a skateboard culture quarterly.
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don’t condone, nor celebrate drug use, but I’m not against people using them if that’s what they want to do. There are a lot worse, non-self-inflicting things in this world, and while drugs can certainly ruin people’s lives, there have been some great successes in the outcome from drug use.
The best music from our parents and grandparents’ generation was written and produced under some kind of external influence. Pet Sounds, Highway 61 Revisited, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, The ‘Dead… and even The Beatles! In the early 60s bands such as the Rolling Stones would inevitably acquire residencies at places like hotel bars, to earn money during the early stages of their careers. These gigs would require the musicians to play for seemingly endless hours. While most of the set-list was well known covers of classics and songs from the time, if they were good enough the band could slip in a song of their own every now and again. They were playing songs composed by the best in the game so their own work had to stand up with seamless transition from the songs of their contemporaries. to their own. Bands had a lot to live up to if they were ever going to be taken seriously and they worked for it, eventually contributing to the progression of music and rock and roll. It’s arguable that many of these bands may not have written and performed as they did without “a little help from their friends”.
In skateboarding on the other hand, the best moves have been landed while clean and sober. Morgan Smith 60 is an athlete; he is trained, fit, and ready for anything. Of coarse there is Danny Way and Tony Hawk—but lets not state the obvious. Mark Gonzales is a naturally farout dude, without need for any creative enhancing substances. In this issue Rick McCrank, another drug and alcohol free being, interviewed Pacific North-West skater Silas Baxter-Neal and talked about gypsies, poetry and politics 98. We dove into New York City and pulled out a selection of psychedelic sounds currently recording in the five boroughs. Photographer Dan Siney took it off shore with an under-water fashion story titled Age of Aquarius 84. The highlighting of today’s psychedelic energies is unavoidable with a rise of people eager to embrace their inner zeal for the indefinite. A short five years ago when I decided to publish a skateboard culture magazine, it wasn’t without good company or some hefty shoes to fill. While the idea wasn’t to take over anyone’s legacy, there was a clear void to be filled in the realm of skateboarding as a culture vs. skateboarding as a sport. It would take a lot of will and ambition to set out as an independent publisher and would require a bit of a push. That push was found behind a board rolling over concrete and has continued to initiate each issue. This is our twentieth issue and the vibes are superlative. We made it. Proudly, we present to you our Platinum Issue. Trip out. Sandro Grison, founding editor/publisher
contributing writer Over the past few years Joni ’s been investigating the effects of flux by spending time in Vancouver, Brooklyn, Amsterdam, Montreal and Las Cruces, New Mexico, among other places. Her writing has appeared in various publications in Canada and the US and her sound pieces have been broadcast across North America and Europe, most recently on the London based radio station Resonance FM. If you ran into her at a bar she’d probably tell you something amazing and far fetched about her current obsessions: survivalism, string theory, and Sun Ra. Joni reviews Geoffry Farmer’s show on 40.
contributing photographer DS: got any ideas for my “Dan Siney is a so and so and such a thing...” for the mast head in COLOR mag? Wanna write it? All I want to say is “Dan Siney is older than usual today and lives in his underwear.” Jason McLean: dan --he has no teeth and a glass eye dan i knew dan from the old country he ust’ to darn my socks now he’s living in my meatcabin in my brother farm i’m not much of a writter writer i knew dan when times were simple i once saw dan eat a olive ina weird way did you know dan once helped give birth on my farm hows that sound? DS: Perfect
writer/photographer We asked Dylan Thorstenson for a bio and what he’s been up to lately. He sent us this: The past year has been an observation, mostly a star gaze, questioning the skies and their reflections. Oceans lie as vain mirrors to the stellar bodies. The magic of history, maybe looking for a constellation no one has seen before. Talking to everything. Just checking it all out. Happily now, after a few expansive wanderings there’s a reopening of an unused eye and the grand scale comes to a comfortable balance. A life full of circles. We think/hope he is going to be okay. Perhaps this Psychedelic Issue thing was a bad idea. 18
KATINA DANABASSIS contributing writer A native of Saskatoon, Katina moved to Vancouver after hop-scotching back and forth across the country. She is currently studying languages and social sciences and is working towards a degree in English or Journalism. For this issue Katina used her anthropological skills to document the inner workings of the Pender Beach house 80.
guest writer Rick fucking rules. But then, you probably already know that. I will tell you this: we sure appreciate him coming through with his Silas Baxter Neal interview 98 in the nick of time, not to mention getting us his inciteful HAIKU title as the last few grains fell through the hour glass of production. I will also tell you this: he has a hot tub, and it is hot. He has also learned of the international appeal of a good cup of coffee. I used to think he was a bit of a pussy, but he seems to be manning up. Thanks again, buddy. We really owe you one.
contributing photographer Tadashi is 100% skateboarder with an unconditional love for mini ramp and a big smile for pretty much everyone. He’s been living in the “Lower Bottoms” of West Oakland for the past 2 years is always hungry and will never turn down free food. Other key words that describe him would be, penny pinching, sarcastic, fast eater, ready to go, motivated, word mumbler, name forgetter, bad speller, and stays true to any promise. Tadashi shot the Oakland city feature on 68.
guest writer Max is 35, straight, 5’9” but look 5’13” He is skateboarder first, motorcycle builder second (maybe). He beat Tony Hawk in a contest once (in Europe but supposedly he was going through a divorce at the time). Max has lived in Oakland for more than two decades and has what Gabe Morford calls a “short fuse”. He enjoys painting, welding, folk music, Waylon, and photography but he don’t wear his sister’s pants. Max wrote about his hometown for our city feature on 68.
guest typographer Multi-Dimensional. Embrace it. Love it. More Material. All Feeling. Epxreiemantl Ednaeovrs. Free Flowin’ Forever. More Slow Dances. Tomorrow is Another Way. 1984. Los Angeles. NoStyle. Diagrammatic Nomads Across Neon Soil. Timelessness. Everything Everyday. No More. No Less. Apple Dracula Lips. Cross-Hatching Smiles. Heather. Organic Upbringings. Things Change. Transcend Reality. Streamlining Melodies. Escape the Ozone. DeMystify it. Good Vibes. TGIF. Ashkahn Made it [titles this issue]. Don’t Stop.
Danny Garcia, Kicikflip. Photo: Atiba
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Bobby Puleo gets trippy, up and over with a kickflip shot by our boy Jonathan Mehring.
56 THE SHAPE OF PSYCH TO COME. 84 AGE OF AQUARIOUS. There’s no question of the variance in musical stylings coming out of the west vs. that from the east—there just might have been some questions of “who”. That is until now... well, this issue we’re doing our part by highlighting a handful of interesting groups from the boroughs of New York City right now whose psychedelic sounds—be it meditative, dark, or totally tripped out dub reggae via feminist post-punk. Saelan Twerdy deconstructs some of these sounds from bands; Blues Control, Invisible Conga People, Rings, Telepathe and points you in the right direction to get lost in an inestimable sea of new psych.
The play of ghost and fake, low budget facades. The discussion of what’s really real and what’s really far-out are all things addressed in Vancouver-based artist Geoffery Farmer’s work. His recent show at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is reviewed by Joni Murphy aiming to expand your mind when you read and digest Farmer’s work.
It’s not often that a fashion editorial is labeled here as a feature, and it’s not ever that fashion is really featured in a skateboard magazine in any form. Well whatever shape you’d like to throw at it, this liquid story will most definitely fit the mold. Photographer Dan Siney came out from his shell to bring (us and) you a deep conversational piece presenting this summer’s best fashions, soaking in physchedlia.
60 MORGAN SMITH.
There’s nothing subtle about having the title for “longest backside tailslide”, or riding for a company as famed as Blind Skateboards. This amateur Ontario native isn’t one to waste time, and isn’t in a hurry to jump ship either. He’s skateboarding now, and he’s doing it well. Here you witness the fittness of another understated expert in the field of nothing and everything all at once.
110 BURNING TRADITION
It’s not new to hear somebody say “we live in a digital age”. But it’s very true. Since the not too distant beginnings of this magazine  we’ve seen a surge of traditionalist photographers make the crossover to this age of mega-pixel. And while some photographers maintain the organic origins of photography from behind the digital lens, others—in their tastelessness will continue to over-manipulate and counterfeit their photos in postproduction. Lyon, France’s Fred Mortagne on the other hand chooses to destroy his work intentionally by burning his already precious film exposures the old fashioned way: match-in-hand.
Jan Kliever, nose manual during the Cliché Gypsy Tour, Geneva, 2004 photo by fred mortagne.
98 SILAS BAXTER-NEAL
76 a ROLLING PERSPECTIVE.
136 TATTERED TEN
Neo-hippie/professional skateboarder Silas Baxter-Neal was the first name-timesthree to come to mind when thinking of current high productive skaters to feature. As it turned out, reputable man about town Rick McCrank rather agreed with our choice and showed his support by taking the reigns as interviewer. If you take a really deep breathe you can read the whole thing before having to release it again, but we don’t advise it. Also, don’t hold your breathe if you’re betting this will be the last you hear of Mr. Baxter-Neal. His skating trancends nations.
We asked skaters to shoot a photo of themselves from their rolling perspective. A selection of these unique self-portraits have been broken into a three-part art crawl (or roll) traveling across the country during the next six months. We pulled a few prints off the shelf for you to see what kicks push these guys’ wood.
HELTER/SHELTER: PENDER BEACH
This issue we paid a visit to the former habitat of Sheldon Meleshinski. He would be the one face in the Pender house [Vancouver] who you might recognize. The others are probably for the better that you don’t. The hippy, the thief, the tremor, the man upstairs, the brothers and the ‘other guy’ are all in good company with Katina Danabassis taking notes on the havoc that remains.
In lieu of debauchery, we bring you the poetry insight and current stylings by Gershon Mosely.
8 intro, 9 contributors, 14 contents, 18 extra/random, 28 inspiration bound, 30 cmyk, 36 product toss, 48 anthrax, 54 contest, 68 city, 94 artisan, 118 fotofeature, 128 faces ‘n spaces, 130 last nite, 132 sound cheque, 134 trailer, 138 credits, 142 over and out.
words and photosby dylan thorstenson
oodoo, or African folk magic, is regarded today as superstitious nonsense. But many once believed and supported the teachings of this spiritual trickery, practiced in the southern states of America as little as thirty years ago. Black magic and spell casting have lost their once popular commercial value but I believe that certain aspects of them are still being unknowingly displayed in our skateboarding occulture.
One of Hoodoos most commonly used methods is the filling of a little flannel pouch called a conjure bag with different types of roots, herbs, spices, oils, soils, and other kinds of natural elements. These bags were also called mojo or trick bags. The purpose of these bags was to enhance one’s stature in society, gain love, earn money, or cause misfortune to others. Different colours of flannel meant different types of spells and the better packed bag of tricks you had the larger your chance of success was. When a man’s sack of ingredients began working for him he would declare to himself that his mojo was working. Muddy Waters sang about these conjure bags. Now we’ve all heard the saying in skateboarding about someone having a big “bag of tricks”, and it seems to me that it very much resembles the Hoodoo conjure bag in a mental form, which, I think the conjure sacks mainly were: a mental reinforcement of ones desires. When a black magician wished to apply his mojo bag he would conceal it in his pocket and go to find a job if work is what he desired, or, if he desired a woman, he would hide it in or around her house so that it would work its magic on her. Although it was usually the women who would use the love conjures. This seems to be the same as when a skateboarder desires to film a video part for recognition or if he’s already professional, to spread influence of his company onto others. The skater will imagine his conjure bag of tricks and apply it to the streets in order to somehow benefit from it. Skaters have also been referred to as magicians which doesn’t seem like too much of a coincidence at this point. The wizardry is the ability to mentally conjure up a bag of tricks in order to gain money, respect, love, or just self-esteem. There were spells to cure depression and raise confidence. The most powerful spells used trick bags containing simple ingredients that were gathered and applied in a very precise manner. There is one spell where the practitioner must fill his bag with red pepper, salt, and graveyard dirt. Three easily found ingredients, although the graveyard dirt had to be taken from directly over the heart of a grave of a loved one. Once the dirt is taken the magician must not look back at the graveyard or doubt the spell’s power in any way. Any insecurities in the procedure cause the spell to fail. This is just like in skating where a well executed simple trick can have the most influence. This is what Hoodoo seeks to do. Beneficial influence. This is also what a skateboarder must seek to do, influence himself, his peers, or his pockets. The skater too must not look back at the trick he has just layed or its effects will be minimal. I believe that wherever there are tricks there is magic and I think that skateboarding has plenty of both.
Photo: Vincent Skoglund
THE B ALAN C E O F OP P OS IT E S VO LU ME 01 | C H A P T ER 0 6 LEO ROMERO IS ON HIS OWN TRIP Leo’s definitely a lone wolf; not that he cares anything about that. As much as he tries to stick to the trip agenda, there have been times when he’ll go MIA along a road trip—you see, every opportunity that Leo has to ride his bike, he will. It wouldn’t matter if it were clear across the country, he’d prefer to ride solo. Yeah there are the occasional Leo sightings on the road from time to time but they don’t last long. Leo likes to travel at his own pace...fast.
