Posts Tagged ‘Silas Baxter Neal’

Flexin

May 2, 2013

wanted

It has been widely theorized that Mother Earth, known around some parts as GAIA or “Big Bloo,” periodically unleashes natural disasters to right global wrongs and remind her solar passengers who’s boss. Hurricanes, earthquakes and several Ja Rule albums have been attributed to nature correcting itself in a natural fashion. There is an unconfirmed science rumor that the comet which ended the dinosaurs’ reign was actually minding its own business when the earth, weary from hauling heavy lizard flesh around the sun for eons on end, intentionally floated out into the troublesome space-rock’s path.

Flash forward several years to when Girl and Chocolate released their high-def opus, “Pretty Sweet,” ostensibly like ODB for the children staffing the team. If Guy Mariano’s comeback section half a decade earlier in the Lakai video proved he still had it, closing out a production otherwise given over to hot shoes who hadn’t yet picked up a board by the time Guy Mariano was sprinkling LA confetti upon jubilant skid row dealers sounded a clarion call to old dudes everywhere, in the same way that Eric Koston’s part in “The Chocolate Tour” a decade earlier inspired the true life story of “Murderball.”

Even as winter’s unrelenting icy grip has punished would-be green shoots attempting to poke their buds aboveground this spring, so too have industry oldsters answered this call over the past month, refusing to yield to the current crop of handrailers and manualites. Transworld’s generally short-in-the-tooth production “Perpetual Motion” gave the curtains to the non-threatening hammers and gently shampooed hair-stylings of Julian Davidson, but at that point the trick of the video (50-50 handrail gap, also in the running for overall filmed achievement of the year) had already been performed by Silas Baxter-Neal, who in that lineup of uppers and comers counted as its vet, when you factor in his old-soulness and general SOTY gravitas.

Weeks later the security camera-laced Deathwish production launched with the breakout section recorded by probably the oldest or second-oldest dude on the squad, Jim Greco, he for whom 1,000 cattle have been slain to date in the ongoing search for a jacket that encapsulates just how feckless he is feeling at any given moment. Greco darkslides, across benches and from 360 flips and down handrails and switchstance, but amongst all that razzle-dazzle he appears to have cleaned out five years’ accumulated DV tapes worth of backside 360 lipslides down big handrails and certain big jumps. Jim Greco’s own post-sobriety turn in “Baker 3” always seemed to me kind of scattered after his angry energy in “Misled Youth” and that “Baker2G” part that birthed a whole subgenre, but this one came off like he really, really wanted to go for it, kaleidoscopic outfits be damned.

Now as socialists around the world unite to march for solidarity and universal health-care coverage and tax deductible bail payments for regular- and goofy-footed independent contractors alike, Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen take their turn to shock the industry, except this time by quitting their jobs rather than doing them. Yet the abrupt flying of a couple decades-deep dudes from their long-time coop — where millionaire boss Rob Dyrdek had effectively given them lordship over the springier chickens — already is seen by message-board plutocrats and industry pundits as a game-changing moment and perhaps the greatest identity crisis facing Alien Workshop since Lennie Kirk seriously devoted himself to armed robbery.

Will Jason Dill get on Palace? Is skating inherently a young man’s game, except for vert and the giant mega-ramp, where it’s a middle-schooler’s and middle-ager’s game that may reward you with an SUV? Is Mark Suciu actually a 40-year-old bro who had been quietly filming in various towns under assumed names over the past 15 years, and is the steady release of footage a sign that he may have died sometime early last year, leaving the executors of his estate to periodically drizzle out tapes to sponsors in a Tupac-like series of posthumous releases that will subsidize the multiple wives he secretly and illegally maintained in small towns across the U.S.?

A Blog Post Involving Fred Gall And The Antichrist That Is Only Tangentially Related To Lou Metal

November 1, 2010

A decade into its existence as the leaf/animal/aeroplane-inspired offshoot to the comparatively antiseptic Workshop sect, Habitat appears to finally have embraced the chaotic, cannibalistic nature of, erm, nature itself. Beneath the wet foliage and gentle acoustic guitar strums lurks a feral beast as likely to gnaw away its own leg as hop a bump-to-bar, a theme that Midwestern DNA zookeeper Joe Castrucci has chosen to explore through the composition of the team itself.

