December 2009


Come together to hate each other in the name of sport

Julian Casablancas’ video for Phrazes For The Young’s first single, “11th Dimension” released exclusively on the Internets on December 23rd, and if you haven’t seen it yet, consider it paying dues if you want to keep your place in the cool kid club.

Seriously though, it’s fucking awesome. The song is simple synth pop on the surface, but the lyrics are actually pretty insightful and then the video ratchets up the weirdness to all new heights. All told, it results in a fairly deep viewing experience, all things considered.

Although truthfully, I’m mostly just considering the fact that on television, the most you’re going to see of a music video is a thirty second clip at the end credits of whatever Laguna Beach spinoff MTV’s moved onto now. It was smart to release the video exclusively on the web, where it can be viewed in its entirety and actually appreciated… by fans of The Strokes, Mad Max and 80’s sci-fi anyway.


Int'l Goons Anthem

go on goon Intl Goons Anthem

That’s right — go forth, all ye merry hoodrats, scoundrels, and assorted scalawags, for this is your night. During the waking hours of the other 364 days of the year, you rightfully earn the title “goon” for your various antics, illegal and otherwise. But tonight, you are the champions. When all of the less experienced, half-stepping drinkers, tokers, and dosers that come out of the woodwork for New Year’s festivities are throwing up an hour after midnight, you’ll … well there’s a good chance you’ll be throwing up as well.

But the point is, for once, you’ll be in good company. In America, New Year’s Eve, much like Halloween, serves as an excuse for literally everyone (even the typically demure) to unleash their chained-up inner retard. Even if the urban bourgeois would normally resent your presence roaming the streets of “their” trendy neighborhoods, tonight they’ll probably be too drunk to notice you darkening their favorite bar’s doorstep with pot smoke.


Strictly for the love of the art

of enduring interest, quality, or style

Trends in skateboarding come and go all the time, and I’m not even talking about the crusty punk rock pirate look that was real big a couple years ago. Popular tricks and terrain are constantly shifting and changing. In the late 90s and early 2000s, it seemed like the only thing worth skating in the entire world was huge handrails. Now you’ve got mind-blowing parts coming out from kids like Mike Mo that have only one fairly routine handrail trick throughout the whole fucking thing. And nobody complains! In 2001 people would have called him a “fag”. Well… probably not, because anybody who thinks that part is bad, even if they were from the idiotic past, is, and will always be, fucking retarded.

Some trends come back, like bell bottoms or the flip-in, flip-out craze that marked early 90s SF street skating. And others, like pressure flips or slappy grinds have only just begun to escape skateboarding’s closet full of skeletons and reenter the slightly more respectable realm of “fun stupid shit.”

Nonetheless, there is a certain level of skateboarding that will always be cool. This video featuring Windsor James is what got me thinking of all this in the first place. It’s a perfect example — the trick selection may be incredibly simple, but focusing on fundamental tricks with textbook execution and style for miles will always be a winning formula, no matter what era in skateboarding it might be.

Cory Kennedy’s switch 180 front foot impossible may be jaw-dropping to behold, but it’s the flavor of the week. Style on the other hand? It doesn’t matter what trick you do — it’s timeless.


Popeye Burger

spinach cake Popeye Burger

Certain vegetarians always give “carnivores” a lot of shit because the food they eat is “sooo disgusting.” But, let’s be real here, vegetarians eat some pretty fucking weird shit too. Eating in general… kind of gross.

I await the machine apocalypse with open arms.


Sweep and Destroy

Nike’s obviously the most corporate of all the blue-blooded vampires attached to skateboarding’s gushing neck, but god damn if they don’t have a fucking incredible team. It’s like the Super Friends of skating.

This clearly points to my destiny — I must create a shoe brand all of my own, the fearsome (but mostly embarrassingly lame) Legion of Doom of skating, each member more useless and insipid than the last. The best part is, that would probably be incredibly easy to do. I mean, except for the whole producing sneakers part of it, but whatever… I’m a dreamer man, I don’t get hung up on small technicalities.