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AVANT GARDE MAGAZINE
PASSPORT TO TRESPASS VOL III
From January 1968 to the Summer of 1971, the infamous Ralph Ginzburg edited Avant Garde Magazine, for which Herb Lubalin designed the typeface. This magazine is obviously no longer in production but it had some really great illustration, articles about everyone from Gustav Klimt to Picasso, and other content like lithographs by Picasso and John Lennon. To this day Avant Garde is used in design classrooms all over the world as an example of perfection. More than half of the magazine’s content was about or referencing eroticism, and it was defenetly not for children. To the not so literary its used as a platform for creative design projects, the kind of inspirational eye candy that makes you feel so, so useless and uninteresting. Avant Garde magazine makes me want to do something! —mila franovic
The Castle & The Kingdom is the story of the constant traveler. One who roams not far from home, while steadily on the move. A landscape-format, self-published book of photography showing over 100 Polaroids by Mikael Kennedy.
ralph ginzburg (avant-garde media inc.)
chisty lange, michael fried, and joel sternfeld (phaidonpress inc.) Stephen Shore should need no introduction, he started shooting at age 6, when he was 14, the MOMA bought three of his prints, and at age 23 he was the first living photographer to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With this book, Phaidon offers the first comprehensive overview of one of the world’s most influential photographers. The book’s extensive illustrations include several unpublished images including his early conceptual work, and photographs from his three-year study of Andy Warhol’s Factory. Of Shore’s vision, co-writer (and uh, fucking incredible photographer in his own right) Joel Sternfeld writes, “What may ultimately be at stake in his pictures is the pure condition of sight itself.” —dylan doubt PHAIDON.COM
LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE: A JOURNEY TO THE END OF TASTE
mikael kennedy (interrupt art)
Photos are duplicated in actual size and scale, presented on white with a minimal design that goes beyond most books which might attempt the same aesthetic. You won’t find page numbers here (but if you are counting, it’s 68 in total). They are small paintings that seemingly glide you into a universe through the perspective of a seer. The last night spent in Vermont, a voyage by train from New York to New Jersey, travels from North Carolina to Tennessee, birds in Brooklyn, friends in dark spaces… all of these containing a sense of aloneness with contentment. “The Men in my Family” is a particularly seductive set of personal photography. “There are things you begin to forget when you’ve been here this long” Kennedy writes as a caption for a spread in his new book. There is few of these brief captions to accompany Kennedy’s photos, speaking volumes for the places where they’re absent. With the recent endangerment and unavoidable extinction of Polaroid film stocks, I hope to see a lot more of these keepsakes surfacing in the not too distant future. —sandro grison
carl wilson (continuum)
THE PEYOTE CULT
weston la barre (schocken books) Compiled from research based around psychotropic desert drugs, this publication is an anthropological study of the Mexican and American Indian mind-altering rituals. Written by Weston La Barre during the early part of the twentieth century, the information contained was learned first hand by exposing himself to the spiritual North American Indian culture in the Rio Grande Valley. Included along with La Barre’s notes are two supplemental texts by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, adding much food for thought to the acidheads and radical cultists involving themselves with these rituals. Not to mention all the drawings to aid you along your psychedelic journey. —gordon nicholas
You might have come across the 33&1/3 series before. It’s Continuum Press’s neat little series of books devoted to single albums and usually written by notable music writers or musicians. Obviously, this kind of thing is pretty nerds-only, but if you like Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, David Bowie’s Low, or The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique enough to read a whole book about the album, then 33&1/3 is your gold mine. Up until now, most of these books have been all about praise and obsession: the authors write about why they love these albums, what’s so great about them, how they were made; that sort of thing. Carl Wilson (the music editor for Canada’s biggest national newspaper) is taking a different route. His book is wholly devoted to Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love, an album that he doesn’t like. In fact, he claims that, prior to starting the book, he had never even met anyone that liked it. As it turns out, the book isn’t about Celine as much as it’s about the forces that drive taste in the first place. He explains cases of critically-reviled artists with millions of fans as not necessarily a case of public bad taste, but of differing values within different fields of power relations. If his book is about anything, it’s about democracy. It’s uniquely ambitious for a little volume that fits in your pocket, but so was The Communist Manifesto. Highly recommended.
REVISIONARIES: A DECADE OF ART IN TOKION ed. ken miller (harry abrams)
As the title says, this is a compilation of works by artists who have been featured in Tokion or just associated with it in some way. Editor Ken Miller says “the common bond among all of the artists you see here is that we have found their work inspiring and amazing in some way”. Of course not all artists who have graced the pages of the magazine managed to make it into the book, but with 90 artists each getting a 2 page spread devoted to their work as well as a short interview, there’s still plenty to look at. —jennifer macleod
—saelan twerdy RANDOMHOUSE.COM
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A shoelace was all you needed, until jeans started coming “pre-laced”, and you had to rethink your whole kit. Luckily there is a plethora of reliable options to keep your pants up, and your reputation intact.
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[ o ] DUYM
Feb 8th to April 20, 2008
wordsby joni murphy
rder is power” Henri Frédéric Amiel said. Order, we’re also told, is the other side of chaos, just as we’re told that amateur is the flip side of professional and casual the opposite of formal. Yet, despite our best efforts, most of human life exists in the vast grey zones that lie between all our tidy oppositions. In a way, the Geoffrey Farmer survey exhibition is an expansive visual play in this zone of sliding scales. His work is often ordered chaos. Farmer might best be described as a messy formalist who casually explores serious matters (or perhaps he is seriously exploring casual matters). The artist presents himself as a professional amateur trying to get at such grand ideas as all of human history using simple materials like post-it notes and large quantities of scotch tape.
If you think I exaggerate consider “The Last Two Million Years” (2007). This piece consists of an expansive diorama addressing that time span, which Farmer constructed using only images cut from a Readers Digest book by the same name. Throughout one whole room of the museum, little paper men and women, animals, monsters and gods struggle up tiny stairs and across precarious bridges. Unmoored from the comfortably chronological flat space of the book, the artist reorganizes them according to a more personal system. The piece is both flimsy and impressive, perhaps impressive because of its flimsiness. In cutting apart the book Farmer evokes chaos, but by taping the figures extracted from it again he creates a new order. You might ask whether it is he or Readers Digest who are more absurd for trying to summarize such a mind boggling amount of time. 40
Back when I lived in Vancouver and outof-town friends would wax poetic on the beauty and famed health of the city, I was inevitably compelled to point to its dark side, its shadow self. At the time I was annoyed by this tension between Lululemon yoga bums and track marked forearms, movie studio back-lots and the Robert Pickton pig farm. After some time away I’ve come to terms with the fact that both sides of the Vancouver image, West 4th and the Downtown Eastside are at once real places and imaginary ones. Farmer, perhaps more successfully than many other Vancouver artists, really gets at this state between the real and imaginary, the seemingly wholesome and the seemingly corrupt. Two things that show Farmer’s fascination this in-between state are the reappearance of ghost figures and facades throughout his
work. The idea of ghosts and movie scenery are in some ways quite similar. A movie set is meant to appear solid onscreen but in person often proves hollow and illusory. Ghosts are thought of as pure spirit, removed from the substance and weight of the physical body. Both in some way speak to the disconcerting spaces that consistently pop up in Vancouver. In Farmer’s work, there is little difference between a kid wearing a sheet over his head, a CGI-perfect movie poltergeist, and an unshakable feeling of real dread. The idea of ghost, play, and movie simulation come together most directly in an arrangement of objects in the first main room of the show. A very real seeming trailer on one side of the room looms over an awkward figure in long skirt and old fashioned blouse. The museum text tells us that this
arrangement refers to an experience where the artist “witnessed an accident in which a woman was struck and crushed by a semitrailer”. But even without knowing about this incident the viewer is struck by the trailer’s appearance as misplaced and uncomfortably large. It is not just the female figure that seems small in comparison. The huge trailer is at once a completely common vehicle and something potentially lethal. From this set of ideas it is reasonable to imagine that every trailer scattered around Vancouver for various movie shoots should take on a sinister edge. While Farmer builds up these ideas he also undercuts them. Walking up close to “Trailer” and peaking underneath the edge reveals it as a convincing fake like so many movie sets. It is hollow and empty without a floor or a roof. It is pure facade.
images courtesy of the artist and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
*“You have a dream? A dream that haunts you? You gotta haunt that bitch back man...” Another much more subtle piece, almost to the point of almost invisibility, also plays with idea of ghost and fake quite successfully. The long hallway leading to the large exhibition room of the museum is usually marked by three white columns, plain and quite easy to ignore. For this exhibit though it is worthwhile to take a careful look at the mysterious yet seemingly integrated forth column, because it is not quite what it seems. Circling the column unmasks it as a cheap facade, a low budget mystery movie set piece complete with a little step inside and two cut out eye-holes that allow the stealthy viewer to spy on other gallery
goers. Stepping into the body sized tube is at once a silly joke and an oddly effective means of disappearing in space. The artist gives the viewer the chance to hide and seek in a public space. In this show Farmer plays a number of such tricks. The show as a whole is serious and playful at the same time, haunted and haunting, messy and tight. Satisfyingly, it is a bit like a real ghost hiding beneath a movie set sheet.
*From a song by the same name by Montreal musician Brendan Reed MINERVA.SIMONS-ROCK. EDU/~BREED/INTRO.MP3
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In the old days, you had to rely on your beautiful (naked) hippie girlfriend to do all your tie-dye for you. Now all you have to do, is go down to your local independant skate shop and pick up one of these trippy tees. Ah, progress... 46
1. RVCA mens va splat 2. FOURSTAR mens prem safari 3. SPITFIRE mens big head 4. ALMOST mens cry wolf
5. VANS womens classic print 6. LRG mens sachmosis 7. ELEMENT X THE MOUNTAIN mens 8. SIX PACK FRANCE mens cinetic spiral
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“a ROLLING PERSPECTIVE” SHOW
‘ZINE CONTEST WINNER
Etnies in association with Color Magazine presents “a Rolling Perspective.” We put out the call for submissions of self-portraits by skateboarders, photographers, and artists, shot as they look down at their board and the moving ground underneath them. Over 200 entries were received including submissions from Mark Appleyard, Dave Carnie, and Mikey Taylor. In the next 6 months a Rolling Perspective traveling photo exhibit will be making a stop in a Canadian city near you (see 75). There are going to be multiple venues, but only one opening night in each city presenting photos from the exhibit, so you’ll have to cruise around to see them all.
He snuck it in under the wire, but it was well worth the wait. Josh Bradely of Delta, BC sent in a ‘zine that fit the exact specs requested and added some of his own twisted touches. He titled it “How To, Issue 1: Shit Art” and included an opening page that reads, “Proven to make horrible, senseless art cool again.” For putting in the effort, Josh gets the Volcom prize pack full of stuff that is neither horrible nor senseless. VOLCOM.COM
KINSEY X DESIGNARIUM Dave Kinsey, Color 5.5 feature artist, has partnered up with skateboard company Designarium to produce this limited edition deck. Nata Kaupas, owner of Designarium, sponsors artists rather than skaters to “explore and expand the culture and ideas that have made skateboarding as popular as it is today.” There were only 1000 of these hand-numbered decks made, but if you can’t find one you can always rock one of the Kinsey tees. MYSPACE.COM/DESIGNARIUMSKATEBOARDS
CONTROL Gab Ekoe, the newest member to join the Control team has been immortalized on this latest deck from the skateboard company. Congratulations Canada, you have a new pro! CONTROLMFG.COM
READER LETTER This was a response from a new subscriber to the mag when asked how they first heard about Color.
CREATURE X FIGHTING Who better than Canadians Niall McClelland and Lukas Geronimas to bring the dead to life for the latest limited release Creature deck, “Zombie Drummers from the Crypt”? You also get a massive book of oversized Creature/Fighting matches with the deck. Probably because the big matchbook makes it easier for the resurrected to light up. You never know if you’re going to come back from the dead with all your digits. SHEDOESNTLOVEYOUANYMORE.COM
You have no idea how many weird and wacky requests we get at this research university. It’s only due to the amazing skills of my borrowing librarian Donna that some of these items ever find their way to our users. Thanks, S. Head Librarian Good job Donna, I’m glad we can count on you to get the mag out to all our weird and wacky readers.
BRUNETTI TATTOO This photo by Erik Brunetti first ran on a postcard in 5.5. The words appear on the perfect spot for some deep, alone-time contemplation. Wondering where the words came from, one of our ever-industrious readers came through with this obscure piece of knowledge. Nate sent us an email to let us know that the words inked on Brunetti’s thigh are actually lyrics from the song “Last Will and Testament” by the English metal band Amebix. I guess there’s worse things to geek out on than metal lyrics. Way to go Nate. MYSPACE.COM/AMEBIXUK
YOU N G
at the new emericaskate.com!
crooked gr ind
B RAN DON WESTGAT E JAM IE TA NCOWNY JUSTIN FIG U E ROA MARQU IS PR ESTON
Timebomb Distribution: 604.251.1097 www.timebombtrading.com email@example.com
MARILYN MINTER DOES SUPREME Inspired by pornography and fashion photos, New York based artist Marilyn Minter’s work is achingly seductive, erotic, and thrilling. Her latest project is a collaboration with Supreme, designing 3 skateboard decks for the company with images that will arouse and entice many to covet every single one. Get your hands out of your pants and go get your own.
Geoff McFetridge and Yong-Ki Chang’s company “is about triggering the paradigm shift, about looking beyond the definitions of what skateboarding is, and what a skateboard is.” What better way to figure that out then to go back to the beginning. And that’s exactly what the two did when they came across a stack of deadstock boards and decided to fashion them into some throwback completes. Just because The Traveler is of limited availability doesn’t mean that it should be seen and not used. The Solitary arts crew says they “have no intention of creating boards for “getting beers” – these boards are for skating. These boards are aperitif’s, digestif’s and palette cleansers. They are in your carry on bag, under your table at Cafe de Flore and shredding Bronson ditch.” Dually noted. They also have some nice wheels for shredding too. The Drifters were the first offering with graphics printed on the inside and now you can also get the Black Eggs for a more mellow ride. Pick up some trucks, custom grip, hardware, buttons and stickers too and your Solitary Arts ensemble is complete. As an added bonus, all of their products are made in the good ‘ol state of CA.
When you rock this Stussy artist-series tee designed by Delta you’ll suddenly feel like battling some Autobots. STUSSY.COM
VIEWS TO MASTER
These two limited-edition Koston skateboards were designed by Andy Jenkins for Bono’s (RED) project. The idea behind (RED) is for consumers to be able to do some good while they shop for products that they would buy anyway. So if you can find these decks, buy them and feel good about where your money is going.
For the first time ever, an entire issue of Arkitip has been designed by someone from outside the magazine. The task was handed over to Wood Wood, the Danish design collective, because issue 44 also acts as the exhibition guide for the Highmath art show. The Berlin exhibit featured works by artists including Michael Leon, Ed Templeton, and Shepard Fairey. And to further expand your viewing pleasure, you also get a viewmaster and 3 discs when you order the magazine so you can browse the respected works in 3D. Ain’t technology amazing?
ELEMENT EDEN ADVOCATE In 2005, Element Eden decided to form a different kind of team, one composed of artists, djs, poets, designers, and activists. In the last issue of Color we featured the work of one of the advocates, artist Tiffany Bozic. The team and their work are featured in Element Eden advertising with the hope that their creativity will inspire others. ELEMENTEDEN.COM
4 5 7
Matix Crossword Contest The New York Times crossword has nothing on this puzzle. Delve deep and pull out all those “useless” bits of trivia and info from the dark recesses of your brain to win this $500.00 prize pack from Matix. When they see you in your new outfit they’ll never call you or your random facts “useless” ever again.
ACROSS 12 13 14
3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 14.
Motorcycle ridin’ veggie ripper. ‘Holy’ Fernandez. Number of Mullen vs. Song battles. T-Pudz. Anderson joins the team. Matix rhymes with... French connection. White apparel line. He’s from Chicago. Straight outta Compton.
DOWN 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 13.
presents ‘Fully Flared’ Thrasher 2007 Skater of the Year. Matix welcomes Murawski. The Lakers are his favourite team. Mullen’s “stance.” Number of sponsored Matix skaters. Lord of the Lines winner.
To enter: Fill in the crossword, tear out the page and mail it to Color Magazine, Matix contest. 105-321 Railway St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1A4, Canada. As always, interesting packaging is a bonus.
Contest closes July 1, 2008 All entries become the property of Color Magazine and may be used in future online and print materials.
wordsby saelan twerdy
As with all booms, though, people get tired. They look elsewhere. Most recently, our eyes and ears have been locked on the burgeoning scene in Los Angeles, where stoned punks like No Age, HEALTH, and Abe Vigoda have been making a sweet noise. New York hasn’t been sitting on its ass, though, and just like in L.A., there’s a new underground of bands bubbling up that share all sorts of connections. You can get on Myspace and play connect the dots, not just between New York bands, but people on both coasts. The defining characteristic of almost all of the out-there and psychedelic music coming out of New York is a rejection of the rock tradition. Whether it’s Invisible Conga People spacing out on cosmic techno, Blues Control deconstructing stoner-rock though new-age noise, Rings tapping into dub reggae via feminist postpunk, or Telepathe applying tripped-out aesthetics to Top 40 dance formulas, the new sound out of New York is looking into the future for inspiration and coming up with exciting new fusions and musical languages. We found eight bands for you to check out, but this is far from a complete survey (we didn’t have time, for instance, to include Stay High, Effi Briest, or White Williams), so there’s lots of room for you to dig into the scene on your own. 56
[ o ] SIMON
ew York has not traditionally been the epicentre of psychedelic music in America; that honour goes to the West Coast. There’s something hard and intense about New York that makes its drug trips a little too edgy and paranoid. While San Francisco and L.A. had Jefferson Airplane, Love, The Doors, and The Dead, New York had the atonal squall and icy cool of the Velvet Underground. California was acid, grass, and Haight-Ashbury; New York was heroin, speed, and Warhol’s Factory. In this decade, the vibrations from both coasts have evened out a bit. Califonia is still the more peaced-out state, with a psych scene dominated by the long-haired stoner-folk of Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, and Six Organs of Admittance, but New York has flourished, too, with more fractured, primal, and experimental bands like Animal Collective, Black Dice, and Gang Gang Dance blazing new trails across the musical landscape. For a while, it seemed like you couldn’t read a blog or open a magazine without coming across some incredible new Brooklyn band that you had to hear.
he much-hyped Italians Do It Better label, home to Glass Candy and The Chromatics, has made its name on a slick fusion of post-punk darkness and stripped down, spaced-out Italo-disco, winning over punks, club kids, and purist techno fans alike. Up until now, though, they’ve never released anything as dark or as spaced-out as Invisible Conga People. The duo of Justin Simon and Eric Tsai craft foggy, nocturnal atmospheres that are pinned down by a 4/4 kick and made on analogue synths and drum machines, but they only count as dance music if you can imagine a synthesizer with a human soul that’s trying to astral-travel to an alien disco in another galaxy. It’s possibly the most mind-expanding electronic music being made anywhere on the planet, and the only bad thing about it is that, so far, they’ve only put out a single 12” record.
Color: You guys seems like quite the vintage gear-heads. What’s your favourite piece of equipment that you have? Justin Simon: In 2006, the Japanese band Yura Yura Teikoku brought us to Tokyo for two shows, and their longtime studio engineer Nakamura Soichiro gave me two fuzz pedals a friend of his made that I use live. One of these pedals was used on the last Yura album, which makes it especially dear to me. I run the two pedals at the same time and get a really out-of-control, vibrating fuzz for my guitar. These two pedals are probably my favorites. I also have a maestro USS-1 that I love, but I no longer play it live,
because I’m afraid of breaking it. Eric built a fuzz pedal in a shoe box that he runs vocals and the Juno-60 through. That’s pretty amazing sounding too. I understand that the fussiness of your technical set-up has made is really hard for you to either record or play live in a way that fully reflects your capabilities. Have you found a way to get around these problems yet? Are you able to tour at all? Unfortunately, not yet. Because of illness and work schedules, we’ve had to take most of early 2008 off, but we’re getting back to the band in April, when we’ll start work on the next 12”, start playing again in NYC, and figure out how to slim down our setup so we can play overseas. To what degree do you think Invisible Conga People qualify as ‘psychedelic’ music? I can see possible connections to certain 60s icons like Terry Riley or La Monte Young or to the more mellow German kosmische music from the 70s—it’s very meditative like that, and it has a really lush, hypnotic pulse, but it’s a long way from a wild drug trip. Are you guys interested in things like altered consciousness at all? You mean, do we do drugs? [laughs]... I personally do not. I like all kinds of music, but historically I’ve been most drawn to repetitive, rhythmic, hypnotic music. I’m not a misanthrope or a party pooper, but when I go out dancing, I like to close my eyes and really get lost in the music. I don’t really pay attention to whoever’s around me. I’m not a big ‘high-fives on the dance floor’ kind of guy (not that there’s anything wrong with those guys). So, in the sense that our music
pushes these same buttons for me, and playing it kind of gets me out of my head, I would say that it could be ‘psychedelic’ or ‘trance’ music. But I’m only thinking of these words in the traditional, dictionary sense what’s marketed as ‘trance’ music is totally garbage for the most part, and not at all what I’d align us with. Incidentally, I love all the stuff you mentioned in your question. I’ve read that Eric is a total cinema fiend —could he pick a film that most embodies what Invisible Conga People are all about? He says Gerry (2002), by Gus Van Sant. You run a label, Mesh-Key records, and I gather that you’ve mostly put out domestic releases for Japanese bands that are pretty much unknown in America. Do you have any releases coming out soon? How can people get these records? All of the Mesh-Key releases are available for purchase at www.mesh-key.com. If I can afford to this year, I’d like to release the collaboration I did with Chie Mukai in 2002, and maybe the unreleased We Acediasts LP. Is there an Invisible Conga People fulllength in the works? At this point, we’re just trying to figure out the next 12”. But we have enough songs to do an LP, so hopefully that will happen towards the end of the year. The acronym for Invisible Conga People is the same as Insane Clown Posse. Have you given this any consideration? It is a happy coincidence. MYSPACE.COM/INVISIBLECONGAPEOPLE
[ o ] SHONTING
JIM LOMAN Justin Simon from Invisible Conga People turned us onto this guy: “I really like this guy named Jim Loman. He used to sing for a band called the Cranium, from D.C., then he moved to NYC and started a band called Bloodlines, which was really awesome, too. Now he performs solo as ‘Guest Species in the Conference House’. I think he’s a total genius, and one of the most captivating performers in the city.” When we found out that Cranium included two dudes who now play in Gang Gang Dance, and that Busy Gangnes from Telepathe was in Bloodlines (whose only album came out our favourite label, Social Registry), this made a lot of sense. THESOCIALREGISTRY.COM
lues Control are the Queensbased, romantically-linked duo of Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse, and their music is a blissed-out bedroom haze that sounds like the history of psychedelic music eating its own tail in a downward spiral into the primordial ooze. They’ve played New York’s infamous No Fun Festival of noise music, but Blues Control’s not a harsh trip: this is benevolent tropical radiation transmitted from the Bikini Atoll to peace you into a positive zone. Ambient piano loops and fucked guitar will put you in mind of Terry Riley hooping ‘ludes with the Royal Trux. Their self-titled full-length on Holy Mountain Records from last year is their major work so far, but they’ve got a bunch of other releases on various labels (and various formats) that you’ll want to check out.
Color: You’ve got some pretty impressive guitar licks buried underneath all that simmering sound decay. I’m picturing total smelly teenage basement guitar god worshipping. At what altars did you perfect your chops? Russ Waterhouse: I love the two Eddies - Van Halen and Hazel. When I first heard ‘Maggot Brain’ it cracked my head wide open. I was sober too, just getting ready for school in the morning. Paul Leary is another formative influence. Peter Green, Erkin Koray, Greg Ginn, and Slash all rule. I also love the guitar playing on the first two Wire records. Is Blues Control a conscious attempt to fuck with the traditions and mythos of psychedelic rock? In general, we know there are a lot of different influences coming through when we write and play, and we talk about that stuff all the time, but it just kind of happened that way because of what we’re interested in. It was never a conscious decision. Actually, Blues Control really started as an accident, we played our first show thinking it would be a way to amuse our friends. We never thought it would last longer than one show. Can you enumerate a few key differences
between Blues Control and the Moody Blues? I’m honestly not that familiar with the Moody Blues, but In Search of the Lost Chord is a sweet record. I doubt Pete Townshend would ever say that listening to Blues Control is like “being in church.” We are probably moodier than the Moody Blues - you have to be pretty stable and self-confident to make music that smooth and life-affirming. I understand that you and Lea also have a ‘new age’ band called Watersports. Is that still a going concern? Russ: Watersports is hibernating. We talk about it, and we have plans for the future, but we haven’t had much time to devote to Watersports lately. We will be working on a couple of records and preparing for a performance at Space 1026 in Philly later this year though. What are your thoughts on ‘peace’ in music? Russ: I’ve found peace through music in the past. On 9/11 I listened to After The Goldrush on repeat, and it really helped me get through that day. Music was the first thing I turned to for comfort. Music doesn’t have to
be mellow to be peaceful either - at one point I listened to noise all the time, and that can actually be pretty relaxing. Do you still skate? Would you want to skate while listening to Blues Control? Russ: I haven’t skated in a few years, but whenever I can grab a deck I gotta confirm that I can still do kickflips. It’s hard to believe that my childhood idols like the Gonz are still shredding. That rules. Blues Control is definitely skate-friendly. Our heavy jams are for the streets, and the mellow songs are good for vert. Do you have any new releases in the works? Russ: Yeah! We are currently working on our next full-length record for Siltbreeze. They’ve got a bunch of killer records lined up for the fall. We also have a couple of 7”s in the pipeline, for Richie Records and Sub Pop. Last night our friend Allison asked us for a track for her tape comp. Should be cool. MYSPACE.COM/BLUESCONTROL
[ o ] LO
wordsby saelan twerdy
ings is a trio of Brooklyn girls that tap a post-punk tradition of exploring non-rock genres (especially dub reggae and folk music) for methods of expressing a specifically feminine psychic experience. While the band is wary of any kind of containment device, it might be safe to think of them as “feminist psychedelia”. Their cryptic sound is assembled out of witchy howls and chants, scrappy, scattershot guitars, and tumbling, circuituous drum patterns, all woven into repetitive, hypnotic shapes and folded back into themselves as echo and delay. The effect is to evoke a dream or a mental process; not opening outward so much as falling inward into a maze-like psychological landscape. In their previous incarnation, as First Nation, the band was working through ritualistic, “tribal” sound sources to develop a music of otherness, of foreign and overlooked identity. With a slightly altered lineup (percussionist Melissa Livaudais left to play in Telepathe and was replaced by Abby Portner, little sister to Animal Collective’s Avey Tare) and their new name, Rings, they represent only themselves as they struggle towards liberation through music. Their new album, Black Habit, is available from Paw Tracks records.
Color: Black Habit sounds like an attempt to build a secret, private universe, but any place that personal is bound to be a little cryptic, especially considering the hypnotic, nocturnal mood you’re cultivating on the album. There’s not a lot of pathways to get in. Can disorientation be productive? Nina Mehta: I don’t think that we intended to build a secret, private universe, but I guess that is how we lived last year. We all had just gotten out of these really important and consuming relationships, and we also just got a new practice space, so we ended up spending so much time together in our little basement space. We would play music, but we would also talk and just be together. Black Habit came out of that kind of space. While this album comes from a really personal and private space, I would hope that it’s not exclusive... I think that when things are personal they also make room for connections – others can understantand what you’re sharing, and maybe can relate? And yeah, I think that disorientation is super productive. You have to really think about what you’re going through, what you’re doing, what you’re listening to... Is New York a good place to cultivate a personal universe? Would it be easier somewhere less hectic? Places are really important and definitely affect creative processes... I don’t know if it would be easier to cultivate personal space outside of New York... I mean, New York is where we live, so whatever we do is going
to be influenced by this place-- so, even if we seem to be separating ourselves, that’s totally in relation to New York. And maybe it’s not easy to cultivate personal space here, but if it was easy, maybe it wouldn’t be as interesting or engaging for us? When you chant “I Want to Be Free” on “Scape Aside”, what do you have in mind? Your music definitely feels inflected with a kind of angst and struggle to get liberated – what constitutes freedom for you? I don’t remember ever writing “I want to be free”... but, there it is. Over and over. Yeah, there is a struggle to become more liberated. Freedom is real, but it’s also perspectival... there are so many things that are binding, things that we’re born into, things we’ve created, borders, bodies, governments... I mean, I feel pretty priviledged. I sometimes feel relatively free, I mean, I feel the freedom to question my limitations. Still, I am bound by so many things. I guess in the song, I’m talking about the ways that I bind myself, and wanting to be free from that. I think that as you get older, people expect you to let go of angst, find quiter ways to struggle... It’s important for me to continue to show the different spectrums of emotions and work I go through for peace, happiness, for feeling liberated... feeling free. Are you planning any tours or new recordings? Yeah... We are planning on touring in the late spring and summer... and we really want to record again soon. MYSPACE.COM/FIRSTNATIONLOVE
Excepter aren’t a new band. You might think of them as part of the second wave of Brooklyn psych in this decade. After Animal Collective and Black Dice came Excepter and Gang Gang Dance. GGD is laying low right now, though, while Excepter has been incredibly prolific, putting out multiple albums a year and changing band members often enough that they almost feel like a new band every time they come out with another disc. Early efforts like KA and Throne were swirly, swampy exhalations of fractal noise-gas, but bandleader John Fell Ryan has been steadily moving the band away from nightmare drone-scapes into a form of broke-down mutant disco, punctuated with stoned vocals and marinating in lo-fi dub effects. They currently describe themselves as an “electronic performance group devoted to the destruction of boundaries between the psychic friends network and reality television”. MYSPACE.COM/EXCEPTER
HIGH PLACES A lot of psychedelic music is heavy. Getting through to minds that are blown or stoned usually takes a certain amount of extra density. High Places go the opposite direction, though. This boyfriend/girlfriend duo is updating the sunny side of psych for the iPod era, with layered, tropical songs composed of handmade percussion, samples of household noises, and lots of cheerfully processed vocals. It’s loopy, domestic, feelgood music that’s supposed to conjure the vibe of “two dads hanging out”. Their blog is filled with pictures of cats. You probably know people like this: they’re so cool and nice that when they bring their kids to your parties, you’re stoked to see the little guys. Good vibrations, in other words. MYSPACE.COM/HELLOHIGHPLACES
wordsby matthew brennan meadows photosby andrew norton
t has been said that the best part of any journey is the time spent getting there. A struggle in any endeavour makes the triumph, to a large extent, so much better. Morgan Smith is a man who has long since been on the road to becoming a recognized name in the world of skateboarding. Coming from Ontario and becoming known in California circles can be hard enough as it is, but when it is done without ever making a move to one of North Americaâ€™s many skateboard meccas, it is all that much more astonishing. Happy with having his family and friends surrounding him, Morgan maintains a skateboard regiment that would wear out most seasoned professionals. As he continues along the road less travelled, Morgan continues to let his talent do most of the talking. A man of few words but much insight, this is Morgan Smith.
Color: Let’s start off by talking about the insanity that is Thrasher’s King of the Road. What was it like crammed in that van and touring across the country? Morgan Smith: It was fun dude. Like, it was really fun! It was too bad that the drives were so long though. We drove everyday for like ten hours and then skated and you were just busy trying to get points. Like there were all the tricks in the book then there was all the stupid stuff you could do too, like the make outs and the skating naked and stuff like that. But I don’t know. It was fun though, probably the funniest thing I have ever done.
