Posts Tagged ‘Terry Kennedy’

Ten Leak Commandments

March 31, 2016

jeezy_sandals

Last week the nation’s ever-deepening identity crisis deepened, again, after a Facebook posting left Americans to contend with the concept of Young Jeezy wearing socks with sandals. The unholy prospect forced all the usual and uncomfortable questions front and center once again: Who are we? Where’s all this going? Can gravitational waves be manipulated for pleasure or profit? How much mass is too much? Was a Florida judge’s special dispensation for Hulk Hogan to don a formal black bandana for his sex-tape trial an indication of white privilege, the Hulkster’s 1% status, or both? And so on.

As ever, the United States may do well to take notes from Baker, whose alternately sneering and stony worldview has persisted through several revolutions of its motley and enduringly diverse lineup. Dustin Dollin stays shooting his mouth off and hurting feelings, while the current iteration of these seven-day weekenders shake loose a Rowan Zorilla-centered promo cementing their danger to various communities. Andrew Reynolds blasts a waist-high* kickflip to tractor-trailer bash, their revitalized Kevin Long spins a nollie backside tailslide flip out and Terry Kennedy, who is a large grin attached to a fakie ollie, formally enters the running for clip of the year by walking down the sidewalk. By the time Gumby-limbed ditch gremlin Rowan Zorilla earns the DJ Screw rollaway treatment to seal the formal pro nod to his off-kilter switchstance formations, the company, careening into its 16th year with 40% of its 2G lineup remaining, seems as vital as ever.

Can Transworld, pushing its own video legacy into a third decade, recapture mojo by blowing up its own timeworn model? Friend to the fisheye Chris Thiessen takes a close-up view of the concept in ‘Substance,’ which honors skating’s long tradition of taking a concept and testing its longevity, in this case hyper-intimate VX techniques cribbed from Lenz and Magenta productions while cutting a barely-threaded kingpin bolt sized radius around longtime TWS vid trappings such as timelapse sequences, voiceovers and slow motions. In parts like Dolan Stearns’, wherein he leaps Danny Garcia’s ‘Inhabitants’ intro-sequence carport and boosts a massive tree wallie, much sense of perspective is squeezed out of the frame**. Other parts like Baker’s arrested developer Tristan Funkhouser, who does a cool bump-to-bump feeble grind and an amusing surf to spinout, and Islee Jon Nguyen, who can do Pupecki grinds both ways and launches one of the meatier bigspin kickflips in recent memory, benefit from a more relaxed approach and compare favorably with the better-aged parts from TWS vids past.

TWS’ video model merits saving. The California Sunday Magazine’s recent Jake Phelps profile*** positions Thrasher as the likely last mag standing as rivals grow ‘anemic’ in the face of a mobile content onslaught, though Transworld’s thinning seems to have plateaued around the 115-page mark, perhaps a product of the revitalization via editor Jaime Owens’ early embrace of the small-company set and fondness for East Coast coverage. In time the ‘magazine video’ format may become relegated to the same shop backroom dustbin as the ‘video magazine,’ but it would be a loss — a bustling market for local/crew videos and daily deluge of one-off online parts retains some lane for gatekeepers imbued with the clout and say-so to corral diverse and blue-chip bros who aren’t otherwise in thrall to sneaker- or soda-funded projects to crank out a worthy and cohesive video in the space of a year.

Between the ever-zooming fisheye camp and the long lens stylings of Fat Bill and his acolytes, are sides being chosen up for a coming civil war that could further diminish the already dwindling population of VX-1000s? Do the ghosts of Digital and Logic and 411 rear up from the underworld to lustily cheer at each successive Transworld vid premiere? Does Jake Phelps remain some reality TV show producer’s great white whale? How bout Rowan Zorilla’s switch shove-it 50-50?

*His waist, even
**Might one put former Transworld Film maker Ty Evans on the other end of such a spectrum, too much perspective?
***Near the top of the heap for ‘secular’ press articles on skating

3. Danny Brady – ‘Definitely Brady’

December 28, 2013

Danny Brady to Palace was one of those soundly logical, hand-in-glove industry happenings that helped maintain some sense of normalcy and balance in a year otherwise characterized by seismic team-jumps and resignations, and this part, which is probably Danny Brady’s best in several years, did double-duty washing away the awkward weirdness which is Blueprint’s current Canada-by-way-of-Arizona iteration. Brady’s fakie game, now cemented firmly cemented among the pantheon of veteran devotees such as Clyde Singleton and Terry Kennedy, is in top form here, like on the bank-to-ledge tailslide kickflip, and the relative frequency of clips without a hat implies a new level of comfort and trust in his Palace bros and bosses. The line with the backside tailslide to fakie needed only the cub scout cap to a ‘Lost & Found’ clip.