David Lee Roth, a noted man of the earth, has famously observed that Van Halen may not have rocked so hard/loudly were it not for persistent tensions between its song and dance man and Eddie VH. Castrucci has learned this secret too and now is exploiting the idea in an effort to produce compelling skate footage and reclaim market share from rivals Element and Organika. Recall the group sigh that emerged from the Lakai camp following the “Fully Flared” premiere, or the hedonistic, RV-powered excess of Osiris’s “The Storm” tour. But post-“Origin,” from the hallows of the Habitat camp there is a primal shriek, gnashing of teeth, maybe some rending of flesh:

Austyn Gillette:
Daryl got on basically because Stefan and I don’t want to talk about that situation. No one is getting harshed to get on anymore. It’s easy nowadays.

At any point during filming, did you get so frustrated watching Silas skate that you wanted to pull a Tanya Harding?
I don’t skate with Silas. I don’t get along with him too well. He’s bitter and I’m not bitter and we don’t get along together. We really don’t work well together and we’ve both accepted it.

Kerry Getz:
I didn’t know Austin and Silas are far from being BFFs.
There’s a lot going on over there. I don’t know; that’s some West Coast stuff, man. I’m so far out of all that stuff like who is fighting with who, who hates who, who is talking about who. I just stay on my side of the campfire and shut up. I just recently heard that Austyn and Daryl don’t like each other and I never knew that. Now you’re telling me Austyn and Silas don’t like each other. Someone has issues over there; just keep me out of it. It’s high school games.

Kerry Getz attained silverback status some time ago and is entitled to grumbling rights but it’s hard not to read some brinksmanship into AG’s commentary, even post-ESPN edit — he worked hard on his two-song second-part and it shows, though this site continues to harbour reservations around general execution (someone wiser equated his aesthetic recently to Apple Computers), he can be reasonably argued as having the best section in Origin between the sidewalk-to-sidewalk frontside flip, the feather-light b/s smith grind b/s 180 and that brick-cracker ollie at the Brooklyn Banks. Then the well-telegraphed alley-oop 5050 run, which I bet Jason Dill cheered when/if he ever saw this vid.

Trimming down probably mountains of footage helped Daryl Angel’s part as this dude to me still makes tricks look so easy as to detract from their actual hardness–thinking here of stuff like the switch pole-jam-wallie and the gap to feeble grind, although you can see dangers in the humongous switch hill-bomb jump and the final handrail jammer. Also a fan of how the nollie backside 180 is moving up the ladder in terms of a power trick, with Dylan Angel launching it down a longish stair-set and Marius Syvanen taking it over a high bar — there’s some Nordic tinges of AVE to that dude’s part and he’s got a related nollie b/s tailslide in there that’s for sure praise-worthy, kind of wish he worked in more of his really effortless and almost bizarre-looking manual stuff like he had in that Canada tour clip.

Notable new guy, Mark Suciu, brings a relaxed-with-some-stink style that sorta reminded me of a young Danny Renaud. All the footage where he’s wearing the five-panel hat is pretty much golden, specifically, the Gideon Choi-slide and the backside tailslide on Pat Duffy’s kinked rail. Al Davis’s part should’ve been longer as well as Tim O’Connor, to whom you can apply that complaint for basically every appearance since Photosynthesis, Steve Durante crushes at Pulaski with no set-up time and a separate switch wallie that threatens to shut down the video right there. This is nearly the best part in the video and had it incorporated some of this footage would’ve been perhaps the best one all year.

IRS scofflaw Fred Gall leads a pretty good delivery from the old bros that includes a bluntslide on a handrail, proving that beer drinking helps you. Danny Garcia’s switch backside tailslide variants are gathering rust but he still sails mightily over a rail, Stefan Janoski indulges his taste for switch k-grinds and nollie frontside flips, Silas Baxter-Neal bounds over handicap ramps and employs a “Welcome to Hell” ender that deeper mines his no-frills brand of solid trick-landing, when he’s not wintering in Illinois or rubbing Gillette the wrong way for whatever reason. Bryan Herman cameos for the ride-out shot.

Guru Khalsa’s spaced-out quiet storm is the real ender ender though, completing one of the best-looking SSBSTS’s of this new decade and incorporating maybe the most outlandish “psychadelic” image in “Origin” by way of an uncredited appearance from Christian Slater. It took me some years but feels like I’ve fully warmed to this dude’s sometimes off-kilter, sometimes classically ’90s boarding (the big b/s 5050, vs the frontside tailslide ahead of the f/s blunt). When do you see dudes jump up on a switch 5050 like that, when do you see dudes push eleven times for a trick but still not seem in a real big hurry.

