October 21, 2014

Frontside 360s, Both Ways

Matt Reason died. His 411 Profile section gripped me in my mid-teens, and his skating's stuck with me ever since. 411 headman Josh Friedberg has some good words on the matter:
Shit like this reminds me how connected the people that chose to dedicate their lives to skateboarding actually are. If you skated in the mid-90s Matt Reason's raw street style, big ass wheels and solid switch game had a lasting impact on your world. Rest in peace to a pioneer of skateboarding from the East Coast.

Philly local Vern Laird filled in some blanks:

9am in China and waking up a million text messages and emails about Matt is the last way I wanted to start my day. Here is what I found out. He got the flu, and it turned into pneumonia. It moved fast and he died of heart failure today. I spent almost everyday of my life skating with Matt at Love Park from 1991 all through the 90's and witnessed one of the best ever to do it but also to do it with style. I am at a loss for words because I still can't and don't want to believe he's gone. RIP #MattReason

Transworld posted scans of a 1996 interview with Reason, that featured an alternate angle of that feeble grind photo from Love Park that's been all over, tonight:


TONIGHT 8 P.M. The premiere of #TWSOutliers at #FamiliaHQ

A photo posted by Familia Skateboard Shop (@familiask8shop) on

I don't much remember the previous TWS video; Cinematographer Project was definitely a significant bump atop a long plateau of an almost too productive string of videos. There's a good line up, though, and a new guy making it and a Gladwell joke, so see you there.

October 15, 2014

1962, cornfields, '60 Chevy.

Pretty Sweet doesn't exist on the Internet, at least not in the places I'm willing to look.

Cory Kennedy in Pretty Sweet, is sure to be the video's most fondly remembered part. The other sections really vying for memory--Marc Johnson's SOTY victory lap and Guy Mariano's SOTY robbery--deserved all the buzz they got, though it's unlikely they'll be considered those guys' best ever attempts (for MJ it's close, but not obvious, Mariano=Mouse). For Kennedy, that part is what we've got, and until he goes and does better, there it is. For a video that sometimes felt too much like a music video and or a product, Kennedy's section benefitted from the production value, coming across sincerely when a lot of the rest seemed focus grouped. It also helps that he didn't skate to the female pop cover of a Wiz Khalifa track. That song, that song, that song.

"Night Moves," is yearnful music. Seger's summer of '62 equates the verve of some summers in the late aughts. This Slate podcast discusses the song, commenting on how it's all about sex, nostalgia and mortality, and how it's possible, like I do, to enjoy the song in both ironic and unironic ways. The song might be everything.

To steal one of that podcast's best bits, from Wikipedia on "Night Moves:"

"Night Moves" is a mid-tempo number that starts quietly with acoustic guitar. Bass guitar and drums are introduced as the song's setting is described: 1962, cornfields, '60 Chevy. An intense summertime teenage affair is described, knowingly more sexual than romantic, with short instrumental lines breaking the evocative imagery sometimes in mid-sentence. Piano, female backing vocals, electric guitar and organ are added as the song's emotional nostalgia builds momentum. Then suddenly it stops, as the narrative flashes forward to some period in the future, where he hums a song from 1962. To a quiet acoustic guitar, the narrator, awakened by a clap of thunder and unable to fall back asleep, ponders a different sense of the title phrase. Then the rest of the instruments fall back in, for an extended coda vamp of the chorus.

Equally as night movesy as those first summers as a freshly single adult, the time around the making of Weekend Warriors is another ready nostalgic pit, a wonderful bit of existence laser-focused on a goal existing completely outside the rest of reality. A video line-up that moves along together fosters camaraderie and we went out at night a lot, making full use of the fact that the city really opens up past 11 p.m. on a week night. When Meyer put out three videos in three years, starting with the Anonymous premiere, I edited featurettes of the old videos, four minute montages, bangers revisited, that played before the feature presentation. Those clips are lost to time. Weekend Warriors never had a direct followup, so no featurette, though if something had come out in the spring of '08 I bet it would have ended up pretty similar to my precious: The song always gets me going.

