November 24, 2015

It me, 'The Lair Video' premiere promo


Wylie T. said...

The video looks like it's going to be a special one, and I wouldn't miss the premier for the world!
But alas, the editing and crew are so reminiscent of those in which Neen Williams grew up skating, when he was a skillfully dainty, four-eyed adolescent around Chicago teens who believed they were so cool but who, thankfully, I never had to watch again. Since they all quit skating, in exchange for shallower Chicago lives -- which happens to be all Chicago lives.
So I'm just saying don't quit on me after this, ya hear?

Wylie T. said...

"The Lair Video" premier has come and gone, but the video packed too much fire not to deserve a full review. (Thus far, Dalton Jones and Andrew Leibman's parts call forth the fondest memories.)
You can expect that around here in less than two weeks. That's the best one can do.

Wylie T. said...

The rest of the review is en route, as you can read, but for now, here is:

(Part 1.)

The Lair Video: Forecasting Greatness
By Wylie Tueting

So I’m telling you upfront, that if you’re seeking divine guidance in “The Lair Video” – Mitch Guth’s latest full-length production – then you’re seeking to get lost. That’s no fault of Guth’s filming and editing (which are high-def and high-toned). Nor is it the fault of the tricks in the video (of which there are hundreds, ranging in quality across the metro spectrum). But rather, it’s the forgivable fault of the average-age-of-skater in the video: twenty years-of-age or less. Indeed there is sky-high ambition throughout “The Lair Video,” but how much of it is relatable? How much of it is hard-fought? Which skating is the stuff of youth, and which is the stuff of grit? Who will endure? And if Tanner VanVark is so cutting-edge, you know, why can’t he cut and edge the way Dalton Jones so charismatically does?
Those are the video’s central questions. (Feel enlightened.) Let them ground you and calm you, as much beforehand as afterward, because my full-review of “The Lair Video” commences now, and there are a hell of a lot of additional things to talk about. So without further ado, I’ll have the first four parts written and posted by tomorrow at this time, and four more each day after that, until the review is wholly complete.
(I’m sorry, Mitch, but it’s the best that a workaday man can do!)

Wylie T. said...

I know you're thinking I'll never finish at this rate, but think something else. Here is:

(Part 2.)

One could say that there’s an intro in “The Lair Video.” After all, the screen goes black, then someone does a switch bs-noseblunt on the 3rd Lair flat-bar, then we stare at some glossy plywood, then some wood punctured by a board, and then a screen flashing sponsor-imagery. One may say that’s an intro. But I call that a trick, a videographic trick of Guth’s, used to make that which follows it, better than it would be if an awkward intro didn’t precede it. It’s subtle.
Well, and what follows it? Henry Gartland’s part, that is what: the first part in the video. We meet him quickly, before he noseblunt-drops into a picturesque bank, as a soft song with a strange stringed-instrument serenades us. This should have you immediately worried about what Guth was thinking, until, a moment later, Gartland lands a kickflip bs-50-50 down a steep household handrail, and all the 3rd Lair homies throng him in the street. It’s a glorious scene, that scene. It helps you be just relaxed enough to notice that which is impressive in Gartland’s part.
Not to be ignored is his nocturnal bs-lipslide-to-fakie at the Saints stadium, or his fs-feeble down that rail into a puddle, or his flawless fakie-flip down that double-set, or his two bs-50-50s on those special handrails (special not only because a cop rolls up as he rolls away from one of them, but because Joe Sexton and I snowboarded on those very rails a decade ago.) Joe became pro sometime later, and if that’s any clue as to where Gartland’s going, he’s going somewhere special. But don’t be surprised if it takes him a decade to arrive.

Wylie T. said...

I've been seriously low on sleep all week, so you'd better enjoy what I at least got, here:

(Part 3.)

Speaking of arrival, next is the part of Jack Lunt, arriving with his new style-sense. Its parts are two-fold: one part unintentional (Lunt’s new rock-star look, chubby but lean), and the other part intentional (Lunt’s distinctly varied skating). You’d be startled at how well the parts coordinate each other. But if you need sudden proof, gaze at his second trick, in which he pops onto one of those large grey Minneapolis balls, rides it, then pops off onto one of those grey rainbow benches, rides it, with his pants sagging like Peter Smolik. That’s one well-coordinated trick, though quite awkward.
There has to be more to Lunt’s style-sense than that, however, since he also skates vert and bowl in his part – just long enough to strengthen his variety, but not our irritation. Yet I have a lot of irritation, and so I couldn’t help realizing that Lunt skates less quickly in this part than he did in “The Joy of Skating.” That ain’t right, especially given his rock-star look, so what you have to realize is that in spite of all the variety in his part, his few fast tricks are his finest tricks, such as: his wall-ride to bs-boardslide to grab-pop-out under that bridge (he’s so got the rock-star look there); his switch foot-plant off that bump-over-wood (whoever does those?); his drop-in on that down-flat-down-flat hubba at the U of M (to full-body kickflip off!); and of course, his bs-5-0 on that gap-to-rail at the Rarig Center (that’s a thin round rail, above a landing of thin round rocks). All in all, Lunt attains true diversity, but he’s yet to complete “the look” – and fast.

Wylie T. said...

First, I want to apologize for the continued delays.
Second, I want to apologize to Jack Lunt, for whatever confusion or distrust I may've caused him, due to my writing too fast to give his part its proper due, since it is due a lot for its rugged effort and commendable variety -- though I only dwelt on a few things. I meant what I said, Jack, but I should've said more; I hope this helps.
Third, here's:

(Part 4.)