Anyway, Nike SB is going to be releasing to the web their new tour video, Don’t Fear The Sweeper, on January 11th. The trailer looks promising, and no doubt the video will live up to this potential considering Nike has a Scrooge McDuck sized pool full of gold coins hidden below their corporate headquarters.


The Usual Suspects

dedleg icons The Usual Suspects

It’s kind of like the Dedleg Brady Bunch. This season we have a special guest, everybody’s favorite vigilante… ladies and gentlemen: Casey fuckin’ Jones! Thanks for watching.


Stabbing Westward

Influential San Francisco skate brand Western Edition has been celebrating its 10th year of ripping for all of 2009 with various special events and releases. To cap it all off, they recently put out a video celebrating the anniversary and it’s about 10 years worth of awesome crammed into about 10 minutes.

To me, Western Edition is the total package. They might not be one of those revered A-List companies like Alien Workshop or Girl, but they’ve more than earned their place among skateboarding’s hallowed brands. You could never really question WE’s dedication to the culture — they are as legit and down-to-earth as crews come.

western edition miles davis quintet Stabbing Westward

Western Edition, Miles ’59 Quintet Series

Between their roster of talented and innovative (yet under-appreciated) street technicians, and their commitment to putting out absolutely beautiful board graphics (see above), it’s hard to complain about Western Edition — except maybe that they’re not more popular. By the same token, WE wouldn’t be the same without that fundamental, core skater appeal. You won’t find their product in any mall shops, but the lifers will still remember Western Edition after another 10 years regardless.

At the very least, I’m going to remember this pop shove-it. Perfection.

john igei chicago Stabbing Westward

John Igei, pop shove-it in Chicago - photo by Frank Verges

P.S. Call it a pop “shuvit” all you want, YouTube morons, but it won’t make it right. Leave the shitty spelling for the X-Games.


Chicago Bump

snow bus Chicago Bump

Pointless FYI: the sort of “glow” coming off the bus in that photo is due to the very technologically sophisticated waterproof case surrounding the camera. If you’re into photography and want to be able to shoot in the rain and snow with relative ease, definitely consider picking one up. They look something like this:

ziploc bag Chicago Bump

Also — and this is a practically unrelated question considering you can barely see the street in that photo — how is it that Chicago has some of the highest taxes in the entire country and all the streets look like they were hit with an aerial bombing? Or is this just skate-stopping 2.0?

Between the frozen tundra this place becomes in the Winter and everything else that sucks about this city (i.e. almost everything), it’s amazing to me that it’s the 3rd biggest in the country. Sure is a great town to get shitfaced and fight over sports in though.


Chillin and coolin just like a snowman

For the record… this is the true meaning of Christmas, in case you forgot:

Ah, old school rap — the gift that keeps on giving.


Season's Greedings

were coming for yule Seasons Greedings

And you’d better have some figgy pudding ready when we get there, bitch.


Mouth Jewelry

jaws Mouth Jewelry

Richard Kiel as Jaws

Jaws was one of the finest living cartoon characters to ever cross James Bond. Dude may have been a little bit implausible as villainous henchmen go, what with his whole inexplicable super strength that allows him to bite through cable car cables. It was the metal teeth you say? Sorry girl, them shits is for show, that’s all. Home boy was just flossin.

Got 30 down at the bottom, 30 mo at the top, all invisible set in little ice cube blocks. If I could call it a drink, call it a smile on da rocks. If I could call out a price, let’s say I call out a lot. — Nelly

Little known fact: Nelly wrote “Grillz” with Jaws as inspiration. And, you know, I ain’t dissin’ nobody but let’s bring it to the light — Jaws was the first with his mouth bright white.

Don’t worry, his teeth will protect him in the crash. And that’s why you should send a letter to your Senator demanding why we can’t fit impenetrable titanium grills for every last soldier in the bloated defense budget.