Posts Tagged ‘the 00s’

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 10-1

November 17, 2009

10. “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life,” 2002
PJ_Ladds_WHL

A stacked shop video that marked Jereme Rogers’ debut, Ryan Gallant’s elevation to journeyman status, a girl, and also happened to feature one dude who would realign street skateboarding for the still-new decade. Not sure what the ’00s analog to Guy Mariano’s part in “Mouse” would be (if there could indeed be one) but it might be possible to suggest PJ Ladd’s breakout section as this decade’s Mike Carroll/”Questionable.” The tricks – the last run – are so crazy and so well done, and the whole part is shot through with the type of energy that makes you want to push two more times and flip the board again, a feeling of actual fun being had in the process of blowing all those minds. It’s still hard to imagine how PJ Ladd could properly surpass this part, so in some respects it’s alright that he hasn’t really tried, because it still stands up fine by itself.

9. “Bag of Suck,” 2007

Tilt-moders put on their serious face for a more straightforward release with relatively few bells and whistles, if you don’t count a kinda all-star friends section, the most fantastic synchronized section next to “Hot Chocolate” and various Bones Brigade efforts, and some fairly awesome intros. Caswell Berry, completing the transition from ponytail to mental issues, makes a seven-year-old rap tune sound fresh, Big Joe Red pursues his continuing education in the BA school of outsized grace, and Jerry Hsu goes for broke with the type of understated slaying and style progression that transforms a careerist into a legend. Favorites from this part: the frontside 180 into the bank, the switch f/s shove-it over the rail, and that switch 360 flip he does on the Prince board.

8. “Yeah Right,” 2003

Full-lengths from Girl look to be a once-per-decade event nowadays, and given the inevitable team shuffles as well as the preordained hype/release euphoria/internet backlash/acceptance cycle that accompanies every video of this caliber these days, maybe that type of timeline is necessary. There’s some grousing to be done and fat that could be trimmed (Skatrix) but in spite of the still-evolving teens and the preoccupation with hammers and the Evans brand of overproduction this has all the well-loved hallmarks of a Girl vid, from the pink/invisible boards to Jeron Wilson’s switch 360 flip over the channel and Carroll’s last maneuver. The growing pains ensure that “Yeah Right” won’t compare favorably to the mid-90s golden age, but in the realm of skateboard companies, it’s something that the Crailtap empire is still around, much less making good videos, and Brandon Biebel footage ages like fine wine.

7. “Static II,” 2004

Josh Stewart struck aesthetic paydirt with the second helping of the ongoing “Static” series, searching for an alternative to perceived overwrought handrail epics, and helping birth the cellar-door subgenre while elevating Bob Puleo to internet diety. “Static 2” cemented Josh Stewart’s place among the bailgun wielders, offering well-deserved props for John Igei and Paul Shier, guest shots from the Habitat and Traffic squadrons, and the long-awaited answer to the question of what exactly Kenny Reed had been doing in between shopping for vintage camo pants and region-specific headwear. Josh Stewarts’ videos may not make him rich with gold, but he’s secured his status as a booster of the underground, which probably counts for something in Slap board rep points.

6. “Sorry,” 2002

Flip’s blaring, cussing’ teeth-gritting apology for whatever wasn’t real far removed from the “Baker2Gs” and the “Menikmatis” of the early part of the decade, as far as the skating, but editing-wise it came off way more immediate and unvarnished, a far better vehicle for the sort of skating brought to the table by the unwashed roustabout Ali Boulala, the slacker droop of Mark Appleyard’s drawers, the business side of Arto Saari’s flowing mane and the utterly without fear Geoff Rowley. Who’d have guessed that Bastien Salabanzi, primed for superstardom, would fade while Tom Penny’s shaky but expertly played return here would see him through the rest of the decade.

5. “Lost and Found,” 2005

Hands down the best video made east of the Atlantic in the last ten years and maybe ever, Blueprint’s “Lost and Found” saw the venerable U.K. company coming of age alongside its poster boy Nick Jensen in one of those rare 60-minute jobs that’s very possible to watch all the way through and not skip a part. The quality and sheer amount of footage is matched with sharp editing and generally good music (even, dare we say, the British rap music), and I can think of only a couple examples where dudes’ parts in this video were not the best shit they’ve put out so far (Danny Brady, Jensen, Neil Smith, Colin Kennedy, Chewy Cannon). What was on display in “Lost and Found” was beautiful spots and more than trick firepower a viewpoint and vision – things that few others really had going at the time, plus, Chewy Cannon’s nollie 360s.

