Saturday, May 12, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I was on the train this morning and saw somebody with their New York Times Style section staring at me. Yes, this diagram of the "Aging Skater" really caught my attention. The article is online and is pretty strange. I guess it's the cliff notes to "who the ubiquitous groups of old dudes are that show up to skate parks with their full pads and what their demands are". Ha. Just kidding. But I guess somehow the Alva enthusiast of yesteryear now mall grabs their coconut water and sector 9 long board. The article talks about the new breed of "boarding" enthusiasts that are reconnecting with this rebellious past time as a cure for a midlife crisis. Apparently, they're trading in their gym memberships for urethane wheels. What happened to buying a porsche and crashing it into a tree? I'd prefer that route. But there's nothing better than discovering skateboarding for the first time so if you rediscover it later on in life, can't hate on that. But you can hate on long boards. For sure. Fundamentally this article is confusing because people always try to throw longboarders and skateboarders in the same genre. Doesn't the world know better? Doesn't this writer for the NYTimes know better? LONG BOARDING ISN'T REBELLIOUS. What has long boarding given the world? Good music? Good parties? No and hell no. Entitled,aggressive, badly dressed weirdos that hang in packs and line up their long boards in formation at the bar? Yes. I have never met a long boarder with good style. Sorry- I just haven't. Is that just a coincidence? I think not..
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
My "drunken "i ate two weed infused ice cream scoops" review for "This Is Not The New Lurkers Video".. Thanks to Joe Cupps and company for putting another candid peek into skating!
You might think in the beginning it's 70s softcore porn gone awry because there's a lot of sexual entertainment. But in fact, these are many images of female self empowerment, it's not necessarily " objectification" to be naked. Never once do you see a guy "oppressing" a female except in a pseudo what we can assume "street fight", which is always kind of funny. OK there is one one obvious female oppression stance where dude is restraining the chick..
BUT the unexpected intro goes with the music-- it adds uncertainty and also at first, you don't really know what to make of the intro. ESPECIALLY if you've seen a LURKERS video. The point is, the skateboarding becomes very clear.
The beauty of lurkers is the ensemble. You never really know who you're going to get and what "you're going to get". You just know you're going to get a dose on some local ny skateboarding which maybe/probably features charles lamb, jason dill, and switch b/s ted. But then you'll end up getting (also) dharma khasla, lurker, pryce holmes, ty, plus other locals. Sure, in the 90's we all watched skate videos because a) you actually skated b) skate videos were cheap and accessible c) you were interested in how skating was progressing. At any rate, skate videos are supposed to make you think. At least if not for the skating, for the soundtrack or sequence of imagery.
I don't really skate anymore, but I still am going to (kind of) when it stops raining. When I'm not making fun of long boarders and hating on dumb shit, I realize that skating always taught me "It doesn't have to be more than what it is." And when we make art it's the same way. Skating is skating, it changes through out the years, and people will always be killing it, and maintaining. In "Not Another..Lurkers" video you can see that it all coexists in a good space.
This review isn't really about skating but I know where one of the last spots is with the metal ledges because i work on the opposite corner and I pass those ledges every day! Thanks to Joe Cupps for still putting his film hands and eyes to use! No matter what era, good skateboarding is always appreciated.
P.S. LENNOX LEDGES AND PUMP UP THE VOLUME..?
Just a Russian Prison System documentary. NBD.. If you thought those Russian Prison Tattoo books were cool.. then... now you get to hear about it first hand.
"The Mark of Cain documents the fading art form and language of Russian criminal tattoos, formerly a forbidden topic in Russia. The now vanishing practice is seen as reflecting the transition of the broader Russian society. Filmed in some of Russia;s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of The Zone and The Code of Thieve.
The prisoners of the Stalinist Gulag, or "Zone," as it is called, developed a complex social structure (documented as early as the 1920s) that incorporated highly symbolic tattooing as a mark of rank. The existence of these inmates at prisons and forced labor camps was treated by the state as a deeply-kept secret. In the 1990s, Russia's prison population exploded, with overcrowding among the worst in the world. Some estimates suggest that in the last generation over thirty million of Russia's inmates have had tattoos even though the process is illegal inside Russian prisons.