(Laughs) I don’t want to sound lame, but yeah probably.
What are some of the things that you are most proud of from the tour? Kickflipping with those cowboy boots on was pretty hard, I didn’t think I would be able to skate with them when I put them on. Somehow I landed it and I was really stoked. I got the longest BS Tail, so I was stoked on that too. That was pretty much it, everyone else was killing it!
Bill (Weiss) mentioned that you were the guy to make laugh on the King of the Road. Tell me about the Morgan Smith approved joke program. I don’t think it is that hard to get a laugh out of me, but pretty much anything that Bill says is approved. Or anything James [Craig] says for that matter. I don’t think it is that hard to get a laugh.
Are there any stupid things that you had to do that you would rather not mention? Not really, I had to hug a security guard, but he was just in a grocery store. I had to eat those “snowballs”, they are like Twinkies with coconut on them, they make you feel pretty shitty after eating them for a whole day. We were all down to do anything we had to do for points though.
So since you were not down to show off your figure, was it your job to eat disgusting junk food for days for the contest? Yeah, I guess it was. I just did what I had to do to help out the team.
There is a lot of partying on the tour I am sure. Although, to your credit, I was told that if everyone was out partying the night before it is guaranteed that you will be up for at least three hours before everyone else and already covered in sweat from skating.
Do you have a warm up routine, in the methodical sense? (Laughs) Well I guess so. I guess loosely, I just kind of make sure everything is working.
Most dichotomies exist of two things that should be separate. Yet there are some in nature that do exist, for example, flying fish. Morgan throws his own spin on the idea of a grounded entity flying through the air with this switch varial heelflip.
Are you superstitious? Sometimes a little, I’m not going to freak out though if a black cat crosses my path or anything. I guess I always think something happens for a reason, like karma or something. Overall I try not to worry about being superstitious.
What kind of junk food do you eat? I try not to eat too much junk food now. It kind of makes me feel shitty sometimes. But I definitely like eating junk food, I like eating chocolate and sour stuff.
“Kickflipping with those cowboy boots on was pretty hard.”
What is your favourite kind? Hershey’s Milk chocolate, sour gummy worms, Big Turk.
In Chinese cultures the ying and yang represent a positive and negative energy working symbiotically. Using positive and negative force Morgan pushes his way through one heck of a nollie crooked grind.
“Deep under water is kind of sketchy.”
Is that standard for you? I mean I like my candy but I also like to eat good stuff too and to feel good. Like they pretty much made me do it. So you are not going to say no, ya know? While we are on the topic of eating, what’s up with your love of Mexican food? [It’s] Soooo good. They really don’t have that much in Canada so you gotta get as much as you can while you are in California or wherever. I would eat it every day if I could. It tastes so good and you feel good too after you eat it. Like if you eat McDonalds or something you may feel shitty but Mexican…I don’t know man, it’s just so good. I understand that the only time you will sit down at a session is when you are skating with Ronnie Creager. Yeah I guess. He is super gnarly. When he gets into his little zone and starts trying something, you pretty much have to sit down and watch. It’s rad he is just a big kid and still loves skating so much. He is so sick. When you are in California, I hear you spend a lot of time at James Craig’s place. What is that like since you
guys run different lifestyles? I know that you run a pretty serious skate program and James might like to have a Corona or two. …Or twelve. Naw, It works really good. James is such a rad guy, he is seriously the nicest kid ever. He lets me stay at his place whenever I come down. I mean we skate a lot, and he likes to skate a lot too. I guess he just does his thing and I do mine and it just works. It’s good we always get stuff done and it seems to work out so we must be doing something right. You seem to have a knack for producing a lot of footage for it being the middle of winter in Ontario. Yeah, in the middle of winter it is a lot harder to get stuff done. But there are a lot of subway stops and indoor spots. And the downtown financial district just has a lot of random underground spots… You just gotta kind of barge it. In the middle of winter you gotta skate something or you may just freak out. Ontario is a pretty hockey oriented place. Did you ever get down with the boys on the rink? No, I have actually never played hockey. Everyone thinks I play hockey but I don’t. ‘Don’t play hockey, don’t like hockey’.
[ o ] GILS
Living in Toronto you know that there are a lot of pretty dangerous areas and projects. Have you ever run into any problems out there? I have not really had to deal with that too much. If you just mind your business and do your thing people pretty much leave you alone. It’s usually pretty safe; there isn’t much to skate in the bad areas anyways. Do you think you will always call Ontario home? Uh, I don’t know, it has to end sometime. I gotta move on sometime, I just don’t know when that will be. Do you think that within Canada Toronto gets a bad rap? Like, have you seen the “Everybody hates Toronto” movie? Yeah! I actually recently saw that too dude! I definitely think that a lot of people get the wrong impression from it maybe. There are a lot of good spots and a lot of good skaters that work really hard. Everyone here is down to do stuff. It’s just… well it’s not really in the magazines as much, and I do see a lot of people hating on it a lot and it is kind of weird. Yeah, isn’t there anything you’re afraid of?
Well I went up to the CN Tower and I couldn’t stand on it. It’s pretty gnarly. So I guess heights and stuff. I guess there are a couple of things I don’t really like. Like deep under water is kind of sketchy. So have you ever swam in the ocean then? Yeah, for sure! I actually have my scuba divers license. I have actually been a hundred feet down. Then how are you afraid of deep water? Sorry I am kind of lost now. I don’t know, it’s scary but it is fun. Once you get down there it’s pretty normal. When you are skating is it about pushing yourself into something scary and conquering it or are you more technical about it? I like to skate anything really. I like skating small stuff and trying to learn new tricks. It’s fun thinking about something then going and learning it, sometimes it’s not that easy though. Skating big stuff is fun too, like skating something big feels really good to roll away from, it’s fun to be scared and then land it, gets me stoked. .shazam
[ o ] HUTTON
In Ontario there is not much to do during the winter. A lot of kids become obsessed with forums and web posts. Are you ever lurking on the net? I definitely lurk a bit. But not too much cause you kind of have to stay away from those things. Because anyone can post anything on there about anyone. It’s a bad thing to read, not a good thing I think. You’re not doing so badly though. I saw some good posts. I know, but it’s just not good to get caught up in that. Do you follow internet posts about yourself? Uh… no. Well, I try not to. I actually Google’d you. Did you know you are a 16 year old black girl rapper? Oh yeah! (laughs) That is on YouTube right. What is it called...? Blow your whistle or something?
Yeah, you got a hit! Blow Yo’ Whistle! I also saw on YouTube a video on how to switch flip manny. Oh my god… yeah! Well… basically Bill forced me to do it. I think he just thought, he had a couple good ones on film. So I think he just wanted to make a trick tip out of it. I guess it turned out alright. It took awhile to film because I am not really good at talking on film. But I guess it turned out alright. It was pretty detailed right? What do you do in your spare time when you are not skating? Nothing really, chill out, chill with friends, watch videos, think about skating, look for spots. You’re a pretty motivated guy when it comes to skateboarding, where do you think that motivation would be placed if you were not in skateboarding? Probably some other type of sport or something. Maybe going to school and getting a job or something like that.
Is that something that you want to do after skateboarding then? I don’t know. I kind of wanted to go to school but I don’t really know what I would go for. I would not want to go to school wanting to come out with one thing and then end up with something completely different. I really want to wait on that though. I am just happy skating right now because I can do it while I am young. You can’t really do it when you are older, so you have to take advantage of it right now.
Subculture and high finance work together to produce this backside heelflip.
Morgan proves that two incompatible poles can co-exist. North meets South with Morgan’s switch three flip in an undisclosed California location.
“I think I’ve seen him miss like two tricks since the time I’ve met him, which was at least three years ago. Homie shreds.” —grant patterson
Luxe by DVS presents a limited collaboration project with Ray Ban Sunglasses. The custom designed and colorized Luxe Standard Lo and the matching Ray Ban Wayfarer are sold together as a package. Available at select retailers throughout North America. Visit dvsluxe.com for a complete listing.
wordsby max schaaf photosby tadashi yamaoda
akland is a tough city for me to sum up. My first experience with Oakland that I remember is being about 12 years old and taking the train there with my older brother to see a punk rock show. In the 80s Oakland was a place where artists and musicians could find an old warehouse or thrashed house, pay little rent, make a lot of noise and not really get hassled by nosey neighbors or the cops. This is why my brother and I were headed to Oakland, a friend of my momâ€™s who was in one of the heavier hoods was a having a big punk show and he had built a ton of skateboard ramps inside his place as well. That guy saw Oaklands potential way before the masses.
Gertrude Stein wrote this about Oakland “there is no there there.” Well aside from that statement having way too many there’s in it old Gertrude missed the whole magic of Oakland. The magic is that there is a there, Oakland just does not shove it in your face. We are the red headed stepchild to San Francisco and like it that way. To me the best thing about San Francisco is that it’s on the other side of the bay. Let the tourists and the new comers blow it over there. Maybe it’s a little harder to find the “scene” here but once you find it is usually driven and pure for the right reasons. For these reasons I believe this is why the Black Panthers and Hells Angels grew so strong here. If you were here you chose to be here, it wasn’t just some cool place you ended up. A famous older Hell’s Angel was quoted as saying “Oakland is a place where they still let you breathe.” I rate a place by how much I like to go back to it and every time I come back to Oakland I’m happy to call it my home. I enjoy the free thinkers, the artists, the food, the streets lined with shoes hanging from telephone poles, and most of all that I have never been anywhere else like Oakland.
Taco Truck Sinaloa 23rd and E.14 Bake Sale Betty 5098 Telegraph Ave. Everette and Jones BBQ 126 Broadway
Sears 1901 Telegraph Ave. Redwing shoes 3850 San Pablo Ave. Laney Flea market 7th St at Fallon St.
Issues New Stand 20 Glen Ave. @ Piedmont This place defines Oakland. Eclectic magazines and used books battery operated turntables, art, and dog and food friendly.
Boardertown Where Louise St. ends / underneath the 580 freeway Shit Banks E15th and 3rd Ave.
Biggums Silver Lion 4901 Telegraph Ave. The Alley 3325 Grand Ave.
a Rolling Perspective.
Vancouver / Montreal / Winnipeg / Calgary / Toronto jeff thorburn limited edition tee available only at Livestock: www.deadstock.ca COLORMAGAZINE.CA
group show of self portraiture celebrating the art and fashion of skateboarding.
or the amount of time spent looking down at one’s feet, landing and setting up for tricks, it’s no wonder skaters show a great adoration for their footwear. collected from skaters across Canada, the United States and as far as Japan. With the help of Fourstar Clothing, a selection of these selfportraits of pro skateboarders, artists, and other talented individuals have been composed into an exhibition, in celebration of skateboarding. The show has been broken into a three-part art crawl (or roll) traveling across the country during the next six months from Vancouver (BC) to Montreal (QC) with stops in Winnipeg (MB), Calgary (AB) and Toronto (ON). Opening receptions in each of these cities take place in separate spaces at different times. Attendees are encouraged to take their cruiser boards out from under their beds or wherever they’ve been stored all winter, and celebrate the freedom of skateboarding and embrace the roll from spot to spot.
“It takes one to know one” as they say. The wear of a shoe, placement of its tears and distribution of abrasions identify a person at first impression. Shoes tell other skaters what they’re dealing with. While it used to mean someone might be a poseur if their shoes weren’t yet worn in, skaters today aren’t as quick to judge simply based by the appearance of a new pair of shoes anymore. To skaters’ credit, the gates have been open to fashionable footwear and allowed for skaters to keep up with the trends. They know the difference between a poseur and a trend setter because they know when most shoe styles have been released and sometimes even in what quantities or how widely distributed they are. Above all else, they recognize the roll of fashion vs function and recognize the feet of a true skateboarder.
The signs are timeless. From the get go we know if someone’s been doing 360flips (worn toe), if they can skate switch (wear on both shoes), if they jump down big stuff (heel cushion)... For the most part, shoe styles will even tell a lot about what kind of skating the person likes to do. A slip-on can mean the person likes to skate a lot of tranny and appreciates good board-feel. The puffy-tongue wearing skater can be one who is less concerned with how they feel on their board but spends just as much time not skating and wants that all-purpose comfort.
Ryan Smith professional skateboarder
William Cristofaro student
Jeff Delong photographer
DC Smith 2.0
DC Brian Wenning
Etnies Fakie slip-on
Littman 45 / Polaroid type 54 film
Above all, we identify our fellow skaters as people who share a common affiliation. Etnies and Color Magazine asked skaters to shoot a photo of themselves from their rolling perspective. Over 200 portraits have been
a Rolling Perspective is currently on display in Vancouver at Antisocial (2425 Main street), Livestock (239 Abbott street), and The Sweatshop (1945 E. Hastings street) until June 1, 2008. It then will be on display in Montreal through the month of July.
Mikey Taylor professional skateboarder
Jessie Van Roechoudt interactive designer
Joel Dufresne photographer
Dan Mathieu photographer
John Rattray professional skateboarder
Etnies Mikey Taylor
Etnies Girls Slip-ons
Thrift Store Boots
Holga/ Fujichrome Provia 100F
Canon 20D (1/8th @ f/11 ISO 100)
Lomo fish eye/Kodak 100 VC
Dave Carnie writer / tv personality â€œThere once was a bum who lived downtown. He was the king of LA, so he wore a gold crown but then he got sick and his ass filled with shit. So he pulled down his pants and painted his kingdom brown.â€? Canon Power Shot digital
[ o ] SHONTING
YEASAYER Yeasayer is probably the most “rock” of the bands in this list, but in any normal context, they’re the least conventional of rock bands. They start with some of the basic elements of freaky indie rock circa now - trippy tribal rhythms, soulful, epic vocal harmonies, African-influenced guitar picking – and then they pile more and more sounds in until your mind starts to collapse under the weight. New age synth music, celtic mandolin folk, unabashed 80’s pop, Middle Eastern guitar melodies, a boatload of dubby echo, trunk-rattling bass, electronic percussion straight out of a chart-rap hit, and a swirl of classical strings just to top it off. They’re putting every tool at hand to the service of their mission, which turns out to be environmental protest and the search for communal revelry in a dystopian world. It’s consciousness-expansion by force. Weird fun for serious times. MYSPACE.COM/YEASAYER
wordsby saelan twerdy
e can pretty much never stop talking about how much we love Social Registry records here, so when they put out Telepathe’s debut album back in 2006, I checked it out immediately. At time, they seemed like Gang Gang Dance’s awkward little sister: shy and charming, with eccentricities not yet fully developed. By the time of last year’s amazing Sinister Milita EP, though, they’d grown up into Gang Gang Dance’s sexy, enticingly messed-up little sister whose talent and strangeness promised to soon eclipse her elder. That disc only had two proper tracks, but they were incredible: tribal beats, echochamber vocals, dub bass, cascading synth, cosmic abyss and menstrual psych-folk angst over top of Diploworthy hip motivation. That was only a teaser, though – shortly after that release, the ladies (and one dude) of Telepathe cocooned themselves up,
and the first hints of their new shape are just starting to show through the cracks in their shell. “Chromes On It” is the name of their new single, the first recording to emerge from their collaboration with producer Dave Sitek (of TV On the Radio), and it plays up their previous flirtations with crunked-up chart-pop with characteristically tripped-out results. We hooked up with percussionist/ singer Busy Gangnes to find out what’s next. Color: Do you believe in telepathy? Ever experienced it? Busy Gangnes: Yes I definitely believe in it. Happens all the time. Although I don’t always pay attention to it. Telepathe has had a few line-up changes, right? How long has this combo been playing together? Well, Melissa and I’ve been playing music together for about 5 years now. We started
Telepathe in summer 2004, and Ryan joined about 2 years ago. Jessie Gold started performing with us recently. Do you think your music would sound much different if the three of you could communicate telepathically? Oh trust me, we already can communicate telepathically. Hahaha, just joking! Well, I already think making music is communicating with telepathy. “Chrome’s On It” is way more popstructured and electronic than any of the stuff you’ve done before. It seems kind of like you’re purging some of the tribal/ folk elements you had in favour of more omnivorous new dance riot music (MIA, Santogold, Italians Do It Better, new DFA disco). Is this the direction you’re heading in? We love dance music; and right now, we are really into making beats. I would say that our goal is to marry organic instruments with electronic instruments. We are really
trying to look towards the future of music rather than recycling a previous decade. We’ve turned ourselves into producers so we spend way more time sitting down with drum machines, samplers and computers to make music rather than jamming out drums and guitar. Can you tell me about your new fulllength? I’ve heard different reports about what the title is. Do you have a label or release date? The title is “Dance Mother” (Fucker). We have been talking to a few labels, but no idea when a release date will happen...sometime soon, we hope. Brooklyn seems like it’s heading into a whole new phase of blowing up (not that it ever really stopped). What other new bands/things should people know about? I can’t really tell? We have a crew of friends and musicians, but there are so many bands. We really love White Williams and Bunny Rabbit.
