September 24, 2014
In the summer of 2014, my Ibiza narratives from the previous installments of this post came to life—after a fashion. Ibiza was almost as #ontrend as Berlin, with Bieber, Kanye and whoever else fits into that milieu killing it on the infamous island all summer.
I wonder if he skated the prefab park there. He rides Hopps boards, you know! #bychoice
I once again failed to make the trip up to NY and/or the tf, but during my week at the Outer Banks, I found a Nat Geo poster documenting the scores of ships that have shipwrecked along that particular isthmus.
This kind of blew my mind.
I wonder of any pirates ever sailed from Ibiza (I think it was inhabited, by, like, sun-worshippers back in the 1600’s though) straight through to North Carolina. That got me thinking that it would be tight as fuck if a Dan Bilzerian type sailed a yacht straight from Ibiza, across the Atlantic, and up the Hudson River to La Marina. I doubt Bilzerian would, though. Judging by the demographics of the young ladies in his insta feed, it’s not his scene. The best hope for such a historic sea voyage is French Montana; he’s in the extended Kardashian family now, so anything is possible (via Kevin Garnett, natch).
Back to Ibiza summer 2014, though–the only thing missing from the intense celeb. fraternizing was the creative element; alas, Kanye failed to set up shop in a studio with Bieber, the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, whoever else and a mountain of drugs to craft the definitive song of the summer. There were, fortunately, a handful of worthy candidates, and a slew of tight video parts. Truth be told, I think there were more vid parts than songs in the Evernote for this post. Does that bode well for the skate industry or bode ill for the music industry? ANYWAY, here’s Song of the Summer x Video Part of the Summer 2014 (produced by DJ Mustard).
Chris Brown “loyal” / Bronze 56K “Enron”
Everyone in the region of VA in which I live has a Chris Brown story [nullus].
“Yo I saw Chris Brown riding his four-wheeler the other day.”
“Chris Brown and Rhianna were at the Friday’s by the mall the other day.”
“Chris Brown was at the hookah spot last nite.”
When I sat down to write this post, I tried to brainstorm all the bangers that Chris Brown had either featured on or put out over the past eight years or so. We got “Loyal” this year, “Fine China” last year, right on down the line back to 2006 ‘n shit. Kinda challenging off the top of the dome, but dude has been remarkably prolific for a long-ass time. Similarly, it’s hard to list off the top of one’s head all the clips that Peter Sidluaskas et al. have been pumping out dating back to the Flipmode video series.
Don’t even get me started on that one clip he edited to “P*rple Rain.” Anyone got the URL? The chances that Prince’s lawyers are reading this are minimal.
ANYWAY, “Loyal” is effective because it retells literally the oldest story ever told (via Genesis 3:6). Although, truth be told, I think one of Jane Austen’s novels tells the story of a wealthy gentleman who absconds with an indigent gentleman’s lady friend.
Furthermore, Brown and Sidlaukas both have entertained a firestorm of controversy in their respective careers. Is Bronze fake seapunk, whatever that means? Do they really have an editorial point of view? In any event, his consistent ability to mine the deepest, darkest nostalgic corners of one’s unconscious, like that Prevue Guide music that lulled you to sleep when you were too young and/or to much of a loser to go out on Friday nite, combine with sick-ass skating has proven as consistent a winning formula as any of Brown’s performances. In addition, the use of HD in Enron marks the tipping point where VX footage no longer looks cooler than HD. Indeed, VX footage looks mad blurry now. Maybe that’s just my Windows Vista home computer, though.
Tinashe “2 On” / Primitive Skateboards internet promo
If a modern-day Brian Wilson—with access to the internet, or at least Instagram—sat down to pen a modern-day “Caifornia Girls,” the verse about California girls would depict them as wearing Jordans, streetwear, and smoking extremely potent weed. This is the vibe one gets from “2 On”–one of like 50 or 60 DJ Mustard jams that fuckin’ powered the summer. Whether or not Mustard intended this composition as an homage to Cassie “Me & U,* it captures that vibe, in addition to that of day drinking in the summertime just for the fuck of it.
