October 2009

10.31.2009

Halloweiner

Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin’ the cemetery?

cemetary1 Halloweiner

There’s something so fascinating and attractive about really old shit. Like… the elderly. So hot.

Seriously though, that tombstone is from 1860. Gettin’ back there. The world was a very different place back then… they didn’t even have acid yet.

There are some gravestones there from the early 1700s that are crumbling piles, and others have been there so long that all the text has eroded away. WHO KNOWS how old those could be?! So hot.

cemetary2 Halloweiner

Those aren’t clouds — they’re the spirits of the dead, going to heaven to be with god!

cemetary3 Halloweiner

Shooting in the rain is sometimes fun. Like almost never, but that’s still technically sometimes.

10.30.2009

Boy Wonder

Holy crap. You know those terrifying water slides that are almost vertical and it feels like you’re peeling off the back and are going to fall straight forward to a pulpy death?

Yeah, so, that wall is actually vertical. Very, very vertical for a very long distance. Get scared just thinking about it. I mean it — get scared, now!

10.30.2009

A slice of nice verse pie

In honor of my actual Halloween costume this year, a super entertaining and original rap video from one of my all time favorite MCs — the razor sharp, half drunk Metal Face DOOM.

Generally, I prefer either King Geedorah’s Take Me To Your Leader or DANGERDOOM’s The Mouse & The Mask when it comes to MF’s weird collaboration/concept albums, but plenty of plaid-adorned, 20-something white dudes with mustaches thought Madvillainy was the metal balls at the time. It’s all subjective anyway, of course, unless your subjective perspective includes thinking MF Doom sucks, in which case you would be, objectively, wrong.

Speaking of opinions, this is probably the most appropriate visual treatment of MF Doom’s style I can think of. So who cares what album it came from, really. Save the cool-factor point system for Pitchfork.

10.30.2009

Pretty girls make graves

ded gravestone Pretty girls make graves

It’s a shame that when you make something like murder illegal, you have to be pretty absolute about the law’s application. Because some people totally don’t deserve to be alive. Like the lady who hit me with her RAV4 a couple days ago. Then again, maybe I’m the one who doesn’t deserve to be alive considering I did get hit by a car after all.

I mean, I was looking pretty fine so I can understand her wanting to tap that ass, but lady, that was just a little too pushy nah’mean? icon mad Pretty girls make graves

Happy almost Halloween, boys and ghouls. This year I’m dressing up as a guy with tire tracks across his shoes. The idea just came to me, I guess you could say. And that lady I was talking about? Yeah, I heard she was going as the driver of a RAV4 with a me-shaped dent in its hood.

10.29.2009

The Ghost of Skateboarding Past

max schaaf2 The Ghost of Skateboarding Past

Max Schaaf - image via dlxsf.com

I plugged this series back when it started, but a new episode in the Max Schaaf miniseries on Epicly Later’d just went up today and holy hell is it awesome. These are easily some of the best episodes Patrick has ever produced — Max’s stories are so interesting, the vintage footage is super fun to watch… I mean, shit, on a rainy day this is as close to feeling like you’re actually skateboarding as you can get.

If I had missed any of the signs of becoming an “old dude,” it’s definitely official now. Nostalgia for ramp skating is the number one indicator that you’ve passed on to “the other side.” Looks like I’ve got a long future of putting on weight and scaring kids at the skate park to get excited about.

10.29.2009

skate + art = skart?

Skart. A hideous term for something beautiful. No relation to shart, which is, by definition “gas followed by mass.” A hideous term for something hideous.

kenny anderson chocolate skate + art = skart?

The above photo, which is thankfully shartless, contains many of my favorite things to see: Kenny Anderson’s smooth style, Chocolate’s on-point art direction, and visually interesting, unique skate spots. It’s a trifecta of all that’s good in skateboarding.

While speaking of Chocolate’s art direction, one would be remiss in failing to mention the frustratingly skilled Evan Hecox, the artist behind many of Chocolate’s best graphics. Like the mouthwatering Soda Bottle Series:

chocolate soda bottle series skate + art = skart?

Chocolate’s Soda Bottle Series by Evan Hecox

He also did this brilliant set of boards released way back in 1997, during Chocolate’s first round of glory days. For any outsiders who maybe thought skateboarding graphics were just about skulls and bad parodies, um, go fuck yourself — but also check out these bad boys before you do (or after you do for that matter, I don’t really care):

chocolate city series skate + art = skart?

Chocolate’s City Series by Evan Hecox - photo via bobshirt.com

Now there are some boards with serious wall presence. His line work is incredibly crisp, clean, and fuck the onomatopoeia but… classic. A truly inspiring illustrator. Skateboarding is lucky to have him wasting his considerable talents on a product that’s designed to be destroyed within a couple weeks.

Anyway, who should I bill for all this free advertising?

10.29.2009

Sorry, I'm not home right now, I'm walking into spiderwebs

Well, it’s Halloweek… as anyone who lives in a major US city knows, Halloween is actually a week long celebration of death, getting trashed, and mostly naked people. Obviously it’s a hugely popular tradition within the Neverland, Toys R’ Us kid kind of 18-30ish demographic that tends to define a particular city’s “cool” culture — it encompasses all of our generation’s favorite things, plus it lets you pretend to be something you’re not, which is also something our generation is really good at.