Bookending all this discord and occasional moments of quiet tranquility is archival footage that reminds of the talent that slipped away for one reason or another (Renaud, Raymond Molinar with generally impeccable trick choices) and others like Ed Selego or Mark Appleyard where you could forget they were on at all. Still not sure what the thinking was here, beyond vague celebration of Habitat’s inaugural decade-long offering — there were things said like they wanted to re-use footage to music where they could get the rights, or incorporate clips from dudes like Wenning or Pluhowski that maybe don’t rate as #habitat for the current generation, but do a couple montages do the trick, or is this a further, more glorious-er mess left for us to unravel, akin to the mysterious spaghetti squash.

Midwinter Video Roundup: “Don’t Act Famous”

March 21, 2009


Celebrity apprentice

This video I bought because it had a part from Julian Quevado, a dude I would wholeheartedly recommend to celebrators of the Lockwood picnic table school of skateboarding – rarely turning more than 180 degrees at any one time, lotsa k-grinds, does the right tricks switch. And, he’s apparently not the type to film a four-minute epic part, since I’ve never seen more than a couple minutes of footage from him at any one time. Which is just fine. This Toebock part will do for a while – few since AVE have gotten as much quality mileage out of the switch frontside crooked grind and he seems to have total mastery over his switch kickflip, kind of pointing it down post-catch, it’s sweet.

“Don’t Act Famous,” made by former Popwarrior Adam Crew, includes lots and lots of montages, which you could interpret as Adam Crew having a lot of friends, but apparently not enough to defend his van from a midnight break-in that claimed most of the footage that would have gone toward a long-awaited Adam Crew part (if the SBN SOTY interview to be believed). Which is unfortunate since the fella always had good tricks in the various Popwar promos and does a pretty ballsy gap-backside tailslide thing in this video.

Another ballsy choice is kicking the video off with multiple montages, which I always find harder to get into than a one-dude part, kind of like how a compilation record never packs the same punch an official album does. A lot of times you have to really pay attention to find the gems but they are there: a Manik team cameo in the Washington section featuring various b/s 180 nosegrind efforts from Jordan Sanchez; Two Hawks Young has a unique name, a moustache and hardflips; Mikey Chin frontside flips in the fog and Ryan Casado brings heat to all different types of spots (see: power ollie over sidewalk/down steps).

The ginger prince of Oregon has a full-length section with an ingenious throwback intro. He too indulges in the switch frontside crooked grinds amid lots of lines where he plies his stock in trade, nice-looking basics down mid-size gaps, the occasional backside flip floater off a bump, and the closing frontside wallride blaster is a bunch of bananas.

Between gunslinging and soda-whipping in the kitchen the Toebock team shifts to the Bay where Frank Castanette charges and Josh Matthews switch 5-0s a no-joke handrail. There’s cameos from the Tiltomode types, including the much-missed and heavily bearded Jesse Erickson who really needs to have a great deal of footage in this supposed new video they’re doing. There’s this other kid Kevin McGowan who’s probably one of the best dudes in the video. There’s a tall nollie b/s nosegrind 180 amongst a bunch of other crazy shit.

Also worth noting is a blissful detour to the Santa Rosa skatepark, which in this internet half-wit’s opinion should sooner or later command the same reverence ascribed to the Wallows and Combi Bowl and so on. (Was there a kickflip Miller flip here?)

Crew & co. wrap the vid in Colorado where Gordie Cousino crams as many possible flip tricks into his runs and the young Angel Ramirez kickflips mightily – Jerrod Saba, in footage allegedly recycled from the Krux video, does nosemanual firecrackers, miniseries 5-0s and cab flips into banks. Then we have Tyler Price, who I was watching and thinking that he should’ve been on early-period Circa, when Colt Cannon was the hot shoe of the day and big backside flips were the done thing. Wouldn’t you know a bit later on I caught some Circa stickers on his board, so there you go, certified footwear soothsayer. Point being, Tyler Price loves the giant backside flips, and Zep. Also, a sweet melon grab. You could order this DVD from the Toebock site right now, it has a good soundtrack.

Cold Snap

December 18, 2008


Winter wonderland

Being good at skateboarding has a lot to do with timing. And so does life. Newly minted Skater of the Year Silas Baxter-Neal moved to Chicago this month, just in time for back-to-back snow and ice storms. You can’t win em all.* Hope the beard is coming along.

Disclaimer: This post is part of a concerted effort on the part of BTO staffers to pad the SBN-themed post count so that they outweigh the Sheckler-themed posts by the end of the year. Your patience is appreciated.

*It should be noted that Vladimir Putin can win em all if he so chooses.