4. “Fully Flared,” 2007

Although I dislike Band of Horses to the extent required by law, musical complaints toward the Lakai video now must be fairly viewed through the glorious kaleidoscope of Mannie Fresh, Jeezy and the best song Public Enemy made in about 15 years. Yes, the ledge combos are sometimes a bit much; no, this doesn’t a boring video make, and I think we can be glad that everybody else latched onto this idea instead of the tiresome pole jam-to-manual-to-wallie stuff being peddled in “Let’s Do This!” Here we have a resurgent Anthony Pappalardo, a world-conquering Lucas Puig, Mike Carroll’s best part in 9 years, Eric Koston at long last throwing the last-part weight from his shoulders, Brandon Biebel again, the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Fernandez and his fakie 360 flips, and the almost comic overkill of Marc Johnson’s 15-minute tour de force, all of which met our super lofty expectations. Also Guy Mariano came back and a bunch of shit blew up.

3. “Modus Operandi,” 2000

You maybe could say that the prototype for ’00s videos was first set with “Feedback,” which was in turn improved and expanded upon with “The Reason,” after which both were to be taken off the shelf and calmly stuffed into the toilet to make way for the “Modus” juggernaut. Nah, but this was one of those videos that, even though pretty self-indulgent some of the time, got a lot of people rethinking the way these little projects needed to be put together, and what they should try and “say.” Back before voiceovers earned the fast-forward button you had Marc Johnson reminiscing about misjudging a jock, and doing two separate ledge tricks on the same block in the same line; Chany Jeanguinin declaring his love for vert and ushering in the raw denim manual antics of Biebel; Mike Carroll, his neuroses and a shot at the perfect line; and Brian Anderson vouching for the power of visualizing your goals, wearing Axions and crushing hubbas to the tune of Muskabeatz. What a time to be alive..

2. “Sight Unseen,” 2001

The “Empire Strikes Back” of TWS vids, maybe, owing to the classic status and generally dark atmosphere clouding the Henry Sanchez, Dustin Dollin and particularly Heath Kirchart sections. First, though, there’s the blaring gnar of John Cardiel, the mile-long handrail and burly hubba moves ensuring a spot in the hearts of kids who don’t have the time to wade through Thrasher vids or access to “Fucktards.” Mostly inoffensive Tosh Townend plays this video’s Jordan Richter, bookended on one side by the unrepentant Henry Sanchez, Pupecki-grinding rails and at that point still better than so many other dudes, and the salivating assault of Dustin Dollin, lurching from kinked handrail to kickflip frontside blunt. Then lights out for Heath Kirchart’s symphony of destruction, the gap-to-blunt, and the best backside noseblunt committed to a rail at that point.

1. “Photosynthesis,” 2000

The platinum standard of modern (?) videos, in this random blog-site’s opinion. Variety and editing make this video a cohesive classic for the ages instead of some kinda “Time Code 2,” as long as you aren’t into vert skating and you can tolerate interludes concerned with hamburgers and javelin tossing. Van Engelen’s grease-fire ledge attack, Pappalardo’s clockwork precision, Fred Gall with one pants leg up, Danny Garcia demonstrating how to pop out of a backside tailslide, Wenning’s backside nosegrinds and switch heelflips, Josh Kalis doing “the” 360 flip and the walk down into Jason Dill’s bent world, back when he was doing all those 180s the hard way into ledge tricks and settling into New York. With most parts clocking in under 3 minutes and a runtime around 35:00 “Photosynthesis” rivals any video in the quantity/quality department and nearly all that have come since in terms of achievement in this medium – making something that’s cool to watch, gets you off the couch and has you thinking about watching it again when you get home with your socks still sweaty in your shoes.

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 40-31

November 7, 2009

A general disclaimer about the list to follow ought to start with noting that most lists of this sort are pretty much bullshit anyway, designed to ignite pointless debate and sell women’s health magazines or ad spots on VH1, and this one may not be much different really. However, given that this is an internet blog site, and the end of a decade is approaching, fate holds that a list must be made. I thought about whether it should be billed as the 40 “best” videos of the past decade, or the 40 “most significant,” or the 40 “most favoritest of BTO” but in the end we’re opting to call it something altogether different and stupid and just get on with things. Special shout to Skim the Fat, where from I got most of these images, is that site still going? Anyhow, numbers 40 through 30:

40. “It’s Official,” 2005
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An overall pretty awesome video marred by a Kanye-heavy soundtrack and a few too many Lenny Rivas quotables, Kayo Corp’s stab at a “Trilogy” featured the national debut of gap-gliding Kenny Hoyle and SF sweatpants fan Robbie Holmes, alongside solid turns from all-stars Jackson Curtain, Karl Watson and a damn Marcus McBride part. I don’t know if Marcus McBride is the Z-Ro of skateboarding, exactly, but he’s something. “Official” probably could’ve done with more Richard Angelides and some editing where Quim Cardona was concerned but this video is one that probably doesn’t get rewatched as often as it should. Chany Jeanguenin skates vert in it.