Walking Blues

August 12, 2009

cardboardshoes
Couldn’t walk a mile off in my air forces (via Fuse Gallery)

Confronted with shoe walls awash in vulcanized soles and increasingly minimalist silhouettes I can’t help but wonder if we’re seeing the skate shoe business, known to some as the last and final bastion of early-00’s profitability for the industry, on the verge of commoditizing itself like what happened with hard-goods. Despite noble efforts from PJ Ladd and TK to goose footwear pricepoints – a bold move in the shadow of a global recession monster – the market seems to dictate that kids basically want $50 Vans, or close approximations thereof, heel bruises and short life spans be damned.

Of course sooner or later tastes will change and tongues will puff up once more, but you have to wonder if technological innovations like the space-age materials currently being pushed by Gravis dude above, or Sole Tech’s shoe lab, or DC’s continued efforts to promote its Super Suede material, are doomed to become the shoe version of carbon fiber decks and air-core wheels. Concaves and dimensions come and go but the skateboard deck hasn’t changed much in the last 18 years, even though the hammer era saw kids of all weight classes snapping boards faster than ever. Who’s to say that the current generation, who don’t remember the armoured tanks we used to push around in, don’t see shoes the same way now?

Now this isn’t my usual sepia-toned spiel about how we all need to go back to the good old days and skate only painted curbs so I don’t feel so horribly insecure. Paying nearly twice as much for shoes that were harder to skate in and only marginally more comfy is a bargain only a fool or a well-paid masochist like TV’s Steve-O would entertain. But I kind of wonder if the shoe companies aren’t painting themselves into a corner here, profit-wise. Meanwhile you’ve got deck conglomerates pushing and shoving to get into the footwear business, and with companies like DC white-labeling the Lynx to shops or whoever, what’s it even mean to be a skate shoe company anymore? It’s like they’re tiptoeing toward blank deck territory, which recently obliterated professional skateboarding forevermore.

But even though there’s so many skate shoe companies now all basically pushing the same product relatively cheaply, nobody really wants anything else right? So how is this different than boards? Most kids don’t give a shit if they snap a board in two weeks versus a month, cuz that’s how boards are. Or, kids don’t care enough to light a sales fire under those Almost disc-decks. The Arto shoe purportedly lasts six weeks longer than a comparable shoe*, but are kids that now buy six pairs of shoes per year going to flock to Gravis so they only have to buy shoes four times per year? People used to a regular turnover maybe don’t want their shoes to last longer, like how you want a fresh board every so often and aren’t trying to ride the same deck for 12 months.

Shit, I don’t run a shoe company, maybe the simple-shoe revolution of the 00’s is all part of their master plan to move more shoes faster. It just seems like it could wind up biting them in the ass, the way all the deck manufacturers are hustling to diversify into clothes and whatnot. Consider: with next to nothing in the way of construction advancement (slicks aside) deck prices have stayed roughly the same for almost 20 years, or at least seriously lagged the inflation rate. (Ye olde inflation calculator puts a $55 board in 1992 at $75 in 2008 dollars.) Skateboard economy, heal thyself…

*however they calculated that one

JR Returns

September 28, 2008


Sober mind power

I’m sure there were likelier candidates than Jereme Rogers to become the Christian handrail version of Chris Gentry for the late aughts, but today, having awoken to the skateboard peanut gallery’s equivalent of Paris Hilton’s two-way getting cracked, I can’t imagine who those candidates might have been. It’s like the final piece of an amazing puzzle has fallen into place: former Caucasian child star, copious amounts of ostentatious jewelry, sudden and fervent conversion to Christianity, neck tattoos, and now–of course!–rap music.