Then rolls in Andrew Leibman – of the third part – doing a line of nose-manual hopping and a nollie inward-heel. A soulful song follows, its rhythm leisurely and smooth, and the atmosphere is set: at a controlled, stylistic, ambitiously techy level. Leibman is so grounded here that his tricks can seem too pleasant. If you grin at his long bs-tailslide to pop-out at Walker Art Center, then you’re wrong, since you should be gaping at the prospect of locking into that and then out of that. Or if you quickly forget his fakie fs-noseslide to manual to fs-180-up-curb at MPR, then its nocturnal quality soothed you, though it shouldn’t have, since he twisted that whole trick out perfectly – and at night. But if you can hardly sense that he is self-willingly curving out that switch nose-manual to fakie 360-flip, then your guilty as me, which isn’t good, since no one who is local should fail to observe such a mature manual trick.
Leibman’s tendency towards pleasantness and perfection thus poses a problem: we look at what he does, but we often don’t “see” what he does, even during his manly line at Northrop. (Do you really know what color his shirt is there, or just where he locks into that bs-noseslide?) So Leibman needs a solution to his problem, which, actually, shouldn’t be a hard task, so long as he starts invoking that greatest prophet of his race by borrowing a solution from Moses, whose own volatility led him and his people from bondage to the Promised Land. Like Leibman’s skating, Moses’ behavior could be pleasant and perfect; that is, until Moses had a quest before him, at which point he started being volatile, which his people needed from him – bad. Leibman’s kickflip to bs-tailslide to big-spin at Target Field is quite pleasant, as is every fs-slide that he does. But something tells me that if he were to stop skating so nice – and instead start skating volatile, at imperfect spots – he’d be the techy prophet who his people need. No? Yes!

Wylie T. said...

You're really going to be amused by what I say about Tyler Thomas, but for now here's:

(Part 5.)

Whether or not one should declare “Yes!” to the fourth part is a harder question. It is the skating of Corey Millet, Alec (I-know-not), and Cody Davis – all of whose skating carries force here but little pizzazz. (I’m such a jerk, I know, but let’s think about this.) The part first begins with Corey doing a line at a set of California ledges that are so familiar as to make one yawn. He looks so nondescript skating them, or for that matter, skating any of the California spots. And Guth’s use of a soulful, instrumental song only makes him look more so. One can only rejoice that Guth was high-toned enough to capture Corey at that bump-gap and Salvation Army bank, spots gritty enough to reveal the grace within Corey’s drive.
The part then turns over briefly to Alec (I-know-not), another young man prone to California spots, in spite of how much they soften the force of his tricks. (Admittedly, Alec’s blond hair and tie-dye T-shirt may be contributing factors.) But seriously, if only Alec were to do that bs-crook-pop-out and varial-heel at the capitol of Jackson, Mississippi (where there’s a similar spot) instead of at that California spot (which is just so Californian): he’d be able to distinguish his skill-level! But as he is now, he seems just another blond, California skater-boy.
But the part concludes with Cody Davis, redeeming the negative by doing the positive: skating only metro spots. Seemingly, Davis skates and looks here the way you’d expect, except that he doesn’t, since he skates assertively while looking like a doppelganger of Dane Vaughn. How’d all that happen? I don’t know. But then again, how did Davis’s glorious, picture-perfect, unprecedented fs-50-50 at the Cathedral of St. Paul happen? I don’t know either; but that trick certainly bears the pizzazz of the fourth part.

Wylie T. said...

Writing this part gave me more happiness than you'll ever know, so here's:

(Part 6.)

Then someone attempts a faint-hearted bs-crook, fails to grind at all, so proceeds to pose it instead – and the controversial fifth part has begun, Tyler Thomas’s. This guy’s skating is as trendily modern as his look his classically American. He’s fond of no-complys, ollie-sex-changes, and 360-shuv-its that resemble impossibles. What’s more, given his funny-fitting shirts, fishing caps, and sweatshirts tied about his waist, his look evokes that of your bashful middle school pal who was always eager to hear what it’s like “to actually be with a girl.” So don’t be stunned if for the first thirty-seconds of the part it feels like this is another one of Guth’s videographic tricks, with its lovely piano keys and electronics playing pranks upon your brain.
But sometime after the thirty-second mark, something beautiful happens: Thomas does a 360-shuv-it to fs-90°-wall-ride at our parking-ramp, wearing what-looks-like his high school hoody, the hood fully over his head – and you realize Thomas’s part isn’t a prank. Rather, it’s a deferred debut for your middle school pal, who now has some originality to offer. Then Thomas does a full-body bs-360-kickflip off a bank-bump, and you realize something else: this guy doesn’t just have some originality; he has some professionalism. Whether you see originality or professionalism in his final trick, however – a rugged wallie over that guard-rail and into that bank, to dodging of parked-cars afterward – I only see my middle school pal, in swim-trunks, a funny-fitting turquoise shirt, an orange fishing cap that his dad likely gave him.

Wylie T. said...

I'm warning Dalton Jones now that he simply has no idea what he's in for, but for now here's:

(Part 7.)