39. “Skate More,” 2005
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Daewon Song’s self-reinvention for a post-picnic table world helped vault him to SOTY status off the back of DVS’s debut full-length, but the Python-flavored “Skate More” also boasted the feel-good part of the year straight from the happy feet of Jeron Wilson who floats the slickest heelflip that Jason Dill had ever seen. 2005 was a banner year for Keith Hufnagel as well, putting out two ollie-riffic sections, and this DVS video also offers a glimpse of the ever-shifting Dill in his New York denizen phase and the mixed bag that is Jereme Rogers’ best part to date; also Busenitz/Zered Basset and a more-interesting-than-usual Mikey Taylor contribution.

38. “Get Familiar,” 2006
getfamiliar

Chris Hall’s sneakerhead-financed East-by-West coast document should’ve maybe leaned a bit heavier on the retro elements, like I always thought the electro songs used for the intro clips would’ve made an interesting soundtrack for the whole thing. “Get Familiar” though was a worthy addition to a long line of self-produced East Coast videos with a pretty stacked lineup in a still-skinny Bobby Worrest, a skinnier yet Zach Lyons, EE vets Barley and Forbes and the resurgent duo of Joey Pepper and James Craig (the backside bigspin flip is a career highlight). Curveball parts come from Daewon and Mark Gonzales before gun-slinging Darren Harper controversially closes the video with some baggy denim stylings, crazy pop and that silly floater of a switch frontside shove-it.

37. “Waiting For the World,” 2000
WFTW

It’s kind of fucked up how John Rattray’s section in this video was this devil’s bargain that earned him the glitz and glamour associated with Zero, Elwood and Osiris sponsorships, while at the same time siphoning away Blueprint’s heaviest dude, but these things happen. Nowadays WFTW looks kind of dated, especially Paul Carter’s Osiris pants and the Souls of Mischief song, but in 2000 the video itself was a serious stylistic push forward (the intro in particular) and generally served as a statement of purpose for the British skateboard scene, especially for those of us outside it, putting everybody onto the likes of Paul Shier, Colin Kennedy, a pint-sized Nick Jensen and the loopy genius of Mark Baines, leading up to John Rattray’s Britpop-powered star turn.

36. “Cash Money Vagrant,” 2003
cash_money_vagrant

There was really no reasonable or feasible way for Anti Hero to try and follow up “Fucktards” but their stab at a semi-conventional video in the midst of restocking the team for the concrete park decade is laudable enough and a fun one to throw in now and again. Young(er) and dirty Frank Gerwer does half his frontside k-grinds on Firm boards and Tony Trujillo rejects the Transworld gloss that helped mold his SOTY bid, alongside contributions from Cardiel, Hewitt and most of the other Anti-Heros that matter. It’s short, there is a little lo-fi themed skit that ties the whole thing together and they make it safely to Benecia at the end (spoiler alert). Interestingly, this site is selling a copy for $1300.

35. “Dying To Live,” 2002
dying_to_live

In some ways it’s easy to bag on this vid, what with Jamie Thomas’s very dramatic intro, the beginning of Adrian Lopez’s career slide and Jon Allie’s sort of boring opener part. But as with most Zero productions the editing is sharp, the music fantastic and there is enough good here that “Dying to Live” probably can be considered fairly underrated at this point – Ryan Smith in his young and hungry days, paired with Nirvana, Matt Mumford to Queen, bespectacled Lindsay Robertson’s crushing slow-mo intro, and Chris Cole kickflip backside noseblunting a damn handrail amid a characteristically ridiculous part that capped his fresh-to-hesh migration. And, it had a sweet friends section, something that’s kind of fallen by the way-side in recent years.

34. “7 Year Glitch,” 2002
7_year_glitch

It seems like forever ago that New Deal even was a company and most of these dudes have been scattered to the four winds at this point, and where Fabrizio Santos is concerned, this all may be for the best. But this video, which preceded New Deal’s folding pretty quickly, contains one of the better Ricky Oyola lines captured on video, a lot of good Europe footage before all the spots were played, and the type of diverse lineup that’s generally been tossed in favor of appealing to this or that sub-sub-demographic. There is vert skating and Rob G has a nice run that’s filmed via a stationary long-lens, also, Chad Tim Tim at the early stages of being underappreciated for more or less ten years. Probably you could trace Kenny Reed’s nearly decade-long wandering in the international wilderness to the filming of this project, and maybe the marathon backside 5-0 to backside tail in particular. The one with the kid on the bike.