COL OR MAGAZINE
Colin Nogue slashes a stylish back smith across the once beloved ramp.
wordsby katina danabassis photosby gordon nicholas
ender Beach is a house located in the ultra-trendy Vancouver neighborhood of Strathcona. Situated between Chinatown and Commercial Drive, the area is home to many artists, musicians, families, and skateboarders. There are several ‘skate houses’ in Strathcona, and Pender House falls into this category. In the six-bedroom house there are now eight people who live here: seven guys and myself (the only female). I share a bedroom with Gordon (sometimes called J. Golden). Mr. J. Golden is the in-house photographer of Pender. He documents everyday occurrences like bedside puke, ephemeral moments of past parties, and naturally skateboarding. The attic has been modified as the newest and coolest room at Pender. This is a communal house and maybe we’re commies.
As anyone can imagine, Pender is a clubhouse. There is always a friendly face lurking on the couch or poking around in the kitchen. The house is fully equipped for almost any sort of gaming necessary: we have foosball, darts, every video game system ever made and newest to the house is cribbage. Of course, like recess, there are trends in the games we play. There was Guitar Hero, then MarioKart was the hottest thing for a long time, kitchen ball was an inventive one, and now there is Nintendo Wii. Weekends at Pender can start on Monday and continue on in bender-like-fashion until Sunday. The mornings are frightening at times when several bodies (none that I have seen before) are piled on the couch sleeping, the coat rack is tipped over, nun chucks and ninja swords are destroyed and wizard sticks are strewn in corners. The only comforting sight is in knowing that Codeman has checked his pants at the door. The kitchen is indicative of the night in its’ entirety.
TIMEBOMB DIST.: 604.251.1097
ETNIES SPRING â€™08 COLLECTION. ETNIESGIRL.COM
A broken egg on the floor, some wilted lettuce and a pot of uneaten noodles means Trevor attempted drunk cooking his breakfast and failed miserably. Saturday mornings, or afternoons the boys all gather in the living room to watch skate vids. It’s like Saturday morning cartoons except with more swearing and bad breath. They get all psyched up for a day of skating, and it’s kinda cute. Talk at Pender is an interesting subject. There are two dialects of speech, one of them is obviously skate-talk, and the other is Pender-talk. Skate-talk is another language that all skaters are fluent in. When conversing in skate-talk, they give it 100% of their attention and as an outsider, it is something quite baffling to witness. Unlike most subject matter, skateboarding is one of few topics that they will involve themselves in. It is a melting pot of opinions: that is hate or no hate. There is a lot of discussing skate spots or parks, arrangement of drivers, cars, who’s in, who’s out, the photos, the footie and the tricks. Since skate talk is a serious discussion, it triggers much nostalgia and excitement. If you toss in one or nine beers it gets very dynamic. Pender has a lingo all its own, I call it Penderian. It involves play on words, shortening of words, slang, and complete changing of words. For example: “floor snakes!” is an exclamation coming from “for snakes” and “for sakes” which is ultimately derived from: for Christ’s sake! Penderian is formed after a cliché statement is heard, then it is rhymed after for a minute or so, until the height of laughter is reached and it becomes a hilarious word cluster that sticks in everyday speech. There are many more of these nonsensical remarks that are used in daily Pender conversation. HEATERSMOKER.COM
Brett Gifford slithers out of his room and impresses the roof lurkers with a quick downhill ollie onto the sidewalk. Pender Beach is Graham and Gordon Nicholas, Kat, Jess Atmore, Brett Gifford, Trevor aka Trog, Colin Nouge and Dawson in the attic.
PHOTOGRAPHY DAN SINEY
STYLIST MILA FRANOVIC
LIGHTING PETER HAGGE MODELS AARON, AARON, ANIKA, ALEX, ALICIA, LOGAN, COLIN, CORY, KATIE, JANINE left to right Colin VANS tie dye t-shirt INSIGHT zebra print joggers Alex VOLCOM bandeau bikini top DC short shorts Alicia BILLIBONG embroidered woven tank top SALINAS bikini Aaron RVCA striped boating t-shirt INSIGHT powder blue jeans Cory RVCA spanky pinstripe jeans
Logan INSIGHT neon green hooded t-shirt RVCA blue womens walking shorts Alicia INSIGHT neon pink to yellow dip dye t-shirt dress VOLCOM bikini
Aaron BILLIBONG brown and white stripe tank top RVCA grey walking shorts
Katie VOLCOM bikini INSIGHT neon on black racer back tank dress Anika ROXY 70s halter bikini top and bottoms BILLIBONG dress with tassles
Katie MATIX dress L’SPACE brazilian cut bikini stylist’s own vintage vest Logan MATIX t-shirt RVCA womens walking shorts
Aaron LRG hoodie with finger print all over INSIGHT denim Aaron RVCA boating striped t-shirt INSIGHT powder blue jeans Alicia Lâ€™SPACE bandeau bikini top CRIPPLE CREEK high waist bikini bottoms necklace courtesy of stylist
Janine VOLCOM bikini top INSIGHT dress MATIX white walking shorts Janine RVCA white dress shirt Lâ€™SPACE bikini ROXY skinny denim
He knew the earth sucked the day they taught him to spell Wednesday.
Excerpt from the Peasant Lecture Delivered by acid flies:
Truth eats illusions, price of delusion. Delusion and aging. the highest costing delusions dropped first, then dropping them all. Return to Peasant. In foul circumstances, standards fallen so low, he was scaring himself and could feel death but couldn’t change his circumstances. He did what any self respecting peasant would do. What did he do? The bum child of blue collar parents, children from failed slaves before failed peasants and Satan, birthed me-generation, and I, of weak ego in the great narcissistic competition. The lower the esteem the truer the truth, pushing back and harken drunken lazy Russian peasant. Today’s clean cut fake dirtbag and dirtbag in a suit jacket at an art gallery. Unsorted lineage, rich grandma financially cut off for marrying a crap soldier. Failure to be a heir of wealth. Nothing but a soldier’s lust and honour and beatings. Son of a DJ’s roomate I’ll kill you with status. Who knows what blood stock. Further bad dating and lame mating and weirder marriages until I am here doing a talent hunt through my relatives, trying to scrounge up some kind of belief in myself… Raped and reminded, unskilled and no zest, how many lost girlfriends. Lost his peasant roots, found his skateboard, a stick of wood with wheels on it, a thing to do tricks with, always in hand for lack of a straw in mouth. There are no inner-city children of promise. The unshakeable countryside mentality, I am now countrified for eternity. The unwitting peasant living a skate life within the city limits, broke and luxuriant. Once, an agricultural worker, his roots were in the countryside. It was a relief like no other to leave the suburb for the city. Yet this peasant should return to Langely and then this peasant will have found his footing, recountrified, dark peasant, now in the gold, the sunny juicy land. Working a small plot of land, proud of his own little labor. To skate, to be human, to be real in this shopper’s capitalism is to be nothing but a peasant, a pre-industrial fool. There are a lot of sluts in the humanities. Rock star dirtbag partier talent and no medium peasant. The impoverished farmers, all us farmers far from the farm, no harvest. U brew, and starve, us smallholders, beer, skateboard and video camera. Us city peasants, us failed urbanites, who found the city. Us city proud peasants, who found impossible cheap rent to survive doing nothing in the city, keeping our non fastidious ways, charming our landlords. The landlord charmer. Threatened to die peasants and leisure studies. Come to Strathcona park to play ironic soccer. Continue upon the original medieval path, eastern euro peasant. You bragging peasants. Sophistication brit pop farmer with hair gel and british accent. You art appreciator, with pitchfork and fingers on chin you contemplate with a white studded belt in skinny jeans and play feudalism soccer Sunday peasant revolt. Now the nobles and lords are imitating the peasants, the million dollar celebrity mugs are having pube beards like the dirtbags. JJ Bean Yuppie fake dirtbag the covert Kits that destroyed the drive pulling up at the skate park in SUV. Fashionable peasants, lords, and land owners how hard it is to tell the difference between junkies, hookers, bums and and cool people these days romancing the crap blood stock, peasant supreme. —justin lukyn
ustin Lukyn is a Vancouver writer who just wrote a book called Henry Pepper about a discarded man who wanders alleys, carefully examining dumpsters, telephone poles and puddles for answers to the great questions. Somewhere between an epic poem and a series of tightly wound stories, this book produces insights as real and unexpected as finding a ten dollar bill in a pair of pants you haven’t worn for a while. Justin has been working on it for years, collecting the bits of language like furniture found in alleys. “The words are almost like Zip files, you keep condensing them, and it gets more and more solid and suddenly you can sum up what you’ve been thinking for months in one line.” He wrote it while living in Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest (and grimiest) neighborhood. It’s his first book and lots of people are excited about it, but it’s been hard to let go. “It’s torture. I don’t know why anyone would do it. It’s humiliating. It’s never right. It sits there and stares at you. There’s always room for an adjustment, it just eats at you. There are still things about the book I want to change, I feel like it’s full of bugs.” Lukyn’s writing expertly describes the beauty of the disgusting, a beauty us alley dwelling skateboarders are the first to appreciate. —mike christie
When you see somebody with a hyphenated name, you know they must have pretty hippie parents. No, not hippies in their current incarnation: blonde dreads and trust-funds spent on trips to Burning Man and hundred-dollar djembes, but more in the 60s sense of the word: progressive folks who probably weren’t too comfortable with the idea that children must take their father’s last name just because he is supposed to be the boss.
portraitsby brian gaberman interviewby rick mccrank
ilas Baxter-Neal grew up in a haunted house in Eugene, Oregon and currently resides in an un-haunted house with a nice backyard on a quiet street in Santa Rosa, California. Apart from naming him so well, his parents must have done something else right because they somehow raised a kid who reads books, has diverse interests, and possesses a confidence and wisdom far exceeding his years. And anyone who has seen his part in Habitat’s latest video Inhabitants, can deduce for themselves just how jaw-dropping a skater he is. There’s a kind of effortless joy to the way he skates, a feeling of perpetual stoke. And if you still want to talk hyphens, he’s about as smooth-gnarly-rad a skateboarder as you’re going to find, and we’re real happy to have him grace these pages.
He was interviewed over the phone by ÉS teammate and fellow neo-hippie Rick McCrank. They talked at length, about a myriad of topics, much of which we couldn’t include because of space considerations. But let’s just say we’re all pretty worried about who’s going to be posting up at the White House come this November. —mike christie
Rick McCrank: What was life in Oregon like when you were there? Silas Baxter-Neal: Nothing all that out of the ordinary. I grew up in Eugene, and on weekends my aunts and uncles would take me hiking around the area, we did a lot of outdoor recreation stuff like camping, hiking, fishing... I ran around town and got into trouble when I got older and worked until I could move to California. I really miss Oregon. I often say no matter how long I live elsewhere, and even if I never move back to Oregon, it will always be my home and I will always have Oregon pride. Did you have any nicknames while growing up? Tons: Slough, Silo, Cyclops, Syphilis and more that I don’t remember or don’t want to remember. I want to know about Eugene, Oregon. What was it like skating there? Are there street spots and stuff like that? There’s a lot of stuff there, I mean there’s a university there with a lot of spots, there’s a small handful of schools that have skate spots. I skated downtown a lot, I don’t know, we had a really shitty snake run skate park but I pretty much grew up skating the schools and skating street around town pushing around a lot. It was a small enough town that you could spend a day skating one part of town to the next and then like catch a bus home or something.
Is the skatepark there shaped like sperm? Yeah we call it the ashtray. After that, couple years later they built like five more parks. Now there’re like seven skateparks in Eugene. Did you go to Portland a lot? I didn’t go to Portland that much. As I got older I realized how close it was, but I went there every now and again. It always felt like a real road-trip to go like two hours north. You lived in Seattle? I would go up there for the summers and my dad lives there now so I spent a lot of time up in Seattle. How’s Seattle? It’s all right; it’s a beautiful city. I never really made many good friends up there though, I don’t know why, I guess I never really met that many people. That’s kinda how I feel, I have a ton of friends in Portland, but I don’t know one person in Seattle and I live right next to it. There were a few people that I would run into in Seattle and be happy to see and hang out with but I don’t really feel like there’s anybody that I would call when I went there, necessarily. Now that I say this I probably do have some friends that are gonna be all mad at me or something [laughs]. I went to Seattle for summers several years in a row and I don’t know what happened. I ended up
skating around a lot by myself, but it’s a cool city and it’s full of really cool shit, it’s huge and there’s tons of shit to skate. Do you like skating in L.A.? Um not really, I don’t know, I always have like a difficulty dealing with people. It’s not the lifestyle I’m accustom to but there are a lot of really cool people and spots and shit going on, I mean it’s a great city but it’s just not where I have the best of times. What countries do you like to visit? I like Australia. I like England a lot. Barcelona’s fun to skate—I don’t know if I like hanging out there too much though. I had a really good time when I went to Croatia and Slovenia. It seems like some of those places in Eastern Europe are pretty cool. What do you think of skateboarding right now? Is it good? Yeah I think it’s really good actually. Yeah, why? I think it’s really big, a lot of people are involved with it, but I think that there are still tons of really good people involved. People I grew up watching skate and stuff like that are actually working at companies and running businesses now. These people where out there street skating or whatever, sponsored or pro or just like in their scene, doing what skateboarders do, .interview
[ o ] BARTOK
many temptations who’d suspect this frontside flip lesser of the four
no relation to mother on family ties baxter none the less hurricane (opposite)
and today they are the people running the companies. There are exceptions but for the most part it seems like there are a lot of people who are actually in the know running stuff as opposed to how it may have been in the past where it was just kinda like old vert pros running street companies and stuff. Not that it was a bad thing either cause there are a lot of special companies based on that. Now it’s huge, there are like a handful of DVD’s coming out every single month you know what I mean? There’s kind of a barrage and overload of skateboard media
going on at all times with the internet, I mean seriously, it seems like five videos come out each month.