Then the sixth part starts – with someone sailing over an indoor guard-rail in a line, with Paul McCartney’s iconic tenor sailing over that – and you feel a sense of sudden uplift, followed by the expulsion of doubt. It is now, here, in the sixth part – otherwise known as the Cal Tage – that you know your in the midst of quality skating and editing, though not quality hygiene or fashion. (On that latter point, I’m more blaming you, Mr. Matt Ohman of the swim-trunks and grimy beard, than I’m blaming Sam Evensen, of the swim-trunks yet svelte frame.) Blame aside, it’s the Cal Tage, and as such it possesses a fair amount of skaters and highlights.
If I may elaborate upon that first line, let me say that I do not know the name of that skater nor do I know the location of that spot, yet we all recognize the voice of Paul McCartney and that the line itself is spirited, which makes two negatives and two positives, thus reflecting artistic balance. (That’s credit to you, Guth.) Second, if I may say more about Sam Evensen, I’ll say that his fs-crook-pop-out on that red flat-bar is exquisite in its simplicity, as his bs-180-the-hard-way over that Lake Street handrail, and though he looks quite grimy in the second trick but not the first trick, the two make one negative and one positive. (That’s credit to you, Sam). Third, although TJ Moran is often over-intense even as he skates cliché spots, sometimes he gets things right, as with his fs-270 to switch-5-0-stall to fakie at that bank which mine as well be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fourth, I grant no respect to Andrew Ellison’s line on the benches at the basketball courts, yet I do grant respect to his general ethos, meaning that I respect his delicate wallie into that steep bank while he looks elegant in Adidas gear. Fifth, Julian Mejia is still too conventionally ambitious, though his clothing is not, and once in a while the two things contrast with each other and yield something special, as with his graceful fs-shuv-it to nose-manual down that stair-set while he sports a chico-loco-low-rider bandana. Sixth, I don’t know when David Nelson is going to learn, how much he astounds us with his screwball tricks that sometimes turn out flawlessly, like with his fs-50-50 down that wall-hugging handrail. Seventh and last, while Matt Ohman’s hygiene seems behind-the-times by four decades, the ambition of his skating seems behind-the-times by only one decade, which is still a problem, unless you don’t view his absolutely perfect fs-bluntslide down that Uptown rail as a product of that problem, which I don’t – so it’s not a problem. (That’s credit to you, Matt.)

Wylie T. said...

Warning: there's one typo surrounding Sam Evensen, and it's the lack of the verb "is" in the clause: "as *is* his bs-180-the-hard-way over that Lake Street handrail. . . ."
You mean a lot to me, Sam, so it's worth pointing out.

Wylie T. said...

I've nothing to say about whatever is the next part (for now), since writing about this part exhausted all my energy. Here's:

(Part 8.)

Distributions of credit need not be debated once the seventh part arrives. Why? Because it’s Dalton Jones’s, and, apart from the mellowly suspenseful song which Guth fits so well to it, the credit is all Dalton’s. Now you should puzzle why I said that, since no one at the premiere gazed forth more suspiciously at Dalton’s first trick – a zipping fs-50-50 across a guard-rail cable, to nose-manual off a curb – than I. Indeed I gazed forth upon that fucker’s creation, and on the seventh-second saw that it was good. (That’s another Old Testament reference – the “was good” part, not the fucker.) Likewise, I say unto you now that Dalton’s been creating his own world of spontaneity, style, and proficiency for sometime now, yet until this part, never had his world seemed so irresistibly ripe. So let’s partake in it. After all, it’s the finest part in the video.
In order to do so, let us first take note of the point that Dalton has light rubbery ankles here, which vivify certain tricks he does, especially flat-ground tricks. Want proof? Then don’t stare at his first trick, but rather at his first line, consisting of a wallie-off-a-post to bs-crook and followed by a nollie fs-heelflip. Strange to recognize is that as much as his ankles look light and rubbery in the first trick, they look more so in the second (see his switch fs-flip later on, to catch my drift). Then, let us second take note that essential to Dalton’s charisma (because he does have charisma), is his ability to do simple tricks assertively, while riding away leanly, naturally, seductively. For the ripest proof of that, ogle his fs-heeflip over that yellow guard-rail, as the colors of autumn sparkle in the distance. Then, let us third take note that Dalton has a nomadic, down-home, prophetic aura about him here, which, in spite of his floppy T-shirts, adds to his charisma. Think about it: his spot-choices are scattered; his beard is increasingly present; his board-tails seem ragged; and yet his demeanor is calmed, seductive like a prophet. (I’m not being gay; just observe that bs-50-50 to wallie-fs-180, why don’t ya?) Then, let us fourth take note that Dalton can move with the facility of a contortionist, his torso quick and responsive, curvaceous. There’s just nothing more arousing for proof of that than his fs-180-up that planter to fakie-bs-shuv-it to switch-fs-crook-pop-out. (And you pant!) And then, let us finally take note that in spite of all these aforesaid things – or rather as a consequence of them – Dalton remains on the cutting-edge of style and ambition, hence his final trick of fs-big-spin to fs-hurricane on that strange hubba at the U of M. (And you gasp!) But patiently, be sure to wait for Dalton’s next coming, as he may truly turn out to be our messiah, i.e., PJ Ladd before he left Boston.

Wylie T. said...

Alright -- another warning: two more consequential typos have surfaced: (1.) Leibman actually did a kickflip to bs-tailslide to *270-shuv-it* at Target Field (I guess my saying "big-spin" indicates that he landed fakie, though I've definitely heard people say "big-spin-fakie," which is why I only put "big-spin" -- but Guth knows best, apparently); and (2.) Dalton Jones's final grind is not a fs-hurricane, but a bs-hurricane, though he does do a fs-big-spin into it -- and hence my mistake of adding the fs- prefix to his grind.
All of that's some minute academic bull-shit for ya, and yet factual accuracy always matters!
P.S. I'm taking the night off from writing the Friends section tonight. Hell, I've been getting six-hours of sleep every night this week, and I shan't do it again. I won't! But in exchange, expect two new parts reviewed by the end of Thursday. Best,

Wylie T. said...

I've broken a goodly amount of promises already, and thus I'm not done writing Jack Olson's part, but here's:

(Part 9.)

If the seventh part lifts us to the height of quirky individualism, then the eighth part plops us down into the marsh of comradeship. It’s not another videographic trick; sadly, it’s just friendship – otherwise termed the Friends section. If you’re not cheery enough to regard it as an interlude to the ninth part, then you better regard it as quite awkward in itself, though it begins and ends well. Initially, it works like this: a set of jumbled noises fill your ears, clarified by an undulating siren (which is annoying); a rapper sounding like Lupe Fiasco (who is slightly annoying); and an all-too-swaggering rap-beat (which is always annoying). But amusingly, the introductory skater is so white, wearing Grease-lightning jeans and a black T-shirt as he rolls up that U of M bank to do a nollie kickflip to manual back down it. You can smile at that intro, just as you can at the several tricks that follow, also done by a very white guy with zestful clothing.
Yet shortly thereafter, the unthinkable happens, which is to say the predictable happens. A brother begins a line with a low-stance, long-white-tee, and red Nikes, continues by doing a fs-heelflip to fs-tailslide on a plastic ledge, then ends with a jaded nollie 360-flip: and the section bows down to cliché. Maybe. Or maybe not. Tell me, however: do you really care who does a kickflip to bs-tailslide to fakie on that stair-ledge downtown? Or on that note, who does a kickflip to bs-tailside at the U of M bus stop, his line notwithstanding? Or if Jack Dawkins does a ride-on-bs-nosegrind to bs-180-off on a plastic ledge? Or if Grady Moquin hops on-and-off a rock on a grey day? (And O! the mess of trends that is our metro epoch!) Fortunately, Guth is mindful enough to halve the Friends section, leaving Tom Rohrer to clean up the mess with little more than forcible style and variations on the varial-flip (including the big-flip-on-flat, the 360-flip, the big-flip-on-bank, etc.) All reality considered, Rohrer is just in the video because he knows some people who were already filming some people. And yet who’d deny how much the sophisticated second song – with its twirly beat and stringed-instrument – distinguishes Rohrer’s skating? Or how luxurious is his bs-wallie off that aluminum wall and down that stair-set at night? Or how southwestern that final spot makes his bland switch shuv-it look? Not a soul.

Wylie T. said...

At this point, I've no idea what part comes next, only that they sort of get worse, so here's:

(Part 10.)

A spiritual journey, after our drinking deep into the elixir of individualism, only to then slog through the shallows of friendship, we reach a plain of understanding at middle-earth. Jack Olson provides it – with the ninth part – letting the part be the answer to the conundrum of whether a person so nurtured by the community, can become the individual now surging above it. (To which Jack’s part roars back in answer: sort of.) That’s why it’s better to let the part be the trial, not the answer, from the young man who grew up ten minutes from 3rd Lair, cultivated a mastery of contest, yet still thinks it mannerly to install David Jaimes in his “top 5 Minnesota skaters.” (Yeah. . . . As if.) Jack and his skating are still homing in on individuation, safe to say, and understandably so as long as he’s ensconced in his metro community. And yet around Guth, here, Jack’s hair shows more thickly; his tricks appear less neatly; his clothes flutter not-so-corporately; and his pushes glint with impatience. Change is already in the air.
Jack has borne his metro Cross graciously, but if his part foretells anything heroic, it foretells Jack’s emergent casting off of communal influence. Now let’s examine the evidence for it, or lack thereof. First and awkwardly, Jack begins his part by doing flat-ground in the street (a pleasant suburban street), and then he shifts into a three-trick line at that vapid Bloomington ledge (even I won’t skate that, two miles nearby or not), wearing a weenie-beanie above legs of indifference (see his drowsy switch 360-flip). Frankly, it all stinks of Pat Dykstra and nauseous summer days, although Jack’s song doesn’t – its fluid sounds and lushly muffled lyrics, creating a tension before there’s any at all. So Jack’s intro should intrigue you, but more for the absurd contrast between its skating and editing. (Guth can edit like a thrilled ninth-grader sometimes.) Yet Jack breaks the spell shortly thereafter, by doing two wondrously proportioned tricks down steps, the first of which is a fs-flip down some ten steps (so crisp!), and the second of which is a nollie flip down some same amount (so majestic!), while both of which are preceded by manful foot-pushes from Jack. Seriously, as much as Jack’s ethereal song intensifies such tricks, one can’t help feeling that such foot-pushes intensify such tricks more, as if imperative. Oh, no? Then I ask you educationally: would not the intensity of such tricks be compounded if Jack were to take even more foot-pushes? Exactly. Therefore, let us henceforth call manful foot-pushes, and extra foot-pushes, one of your fortes, Jack! Your tricks tend towards perfection anyhow.

Wylie T. said...

Jack Olson continued, so here's:

(Part 11.)

