Saturday, December 1, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
SUPER HUGE fan of Visvim Men's shoes! Looking at their shoes gets me so stoked on shoe design. The synthesis of their materials, vision, and proportions are not only unique but also well made. I've been fortunate enough to visit one of their factories in China who employ old school shoe making techniques to get that really great handmade quality look that is so coveted. Shit is art. Not cheap either but quality footwear from sourcing rare materials and leathers, combined with original design like this can't and shouldn't come cheap; regardless of where it's made.
Went to see Patti Smith, Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Madison Square Garden last night. Super sick show. Like an idiot I forgot my real camera when I went to work in the morning and only had an iphone to document the evening's event. First of all.. Patti Smith is a fucking bad ass. 65 years old and as stoked as ever on World Peace and respecting Mother Nature. Both Neil and Patti's voices are still as dynamic as listening to a record, their voices powerful and unmistakable- resonating throughout the venue. Watching them perform even at like a thousand feet away was mesmerizing. Patti Smith performed a song in tribute for Jimi Hendrix's would be 70th birthday. The fact Jimi Hendrix would have been 70 kind of blew my mind. Then I started thinking one day in the future, maybe 200 years from now, teenagers will have shrines in their room built to this Jimi Hendrix guitar deity.
I like this photo because Neil Young is killing it, power stance wise. The colors and the flannel make me feel like I'm watching this legend at a 90's MTV unplugged event.
During the intermission they had these people in white lab coats rush around stage. It was pretty unexpected but effectively awesome. They played The Beatles and the multiple beers I had throughout the evening erased my memory of which song was playing. Dammit. Maybe it was "A Day In The Life".
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Interesting article on the commercialization of skateboarding. This concept is old news but the article has a few interesting points about what corporations own who and what contests are run by who and what their net worths are. It talks about the shifting ideologies of a subculture that is slowly being warped by the sound of money falling from the sky. It also specifically points out that due to the onslaught of such a strong corporate presence within skateboarding, how skater run companies especially shoe companies have dropped like flies because of footwear heavy weights like Adidas and Nike.
I will be the first one to support things that are skater owned, but I'm also the first one to stick to Nike Blazers if my flatground seems to work out better when I'm wearing them. Even if you could choose to buy a "skater owned" footwear brand, it would really be hard to remember any in 2012. Lakai? Fallen maybe? I can't think of any other brands that isn't somehow now owned by Nike. Emerica is a part of Sole Tech which I think may or may not be a part of Nike somehow. Maybe not. And Gravis? Spawned from Burton snowboards. And even in the last decade when there were "skater owned" brands that functioned under a bigger umbrella like Sole Tech, years later it would be hard to weather the economy without being bought out by some faceless trading company. And even if you've managed to survive, most likely you've been relatively obscured by Nike and Vans. But the devil is in the details. And those details aren't always so clear.
"In late June 2005, Nike received criticism from Ian MacKaye, owner of Dischord Records, guitarist/vocalist for Fugazi and The Evens, and front man of the defunct punk band Minor Threat, for appropriating imagery and text from Minor Threat's 1981 self-titled album's cover art in a flyer promoting Nike Skateboarding's 2005 East Coast demo tour.
On June 27, Nike Skateboarding's website issued an apology to Dischord, Minor Threat, and fans of both and announced that they have tried to remove and dispose of all flyers. They stated that the people who designed it were skateboarders and Minor Threat fans themselves who created the advertisement out of respect and appreciation for the band. The dispute was eventually settled out of court between Nike and Minor Threat."
I think Minor Threat suing Nike is awesome. Whether the skateboarders that designed the flyer were fans or not, it's still Nike. That one infinitely significant detail is what makes all the difference. And no shit, that's Ian MacKaye suing you.
While manufacturing hard goods and clothing can still be feasibly done domestically.. at least meaning in the Western hemisphere , something as tool and labor demanding as shoemaking has become the bystander market that becomes invariably cornered and controlled by footwear giants. Combine that with extraterrestrial salaries for pros on said companies, is it any wonder why Es and every other iconic skateboard footwear company is on hiatus or overlooked?
The corporation will always be the bane of anything pure and original. Out of all people, skateboarders who have ever laid eyes on 70% of skateboard ads or feet on a plank of wood should be conditioned to this reality. At the end of the day, who doesn't want to get paid to do what they love? And if you can get paid to do what you love I can't hate on that. Maybe the truth is, skateboarding od'ing on itself in 2012 is exactly what it looks like. Corporations are just giving skateboarding the money to give itself more drugs, of itself. And because of that- yes a lot of skateboarders are turned off by the industry. But, one day somebody is going to pull the plug on it's half a million dollar contest purses and lifestyle price tags. So even though the Battle of Maloof might have been lost, there is still a longer war to be fought. And you can help buy bullets and aid by supporting independent, skateboarder run brands when you can. Because as dominant as corporations are in the retail landscape, there will always be smaller companies with fresh ideas and if you're lucky, quality products to provide that much needed alternative to a growingly homogenized industry.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Hey. If Taiwan has it's own Vice show it must be cool now! Don't know who Eddie Huang is but he's rockin' a Max Fish Jeremy Lin shirt- tight. Don't know about his dad calling some people "japs" all up in Din Tai Fung but whatevz.. Sounds like something a Chinese person who hates Japanese people because of the war would say.. Comment most likely indicates Eddie Huang's Taiwanese roots do not extend to grandparents living in Taiwan during the Japanese empire*.. But, props to Eddie for writing a book about Taiwanese immigrants and their children. I'll have to read it. I wonder on what side of the Taiwanese political spectrum he and his family identify with. Pro China vs Pro Taiwan.. What up FAMILY MART? I miss you, delicious melon and apple milk. Thanks to Ying my fellow Taiwanese American for this heads up.
UPDATE: Heavy Discussion's Taiwanese correspondant : MY DAD is on the ground in Taipei saying that Eddie's dad is a dickhead. Based on bar/friend affiliations and the like. Heavy Discussion has been hearing a lot of Hear/Say. But we will let the evidence speak for itself. However, I must mention that skepticism was definitely aroused when I checked with Marc Razo tonight to inquire about this Jeremy Lin x Max Fish wearing dude of VBS notoriety.
I know for a fact that Andrew Kuo made X amount of Jeremy Lin Max Fish t-shirts because I was there when they had a full assortment of sizes. Spencer Fujimoto came in that very evening and bought like ten LARGES because it was his chosen t shirt of the summer. He basically wiped out the inventory of Max Fish x Jeremy Lin LARGE t shirts. Therefore, my vague investigation skills have yielded that he must know someone I know. But alas, I have not found that connection yet. My one clue is Max Fish, and like a good detective I will sniff out the truth.