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ISSN 1920-0404

art / fashion / music / film / life / skateboarding /

chad muska | peter hewitt | justin gastelum | tahiti pehrson dennis mcnett’s brooklyn | the blackouts | off! $7.99 CND/USD

a skateboard culture quarterly.





L I P. EELF E H OLLI I. N LIAN L LI sequence by comber











CHRISCOLE FS 360 to Front board. blabac SEQUENcE.

Scan To see Nyjah’s Welcome Video Get free App at:

switch frontside heelflip | photo By element AdvocAte: BriAn GABermAn |

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[ o ] PESUT

The Art of Crashing


ere’s what we here at Color call the dedication test: If you really want to do something, you will sleep on somebody’s floor in order to do it. Whether you are an artist, a musician or a skateboarder, if you don’t have the dedication enough to brave the rug burn and crash on somebody’s carpet after your opening, show, or session, you probably don’t really want to be there in the first place.

The subject of our pro interview for this issue, Lee Yankou 98, has certainly taken up his share of floor space. His adventuresome spirit has led him from his birthplace of Toronto to the streets of S.F., and landed him a spot on the Think team. Among other things Lee shared with our interviewer Isaac Mackay-Randozzi, he stressed his preference for hardwood over carpet, a statement only made by a seasoned, floorcrashing pro. A long-time fave of ours (how haven’t we featured him before?), Andrew Pommier 66, also knows the back-aching pleasures of floor and couch surfing. After recently returning from a series of solo exhibitions in Europe, he’s been shacking up with friends. He kept his studio space, but not his home, because for Andrew it’s better

to have a private place to work than a private place to sleep. If that’s not dedication, we’re not sure what is. Or take Jeff Ladouceur 88, the subject of our artist feature, who recently installed an enormous melting cartoon character on the Vancouver Art Gallery (brilliantly titled: “The Floater”), not bad for a guy who lived in rooming houses and washed dishes for his art, which by the way, is heart-stopping in its detail and intricacy. Or take the backwardly forward-thinking design group behind The Acid Sweat Lodge 26, who make it their mission to unearth images from our collective gritty past, reminding us that in this world of clean hotels and tidy tourism, there are still dirty outsiders and hidden pockets, still floors to be crashed upon and cars to be slept in. Whether it’s building a woodshop and a ramp in a condemned building 76, or seeking skate refuge in your asbestos-ridden basement 60, or building your own damn skatepark under a bridge 51, this is exactly the sort of dedication that inspires us. So unroll your sleeping bag and make yourself at home. This is the Spring Issue. Thanks for sharing the floor with us. Mike Christie, senior editor






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contributing photographer

contributing writer

Currently based in Vancouver, Seth Fluker is self-taught in the art of photography and has exhibited internationally in group and solo exhibitions, and has lived in both London and New York. Seth is the founder and director of Schnauzer, an independent publishing house, and his work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, including Bad Day, Vice, JSBJ, Seems and Dossier. Shooting exclusively in film, Seth spent a day photographing artist Jessica Delorme for our Fashion Feature: Portraits of an Artist. 82

I come from Algorta, Basque Country. Northern Spanish pioneers in surf&skate. That let me grow between professional improvisers. I spent my time there till I turned twenty-one and then moved to Barcelona where I started the non-stop world tour thanks in part to all those people that I met, first in Bcn and then in all those trips. One always led me to another till today, still in Bcn, still traveling, still skating and getting deeper and deeper in the different activities that I’ve been practicing parallel to skateboarding like photography, multi galactic design and drunk dancing. 114



contributing writer

contributing photographer

When introducing somebody new to our readers, it always helps when the contributor provides a brief Bio of some kind that we can work from. In the case of Justin, who is famously known for not owning a phone, we’re just lucky to have him in the magazine. Actually, we’re still surprised he was able to get his work to us, because, we found out, he also does not have a computer. Not surprising though, is that his interview with L.A. super-group OFF! kills. Justin is an incredible man, and sometimes woman if the job calls for it (he once dressed as a woman to help out a friend’s fashion show when their model had to cancel). Among other things, he’s an accomplished musician and visual artist, who splits his time between Los Angeles, Vancouver and Austin, TX. 56

Curtis Rothney, 18, was born in the flat land of Winnipeg, Manitoba where he spent his youth throwing his mom off sleds during the wintertime. Years later, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and has since been enjoying the smells of the harbour between Dartmouth and Halifax. He buys way too many snapbacks and Fourstar clothing for his own good, and stays up till 3am every night. Skateboarding and photography run his life and you’ll more than likely see him with a Nikon FM2n around his neck at all times. Beware of his extreme sarcasm. 60






contributing writer / web editor

contributing writer

Aside from writing, shooting photos and acquiring content for COLOR and its web site, Isaac has a 20 year battle with nollies that he continues to fight every time he skates. “Donkey kick” is his latest mantra, one can only hope for his sanity it works. Doing the stay-at-home-dad bit during the day in his off hours he skates as much as his old knees will let him and lurks the DLXSF shop stealing griptape when Matt isn’t looking. This Spring Stereo is releasing two more artist series decks and tee shirts featuring his photos. 96, 98

Rudi Jeggle is a skateboarder and a photographer who grew up under apartheid in Johannesburg, South Africa. After high school, his displeasure with racial segregation and passion for skateboarding fueled his move to California, where he lived the dream and worked at Tum Yeto, printing boards. Now, he’s back in Johannesburg, living happily with his wife Sarah and their two cats, and has managed to find a peace of mind in the place that he left. 36




Photo by fellow Pro Toy rider Diego (the Butcher) Bucchieri

distributed by Ultimate

Get Amongst it!

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66 AT THE TIME OF FEAR Andrew Pommier’s European Excursion


Sketches, dispatches and new artwork, a smorgasbord of documentation from Andrew Pommier’s touring exhibition in Europe. by Sandro Grison 60


lifestyle [ o ] GROSS

66 104

ARTIST Tahiti Pehrson

JIBBERJABBER a Dialogue with Jeff Ladouceur CALIFORNIA BIENNIEL Show


[ o ] FLUKER

88 140







44 58 78 146 22



82 SACRED CONVERSATION a fashion editorial with artist Jessica Delorme A photographer and a painter hole up in a studio to spend some time. Who is the artist and who is the muse? photography by Seth Fluker

(above) artwork by Andrew Pommier (here) illustration by Tahiti Pehrson & Brian Lotti







issue 1 Lee Yankou, top notch backside lipslide



on the cover Best known for being ‘that guy who draws dudes in bunny costumes’, Andrew Pommier continues to be whole lot more to those who know him, and those who got to know him whilst exhibiting overseas. We chose this piece (titled the Warren) not to celebrate Pommier’s new body of paintings, but because it’s full of faceless sex maniacs armed with knives, liquor and ciggarettes. I’d like to see BA.KU. pull off a pink balaclava. ANDREWPOMMIER.COM [ o ] ROTHNEY


98 LEE YANKOU Street ‘Jobs on The Rainbow Pavement interviewed by Issac Mckay-Randozzi 60

netherside Trolling Bridge Spots

If you’re ever going to raise something up, you’ve got to get underneath it. Mike Christie investigates the alluring power of the bridge.






SHAZAM with Zander Mitchell

Here’s an East Coast ripper with a mean flick and a purple mouth. Want to know what we mean? Read on.


xpat Justin Gastelum

114 Cliché IN ISRAEL Jerusalem, a city of stark juxtaposition: machine guns and flowers, old and new, night and day... cats. The Cliché team saw it all, photographed beautifully by none other than French Fred.



72 Destroyer

The new sadness softly ROCKS! The famously nasal Dan Bejar tones down his voice and turns up the smooth easy listening sax. The result? A musical masterpiece. Saelen Twerdy gets inside the mind of this creative Destroyer. photographed by Gordon Nicholas


The year punk got restored

What if members from each of your favourite punk bands made a new band? Well, it already happened. They’re called OFF! and they’re garnering heaps of praise from punks, skaters and critics alike. So now you know.


Toro Y Moi Steps Beyond

Don’t call this beach music. Our Alex Hudson learns that Toro Y Moi are living proof that electronic musicians can play real instruments.

Please recycle this magazine.



volume 9 issue 1

Visit us online to hear the full stories firsthand from both Atiba and Ako Jefferson.

The Blackouts

Atiba and Ako Jefferson, deejay The Waldorf, Vancouver

On his way to Vancouver from Los Angeles, Atiba get’s picked up by the stewardess noticing him reading Emerica’s Stay Gold book, finding out he shot the cover and some of its contents. Then Ako gets some unwanted attention when Vancouver police find Ako outside the Waldorf Hotel wearing a fur-hooded jacket similar to that of a burglar. And if you think the excitement couldn’t get any greater, they both played witness to a certified lower eastside beating when an unknown man (who was also described as tall and black — watch out Ako!) entered another party surrounding the Know?Show trade show. I caught up with the brothers Jefferson aka The Blackouts upon their photo show and exhibition in Vancouver along with Vans OTW advocates Eric Elms and Dimitri Coste. Afterward Atiba continued his quest to find ‘the one who got away’ the last time he was in Vancouver (Go Skate Day 2009) and AKO laid low, the two only distinguishable by the frames of their dark sunglasses.

wordsby sandro grison

Color: Why are you in Vancouver? AKO: deejaying for Vans OTW. ATIBA: We’re here to party! And it was a good excuse to eat Foundation with McCrank. What is you Citizenship? ATIBA/AKO: American How long will you be in the country? AKO: I’m here for three days. Your brother said 2. AKO: I’m here for three. He’s here for three too, but our papers say one day. Vans sent us these papers to give to customs and it says one day so it looks even sketchier. And I filled out my card wrong, I put Last name Jefferson, Ako and then I put my last name again because I was just

photosby gordon nicholas

out of it and I didn’t put my birthdate either so it looked sketchy.

Where are you staying? Waldorf Hotel, it’s great, it’s awesome.

Where’s the last place you traveled before entering Canada? AKO: New York for new years at Max Fish it was awesome. ATIBA: I take day trips, I just go for photo shoots like I was in SF last monday, the week before that I was in Phoenix, I kind of go all over. The last time I was out of the country would have been in September I went to China and Japan for an OTW trip.

Who do you know here? AKO: Rick McCrank, is the only dude I know. ATIBA: Rick and Tony Ferguson are the only two I texted. How much money did you enter the country with? $100.00 USD

I heard they got evicted or something? No, they got one more year now.

Is there anything you brought that you’re planning to leave in the country? AKO: A trail of dead… Hungover people. ATIBA: Beer cans with holes in them.

Now, after last night? AKO: Zero dollars. Beer is too expensive here. ATIBA: $50 was a cab, but totally I kept buying shots.

(continued online)

















“ S P A N K Y ”













R V C A . C O M


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The Acid Sweat Lodge is chartered in Vancouver British Columbia in accordance with the laws of the Universe as an artistic and educational organization. Since 2007 the Acid Sweat Lodge has supported various explorations and research projects, adding immeasurably to freedom of thought, patterns of fraternal interaction, and aspects of the future. ACIDSWEATLODGE.COM

Acid Sweat Lodge The Acid Sweat Lodge is a multi-media organization founded by artists and designers Kevin Romaniuk and Liam Hogan. What they do could be best described as being dedicated aggregators of cultural ephemera. As self-described on their website, they are “Organized for the Increase and Dissemination of Outsider Knowledge.” With most of the imagery mined from the late 60s to early 80s, there is a very singular aesthetic generated by everything the A.S.L. produces. Bikers, guns, snakes, beards, natural beauty, weapons, threats, displays of power—yes, the manliness factor is high. But there is something deeper at work here. In the age of sanitization and crystal clear digital photography, there is a profoundly dangerous feeling about their work, as though it recalls our collective past, when we were all a little harrier, a little blurrier, a little wilder, and a little more free. Here’s a breakdown of just some of the various stuff that the A.S.L. churns out:



Quarterly Reports: In the mocking style of a corporate report, these newsprint leaflets, four so far, produced by the Acid Sweat Lodge are clever, fun to look at and absolutely hilarious. Nothing is more entertaining than some fake graphs displaying the relative power and intimidation of wolves, tigers and sharks, run alongside a man riding a 70s Honda motorcycle while carrying a sword. The joke here is that the A.S.L. is conducting research on various subjects (for example: Medallions, Predators, Squatter’s Shacks, Freedom Ride) and is here presenting their findings, in a kind of graphic presentation. Not sure how many they print, but if you can find one, don’t make the mistake of not buying it. You won’t be disappointed. Readings: Selected images of books and magazines from the web. Heavy emphasis on beards, bikers and the occult. They’ve collected here some of the greatest and most unintentionally hilarious covers we’ve ever seen. A must see for any designer.