The Primitive internet promo, just one facet if the company’s impeccably timed launch, showcased to upper echelon of modern-day Californian ledge/schoolyard skating. It’s inspiring to see someone flying the battle flag for progression for progression’s sake via Ternasky et al. And even though it surfaced as a separate internet clip, can we talk about this Carlos Ribeiro trick for a second. Dude could have a) made and b) ate a bodega-style sandwich sittin’ on that ledge.
Wiz Khalifa “We Dem Boyz” remix / DGK Blood Money team montage
“Hey! I’m here with my boys! This song is fuckin’ about us, bro!”
Few Song of the Summer concepts have stood the test of time longer than making every girl in the club think the song is about them. “We Dem Boyz” utilizes a similar strategy, but for dudes. It also exhibits the classic SOTS characteristic of, after repeated exposure, forcing the listener to walk around repeating the chorus.
Like a mental patient.
The remix adds a verse from French Montana, who has become a staple of these yearly posts. Most effective dude to have on a remix, for sure. Unfortunately, what would have been a cool, subtle shoutout to Max B (“Ima keep it wavy ‘til they free my man”) turns super obvious and ham-fisted when the dude (Puffy, maybe) comes in and asks “Who that, Max B?” In any event, is Puffy’s verse the first time a rapper has mentioned Serato? That seems impossible, but I refuse to consult Rap Geni*s.
ANYWAY, Just like the aforementioned remix, the Blood Money montage displays some dudes ripping over the same beat. However, it takes the concept to the next level by switching skaters when the ASAP Rocky song switches rappers. I might be wrong here, but I think this hasn’t been done since the Let The Horns Blow am montage. In terms of the skating, I thought J Kwon was deaded for a while, but based on this montage, I assume that sessions still go off. That place and Eggs are the upper echelon of North American skating right now; the layout of the Koreatown landmark seems kind of claustrophobic, yet it facilitates all sorts of quick-footed Lotti-isms like Kalis’s section. Furthermore, the small free-standing blocks make possible conceptual “farside” ledge machinations like Dane Vaughan’s switch b/s heelflip to Sanchez grind (on record as being the preferred trick of this website). Trick of the summer for sure. But wait, don’t forget about this dude…
Bobby Shmurda “Hot !@#$%” x Tiago Lemos “Welcome to Silver Trucks” part
You know a song has strong SOTS potential when it becomes a cultural meme like the Bobby Shmurda composition and its accompanying dance, which is even less of an according-to-Hoyle “dance” than the “lean back.” It’s pretty much that that thing you do when you’re #feelinthevibe but, like, not totally white. But I digress. Hopefully Mr. Schmurda takes the money from his deal and literally runs, as suggested by Byron Crawford. Can you think of an artist whose first hit went along with a dance craze that went on to have a successful career? Hopefully he won’t be remembered as the shmoney dance guy. In any event, dude has already made his mark on the summer of 2014 and #SOTS history with one song. And like Chief Keef’s visual oevre, the video uses a “no girls allowed!” aesthetic that makes it almost like the rap version of a skate vid, or some shit.
Tiago Lemos made a similar impact this summer with one trick—switch backside tailslide the entire Korean Orthodontist ledge in that Silver Trucks welcome vid. Truth be told, I have only seen Silver tricks IRL once—at the Skatepark of Tampa. I don’t get out much anymore, though. They’re probably not that bad if you throw some Bones bushings in there. It’s got to be borderline impossible to make a dent in market share when the leading competitor boasts the slogans “Fucking Hot” and “Fuck the Rest.”
All-time, hall of fame, pantheon #marketingandbranding. **
A while ago, I suggested that all the Brazillian tech rippers pull a Plan B and start their own #superteam. As it happens, Boulevard is that team save Oliveira and Rodrigo Tx “da gawd.” Hopefully they compensate Mr. Lemos for the hurting he put on Southern California ledges and other street terrain; there is no more apt description of his futuristic approach to the Trilogy era than, as those PWBC News dudes put it, “Enrique Lorenzo on high-grade steroids.”
DJ Snake “Turn Down for What” / Pat “Sinner” Pasquale Theatrix part
Any second-generation ravers out there? Gotta be, right? One would assume that this would be more of a “thing” in the UK, where, based on that stellar house music documentary Pump Up The Volume, raving was more of a thing that “regular” people did on the weekends ‘n shit.
Along those lines, my oldest son listens to dubstep sometimes and listed the genre as his favorite kind of music on one of those interest surveys teachers ask you to do on the first day of school. Suffice it to say, if he ever decides to attend a rave, party, or whatever they call them now, I’m going too.
To supervise, natch. Just like when your mom drove you to the Girls Girls Girls tour and sat there the whole time reading a Danielle Steele novel.
ANYWAY, just as “Turn Down for What” exposed a mass audience to dubstep/trap/whatever, the music supervision in Sinner’s part in Theatrix exposed the genre to the skate culture writ large—with many decrying it as the worst music supervision #ofalltime.
However, in the new Attention Economy, a “sick” video part doesn’t cut it anymore. In order to stand out on the first page of hellaclips and attain at last a ten-page thread on the SLAP messageboard, you gotta do something. “Crazy” video parts like this one (and the next one in this post) are like the SEO/clickbait of the skate vid medium.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The part itself is sick—a modern-day take on Bootleg-era J. Strickland. Postmodern, post-genre skating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer when the Trilogy manual pads reappear. Note: he performs the ender in the Axion 2.0 (RIP) version of the Aries.
There’s gotta be some more of those in existence somewhere, like in the Circa (RIP?) warehouse or some shit. #liquidation
Furthermore, the slow motion stair-drop right before the caballerial reminds me of that one time, when I was skating a miniramp with dubstep playing, when some dude timed his drop-in to coincide with that moment the beat droooopppppppped. Hopefully this part will open the door for chill house #musicsupervision; I think that was a “thing” for a while in over 30’s bro-cam internet clips. Palace has also been on that wave for a minute. Doesn’t that dude Four Color Zack*** skate or some shit? He would probably music supervise a vid for product.
Grimes “Go” feat . Blood Diamonds / Dylan Reider huf shoe part
First we take Manhattan
Then we take Berlin
– skaters in 2014
Hey, remember in the World Cup when Rihanna backed a)literally every single team and b)literally whichever team had most recently scored? Most confusing fandom ever. Of course she ended up backing the eventual champs Germany, whose super fast offensive attack was like…hm…some natural phenomenon, maybe? I can’t quite put my finger on it…
Grimes, who has been pumping out catchy-as-fuck tunes for a minute now, allegedly intended this composition for Rhianna; who knows why she declined. In any event, Grimes’ **** rendition, the video for which just came out at the end of August, captured that melancholy summer vibe of skating a spot at sunset by yourself, wondering why no one else is skating and what the fuck is going on tonite, ’cause it’s summertime.
Germany, and Berlin specifically, #trended hard this summer. Do the spots in Berlin look more #urban that those in the rest of the country? The marble ledge plazas that Lem Villemin skates always blow my mind, via #spotporn. For some reason I think those spots are all at the Mercedes-Benz corporate headquarters in Dusseldorf or some shit.
ANYWAY, Dylan’s part which dropped in the depths of Fourth of July weekend and caused the internet to go nuts in a manner not seen since Paul Wall’s verse on “Still Tippin.’” ***** Where to start here–the use of a #snowbunny in the editing process continued the #trend seen in Kids In A Candy City, the slow-motion, the black-and-white, the smoking, the blindside switch kickflip in LA. Truth be told, I almost included his Cherry part in this post but it came out just a few weeks too early. That part’s picnic table NBD’s display the kind of trick selection that populates Pupecki’s part in the Menace video in an alternate universe. Dude is one subtly-branded Thrasher t-shirt and interview away from #SOTY.
Rita Ora “Never Let You Down” x Nick Jensen “Eleventh Hour” part
This summer, researchers determined that Scotland has the highest rate of cocaine use in the world. This kind of makes sense; gotta do something to pump out those chemicals in your brian that normally get supplied via sunlight.
I think that’s a scientific thing.
Interestingly enough, Scotland also has a shockingly high per-capita rate of songwriters who write catchy-as-fuck tunes—Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Churches, The Pastels, The J&MC, Gerry Rafferty DA GAWD, and this dude Calvin Harris.
Someone should do a longitudinal data analysis study.
