Saturday, May 31, 2008

AVS #4 | "Fully Flared", Lakai (2007)

For the seasoned journalist, there's no feeling like getting the scoop. After rounds and rounds of minutious fact checking, I am today in the position to reveal that Lakai shoes released a video. Fully Flared, it’s called. I know. Nobody’s heard about it yet, it’s some kind of secret project. Anyway, on a more serious note, what needs to be dissected that hasn’t been? Heated debates have been the rage on the web, scrutinizing the pros and cons of, among others, slow-mos, musical choices, angles, and mid-air farts.
In this maelstrom of opinions, only one thing stands for sure : if everybody feels the need to give it their two cents, it’s a strong sign that FF won’t know the tragic kind of future that, say, Airwalk’s Skateboarding Video ’96 did. A true cornerstone, then. Music-wise too? According to Guy Mariano -who loves his two Band Of Horses songs, thank you very much-, the whole process came naturally. “Ty played all these songs on tour, without telling us they were the ones he had in mind for it”. And even though some Aaron Meza input was alas lost, there are definitely three albums worth acquiring from the XXIst century’s Hokus Pokus. Remember, this feature ain’t no video review, more so just what a future Pulitzer Price of Investigative Journalism believes to be the three classic albums that you should own from it, in order to build the ultimate skate video nerd sonic library.
(click on the cover, see the part)

Bad Brains : Banned In DC
Tune used : Don’t Bother Me
(Anthony Pap
It takes a certain kind of skater to handle Bad Brains. Imagine Chris Fissel backed by Slayer… Chris who? Kids, if you only knew... In Pop’s case, the choice proves perfect to accompany his fast and furious balance of tech and simple tricks. The album the tune itself comes from, Banned in DC, is such a classic that purchasing it is a no-brainer –this one was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize of Awesome Puns too.
This compilation of early material came out out of the blue in 2003 as comprehensive surprise, after years and years of chaotic moves from a band that started good, though, in 1979, right after the intricate jazz band Mind Power discovered punk-rock and decided to change name in honor of a Ramones song (Bad Brain).
Pappalardo-wise, it’s not the first time Don’t Bother Me was released. The track was part of the Black Dots album too (1996), an earlier effort at compiling original Bad Brains music, built around the same low-fi 1979 hits (Attitude, Don’t Need It, Pay To Cum…). Which one to choose now? Hard to say. HR’s fake cockney accent on some of the Black Dots tunes is priceless, while Banned In DC includes the crucial Sailin’On. Both sound good, just add 1986’ I Against I and the OG 1982 self-titled LP, maybe dabble with some of their oeuvre until 1989’s Quickness –not only for Ryan Fabry’s Don’t Blow No Bubbles in Plan B’s Questionable.
Later stuff is more risqué, bearing in mind that HR’s antics never helped, and that Lil John invited Dr Know, Daryl Jenifer and Earl Hudson on his tune Real Nigga Roll Call. Crunk and positive harcore music hand to hand? Now that’s some PMA.

Judas Priest:
Screaming For Vengeance

Tune used : Riding on the Wind
(Mike Carroll)

Hesh or fresh? How about both? If the Gino/Guns’n’Roses combo worked once, could it be reproduced ? It took four years, until Fully Flared, to obtain a definite answer to this Kafkaian, haunting question. “Yes,” Mike Carroll’s part replied, to the second tune of Judas Priest’s eighth album that’s not unfamiliar to skateboarding : its artwork got used first for a Kelly Bird board on Real. “No doubt the most memorable of all my graphics” Kelly states, “and I’ll never forget when I saw Carroll on the cover of Slap wearing the shirt. No royalty check would ever amount to the personal value of that cover for me.” Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, this is most probably why Jamie Thomas re-used it on a deck years later…
Anyway, back to all things evil, up until the 1986, synth-plagued Turbo album, it’s safe to say that Judas Priest were the true metal gods, beating Maiden by a (permed) hair. Partially because it’s at one of their shows that the pinnacle of mulleted splendor, the Heavy Metal Parking Lot documentary, was filmed, and also because Rob Halford’s band had to go to this ridiculous trial for supposed subliminal messages in one of their songs, not Maiden. Two major plusses, not to mention Halford’s heroic on-stage Harley accident.
For all these scientific reasons, Judas Priest wins. Not by much, though. Maybe if they had got a cease-and-desist from Gene Simmons (Kiss) for using a patented face make-up paint pattern, as King Diamond did –confirmed by Simmons on his website- the victory would have been more undisputable.