Playlists: On their website, the A.S.L. have prepared for your listening enjoyment a number of playlists, arranged by themes like “The Morning After” or “Too Late, each song certified and approved to be in accordance with the A.S.L. philosophy and aesthetic. With an emphasis on obscure and not so obscure metal, with plenty of treats thrown in to keep these playlists interesting, this is the perfect soundtrack for practicing your nun chuck routine or riding your motorcycle to the ocean shirtless. Channel: The Acid Sweat Lodge also maintain a popular YouTube channel where they post “Weekly Reports” that consist of a series of images set to wicked music. One can’t help but wonder during these awesome displays of ephemeral images, “Where the hell do they find this stuff? Thrift stores? Garage sales? Hours of trolling the web?” Wherever they find these images, they are awesome to look at, and these videos can really get a man

stoked on getting the hell away from his computer and out into the trees. Zines: Apart from the A.S.L. both Romaniuk and Hogan are well-established artists. Hogan, a designer, painter and illustrator whose art has shown at Antisocial, as part of the RedBull Happy Accidents Project, and most recently at the Flagship Boutique in Paris, has produced a number zines like the awesome Brotherhood, as well as other collaborative zines with Romaniuk. Romaniuk is mainly a photographer, whose work has been published numerous places like Vice, Thrasher, and Arkitip. In their zines, Romaniuk’s photographs are mostly documentary style depictions of masculinity, outsider lore and suburban upbringings. Check out the most recent collaborative zines, simply titled, “Romaniuk Hogan,” published by Brotown Press, for a captivating blend of their artistic sensibilities. —mike christie

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DAN REDMOND kickflip noseslide fakie manual frontside flip [ o ] dufresne.



PHIL ZWIJSEN nosegrind [ o ] hammeke.

STEFAN JANOSKI switch 50-50 [ o ] o’meally.



NATE ROLINE frontside tailslide hardflip [ o ] woytowich.

Bryan Herman. Nollie-Flip.

volume 9 issue 1

Tahiti Pehrson

Arc Hive, 2010 archival paper, 27" x 31"

wordsby rudi jeggle

Pehrson works with layers of monochromatic white paper, creating intricate, hand-cut sculptures that play with light and shadow. He draws inspiration from guilloché patterns (the intricate designs used as background to most currency), a favorite of his being early Russian currency. Pehrson also generates his own patterns using a guilloché pattern-generating program that creates almost an infinite number of options, which he then combines with his own natural and figurative imagery. The preferred tools of Perhrson’s trade are No. 11 X-Acto blades. Thousands of them. The finely cut images he produces cast shadows and light in such a way that they create a scene so intriguing, one might stand there and stare into them for hours. What’s the Colonel’s Secret Recipe? “I don’t like to plan it out or know totally what I’m doing. I’m a detail junkie and I want the pieces to be able to break up. So you have to look at it like that magic eye. A lot of times it’s like a letter to someone. It’s about whatever is bothering me, good or bad. The true recipe is a combination of a lot of things, but willpower is my main secret.”



[ o ] WELLER


estled in the forests of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills is the curious little town of Nevada City. Filled with remnants of its Gold Rush era history, the town now harbours a completely different kind of treasure, one that cannot be bought or discovered. To truly nurture an understanding of this strange place you’d need to access the life below the town’s blanket of mystery. A good place to start would be to become acquainted with one of the town’s artists. Well-known locally for his art, music and skateboarding, Tahiti Pehrson could certainly be described as a treasure. He has designed skateboard graphics for companies such as Adrenalin, Toy Machine, Familia Skateboards in South Africa and has just finished up a graphic for Brian Lotti’s board on Telegraph Skateboards. 

te rry k e n n e d y s i g n atu re s h o e the society mid in grey gunny tuf //

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text view:

page view:

RVCA x COLOR x YOU In our last issue, we got together with RVCA and asked you to get creative by placing an object on our contest page, snap a pic and then tweet it @COLORMAG and @RVCA. Man, we got a ton of amazing entries! We usually use this space to announce the contest winner from our last issue, but as we’re going to print before this contest is over, you’ll have to head over to to find out who won $500 worth of RVCA product after Valentines Day.

If My Phone is that smart, why can’t it make me a sandwich? We’ve had a ton of mail asking about getting your favourite issues of Color on your iPhone, Blackberry, Android phone, what have you. Here’s what we got! You can subscribe to view our digital edition issues from Zinio ( once you download the app to your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone. If you’re viewing the digital version on your desktop, you can also download a pdf of the issue for some sweet offline reading. And if you don’t have a phone or computer? Grab a real copy of the issue, hippy.

NIKE GETS WOOD Japanese artist and OG skater Haroshi has been making wooden sculptures for about ten years, slowly gaining popularity with each piece. “The Dunk” is one of his latest works and has garnered rapid notoriety for its enigmatic creator. Built with decks used by actual Nike SB pro riders (including P-Rod, Lance Mountain, Daniel Shimizu and Elissa Steamer to name a few), Haroshi utilizes a number of techniques, including a Japanese carving knife to make the intricate cuts and shapes. The result is so realistic that you’ll wanna throw these on and tear up the streets! Catch “The Dunk” as part of a solo show at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in NYC in April.


TIFFANY BOZIC FOR JUICE DESIGNS The San Franciscan creative impresarios of Juice Designs have teamed up with artist Tiffany Bozic to create this gorgeously crafted 80s-style deck. As Juice describes on the board’s packaging: “…break out your tail bones, jaw bones, and rails” and we couldn’t agree more. Because graphics as pretty as these just don’t deserve the business end of a boardslide.






Cliché enlisted the legendary Sean Cliver and Marc McKee as guest artists for these limited edition screenprinted decks. What resulted are these two Rocco-era World Industries-reminiscent beauties. Just the smell of the screen print alone is worth the price, guaranteed to bring back memories of 90s awesomeness. Both graphics are available in two different shapes and get them now, because this is a limit run.

A visual biography of Barry McGee’s distinctive street style, THR documents the paintings, drawings, installations and photographs of this legendary artist, from the early ’90s to the present. Edited by Beautiful Losers director Aaron Rose, this stunning “visual collage” has now been released by Alleged Press. At times politically motivated, and at others simply pleasing to the eye, McGee’s work never fails to elevate and chronicle the beauties, frustrations and addictions of modern urban life.





From the fertile mind of Benji Wagner, the man who directed the Antisocial shop video, comes the ingenious and hilarious line of camping-related accessories: Poler. Already with a skate team that features such outdoor luminaries as Cory Kennedy, Keegan Sauder, Rick McCrank, Arto Saari, Kenny Anderson, and Cairo Foster, and with a lockdown on Venn-diagrams, Poler is rapidly shaping up to be one of the raddest and most innovative brands out there. They make functional and gorgeously designed sleeping bags, camping gear, tents, and bags that won’t make you look like a high-tech alpine wannabe. Put your tent in the trunk, call your buddies, and get camping. POLER.TUMBLR.COM

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Anthrax YOU + YOURS COULD BE WATCHING REAL’S “SINCE DAY ONE” IN SF! Much to the delight of skateboarders everywhere, Real skateboards is unleashing there newest skateboard video, Since Day One everywhere on April 4, 2011. Canadian premieres will be held April 2nd in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. For more info on Canadian premieres visit If that doesn’t stoke you enough, Supra Dist could be flying you and a friend to the world premiere in San Francisco, March 31st. Can you name the skaters on the original Real team? Check out our website to test your Real skateboards-related knowledge to win a trip down to SF to attend the premiere. The only catch is that you might have to go hillbombing with Busenitz after the video...

VOLCOM X JOHN BALDESSARI Surf giant Volcom recently enlisted artistic big-timer John Baldessari for a series of limited print run tees that feature his particular brand of postmodern image mashup. Even one including his famous lithograph, “I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art.” These shirts are definitely not boring, but are available only at select Volcom retail stores (Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, London), or can be ordered online at:

Aces High If you’ve ever laid your head down at Ace Hotel’s NYC location, you may have noticed the custom drab olive Chuck Taylor’s that the staff are kickin’. Back for round two, Converse & Ace Hotel have come out with a new shoe incarnation, dubbed the CT All-Star Bosey, with details inspired by the basic training boots Converse made for the US military in the 1940s. The good news: you don’t have to work for Ace to get your feet in these Chucks. The bad news (depends how you look at it): limited edition of 300 pairs. Giddy up! SHOP.ACEHOTEL.COM

BARRIER KULT Amongst the daily rituals of violent militant barrier knife scraping, BA. KU. has recently answered the call of many with the launch of their signature clothing line. Apart from clothing, these balaclava-shrouded rippers have collaborated with Bones on a signature 56mm wheel and we should also see another shoe release with Emerica soon.




Rayos y Centellas


Best known for his photography and visually stunning short films shot around Europe, Spanish artist Juan Rayos has recently been getting a lot of attention for his collage-y use of the infamous Moleskine notebook. With materials collected from his travels, and strong imagery referencing iconicpolitical and historical moments, Rayos has put together a series of Moleskines that'll keep you turning pages and maybe even start speaking Espanol.

In support of No Damn Good skatepark, every Montrealer’s favourite place for a wintertime thrash, tattoo srtist Eric Dufour, of Art Cyniq, has created a blood-spattered NDG deck of monumental proportions. Set one of these suckers up and thrash any bowl properly. Oh and throw on one of NDG’s new t-shirts and you can complete the package.





We’re already gettin’ geared up for the 1st annual Skateboarding Awards as part of the Olio Festival in Vancouver this September. Also new to 2011, Olio is teaming up with Mint Records to put on a fierce music showcase as part of Austin’s upcoming SXSW music festival! An afternoon filled with tequila and tacos, as well as a Tiki bar, this year’s line up includes Hot Panda, Humans, and the legendary Nardwuar The Human Serviette stirrin’ up trouble. Andrew WK stopped by last year’s party for an impromptu performance of “Party Hard,” which is making us psyched for any surprises that may be in store for this year. See it all on Thursday, March 17th at Headhunters Tiki Bar, 720 Red River Street, Austin, TX. OLIOFESTIVAL.COM




[ o ] GROSS

Bryan Herman


volume 9 issue 1

Sharks & Hammers


Alex Usow & Mark Brand

wordsby caleb beyers

photosby gordon nicholas & joel dufresne


arly 1990s Nova Scotia wasn’t exactly a hub for hip hop, graffiti or street culture in general. But for those with their heads deeply buried in the game, particularly Alex Usow and Mark Brand (from Halifax and Dartmouth respectively), distractions were few and far between. In the early 90s, Brand moved to Australia where he learned to tend bar, spin records, promote shows and champion the natural-accent lyrical style that came to define and dominate the Australian hip hop world. He’d built a small empire, even bought a house, until he was abruptly forced to leave the country. He landed in Vancouver, and was befriended by Usow, on whose couch he slept as he struggled to find a foothold in Vancouver’s less-than-booming hip-hop scene.


Realizing the unwinnable battle he faced in rebuilding his former music empire in Vancouver, he returned to making cocktails, but with the passion he’d formerly given to music. His swift rise to success in the food and beverage world (including numerous awards and an increasingly solid reputation) enabled him to create two of Gastown’s most unlikely, but now iconic spots: Boneta and The Diamond. Never one to hoard his success, Brand was inspired by a late session that led to Usow’s crafting of a “Free ODB from Heaven” graphic, and offered to print up a bunch of t-shirts featuring Usow’s work.

However, before he knew it, Brand had come through, and found a little space a few doors east of The Diamond, which together (along with the help of a crew of friends), they converted from a foul purple and green bong shop into a space fit to draw in buyers for Usow’s tees. They called it Sharks + Hammers. It worked out for a while, but as anyone in retail knows, you’ve got to keep things fresh in order to survive. When the Stussy shop opened up across the street, Usow couldn’t help but covet the slick, custom wooden interior and the immediate traffic the new neighbours enjoyed.

Boxes of over 600 t-shirts filled Usow’s apartment, making it nearly uninhabitable.

“How can we sell more shirts, and what can we do about this goddamn floor?”


Sharks + Hammers’ gnarly concrete floor was so steeply sloped that “Bottles would roll clean across it,” recalls Usow. Not to mention the fact that it had a coffin carved into it. Soon after voicing his concerns, Usow got a midnight phone call from Brand. “You know how you can’t get good sushi in Gastown? Why don’t we find a new spot for Sharks, and reopen it with a proper sushi joint attached.” As with most of Brand’s ideas, to Usow it sounded a bit crazy, but Brand has got a knack for pulling things off. Of course, he already had his eye on a couple of adjoined spaces (complete with 100 year-old wood floors), a culinary team that could more than deliver the sushi goods, and a project for the original Sharks space, so the ball was already rolling. It wasn’t long before Sharks got its new floor, Gastown was able to get honest, delicious, unadorned raw fish in the form of Sea Monstr Sushi, and the Catalog Gallery/Catalog Creative was born in the original Sharks spot. At the heart of this growing Vancouver empire is Brand

and Usow’s dedication to keeping things brutally honest, totally unpretentious and all about community. They’ve moved into spaces in corners of neighbourhoods with distinctly checkered pasts, but have managed to do right by engaging the people around them, listening to everyone’s ideas and opinions (while being selective about which ones to implement), by taking risks and putting their dedication to craft (in all facets of their ventures) at the top of the priority list. “Sure, we could probably make more money by bringing in the tried-and-true brands, but with the arrangement we’ve got, The Catalog Gallery pays for itself through the creative agency, and Sea Monstr can keep things rolling if Sharks + Hammers goes through a slow period.” Judging by the mix of brands and the feel of the new Sharks + Hammers space, by the top-notch quality of the sushi at Sea Monstr, and by the work that’s being shown and produced at Catalog, the “slow period” is more than likely a thing of the past.



volume 9 issue 1



Untitled 3

By Christopher Ramsey We asked artists Graham Landin, Christopher Ramsey and John Burgess to create these pieces, celebrating through sculpture the artistic elements of skateboard paraphernalia.

(clock-wise starting with grey hat)

SECTOR 9 burglar beanie GRAVIS arto lx womens shoe FLIP mountain vato skull deck LAKAI encino shoe TOY MACHINE american monster deck VANS bungalo bag STACKS stacks stack deck C1RCA the nuge shoe



Unless it’s the Cash Cab, she ain’t takin’ one. When she arrives, it’s always on time. When she’s there, you’ll know it. When she leaves, you’ll wish you were with her. salasphotos

volume 9 issue 1


Untitled 2 By John Burgess


(clock-wise starting with straw hat)

QUIKSILVER pierside straw hat EMERICA heath kirchart white jeans KR3W jim white destroyed denim CHOCOLATE tone on tone wheels ALTAMONT zach hill shirt THUNDER 149ers trucks



DC crashin carabiner VANS climber carabiner DC star 2 belt ADIDAS campus vulc shoe CONVERSE sea stars shoe HUF southern shoe

QUIKSILVER rf1 shoe GIRL bad dogs wheels BAKER wood blocks deck GIRL carroll fries deck ANTIHERO classic eagle xxl deck ALMOST marnell unity deck

volume 9 issue 1


Untitled 1


By Graham Landin

(clock-wise starting with purple shoe)

CONVERSE trapasso pro suede mid shoe KR3W phantom watches INSIGHT beanpole art pants INCASE ping pong iphone cases NATIVE fitzsimmons boots HUF hupper shoe ELEMENT the woody complete SHOE GUU black COMUNE native tank top ROYAL og trucks FLIP grooves tutti-frutti wheels



distributed by Ultimate



volume 9 issue 1

Scott Decenzo Backside tailslide patersonphoto.

wordsby mike christie


ridges have long played an important role in skateboarding’s history. Apart from being perfect places to seek shelter from the rain, there is something about their architecture—the concrete columns, the girders—as well as the very idea of a bridge that just naturally fits with what skateboarders are doing. colORMAGAZINE.CA


“taking back these nowhere spaces, these places that no one owns or cares about.�



(opposite) Jamie Maley Frontside carve henryphoto.

(below) Stephen Richard Nosegrind yamaodaphoto.

As a kid, you must have heard Three Billy Goats Gruff at least once. It’s a Norwegian folk tale in which three goats have to pass over a bridge under which lives a nasty troll. On his way across, the first goat is stopped by the troll who threatens cruelly to, “Gobble him up!” The small goat thinks fast and tells him that a bigger, tastier goat is soon coming across the bridge. The troll is greedy so he lets the first goat go. The next goat comes, and when threatened in the same way by the troll he says exactly the same thing. The troll lets him cross, too. When the last goat comes across, but he is so big that he is able to kick the troll off the bridge and into the water. The troll is never seen again. Perhaps this story can shed light on why skateboarding and bridges make such a good pair. Skateboarding is a marginal activity, and like the troll in the story, under a bridge is where the unusual, marginalized people belong. Everybody knows that bad things lurk under bridges. Vagrants, rats, garbage, graffiti, unwanted things, this in addition to it being a good place to get up to sketchy business, far away from prying eyes. From the perspective of an architect, the space under a bridge is unplanned, unconsidered, accidental, and mostly unseen by the normal public going about their day. So it is interesting that skateboarders have chosen to build many of our

DIY parks beneath them, thus taking back these nowhere spaces, these places that no one owns or cares about, and have used them for something creative. And it’s not just Burnside and FDR anymore: Washington Street, Bordertown, Channel Street, Leeside, to name just a few. And that’s not counting the natural spots and the smaller more makeshift ones that lie in the immediate vicinity of a bridge. Maybe this was why the Vancouver Skate Plaze was build under the Georgia viaduct, because the land was unused, and it just seems to fit there, it seems right. And It’s not hard to conclude that Burnside has been allowed to exist for so long because it was built under a bridge. Imagine if they’d tried to start pouring concrete in the middle of a vacant lot? City planners would have torn it down in a minute. It just seems to fit there, nestled in with all that other concrete, the girders, and the garbage. It’s almost like it was supposed to be there from the beginning, and maybe on some level, the city planners recognize this too. So next time it’s raining, get down there under the bridge for a skate with the trolls. Because in this story you don’t have to worry about the goats, just let them all pass. With all the amazing natural spots and new DIY parks under bridges these days, we trolls have better things to do anyway.



volume 9 issue 1

“We’ve hit on something, but we feel very much like a new band. Like a baby.”

wordsby justin gradin

photoby sean peterson


was reading an L.A. Weekly and drinking a cup of tea on Sunset Blvd when I saw a very small ad for a warehouse show in downtown Los Angeles. I didn’t recognize the band’s name, but their show was happening with a viewing of Raymond Pettibon’s artwork. The ad stated that Pettibon was presenting an installation, and there would be free beer, and no cover charge. It all sounded pretty good. When I finally made it downtown to the 6th Street warehouse, the place was jam-packed with hundreds of people. Pettibon’s art was all over the walls, and free beer was being guzzled everywhere. Then the band came out and grabbed their equipment, which was set up in the middle of a half pipe. Standing there was a supergroup of musicians: Keith Morris (Circle Jerks/ Black Flag), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross/ Tater Totz), and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes). This was OFF!, and it was their first L.A. show. You could tell just from the energy in the crowd that this was going to be an exciting and possibly historic show. When the band blasted in to their first song, fast and intense, the entire place erupted in chaotic and frenzied dancing. The crowd responded to OFF! like they were a band they had been listening to for years, knowing every chord change and every lyric. Their set was extremely fast, and was over just as quickly: a very big night for such a small ad. Left wanting more, Color called up guitarist Dimitri Coats to find out how OFF! came to be and where the band is headed. Color: When OFF! started, what was the original concept? Was it just for fun, or was it more that you guys felt that it was important to start a band like this now? Dimitri: It happened sort of accidentally. I’ve been friends with Keith Morris for a long time, and I started to produce what was going to be the new Circle Jerks record, and during that process Keith and I started writing songs, and unfortunately the album fell apart. But we had all these great songs that we had started writing, and we knew we had a really interesting chemistry there, and we were pushing things into a different direction than what was going to be that Circle Jerks album. We were starting to head into darker territory, more like where Keith originally



comes from with Black Flag. So, instead of just not doing anything with the songs we’d written, we decided to form a band and make something out of it, and Steven and Mario were our first choices. They heard the stuff we were doing and were way into it. So you guys had an idea of who you wanted? Oh, absolutely, those two guys where at the top of our list. The first time we ever played together in a room it was pretty intense. Then we recorded what was the first and second EP from the box set, pretty early on, before we even played a show. Then we did gigs around L.A., we did South by Southwest. By booking our own parties here in L.A., word just started getting out, and the next thing you know we had interest from people to put out our music. The box set that you just mentioned, the four 7” EPs, is that an aesthetic thing for you guys, just doing 7” records or are there plans to do a full-length LP? Well, the original idea was to just take our time and put out a 7” every couple of months or something, and after we had four of them we would release it as a collection, like an album. But things moved so quickly. Vice Records wanted to have us get a release out before Christmas, so it was a bit hectic. We had to deliver two more EPs in a month’s time. The

first thing I did was book a mastering session at the end of the month, and Keith and I started writing the third and fourth EP.

I was actually at the 6th Street warehouse show you guys did… Oh cool, that was our first L.A. Show.

So you guys wrote them both in the same session? Yeah, the third and fourth EP. Those were recorded in one day, and the first and second were also recorded in one day, but, like I said, that was even months before we played a show. So, it’s interesting, you know, once it hits “Panic Attack,” you are then hearing a band that has played shows and has gone on adventures together, and gotten to know each other, and had the opportunity to be an actual band. And the first and second EP was....

You guys did that with a Raymond Pettibon art show. Does OFF! have any more plans to collaborate the art show with the live show? Uh, I’m not sure, you know, we might play a secret party at Raymond’s studio, but that wouldn’t be anything we’d announce to the public. We don’t wanna bother him too much, he’s been really generous so far in terms of what he’s allowed us to use. If he’s up for it, certainly we’ll do it, but I think it’s more fun for him to just come and hang out as opposed to rolling up his sleeves and getting on a ladder.

Just sort of writing and recording? Yeah! Pretty much. You guys wanted to use Mario and Steven from beginning, was Raymond Pettibon a choice right from the beginning as well? Yeah, totally. That was something we talked about really early on. Keith has been friends with Raymond for years going back to Black Flag, and it just seemed to make sense. We wanted that kind of cynical humor to be a part of what we were doing, and we knew that it would heighten the music.

I’ve seen you a couple times in L.A., and the response always seems so positive, and there are always so many people into it. Has the response been like that everywhere you’ve been now? Yeah. It’s really overwhelming, and we seem to have touched a chord, not only with fans of punk rock and hardcore, but just people who are into all sorts of music. I mean, we were really surprised that the Pitchfork crowd latched onto it right away, and everyone has been so forthcoming with all the praise, and it means the world to us that we have a shot at doing this for real. (continued on p.138)

October 3, 2010 - Barcelona, Spain g

volume 9 issue 1



— Four Loco / Water

— Falafel sandwich / Sushi



— Ivory Serra: The Serra Effect / War Of The Worlds

— Winters Bone / Clockwork orange



— Harmony Korine / Stanley Kubrick

— Glow in the dark paint / Case



— Atiba Jefferson / Helmut Newton

— Focused / Relaxed



— Harif Guzman / Andy Warhol

— Quim Cardona / John Lennon



— Venice Beach / Burnside

— Are for jocks / Used to be fun


— Don Hills NYC / Teddy’s LA (When Amanda Demme did it)



— The 90’s are back / Wearing whatever you feel at that time.


— Tre Flip Nose Slides around the corner / If You hit it really hard there is usually a hit left.


— New skate park in Tribeca on the west side highway (NOT THE CHELSEA ONE) / Brooklyn Banks


— Allergic - Miss Kittin (I know its old but I like it right now) / So hard to pick a “ best” but one i love is... Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd



— Berlin / New York City


CHAD MUSKA introby alexis gross

photoby gordon nicholas

Originally stealing our hearts in Shorty’s ‘Fulfill the Dream’, Chad Muska has travelled quite a distance in his skateboard career. With a love for all things creative, “Mu$ka” as he signs his name, has also established himself as a deejay and more recently an artist, showcasing a year (if not a lifetime)’s worth of work, inviting the public to his New York City loft. It seems that with all of the success Muska has garnered since the 90s, it would be difficult to set the bar any higher. But the man is incredibly humble, while being passionate about what he does, and thanks skateboarding for offering him such a solid platform for his creativity to develop.

— Leo Romero / Mark Gonzales


— Boo Johnson / All the ams are the best now a days! Too hard to choose one!


— Now is the most important time / The best is yet to come


— Don’t talk about what you are going to do. Just do it. / Listen to the voice in your head. Its usually right.

volume 9 issue 1

wordsby mike christie

photos & captionsby curtis rothney


lexander Mitchell is from the middle of nowhere. It’s the kind of place where kids grow up dreaming of one thing and one thing only: escape. I looked up New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, the town of 9,000 that Alexander hails from, on Google Maps streetview and even after a few minutes of lazy clicking around its downtown, I myself felt that very same overwhelming urge to just get the hell out of there. After just watching Alexander’s jaw-dropping sponsor me tape, it was hard to believe a kid from the boring streets I was looking at could get so damn good. Seriously, what does he skate? Isn’t it like winter all the time there? And whipped with hurricanes for the rest of the year? Well, obviously he’s skating something, because this past year Alexander went on a tear that included first place finishes in both the DC Nationals and Am Getting Paid qualifiers in Halifax, and a spectacular 3 rd place in DC’s King of Montreal, where he bested some of Canada’s most seasoned and hungry amateurs, thus vaulting himself from absolute obscurity to a prominent place on the radar of skaters and skate media across the country.