October 8, 2014

Back To Dansworld


We started a new endeavor, the Skateboard Mag is under The Berrics skateboarding umbrella. @berrics #theberrics #theskateboardmag #grantbrittain

View on Instagram

Instagram imbeds now have the captions and the code looks really ugly.

The Berrics bought The Skateboard Mag, a surprising and totally predictable turn of events, given the state, or more specifically, recent size of the magazine. Full disclosure: I'm still tenuously listed on the masthead of the mag as a staff writer in each issue, though I haven't been assigned anything in more than a year. Thrasher has figured out the perfectly integrated web and print entity model, so I'm quite interested in seeing what becomes of this. Is The Skateboard Mag's website now redundant, to a certain extent? Some sort of merger of sites would seem to solve that web and print combo problem, though the company still lacks the direct connection to manufacturers that makes Thrasher such a deadly product. This 20-year-old Guardian article from Dansworld is always a good industry refresher, for times like these. Always the same vertical integration, bundled ads and so on. Hopefully a supposed infusion of cash can bring back some of the inventiveness that used to separate the Mag from everyone else leaning so hard on the am interview/roadtrip/pro interview formula.

To wit: In 2007, for TSM #45, I wrote a 3,200 word Milestone about a pre-pro shoe Stefan Janoski. That is lots of text for 12 pages in a skateboarding magazine*, an awesome opportunity that holds up to hindsight, and one of those pre-Great Recession things that was so easily taken for granted. Even if a story of that length seems like a luxury, that's the type of work that capital "m" Magazines should set out to deliver, a piece of writing that you need to choose the right couch on which to take it in, something you're going to chew over, something that takes time. Without rereading my piece, I'm sure it has plenty of now-embarrassing moments within, but that's beside the point; you've got to try to do good things for there to be good things. If a Berrics owned Mag can bring back Milestones and other pieces that once again set it apart, without killing an issue's budget, which will likely come after it is snapped out of survival mode, I'm all for it. Diversify the voices in the thing (not necessarily a pitch for work, I'm pretty alright), work to many of its strengths that never entirely diminished and work to recreate some of the hype surrounding the project that lead up to that first issue. That was something.

*Thrasher will do big deal 20 pager (10 spreads) Q and A interviews, that are great though not quite the same.

October 2, 2014

The Recent Past

I'd never seen the above edit--it's by Pat Severin as mentioned on Peabody's Instagram--featuring a lot of dudes that typically don't make it in all the clips, like Egan and Longfield, Will Irgang and Peabody himself. When it all went down isn't quite clear, though end of the aughts would be my bet. Proper.

The indispensable dudes at Village Psychic did a round up on Beer Up, Bro Down and even put together a farewell to Glue Factory post.

Former loc Neal Erickson shoots a bunch of film for his photo blog and all indications (he told me so) point to him having a part in the Loof Life vid that premieres in Chicago on Oct. 11.

Episode 1 of the Mostly Skateboarding Podcast is out, which is actually the second episode, a follow-up to episode 0 that came out about a year ago. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but I'm sure it's rad.

Again: I'm oh so pleased that I can pop a GIF on here without having to do the old tedious shit I used to have to do. Nabbed this from Mostly Skateboarding. It was supposed to be that one of Corey Kennedy doing a line in Australia but I came across this Davis banger, instead. Next time you're lurking Nicolett Island wishing that you lived there (like I wish), peep this thing under the bridge. Trick never got enough love on here; hopefully this rectifies that. Might even figure out how to make those bigger someday.

Chromeball with Lance Mountain commentary. I remember when I figured out that Lance Mountain was actually a significant dude and there was a reason that he hosted 411.

The other night I vibed hard on watching Outkast videos and found they have the best comments out:

Notable, too: