out cookie bouquets to the other mags, and to a certain degree you could imagine the Thrasher powers that be digging a devil-may-care mode of operation. It would sorta be a safer pick too, since Heath K brought a show-stopper video part in 09 and potentially another one next year. Cons, he hasn’t done much for Thrasher and he skated to Morrissey.

Sean Malto: The teen heartthrob who lives his own reality show, baffling security guards with nollie frontside feeble grinds and shredding the Pacific Northwest with Julien Stranger. Green but his Thrasher cover was among the year’s gnarliest and the non-stop skateboard mission seems to always have room for a stop or shoutout to his beloved Kansas City; a pro model shoe is not far off and he’s had enough footage drizzled out here and there to mold a passable follow-up to “And Now,” but Malto’s 09 slow burn has yet to fully flare, and I’m not sure the cover, rowdy as it is, would get him over.

Dennis Busenitz: The current Slap Board messiah would seem to have SOTY at long last sewn up, with an internet-smashing video part, talked-about contest runs, many good photos and a pro shoe to boot.* He’s a Nor-Cal gnarler who can schralp transition and/or spit out switch 360 flips, he’s with the right companies. If there’s a downside I guess it’s the lack of any super-handrail heroism or mega-ramp fireworks or some type of singularly groundbreaking trick, but then again, maybe that plays to his advantage. In ten years a Busenitz SOTY win would probably come to be seen along the same lines as Chris Senn, which is to say those who know would know, the rest would be wondering “why not P-Rod” and there’d be a certain amount of “you had to be there”

Lizard King Mike Plumb: Let’s put him on the list. The zaniest Wallenberger with a stupider tattoo/carving every month, and he’s a decent interview. Kind of a long shot maybe but one could argue he’s fairly representative of where skating is these days, which is to say, both trick- and movement-wise.

Anthony Van Engelen: The odds might be stacked against him but to my mind the case has never been stronger for an AVESOTY and the brow-furrowing AWS decks it would probably produce. He has a couple magazine covers, a blazing video part, a harrowing comeback story, a bunch of tattoos and he wears Vans. As one who birthed the current fascination with speed and successfully fused hesh grime with precision tech skating he’s for sure a contender from the career standpoint and probably a SOTY everybody could agree with on some level.

Torey Pudwill: Just throwing it out there, Jake Phelps knows who he is and he’s given it to fresh-faced pros before. But, the lack of follow-through on the Wallenberg nollie flip might cost him precious support in the Yay area.

Zered Basset: the King of Zoo York coulda won it the year he made the “Vicious Cycle” part as far as we’re concerned but he nearly hit that mark again in the “State of Mind” video (still thinking the MOP was totally brilliant) and he has been on the Thrasher radar for some time. The drawback might be that he’s been kind of below the radar compared to some of the charge-happy spotlight grabbers like teammate Brandon Westgate, but an elder statesman might be the one to usher the tradition into the next decade.

It seems like there should be some kinda transition dude in here so, I don’t know, Lance Mountain. Insane as Bob’s mega-ramping has been, our view is that he’s a little bit too TWS/Fuel TV these days for Thrasher’s taste. While on the topic it seems like Justin Brock has whatever “rookie of the year” awards wrapped, unless Grant Taylor gets em.

*get it

Transmissionator

July 16, 2008


Remember this dude

Although I’m sure it says “photographer” on whatever passes for Michael Burnett’s resume, he’s been my favorite working skate magazine writer for several years now, evidenced mostly by his ability to make the nth Toy Machine road trip interesting and often hilarious. Which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that other magazines have given up entirely on pounding out any copy whatsoever to accompany Company X’s most recent batch of Barcelona photos. I’m not sure how much of the material he makes up (he was pretty candid about King of the Road rule-bending practices a couple years back) but stories like the one about the bizarro Russian hotel generally are more worth the time than Josh Harmony’s latest nosegrind.

For example, Burnett’s musings on foreign-born moms, from the intro of the Russia article:
Joseph’s mom was from Nicaragua and wore absurdly low-cut flower-print blouses that elicited an equal amount of curiosity and shame among those of us who were unable to fight the urge to stare at her sagging, sun-damaged bosom. She seemed to have learned English primarily from her children, Joseph and his nine-year-old sister, and the deficiencies in this source were revealed by her ready use of the term “dooky,” and more fantastically, whenever she’d lose her temper when we happened to be over at the house.

“You are faggot when you leave your jacket on the floor!” she’d yell. “Why you have to be such retard, dork face?!”

Joseph, to his credit, seemed largely unembarrassed by his mother and of the foreign moms; she was the most well adjusted of the lot. She worked part-time and had actual friends, other ladies of international origin who would drop by to smoke Capri’s and chug Slim-Fast shakes over episodes of Oprah.

“See, Joseph!” she’d holler from the breakfast nook. “That’s why I have to do for me! Like Oprah say! I can’t always do for you guys all the time! You father no want to validate my feelings!”

Burnett has a new book coming out called The Outskirts of Awesome, which looks like it could maybe be a companion piece of the last Hold Steady record, and I’m assuming that it’s probably a somewhat more whimsical take on Ed Templeton-style Midwestern teensploitation stuff. I was intrigued to see he’s also got a couple short stories published, so I might have to thumb through one of these if it shows up in the skate shop, at least until Google wins their battle against the librarians to let people pirate books over the internet. In the meantime he also launched a website that’s got a load of photos, all his Thrasher covers and a link to the Burnout blog which I should maybe put on the sidebar thing over there. It has supremely entertaining shit such as the last sequence in this entry.

One more Burnett story, from KOTR 2006:
We’d decided that, even though Griffin had ollied a six-stair naked in Atlanta, we’d be better off trying to get a harder trick to win the Sherm’s Revenge points. Ed has impossible spine variations on lock so he warmed up with some, while Billy quickly kickflip lipped the nearby 12-stair rail. When that was over it was almost dark, but the park was still pretty crowded and there were several children present, including an eight-year-old girl on rollerblades.

California’s a weird place, so we didn’t want Ed to get charged with a sex crime or something just for skating a skatepark naked. We waited until everyone left and then lit the spine up with the generator. This turned out to be a very prudent decision as Ed, concerned with issues of shrinkage, could soon be seen trying to jack it up over in the corner.

“Which man showed you his penis?” I imagined the police officer asking the little girl.

“The big one,” she’d reply, “and he was pulling on it, too.”

Naked skating, when done with a quick dropping of the pants followed by a spectacular maneuver, is one thing. Naked skating, where the man takes 15 minutes to land his trick, meanwhile standing around nude in front of a bunch of teenage girls who happened to wander by a few minutes into it, is quite another. Ed definitely took it for the team on this one, and I can’t help but think the experience may have been humbling for an artist so quick to display the peckers of his peers.