Harris wrote this song for Ms. Ora, an ethnically nebulous vixen who collaborates with Drake from time to time–like a lower-tax-bracket version of Rihanna, or some shit. Shoutout to that dude for figuring out a way to make millions of dollars in the modern-day music industry. This song got tons of burn on Sirius Hits One; I must have heard it upwards of 200 times driving back and forth to the pool. The chorus specifically captures the vibe of that all-time run Katy Perry was on about five years ago, before she stopped working with Bonnie McKee.
Speaking of Scotland, Is that “Bristo Square” spot in Edinburgh still around? That place looked fucking amazing. Along those lines, that Urbis spot in Manchester piqued my interest about a week ago, but upon further research, the ground looked kinda shitty and the ledges appeared to be a)skatestopped and b) not really set up well for lines. The idea alone of a MACBA-esque marble plaza in the centre of Manchester is interesting as fuck though; a little bit of Spain in the North. Just like the Hacienda, bro!
D’you know what I mean?
Fortunately for Nick Jensen and UK skaters as a collective, skateboarding performs a similar neurochemical function and is way healther and more economical. Gino once said that the song is 50% of the part, and this is an example of song and part working in perfect concert, like Jesus in Pretty Sweet. The best possible song for the footage and skater.
Jensen rips some of the bleakest, most British-looking spots in the Kingdom-including some holdovers from the Waiting for the World era. And if you haven’t done so already, follow http://scienceversuslife.tumblr.com for more bleak UK skating nostalgia.
Drake 0 to 100/The Catch-Up / Jahmal Williams Static 5
“the rookie and the vet…”
When one reaches a certain age in skating, simply a)carving out time to skate and b)maintaining the physical ability to do so is a victory in and of itself. One may be considered an “OG” or whatever, but the struggle to maintain the simplest tricks in one’s repertoire makes one feel like a little kid. Drake eludes to a similar struggle in this summer’s two-part song.
Jahmal Williams’ two-song part reflects a similar existential dilemma. First of all, truth be told, I have yet to fully digest Static 4/5; it’s like the skate vid version of a prog-rock epic like Physical Graffiti or some shit, to paraphrase that dude who wrote for Grand Royal magazine. One’s favorite part rotates from month to month and year to year. For now, though, 5 has been in heavy rotation, specifically Brandi’s and Williams’ parts. The Hopps team, a.k.a. The Dudes Who Skate Midtown A Lot, has an advanced understanding of the value of footage filmed under cover of darkness in that particular region of Manhattan. Case in point: that one marble ledge spot with the recessed lighting; I assume it’s approximately a 6-second bust.
Furthermore, William’s career arc—if you count his part in Stone Soup, dude produced two to three parts this year—serves as a template for street skating while knocking on the door of one’s forties. Additionally, this part facilitated the great Rick flip comeback of 2014. The only thing missing from this tour-de-force? A Bieber guest trick.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go start a Slap mssgbrd petition to put him on rep flow.
HONORABLE MENTION: “Fight Night,” that Wes Kremer part, and Dana Ericson’s part in the RAW vid, the latter two of which probably deserve their own posts.
*which someone should skate to by the way
**FULL DISCLOSURE: I ride regular Indy’s, not even low/forged/hollow or anything like that.
***yes, I know he’s not a house dj but still…
**** “Claire Boucher” is a name one would give a generic French Canadian female in a Mel Brooks film
*****to paraphrase @ByronCrawford
July 19, 2012
Dig, if you will, a journey into pre-civilization celtic vibes. One wanders for days across a shroomed-out version of the default Windows XP desktop background. Time loses all meaning. Sustenance: shrooms and the blackest of black tea. Guidance? vibes.
This is the journey upon which one was thrust upon hearing the opening bassline of “Fool’s Gold.” This is trippy music in both the literal and figurative senses. It makes on feel like one is on a trip, and the lyrics narrate a trip. Where? The hills in Wales where Stevie Nicks honed her witching skills, or some shit like that. In any event, the Stone Roses took whatever house/Paleozoic-era rave music beats that were the shit at the time and fused them to one of the most infectious basslines ever and some chill-as-fuck Donovan-type vocals.