Speaking of Jack’s usual perfection, it’s a fair problem in this part, as it has been in his former parts, and as it may be in subsequent parts. It’s a time-blind problem. No less, behold his three perfect tricks in-a-row on that handrail (espy the woman in the hijab), or his perfect bs-boardslide on that long round handrail (Joe Sexton and I snowboarded on that one too), or his final and perfect bs-crooked-pop-out on that flat-down handrail (in Sky Zone socks, he even popped out perfect). Yep, each of those tricks is perfect, and easily vanishing from your mind: that’s how perfection works with skating; it’s self-defeating. (I’m excepting from that Jack’s perfect kickflip to fs-crook on that Uptown handrail, which was its coup de grâce, meaning that the trick closed that rail for eternity.) And still, Jack – as never before in this part – seems to actually take aim against his athletic lust for perfection, doing so by merely skating some imperfect spots. Hence, Jack’s skating of imperfect spots here (even when he skates them perfectly) serves as his most heroic act, since the spots afford space for his grit to overpower his mastery – thus revealing Jack anew.
If Jack’s switch bs-feeble to regular on that ledge-to-incline doesn’t touch you, then you missed the wisp of dust that kicks up when he lands, so slight and so sensuous. Or if your knees don’t press together tight while he works through that fs-board-shuv-it on that high-bar, with your knees releasing as he gently descends into the street, then you weren’t riding its dramatic arc. But if you looked once and stared next at his shapely bs-crooked to bs-180-out on that C-ledge, the rain pattering down and air going sultry, as he glides away baring maidenly legs above tigerish socks, then you were invested totally properly in the scene. I caught all those special details because Jack uses imperfect spots here to reveal himself anew, as he intends for your viewing pleasure too, just so long as you don’t exalt him for it. Because truly, Jack still has a lot of individuation left to go through, though at this point it’s increasingly difficult not to appreciate the direction he’s heading. So take that extra foot-push, skate those gritty spots, and wear whatever the hell you do, Jack. After all, your hair never bothered me, just your skating did.

Wylie T. said...

All I'm thinking about is sleep, so here's:

(Part 12.)

What succeeds from Jack’s part is not so much a part (though it is the tenth), as it is homage to a reality that skaters are only starting to anticipate: skateboarding into adulthood. It is Gregg Clover’s reality, his part, his struggle. Likewise, traces of apology can be seen moving through Gregg’s expressions here, but his apologies are worthless, since my judgment remains holistic, and it always values the weary veteran over the showboat in swim-trunks and reefer socks. (And I sneer once more, Mr. Ohman.) For truth be told, Gregg has weathered a fair storm since his days of 2007, when he flashed his acrobatics weekly in switch fs-360-kickflips and seamless movements, to his days of now, when his acrobatics can but wink through his tricks of simplicity and slim, supple style. Gregg tells a tale of sobered adaptation here, so let us dutifully read into it, and before we’re drunk again on ageless youth and Alice-in-Wonderland socks (I’ll expose you soon, VanVark.)
Aside from his first trick (a dinky fs-5-0), and aside from his song of jungle beat and video-game-quality (which enriches nothing), Gregg’s first line carries one merit: a display of agility mixed with faltering control, reflected in his leaping bs-wallride followed by slipshod board-control after his wheels smack against the curb. Jack Olson may view that as imperfection, but I view that as masterful humility, a rarest quality to find, since it appears only with time, poetically speaking. Hey, and better yet: Gregg boasts other tricks of such quality, like those in his line on East Bank (the ollie is more masterful than the fs-flip is humble, though there’s overlap); or in his ollie-up-bench to high bs-crook at the Government Center (if his innovation seems too masterful there, then see it as humbled by an ollie and crook); or in his final trick of fs-boardslide atop a thick yellow post (if his actual perpendicularity and sliding isn’t masterful enough, it sure must be humbling to skate a post for a final trick, knowing you could fail.) By the way, will you notice Ricky Nunn’s 360-flip amid all this, dropping down a story-or-so? (It’s not humble at all, but masterfully loose and muscular, electrifying; I’ll defend Nunn over Tyler Thomas any day.) But to conclude on Gregg, let us recognize that for however much his skating may seem mild or uneventful here, it has a much greater amount of innovation, agility, and quirkiness to appreciate. Gregg finds a way to nose-manual that TCF monument; manages a varial-heelflip over the Farmer’s Market bar; and keeps his right forefinger flexed all the while.

clove said...


Wylie T. said...

First, in response to Clover, I plead in warmth: but Gregg, I speak only from my heart and limited experience, and no matter what I say, it is but an interpretation -- not true, not false, but Impressionistic. (So often I feel like no one knows me either, so let us settle our differences on that, I say!)
Second, as much as I would like to bullyrag Timmy Johnson into the depths of the night, I already exhausted all my energy last night raising up Clover, only to feel him sunk back down, spiritually speaking. So let us reconvene tomorrow for Timmy Johnson and perhaps one other. Best,

Wylie T. said...

If Transworld magazine were to write a review of Timmy Johnson's part, you wouldn't even read it, so boring would it be, so here's:

(Part 13.)

Passions run high from the start of the eleventh part – and you can totally feel it. But you may be confused about why, other than that it’s Timmy Johnson’s part, ticking with a song that feels, literally, like a time bomb. Such fast drama should have us blushing, but Guth makes sure it doesn’t by harmonizing it with the suspense of Johnson’s opening four-trick line. As amused as you may be upon first seeing Johnson’s short sturdy build, his line will shut that amusement up, since all four tricks carry a crisp, concerned, gritty force (especially his bs-half-cab-flip, his toes working it like fingers on dough). Then wait thirty-seconds, and you’ll see that Johnson carries such detailed force within most of his tricks: whether it be in that boosted switch flip down that gap, or in that finessed and crouching fs-50-50 to bs-180-out on that mini-handrail, or in that vibrant switch varial-heel on-flat. Johnson has style, and there ain’t no denying it.
But ten seconds later you should pause, and think to yourself: that although he has such style, he also has conventionally ambitious tricks, which can really seem like lesser versions of Cody McEntire’s tricks, which also have style. So why the hell should I care about Johnson at all, you’ll ask? And your answer will be: because there’s just something so sweet and charming about a short sturdy skater from Minnesota who yet skates with that same sort of grit, precision, and soft-spoken Western mystique as McEntire himself. It’s a mouthful, but that’s why.

