Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

Dawn Of The Dead: Anthony Van Engelen, The Zombie Spot, And The Unholy Consequences That Could Follow

October 18, 2020

In skateboarding nothing stays dead for long. Tricks, fits, careers and companies are unearthed, rehabilitated, and marked up for a searching and seldom satisfied tribe whose tastes run fickle and are always averse to any whiff of the stale. The professional class’ collective acceptance and eventual embrace of the softgood-consuming public’s okayness with something less than relentless trick progression helped usher in a nostalgic wave where one-downs are cool, ‘Tilt Mode’ stunts are a cottage industry, and vibe rules.

And yet some things remain beyond the control of mere mortals that direct industry hype, and consumers who rule upon it. Just as generations of advanced deck technologies continually are cast aside in favor of the good ol seven-ply maple stick, the hassle-free concrete pads and ample parking of the skatepark era has failed go temper street spots’ allure. And so when the bulldozer and the excavator loom, scuffed sneakers shuffle into city council meetings, petitions are launched and campaigns mounted; sometimes they work (Tompkins, South Bank, Stalin Plaza), sometimes they do not (Love Park), sometimes the answer remains murky and scary (Brooklyn Banks). But always, the outcome lies somewhere beyond the skaters’ control.

Now we find ourselves in a tingly season when spirits rise, and sometimes, the dead walk again. Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen, that Dr. Frankenstein and Igor of the early World vibe, this week affected a minor act of spot resurrection. Possibly using the Necronomicon but in a cool way, their FuckingAwesome imprint — itself a revived and broadened onetime ‘streetwear’ concern – plucked from the ‘Mosaic’ and ‘DC Video’ period the curved metal bench hit early on beside a building by Kenny Anderson before Dill and AVE and possible co-conspirators transported it to the downtown LA wasteland spot alongside a miniature pic-a-nic table, a makeshift jump ramp and other detritus of the time. After Eric Koston anointed it at the height of his powers in ‘Yeah Right’ it seemed to pass into shadow, until returning as the surprise guest for a host of tricks by Anthony Van Engelen and Guy Mariano in FuckingAwesome’s excellent three-banger ‘Dancing on Thin Ice.’

But like the cat brung back to this earthly realm by the haunted and poorly maintained ‘Pet Semetary,’ what lies ahead for the revived bench is unclear at best. Defying the laws of nature, and unspooling the mortal coil, can have unintended consequences that even the most learned computers are not able to accurately calculate. Hubba Hideout’s third and final act saw a truckload of glory-hound tricks that affected less and less as names and moves were hurriedly tacked on to the bottom of that storied list. Plan B’s revival seems to have been a commercial success, if carrying little of the company’s 1990s impact. Alien Workshop’s reboot has put on some worthwhile talents, but otherwise coasts on 25-year-old graphics and varied success in recapturing the singular audio-visual presentations of its past. After respawning from a Mike Carroll break, the pink board from ‘Yeah Right’ quit skating and instead seemed ready to take up surfing.

Is the curvy metal bench officially ‘back from the dead,’ or with AVE’s last trick in the vid is it now officially ‘killed’? Does it stagger around at night, seeking to feast on miniature schoolyard pic-a-nic tables? With some love, tenderness and bravery related to the roving police, could the Brooklyn Banks rail return? Could DNA be extracted from the tile in Josh Kalis’ garage to eventually re-grow a new Love Park, and could it be safely skated long enough to film a new ‘Sabotage’ entry before it runs amok and destroys the idyllic tropical island where it was placed?

Does Liking The Plan B Am Clip More Because Of The Music Make This Blog Even More Shallow Than It Already Is?

July 20, 2010

If Boil the ocean had its druthers, which would probably be unwise for any number of reasons, companies that fail the Darwinian test would be relegated forevermore to the land of copers, Rip Grip and Vision berets. I may not have been as big a Menace fan as the Police Informer or as into 101 as was Bobshirt, but those companies and others* hold a dear place in my heart that trembles now and then when somebody floats the idea of a resurrection. Touring the old material via a DVD box set or run of graphics is one thing, sullying the legacy by repurposing something pivotal to a specific era for a new time/place/branding opp is another altogether dudes.

You could make some interesting arguments as to why Plan B might constitute an exception, like how it was kinda mercenary in the first place when it came to the team-building, the squad maybe not as tight-knit or the graphics being hit or miss over the years. At this point though the second generation has been around nearly as long as the first, and kinda like the Simpsons, the golden years are so far removed as to make it sort of pointless to complain anymore. Mixed feelings aside though, credit ought to be handed over to any company that can make a legitimate claim to fielding its generation’s uber-team, as squishy a concept as that may be, and more for managing to hang onto most of them for longer than a couple years. The aftermath can be harsh, see also Es shoes, Powell Peralta, and, ah, the first Plan B.

All this being an especially longwinded and meandering run-up to a brief discourse on the new lil amateur-focused clip Plan B put out last week, highlighting the considerable talents of Scott Decenzo and Felipe Gustavo, neither of whom were born when Plan B started coming together, I bet. But upon a couple semi-distracted watches I’m prepared to deem this thing the most Plan B-est video that D&C have turned out in the post-Y2K. The Bad Religion and Del have something (a lot) to do with this, and I think I’m ok with that, if you are.

There’s other stuff, like the random movie sample and some nicely indignant kick-out footage, but the Plan B hallmark also is there in the appropriately ridiculous level of skating. Scott Decenzo, one half of the Canadien flying Decenzo brothers, has been tagged with the “good but boring” brush and some of these clips (like the frontside noseslide pinwheels) suggest he’s reading his press with a curled lip and furrowed brow. There’s pretty serious and/or wacked out stuff in here like the elusive switch frontside hurricane and the frontside boardslide to hurricane grind, which seems like a super risky trick and turned out way better on video than I thought it would.

Felipe Gustavo, who gains additional 1990s points for pushing nice flatground frontside flips and keeping alive the cocked-hat style**, shifts the intensity to the wax-laden ledges and confirms that nollie frontside noseslide 270 shove-its are among the prerequisites for getting paid by Danny Way these days. This section I think is a good argument for why the current approach to videos, like taking three years to film a five/six-minute section, can be the wrong one–five minutes of this little dude’s ledge magicks would’ve been pretty numbing, but the two and a half minutes allotted here is just right and judiciously saves up the truly zany stuff for a grand slam breakfast of a finish that may or may not include a hardflip backside noseblunt in a line. That nollie flip backside noseblunt was another one that worked out a lot better on film than I would’ve thought.

*Not so much Seek, though
**Also DJ Drama