The last time we were here, an old lady parked her car in the landing and started reading a newspaper, but this day we actually got to skate it for a while. An hour spent doing tricks down an over head-high drop in floppy vulc shoes. Your heels don’t thank you for this nosebonk.



I arranged to phone Alexander after he got home from school and then ended up calling a little late. He was just sitting down to dinner with his mom and politely asked me to call back in fifteen minutes. “Is that long enough to eat dinner?” I said. “Oh yeah,” he said enthusiastically, “I eat fast.” When I called back, it only took a few minutes for me to discover that along with being super polite, Alexander is a funny, easygoing, genuine and cool kid to talk to. He didn’t really have an accent except when he’d use words with ‘a’s in them. Because of this he named Maaurk Appleyauurd as his favourite skater of all time, which was my favourite part of the interview for sure. We talked about the East Coast, asbestos poisoning, Trailer Park Boys, slanging Gatorade at school and just how the hell did he get so good. Though this was his very first interview, he handled my questions like a pro. So much for the idea that “kids these days” are disinterested hellions. Keep your eye on this one everybody, he’s something special.



Color: How long ago did you learn kickflips? Alexander: Well, I’ve been skating for nearly ten years, and it took me like two or three years to learn a kickflip, cause I sucked for a long time. Whoa, so you started when you were seven? Yeah, my brother got me into it when I was like really young. And I sucked until I started skating my basement over the winters and that’s when I pretty much learned how to like, use shit. Is that what you are doing this winter? Well, not any more because my basement has like asbestos in it. Really? What does the asbestos look like? It just looks like grey and brown dust on the pipes. They’re wrapped with this cloth stuff and the asbestos

is just this thick dust shit. In some spots it looks like a bunch of little dots or spots. Did it affect you when you skated? Yeah, I used to skate down there for like two hours sometimes, but after I was done skating my lungs would hurt. I would always have to blow my nose after I skated and there would always be like black shit in my boogies. If I find out I have lung cancer later on in life, I’ll know why. That would really fucking suck. Now that you can’t skate your basement, do you have anywhere else? Because the winter is pretty long there right? Yeah it’s like four months. There’s this one dude that lives like 20 minutes from my house and he’s got a little mini-ramp in his garage, it’s like a three-foot. I’ll skate that over the winter—I try to make it over there like once

a week. It’s small though, so it makes you think you’re like better at ramp skating, and then you go to a real one and you suck! [laughs] I have that problem myself, except on all ramps. But you’ve been skating outside? Me and Curtis shot two of the photos for my interview like after Christmas. That’s Canada right there. Are you gonna move away from New Glasgow do you think? Oh, I’d love to. I want to move to Montreal or something real soon. In the summer I’m going to Montreal, like over my school break, for a few months. I got a bunch of money saved right now. And just skate? Yup. Skate and film and shoot with Curtis. What grade are you in? I’m in grade eleven. So you’re almost done? Oh yeah. Do you like school? No. School here sucks. Everyone is just annoying. Nobody skates at my school and if you don’t play hockey you’re not cool here. Is that like Sidney Crosby country? [laughs] Yeah, exactly. It’s pretty much the worst. Do they beat you up? No [laughs], but people make fun of me and stuff. They usually just yell “skater fag!!” out of their shitty Honda Civics as they race by.

Nice. Do you guys eat a lot of fish? I guess. But I’m not that into fish, I like salmon and trout, I guess. Some lobster, [laughs] is that like a stereotype for you? No! [laughs] I just wanted to ask an East Coast question, plus I really like eating fish and I’ve always thought if I lived there I’d eat it like every day. Well we definitely have some good fish here, that’s like the main thing. You just take the bus out to Halifax for the weekend to skate? Yeah, we stay at what they call The Weird Life Mansion, it’s like Nick Hanlon, and Peter Regan, and Chris Strabo’s house. Nick Hanlon runs this wheel company called Weird Life, and we’re trying to film a video, and they’re pretty much the only people I film with. But Pro Skates just like took his camera back! Was it the shop’s camera? Yeah it was, he used it all summer and maybe they forgot about it or something, and they were like, “Yeah we need that back now.” We got a lot of use out of it though. He has his own MK-1 [fisheye lens], but he doesn’t have his own VX. So after you won the DC Nationals qualifier in Halifax, you got to go to Montreal, and they put you up there and stuff? Yeah, in a hotel. Thanks Trevn, he’s the DC team manager. I want to live there for sure. It’s like the best scene, everyone is like super chill, and I don’t know, it’s definitely better than here.

(opposite) It took some convincing from the 8 people that were around that dropping off a bench straight into a wallie was a good idea. After all was said and done, we were only left wondering if Zander is pissing colors yet from all of that Gatorade at his house.” (below) This is not a trick but an artful expression of Zander’s love for the trees. There’re even artsy leaves in the foreground. That’s why he’s on Habitat. Backside 180 nosegrind.

Nobody skates at my school and if you don’t play hockey you’re not cool here.

Are there dudes that look like [Trailer Park Boys] Ricky and Julian cruising around with mixed drinks in their hands? Oh for sure! All the time. There are some pretty ripper people here. And everyone just hates on skating. They’re always yelling out of their car window at you, “You fuckin’ idiot! What ya doin’ with your life!” Me and my friend were snow skating and this dude yelled at us from his car and called us cocksuckers. It’s just like random shit, dude. How about being from the East Coast, do you think that there is anything about East Coast skaters that is different from other skaters? I dunno, probably like the way people work, like the spots people skate, they have to try harder. Halifax skaters can skate super sketchy spots and some guys can skate really high ledges way too easily, over waist-high ledges off flat like it’s nothing. And it forces people to be like more creative, rather than just huck down stairs and rails and stuff. Is your town on the ocean? Yeah, it’s right on the ocean, like, the Bay of Fundy or whatever, it’s close to that. Well, I don’t know, I’m pretty bad with geography. So am I, don’t worry. Do you get out in boats very much? I used to take sailing lessons, me and my brother when I was younger. I got my White Sail 3 or some shit, I don’t know.



Yeah, seriously. That’s my least favourite

How was skating the DC King of Montreal? I was pretty intimidated at first. Paul Trep was there just killing it, and Brandon Del Bianco and Micky Papa, they were shredding, just doing everything down the double set like first try. The ledge thing was first and I didn’t do that well in that, but then it was stairs, like, the Pointe-à-Callière replica, and that’s what made me do well, I guess. Did you feel like a kid from a hick town? Oh yeah! But Johnny Purcell was there, he’s from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, so I was like, okay, I can maybe do this. And he actually did sick, he got like tenth. Everybody who was there told me that you were just killing it. I was surprised that I did so well, usually I get super nervous and just choke, just fall super bad on everything. 64


And then you ended up getting the Gatorade Go All Day award? Yeah, like the lamest award ever. No, I’m kidding, it was like a thousand dollars and 380 bottles of Gatorade delivered to my house. Where is the Gatorade now? I’ve been like selling it, that’s how I’ve been making my money. I bring them to school for like a $1.50 each, or $10 for a case of twelve. Have you drank any of them? Yeah, I only like blue stuff, so I have my own personal supply of blue, and then I told people I sold all the blue, so I just sell all the other colours.

Yellow is the worst. Yeah, seriously. That’s my least favourite. But there’s one kid who loves yellow at my school so I just sell them to him. You got to get more Gatorade! Yeah, I actually have like two cases left. Or maybe I need to get a job now. Do you always skate really hard, like when you session normally, do you skate for a long time? Oh yeah, I always skate until I’m like done, like I try super hard. I just want to learn new tricks and shit, and I don’t really like practice, I skate for fun, but definitely whenever I session I just skate until I’m as tired as possible. What did you do with the $1000? I don’t know, I just bought some clothes, and I think I bought

illustration by Eric Cruikshank

(opposite) It’s December 21st and we need to get a trick, so we decide to go to the busiest street downtown to skate this rail. As security is yelling threats trying to ban us from an entire street, Zander did this frontside feeble not once, but three times in a row.

(below) I witnessed terrible things at this spot on the King’s College campus. Far too many nerdy 20-year-old dudes being hero citizens. We managed to get this kickflip over the rail while one of them was distracted by his new Nerf gun. I’ve heard the new features are great.

ZANDER MITCHELL'S GATORADE FLAVOUR RANKINGS: 1. Blue, the only one I’d actually buy. 2. Purple 3. Orange 4. Red 5. Yellow, tastes like salty piss.

some Xbox games, but when I got down to $500, I realized that I have to go to Montreal for the summer and I didn’t have a job, so I was like, “Shit, I gotta save this!” So then I started selling all my Gatorade so now I have like $1000 again. Which is pretty much all I need for Montreal for two months, because I’ve got a place to stay with homies and stuff. I’m excited to get out of here! Who are some of your favourite skaters? Pretty much since I started skating, Mark Appleyard was my favourite skateboarder. Just because the first video I saw was Flip’s Sorry. So him and Arto Saari, and like, Silas Baxter-Neal. Definitely Reynolds, that’s a given. And Heath Kirchart for sure. I dunno, let me just look at the posters on my wall…oh, Nick Trapasso, that dude’s sick. And Magnus Hanson, that dude is sick. What East Coast skaters did you look up to? Definitely Brad MacDonald, B-Mac! And Travis Francis had the sickest style, he quit skating though. Neil Blackwood, he’s sick. And people from Halifax, when I was really young I would always see Nate Oliver, he was always killing it. So who are your sponsors right now? Weird Life Wheel Co., and Pro Skates, and Habitat boards and shoes. What’s coming up for you? What are you filming for now? I’m filming for the Weird Life video. That sponsor me tape that you saw, that’s like my best footage right now, but I’m going to try to film for the rest of this year, and then go to Montreal and just try to get footage, really. I just finished a part for Kevin MacDonald’s video, I don’t know if it’s ever going to come out though. But other than that, I’m not sure. I’d like to film a real part for like a real video… colORMAGAZINE.CA


issue 1


t’s obvious that we should have featured Andrew Pommier’s art before now, and to be fair, his work and even a sizable photo of him skating have appeared over the years. But it wasn’t until recently, since his return from a three-month saunter through Europe, that it was just way too much to ignore. Perhaps this was the moment we were all waiting for. Being able to witness his process in Vancouver while he was working on such an important solo show (well, between work really… we both appreciate a good ale) was a pleasure to say the least. I use the word important because not only did it travel to four galleries (and onward as I write this), but the 24 oil paintings and paired watercolours mark a turning point, and in my opinion: a revelation, in Pommier’s career as an artist. It was the least I could do to ask to publish some samples, so we could share them with our readers, who might not frequent the south of France enough to have caught his exhibit at one of the Spacejunk galleries. And perhaps that’s all I needed to do.

From the start of his career it has been apparent that Pommier has something to say, and it doesn’t end with humans in animal costumes. I was initially struck by the over 1600 digital photos he shot on his trip with his cellphone. Then, while we waited on images of the installation from the gallery, he trusted me with his sketchbook to paw through. I got to see each painting via slides, including those that were packed up and shipped from Vancouver so immediately that literally nobody got to see them, except the twenty or so artists who share his Hastings Street studio. He shared his thesis with me when I expressed my interest in purchasing one of his paintings.



I’d been saving up for a while now (it’s really not enough to own a screenprint when you’ve been a fan as long as I have). I guess that’s what Andrew Pommier’s appeal is: I never feel like I’ve had enough. So finally we managed to sit down at a pub close to both our studios, and I put on my work-face, asking him questions ranging from what this new body of work means, their intentions, influences, meaning, and intuition. After an hour-long interview and spending three and a half more for transcription… I’m more inclined to let the work, travel drawings and photos speak for themselves, so why not share a letter he sent in the midst of his travels... —Sandro Grison

From: andrew pommier Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 02:42:52 -0800 (PST) To: Alessandro Grison <> Subject: Rollin’ Did I send you this I just did an update this evening. Yeah things are good (but I have to say all the smoking is starting to make me a little mental). I’m in Prague at the moment. Got here on Saturday after a 17-hour bus ride from Lyon. It wasn’t too bad, might do it again to get to Brussels, it’s a little shorter trip only 14 hours. Going to chill in Prague for a week and a half and then roll up to Brussels (maybe) and then to Amsterdam to meet my friend Cherie for a week and then down to Paris for 12 days and then back to Vancouver on the 15th of December. Prague is amazing. It’s a really beautiful city. I know people always say that but it’s true. I’ve just been checking out the sights mostly. Met up with Bison last night. They played a show at one of the colleges here. I found out about it a little too late so got there just as everything was finishing but was able to throw back a few post gig beers with them. It’s always nice to see some people that you know. The shows have been alright. About as well as an antisocial show really. Good crowd, nice comments, zero sales. Well that’s not true I sold one watercolour at the first show. Just 50 more paintings to go. Can’t really complain too much as I’ve been bumming around Europe for many weeks now. Got to hang with Fos in London and Benjamin in Paris plus a few other friends in Berlin. Berlin was a really great time but also had it’s shitty moments. Spent a crazy three days in Barcelona. That place is good too. Met up with French Fred in Lyon which was really lovely. I’m really glad I could get away. Sometimes I feel like I could do this forever and other times I want to be in Vancouver at my studio right now. I would like to say at my apartment but ain’t got one of those at the moment. Still thinking I’ll roll down to California in the new year. We’ll see what transpires when I get back. How’s by you? Things good?

The Sparrows Have it oli on wood, 20” x 24” 2010



How did this Euro traveling solo show come to be? The show came to be by a connection i have with a gallery owner who does a lot of curatorial work and consulting in the action sports industry. So I was initially contacted by him for a show that Quiksilver put together called “Art On Foam” which was artists painting on surfboards. Then, a few years later he contacted me about working with Rossignol. Rossignol has an artist program they’ve been doing since 2006/07 called the Seven Artistic Sins and it’s based off the seven deadly sins. And through that he was like hey do you want to do a solo show in the galleries? So that was the impetus for it. Lets talk about the artwork itself and how that came together. What does this particular body of work mean to you? We talked about the show about a year and a half ago so I had other things I needed to finish up before I started. So I started it at the beginning of last year and I was trying to figure out what to do and I was sort of coming to the end of the paintings that I had been doing. I wanted a change and I wanted to get back to a more art-centred practice instead of just a graphic-centred practice. So I was thinking about using older paintings in my show and I was talking to a studio mate of mine and he said to me “Why would you use older paintings, why wouldn’t you do a whole new body of work?” so that’s what I did, I started from scratch essentially. I had a few paintings that I thought could work in the show so I used those and I just thought about what I wanted to do next and so I returned to oil. And I wanted to get more of an art dialogue in there so that’s what I did, I just started from that. It’s almost like there is two different shows in this set because you also had a big series of watercolours. Yeah, um… Watercolours are a way of just quickly running through ideas and in one sense they’re good because they are a lot cheaper than the paintings in the show so if someone really likes my work and has a little bit of disposable income then they can get a watercolour and I like using watercolour because I can run through ideas really quickly and those ideas will then impact on the larger work. It’s just like another avenue that I really enjoy. I think the work is separate, yeah, but I think they work in tandem as well. Not that you should have a show that shows everything you can do because that’s a little too pretentious, but I think they partner okay. Topless oli on wood, 20” x 24” 2009



“The idea isn’t flesh and blood and gore, but then when I’m finished people tell me that and I’m like, oh yes of coarse!”

I don’t want to say ‘most important’, but would you consider this show one of your biggest projects? Yeah it was the biggest solo show I’ve had. It was the most range, cause I’ve had solo shows before in Australia but it was a smaller space. the thing about Spacejunk is one of their spaces is huge, it’s like 2000 square feet, and then another space is a quarter that size. So I had to make sure I had paintings to fit in the big one and I had measurements, but you never really know how it’s going to look in the big space. But I was really happy with how it turned out. It was also an important show because I changed how I painted and it was a turning point. I was really excited about finding a new language and finding something to say and something that could evolve and I could stay interested in for a while. I was sort of getting bored of what I was doing before because the commercial work I was doing was similar to the paintings I was doing and I wanted to divide those to practices. So now, the things I used to paint, like the animal head stuff and all that sort of metamorphic stuff is all just commercial work now. It doesn’t fit into my gallery practice, or my fine art practice. Red oli on wood, 20” x 24” 2010

That’s cool, so you found a separation and that kept you motivated. Yeah but they work cohesively and I think if I put up a t-shirt design or a board graphic and a painting beside it, there’s similarities still. It’s still my hand, still my aesthetic but it’s more stripped down. It seems like your work is a lot darker than in past shows. I think part of it was that I wanted to take humour out of it of it and I wanted to get away from the cute, and I wanted to get more serious about it. And I wanted to explore materials more. Like this show has a lot more materials involved with it.

There’s a few that have direct pencil and I wanted to get the pencil in more of the forefront of the presentation rather than a background where it had been in the past. I wrote an artist statement for the show I was talking about masks and how they can be two things, they can be aggressive. You know, terrorists and bank robbers wear masks. And also people wear masks to become anonymous so to hide their character and disguise that. I used the masking element which is basically a balaclava or ski-mask and they’re done in a portrait style with their head and shoulders so I concentrated on the head... I’ve always really liked minimal work and I’ve never been able to find a way to incorporate that into what I do, the earlier work didn’t really allow for that. So it’s more about using an art language to communicate than using a graphic language to communicate. How do you respond to those people who reacted surprised at your newer work? I think part of it was a reaction to encountering the unexpected because there’s definitely people who went to that show looking for people in animal costumes and some sort of cute, funny/ sad idea. So then they don’t see that, they don’t have the usual signals or icons so they don’t know what to react to. They’re coming to that show with a preconceived notion and the material is more prevalent, like the pencil is more aggressive. People are scared because they don’t… well, not to discount because obviously they know what they like, but my paintings like I said, was more about an art language so if they don’t have that vocabulary, that understanding, then yeah they’re going to get a little shook by it. People who show at Spacejunk are more about icons and iconography and graphic illustrative style work so people go there expecting one thing and when you through a wrench in the plot they don’t know how to react. You’re throwing them out of their comfort level so they’re scared because they don’t know how to interpret what they’re looking at. So I think that’s part of it, and also they are eyes, and they are staring at you so they’re a little more confrontational.



But you wouldn’t describe them as dark at all? I mean, some of the colours you chose have a very raw, fleshy kind of muscly tones. Yeah, there’s definitely some that are fleshy. Maybe it’s shortsightedness on my part because I see it as trying to accomplish a complete presentation of an idea that I have and maybe as the creator I can’t see how the viewer interprets it. I mean, obviously I do, but it’s like, those aren’t my first thoughts, like I’m not trying to echo flesh. It’s usually like, oh I have this idea, it’s in my sketchbook and then I paint it so I’m really focused on how to get it as close to the idea that I have. The idea isn’t flesh and blood and gore, but then when I’m finished people tell me that and I’m like, oh yes of coarse! because I’m seeing it one way and they’re seeing it another because they’re bringing their own interpretations to it so I have to be open to that. And you’re right, it is a little more aggressive and a little more visceral and like, fleshy, but that wasn’t really my intention. Maybe that’s a copout? Some artists make art just to see how people might interpret it. Did you have a specific intention in mind?

“I only paint how I paint... so there’s no point in making a painting like somebody else.” Pencil oli and graphite on wood, 20” x 24” 2010

No it was more about echoing the thesis that I started out with. I was more focussed on tripping across interesting ideas. Graphic ideas and graphic problem solving to make a complete picture. I wanted to see if I could paint a series of red abstract shapes and make in translate, you know. Make it look like a person and have it work in consul with the rest of the pieces. I treated it more like a sketchbook, that’s why they’re all so similar. And they’re all within the same template so it’s sort of like Einstein, the lore is that he only had one suite so he didn’t have to think about what he was going to wear that day so he didn’t have to spend any extra energy thinking about it. So in one sense it’s like I set my template and then I ran through ideas and tried different things. I think that because the compositions are so similar that it really brings out any 70


difference you’re exploring in each individual painting and amplifies it that much more. For example in "The Sparrows Have It", I noticed right away how photo realistic they were and yet the character in the painting still has such an animated look to him. Is that something you meant to do? Or… I only paint how I paint. I can be conscious of certain things but I have habits that if I start suppressing all those habits it’s going to come back. I can’t paint like anyone but myself and I am aware of my quarks and the things that make my paintings mine, so there’s no point in making a painting like somebody else. That’s really interesting and something I’ve always enjoyed about your work. I think I’ve said before or maybe just to myself, but I feel that you really do do the best Andrew Pommier. Do you know what I mean? Because there’s a lot of illustrators who I feel force it, but your style

comes across very honest. Do you ever feel like you need to correct something? Yeah sometimes. There are things... like I make eyes way too big. There will be times that I’m trying to make them smaller, or you know, I make heads too big. Or, heads and hands, and a few years ago I was trying to make them realistic but they looked weird to me so it was like, what? I have to let it be because it is what it is. It’s my personality. You went to school for art so there must have been a time when you had to draw anatomically correct. Yes, definitely but you can only correct so much. Spacejunk is an action sports related chain of galleries. They have 4 spaces in the south of France. It started in Grenobe, at the foothills of the Alps and then in Bayonne, which is kind of the California of Europe where all the industry is located. Element, Billabong, Quiksilver, all those guys have offices there. And then they opened a space in Lyon.

volume 9 issue 1

wordsby saelan twerdy

photosby gordon nicholas


or fifteen years now, Dan Bejar has been recording music as Destroyer. His cryptic, self-referential, wickedly literate songwriting has made him something of an unofficial poet laureate in his hometown of Vancouver, though to many, he is still better known as an occasional member of power-pop group The New Pornographers. He has also performed as a member of Canadian indie supergroup Swan Lake, which also includes Spencer Krug (of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown) and Carey Mercer (of Frog Eyes), and Destroyer itself has been made up of a revolving cast of musicians over the years. Initially inspired by the eccentric lyricism of canonical ’90s indie rockers like Pavement and Guided by Voices, Bejar has developed a highly idiosyncratic style and immediately recognizable voice (his distinctive yelp tends to be divisive) even as he’s explored different personas and approaches with each album. Early efforts like City of Daughters and Thief were artful electric folk, frequently garnering comparisons to David Bowie, while 2004’s Your Blues found Bejar experimenting with Baroque orchestral arrangements for midi instruments. His last two albums, Rubies and Trouble in Dreams, could be called classic Destroyer, with a looser, rootsier full-band approach and some of his most anthemically rocking tunes yet.

But Kaputt, Destroyer’s newest album (and ninth to date), takes a bigger stylistic leap than anything that’s come before. Last year’s “Bay of Pigs” single offered a taste of Bejar’s new direction with a dreamy, 12-minute foray into ambient dance beats, but few could have predicted his headlong dive into sensuous ’80s soft rock, smooth jazz, and art-disco, replete with fretless bass, duelling sax and trumpet, limpid new age synths, and female backup vocals by a decades-long veteran of the gospel music circuit. What’s astonishing is that the result is fantastic. Bejar inhabits his new frame of reference without a drop of irony, slipping easily into a relaxed and world-weary croon as he proffers pearls of urbane wit and wisdom. The production, courtesy of John Collins and Dave Carswell (aka JC/DC) is immaculate, and despite the inescapable connotations of cheesiness that come with the territory, the pure unlikeliness of the aesthetic choices makes this album sound incredibly fresh. Many have tried to rehabilitate elements of ’80s nostalgia, but few have gone so far, or succeeded so well. We caught up with Dan Bejar via email to discuss his inspirations, his process, and his prospects. Color: To what extent did the idea for the sound of this album develop out of “Bay of Pigs”? It seems like that single set the stage for Kaputt and provides its coda on the LP, but it also seems to stand apart from the rest of the album. Dan Bejar: “Pigs” doesn’t predate the Kaputt recording sessions, which started in September 2008. I started demoing stuff before then, but that’s when I officially punched-in at JCDC. In fact, at least half the songs had a project name before we started “Pigs” in January. That being said, I knew it was going to be a giant piece of music that could maybe exist as some kind of separate release from the album. I will say getting Pigs under our belt was a morale booster, and created a bit of methodology for working on the rest of this stuff. Even if it meant not talking to each other for a few months after working on one song all winter long...there is a gravity to it that is different from the other songs on Kaputt. I think that’s why I put it last. Also, things really did change pretty drastically once [Nic] Bragg, JP [Carter], Joseph [Shabason] and Sibel [Thrasher] entered the picture in the homestretch...

When did you decide that you wanted female backup vocals, and how did you start working with Sibel Thrasher? Female backups seemed in keeping with a lot of the stuff I was listening to when I was studying rhythm sections in certain kinds and eras of pop music. And then Dave reminded me of Sibel from when she sang on Rodney [Graham]’s Rock is Hard record. I remember digging those songs, they had this weird Lou-Reedfronting-Steely-Dan feeling, and the more I thought about it, the more I became obsessed with the idea of not just getting a back-up vocalist, but getting Sibel...It stewed inside of me for months. Then I asked, and within minutes she said yes. It all ended up taking place over the course of about 3.5 hours one afternoon, just before the Olympics... Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in soft rock, whether in ironic yacht-rock pastiche, in Phoenix’s smooth pop, in space disco or the hypnagogic nostalgia of chillwave bands, but even though you’re working similar terrain with Kaputt, its flavour seems completely apart from any kind of of-the-moment trends. I’d guess that this might have to do with you having actually lived through the era that’s being referenced, whereas a lot of younger musicians have only absorbed these influences in a very secondhand and usually unfocused way. Most people my age have actually never really listened to ’80s soft rock or New Romantic pop, because it wasn’t in the canon of cool bands. At most, we’ve just heard it in, like, the grocery store or as muzak.

print, which was fine by me since what I call Dylan’s “Knopfler” era was a mine I was digging into greedily around that time. But mostly people just said I sing funny, which is what they always say anyway. Really, you can use sax like the Stooges used sax, but anything else and you defacto get called Spandau Ballet or Haircut 100. I’m into Prefab Sprout, and some of Dolby’s production on those records, I won’t deny it. As for the rest of it, no. I thought of Sade for a while as someone who could teach me to sing quietly yet intensely but realized that was for the most part not true. But I never listened to any of her early sax-heavy records. More the mid-period ones that drew on house music. There were a couple songs on the Pet Shop Boys album Behaviour that I listened to a bit, but to not much avail. I listened to a lot of jazz music, but basically stuff from the late ’50s and ’60s, mostly Miles and things that came out of that camp (Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Maiden Voyage a little bit), maybe some west-coast stuff, and all that is slated as easy listening or Starbucks music cause it’s not Charles Gayle or whatever. I remember thinking about soundtracks a lot. Like Nino Rota and Last Tango In Paris and that Bowie song “This Is Not America.” And some Tangerine Dream and Mark Isham soundtracks, especially some of those ’80s Alan Rudolph movies. Ryuichi Sakamoto. Michael Mann in general. A couple key Vangelis soundtracks. What was I saying? Oh yeah, my singing—I find it so casual, it’s neither aggressively “soulful” or “new romantic” or new wave or anything, that I don’t think any of the tags are gonna

“This is the first pop record that Destroyer has ever made, so that would be hilarious if it became popular.” Honestly, I was way more worried about people lobbing “boring soft rock” or “yacht-rock” in Destroyer’s direction when Rubies came out (which is to say, barely gave it a second’s thought) than on this one. And the worst thing that happened there was that I think [Nic] Bragg took a couple Knopfler hits in

stick. As far as the canon of cool bands, I don’t know, that’s constantly changing. Imagine twenty years ago telling people that Springsteen was cool. Maybe Royal Trux would try and pull some shit like that, but it stops there...Now no punk can get enough of that guy. Ditto for Paul Simon. They’re both so lame I can hardly

believe it. My generation did something similar when grunge became suffocating (which was, like, instantly) and people started worshipping the Beegees and The Fifth Dimension. More than anything I listened to David Sylvian, who fused the worlds of the new romantic and jazz music and the avant-garde in a way that I dig. And really more than anything of all, I tried to understand the album Avalon by Roxy Music. I initially found this album really hard to get into just because the instrumentation and production seemed so overwhelmingly cheesy, though after a few listens I was totally hooked and now I think it’s among your best work. On the other hand, almost everyone else I’ve talked to loved it right off the bat, and I’ve seen excitement from people who weren’t already Destroyer fans and who I wouldn’t necessarily have expected to be into your thing. How surprised would you be if this turned out to be a big album for you? How crazy would it be to suddenly breakthrough to a whole new audience on your ninth album? That’s not a common career arc. I don’t care about production, it means nothing to me. I mean, I think about it incessantly, and right now it’s probably the only part of music-making that remotely interests me, but in the end it is so unimportant. It’s commercial. It’s just a way of plugging yourself into culture, so people have a context in which to assimilate what you do. So I can’t be alienated by production. The only thing that alienates me are words that fall flat. Melodies that are hack. Playing that is leaden. Atmospheres that add up to nothing. This is the first pop record that Destroyer has ever made, so that would be hilarious if it became popular. A raging economic victory would be for it to sell 30,000 copies, as opposed to the 25, 000 Rubies sold. Rest assured, my life will not change. I have to admit it that on no level did I ever expect a single person who wasn’t already into Destroyer to get into this record. I just didn’t think it was possible, for very practical reasons, mostly involving my station in the youth culture hierarchy that is this certain version of showbiz that I’ve been a part of for the last 15 years. Let’s, for lack of a better word, call it Culture. And in showbiz, the idea of a singer or an actor or a dancer suddenly striking gold at my age—I’ll be turning 39 this year!—is



“I think the lyrics generally hit the mark because when you abandon the idea of songwriting, you abandon the idea of completion. Completion only happens by singing things correctly.”

“brown paper bag, don’t stop me now, I’m on a roll... plain brown wrapper in your pocket...” Not sure where it came from, maybe the idea of huffing glue. I’m not too prone to freestyling, in fact I’d never done it before and haven’t done it since. But that’s how the “Suicide Demo For Kara Walker” song was written. There was no conversation between us.

ridiculous. Women are doubly-fucked in this respect. It’s insane, one of the reasons why it’s hard to qualify this stuff as art, and not just a suitable soundtrack to the best years of your life, etc. It just occurred to me I think the people you know who weren’t down with Destroyer before but are down with Kaputt might be reacting to me singing less than ever, quieter than ever... I was also really surprised to hear that the album came together piecemeal over a year and a half, that the different people who played on it didn’t hear each others’ parts during the process, and that you wanted to try being more of a singer than a writer. I definitely hear the difference in your singing: it’s much more dreamy and crooning, less yelpy. But I also feel like Kaputt is, lyrically and musically, one of the most airtight albums you’ve ever made. It feels like it doesn’t have any throwaway lines and that all of the parts are in exactly the right place.



Do you think this is just a matter of practise? Have you just eased into a more intuitive sense of how to “do” Destroyer? John [Collins] is a brutal, brutal taskmaster when it comes to the necessity of tight arrangements. Which is why you have to feed him jazzy chaos for parts, to keep things cool...But the rule I laid down was always to leave in as much as possible without sacrificing the sense of movement. And light. I think after making so many records I’m getting a handle on this kind of stuff, though I would have definitely been fucked without JC/DC on this one. I think the lyrics generally hit the mark because when you abandon the idea of songwriting, you abandon the idea of completion. Completion only happens by singing things correctly. If you went into this album with the idea of giving up on “writing” in order to concentrate on just being a singer, maybe the result is actually a whole new step for you as a songwriter and

lyricist. Maybe you had to renounce it in order to take it to the next level. Not for me to say. That’s for God to say. You collaborate with the American visual artist Kara Walker on lyrics for a track on this album, which is a real first, but not something I’ve really seen anyone discuss yet. I’m really curious to hear about how this came about and what kind of conversation you two were having. The bulk of the Kara Walker song was written by Kara Walker. Merge put out a massive 20th anniversary box set back in 2009 and they approached a bunch of “non-music” people to do something. Kara was one of them. She got inundated with Merge back catalogue, and for some reason really Destroyer stuck out... She sent me some text and I made a song out of it, wrote some segues on the fly to get from one part to the next, mangled some of her words to make things more singable. I saw the words “plain brown wrapper,” and just went

I hear you’re planning on bringing a big enough band on tour that you can replicate all the arrangements, with a backup singer and live horns and such. Will there be a drummer? Everyone who played on the record is going on tour. So Pete Bourne, who played all the drum stuff that wasn’t programmed, will be going. JP Carter, who played trumpet is going. Joseph Shabason who played the sax and flute, will be going. Bragg’s playing lead guitar. [Dave] Carswell’s playing guitar and fretless bass, singing a little. The only difference is gonna be Chris Harris playing bass and Larissa [Loyva]’s gonna be singing and playing synths. Do you think Kaputt constitutes a “new direction” for Destroyer, or is it more of a one-shot experiment? Do you have any plans beyond your upcoming tour? Maybe try playing a couple songs with Ted Bois. Been thinking about pianos a lot lately, something that’s been absent from my mind for the last four years. Kaputt is out now on Merge Records. For tour dates and info, check artists/destroyer.

distributed by Ultimate

volume 9 issue 1








wordsby mike christie


Soon other carpenters and furniture designers came on board, many of whom skated, and it wasn’t long until they decided to get a ramp. “It was Craig and Graden’s old ramp, originally, then it got given to Electronic Arts and they paid for coping and new skatelight. When we took it back we just skinned it, took the skatelight and coping and rebuilt the rest of it in our shop.” What resulted was



photosby dylan doubt

specially in Vancouver, with its stratospheric rents and real-estate prices, winter skate spots are few and far between. And for carpenters and furniture designers like Beau Kerner, Danny Hagge, Quinn Starr and Craig Johnson, this means that workshop space also doesn’t come cheap. This need for a place to ply their woodworking trades was how Manland was born. “There was a bunch of us who’d finished carpentry school, and after that nobody really had access to a shop or anything,” recalls Beau. “You can rent work space in the city but it’s pretty expensive, you pay by the hour, and you don’t have all your own tools.” So after almost a year of searching, Beau and Craig found the perfect building: a huge old warehouse, right downtown and dirt-cheap.




a carpenter’s and skater’s paradise, an inexpensive solace from the rain. For now, these men are in a kind of heaven. “I think that’s why a lot of people here like having access to a shop because they can do like custom building on the side. Most of us just knock off side jobs and make custom furniture and stuff.” When asked who does the most

post-work ripping in Manland, Beau was quick to reply, “Oh Quinn of course. He’s in full form. He’s inventing tricks now. Carpentry tricks and skate tricks.” But don’t get your hopes up, Manland is a private deal. “It’s mostly just for friends and stuff. I mean that was the whole joke with calling it ‘Manland,’ it’s just this like fuckin huge freezing cold cave where we can go. None of our girlfriends will come there. There are no lights to get upstairs so it’s pretty scary.” But like all good things, Manland is almost certainly not going to last. “Eventually, they’re going to put a viaduct there. The city owns the building, we just rent it off the guy who leases it from the city. They want to get the bridge over the train tracks, so eventually it will go. I mean it’s condemned, we’re not really supposed to be in there. But it works.”

1. Beau skates with the stance and speed of Alan Peterson, and executes his maneuvers with the looseness and spontaneity of the Gonz. Truly a marvel to watch. 2. Bits and bites. 3. As with any good idea, it is good to start with a pencil. 4. Glue up, mess up, clean up, skate it up. 5. Wood, dust, machines, dreams. 6. Contained chaos. 7. Emergency! Beau’s ramp tends to make people skate like it’s an emergency. I’ve seen some amazing shit go down on that ramp. 8. The uncarved block. 9. Turning, carving, shredding. 10. The kids wait for their Fathers to finish work. Sometimes Dads forfeit their work due to the kid’s persistence. —quinn starr


YO LLAMA! LLAMA! The Momentum Peru Tour

HASLAM • ROJO • HANSON • SMITH distributed by Ultimate

WWW.MOMENTUMSKATE.COM Online Video release

FEBRUARY 23, 2011

Jeff Comber

Morgan Smith - switch shuv manny switch flip



volume 9 issue 1

Brooklyn New York photosby alexis gross


oming off his recent groundbreaking solo show at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, which featured, among other things, two handmade 24 foot wooden Viking ships being pulled down the street by an army of battle axe wielding Vikings, wolfbats, a giant decorated wave called Santa Muerte, die cut eagles and every kind of pagan image imaginable, Dennis McNett, Viking warrior and the subject of this issue’s CITY feature, takes us for a stroll in his Brooklyn. Luckily he didn’t perform a blood eagle on anybody (look it up…) Check out his website at for more Viking-related mayhem.

I’ve lived in Brooklyn for 10 years now. I moved here from Virginia Beach. Three weeks after I arrived here, September 11th happened. This is one of the only places I can do what I’m doing as an artist and get the support, energy, hard push and camaraderie I need to be creative. For me the key to living here is leaving when you need to refuel your batteries, missing it, coming back, going until your batteries are low again, and leaving again. Each time try to bring something back to give away—if that makes sense. Remember to breathe and remind your friends to breathe so that they remind you. —DM



Cafe Orwell 247 Varet St. (Between White St. & Bogart St.) Coffee spot.

KCDC Skateshop 90 North 11th St. (at Wyethe Ave) Skateshop. Although I don’t skate much anymore this is my lurk spot.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory 97 Commercial St., Brooklyn, NY 11222 at Manhattan Ave. Local made bangin ice cream. Torrilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos 271 Starr St. (Between Wyckoff Ave & St. Nicholas Ave) Quesadilla spot. Driggs Pizza & Italian Restaurant 558 Driggs Ave (Between 7th St. & 6th St.) Pizza. The best grandma slice around.

Mollusk Surf Shop 210 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211 Great shop.... great folks. Wolfbat Studio 41 Varick Ave. 11237 Where Wolfbats roam free.

Grand St. Park Grand and Kent Great view of the city... quiet spot. Brooklyn Bridge (If you are in downtown Manhattan, the bridge is next to City Hall and the courthouses, just north of the Financial District.) Best place for a walk. Any time of year, any time of day. Spans the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

John Reardon Tattoos 281 N 7th St., Suite 9 (between Havemeyer St. & Meeker Ave) Tattoo spot.



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volume 9 issue 1

wordsby caleb beyers


r. Ladouceur is one of those people who’s not that great at making plans, but amazingly good at making things happen. He’s able to turn those pass-in-the-street moments, usually accompanied by a head-nod or an awkward wave, into interactions that take on a life of their own. Conversations with Jeff squirell off down unexpected pathways (both literal and figurative), often ending up in places of wonder and revelation. He’ll often disappear to who knows where, and return with overflowing sketchbooks, stacks of drawings, and anecdotes from experiences that range from swilling Johnny Walker Blue with investment bankers, to wandering alone in forests and encountering spirits of all sorts. “Keeping in touch” isn’t a strong suit for either of us, but we find ourselves killing time together often enough, usually in a different city than the last time. Without barely a “hello” or “goodbye” between encounters, our conversations, thoughts and shared ideas flow together in an ongoing stream, rarely touching on anything related to the realities of day-to-day experience. I find myself drawn to his work for the same reasons that I find myself drawn into extended conversations with him: the sense that it’s possible to move freely within a world where mountains are able to express emotion, where rickety wooden structures support interactions between people and spirits, and where linear time is an abstract concept that stands history on its head.

Untitled, 2010 ink, pencil and acrylic on paper, 14" x 22"



1923 George Orwell is stationed in Burma as an officer of the British Imperial Police. Bound in part by his official duty, and coerced by social pressure from the local people, Orwell shoots an elephant with a .44 calibre Winchester rifle. At the time of the shooting, the elephant is lying down, overcome with exhaustion after having just finished a rampage through the village of Moulmein. Never shoot the elephant when he’s down, but everybody does. They figure it’s their only chance. Better to climb into his mouth and join him as he levels the next village. It’s a good perspective. But there are ‘unlucky marys’ everywhere it seems... the damn villagers are so frothy. I guess it’s good to pace your rampages, get to the safety of the grove before resting.

(left) Untitled, 2008 ink, pencil,acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 11" x 14" (below) Untitled, 2005 ink and acrylic on paper, 4.5" x 6"

1981 Late 1400s Color: Hieronymus Bosch paints his “Garden of Earthly Delights.” There are distinct thematic, if not stylistic, links betwen this work and yours. Conscious or not, there’s a connection. Jeff Ladouceur: I have met a few of the souls in this painting indeed, and others as well, with funnels and treetrunks and floating about in glass bubbles. I lived in that part of town for a bit, one that resembled this painting... too crowded for me. But I’ll be back there soon, I have to hand over some things to the bird king. 90


For lack of a better way to describe it, a spirit must have begun to move through you at some point. Do you know when? Possibly at birth, but definitely at age 6—so 1981. A good year, I woke up to the world. I was absorbing picturebooks and cartoons and was drawing a lot and having weird nature revelations. I lived by the ocean... always having dramatic moments, which are hilarious, looking back on them. For instance, I once found a robins egg cracked open, down by the sea, and had a weird moment and was almost brought to tears by this object. I held it gently and looked up at the sky and said, “This is the day of my life.” I said it so sincerely, and I would have these emotional moments all the time. Also weird alien moments, when the English language became abstract jibberish and I felt more psychic. Kids at school were these weird animals—strangers!

(left) Untitled, 2010 ink, pencil and acrylic on paper, 18" x 22"

“Drawing and dishwashing were my things.”

(left) Untitled, 2007 ink and acrylic on paper, 11" x 14"

images courtesy of the artist

1984 There are very few of your drawings that don’t have some sort of terrifying tension in them. I’m assuming this comes from some sort of central fear mechanism, buried inside... As a child I feared public speaking, being dragged in front of the class and being humiliated by scornful teachers... that’s a bit mundane but it was paralyzing. But other than that, my fears were mysterious, vague. Oh yeah, and my earliest recurring anxiety dream was me on top of a building, my mother and sister far below, encouraging me to jump, as they already had. I would jump and of course wake up with my heart racing before impact—it sounds very ‘textbook’ doesnt it?

(above) Untitled, 2005 ink, acrylic and watercolor on paper, 6" x 9"


(right) Untitled, 2007 ink and pencil on paper, 11" x 14"

I don’t imagine you took very well to schools, teachers, textbooks, those sorts of things... I gave up my formal education first in grade ten at age 15, it was pointless. Even some of the teachers could barely convince themselves to stay it seemed. I got my first job as a dishwasher... the first of a string of charming soggy jobs. Drawing and dishwashing were my things. I went back briefly and did some grade 11 and 12, but it was useless. I was drawing all over everything, and I thought: “I will dishwash until I can draw for a living,” fully willing to do this for as long as it took. .jeffladouceur


1996 Being from Vancouver Island myself as well, the relationship you have to the geography there is evident in your work, yet you seem to bounce around a lot, rarely ever back there for very long. I moved off the island when my first girlfriend left me in 1996 I believe. I took the ferry over and found a room and got a job as a dishwasher at a bar near hastings. ’Twas a grim introduction to Vancouver town I tell ye! I was already aware of the urban myths that the geographic location of Vancouver might have ‘bad energy’... have you heard this? That the local natives would not settle there? We have to track this story down! I moved back to the island some time after that and finally made a pact with Keith Jones and a couple others to get the heck out of there and go to NY... but we went to Montreal first.

(above) Untitled, 2008 ink, acrylic and watercolor on paper, 11" x 14"

(below) Untitled, 2007 ink, pencil,acrylic and watercolor on paper, 10" x 13"

Untitled, 2007 ink and pencil on paper, 11" x 14"

2000 How did the transition between regular work and the work of being an artist happen? I think I had my first art show at OpenSpace in Victoria in 2000. It was actually in a glass case in the foyer of the gallery. For a time I worked at a comic book store... then made sandwiches at a bar. I also was on welfare, which I called my art grant. 92


2003 My first art show outside of Canada was a group show, White Columns in NY in 2003. And I had a solo show at ZieherSmith in NY the following year. Then, slowly but surely, or rather suddenly, I was living off the art.

(below) Untitled, 2008 ink, acrylic and pencil on paper, 14" x 30"

“Some of my friends seem mightier than some ‘historical’ art figures, perhaps I am more inspired by an invisible art history...”

2007 Wrapped up in a heavy exhibition schedule can put a lot of pressure on someone to produce, and to expand into all kinds of different media, themes and styles, but you seem to have found something in working through the same things over and over. The repetition is simply me working something out in front of you. An image is alive, a recurring character. You say it again and again in different contexts, like a word it shifts and evolves... it morphs in slow motion. The image is a still, but it breathes and is captured at that moment, it may come back again and again in other moments and say different things. This is a big subject though, some people want to escape patterns or repetition, but in my mind it’s nature, it’s unavoidable and interesting to follow. It is a record, and of course you can fall into a habit and you need to break away, as in life, but things are to be honed, and certain things are like a meditation and are repeated to the self or out to the world until they are simply done with.

(left) Untitled, 2008/2009 ink and pencil on paper, 11" x 14" (right) Untitled, 2006 ink, pencil and acrylic on paper, 11" x 14"

2011 - ? I think I am equally influenced by both friends and contemporaries and the mighty figures in art history. Some of my friends seem mightier than some ‘historical’ art figures, perhaps I am more inspired by an invisible art history... all the unknowns and and even those that never were. But some of the historical figures I revere are obvious: DaVinci, Bosch, Blake, Goya, Giotto, Wolverton, and then a bit later on, Picasso & Guston... and, well... Robert Crumb, who is still among us on the Earth’s surface. This list is useless though, again, I think I am most inspired by invisible things and glimpses. The future holds one and many things! Joy! Love! Glory! Amen! colORMAGAZINE.CA


distributed by Ultimate

volume 9 issue 1



You grew up in a relatively rural environment, right? How much of a culture shock was it to move to the middle of a U.S. urban environment? Well I lived in a small town growing up, but lived in Montreal, QC for at least the past six years. Here it’s pretty much the same, except little differences. You got “hella” being said a lot, and my pockets are filled with bills not change. People think it’s cold when it drops down to 10˚ C, and everybody is so good at skating. How much of you staying in S.F. had to do with wanting to get more coverage? Coverage wasn’t part of the idea at all. I’m psyched with what’s been happening, but I moved here for the beach girls and sodas.

Justin Gastelum wordsby isaac mckay-randozzi photosby tadashi yamaoda


olourful and memorable individuals have always been marked with something more than just a nickname. In another age, “button men,” aka hitmen, were given monikers of distinction that also described a personality trait or peculiarity (eg. “Mumbles” or “Jimmy Fingers”). For Justin “Iceman” Gastelum, the attribution of this moniker comes from the icy look on his face when he skates, like that of a paid killer. The type of killer that could ruthlessly murder a family of four then return home in time for dinner with his own kith and kin. A cold eye with a hint of maniac, the look on his face is one of controlled focus, especially in the moments before he attempts a trick. “My friend Hard Rockin’ Al gave it to me a couple of years ago. I guess my face when I’m really focused on skating looks like I’m going to kill someone with my eyes, so he started calling me Iceman.” If you’ve seen Elephant Direct, then you’ve seen his ability to manhandle any spot with the slightest hint of a transition. Don’t count him as just another hessian tranny dog, he’s got a mean hardflip and can blast lengthy backside heelflips that would clear at least four Golden Retrievers standing lengthwise.

Backside noseblunt.

Almost a year ago he made the move to San Francisco to follow the skate dream in a city he felt best suited his needs, according to him those needs are: “Burritos, cheap beer and year-round skate weather.” Coming for a visit he ended up staying and finding work to support his minimal needs. With the help of his sponsors—Skull Skates, Ace Trucks, Heavy Wheels and S.F.’s Cruz Skate Shop—he’s been able to spend most of his time skating the Potrero park and the other cement playgrounds that the greater Bay Area has to offer. Unlike others who have made the move to the U.S., his motivation is purely for the fun. He’s not seeking the spotlight, just the adventure of a new location and different things to skate. Justin only wants to skate with friends, meet new people and explore a new place, and because of this, he helps remind us that not everything needs to be, or even should be, in the pages of a magazine. In a new location with a friendly atmosphere, and a variety of terrain in a city full of chance and opportunity, we’ll be seeing more of Justin very soon.

How have the hills treated you? Going through wheels faster? The hills are the shit out here! I launched my board into traffic one time and almost killed myself, but I’m psyched. My wheels are never fucked up because I ride Heavy’s! Any experiences with the homeless population? Lee Yankou saw a businessman giving a bum head during his first weeks here. Wait a businessman giving head? There must have been some sort of taxes involved! The City is a drinking city to be sure. Have you found yourself hitting the bars more in S.F. than back at home? Bar drinking? Never heard of it. Let’s just say once you start you can’t stop. Do you think kids expect too much from skating? Money, fame, free travel to exotic places like Utah… Maybe the kids brought up with hockey dads (like coach dads) are the ones that expect something, but I think most people do it because it’s fun. Nothing wrong with big dreams though. Utah? What, if anything do you think America is lacking? French women and poutines. Do American chicks fall for your suave Canadian accent? Hahah, I’m exotic out here. They can’t resist my smooth Canadian talk. I just walk up to them and say, “How you doin’ eh?” What did we do to you to make you send Celine Dion here? You made the movie Titanic. What do you think is the biggest misconception Americans have about Canadians? That it’s always cold in Canada and our igloos have garage doors.



wordsby isaac mckay-randozzi

photos & captionsby dan zaslavsky

volume 9 issue 1


or those with the skills and desire, there are multiple ways to try and get sponsored. Sending videos out, getting hooked up through shops, local company reps, or by being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. For Lee it was the latter. Already getting boards from Stereo and shoes from Osiris, it was during his Californian wanderings and relocation to San Francisco that he caught the eyes of Think. In their van, skating with the guys, he managed to fit in with their vibe and energy, and soon after was asked to join their regular squad. Always polite and respectful, he’s probably one of the most humble and down to earth people I’ve met. Not one to pound his chest about his accomplishments, getting him to talk about himself took a little prodding. He knows he has an ability to skate like few others, but you’d never know it by talking to him. But once the nice-guy stuff is absorbed, and you see him skate, then you’ll bear witness the other side to Mr. Yankou—the Hyde to his Jekyll. He skates a spot with such ferocity, it’s like the place insulted his mother and raped his dog. Highlighted in the recent Think teaser, Lee is one of the few skaters out there pushing the vertical leaping limits. His small stature belies the power of his pop, and he boasts a deep bag of tricks that he can rifle off in a matter of moments; eight trick lines are not out of the norm. He skates his gear until the bitter end, chipped boards, worn down wheels and tattered pants that might qualify him for some type of government aid. He uses things until they are near death, and doesn’t give into temptation that his easy access to product accords him. All this points to the gratefulness that he feels towards his sponsors and depth of character that he possesses. Qualities that will serve him well both in life and in skating.