As a musician, “JR” is surprisingly distinct from Terry Kennedy, his partner in luxury goods appreciation and internet business ventures. Where TK’s rough-edged braggadocio centers on money, women and hitting people over the head with gun-butts, JR plays the role of the elder statesman, imparting the hard-learned lessons of street life which he knows so well. A quick overview of the JR songography as currently available:

“This the Type of Shit” f. Roc: JR’s breathy crooning masks disarmingly smooth disses, akin to Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar, and the vulgarity of the hook (handled here by JR himself) belies intricate conceptual thinking on the part of the former Transworld rookie of the year (see the “ten letters” bar). Following the trend recently popularized by Jay-Z, JR apparently does not write down his rhymes, but the instrumental harkens back to the easy-riding G-funk era.
Key line: “This is just step one.”
Rating: 5 neck tattoos

“Nobody Wanna Live Without” F. Eddie Rap Life: A more urgent number, driving and a touch bleak, JR gets deep speaking on the struggles of youth today. Growing up in the hood, a topic JR knows well, isn’t easy and he understands that often kids’ only outlet lies in flights of fancy: “Late night dreams of you and a gold rope, UHHH… how fresh you could look in that pea coat” “You could be the next Jay-Hov…” But JR warns against turning to a life of crime to accomplish these ends, imploring youngsters to instead “open up your bibles, put down your rifles.”
Key line: “Shoulda been content with the life you were used to.”
Rating: Four neck tattoos

“Keep the Faith” f. Renee Renee: JR, despite his deep devotion to Christ and providing a positive and sober urban role model for the kids, is no angel. He’s lived the fast life and still slips up now and then, evidenced by the “smoke trees” line. Yet it’s what one does with these mistakes–JR probably would call them opportunities–that determines the measure of a man, and JR is right up front with his humanity: “Make mistakes, shit that’s okay, me I musta made about 10 today/Just made another one, I just said shit, but I won’t say it again unless the track require.” Too Short-esque wordplay with “Heaven-sent flow”–JR’s just getting started. (Judging by Renee Renee’s wavering chorus, JR isn’t alone here.)
Key line: “Go for your dreams, believe in it, me I’m knee deep in it.”
Rating: Three neck tattoos

The Jimmy legs

July 7, 2008


Tiptoe through the tulips

Jimmy Gorecki has had an interesting career for sure. There must be some quality about him that catches the eye of the right people, because Sal Barbier put him on as one of Aesthetics’ initial second-generation amateur skaters, and he found his way onto the (allegedly) dearly departed Ice Cream shoe team as kind of an odd man out, being neither a no-name random at the time, nor Terry Kennedy. Also, he was (and to my knowledge still is) white.

Back in the heady days of bright yellow t-shirts and 411VM spinoff projects, a time known to us now as the early ’00s, Gorecki was pretty hot shit in Ryde or Die and his official introduction part. But around the time of Aesthetics’ great migration east something happened, because the few bits of footage he had in that string of Zoo promos were fairly booty.

So I was interested to check out this new part he put together for Sk8 site, everyone’s favorite, uh, sk8 website. Some old standards and some new tricks, some nice (switch f/s tailslide, switch f/s smith grind) and some ugly (nollie lipslide up the loading dock). But what boggled my mind—even more than the amazing Fly Society song, yes—was the little hops he sometimes does on his board after landing a trick. Often it’s just one foot but other times it almost looks like he’s hippie jumping over some invisible tripwire. There’s a close-up after his last trick, it’s like he’s tap-dancing over hot coals.

Note to board company representatives: As far as I know Gorecki is off Zoo now, so this would be where you work out a contract real quick and then send in one of your people who’s paid to monitor the Slap boards to write a comment below, something to the effect of: “Jimmy just doesn’t want to burn his feet because [insert hardgoods brand] are the hottest decks out this summer. Check for the core shop limited line of graphics in the new CCS!!” Meanwhile the rest of us can hold on tight to what may be some of the last skate footage of $90 day-glo green sneakers.

Rocky road

June 30, 2008

With team captain* TK jumping ship it appears as though the torrid rumors of Ice Cream’s skate foray coming to an end may not have been exaggerated, much to the disappointment of messageboard fish-barrel marksmen everywhere. So it goes. Believe it or not (I know) I sort of saw this one coming. My personal leading indicator, the Foot Action down the street from my neighborhood, got in a shipment of the notorious “Board Flip” model a few years back. Over the course of a few months I watched through the shop window as the pink, green, brown, orange and baby-blue hued Board Flips enjoyed a brief reign at the top of the shelf before sliding to mid-shelf a couple weeks later. A month went by before I wandered past Foot Action again, at which point I sadly shook my head, seeing the Board Flips now resting at the very bottom of the shelf. A week or two later the discount tags appeared, little nooses for the $39.99 condemned.

So: a cautionary tale about the difficulties of breaking into a new market, even if you put Jimmy Gorecki’s mug on 106 & Park. (I really wish I could find that clip on Youtube.) Nevertheless, the Ice Cream/BBC culture warriors stay on their grind, like Pharrell after the other dude in the Neptunes lost interest in producing rap music. Hence the new fall/winter 2008 collection, featuring among other items the lovely goldenrod number pictured above, which fetches 7,140 yen, or about $67 at the current exchange rate. Who said the Japanese economy was dead?