How did you start skating? Just like tagging along with my [older] brother, seeing kids doing it.
Yeah it’s kind of nuts. Do you prefer the waiting a year for a video style? I mean honestly, there’s only a couple videos that come out now and again that you really actually remember or watch. Like how many videos do you watch and either forget about them or throw them away or they get lost or something?
So he was skating first? Well his buddies skated and stuff like that, then he got a board and I got one right after him. There was a school by our house that had like little curbs and some manual pads and stuff we’d go down there and skate after school. Then I met some kids my age and started to skate other shit.
[ o ] ACOSTA
“We seem to be so involved with other countries fuckin’ business.”
[ o ] BARTOK
low carbon footprint electoral awareness drinking with the bums backside noseblunt
[ o ] GABERMAN
flamenco dancers two dollar bottle of wine good spot spanish soil nollie heelflip (opposite)
A haiku is a poem formed in the pattern of 5-7-5 syllables, written in 3 rows and doesn’t have to rhyme. Oh, little gummies You’re so sour and oh so sweet Dentist bills are due Your haiku is wrong. Is it wrong? Yeah you said sour and sour has two syllables not one. Damn, well I can take the “oh” out in the “oh so sweet” you know, then it’ll be correct. See I wasn’t sure, like I was trying to figure out if sour was two or one. Fuck! You gotta tap your chin sou-r... That’s’ what I was doing—I don’t annunciate my words very well as it is. Yeah, you’re mumbling and I’m supposed to fuckin’ transcribe this. On to politics, did you know that voting in Australia is the law, everybody has to vote? Oh really? What’s the penalty if you don’t vote? I think that you get fined. I don’t know if I agree with that. I think it should be a right.
That’s cool, my brother got me into skating too. Did you used to skate jump ramps? I did, I had a jump ramp in my driveway. One of the kids in the crew lived across the street from the school down the street from my house, this kid Chad. He always had grind boxes and wedge ramps and jumpers and stuff. He would leave stuff at his house so we’d always on weekends set shit up in the big parking lot and blast over the curb island. Were you always the best one at it? Um, at jump ramps yeah. Your wife is Japanese and I know you spent a lot of time with her in Japan. What’s the Japanese culture like? How does the American way of life compare to their way?
Japan is a weird place to me, I really like parts of it, but it would be a crazy place to live. It’s a very productive country but that means that people work a lot. In office buildings they have beds and kitchens so workers don’t have to go home at night and they can stay and work more. There are a lot of similarities, people live for mostly the same reasons everywhere you go, to make money and try to be happy. One thing that really struck me was the vast difference between city life and country life, they have some of the craziest most advanced cities in the world and at times you feel as if you are in a video game, but you drive an hour or two out in the sticks and people look and live like they did probably 100 years ago. Do you know what a haiku is? Can you make one?
Have you been following the primaries? What’s your take on politics in the United States? I have been following them somewhat, I listen to public radio a lot and they focus on the primaries. I have never paid much attention in the past so I’m still a little confused about some of it. This year it seems for the first time politics are really using media and are really on blast. A lot has to do with the fact that there is so much controversy in this election, the first serious black candidate, the first women candidate and the fact that for the first time we are presented with some choices that don’t resemble one another. But I think a lot has to do with the lack of attention people paid in 2004 to the elections, there was this feeling of things not really mattering either way and the choice was between what some considered the lesser of two evils. .optimist 103
[ o ] GOTO
Will you vote? Yes, I will vote and it would be cool if everyone else did too. What do you feel your country needs the most right now? I think that we are a consumer based and consumer controlled nation. I really believe that voting is good, but I also think that where we put our money is as, or if not more, equal to our vote. Politicians are funded by big companies and corporations. The big companies and corporations are funded by us. So really we have the control; it starts with us. I think the hard part is knowing where our money is going. I just got in shit from one of my friends because we were talking about US politics and she said “do you know that there is a mayoral election here right now?” and I was like “no” and she asked 104 silasbaxterneal.
if I even knew who was running and I said no but I know everything about US politics. Someone else said that the US should let other countries vote too. What do you think of that? I kinda agree with that. I think it’d be a little more fair since we seem to be so involved with other countries fuckin’ business. I heard on the radio they were saying the Philippines’ economy is failing right now because of the weak American dollar, and since a lot of people are working here in the States and sending money back there, the shitty exchange rate makes it so they don’t have as much money to send home. And now they’re doing this thing where they’re sending rebate checks to everybody for like six to twelve hundred dollars. They’re sending what? Rebate checks to everybody, all the taxpayers, supposedly every US taxpayer
gets between six and twelve hundred dollars this year in a tax rebate. The government thinks they’re gonna go out and buy things with it so it gets the economy going again, hoping they like buy a T.V. or a car or something. What jobs have you had? One of my first jobs was cleaning up at my aunt and uncle’s auto garage after school, mostly sweeping and mopping, pouring out old oil and emptying garbage, stuff like that. I worked in a few restaurants washing dishes and cooking and in the summers I would go work for my uncle in Seattle at his catering company. I was doing prep work and washing dishes and just working around the kitchen. I got super psyched on it then I had a couple cooking jobs.
a haunting lipslide barrier scraped as light falls afraid to fall asleep backside lipslide Indianapolis home of the five hundred and this perfect rail frontside feeble (opposite)
[ o ] BARTOK
Silo, Cyclops, Syphilis and more.â€?
[ o ] BARTOK
[ o ] GOTO
“I like to think of them as less sketchy gypsies.” the house till we ran it off and then it would return weeks later. All the neighbors knew it was haunted. I started to drink coffee just a year ago, I barely drink it but when I do it messes up my sleep. I’ve seen you drink a lot of coffee, does it keep you up like me or are you immune to it? Have you ever had a bad coffee trip? I think I’ve become immune to it. I don’t usually have any problems sleeping… in fact, sometimes I’ll drink coffee and it makes me tired. Your parents were/are hippies, what were your parents like in their youth? Have they told you any fucked up stories? They have a ton of stories. They both moved away from Michigan right out of high school with no destination, just to travel and find work where they went. They were ranch hands, built grain elevators, planted trees, worked at a snow resort loading lifts, shoed horses and did lots of odd jobs. All their travels put them in some interesting situations, I like to think of them as less sketchy gypsies. My mom grew up in a family of thirteen and they were their own little tribe.
hey mister artist your artwork speaks to me but I don’t know your name backside 5-0 pacific northwest less than ideal conditions rough spot appreciation hardflip (opposite)
I can remember you once telling me that you used to talk to a hobo-type dude that hung out by your school, what was that story again? When I was in high school I ended up skipping a lot of school to do nothing really, usually skate or go smoke weed. Out behind our school there was a baseball field and I would go out to the bleachers and smoke. The local bums liked getting drunk there too. There was this one guy named Tommy who had a fucked-up leg and walked super gimped up and he would always come over and talk with us about being homeless, mostly stories about fights and crazy shit he’d seen. I would trade him weed for beer. He was an alright dude, I was never sure
how true his stories were though. I’m not much of a believer in myths like Bigfoot and aliens and stuff like that but the people that do believe in them have their stories and they’re sticking to them. Do you have any stories like that? My uncle is a firm believer in the Sasquatch and my family has a few Bigfoot and alien stories but mostly ghost stories. We used to live in a haunted house when I was a kid, just weird unexplainable things happening all the time. In our playroom we had a window you couldn’t keep glass in because it would always break. It would break outwards as if what broke it came from the inside. There was a coyote that would come and bark at
You said that you would like to be an organic farmer when you grow up, have you ever done any work like that before? We always had a garden growing up. We grew vegetables and flowers and herbs and stuff, and I always helped with that. In the summer tending to the garden was one of my chores and it helped me buy skateboards. I have a garden now as well. And actually we have a friend whose family owns a big farm a couple hours away and I think I might try and go help during the cherry harvest season to check it out on a bigger scale. Do you buy mostly organic food? Yes, I try to buy as much organic produce and foods as possible, but sometimes, due to seasons, it’s either too expensive or it has been trucked all across the country to get here. It sucks buying produce so much fuel has been wasted to get to my area, so I try and buy local too. .silasbaxterneal 107
“I see a lot of art that I really like, but I rarely remember people’s names.” a good sense of form showing the how not the what eternal flame of stoke ollie wallride ollie out (opposite)
Right now in North America, food sellers don’t have to tell the consumers if the food they are buying is genetically altered or GMO, do you think that food labels should tell us more like they do in Europe? Of course they should have to tell us, it’s our right to know what we are purchasing and what that product’s effects is on us and our surroundings. I know you like to make art for fun, have you always done that? Whose art intrigues you? Yeah, I’ve always doodled or fidgeted with stuff. I think it’s due to lots of nervous energy and always having to occupy my time. When I was real little and I got in trouble, my parents would send me to my room and make me write or draw something that would help me be better behaved. I really don’t know much about art or artists. I see a lot of art that I really like, but I rarely remember people’s names.
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wordsby julia lum
ith all the digital technology afforded artists today – from Photoshop manipulation to memory cards filled with thousands of expendable frames – Fred Mortagne could easily embrace the conveniences of recent technology. But not so for the Lyon-based photographer. Fred is acrimoniously resistant to the changes that are happening in the industry, but he isn’t against digital photography as a medium. What he laments is that the prominence of digital photography today has resulted in traditional forms of photographic practice becoming null or obsolete. “The blind switch to digital photography is having tremendous and irreversible effects already… films, chemicals, papers are being discontinued, brands are shutting down, many services are no longer offered by labs,” says Fred. Ironically, he often gets questions about “what plug-in” he uses to create the effects he achieves in his work. “The answer can’t be any simpler: fire!” says FrenchFred, who burns his negatives to create the warped, spotted and scratched look of his pieces.
Umbrella Girl “La fillette au parapluie” Paris, France. 2005.
Dog Dunkerque, France. 2006.
This unusual approach seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the dying out of traditional mediums foregrounded in an almost perverse attempt at destruction of the original negative no less, which, once gone, can never be rescued from a hard-drive or duplicated to infinity. But this is what makes Mortagne’s work stand out against the seamless manipulation of digital-based artists and photographers. The raw quality of work such as the candid shot of Rick McCrank at Cat Lake, with the outer edge of the frame exploding in high-pitched pink and red tones, casts a subtle glow against the over-exposed scene of McCrank pitching backwards into serene waters. Likewise, the shot of David Gonzales’ frontside flip at a ramp in Arizona has the mark of Mortagne’s burnt aesthetic rupturing the middle of the shot in psychedelic purples. The burnt-out spots echo the shadow of Gonzales’ body in mid-air. Fred’s technique is particularly effective when used in the service of portraits, such as the 2004 shot of Marc Johnson, whose already haggard early morning look is embellished by a burned out spot below his right eye. Here, the subject’s appearance fuses with surface of the negative, testing the limits of what’s real and what’s real gnarly. “Technology is here to improve things, to make the world progress, to make it a better place for us bastards to live in. But simultaneously, it’s got this silly tendency to destroy our own creations,” says Fred Mortagne. One can’t help but wonder if the photographer has the same impulse: to render his images as half-destroyed, almost as an acknowledgement of his medium’s materiality, and perhaps, ultimate fate.
Stop the War Brisbane, Australia. 2003.
David Gonzales FS flip at Geoff Rowleyâ€™s country house in Arizona. 2006.
Spanky Kevin “Spanky” Long. Blindside flip. (During little filming mission with Geoff Rowley and Alex Olson). Phoenix, Arizona. 2004. Ali Boulala 2 Lyon, France. 2006.
Rick McCrank/Cat Lake Shot at Cat Lake (BC), on a really laid back day! Summer 2006.
Marc Johnson In Mallorca, on an early â€œFully Flaredâ€? Mission. 2005. .burningtradition 117
STEVE FORSTNER nosegrind [ o ] mortagne. 119
BEAU LARSON fakie rock [ o ] vandenbroek
120 ANDREW MCGRAW kickflip [ o ] clifford.
GRAHAM NICHOLAS lipslide [ o ] nicholas.
JESS ATMORE ollie [ o ] nicholas. 121
122 ELISSA STEAMER ollie [ o ] goto.
JOHN HANLON 360 flip [ o ] caissie. 123
DAN LINTAMAN wallride [ o ] watt.
124 OLIVER PIRQUET kickflip [ o ] watt.
126 MARK APPLEYARD frontside halfcab flip [ o ] bartok.
BRETT STOBBART wallie 50-50 [ o ] doubt. 127
wordsby matthew meadows photosby gordon nicholas
(group photo clockwise) Malice, Georgi, Mohawk, Scott, Sasheena and Brandon
ustainability. It seems that sustainability is the catch word for the 21st century. We have been depleting and abusing our natural resources to the point of no return. Similarly, Vancouver has done the same with our indoor skateboard parks. No one believes they should pay full price and everybody believes they are a somebody. That is why opening an indoor skate park in Vancouver has never been for the faint of heart. Those who decide to take on this endeavor are truly brave individuals who often end up working uncountable hours and receive little to no credit for their efforts.
With the recent closing of the RDS/Ultimate skatepark in Richmond, the winter has left Vancouver skaters with little more to do than analyze videos and dream of sunny days in the coming spring and summer seasons. That was, until The Sweatshop opened its doors. Originally a privately operated facility, The Sweatshop has gone from an invite only park to a public one. Having moved from three warehouses in the past three years The Sweatshop officially welcomed the public on March 1st 2008. The new indoor training grounds incorporates a 3700sq foot skatepark, 1750sq foot art gallery and a 1750sq foot retail store. While the park is cosponsored by Circa the retail shop showcases a variety of brands from one off New Era hats to most major skateboard labels. 128 facesnspaces.