33. “Baker 3,” 2005
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The Baker Bootleg video formula refined and distilled, taking the sometimes-interminable 90-minute slogs through the chopped-n-screwed Baker world and squishing it into something resembling a more straightforward format. Baker 3 also introduced the world to polar opposite ams Antwuan Dixon and Theotis Beasley, and helped Bryan Herman transition from a browless Reynolds fan to a grown up hardflipper with a world-class 360 flip. Somewhere in there Spanky skates to Morrissey (I know!) and Reynolds stretches his editing legs with some weird effects. Thinking back on this vid now I remember being vaguely shocked that Erik Ellington was capable of backside noseblunting a handrail, and after reading the recent Greco interview, I’m reminded that it was a bummer he didn’t end up using the Queen song for his comeback section.

32. “Bon Appetit,” 2003
bon_appetit

This video rightfully put Cliche on the global map, even though it retreaded that tiresome Yeah Yeah Yeahs song for the nth time and wasted so much top-drawer footage on endless region-specific montages – where is the rationale, I ask you, in sprinkling JJ Rousseu nosegrinds here and there in some Japan part when he could’ve had a full-length section to himself. French Fred’s editing choices aside, “Bon Appetit” dodges classic status but still boasts Lucas Puig’s best part to date (the nollie backside noseblunt), Jan Kleiwer getting his Hufnagel on, Rousseau in top form and a part from when Cale Nuske’s knees still worked that contains exactly one line, which is sick. Also, you should know that Ricardo Fonseca’s ponytail is meant to symbolize the virility of the European skate scene as a whole.

31. “Cheese & Crackers,” 2007
cheese_crackers

Chris Haslam and Daewon Song conspire to build a better mini-ramp mousetrap. Kind of like if the Tilt Moders got locked in a garage for a weekend with a miniramp and a sheet of high-powered blotter acid. When street skateboarding moves beyond its current love for manageable transitions this video could possibly become the current era’s “1281” but there’s a general retardedness that helps smooth out the troublesome physics problems associated with doing blunts behind a curtain, and all manner of other nonsense these dudes get into. Friends section features Carroll and Alex Olson and the human dynamo that is Giovanni Reda, remember, and Lewis Marnell’s bonus part is nice also.

Lance Mountain and Bob Burnquist Are the Runaway Jury

October 20, 2009

lance_flip
In a theater near you

Back in, uh, 1998, vertical pioneer Tony Hawk and snowboard movie-man Jamie Mosberg unveiled “The End,” a statement of purpose that laid the groundwork for Tony Hawk’s rise to sport celebrity, solidified years of cartoon graphic deck sales and set the bar impossibly for future incarnations of the Birdhouse team. As you can imagine it was a pivotal moment for the culture and Tony Hawk mentioned at one point or another that one of the highest pieces of praises he received was somebody telling him “The End” was like one of the old Bones Brigade videos, which you can definitely see, and which is certainly no left-handed compliment despite the cheese factor spread over pretty much everything in the 80s.

There’s not a lot about the “Extremely Sorry” video itself that translates to easy comparisons with the classic Powell Peralta productions – it will take someone far bolder than I to hold up Louie Lopez et al alongside the Guy/Paulo/Rudy contingent – with the obvious exception of Lance Mountain, the Bones Brigade’s Ringo, and Bob Burnquist, sometimes known as the Bob Burnquist of mega-ramp skating.

And what about Bob? He makes for an easy target, what with his dramatic contest tears, recreational base jumps, TV stunts focused on geologic wonders and so on. It would be folly to dismiss shit like that switch feeble grind on the mega-bar or that heelflip frontside 540 spin that’s in the new Thrasher or all those tricks into (i.e. from the deck, into the transition of) the mega-quarter-pipe*. Or the switch backside tailslide, or those tricks at the beginning that remind you how he used to skate for Julien Stranger and those dudes. In some ways Bob Burnquist’s mega-complex is an extension of Tony Hawk’s bullring loop, but different, because it’s hard to shake the feeling that there’s something sort of fundamentally artificial about the whole mega pursuit… the idea of donning body armor (or not, I guess) and zipping to and fro on a golf cart to ride off a ski jump on a longboard. Like an underwater motorcycle race, or skyboarding. Quibbles aside, Bob B does for sure deserve a heaping helping of credit for filming a video part of this stuff, rather than dribbling it out from X-game to Dew Tour in a bid to rack up contest purses, which I guess he could do anyway.

On the other end of the spectrum one finds Lance Mountain and his personal backyard BBQ, throwing back to any number of previous video parts – Bones Brigade and otherwise in what struck me at one point as being a more wholesome version of Chet Childress’ Burnside odyssey in the Black Label vid a couple months back. Watching Lance Mountain crunch around the coping is all types of awesome with that ridiculous smith grind, the even more ridiculous feeble grind, those inverts, incorporation of various swimming implements – the late invert! – tied up with a loose weekendish theme that a 10-year-old kid could relate to, at the same time he’s bugging out off a hippie jump over the deep end ladder. I think I felt 10 years younger watching this part, which makes me wonder how Lance Mountain felt making it (broken bones notwithstanding)

*holy fuck by the way