Silence of The lambs (soundtrack)
Tune used : Goodbye Horses
by Q Lazzarus (Marc Johnson)

“There is so much violence and obscurity within the walls of Goodbye Horses. It is what the world would be listening to on a Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war, only if the Nazis had good taste. This song rivals every other song ever known to man”, somebody claiming to be one-hit wonder Q Lazzarus herself modestly states on her MySpace regarding her1991 tune. “I feel creepy just listening to it”, ‘Q’ adds. Not because of MJ’s award-winning part. More because it accompanied serial killer Buffalo Bill’s awkwardly onanistic dance in front of his mirror in Silence of the Lambs. Please note that director Jonathan Demme must have some sort of complicated fetish with Goodbye Horses, for he used it already in Married To The Mob, three years before… But that’s not the point.
The important thing is that Q Lazzarus, a former NYC cab driver, has reached mythical status by performing a disappearance of Jed Walteresque proportions, while some of her former band members are still around to confirm that, yes, she’s real. But that’s about it. To get this unsettling great track, only two options : either go the intellectual route by purchasing the Silence of The Lambs soundtrack (it features Tom Petty and Savage Republic too), or go the parodic way by getting Clerks 2’s. As Fully Flared incidentally, it showcases King Diamond’s talent. Yet counter-balanced by a Samantha Fox joint, though.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Screen memory | Tom Knox

Ever since his part to Motorcycle Psycho in Risk It, it would have felt weird, for some reason, if Tom Knox had been, say, into Usher. A big psycho/punk connoisseur, he took some time off his multi-tasking life (training for his Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, as he already got a black one in judo, part-time structural aircraft ingeneer, drummer, pro skater too by the way) to share a little playlist. Can't be flamenco every time, people.
(click on the titles to see clips)
5 bad-ass standup bass songs that would sound good in a skate video | by Tom Knox

1. Hank III: Straight to Hell
"Because this is where skaters are going!"

2. Reverend Horton Heat: Big Sky
"The opening riff gets you pumped."

3. Cacti Widders: The White Whale
"A song about being on the road in a shitty van, something skater can relate to."

4. Stray Cats: Rock This Town
"Classic bass line in a song about tearing up the town."

5. Tiger Army: Never Die
"Something skaters will never do!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This means (no) business

Hey sorry I just skipped a week, I'm on an excellent NYC adventure right now, so I'll post some more stuff in a week or something. That's leaving you some time to learn flamenco guitar, right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Screen memory | Daniel Lebron

Some time in 1996, the skate shop we were hanging out at in Montpellier (France) received some super ghetto, home made posters for a random contest in Llerida (Spain). Back then there weren't really any Euro mags around, barely any internet access amongst our circles, so we didn't know anything about the Spanish scene. Were there even skaters there? We had no clue. The contest had some prize money, cool, so some people in our crew -I won't "poucave" any names- developed definite bounty hunter thoughts about it. The only problem? There was a bit of an obstacle between the loot and our elite's grandeur dreams. Once we reached basically, and I've been to all the Munsters and the Radlands, we witnessed the most amazing street course destruction I've ever seen. EVER. It got stormed by then unknown names such as Javier Sarmiento, Sem Rubio, Marcelino Castro, Alex Castaneda, Pablo Dominguez, Raul Retamal. Daniel Lebron was there too, I think. Or maybe he wasn't, but I just wanted to share one of these humbling moments that life teaches you sometimes. Anyway. As you might know by now, Dani is also a really good flamenco guitar player. Here's the playlist qui va avec...
5 flamenco tunes that would
sound good in a skate video | by Daniel Lebron

1. Paco de Lucia: La tumbona
Listen to it here, but don't buy from them

2. Paco de Lucia: Entre dos aguas

Check the 1976 video here

3. Camaron: Romance de la luna
You think it's a video, but it's ony the tune, right here

4. Camaron: La leyenda del tiempo
Musical slideshow, this way

5. Vicente Amigo: Ciudad de las ideas

Better than Live After Death, aqui

Friday, May 2, 2008

Freedom ads | Le informeur de la police

Being a big fan of the Police Informer blog, here's my contribution to ad nostalgia, it's a pretty honest look at how French mags rolled circa 1992. Recipe for fast art directing an ad in Anyway mag : when two US pros (Kareem and Dune in this case) would come over, the distributor would take the second-choice photos from the tour article, lay them out with a priceless hand-drawn font plus all the mandatory shout-outs to the shops that helped along the way, et voilà. Not quite Supra ad budget. Scans courtesy of Mikesquad, a damn fine cartoon artist from Bretagne, and stuck in the early '90s skateboarding-wise...

And no, there's absolutely no link to music in skateboard videos on this one. I can stretch it by flaunting the Stereo/Chris Pastras/Visual Sound correlation maybe.