This is something that British people, collectively, have excelled at since pretty much the end of World War II—synergizing seemingly disparate influences into some new shit. The Beatles took the Everly Brothers, Little Richard freneticism and some suits and haircuts from France and made some new shit. The Stones—depends which phase tho—took Chuck Berry, whatever old blues dudes they looked up to, and whatever country-rock shit they were hip to in the early Seventies, cemented it together with a herculean amount of drugs, and made some new shit.
ANYWAY, shit was rough aggregating content in the early 1990’s, when “Fools Gold” hit. One could A)record content onto magnetic tape, via a videocassette recorder, or off the radio or B) accumulate compact discs, audiocassette tapes, and vinyl on some kind of shelf. You knew a dude was a legit content aggregator when he had one of those balsa wood cassette shelves. Every so often, one compiled individual songs onto a compilation tape to listen to in one’s automobile or on one’s personal cassette player. Sharing video content verged on the impossible. The most effective method was to just mention to someone “Yo did you see that NWA vid?” and hope that it aired on Yo! MTV Raps the next Saturday. Sharing skate video content operated on a similar faith-based system. If the show sold out of a particular vid, one had to hope that a friend or loose skate-spot acquaintance had it and offered to let one dub it.
This is probably the genesis of my anglophilia—taping 120 Minutes every Sunday nite. I had perfected this technique taping Headbangers Ball a couple of years previous. The most important tactic to remember was to program the recording to start at either 11:59 or 12:01, because one never knew for sure if the videocassette recorder would actually start at the right time if one set it for midnight.
Like I said—maintaining an authentic content farm in the early 1990’s was rough as fuck.
120 introduced me to those bands like Swervedriver, Ride, and most of all, the Roses. However, I never really got into them until my first bout with nostalgia around 1997, when I ceased being straightedge and got into shit like Stereolab and Oasis.
I’m not sure if Stereolab had a couple English dudes in addition to the French chicks or whatever, but one of my skate bros left a compilation tape of their shit in the car and I was hooked. Another key element was that one e’S ad in 411 with that one song off the first record. Oasis, though, I ended up seeing like 4 times. Not sure if I was still taping 120 when Definitely Maybe came out, but I remember part of “Supersonic” being prominently featured in My So-called Life (?). It warrants mentioning that Oasis’ ascent coincided with that of Tom Penny. It’s probably impossible to write something about England + skateboarding without mentioning that dude, but he’s been analyzed to death in every EL with which he was at all associated, so I will save the Tom Penny deconstruction for another post.
BUT ANYWAY, in addition to contributing the epic “I’m going to camp tomorrow” quote from 411 #2, Penny, like the aforementioned British collectives, synthesized the most impeccable influences into a new entity. Along those lines, Liam and Noel—like that one dude said in the fucking awesome seven-part History of British Rock series that comes on VH1 Classic pretty much every weekend–synthesized the coolest elements of the coolest British bands that came before them with an extra dose of Mancunian introspection via The Smiths. The difference between the two bands, conceptually, is the following: Both Morrissey and Liam go to the club alone. However, Morrissey stands around on his own and leaves on his own, while Liam ostensibly cops some low-grade blow, rips it off his hand in the bathroom, drinks between seven and nine beers and leaves with a young lady of questionable moral standing.
From the Roses, Liam and Noel appropriated haircuts, #technicalouterwear, and that certain sense of communal #madferit-ism via raves ‘n shit. Case in point: the chorus to “Acquiesce”–pretty much the Gino-in-Trilogy of contemporary Britpop choruses. Furthermore, based on my rudimentary interent research, they allegedly adapted the “No snow, no show” mantra from Clapton. The key difference, though, is this: Clapton’s shirt was probably facetious in nature, based on his cocaine usage that facilitated his kicking of his early Seventies heroin usage precipitated by George Harrison stealing his girl. Or some shit like that.On the other hand, the Gallagher bros. are straight shooters; if there’s no snow, they’re going gorilla.
ANYWAY, what set Oasis apart from other bands was the fact that their best songs resided on import-only cd singles—the kind that one found in those super-skinny cd cases. Of course, these recordings needed to be physically imported from the UK, thus making their cost somewhat prohibitive. Fortunately, I worked at an operation that had a stash of said cd singles, which I was able to dub onto magnetic tape cassette. Again—similar to hip hop sample nerdery, just simply knowing what these songs sounded like was an exclusive, apocryphal type of knowledge that amplified how rad they were (and still are). Truth be told, though, after Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, the songwriting became increasingly mediocre. But for a minute there Noel wrote some of the catchiest tunes in the history of catchy-ass tunes. As I get older, that musical criterion becomes increasingly all-important.
