February 28, 2013

Street Loafers 2D Premiere Tomorrow

The video premieres tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at Summit. The auto-play video on that page is intense. If you can't make it to the premiere, you can buy the video here.

February 27, 2013

Lehrer and Pappalardo, Together At Last

Last year, wunderkind journalist Jonah Lehrer got caught cheating. First, people started noticing he was recycling his own material, which was embarrassing. Then, a month or so later, it was game over when it came out he'd made up Bob Dylan quotes for his book.

Lehrer dropped off the radar for a while until he popped back up and pocketed $20,000 from the Knight Foundation for a speech, something the Knight Foundation promptly regretted. The Knight Foundation episode prompted Gawker to call for Lehrer's journalistic head. Here's what's up:

"Redemption is the fundamental promise of humanity. We should not be enthusiastic about cutting off anyone's chance to better themselves after a downfall. But that must be balanced with the fact that we work in a competitive industry in which many, many good and talented and deserving people are not able to make a living, simply because there is only so much work and so much money and so many good full time journalism jobs paying a living wage to go around.

It makes sense, then, to prioritize hiring those who have not plagiarized or fabricated or otherwise committed a grievous, beyond-the-pale journalistic crime. Having your name on the tip of every editor's tongue, even if it's for doing something bad, goes a long way in this business; it only takes one editor to say, 'Hey, that guy Lehrer was really smart before he fucked up, maybe we should give him a try.' (If you think this can't happen, you have a far higher opinion of media hiring practices than I do.) In other words, Jonah Lehrer, even today, is probably in a better long-term position to get good quality writing gigs than is, say, a new and squeaky clean graduate of some Midwestern journalism school who doesn't have any personal friends in the New York media world. This is a repulsive state of things.

So how about this: if you commit a huge, inexcusable journalistic crime, on the level of Blair or Lehrer, you get blacklisted from paid journalism jobs. If you take time off, and do soul-searching, and improve yourself, and become a truly better person, and achieve spiritual redemption, we will be the first to stand up and applaud you. But you still shouldn't be hired, until every talented person who didn't commit an inexcusable journalistic crime is already safely employed. After that, welcome back."

Let's take the reasoning above and apply it to skateboarding. If the cheat, the high crime in journalism is fabrication, then the cheat, the high crime in skateboarding must be being paid to skateboard, but not skating. It's not the perfect analogy, but it works pretty well and that Lehrer/Anthony Pappalardo image should make sense right now.

I don't have an ax to grind with Pops, though I think my initial writing about the guy and his recent-ish interview was a bit soft, in hindsight. Piling on the hindsight, in a sense, is this Jenkem interview with Ty Evans, the logical next step in what would always be a he said vs. he said situation:

"Some older skaters were bummed that the focus was more on the new younger skaters. Was that the plan all along?
When we starting making the film, a month after Fully Flared was released, we had a meeting with everyone. We said basically whoever wanted to be in it, could be in it. Whoever doesn’t, don’t worry about it. The guys with a ton of footage and the big parts are the guys who really went for it. We’re gonna use the best of the best stuff. Some of the older guys weren’t around that much. They run companies, have families, have obligations, they are in their mid to late 30s. I would love to see those other guys in there.

I wanted Poppalardo to have a part so badly I flew out to NY right when we started making this thing and we brought an extra HD camera. We spent an extra $12,000, met a filmer out there, trained him how to film and introduced him to Popps, the whole deal. I tried to get that going, but it never panned out.

Why didn’t it work out?
I don’t think he was into it. Maybe he just wanted to film with Bill and maybe Bill wasn’t filming HD at that time? I would talk to him and he’d say he’s down and wanted to, and had all these spots in mind. I put everything in place there, so if he wanted to film it was there.

Did he get any footage / tricks?
With that filmer and that camera, no. Not one thing."

See where I'm going with this? Let's swap out six words from the Gawker quote above:

"In other words, Anthony Pappalardo, even today, is probably in a better long-term position to get good quality skateboarding gigs than is, say, a new and squeaky clean graduate of some Midwestern skateboard school who doesn't have any personal friends in the California skateboard world. This is a repulsive state of things."

