Posts Tagged ‘VHS’

Head Cleaner

October 7, 2012

Probably it’s a good thing that after a half-decade’s worth of footwear purveyours collectively issuing the same half-dozen models adorned with various logos, and the seven-ply hot dog holding sway for at least three times that long, it is a plus that a subculture stretched thin by recession and embracing a certain amount of commoditization retains enough crankiness and spark to gnash message-board teeth over perceived biting. And so it is that we take heart in the internet tizzy fermented by the debut of Politic, which devotees of the “Static II” aesthetic immediately scrutinized over similarities to UK phenom Palace, what with their comparable names, repurposing of analog video machines, and triangular logos that come on t-shirts with a little version over the left breast zone and a big version on the back.

Some may call it ironic that for a subset whose pride in cellar doors, wallies, natural and/or abrupt transition and certain other unconventional landforms got it pasted as “creative” here and there now seems clearly to be eating its own tail, but there’s potentially a murkier kind of food chain being linked together here.* Palace came in for accolades from this and other quarters when it emerged as a synthesis of Silverstar, Illuminati and “Time Code” era AWS, transplanted to overcast U.K. backwaters and dubbed over on VHS tape. Politic’s initial look cribs from the same playbook and you could read in some nods to Blueprint circa “Lost & Found.” But whereas Palace a year or two into its run dialed the nostalgia-meter back to 1995 with a big, sloppy kiss to the Menace segment in “20-Shot Sequence,” Politic may be trying not to join Palace but to beat them in their golden-age tribute-payments, its supposed take-off on Palace itself a take-off on the World-led wave of logo swipes that pervaded the early 90s?

The invisible hand of the free market will determine whether domestic and international consumers will catch feelings over this episode, embiggen their hearts to allow room for competition in the subgroup or ultimately cast both into the vast sale pile that sits below the deck wall in the skate shop of the great beyond. What is not up for debate is that Steve Durante seemingly has a long-overdue professional model and the lure of new footage, in these longer and colder autumn days, that right there is enough to warm the cockles of even the most cold-hearted capitalist.

*Others would challenge this statement and say that the staters don’t have a good grasp on the actual definition of ironic, driving additional unique visitors to Dictionary.com.

Fred Gall Attempts To Wallride Heavy Machinery While Under The Influence Of Being Fred Gall

August 28, 2011

Serial New Jerseyan and IRS scofflaw Fred Gall long ago cemented his status as one of the most compelling magazine featurees with his legendary interview in Strength. There, he discussed courting police brutality at Ozzfest, fighting in Ohio, going to jail abroad and Lenny Kirk. Fred Gall has been an odds-on favorite to pile out at any given moment for more than a decade now and he continues to surprise us, so maybe it shouldn’t have caught me so off guard when flipping through the new Skateboard Mag there is an account of Fred Gall applying his classic dunderhead approach to what sounds like it would be one of the more jaw-dropping tricks all year and maybe of all time.

When we got to the “spot” the first evening, it became apparent that traffic was moving way too fast for him to … Oh my god! He just jumped on that bus. Well, with the first attempt out of the way and the bus going 30 or so, Fred, who was spun around in the gutter laughing and slightly spooked, looked up and said, “I think that’s too fast, ha ha!” He is a maniac. Everyone was thinking, “We’re going to watch Fred die here and now. Wonderful.” He dusted himself off, grabbed his board, and set up for the next one. You see you have to wait for the right bus with the smooth back end. Maybe one out of every five was the right kind and maybe one out of every twelve was the right speed (anywhere from ten to twenty miles an hour). Needless to say, for the next two nights we spent a lot of time at this spot.

The full-bleed photo on the opposite side is pretty ridiculous, not only for what Fred Gall’s aiming to do, but also that there is a dude A. about two decades deep into his career B. willing to work several nights straight trying this particular move C. at risk of significant bodily harm D. and arrest E. in a foreign country and F. laugh about it. After mulling it over a while I was reminded of the opening seconds of this part where Fred Gall had a brief cameo and pondered the tribute angle, but I’m guessing this was all weighted more toward for the fuck of it. Or fully paying off the federales.