FTCbook.emb

In 2009, a Crailtap employee told me that Smyth was working on an EMB book, or some shit. The status of said tome remains uncertain, but, until its completion, the recently released FTC Book is as close as we’re gonna get.

If one sat down to write a book about #local skate shops as “thing,” odds are that certain narrative motifs would emerge: owners mentoring local rippers, older dudes vibing, rivalries with other local shops. Some dudes achieved success via the #industry, some dudes flamed out and cultivated drug problems, some dudes faded out of skating and got a job working construction (via Springsteen, natch). And of course, some dudes quit at their peak to “get really into cars.”*

Indeed, these types of stories are as old as the hills to anyone who came up in a community with a local shop. However, in retail and most other ventures, timing is everything. FTC differs because its ascendance coincided with that of A) a series of new, cool-as-fuck companies B) innovators who, seemingly as an afterthought, were inventing a new genre of skating every afternoon and C) SF’s status as skate Mecca, with  hometown heroes nationwide buying beaters and making the pilgrimage–Welsh most notably, but I’m sure you know one or two who made it or didn’t quite get there. From this anthropological standpoint, it’s import resonates to this day, as variants of the plaza skating culture continue to thrive and replicate. Case in point: Stalin.

FTCbook.book

And the videos. I can’t remember when/where I first saw the first one; probably out in front of Supreme. If you haven’t watched Finally in a while, it’s probably the most low-impact vid ever; the biggest drop is probably Carroll’s ollies that gap at the Wallenberg upper playground. Penal Code, canonical at this point, continues the oldies/beats/breaks/some regional hip-hop school of music supervision from Goldfish; pretty sure it was the first time I had heard “That Lady” since Paul’s Boutique. It was definitely in heavy rotation out in front of Supreme for a couple years. To paraphrase Meza, these videos maintain #relevance because of their organic, skating-the-same-spots-every-day-with-our-friends vibe–a vibe that is hard to fake via orchestrated high-five lifestyle footage.

For obsessives such as myself, The FTC Book takes the reader into a wormhole that was previously only accessible through apocryphal tales and early SLAP, which seemed more plugged-in to the EMB scene than Thrasher–a rivalry of sorts detailed in the book itself. It also answers quantum-level skate nerd questions like “who first started skating suede Pumas?” and “Did Jovontae Jeans actually exist?” Along those lines. the street-level economic details of the scene, via the infamous tab book, are also interesting as fuck. Does any other shop still maintain such a system? More importantly, do any currently-active skate spots keep the tradition of the open-air product market alive?

ANYWAY, the core of the book is its interviews; every notable EMB affiliate contributes a narrative, save Henry Sanchez. As the best dude out from 1991-1994, it would be fascinating to hear his take, but you know how that goes…

One question remains, though: if Carroll had skated to “Limelight,”would Serge have skated to “La Villa Strangiato”?

You can obtain The FTC Book here or at any FTC store in the US, Japan, or Spain

*is this a “thing” all over the country? worldwide?

ps. twitter, instatumblr, and Vine – @frozenincarbonite

PREVIOUSLY: Lonny Peoples Interview 

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“the NSX pull out the driveway/feelin’ like Scarface. desperado on the case”

-Royal Flush, 1997

Right when I moved to California, I bought a ’95 Civic Coupe. I had it for no longer than a month. I completely totaled the fucking car.” 

-Caine Gayle, 1997*

I first saw the 101 War Report promo on a VHS cassette tape that also contained Da Deal is Dead, some SMA video, and maybe Vision Barge at Will. In addition to the innovative “jogger” narrative element, the footage of McNatt piloting a silver NSX seemed to communicate a theme. Like, a futuristic car for mad futuristic skating, or some shit. The NSX symbolized Rocco’s New World Order and foreshadowed Clinton-era economic prosperity. While conceptualized as a supercar or some shit, it still had that Civic DNA deep down in its rear-situated engine.

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summer2013rhimileytitle

DATELINE: IBIZA

In the dead of night, a Bell AB-212 descends onto the heliport of David Guetta’s Ibiza compound. A slim, tall African-American lady descends the stairs onto the tarmac. Her hair is styled in a mullet, or some shit.

A few minutes later, another helicopter lands, transporting a Caucasian female with an aggressive platinum blonde hairstyle. She looks like she could use a sandwich.

Neither has any idea why Mr. Guetta has summoned them. A few minutes later, when @mikewillmadeit, French Montana, Future, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Pitbull, and Katy Perry ascend the helipad stairs, everything becomes clear.

Their mission, should they chose to accept it: craft The Song Of the Summer 2013.

This did not happen, but it kinda did…

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Canadian Gino

July 31, 2013

canadiangino.simpsons

“Remember how cold it was when you took the bus up to Montreal?”

“Yeah.”

“Winnipeg is colder.”

The above is an excerpt from an internet discussion between me and my homie in MTL. I think I had mentioned that Winnipeg seemed like a tight place to live, based on a)various Green Apple-affiliated videos I had seen b) the plaza that was one of the first ones that seemed to replicate Barcelona architecture and c)the return of the Jets.

He went on to describe a bleak, economically devastated metropolis where native gangs rule the streets at night. Based on Supper’s Ready and Modern Love though, Winnipeg appears to be a spot-filled metropolis where the particularly Canadian sense of humor–via SCTV/ Bill Murray–flourishes in skate vid form. Read the rest of this entry »

Dig, if you will, the denoument of a seemingly endless Thursday afternoon and night of skating. After skating up to midtown from Union Square, fucking with CBS and/or Time-Life and possibly the Huf ledge, you ascend the steps of your building to a narrow multi-roomated apartment. One’s sole lifelines to the outside world? Dial-up UseNet and the Strech and Bob show on 89.9 WKCR.

For anyone that came up in the Nineties and fucked with hip-hop to any extent, The Stretch and Bobbito show on Columbia University’s WKCR 89[tec]9 held Torah status. Furthermore, in the DJ Clue era of mixtape yelling, the shows were also cool to listen to on one’s walkman.* They usually started out with some rare groove type shit, like “Uzuri” by Catalyst or some shit. Knowing, to list but one example,  that the latter song was sampled on “Lefleur Leflah Eshkoshkah” was a particularly nerdy form of apocryphal pre-internet knowledge, similar to memorizing esoteric skate video soundtracks. This is the main reason why the soundtrack to the first few Girl/Choc. vids killed it so hard.

Girl/Chocolate video music supervision functioned as a nexus point for my hip-hop and skating nerdery.

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