To put it more explicitly, if everybody really is good right now, there's absolutely no reason to waste product, roster spots and money on cheats. Unlike in the case of Lehrer, I'm not calling for Pappalardo's skateboarding head; he's not beyond redemption, though the next time he contemplates another woe-is-me interview, he should go film two minutes of footage and put it out on the Internet, instead.

February 19, 2013

"skate like he was knifing himself"

The closest I ever came to going to the Skate Oasis was in '91 or '92 after seeing a KARE 11 package on the place. I bugged my mom for a few days, but supposed distance of travel from the western suburbs and my little dude status kept us away.

Aside from being able to call out Lynch, Leroux and Woody from the promo above, the dude who did frontside grind after frontside grind stuck out; yup, that's Judd, that extended right arm gave him away. My input on this only goes so far, but luckily Youtube comments are, at times, useful:

"woody, ryan fabry and judd were always nice to me. Scissors was a dick, also that fucker that used to call me Elvis that used to skate like he was knifing himself. I saw him skating at the hyatt banks and he was wearing an Oilers beanie. he used to make fun of me because I would always to airwalks and ron allen moves. he did teach me ollie impossibles when I traded him my ron allen fire hydrant deck for his jason Rogers deck. he's still an asshole."


I feel like any of us, given some distance in time and a block of old footage from old haunts could come up with similarly pointed recollections.

In other multi-decade old clip news, check out young Muldoon.


February 18, 2013

Duluth Skyline

'Tis the season, still. Here's Glue Factory near the north shore.

Hey Dan, were you aware of Modern Seinfeld?

Here's the latest GF graphical offerings:

February 14, 2013

Volcom Shoe Line To Come This Summer

Interesting. From a Forbes piece on the matter:
"'Once we were acquired by PPR, things really took off,' said Ryan Immegart, senior vice president of marketing for Volcom. 'Their brands make footwear and are very well rounded. We started drafting some concepts and getting really excited. They are very imaginative, caring and passionate people, and they really understand the business.'

Volcom, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., has made sandals and open-toe footwear for five years, but this is the first launch of a complete shoe collection for both men and women. To start, there will be 10 styles for men and 9 for women, including Volcom’s take on everything from slip-ons to ballet flats to wedges to rock-inspired rugged boots. Shipping to retailers will start July 1."

Will there be a skate-specific line?
"'[A]lthough some of the styles are totally functional to skateboard in, we are positioning the category from more of a lifestyle point of view. Leverage from our deep roots in music and art cultures will be a focus for us out of the gates. We hope anyone who understands the brand and the lifestyle will like our shoes.'"

The Number One Crew In The Area

Frenchman Leo Valls makes doing a little look like more. He's all feet and board (and benefits greatly from some video man with a light in the other hand) and engenius jump-cutting to make NYC seem like a place that's flat and pushed around. The world's a market, globalization, blah blah, it's too bad the world's supply of Big L songs is running low; if anything, the skateboarding looks dangerous.

February 13, 2013

Mixed Metaphor

More behind the scenes on what Clint did on video more than a decade ago. From The Skateboard Mag #109:
"Learned A Trick First Try
It's in Midopoly. I was trying a fakie back tail in a line, and I accidentally went to fakie crook. I don't think I even really grinded it; it just went tinto fakie crook and I popped out. That was the first time I'd ever done that...and probably the last."
And also, from the point of view of a star-struck 14-year-old behind a plate of spaghetti:
"First Photo In A Magazine
A front board down a five-stair with a kink. It was in Transworld with Donny Barley doing the switch hardflip on the cover down the Santa Monica triple-set. It was a Minneapolis article. Ted Newsome came to town because he was dating some hot chick that was from Minnesota. I remember I was working as a busboy at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and Nesser coming in, 'Dude, we're going out tonight, we're getting photos with this guy, he's here..." Nesser was always hooking everything up."
Vinnie put together more digi-cam footage from out west. Is all party footage really awkward, or is it just that footage of Kirian? Either way, fine work, dudes. Will this prompt another comment about socks?

Not much to say about the Timberwolves, at this point, but this piece about Nikola Pekovic that I missed the first time is pretty entertaining.

Need 1,000 or so words on Duck Tales and the nature of cartoon syndication in the late 80's/early 90's? I've got you.

I'm staying geeked (really or otherwise) on the Panic in Gotham clip.