Wylie T. said...

You're going to hate me now, but tomorrow evening you're going to adore me, since by that time I'll have written up the next two parts that come after Timmy Johnson's -- meaning that I just can't go on tonight making meaning out of the physique of a skater.
But I'll have done so again by tomorrow evening again, so let us reconvene then!

Wylie T. said...

At this point I'm regarding the review as an olympian achievement full of broken promises, so here's:

(Part 14.)

That which follows Johnson’s part, one can only call a part by breathing and releasing. It’s another favor to the homies, and it wants to be called the twelfth part, slipping in like easy interlude. What I call it, however, is liberal bullshit, since it suggests that any skaters who wish a chance to display themselves, earn that chance to display themselves – so be patient to them. And you wish that you could be, perhaps if that skater’s toppling bs-feeble slam were followed by a land (thus making the slam relevant); or if the song was distinct and risqué and melodious (not grumbling like a creature as a xylophone dings like a lightbulb, as if spurring new ideas, when it spurs none); or if that skater in the tie-dye T-shirt would’ve slammed the full weight of his right foot into his board – snapping it – after landing that bs-noseblunt (which would’ve been bad-ass hell).
Yet none of those hypothetical realities happen. Rather, the homies happen, and randomly, and while you can hope it’s all another videographic trick, you can’t help feeling the drain of being lied to. And no one likes being lied to, most of all by Guth. I don’t know what that one brother’s relation to all of this is – you know, the one with the Afro who ends the section, who likes wobbly pedestrian handles, off one of which he lands a dangerous fs-tailslide, dodging that iron nub – but I know one thing, and it’s his toughness doesn’t lie.

Anonymous said...

This fucking dude needs to familiarize himself with 3rd Lair and those who regularly skate there before attacking those people with a novel written in the comments section of a fucking local skateboarding blog.

everyone said...

This shit is pretty strange and oddly homo-erotic. You didn't do any homework before writing this? You mention that Tom Rohrer only ended up in the video by knowing the filmer... he was on the 3rd Lair team back in the day, same with Yost. That's just one example of fact-less opinion.
Matt Ohman rips and doesn't give a shit what he wears, why should you? It's skateboarding, shouldn't you be writing about men's fashion week?
I don't think Jack would be too stoked to know that his part makes you "press your knees together." Yeah, that shit was really weird.
If Mitch Guth hadn't posted something about this I would have never found it. Is anyone actually listening?

Wylie T. said...

To whomever said what they did above, I appreciate all of it, so here's:

(Part 15.)

Dan Coe’s part merges into the picture next, with a line that starts with a fs-50-50 down an old-time church handrail, thus too starting the thirteenth part. Guth edits it with a playfully instrumental song, which however pleasing it sounds, feels uncomfortably related to the song of the twelfth part, as though Coe’s part were an extension of it. Actually, that’s not an unuseful way to regard Coe’s part, since some of its aspects are awkward enough to require continued patience. Before we dwell on those aspects, though, let’s first recognize what’s not awkward about Coe, which we can do by focusing on his fs-50-50 to bs-180-out on that handrail. In that clip, you see him ably throw down his board before quickly jumping onto that rail. You also see him close-up, wearing a basic U of M T-shirt, undistracting dark pants and shoes, and an orderly blond hairdo. What’s further, you see that he looks basically Swiss – or is it Swiss-German? – just beautifully not Midwestern, since his torso is sizable and shapely, clean unlike his rollaway, which swerves away sketchily.
That Dan Coe is the Coe that any skater can believe in. It’s the Coe whose bearing is distinct enough to influence you positively, by never distracting you negatively. You’d skate with him anywhere. But such a Coe is not the norm of his part; instead, we’re surrounded by the Coe who still lines at the U of M bus stop (see his kickflip to bs-tailslide to kickflip-to-fakie), still seeks glory at the History Center (see his fs-nosegrind to fs-shuv-it), and who still shows up in a weenie-beanie, logo-socks, a tie-dye T-shirt, and skin-tight jeans to skate those popular wooden picnic-tables. That Coe has stock, youthful ambition, but none of the manly bearing that the Coe has who I’d skate with anywhere. Yet all is not lost, since that latter Coe strikes twice here, by doing a fakie-big-flip to manual to skidding bs-180-out down the chain-bank of our parking-ramp. Crucial will be whether that Coe strikes thrice – and then again, again, and more.

Anonymous said...

Dan Coe of 3rd Lair. On HotSpot. You heard it here first

Wylie T. said...

Just to be clear again, I'm taking this night off from writing the piece, not only because I must skateboard again before writing about it again, but because Mr. "everyone" hurt my feelings.
Just kidding, Mr. "everyone"; in fact, you only inspired me, by capturing the singular reaction of the mob (in respect to metro skateboarding, not metro mafia) so well. If I didn't truly "appreciate" it, I wouldn't be a heterosexual Democrat with homo-ertoic inclinations.
So let us reconvene tomorrow, until we're absolutely done with this damn thing by Sunday evening. Love,

Wylie T. said...

You totally didn't think I was on it, but here's:

(Part 16.)