Hail to the Chief

November 26, 2008


If Boil the Ocean had an art budget (and an artist) the photo above would be some combo of this and this with the letters “SOTY” underneath, but, yeah. Budgetless art courtesy of Erik; thanks also to YWS Eeen for his offer.

Much like the U.S. o’ A, Thrasher done fucked around and put a fresh-faced, left-leaning young buck in the number one spot, largely untested and with a rather unlikely three-name combo. Perhaps a sign of change, elevating young breakout types with similarly thin resumes – five years ago Barack Obama’s a state senator, and Silas Baxter-Neal was Powell flow trash. Perhaps an indication of no better candidates. But as far as reaching the top of the heap early on in their careers, SBN and BHO are in there with JFK, TR, BA and, er, Cardiel.

Like the big O, Baxter-Neal is well-suited to his term for the reason that he seems to capture the current zeitgeist: open to new ideas (noseslide to switch nosegrind transfer), respect for classic form (Thrasher Th13rteen cover) and shaking up established schools of though (frontside flip wallride revert). Also both have smoked weed.

But unlike the Pres-elect SBN comes to SOTY with a noticeable absence of flash, lacking the superhuman skill set of a Chris Cole, Daewon Song or Marc Johnson, and the hellbent-for-leather risk appetite of a Danny Way or Geoff Rowley. He’s definitely no slouch on the board but to me it seems Baxter-Neal succeeded via elbow grease, a workhorse attitude and probably a lack of serious injury. It’s hard to imagine a hardertoiling skateboarder in the last couple years, with the obvious exception of Wade Speyer.

It’s possible that Obama, too, has picked up on his inner Baxter-Nealness, with the politisphere ablaze with news that he plans to name Tim Geithner, NY Fed honcho and alleged skateboarder, to head the Treasury department. The early reports proved premature however, as the Federales quickly took it upon themselves to clear Geithner’s name of any thrashing of the four-wheeled variety:

A skateboarding Treasury secretary would indeed be something special. However, a Fed spokesman said yesterday that, in fact, Mr. Geithner doesn’t actively participate in skateboarding.

There are some theories as to why surfers and snowboarders have outdone skaters in seeking political office. Surfing and snowboarding tend to cost more, and this may act as a social filter.

Also, a lot of people start surfing and snowboarding in middle age. It’s certainly possible to pick-up skateboarding later in life, but few adults can stomach the time and pain commitment that learning skateboarding requires.

So it seems skaters will have to wait a bit longer for the first skateboarding Treasury secretary. Change can only happen so fast.

Boil the Ocean’s SOTY Short List

October 31, 2008


Early and often

Dubious nomination process, predetermined winners and your vote doesn’t mean shit – sound familiar? It’s Skater of the Year season, and while you can spam Thrasher’s inbox with all the Busenitz ballots you want, but he’s not gonna win, and chances are Phelps already has a name rattling around his spectacled skull, sans any cares for what the rest of us think.

But for better or worse SOTY remains the only skateboard honor that means anything, and the winners, even those that hadn’t already bondo’ed their legend status, have proved the High Speed honchos prescient in the end. So pardon me while I throw out some wild guesses as to who’s in the running this year.

Silas Baxter Neal: An ad in every magazine and a video part for every finger on your hand over the last couple years. He’s a Thrasher cover-getting SF local with Pacific Northwest roots who made his big video debut in Rocket Science a few years back, but even though SBN is one of the steadily declining number of newly minted pros-cum-amateurs who can count his dues paid in full, career-wise, if he won he’d be greener than BA when he got Pen-and-Pixeled for the 1999 SOTY throne.

Billy Marks: Phelps has long been a Zero fan and has teased poor Billy with the SOTY/Tech Deck ad conundrum for years, and if Marks ever were to have a shot at it, this would be the year I guess. He has a big video part and a big Thrasher interview going for him, but other than that he’s been kind of quiet, unless you count the ping-pong videos. Plus if he won he’d have to produce another 10 pages of photos for the issue and he seems like a hopelessly lazy dude, ping-pong prowess notwithstanding.

Bobby Worrest: He skates for Deluxe companies, drinks shitty beer, has churned out boatloads of footage these last couple years and seems to possess a Thrasher-approved “who cares” attitude, as well as a sense of humor. On the other hand, like SBN his professional career is none too long in the tooth, and unless you count all his internet antics (which I certainly do) he hasn’t put out a legit part this year.