Tweet of the Week!

February 11, 2013

"Skate Baby"

Hat tip to Quartersnacks for the Skateboarder news.

A friend mentioned late last year that he wouldn't be surprised if one of the major skateboard magazine folded in 2013. I agreed that it wouldn't be too shocking, and memory banked the prediction.

Here we go, sort of. Skateboarder (or, as they seem to insist, "SkateBoarder") has always been rather elastic when it came to its format, having dynamic production schedules and sizes since it was resurrected in '97, so a switch to a bi-monthly hard-copy publication schedule coupled with an increased online presence as a "digital/online video magazine" isn't a surprise. In hindsight, one could have almost telegraphed the switch when the magazine (or more likely, publisher, GrindMedia) obtained the rights to 411VM, last year. Truly, the only wholly-unexpected and/or ill-advised move here is GrindMedia offering fill-in subscriptions to snowboard or surfing mags to placate their jilted Skateboarder subscribers.

Jenkem has a new piece about indy skateboard companies which is well-worth the read. While corporate shoe companies guide a lot of conversation right now, it's instructive to remember that shoes weren't a huge focal point of the skateboard industry until the early 90's; it's my humble opinion that we'll always need boards more. If I have one quibble with the piece, The High Five is now Send Help.

Corey Millett ripped the HQ and it was talked about on Twitter last night. Spooner summed it up pretty well:

Since it's STILL winter, don't be surprise if I link to another park montage, like right now: Reed Allen and co. at the HQ. At the very least, we're given two different character studies on skating the same place.

February 6, 2013

The Last Slice/Such Thing Didn't Happen Yet

Via press release:
"PHP's newest video The Last Slice. Filmed by Dana Ross, edited by Chuck Odima and Dana Ross. Featuring Tim Bennet, Grady Moquin, Shane Brown, Jan Jacobson, Trevor Carlson and Pete Klink."
Odds are the premiere will be in Stillwater. The big question is whether or not Dana will be able to turn his back on filmmaking, forever, which is a long time. Clear eyed and pure, we look on and wait.

As a postscript to the Instagram photo from the last post, here's a digi-cam video by Vinnie that depicts people we know skateboarding as if they existed in a video game. Seriously. Kirian's pop and Jamiel's footwork would either create a super-skateboarder or a cross between Blake Griffin and Al Jefferson (in basketball-low-post-terms).

Speaking of the basketball, if you're following the Timberwolves and this very weird/depressing/strangely entertaining season, you know Shved. I've read a couple of interviews with him that have been translated from the original Russian and they're quite consistently entertaining. This most recent interview is no exception. Choice cuts:

"You are a fan of The Simpsons and of Homer Simpson in particular. What in America made you recall some of the scenes from the cartoon?

Well, that everybody loves donuts here, and I eat them too. People mostly drink beer and not stronger drinks, exactly like in The Simpsons."

"Are there any restrictions set by the club concerning food and alcohol?

Nothing special. If you want to drink some beer, nobody will be against it. What’s important is to know your measure and to do well in practice.

What if one comes to practice when hung over?

Such thing didn’t happen yet."

So there's a chance?

I'm late to the party, once more, but I'm not sure a lot of other people found it either: Sam McGuire interviewed Gwar frontman/thing Oderus Urungus for an ill-fated Thrasher piece; there's always another reason to send you back to his website. The interview, obviously, is great.

February 5, 2013


The dead of winter brings us dueling park edits and nice allegory. Take note: 37-year-old Chad Benson has twice-as-many-plus-one years on 18-year-old Jack Olson.

Sure to spark all sorts of intelligent Internet debate, Lil' Wayne goes street skating with Lutzka. I know my reactions to such things sometimes hinge on the day of the week, but I think, at this moment, our guy Sam McGuire probably puts it best. Via the Damage Facebook page:

"Yes! This rules I don't know why people are hating, this dude skates more than most people that work in skateboarding do. Plus he's officially 180'ed more stairs than me...get em Weezy."

Doubling back: I'm pretty stoked on this posse cut from Jamiel, out west.

Did anybody else see Timmy Gallaher sitting behind the Laker's bench at the Timberwolves game Friday night on ESPN? Heelflip crooks and courtside, all in a day's work.