September 2010


Gut Rock

Admittedly, I don’t listen to, or really even have any awareness of The Hickey Underworld. It’s okay, you can revoke my hipster badge of honor; that doesn’t bother me all that much, surprisingly enough. Regardless, the Belgian metal band just put out a truly incredible video for their song “Blonde Fire” — fan or not, this is some seriously captivating work. Faint of heart take heed though, it’s a little disquieting. Actually, come to think of it, what the fuck are the faint of heart doing on this blog anyway? Scram, babies.

It’s very odd, which somehow I think was the intention. Mainly though, the video is just a fantastic piece of artwork. And if art can’t be controversial or otherwise shake up your sense of stasis, maybe it’s just not trying hard enough.


The hero dies in this one

When it comes to the arts, I’d say my strength really lies in sketches done in the margins of school notebooks of cartoons killing themselves. It’s a gift.

goons say die The hero dies in this one

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather… Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car. — Will Shriner

That’s all for now, folks. This move is kicking my ass, and I haven’t even done anything except watch my girlfriend pack boxes. But, that shit looks so bad it’s making me feel tired. Things may be a little bit touch and go for the next week, but I’m confident I’ll make it to my final destination unscathed, and not burnt to cinders by a fiery crash landing in the middle of a cornfield 100 miles from New York. Metaphorically speaking.


VA, my way, or the highway

Well, this is prehistoric by the Internet’s standards, but it’s still big news in the skateboarding chunk of cyberspace. Vincent Alvarez was turned pro for Chocolate earlier this week, and you’d have a hard time finding many who would argue with that decision. Dude is easily one of the most exciting up-and-comers today, manhandling obstacles at speed with a classic, free-flowing style. His career is exploding (in a good way, as are most explosions involved with skateboarding), and with a shot at being named SOTY this year, VA is quickly becoming a legend in his own time.

Here’s a clip Chocolate released in anticipation of Vincent’s pro announcement… which you’ve probably already seen, but it’s an enjoyable, laid-back clip and ain’t nobody telling me what to do on my own blog, ya heard?

Anyway, Vincent Alvarez also skates for Lakai, and while he might not yet be able to move a pro model shoe (at least not until the Chocolate video drops in 2025), did you know that I actually went pro for Lakai a couple years ago?

It’s true — this entire post was a thinly veiled excuse to stoke the flames heating my luke-warm street cred. You might not be aware of this, but I’m actually the cool-guy-extraordinaire who won the 2009 Lakai My Way contest with my colorway for their Telford model. Don’t I seem more attractive already? My muscles are bulging, just fyi.

lakai telford my way VA, my way, or the highway

I never actually skated a pair, since I prefer to skate in Vans that shred apart in the span of a couple weeks, but I will say they’re some of the most comfortable, and certainly the most waterproof, sneakers I’ve ever worn. Though, to be honest, I think the colors worked better as a concept. My inspiration was the terrain we skate — be it brick, concrete, or wood, hence the different materials used throughout the upper (weather-treated leather, suede, nubuck, and textured suede). Unfortunately, this works out to a pretty craze combination, that while aesthetically attractive, might not be that wearable in 2010, now that the whole neon hipster revivalist thing died out in favor of 20-somethings dressing like they’re old people from the 1950s.

Nonetheless, the original sample has long adorned my bookshelf, serving as a reminder to me of what I can accomplish should I choose to actually get off my ass on occasion. Plus, there’s a sort of strange gratification that comes from seeing something you designed turn up on eBay. I suppose it’s kind of like how bands must feel when they labor over a new record for over a year and then it gets leaked on the Internet a month before the release date, only less soul-crushing.


Red Oxides

In a sort of continuation of Monday’s photos, here’s some more grit and grime from around my neighborhood. It’ll take me a little while to work through my backlog of Chi-Town photography, even though I’ll be bidding the Windy City adieu at the end of the week. Despite how much I’ve wrestled with living here, particularly during the harsh winters, there is a lot I find myself feeling nostalgic about already. And you won’t find any of it in a tourism pamphlet.

smiley face construction barricade Red Oxides

happy birthday balloons Red Oxides

Looks like a kickin’ party venue. So exclusive, there isn’t even a way in.

Anybody else feel like planes flying around with a banner behind them are the absolute worst form of advertising ever? By “worst”, I mean most ineffective. Trying to read them usually involves blinding yourself to some degree, and that’s only if you happen to notice something’s flying around aimlessly up there. And no, I’m not just bitter after blowing two months’ pay on that Dedleg skywriting experiment.

plane with banner spiderweb in box Red Oxides

rusted lock Red Oxides

In a couple of these shots, you can start to get a sense of the complete arachnid takeover that occurred here this summer. Spiders were everywhere — that is not hyperbole. Literally, entering the outside world meant coming into contact with spiderwebs on a constant basis. Mosquitoes on the other hand? Not a problem.


Familiar Frontiers

This is a really short documentary about renowned surf photographer Mickey Smith, called “The Dark Side of the Lens.” And it still would be worth watching without any story at all — the images are just incredibly beautiful. But, the narrative is fantastic in its own right and aptly enriches all of the breathtaking footage.

We all take knocks in the process. Broken backs, drownings, near drownings, hypothermia, dislocations, fractures, frostbite, headwounds, stitches, concussions, broke my arm — and that’s just the last couple years.

A fairly intimidating list of occupational hazards, to be sure — and yet the gravity of those injuries seems almost small in contrast to the stunning power of the ocean, the enormity of some of those waves, and the sheer awe that comes from submitting to nature’s raw power. Indeed, it may be impossible to truly document some of the true magic present in such adventures, but this short film does a hell of a job in the attempt.


Beer-thirty in the morning

Yesterday was pretty busy, between my impending move east and feeling just generally miserable, it was late before I finally got to my dearest Dedleg — so here’s a quick drawing in celebration of my most recent 13-hour hangover.

drinking beer makes you lean Beer thirty in the morning

Also, I wrote that introductory sentence before I actually finished the drawing and, truthfully, it wasn’t all that quick. But that’s pretty much par for the course around here.


Death of a Scooter Salesman


segway company owner dies Death of a Scooter Salesman

To be clear, this is not a headline from The Onion.

Don’t worry Jimi, you will live on in the hearts and wheels of millions.

gob segway Death of a Scooter Salesman


Welcome to Gotham

Peeling paint always looks great, that’s just a fact. This is another one of Chicago’s well-kept ‘el’ train overpasses.

peeling paint old light Welcome to Gotham

crustiness el train underpass Welcome to Gotham

No city’s crust is like another city’s crust. Farewell, old city’s crust.


Is there a ghost in my house?

Guy Mariano’s latest Girl ad is sick.

guy mariano girl Is there a ghost in my house?

Just callin’ ‘em like I see ‘em. Over and out.


He’s a chicken. A chicken. Coka, coka, coka, coh!

Is there a difference between fearlessness and just sheer stupidity? Sometimes yes, sometimes not. I’m not sure what the case is here.

Shit quality but geepers creepers this video made me anxious. Dude could have gotten his nose amputated or worse!

I guess I just can’t party like Mikey the Pikey parties.


Go shorty

So, it’s Dedleg’s barfday. We lasted for a year, guys! The Internet didn’t cancel us, sweet!

dedleg lockup Go shorty

In other news, we’ll be moving our global headquarters to Brooklyn, New York at the end of the month. Sorry to see you go Chicago, but I think I just increased this website’s relevancy by 50%.

Dedleg Season 1: Chicago
Dedleg Season 2: Brooklyn

This time it’s about to get really real.