Guy Mariano: Thrasher likes to give SOTY to longtime legends recently (Daewon, Marc Johnson, Danny Way again) and Mariano is pretty much about as legend as they come, except perhaps for John Legend, or Robert Neville. He sets the high bar for street skating video parts and then comes back a decade later and does the same shit for comebacks, what the fuck? On the downside, aside from some of the first Flared-era photos, not much of his recent coverage has made it into Thrasher, and possibly worse for his SOTY candidacy, a lot of said coverage has been in TWS.

Rune Glifberg: This year’s dark horse candidate – representing one of the more SOTY-heavy squads at Flip and an old-guard transition titan who so far has avoided tarring himself with the X-Games brush, Rune turned in probably one of the best profiles of the year to date a few months ago in Thrasher. While Dyrdek’s UAV will turn into a pumpkin before the Flip video comes out this year Phelps has proven more than willing to hand out preemptive SOTY awards like so many Tomahawk cruise missles, as Rowley and Appleyard can attest.

Lizard King: I get the feeling the Thrasher bosses have a deep and abiding love for Michael Plumb, but a helping of hairball photos and a side-order video part (even if it is set to Killa) do not an SOTY make.

Ryan Sheckler: As much as nobody wants to think about it, I have a sad feeling that this is a real possibility, as Phelps’ determination to prove his don’t-give-a-fuckness combined with Sheckler’s boring win at the Thrasher handrail contest and the prospect of selling a metric ton of magazines are very real factors. I’d like to think that Ballard would tender his resignation should this event come to pass, and Thrasher has taken the occasional swipe at the golden boy from San Clemente, but Phelps’ recent comments that Sheckler is in the running haunt me in the wee hours of the night, even if he was joking. Not funny.

Vote for Barack Obama next week.

Midsummer Video Roundup: Seasons 4

August 13, 2008


Living proof

Full disclosure: I am relatively poor, possess minimal computer skills and currently am not hooked on either patchouli or crack cocaine. For these reasons and more I’ve never lived in the Bay Area, and like most people, my impressions of the region have been formed more by occasional visits, Rice-A-Roni commercials and the E-40 backcatalog. With that unfortunate ignorance in mind, from an outsider’s perspective, Trevor Prescott’s Seasons videos more than any others capture the “vibe”* of the Bay skateboarding scene in these, the mid-aughts–technical tricks and hill bombs, tall tees and blond dreadlocks, jazz/funk soundtrack, super 8 footage, Pat Washington, etc.

The newish Seasons 4 looks to be the too-soon final entry into Prescott’s self-released oeuvre, and it’s probably as good as any in the series, mixing short parts from knowns and unknowns alike, fading into and out of montages and slices of SF life, be they angry homosexual homeowners or Be-All-You-Can-Be helicopter money shots. In a way it’s about as relaxing as skate videos get, and refreshing like an autumn breeze or some such bullshit.

The skating: new City resident Josh Matthews, with the first part, has the recipe for nosebonking fire hydrants, a precision move if there ever was one. Carlos Young executes spin wizardry. Julian Quevado and his impeccable frontside crooked grinds are welcome in pretty much any video barring those featuring Iga (do these exist yet?). Ben Stewart chomps Clipper with a frontside flip and Hubba with a kickflip backside smith grind and I could have done with more Keith Cole and Errol Langdon footage. Veteran appearances include Danny Fuenzalida, Gershon Mosely and noted headcase Lennie Kirk, who does a switch f/s 5-0 bigspin out up a loading dock ledge… praises be.

I’m not especially into Brian Delatorre but his closing nollie b/s 5-0 was the shit; I’m not into Richard Jefferson period. Jason Wussler makes the choice to mar a line with a supremely ugly nollie 360 shove-it, or maybe a nollie front foot impossible, it was hard to tell as my eyes instinctively contorted to form the gasface. Jackson Curtain contributes some beautiful tricks, like a line with a super-stabbed switch b/s smith grind, and Ryan Nix is in there too somewhere. That guy needs to get back on it.

Later top-billed Silas Baxter Neal shows up for his nth part in the last couple of years. He skids a noseslide whip-around to switch frontside boardslide transfer on that fountain spot, and frontside kickflips a double-set to hill bomb before turning the stage over to Prescott, whose low-impact flip combos close the show. Backside tailslide shove-it to nosemanual; someone great is gone indeed. RIP.

Verdict: Boil the Ocean grants this video four out of five hubba rocks, plus a dime bag. Check for it. Also shoutout to the surviving members of Pantera. Photo above via The Larkey Experiments.

*It’s a surfer word!