June 17, 2009

Epicly Debacl'd

Summer in Minneapolis has hit stride and we've been flush with fun and a good amount of sun, and it seems, we've also entered some lurid period where video premieres abound; I think we're winning.

Our latest stroke of luck came in the form of Nike's Debacle, a video harnessing the hungriness of their am team, all shot in HD, though lacking the already old pretense of the mega-crisp slo-mo...or something. Whatever; while I may still be a fan of whatever camera Tim Dowling used to shoot with and the VX-1000, HD is quickly filling in the gap. (This paragraph was originally going to very quickly tackle the Nike "Good or Evil?" question, but I find that question pointless, boring, non-material, and way less interesting, than, say, demonstrations in Iran, though I digress.).

While it seems oxymoronic to describe a skateboarding video shot on extremely expensive cameras of the highest quality as raw (and it was, *gasp* made by Nike to boot), Debacle is just that, raw. The video starts out with a quickie intro of the dudes skating a car that seems way too nice to skate; in an interview I did with Grant Taylor earlier this year, he famously(?) described the shoot as, "Some gay ass shit," but all in all, some good shit went down, breakable windows were broken, and before it ran too long it ended and the video began.

Daryl Angel starts things off; he's that younger, well-dressed dude who gets better with every viewing. He's also impossible to pigeon-hole as a skater, the term "tech-gnar" comes to mind thought that seems a bit antiquated; perhaps if he skated just a smidgen more tranny we'd say "hessian-chic,"...While I just threw my hands up to say, "Fuck it, I don't know," I'll settle on the inside joke of "nouveau-chic" and move right along. Basically, the guy skates fast, does long lines that can cover a lot of ground, has that SJ flare, doesn't necessarily skate anything "big" or huck himself down large stacks, though, still, there is a gnarly edge to everything the guy does. If you go to his Facebook page you'll see that 14 people "liked" his video part, and the comments are all glowing. Dude rips.

Moving on, one comes upon David Clark, who has the honor of shortest part, coupled with a cameo of the South's fake Puleo (I'm stoked on fake Puleo and would love to remember his name, but, pppffff...). Clark does come correct in his short time on screen, and it seemed to at least one viewer tonight that maybe he's holding out for a DLX/Krooked production of the near future, though I haven't heard of anything and might just be making excuses for the guy, or he was really busy modeling or some shit.

Following up Clark is Aussie come lately Dodgers fan, Shane O'Neill, who, departing from his Am Chowder part, filmed one clip sans Dodger's cap. In lay man's terms, Shane O'Neill is really fucking good at skateboard riding. In me try hard at writing terms, O'Neill has an airy, fast, flickilicious way of doing things, reminiscent of a certain former Nike flow rider who jumped ship to the ST, though maybe lacking in the power department, thought that shall develop. [Addendum to paragraph; I played SKATE in the hotel parking lot in Tampa two years ago with O'Neill. He won; I went and drank a beer in the hot-tub with CJ and John Motta (why isn't Motta full-on???), someone pick the names up off the floor.]

Nestled in O'Neill's part is a bit of foote of Theotis Beasly, and it must be said, that Theotis Beasly is The Truth; backthafuckup Paul Pierce, until you're Finals MVP again, leave it to Theotis. Young Theo, who seems cool as fuck, isn't afraid to coordinate wheels/hat/deck or to backside flip the shit out of whatever you put in front of the kid. Lanky and springy, Theotis hops and pops on what looks like the handful of trips he was able to make it on after getting on the team, essentially shutting down that one incredulously blown out ledge in China (Guy Mariano lipslide kickflip fakie); smiles abound.

Next comes my most (aforementioned) hellacious interviewee ever, the provocateur of one word answers and the even more provocative "I don't know"s, who also is one of my favorite skaters right now, and holder of the best part in Debacle, Grant Taylor. As if the run-on intro wasn't enough, there's more; if O'Neill lacks a bit of power, well, Grant Taylor has 1.21 gigawatts to spare and he still won't have to steal plutonium (or was it uranium?) from the Libyans or any of that shit for his flex-capacitor to still work. 88 mph and charging, Taylor has that enviable ability of making grown men want to skate just like him. In case you didn't know, Taylor declared war on transition; better yet, for the first time since WWII, Grant Taylor got Congress to declare war on transition; dude attacks 15 foot pits of despair like a champ, and no ill-will to Justin Brock, Taylor should have had last part, if anything, on that making you want to fucking skate right now vibe.

And so then there's Justin Brock as the ender-ender, a skateboarder who possesses some sort of drunken master steez, a guy who has a really proper Southern drawl, and to boot, a guy who, this Spring, I wanted to introduce my ex-girlfriend to; again, dude rips (And to clear the record, she broke up with me, though I don't know why one would want to claim such idiotic credit for such a thing; eh, she got a link out of this whole deal.), and he's cool as fuck. The highlight of Brock's part just could have been his handrail filled romp through some Latin American play ground, or the fact that directly following a long-in-the-good-way tail block, he repped a switch 360 flip down a gap. Either way, he ends a proper section by upping the ante with a signatory trick down some of Jeremy Wray's former stomping grounds.

Then there's the credits. To round out the video, and as a throwback, there's also a "bangers revisited" section as the music winds down. It's dope. Jason Hernandez, editor and filmer of much of Debacle, took the TWS style of video making that he's known for and scaled it down a bit; there's a ton more skating than lifestyle and all works; the HD really is amazing and adds instead of bores, as the random in-between-clips build as well. The music in the video is a bit nondescript, it all worked, though O'Neill's song stands out the most; perhaps the reason I don't remember the soundtrack was the fact that The Varsity Theatre played things LOUD, and that's a good thing (If only for the distortion of music, or the fact that it erased memory.).

As far as a premiere review goes, this shit was top-notch. The Varsity is a swanky affair that still works for skateboarding, I got some drink tickets to keep things well lubricated, the theatre was 3/4 packed for both showings, and Nike footed the bill on some pizza between shows. Done and done. Figure out a way to find Debacle and watch it if you didn't come out tonight/yesterday, and it must be said that the quality will be greatly diminished on the Youtube, so maybe just foot the bill. Cool? Cool.


Templeton said...

Dan Plunkett is the Southern Puleo.

Anonymous said...

I see no reason why a grass roots company founded by skateboarders like nike shouldn't have everyone riding its dick. I'm really excited for the day when everyone rides for either etnies or nike, it will make buying shoes so much easier.

jimbo said...



CHSkateboarding said...

There was some Bad Brains, and some other shit that sounded like Bad Brains. I don't know, ditto on the drink tickets.