As the Nineties came to a close, I started listening to Belle and Sebastian—a band notable for cover art depicting a sock puppet sucking on a bitch’s titty. For the life of me, though, I can’t remember who first used their music in a skate vid. Other UK bands started to creep into vids, though; whoever music supervised Modus included the opener of Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space—the record that fuckin’ powered the summer of ’97—in the obligatory “slam” section.
Then came the most significant tipping point in terms of Britpop music supervision—the soundtrack to PJLWHL. It is hard to say whether the Coliseum dudes’ affinity for the genre is reflective of Boston in general, but it would be tight if that were the case. Although I have never been there, one can reasonably infer that the city functions as a nexus point where college kids, cokehead hipster types, Affleck-in-The Town types, rabid B’s/C’s/Sox/Pats fans, and 90’s-centric street skaters converge.* The vid just wouldn’t be as cool if the dudes skated to trip-hop or whatever the fuck; it truly functions as an artifact of a certain time and place. In addition to the PJ Ladd song,** the use of “The Universal” warrants mentioning, if only because the one time I saw Blur the dude introduced it by saying “Here’s something from a Broadway musical.” The dudes must have seriously gotten every Britpop cd that came out, because my ex used to have that Richard Ashcroft solo cd, and that “shelter me” song is seriously the only good song on there. Most of the songs were so obviously written about his girlfriend that he stole from the dude from Spiritualized, thus sending the Spiritualized dude into a vortex of substance abuse that was documented on the aforementioned Spiritualized lp.
Trip the fuck out.
ANYWAY, as PJLWHL recedes into skate lore, the narrative of how a couple dudes from Boston with impeccable musical taste founded a shop that produced the one of the most transcendent video parts ever remains almost as interesting as the video itself. Shit would be a sick movie. Kids meets Empire Records, if you will.
Attn: film industry people: this idea is a SLAM DUNK NO-BRAINER.
Eight years hence, enter Palace. Suffice if to say that Palace is the coolest company out right now. This is not a hyperbolic statement. Not the best, most elite, or technically proficient, but the coolest. If one conceptualizes cool—as boyslifenyc does here—as a quantifiable entity, then Palace possesses the most. Admittedly, when I first heard of the squad, I somewhat dismissed them as “that Olly Todd post-stereo UK company.” However, their video output proved solid fucking gold. Specifically, the PWBC Global Skateboard News, in whch they reaffirmed the important things in life: skating in sideways caps and baggy-ass sweatpants. They followed this up with a series of brilliant webclips, paying homage to the Menace section in 20 shot and the Trilogy pager-check via a pre-line weed transaction. Indeed, The Palace dudes probably perceive Kareem in the same way that the Stones looked up to Blind Lemon Jefferson and all those guys—authentic practitioners of a distinctly American culture. In a macro sense, the use of VHS harkens back to the Nineties, but with an extra dose of that British wit, perspective, or whatever you want to call it. The same shit that set the Stones apart from blues purists like the Paul Butterfield Blues band or whatever the fuck. Always coming up with some new shit. Palace has also made interesting personnel choices, pushing Chewy Cannon’s evolutionary-Quim Cardona style to the forefront, while adding a select couple of North Americans (Powers and Goodall).
Being a North American on Palace is some ill shit, like when the Stones collaborated with the Gram Parsons dude or some shit like that.
Along those lines, we live in a world where, as any social media strategist will tell you, “content is king.” Interestingly, though, Palace has solely made their video content readily available, leading to $500 sweatshirts on ebay (via QS). Recently though, some board were on Josh Stewart’s Theories of Atlantis site, and I heard through a homie that Humidity down in New Orleans recently started carrying some shit. An associate of mine maintains that the disregard for the law of supply and demand demonstrates a horse-before-cart business model. That is to say, if there is demand amongst the 2% of the North American skate population that “gets it” and fucks with Palace, then why not supply? However, it is undeniable, that, in this age of ubiquitous ability to get anything, any time, perhaps this strategy plays into the whole #90s aesthetic in a meta sense. Their upcoming internet video sets the dudes in LA schoolyards and streetcorners—undeniably a power move, like when the Stones recorded at Muscle Shoals or some shit like that.