The Mark of Cain examines every aspect of the tattooing, from the actual creation of the tattoo ink, interviews with the tattooers and soberly looks at the double-edged sword of prison tattoos. In many ways, they were needed to survive brutal Russian prisons, but mark the prisoner for life, which complicates any readmission to normal society they may have. Tattoos expressly identify what the convict has been convicted of, how many prisons he;s been in and what kind of criminal he is. Tattoos, essentially, tell you everything you need to know about that person without ever asking. Each tattoo represents a variety of things; cupolas on churches represent the number of convictions a convict has, epaulets tattooed on shoulders represent the rank of the individual in the crime world and so on and so forth.
The unflinching look at the Russian prison system is slowly woven into the film. Cells meant to hold 15 hold 35 to 45 men. Drug resistant tuberculosis runs rampant through the prison populations and prisoners are served three meals a day of watery slop. There are allegations of brutality by the guards. As these men deal with pestilence, violence and grossly substandard living conditions, the prison guards and administration put on a talent show.
The film served as source material for David Cronenberg's 2007 dramatic movie, Eastern Promises. He commented, "This is a very courageous documentary on the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons. I don't know how it ever got made, but it's beautiful, scary, and heartbreaking."
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Thanks to Victor for sending me this link. Hauntingly beautiful, this is one of the coolest videos ever.
The group re-recorded the track, in the key of E minor instead of the original D minor in 1969, for the Antonioni's Zabriskie Point film.
«The explosion apparently represents the psychological separation from corporate greed, superficiality, and racial injustice.»
New York Times - February 10, 1970
This was the second of three English-language films Antonioni had been contracted to direct for producer Carlo Ponti and to be distributed by MGM. The other two films were Blowup (1966) and The Passenger (1975). Although later considered a cult film, Zabriskie Point was an overwhelming commercial failure and panned by most critics upon release. The film has been called "one of the most extraordinary disasters in modern cinematic history."-wikipedia
Hm, "commercial failure" sounds awesome. I'll have to watch the movie in it's entirety and come to my own conclusion. However, another reviewer on the interweb as of 2011 would describe the movie as the following:
Mark and Daria stayed together for a short time after the film, becoming the first couple of counter culture for a millisecond. Their story is much more interesting then the movie is."
Jeez. Can we talk about this book already? Picked this up the other day at Spoonbill Books and was pleasantly surprised to find the rest of the book as compelling as it's first page. I don't know who David and Ted really are, but they really know how to make you say "uh, damn, you're right" a couple of times a page. It's easy to mistaken the cover as a self help book, and maybe it kind of is if I find it to be motivational? Tricked again! No, but seriously this is a really good read.
What this suggests, among other things, is that the current view equating art with "self-expression" reveals more a contemporary bias in our thinking than an underlying trait of the medium. Even the separation of art from craft is largely a post-Renaissance concept, and more recent still is the notion that art transcends what you do, and represents what you are. In the past few centuries Western art has moved from unsigned tableaus of orthodox religious scenes to one-person displays of personal cosmologies. "Artist" has gradually become a form of identity which ( as every artist knows) often carries with it as many drawbacks as benefits. Consider that if artist equals self, then when (inevitably) you make flawed art, you are a flawed person, and when (worse yet) you make no art, you are no person at all! It seems far healthier to sidestep that vicious spiral by accepting many paths to successful artmaking-from reclusive to flamboyant, intuitive to intellectual, folk art to fine art. One of those paths is yours."
Before chucking it all for a day job, however, consider the dynamics at work here. Both making art and viewing art require an ongoing investment of energy-lots of energy. In moments of weakness, the myth of the extraordinary provides the excuse for an artist to quit trying to make art, and the excuse for a viewer to quit trying to understand it..."
Jetlag is a real thing for me. The other night I took a 4 hour nap at 6pm. I don't think 4 hour naps qualify as naps. But if my day were to actually start, it would have started Saturday night. Jason and I played jams back and forth until 4am. Playing music in public, even if it is on my itunes, is one of the best hobbies since remembering how to ollie. Killer bar crew to boot, these fools know how to hold it down! 6am Sunday morning crew. Topped it off with a "Kanye Interrupted" sandwhich from Hana foods, which is like the craziest bacon,egg,avocado,chicken cutlet fiasco between two layers of starch at 6am. Then watched the movie Tombstone on youtube until 7am. Tombstone is a dope movie. "Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after, it's a reckoning." WUUUUTTT..
"You gonna do something? Or are ye' just gonna stand there and bleed?" Dammmnn..
Ate at the new Cafe Mogador in Brooklyn. Grilled chicken skewers with some yogurt sauce- fresh.
A black barbie dollz with champagne and blue pumps kind of weekend
Carroll with a Japan air at the Vans Half Cab 20th Anniversary at DQM.