But enough of all that shit. One of my favorite parts of Halloween is that its imagery relies heavily on the creepy and the crawly… especially… SPIDERS icon eek Sorry, Im not home right now, Im walking into spiderwebs

spider1 Sorry, Im not home right now, Im walking into spiderwebs

The above photo was actually taken by my multi-talented and disarmingly attractive girlfriend. But enough of all the mushy shit — this is Halloween, mother fuckers! Get some! And by some, I mean interesting facts about spiders I pulled from educational sites for children.

1. Spider webbing is considered, pound for pound, to be the strongest organic chemical substance on Earth.
A scientist spent years collecting spider web extract and actually made a spider suit. It repelled a steel baseball bat, bullets shot at close range, and even withstood getting hit by a pickup truck.

Between you and me though, I totally don’t know if I believe that.

2. Baby spiders travel by a process called ballooning, in which they emit a small thread and float on the wind.
When scientists travel to newly-formed volcanic islands, they find that spiders, which can travel through the air by ballooning, are almost always the first permanent inhabitants.

This one I buy, because spiders are awesome.

3. When spiders were fed flies that had been injected with caffeine, they spun very “nervous” webs. When spiders ate flies injected with LSD, they spun webs with wild, abstract patterns. Spiders that were given sedatives fell asleep before completing their webs.

Amazing.

4. Jumping spiders can jump up to forty times their own body length.

This is is true — I’ve seen it! Look, this here guy is a certain breed of jumping spider, the zebra spider. I know him well.

spider2 Sorry, Im not home right now, Im walking into spiderwebs

He lives in my apartment. For a while there were lots of them in my apartment. Jumping all over the place. I set tons of his friends free, into the wild streets of Chicago, but eventually gave up because they’re pretty friendly all things considered… and obviously don’t mind mugging for the camera.

10.28.2009

Oh my God, they're gorgeous!

If you’ve been following along, you might have already picked up on my tendency to take pictures out my window. It’s always been a natural subject for me really… I spend so much time looking out the window as it is. And there’s always something new anyway.

cool sky1 Oh my God, theyre gorgeous!

The sky in general just has so much to offer.

cool sky2 Oh my God, theyre gorgeous!

I once heard that rays of sun through the clouds like that were called “the hand of god” — although that might have just been part of the Christian brainwashing I underwent during my younger years. Anyway, NASA being the good scientists they are, found the real God’s hand in space earlier this year, which is great, because now we can hunt him down and kill him!

hand of god Oh my God, theyre gorgeous!

‘Hand of God’ X-ray nebula - photo via NASA

However, it turns out that NASA scientists estimated the moment depicted in that photo actually happened 17,000 years ago. Who knows where God could be now? Damn it!

10.28.2009

Eating rappers Kirby-style for dinner

del tame one Eating rappers Kirby style for dinner

Del and Tame One - photo via nahright.com

Riding the tail end of Del the Funky Homosapien’s latest wave of manic output comes Parallel Uni-verses, a collaboration between him and original Artifacts member Tame One, featuring New Jersey duo Parallel Thought on the boards. The production on the album shines, doing two legendary emcees the justice they deserve. The songs are pumped full of that classic New York hip hop old school flavor, but that well-worn sound is tainted here by cynicism and a harder edge. The majority of the beats are dark and moody, which is a refreshing take on funk/soul inspired loops that tend to be more upbeat.

Del the Funky Homosapien and Tame One - Specifics

At times, like in the song above, the tone is almost reminiscent of The Cold Vein, if El-P had set his production sights on the 1970s as opposed to 2070.

In many ways, the album’s sound is an appropriately updated version of early 90s hip hop, without any cheesy gimmicks or lame digital effects, instead relying on incredibly proficient, classy production — a result achieved only through the combination of Parallel Thought’s atmospheric instrumentation and Del and Tame One’s timeless lyricism. It’s as much a trip down memory lane as it is a conscious assertion that neither of these rappers have fallen off.

10.27.2009

Demented and Sad

breakfast club weed1 Demented and Sad

Well, I don’t know if you were aware of this, but it’s about that time of night everybody.

10.27.2009

Move Zig on the dance floor

Apparently Sweden is now exporting rappers in addition to gummy confections in the shape of fish. At first I was all like, “them Swedes need to be sticking to what they know,” but then I saw this video for Pato Pooh’s “Follow Me,” featuring fellow Swedish emcee, Adam Tensta. The production is the bomb, and the video certainly plays along. Follow me?

If you’re part of the generation of manchildren who got their first erection while playing as Chun Li in Street Fighter II, this video will probably resonate pretty strongly. And if not, it probably still will — it might not be a fresh bag of Swedish Fish, but it’s easily the most insane-in-a-good-way rap video I’ve seen in a while, even if I don’t have a fucking clue who Pato Pooh is or why in god’s name he would ever consider calling himself that.