NOW, enter City of Rats—a video that, according to some internet comment the source of which I can’t recall, sets out to do for London what EE3 did for Philadelphia. That is to say, construct a resilient theater of the mind from its ancient, narrow-ass streets and gleaming marble office buildings, such as this one in Kevin Lowry’s part with sick under-bench mood lighting. Indeed, the juxtaposition of these two elements is what made PHILA footage so compelling, dating back to the Sub Zero vid. The aforementioned streets facilitate moves like Jensen’s switch 360 flipping street gaps—just like Pappalardo in that one EST vid. Mr. Jensen’s section also continues the trend of Hassidic Jews being the new homeless people—in terms of their utilization in skate videos, of course.
That Karim dude’s part is the most relevant to the interests of this web site, as he conceptualizes downtown Londontown as his own private Chaffey, flipping over benches on quick succession. Initially, I thought his whole part was switch—bcause that would be more mnc_tech or whatever—but I did some rudimentary internet research and the dude’s goofy-footed. Truth be told, I think I subconsciously wanted all those 360 flip over stuff to be switch so I could make a Luis Cruz reference in this post. Steph Morgan’s guest appearance in Lucien’s part kills it, but I recommend his part in This Time Tomorrow for a more comprehensive performance. Rory Milanes concludes the film with tech-as-fuck lines on those cobblestones streets—a less-than-ideal environment that my friend who is depressed by UK vids often references. Indeed, one doesn’t come away from the vid drooling over the spots of London; they all kind of blend together, bound by the realization that there has to be some shit like this somewhere in my town.
A “Suicide Girls” approach to spot porn, if you will.
Music supervision utilizes UK hip-hop non-ironically, eschewing that super-fast Tinie Tempah-style flow (what is that genre called anyway?) in favor of more tradition vocal stylists that use phrases like “mental stamina” a lot. I am not sure if these artists are Nineties revivalists, like that Joey Badass dude, or these recording actually date back to Nineties. Like, I got psyched at the beginning of one of the montages when I heard that opening horn riff from ‘Shot Caller,” but it turned out to be some freestyle over the actual “Funky Child” instrumental.
A few months ago, I found out that the Roses had gotten the band back together and were planning some shows in the UK this summer. Immediately, I began making mental preparations to combine going to one of them with a skate trip to London, and maybe that train/bus station with the grey marble ledges if that is located somewhere else. These plans fell by the wayside as I failed to follow through on 100% of the necessary monetary and logistical preparations. However, City of Rats provides a not-too-shabby facsimile.
EPILOGUE: Before I get into the vid itself, a little background: I checked Unicron religiously for about a month for the vid to no avail.*** Finally, I ordered it via SS20 (Penny’s shop sponsor from the aforementioned “Wheels of Fortune”). In order to retrieve the content, I took the following steps: A)receive Certified Mail slip in my physical mailbox B) take slip to my depressing-ass local post office and sign for the video C)a United States Postal Service postal worker handed my the envelope, with cool Royal Mail stamps with Queen Elizabeth’s head D) drive home and view DVD (only worked on the DVD I had purchased a few years ago specifically for viewing .mpg’s and .divx files)
I enjoyed this process.
It is way easier to fetishize content that has a physical form—which is probably why I have yet to purchase an e-reader. That and the twenty or so physical books lined up in the “have yet to read” section on my bookshelf –enough to last me until I physically die.
*This would be a cool Venn diagram.
**gotta tell ya, never got into Pulp, except for the William Shatner cover of “Common People,” which I am shocked that no one has skated to yet.
***Unicron has it now tho
ps. @carbonite1994 if you still use twitter, and @frozenincarbonite on the instagram
pps. I have also linked this site and the tumblr page cokewhitehalfcabs.tumblr.com (someone who hasn’t updated since 2011 took frozenincarbonite.tumblr.com) , so all new content on here should appear on there, probably rebloggable and all that shit.
May 29, 2012
…including, but not limited to, a City of Rats write-up type thing.