Proof is important. That being said, there is no better way to see that “The Lair Video” has a redeeming structure than by seeing its fourteenth part, which is Ty Stigney’s. This part is so understandably badass that it could’ve been set anywhere in the video. (I would’ve set it first and only first.) Yet, that Guth set it where he did may reflect his professional response to the dilemma surrounding: how due to the fact that the problematic twelfth and thirteenth parts precede this, viewers might be suspicious by now, and not only that, but they might be fidgety, due to the fact that the video is long anyhow, which thus might make the viewer disinclined towards the fourteenth part – unless the fourteenth has a pulsating, action-hero song edited to the stylishly imperfect determination of an adolescent skater.
Needless to say, the fourteenth part arrives at a fitting time. Stigney’s skating here has such clear merit, especially given his age, somewhere near sixteen. For one thing, he commits to tricks flat-out, even if that entails a disorderly slam (see his kickflip to wall-hugging fs-50-50) or entails his riding away only by swerving away (see his fs-board on that wobbly white handrail). It isn’t often that you find such behavior in adolescents, but neither do you often find speediness, which leads to point two. For another thing, Stigney distinguishes his skating through his speed, whether he’s on flat-ground doing an animated 360-shuv-it in a line; or hovering over steps as he does a gripping bs-wall-ride beside them; or rushing down a steep, twenty-step-plus bike-bank after doing a 360-shuv-it into it (though the glory there is his mini-ollie from bank-to-flat!). For a third thing, he looks natural in his clothes – or rather they look natural on him – even though he wears classic skate clothes. (Imagine that? . . . To look natural in one’s clothes . . .) For a final thing, Stigney can land with a crouch that is beyond his years, so much so that you may not even notice it, since he modifies it according to the occasion. (Were you to say that his crouch operates the same for his side-winding varial-heel as for his big-flip to fs-board to fakie, you’d be insensitive.) So Stigney’s part is a godsend, altogether, not missing anything essential.

Wylie T. said...

Simple as this -- here's:

(Part 17.)

What’s challenging is how to react to the fifteenth part, which is Jonathon Reese’s. He’s another skillfully dainty, Shake Junt adolescent, although more pretty, sunny, and suburban than others. For those reasons he invites quick distaste. (There are too many Shake Junt types already; and you’re telling me that there’s another one, but who looks genuinely happy about it?) It’s so tempting to judge Reese through impulse, here, but it’s also certainly impulsive, since within Reese’s vibe you can spot patterns of promise, just below the surface of tricks. You know that nollie flip-bs-shifty that he does down that double-set – yeah, you know – and how its bs-shifty aspect may or may not be intentional? Well either way, the way Reese does it quite resembles the way Tyler Bledsoe, Dennis Durrant, or Wes Kremer would do it. That’s one pattern of promise in Reese’s skating: his similarity of form in relation to established skaters, who are goofy-footed like he.
Reese’s loose but controlled style of execution (see his hardflip at the Cancer Center), as well as his technically skillful tricks (like his bs-smith to 360-flip), can be seen as aligning him with special national skaters. (And ain’t that special? Dearly.) But the reality must be seen as double-edged, equally aligning Reese with a weak edge, involving the future impact that his Shake Junt vibe may have on his style and abilities. Here, for now, Reese is willing to land tricks loosely and freely (there’s no finer proof than his swerving fs-big-spin at Walker Art Center), as well as to commit to impossible tricks (there’s no grander proof than his tweaking fs-smith down that snowboard handrail). But the same things could’ve once been said about Tyler Bledsoe, though they couldn’t be said about him now. Why? Because with time, Bledsoe played flat into his stupid-ass reefer vibe, hence flattening his style and abilities. And hence I now warn you, Reese: that you have some to offer now and so much more to offer in the future, but if I ever catch you refusing to land sideways after no-complying over a handrail, then I’ll be the first to blast you for playing flat into that stupid-ass Shake Junt vibe of faded perfection. (That’s love.) So keep it loose, keep it skillful, but keep it evolving, please.

Wylie T. said...

I may just have to have a conclusion after this, to ensure that people do or don't hate me, but here's:

(Part 18.

And then there was one final part, the sixteenth. From the moment it started at the premiere, everyone but I seemed to know whose it was – that of Tanner VanVark, supreme Dutchman of Midwesterners – and instantly the crowds gazed childlike at VanVark’s everlasting manual, rushing down the road and into their hearts. That whole moment felt like a joke. (Hell, it’s just another adolescent! . . . though this one sports a camouflage hunting-cap.) But what I didn’t understand then, VanVark began teaching me shortly thereafter, as a fluid and tropical and dreamy electronic song began while he mastered the transitions of a junkyard half-pipe. It hit me: this kid has an incredibly flexible control over his skateboard. What’s further, so strong is that control, that you’d guess he’d skate anything, although you wouldn’t bet on it, since he’s an adolescent from a loving, suburban, prosperous family. (His fondness for workout shorts and logo-socks is the dead giveaway.)
So, enormous surprise it is to learn that, actually, VanVark does skate everything, and with that same control that everyone at the premiere must’ve already known about. That’s one of the lessons VanVark teaches you in this part. Here’s another one of his lessons: his control doesn’t prevent him from getting gritty and humiliated. (Thank God!) Whether that means his doing a rushing and nocturnal bs-half-cab to nose-manual to stair-drop at Wells Fargo; or pole-jamming into 50-50ing a sculptural rail set upon an embankment; or ollieing off that bump-gap over a story-or-so high fence; or whether that means throwing his body sidelong against that wall-ride before crashing headlong into its base-steps, only to get up and get angry and land that unthinkable switch bs-wallride – the evidence is considerable. VanVark is no prude or snob.

Wylie T. said...

This is VanVark continued, so here's:

(Part 19.)