Maintaining the momentum to get The Sweatshop where it is today has called for nothing short of an eclectic cast of characters spanning the globe. The Sweatshopâ€™s original concept fell on the shoulders of two people, Scott Symons and Brandon Cook. When Scott rolled off a plane from Australia, it would be safe to say that creating and running Vancouverâ€™s only indoor skatepark was not the first thing on his itinerary. Coming from a land of sun and surf, the Canadian winters were harsh. In a place that seemed to constantly rain and had nowhere to skate, Scott was left with little else to do but take matters into his own hands. It was through a chance meeting that Scott and Brandon began working together. Realizing that both were
inspired and motivated enough to put their plan into action the two began pooling their resources. Moving from the original location to a second space, Scott and Brandon opened up the semi-public Sweatshop. Enter Malice Liveit, originally from New York; Malice began working security on nights that The Sweatshop would be rented out for various concert style events to help maintain overhead costs. Bringing with him years of music and event promotion Malice began to take the reigns in the music department allowing Scott and Brandon to focus more on the space. As The Sweatshop evolved and became more of a creative space than your standard skatepark the need for proper music equipment became apparent. Georgianna Bates heard from Malice that The Sweatshop needed new equipment and brought in her recently acquired 70s sound system. Upon meeting the rest of the staff, Georgi, as she is affectionately known, knew this was where she wanted to be. Picking up helpers like Mohawk and Sasheena has made The Sweatshop a true cooperative experience for everyone involved.
As it stands today The Sweatshop has evolved from mini-skate space to skatepark, retail store, art gallery, and music venue. Whether or not Scott will stay here is ultimately up to him, but if he eventually decides to head back to his native Australia he leaves behind him a group of individuals committed to the sustainability of Vancouverâ€™s only indoor creative space. SKATETHESWEATSHOP.COM
photosby ando nesia
ourstar recently teamed up with SF mainstay FTC to celebrate the ideas and relationships that have helped to foster the brand over the years. Fourstar strives to align themselves with the most authentic creatives and retailers within the industry and from this the ‘Good to FTC You’ show was born. FTC cleared the walls of their Haight St. location and The Art Dump along with Brian Anderson, Mark Gonzales and Nick Jensen covered them in a collection of their personal work. The all-star team was there in full support, and it was a really good party. It was an amalgamation of all the things that make up the brand with a focus to keep it simple and keep it skateboarding.
(small photos left to right) Mike Carroll and Casey. This is about as og as it gets. Chef Pierre and Sam Smyth. Sean Malto and Andrew pre party. Gonz is the man. Bryce Kanights and Joey Tershey. The artists prepare for a night of after hours work and a few beers. Mike York and Eric Koston chop it up. Jb Gillet, Marcell Turner and Lucas Puig at the party. The Girl family at Milk.
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
dig!!! lazarus, dig!!! (anti)
Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds are bad men, but they live a good life. Such is the province of those rare individuals on whom both God and the Devil smile. Every time they go to make an album, they can change their suits, but they’ll never arrive looking less than devastatingly cool. Last seen out in public as the barely-evolved Stooges homage of Grinderman, heroically proving that dirty old men can make lustful, lobotomized caveman noise as well as dirty young men, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds are putting their tuxes back on for Dig!!! Lazarus, Digg!!!, but they’re not leaving the mudpit. This time around, Cave and co. are aiming at the best of both worlds: sophisticated artfulness and balls-out rock power. Still knee-deep in his familiar obsessions with sex, death, and the Bible, Old Nick succeeds in a way he hasn’t done since his early years, easily besting recent Tom Waits (his main rival in crackpot balladry) for the title of Raddest Old Bastard. —saelan twerdy
Holy shit, it’s Portishead. For nearly ten years, the question of when (if ever) the defining act of trip-hop would put out another album has floated up occasionally, usually not even graced with more than the faint hope that something so specifically awesome as their existing three albums could ever be followed up. It would be like a new My Bloody Valentine album. Maybe even like a brand-new Nirvana album. But now that they’re back, it’s almost like they never went away. The times have doubled back to meet them, and riding the wave of recent trends like dubstep, noise- and psych-folk, and the electro-infused minimalism that’s dominated a lot of hip-hop production in the last few years, Portishead sound, not only not dated, but fresher than ever, and without even any substantial change to their sound. Granted, there’s no more turntable scratching, and they’ve gotten even darker and noisier (if possible), but Beth Gibbons’ suicidal croon is as ecstatically miserable as ever and I couldn’t be happier about it.
—mark e. rich
trouble in dreams (merge)
reality check (xl)
This brash French trio’s sensationalist pop is built around filthy-tongued wit that does for 2008 what Serge Gainsbourg did for 1969. Call it shock-pop. Back then, all it took was a few moans into a mic to inflame the youth (and the censors) – today you’ve got to drop the c-word in a love song. These are jaded times, and nobody’s more jaded than a Teenager, but that doesn’t mean these kids don’t have a soft side. They’re in love with idea of dreamy, irresponsible youth (i.e. themselves), and that means kisses stolen under soft-focus Sofia Coppola sunsets as much as it means catty putdowns, hedonistic drug use, underage thuggery, and confused, meaningless screwing. Think of them as Larry Clark’s Kids transported to today’s Paris: ironic, amoral electropoppers that revel in their own thrilling, illicit superficiality. —saelan twerdy
body language (drag city)
About a week before this CD showed up in my box, Monotonix played a show in a tiny, badly-ventilated, semi-legal venue a short skate away from my house. I’d heard that these three dudes from Israel were pretty cool live, but I just had stuff to do around the house and I hadn’t heard them before, so I stayed home and watched a samurai movie with my girlfriend. For days afterwards, though, I kept hearing about how totally insane the show had been, how things were lit on fire, how the drummer and his whole kit were lifted into the air and carried around, how the lead singer was crazier than Tim Harrington from Les Savy Fav, and so on and so on. So I was pretty stoked to hear the album. And you know what? It’s not bad. Lots of heavy riffs that are equal parts post-hardcore, garage-rock, and straight thrash. The thing is, it’s obvious that the live show is the whole point with these guys. Like Gogol Bordello or the aforementioned Les Savy Fav, off-the-wall stunts and high-energy performance are what makes the band great, and you just don’t get that sitting in your living room. Monotonix is apparently touring forever, though, so keep an eye out.
At the end of 2007 the Bristol duo that comprises the perversely-named Fuck Buttons found themselves on the tip of tastemaker tongues across the globe with the release of their debut 7-inch, Bright Tomorrow. Fuck Buttons have followed up on that hype with their fantastic debut, Street Horrrsing, which blurs the line between dreamy waves of pink sunset drone and harsh blackened noise. The easy point of reference here is Black Dice’s magnum opus, Beaches and Canyons, which is a fair comparison, but rather than surfing the sine waves of noise, Fuck Buttons seem more keen on parting its sea. Tangerine Dream soundscapes soon give way to a steady, head-nodding jungle thump. Twinkling music boxes are slowly consumed by buzz saw drones and vocals screeched through a Fisher Price mic (no joke). Unnerving and beautiful, jarring yet enrapturing, Street Horrrsing will be that rare noise record that affects everyone from harsh noise nerds all the way to hipster dance kids.
What’s the sound?. No, it’s not David Bowie doing Shakespeare in the park, and it’s not your English professor professing lewd nothings beneath your second-storey walkup window: it’s Dan Bejar! Vancouver’s most quixotic crusader and his faithful band are back again, levelling lances against the dinosaurs of rock classicism with a quiverfull of quote-perfect lyrical quips at the ready. If you were impressed with how much these cryptic poets loosened up on their last album, just wait until you hear the meltingly easeful chemistry that happens when new drummer Fisher Rose is beating the hell out of the skins, blowing great gusts of wind into the theatre curtains of your ears. They’re having fun, people. Word on the street is that they’re even a good live band, now. Ted Bois has gone Vangelis on the keys and Nic Bragg is a fucking force on the e-bowed melodic guitar leads. He cannot be stopped. Destroyer’s always been a divisive band, but if you were on the “hate” side of the love/hate canyon (or if you haven’t taken the plunge into it), now’s the time, because Destroyer’s never been such a likeable band.
street horrrsing (atp)
afterparty babies (anti)
“You know what the problem with Canadian rap has been for the last 10, 15 years? It’s that all the rappers are trying to sound like they’re from the States.” A direct and dead-on response from Cadence Weapon when asked about his opinion on the Canadian hip-hop scene. But Cadence is doing more than just moaning about the predicament, he’s attempting to show fans and detractors that there’s more to be done within the seemingly stagnant arena of hip-hop. Taking cues from the forwardthinking, bouncy electro-rap of the Anti-Pop Consortium, Cadence, who helms most of the production on Afterparty Babies, has drawn from techno, electro, house and even an 8 bit video game soundtrack to create one of the most inventive hip hop records, not just in Canadian history, but in recent memory. By turning the tables on the current reigning generation of MC’s and producers, Afterparty Babies may just prove to be the album that lights a creative fire under the asses of MC’s across the globe, and hopefully in his own home country. —mark e. rich
let the blind lead those who see but cannot feel (kranky) Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox (now recording solo as Atlas Sound) has made some sensational indie-blog news with his high-strung manifestoes, scene feuds, his band’s daily bowel-movements blog, and just by being freakishly skinny and unhealthy-looking (not his fault – he’s got Marfan Syndrome), but as Deerhunter fans already know, Cox is good at a lot more than just attracting attention. By which I mean he writes bloody amazing music. He’s got boatloads of talent and a profound grasp on the history of those musics that straddle the spectrums of noise and melody, pop hooks and ambient soundscapes. Let the Blind…is most likely to be compared to Panda Bear’s smash hit Person Pitch in the way it manages to make a glowing personal universe out of sounds assembled and processed on home computer equipment, but this album already sounds like it’s more than just of-themoment. Like Fennesz’s Endless Summer, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, or Fripp and Eno’s No Pussyfooting, this is a landmark effort of sparkling experimental pop that’s going to take years of headphone listening to decode its insular brilliance. —saelan twerdy
for emma, forever ago (jagjaguwar)
It’s amazing how well the sensitive-guyand-guitar formula can still work, given the right guy. Which is not to say that Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon is just a sad sack: he fits right in with the new crowd of indie songwriters that are nesting their homemade musings in sublimely rustic landscapes of grainy texture and evocative atmosphere. Vernon’s layered acoustic strumming and hushed, snow-shrouded production might bring to mind the Faulkner-and-Thoreau-isms of Iron & Wine or Phosphorescent (with whom Vernon is touring), and his elliptical lyrics and warbly falsetto will please fans of The Cave Singers, but he’s also got a certain striking soulfulness that goes beyond “folk” music, touching on the grainy, full-blooded timbre of TV On the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe. There’s something kind of magical here, and even knowing how marketable it is (expect to hear Bon Iver in a commercial or soundtracking a prime-time TV show soon) doesn’t stop the charm from working. —saelan twerdy
lust lust lust (vice)
The Danish duo known as The Raveonettes have divorced their major label, signed with an indie and hit an artistic high. They’ve dropped the safe sheen from previous albums, and the resulting speaker shredding, fuzzed-out assault of Lust Lust Lust goes to show what a little creative freedom from the man can do for your young band. That’s not to say their sound has been completely revamped: still intact are the overt homages to the golden age of rock and roll, girl groups, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Phil Spector‘s wall of sound. It’s just that now, without the shackles of their former corporate boss, The Raveonettes have been liberated to slash those amps and turn them well past 11, all the while keeping intact those irresistible, candy-laden pop hooks that they have become adored for. Fans of The Raveonettes will still find themselves at home here, while naysayers who found them too derivative on their first few albums just may find themselves won over this time around, yours truly included. —mark e. rich
sixes & sevens (rough trade)
Wow. I’ll admit that I kinda wrote off the first Witch album. I mean, this is a metal band composed of Dinosaur Jr.’s guitar god J. Mascis (but on drums!) jamming with a bunch of early-20’s dudes from Vermont who play in a folk band called Feathers. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about “real” versus “fake” metal, but Witch just didn’t seem like a recipe for ripping jams. Sure, their self-titled debut had a couple gems on it, but how many times did I put that record on? Two? Three? Anyway, Paralyzed is a whole different animal. I don’t know what they did differently (okay, mainly they started playing a lot faster), but they went from barely passing the class to burning down the school and leading all the students on a cross-country pillaging spree. Every song on Paralyzed is a smoking, savage, fuzzed-out replica of the very finest in doomy 70s proto-metal, with a shot of thrash to keep the pulse racing, and I love it. Apparently Volcom took notice too: like Monotonix, Witch is contributing to Volcom’s monthly 7-inch club.
Since Juno launched Kimya Dawson’s career into some major numbers and gave the Moldy Peaches back catalog a real boost, you might expect an official reunion, but nothing’s happened yet. Instead, we get another Adam Green solo album. Unexpectedly, it’s great. He’s still got the same concerns: lewd sex acts, bodily functions, and drugs, all jokily disguised by sweet melodies and offhand delivery. His new approach, though, is to grow up his image a bit. He’s singing in a deep, smooth baritone (who would have thought he could croon so well?) with backup singers, horns, and a string section, and his forays into bigband doo-wop and girl-group sounds recall Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies Man, or some of Lou Reed’s better solo albums. Clearly, he wants to join the legacy of suave rock icons with dirty minds and spotted pasts. It’s not entirely convincing – he’s still too much of an adolescent at heart – but he’s genuinely funny, and his band is great. Ween fans should probably check this out.
s/t (last gang)
paralyzed (tee pee)
heretic pride (4ad)
THEE OH SEES
When Crystal Castles’s Alice Glass got hit by a car (no permanent injuries, thankfully), it was a bummer for a lot of people. Two weeks of shows were cancelled and press got sidelined (including the feature we hoped to run in Color). Now that the album’s finally out, though, we can at least enjoy this Toronto duo’s ice-cold 8-bit synth attack from the comfort of our homes, vehicles, dancefloors, etc. We can imagine that we are pixellated warriors blasting our way to the heart of a fortress built inside a frozen asteroid, dodging lasers as we approach the Boss’ chamber. If your fantasies run in a less nerdy direction, you might imagine yourself at an android fashion show. Actually, that’s still pretty nerdy. I guess what I’m getting at is that Crystal Castles are a phenomenal fantasy machine: this is not everyday-life music, and despite sounding like it was made by robots playing gameboy, it manages to be sexy, intense, and emotional. Even within a very narrow palette, they achieve a remarkable range of textures and effects, from almost-industrial blasts of steely noise to delicate, ambient spaciousness.
John Darnielle is not a man to be pigeonholed, though he has been a man to toil away relentlessly in relative obscurity, producing varied and brilliant work that few have been there to appreciate. So if that’s not a pigeonhole, exactly, it might be a kind of bunker or foxhole—not the kind of place you want to stay in forever. Thankfully, Darnielle’s small but extremely hardcore army of fans have been making a bigger and bigger buzz, and with the release of Heretic Pride (I seriously don’t know how many albums he has, all the cassettes make it hard to count. Is this number 16?) it might be safe to say that Darnielle is now “famous,” or a “legend”. In any case, he’s got a phenomenal, writerly eye for details and he crafts beautifully nuanced, starkly-arranged, and emotionally intense songs that come across like short stories (appropriately enough, he also has a great blog called Last Plane to Jakarta, on which he writes extensively about heavy metal—keep an eye out for his upcoming novel about Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality) and these are as good as any in his enormous discography.