*Has Terry Kennedy never heard “The Mail Man”? I asked myself a similar question when Koston was running around in that Fourstar “Captain” shirt. Come on, dudes…

TK love the kids

June 18, 2008


Really I just wanted an excuse to repost this ad for Krew’s fake bulletproof vest.

Today’s Terry Kennedy update comes to us from AllHipHop.com, announcing that the solemn and dignified young man who worked his way out of poverty on four urethane wheels is once again selflessly giving of himself. Billed as a “Viva La Bam” star and “caption” of Pharrell’s Ice Cream squadron (it still exists right?), TK is set to get dirty tomorrow, but with a noble purpose–namely cleaning up the Venice skatepark, painting the exterior of the VCPJA building and making improvements to the sanctuary area. I’ve been trying to tell them the VCPJA building needs a new paint job for years, but, you know. I’m just one man.

But TK is just one man too, even if he does caption an Ice Cream Team and lead a Fly Society and have the Baker Boys behind him. So the powers that be chose to partner him with somebody on the cleanup detail, and the logical choice was of course Eazy E’s son, known to us all as Lil Eazy. Now what you have here is a movement, people. That VCPJA building is as good as painted. Real talk.

I see that Boost Mobile somehow butted their way into what TK probably intended as a quiet and reflective afternoon of improving and VCPJA building-painting, which is obviously sketchy in a way, because when Boost Mobile gets ahold of a couple rappers, you know the type of dude they bring to the mix. But according to the AllHipHop blurb the kids who help clean up the park get to go see Tracy Morgan along with Three 6 Mafia and, that’s right, Puddle of Mudd*. Now, originally I was going to kind of joke around about this whole deal but now I’m thinking about going. Maybe Tracy Morgan will get one of the Puddle of Mudds pregnant. Maybe he’ll get Jim Greco pregnant.

*How many people do you think wouldn’t be able to pick the Academy Award winner out of that lineup? More or less than the number of people who can’t find Iraq on a map?

Seven things I liked about Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part

April 30, 2008

TK keeps progressing, sort of, though if I were him I’d stop hyping the fact that he only started skating in 2000 or whatever it was, because each part he puts out running basically the same tricks it gets less impressive and more obvious. But what am I saying here, a Terry Kennedy video part isn’t about tricks, or even skating really. It’s about being young and carefree and well-off and making rap songs in your living room and designing fashionable bulletproof vests. But I’m on TK’s side really. At this point he’s at least as cartoonish as your Jim Grecos and Chad Muskas, but the difference to me is that he seems to take himself a lot less serious. Uh, most of the time.

Anyway, the highlights of Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part:

1. The wacky and possibly intoxicatory smile on his face when he comes out the door in his tank top and short shorts at the beginning there. Ha ha ha! What is he doing anyway. Crazy guy.

2. His little monologue in the basement with the ping-pong lady in the background. I’ve watched it at least a half-dozen times and I’m still not sure what it is he’s saying toward the end there. It sounds intense though. Is he talking about Lupe? If he was going for the Smack DVD angle he should’ve had Gorecki and the rest of the Ice Cream crew wearing bandannas over their faces and flashing guns. But keep the ping pong lady. It makes you look unpredictable and a little insane.

3. He lets Sammy Baca sit on his couch without even putting that plastic shit on it. I thought that was nice of him.

4. Fakie 5-0 down the white hubba. This was a good trick.

5. His rap song. TK’s producer, or homie, or cousin, or whatever website he downloaded the instrumental from seems to be improving at a marginal rate, much like TK himself on a skateboard. Some of this recent Fly Society material sounds like it could maybe stand on its own near the end of a 30-track Slick Pulla mixtape, which is saying something. TK’s lyrics are pretty standard fare as far as having fancy things and affirming his eternal hatred for snitches but he sounds pretty convincing to me. I wonder if he thinks up lyrics while he’s sliding down handrails, like “it would be hot if when I get into this b/s overcrook, I sing ‘got your wifey on my dizzick.'” Multi-tasking…

6. That last bar he f/s railslides looked like something Rowley would have tackled before he got old and started skating ditches all the time. Tall and beastly.

7. Finally, the bro-down session after his last trick reminded me of “Fulfill the Dream”… in a good way.

P.S. what’s with all the unicycles in this video? Kind of amazing…