Of the few things that VanVark most certainly is here, however, the answer is a skater sponsored by Zero who is in line to be a skater sponsored by Zero who is a professional. Maybe. Regardless, one can’t help but marvel at how much VanVark’s choices can be seen as imitating Zero’s culture. Will you notice how slick his fakie 5-0 is down that handrail, not only in the way that he lands, but in the way that the Zero logo flashes so clearly on his board? (It’s a future ad in the works.) Or will you be so mesmerized by his bs-feeble to pretzel-270-out that you forget who is doing the trick? (Well forgetting so is only natural, because that trick on that rail is generically Zero, and it might as well be any Zero rider doing it.) Or how much, do you think, would that breathtaking bs-crook on that snowboard handrail endear Tommy Sandoval to VanVark? (Unless Sandoval would prefer it naked, I’m guessing a lot.) So VanVark demonstrates he’s a Zero caliber skater here – and perhaps too obviously – and thus teaches us another lesson.
But while Zero is good and skating everything is better, a distinct style remains best. And VanVark’s style is distinct as hell, hence his greatest lesson here. It’s rare to see a style that is at once loose, light, controlled, exacting, and delicate, but such is VanVark’s distinct style. It’s his soul appeal. (Were he to not have it, he wouldn’t have a soul, at least to me.) Evidence of his style is as considerable as it is of his skating everything, so one must focus on the gems, like: his bs-half-cab to bs-crook to bs-180-pop-out on that red round-bar (his toes so pressurized); or his bs-bluntslide to pop-in to fakie under that highway (his pop-in so pounding, leaving his torso so tangled); or his fs-360 down those twelve-or-so steps (his twist entirely completed in mid-air, as if witchcraft); or his fs-noseblunt on that Solex handrail (his slide so committed, but his roll-away so delicately sketchy, slipping); or finally, his bs-bluntslide to pretzel-270-out (I don’t care for those Alice-in-Wonderland socks, but that’s not to deny his so tweaked, finessed, ballet-like execution); etc., etc., etc.
And I could say so much more about you, VanVark, but your skating here speaks so well on its own, so . . . I’ll just leave you with this riddle: is it truly and actually manly for one to film on California spots if one already has a distinct style and is already willing to skate anything?
(Answer: it’s really not very manly.)

Wylie T. said...

The conclusion is upon us, so here's:

(Part 20.)


All of that is “The Lair Video” for you. It’s a mix of things. I mean it’s such a mix of things – from its tricks to its music to its spots to its editing to its clothing to its ages to its prestige, not to mention the mixed relation its things have to all skate things existing outside of the video. It’s an undeniable achievement. And the achievement is Guth’s, especially insofar that it reflects Guth’s skill in joining refined film-craft with the unrefined skaters of 3rd Lair, whose skating here foretells more greatness by suggestion than by what greatness it offers in reality. (I’m still such a jerk, I know, and I’ve never been happy, but read this next part.) Although there are many little exceptions throughout the video, as well as several big exceptions.
About those big exceptions, one can’t deny the resounding power of Dalton Jones’s, Jack Olson’s, and Tanner VanVark’s parts – whether in the present or in the infinite future. It’s those parts that shall be emblazoned upon the fabric of metro skating history. They’re the pillars among the ornaments. Even if all three of them die upon reading this, their parts shall still be the stuff of history, but not simply because they died, which is actually a great way to be dead – that is, to be forever remembered for “the resounding power” within your 3rd Lair video-part.
But somebody had to be the one capturing that power, which leads us to the bigger exception: Guth’s refined film-craft. Honestly, I couldn’t have subjected this video to such bittersweet scrutiny, had Guth not captured it and edited it in such an artful, lifelike, high-toned, sensory, dreamlike way. When you need up-close and personal, Guth provides it, whether in the type of water-bottle Jack Lunt drinks from, or in how hungover Sam Evensen looks after bs-180-ing over that Lake Street Rail. Or when you need the unreality of reality, Guth provides it, like in the cloudy dreamscape floating behind Jack Olson’s pavilion run-up, or in the still-shot of Dalton Jones’s curvaceous fakie-bs-shuv-it to fs-crook-pop-out. And when you need the things that you didn’t even know you need, Guth provides it too, whether in the mellow parking lot aftermath of VanVark’s fs-360 down those twelve-or-so steps, or in the long and lean pushes Jones takes before approaching that yellow guard-rail, or in the soft Mediterranean glimmer of those blue ceiling lights at Target Field. So Guth provides a hell of a lot of film-craft here; he doesn’t let it stray from the skating. And if that’s not an exception to rejoice over, then it’s a reality providing you all you need to criticize these skaters so precisely that they’ll be compelled to squirm and endure and evolve, as opposed to glorying in their swim-trunks and specialty socks.
Thus, value “The Lair Video” for Guth’s film-craft, then for those three parts, then for all the other parts (especially Ty Stigney’s), then for its music (but not all its music), then for its lengthiness (then not for its lengthiness), then for its support of 3rd Lair (but not blind support of 3rd Lair), etc., etc., and so forth. Hey now, and I suppose one could also say that these reasons to value the video are also reasons to buy the video? Yes, one could. But I wouldn’t.
(That’s my integrity, Guth, though I’m proud of ya.)

Anonymous said...

I was not expecting a tome; a couple paragraphs would have sufficed. I skipped to the end after the fourth entry because it was not worth my time. Fuck you, Wylie.

Anonymous said...

^^^ Says the guy who miraculously posted less than an hour after Wylie's 20th post like he's been pressing refresh on this comments thread non stop for the past month. You read every filthy word, don't kid yourself.

Anonymous said...

there should be a third lair montage of all the young kids who have been on the team and skating there for free for years, continuously snake everybody that paid a stupid amount of money to get in, and at the same time doing so in a train of 4 all over the park, doing the same trick, over......and over........and over.

Mitch said...

Hahaha^ thanks Wylie but I'm glad this is all over tbh