People are telling me that Santogold is the “new M.I.A.”. I’m inclined to think that M.I.A. is doing a great job of being herself and doesn’t need an understudy, but the point is fairly moot because, aside from a great sense of self-presentation, M.I.A. and Santogold have very different virtues. M.I.A.’s third-world party music draws intensity from real-life political issues. Santogold’s formula is also vocals + production, and she mixes up her flavours (mostly by throwing reggae breakdowns into her spiky new wave dance grooves), but her sound is full-on studio. This music is slick. It’s savvy as hell, and it’s got the driving urgency that earns Santogold’s comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s Karen O, but it feels coldly calculated. It’s worth noting that, before getting into the performance biz, Santogold (aka Santi White) was an A&R rep for a major label. She may well end up bigger than M.I.A. or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (if she’s the “new” anyone, I’d say she’s the new Gwen Stefani), but if she does, it’ll be because she’s learned that all you have to do to turn riot music into jock jams is empty out everything but adrenaline.
the master’s bedroom is worth spending the night In (tomlab) Now this is what I’m talking about. Thee Oh Sees (formerly The Ohsees, OCS, Orange Country Sound) have been a totally awesome (and incredibly prolific) band for years, and I think people are finally ready to notice. Thee Oh Sees are mainly the project of John Dwyer, previously of such ass-kicking, speaker-blowing noise freaks as The Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, and The Hospitals, who started this band as an outlet for his poppier impulses. The Oh Sees first four albums still came wrapped in Dwyer’s trademark halo of blown-out fuzz and in-the-red distortion, but with the help of Brigid Dawson’s sing-song, Kim Deal-ish vocals, Dwyer slowed down his knives-out garage-punk into a sweet, surf-y haze of chill noise-pop. Unfortunately, nobody noticed. Hopefully, The Master’s Bedroom will remedy this grievous error, partially by being on a label with better distribution, but also by being Dwyer’s heaviest-hitting record since the Coachwhips broke up. The gloves are off, the nails are sharp, and Thee Oh Sees are tearing the skin off everything in hearing range with the coolest, weirdest, catchiest lo-fi garage-rock outside of The Black Lips. —joe sixpack .soundcheque 133
BAN LIEU SARDS jehru (atlas)
CANADIAN TUXEDO justin turcotte
Ban Lieu Sards is a nice little shop video from Atlas in Terrebonne, Quebec. The film is well put together by filmmaker Jehru in what appears to be a very Cliche influenced style. Filmed primarily in the Montreal area and set to a fitting and generally laid back soundtrack, Ban Lieu Sards features a grip of young up and comers working a gaggle of gorgeously grimy eastern Canadian spots. From fresh ledge lines to handrail bangers, there is a little something for everyone here. Notable sections belonging to JP Grenier and Gab Lalonde who experiences some pain with his pleasure on a taildrop into a bank to face smashing. He even looks stoked afterward, mouth full of blood and everything. If you can get your hands on a copy, pop it in and check out what the guys in Terrebonne and Montreal are up to.
If you don’t already know what a Canadian tuxedo is, you’re probably not from Canada. Basically what you need to do is throw on all the denim you own and go shotgun a Pilsner with Terry and Dean. Filmed in Calgary by Justin Turcotte in the home of the Stampede and lovers of cattle, this video is constantly making reference to their native land. The token snow skating is always enjoyable to see, not to mention some gnarly shredding on some of the most heinous ground around. The three little runts with their xxxl’s have some serious tricks, and Drew Merrimen can wallie in and wallie out of anything. And Tyler Hoekstra, who has more songs than MJ, fills them nicely with some serious skateboard trickery. Be sure to catch this flick.
dan deacon and jimmy joe roche (carpark records)
Dan Deacon’s future-shock electro pop is as much performance art as it is music, which is why his albums, awesome as they are, can never replicate the experience of being in the same room with America’s sweatiest party provocateur. So it was awfully nice of him to release Ultimate Reality for mass consumption. If his modus operandi is gobbling up trash culture and recycling it in self-parodically psychedelic ways, then Ultimate Reality is his masterpiece. The 40-minute film (actually by Jimmy Joe Roche, with music by Deacon) is composed entirely of processed clips from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, grafted into a sci-fisureallist mega-plot about masculine identity in the Reality TV age. “Protect the manwomb!” is the slogan that flashes across the screen as Commando-Arnie and PredatorArnie scout around the set of Kindergarten Cop, looking for things to shoot. Granted, it’s best experienced live, projected on a giant screen with two live drummers, but even at home, it’s a truly mind-warping experience.
Endless Question is the inaugural video offering from Japan’s Lesque Skateboards, released along with the launch of the brand in December 2007. Their first DVD includes full parts from Lesque pros Junichi Arahata and Sinichi Ito as well as am team Shota Yamazaki and Masataka Yamashiro, with some notable Canadian heads popping up in the friends section. First off, the spots in this video are amazing and you’ll likely start sweating just thinking about skating them. The Lesque (pronounced less-kay) team calmly destroy smooth ledges and banks at clean and comfortable looking spots in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Skating these spots definitely influences and enhances the abundance of smooth and graceful skating on display in this film. They are without a doubt off to a solid start and I’m looking forward to what Lesque will do in the future. You know you are doing something right when you release an amazing video with a tight-knit team in your company’s first month.
I found this video to be fun. Funny too. It’s rare that you get to watch a skate video these days that actually makes you laugh, and there were parts in here that did. Especially the guy who only lands his tricks into water. Pretty awesome. This is one of those “fun” videos. A bunch of guys who seemed like they just wanted to create a piece that showcased their bros having a blast and doing what skating should be about – having fun. Hmmm. I think that’s right. I don’t know though. Should skate videos distributed internationally just be “fun”? Maybe I’m a little biased coming from a production background, but for me to buy a skate video I need either a new conceptual idea in front of me, or some serious production value in order to respect a video worthy for distribution. I don’t feel like I get that sometimes these days, and this is sort of an example. Apart from a few exceptions (which I’ll get to in a second), it seems like there was a lot of useless footage of extra tight pants and gimmicky sub par street tricks. Almost like the Hollywood “re-makes” of skateboarding videos - Tons of tricks that we simply DON’T NEED to see anymore because they’ve already been showcased a million times over. Either shorten the video, or come up with new ideas. More than enough footage that I’m sure was awesome to film at the time (and get filmed doing), but maybe should’ve ended up on the cutting room floor. Hmm.. I hate saying this though because I know how hard skateboarder’s work to makes these tricks. After all the pain an agony, the last thing you want is to find out about some reviewer pissing on your moves. Anyways, some of the highlights are definitely worth mentioning though… PATRICK MELCHER and RICHIE JACKSON had some truly creative, stylish and thought out street parts. Very impressed. And wow, Andy Scott and Ben Raemers (who I think is on Consolidated). Serious transition skills that make the vid worth watching. These guys destroy anything and everything worth carving. But yeah, sorry, I hate to sit back and judge while these kids kill themselves for a part. I commend them and I know how it feels. Just some tricks are meant for Youtube I guess. I won’t even get into the music copyrights. Shit. Producer’s nightmare.
(consolidated skateboards) Consolidated videos are always a treat. You know that the filming isn’t quite going to be breathtaking, the concepts aren’t always well thought out, the skits may be a little cheesey, and the skating may not be pushing any boundaries, but there is something perfect in their imperfection. Ever since the early Consolidated days of Jason Jessee and Scott Bourne, with these videos you know what you are getting. Raw schralping with an entirely uncorporate, unglossy realness. The newest incarnation of the Consolidated family is as follows: Karma Tsocheff (still banging away, in good form!), Tanner Zelinsky (ripping!), Sean Gutierrez (a highlight… raw skateboarder, the kind that keeps the hope alive), Olly Tyreman, Maru (Japanese ruler!), Ben Raemers, Abe Olague, Lee Berman, Bailey, Colin Lambert (Cdn powerhouse, duh!), Jose Noro (Spanish monster), Jonah Dolese, Kyle Berard, Mike Peterson and Roberto Aleman. This video has a wonderful balance of stinking and blowing your mind and that is it’s charm. It will catch you off guard, and just when you’ve had enough of the sub par pal format filming, you are suddenly finessed by a light boneless in the deep end. In short, this video is as good as it gets. There is even an awful menu song that will make sure that you make some kind of choice as soon as humanly possible. In spite of it’s short comings, and because of them, I endorse it.
BETTER THAN LIFE
[ o ] SHURA
[ o ] DOUBT
wordsby dylan doubt photosby gordon nicholas
he good contests are few and far between these days, but the fine folks at Antisocial know that a mini ramp jam is almost always a good time. Throw some ridiculous challenges in there, stir it up with a little social lubricant and add cash and prizes to make things a little interesting and you have a winning combination. Simply said, this may just have been the best contest ever.
Two hours late, but right on time in the back gallery at the Antisocial skateboard shop, teams were briefed on the contest, and handed a list of tricks. Teams of three were required to earn points by doing the tricks listed, highlights included drunk buddies throwing themselves all over the ramp, piggy back drop-ins, Steve Denham’s switch roll-in on the extention, Mike McKinlay doing his best to check off as many tricks on the list as possible, Colin Nogue’s 5 sec f/s pivot attempts on the extention, Brett Stobbart doing a back tail shove inches away from a prone Phil Stinner’s head who was recovering from several fingerflip dropin attempts), and Riley Boland’s general tearing the ramp a new asshole. The top
teams advanced to an endurance round that had each member picking a challenge. Here, Riley and Quinn Starr both made the extentions look like a mini, George Faulkner tossed in 28 back to back grinds,and an alcoholically liberated ringer, Scott Pommier, took off his shoes and socks, jumped on a borrowed board and got busy. There was a brief intermission before the bonus round, the “Borutski Polish Drop-In”, which had contestants trying to make it across the ramp on a board mounted upside down with backwards trucks. It was no small task, and though technically no one made it, special mention goes to Riley who came pretty damn close, Alex Morrison, who thought that grabbing would make things easier, and Torey Goodall who just manned up and tried to tackle the extention. The final round was judged on choreography and the team’s interpersonal relationships. Here we had a lot of hand holding and near collisions. Riley aired over both his teammates, Jordan Hoffart transferred onto Torey’s board, but no one would top the 90s TWS team of George Faulkner and the brothers McKinlay who had really put some thought into it, their runs feeling more like well choreographed interpretive dance than any skate contest.
Everyone wins in a situation like this, though only arguably so in the case of a poor drunk buddy who managed to almost knock himself out during the first heat. When the smoke had settled, and the judges’ hoarse voices spoke, money went out to the teams of Geoff Dermer, Stevie Denham, and Adam Cassidy, Riley Boland, Brett Stobbart, and Colin Nogue, Jordan Hoffart, Torey Goodall, and Greg Papove. The dudes who won the all expenses paid super skate vacation were none other than Sam and Mike McKinlay, and George Faulkner. Stay tuned, as their winning trip (once they figure out where they want to go) will be well documented in an upcoming issue of Color. Anyone who entered, but didn’t skate away with awesome prizes should stop by the shop where there are probably still a few totally awesome prizes waiting for you in a box behind the counter. Check out antisocialshop.com for the video which should be up and running by the time you read this.
(sort of clockwise-ish from top left) Riley Boland pleases the crowd with a bean plant to tail up the extention. Alex Morrison, represenst the Out Of The Woodwork team with this stunner of a crail block. Team 90’s TWS scores mega points with their unorthidoxed take on teamwork. Jimmy Miller tries to score extra points by broing down with handsome judges, Will Howell, Dylan Doubt and Seb Templer. Seb teaches Adam Cassity a lesson and Michelle Pezel stokes out the kids.
[ o ] WILLIAMS
How did you, I get to this point? None of us came into this joint all anointed. We formed conjoined with mentalities on our journeys. It’s funny how wild the angry child acts when they don’t get their way. All must pay by hearing and or seeing their display. Even if to your dismay, if you can’t see the sway, I’ll explain. Pain turns to lust and the quest burns all in it’s path to dust. We all came here pure and through our years, we either break through or get broke by our fears. Through this either love grows or disappears. As the smoke clears, the latter becomes the combatant against. So the life chose froze only knows the cold, steady building a fence in defense of them. Did I mention that they constantly throw rocks? As the clock ticks on, they just perform the norm, suggesting harm to farm their indifference. Breaking down the uniqueness, uniforming the tamed bleakness. So they won’t be the blame, if everyone else does the same. In their game, participants are lame. “The player hater’s ball”, fall, failing to see how they stay acting abrupt: until the opposing force stands up. They generally never see what they were asking for. If we have thoughts of the war-for chores, closed doors, minds blinded? Maybe we possibly manifest our own enemies. I find it less reasonable to fight about what’s right. Because the sight sours the views of those trying to find the truth, so they too, don’t loose.
This is why we need proper guidance, to the mildest extent; so young minds can still breathe within. It doesn’t have to be your family or teachers; it might be just that good friend, who will take the time to listen, that values your opinion and the voice within; if you’re not too full of it to hear it or ride with indecision. I speak my thoughts to help add to the positive things that I seek. Personally I may not be for you, it’s obvious that I only have time for a few, but what I seek might as well help you. For me this life is about happiness. It doesn’t make me happy to dismiss a confused soul or force them away from me, but this has to be, so ideas can be openly expressed minus the mess. I’m out to be the best that I can be, at every activity of interest presented to me. I’m constantly moving on meaning, leaving the dreaming to those just speaking, seeking their beginnings, having already been in life living. Giving back might help the future be less whack, ease the youth about their get back. For they won’t lack true knowledge of self, as to keep them knowing not to be mad at everyone else, for the things that they bring upon themselves. The circular cipher twists the ill binded hyper, biting at high beamers like Pit vipers. In the past, my mentors were done on to, so in turn, most of them turned, concerned with green over another’s well being. I learned the scheme, but refused to perpetuate the weight pushed down to get the dough to take shape. I know better than to seal my own fate over the little money that I might make, because the demons that I create will lay and wait. —gershon mosley
BRYANAN HERM .COM!!!! BAKER BOYS HAVE A LOT OF TRICKS UP THEIR SLEEVES....BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE DEATH WISH PROMO VIDEO & THE ALL NEW BAKER SKATEBOARDS
SANDRO GRISON editor / publisher
DYLAN DOUBT photo editor
NICHOLAS BROWN arts editor
SAELAN TWERDY music editor
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS ando nesia, andrew norton, anthony acosta, brian caissie brian gaberman, chris shonting, dylan thorstenson, fred mortagne, geoff clifford, harry gils, hernan kahs, jeff thorburn johnathan mehring, jon bocksel, justin simon, kathy lo, ken goto, kyle shura, michael vanderbroek, neftalie williams oliver barton, rich odam, shane hutton, tadashi yamaoda tj watt, todd duym
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PHOTOGRAPHER gordon nicholas
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We gractiously regret an omission made in Color 6.1, page 30 “Oily Paintings” of Drue Langlois. This show was reviewed by Leah Turner, and miscredited to out Nicholas Brown. Also, Pat o’Rourke’s wonderfully captured frontside bluntslide, page 122 was shot by Jeff Comber, and not Harry Gils. Sorry fellas, the next round is on us.
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142 JORDAN HOFFART buddy board transfer [ o ] nicholas.
Published on May 1, 2008