Look at the expression on this man's face. That's all that's important.



Ahhh, the nice cityscape of Toronto, rarely depicted without the CN Tower. It's a refreshing look at the other vastly soaring buildings not being trumped by the world's 3rd tallest freestanding structure. Oh shit, Lee's in there too. Kickflip over.... a railroad stopper?

Color: Let’s get the pink elephant out of the room. What’s with the bright-coloured pants? Lee Yankou: I don’t know, there’s really not too much to say about that. The only downside is like, going into a restaurant or any public place and standing out immediately. People saying, “Who is this guy in the red or purple pants?” To me they are pants, just a colour. Whatever, black, white any color works. Are you still sporting them the coloured jeans? Or have you gone to the classic S.F. black jeans now that you’re living here? It was never really a conscious decision to end it. It was more like I ripped them. Tighter pants tend to rip and I ripped a lot of them and never replaced them. Right now I have one pair of purple pants but they are too tight, I don’t know. They kind of phased themselves out, and we’re in an economic recession, and I have an awesome clothing sponsor, Ezekiel, and they don’t make coloured pants, so I’m rockin’ what they make. Maybe you should talk to Mikendo and see about them making purple pants? That actually came up and he was talking to people when I got on the team, full. I first met you when you were on Stereo flow and you were bouncing between LA and SF a bunch, what made you decide on SF? Weren’t you living out of your car, too? Not fully living out of it but when I was down here there were definitely a fair number of nights sleeping in the

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car. One of my first times here, the night before I met my girlfriend Mira, I had to sleep in the car because I was going to meet my friend, and when I got here he was already asleep, so I passed out in the car. Best advice for someone who might end up living out of their vehicle or get stuck in a similar situation? Be nice to people, you know. Sleeping on a hardwood floor is better than being awoken at seven in the morning by the sun, heat and sweat. Did you ever use your engine to cook food? That is amazing, but no, I never have. I have been woken up by firefighters; they wanted to make sure I was all right. Then they made me leave. Was it a conscious decision to come down from Canada and try and make it in skating? My Grandma passed away and with some inheritance money I flew down. It was like, skateboarding is awesome and I want to try and do it here, but you can’t do shit in LA especially if you don’t know any people and you don’t have a car. You’re just asking to skate within a few block radius of your house, kind of limiting. After a few

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(opposite) In this photo Lee appears to be in solidarity but what you can't see is that the SF Library was actually a fuckin party venue with about two dozen boisterous skaters and onlookers cheering, carousing, mingling, conspiring and gawking in the night that Lee did his hardlfip. Hamilton seemed like a very segregated place to me. On one side of the town there is an obvious sign of poverty and this is where we found this weird defunct kids’ playing fountain. On the other side, lavish homes and one of the greatest modern free outdoor skateparks I've ever been to. Segregation just isn't appreciated much anymore. Gap to lipslide.

times of coming down here to the States it was way more motivating. It has a different energy from Canada. Just pushing around in the sun in this dreamland, it’s pretty awesome. I wanted to get some, I guess. How long have you been coming down to the US? I’ve been coming down since I was sixteen, I’m 21 currently. Spent time all over: down in Long Beach, parts of East LA and for the past three years I’ve been visiting here. For the record, it’s been completely legal, can’t spend more than six months down here so I do my time down here then go back and do the time there. Work, save up and basically the whole time I’m back up there I’m motivated to get back down here. Do you think that if you weren’t getting product from companies and help from those guys that you would still be doing it? Has that been a big incentive to making trips down here? I think regardless of everything I have an attraction to San Francisco. It’s a magnet.

It attracts like-minded, open-minded people; everything is accepted as long as you’re not fucking children or animals. [Laughter] Well put. One of my first experiences in SF was when I was staying here [in his lady’s house in a mildly busy area] and walk outside and see a dude wearing a business suit giving head to what looked like a homeless guy who is naked. Right outside, on a busy street, not a bad neighborhood by any means. That’s SF gotta love it, ya know. [Laughter] You’re not exactly a vertically enhanced individual, but yet you’re able to ollie up, over and across some impressive stuff. How did such a small guy get so much pop? Thanks for the compliment. I did play some sports [hockey] when I was younger, so I want to say that maybe that gave me some extra muscles in there. But I don’t know. I put my foot far back on the board and just really try and fucking jump. So you don’t come home from a session and put on your ankle weights and do exercises? I wish dude, that would be sick. What if skateboarders actually did that?

.interview 103

Lee mobbed through six lanes of opposing traffic, traversing the LA grit covered tarmac, ollieng up the curb at full speed, and managed to smith grind this chalky protrusion; it only took a short three hours to accomplish. Oh, and by that time it was too dark to film so he'll have to go back to get the footy.

Years ago there were rumors about Reese Forbes and Huf doing that, but I think they were all bullshit. It seems like there is a new energy in the air for Think. It’s a team of underrated rippers with Danny Fuenzalida, Dave Bachinsky, Russ Milligan, Josh Mathews, Brian Delatorre and the rest. I’m extremely psyched and motivated and I feel like we all are. Everyone is hyped on the new thing and psyched on what we got going. There is some momentum going and I just want to keep it going. Everyone [on the team] has their own little niche’ and that’s sick. Is the Think video still going to come out this year? If we stay with VX it should be coming out sometime this year, probably towards the later part. If they do switch to HD, we’ll come out with another promo of all the VX footage and just do an HD video. Personally, I’m rooting for VX. Do you like the look of it more than HD? San Francisco rolling, with a VX fisheye, like rolling down the street—that’s just classic. What was this White Rock story you were telling me about? One of the best times I ever had was in White Rock bombing hills with a couple local guys, my friend Swell, a White Rock legend, little Will Marshall and John Sherman. So, we’re bombing hills and having the best session. We’re going back up to the top of the hill and my friend gets his foot ran over [by a car] but is like, “That didn’t hurt at all.” He was a little drunk. Everyone is skitching up the hill to get back up, homie who’s a little bit drunk and hyped on life, decides to start mannualing, going up a hill, and going like 35 or 40KPH he loops out and hits a curb. He’s holding on up at the front window and there is someone at the back window behind him. So after he takes

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out the kid in the back, he’s holding on to the window getting dragged. Then homie got run over by the back wheels—somehow there’s like a fucking tire mark seriously right here [motion to about three inches from the groin on his thigh] on his pants. So pretty much homie got run over twice in five minutes and got another person taken out. Do you think Canadians have gotten a bad rep as partiers in the US skate media? Just to put it out there, all skateboarders kinda have a rep as partiers. Maybe it’s because Canadians are more free spirited, we’re a little bit more liberal, but I don’t know exactly why we have it. Maybe it’s the RDS videos or something? But, I don’t know. RDS 2002 FSU, Tony Hawk is in it and his only trick is doing a beer bong. So how is Paradox griptape? The owner got banned from the SLAP forums for posting a lot of self-serving stuff. Is the shit magic? Has it done anything for your skating and helped in any way? From what I’ve gathered from my talks with Ari Gold [Paradox owner], epic name by the way… Kind of sounds like the name of a type of reefer. Do you watch Entourage? No. It’s the name of a pretty funny main character on the show. But the way he described it to

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me was that it’s supposed to complete the magnetism of your bod— pretty hippie-ish. He also said there is some Zhao-Lin, eastern influences in it too, but it’s supposed to make you perform at your best more often, not make you better per se, but the natural talents and ability within you reach their best more frequently. I got two sheets of it from here, rode it when I was in Toronto and on that trip I broke my leg. That two months when you’re out rehabbing sucks a lot, and it’s a long time to be thinking about stuff, and I kinda was like: “What if it’s the grip?” But at the very bottom of it, you’re supposed to think positive when you’re using it, and that’ll help you skate better. At the very least if you’re thinking positive it’ll help your skating regardless. It’s good grip. If you can find the actual jail used in ‘Half Baked’ that Kenny serves his time at, you will find this flat gap. Happy trails! Nollie inward heelflip.

You obviously like the griptape, but are there other incentives to skate for him? I had a sticker on my board, pretty

small sticker—some companies might dismiss it but he saw it and he texted me and he was hyped. “I’ve got a photo incentive check coming to you, where should I send it?” he said. In the skate industry that’s pretty unheard of. To get a hundred bucks for a little logo in a mag you have to go through months of email back and forth, and the chances are you probably won’t get it, but he showed himself to be a stand-up dude, and I’m stoked on that. You recently had a shoe colourway come out on Osiris? It just came out for fall 2010. Purple tie-dye, pretty hyped on that. It’s just a simple shoe with suede and vulcanized. Did you get to pick the model of shoe? Yeah, I picked the model and told them I wanted tie-dye and they sent me back a couple designs of how it could look and picked the ones I thought looked coolest and got a couple other little details worked out. I’m hopefully going to work on another colourway soon. I don’t know what I’d do different—pretty hyped on the way this one turned out. I was stoked that they thought I was worthy enough to have a colourway.

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Why do handicap ramps always appeared to be fun to skate when they really aren't? And worse, this one has no hurdle it's like trying to ollie your highest without something to go over. But none-the-less Lee skated it alone, at night, in the cold, right before hopping back in the car for an hour to get back home in the dead of night. 360 flip.

Have you ever had any SF moments where you see someone skating down the street or wherever and thought to yourself, “Holy shit, that’s blah blah!”? Yeah, Brian Anderson. I was just sitting there watching him doing these epic lines at the Protrero park. Starting outside the park, like do a couple flip tricks maybe a slappie and go in [to the park] and kill it, then end it all by doing an epic tailslide on the big wedge, from low to high. Killing it. Here it’s an everyday deal, but being from Canada it took a bit to get used to. I was fanning out pretty hard down in LA on Heath Kirchart, little girl status. Do you think board and shoe companies should help their riders out with medical insurance? Yes, of course. The skateboarder is putting his body on the line pretty much every day, eventually something bad will happen, that’s just how skateboarding is. However, I can see it from both points of view. If the skateboarder rides for a smaller board/shoe company, then it is obviously understandable that the company doesn’t have the means to provide

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him with insurance. But, I definitely think that if someone rides for a bigger, corporate surf company, it is ridiculous that the high ups there are making the big bucks and that skaters don’t have health insurance. Thank goodness for Canada’s healthcare! When should a pro retire? Pros should retire whenever they want. If someone wants to “milk it” and put out footage that is subpar compared to their past parts, and their sponsors still want to pay them, then good, they probably were not getting paid what they deserved when they were at their prime. If someone wants to pull a Heath and retire after dropping one of the best parts of his career (Mind Field, although any Heath footage is gold). That’s also cool, he just wants to skate and have fun, which is what skateboarding is all about.



lucas puig The latest addition to the adidas Skateboarding team. Backside Noseblunt in Los Angeles, California.

volume 9 issue 1

wordsby alex hudson

photoby bryan bush


hen South Carolina native Chaz Bundick first began releasing music under the moniker Toro Y Moi, his summery electropop sound was among the first to be grouped with the chillwave movement of summer 2009. With his debut full-length, 2010’s Causers of This, Bundick rose to the top of the genre, embarking upon a series of tours and expanding his solo project into a full band. Now, Bundick has overhauled his style completely with more organic instrumentation and clearer sonics, and on February 22 nd will release his sophomore LP, Underneath the Pine, via Carpark Records. There’s not much chillwaving to be found on dance floor-ready tracks like “New Beat” and “Still Sound,” which ditch his previous woozy tape edits for booty-shaking basslines and space-age keyboards that hearken back to the immaculate polish of classics by Air and Stereolab. While in Philadelphia shooting a video for “New Beat,” Bundick answered Color’s phone call to discuss his new sound, his unreleased acoustic albums, and being perverted.

Color: Early on, you got pigeonholed as chillwave, but all of the music you’ve released since then has sounded very different. Did you make a conscious choice to distance yourself from that genre? Chaz Bundick: Not really. When I initially put out the Blessa seven-inch, I did consciously put out the “109” single along with it, as the B-side. I thought that it would be fun to release another single similar to that—that’s why I did [the 2010 single] “Leave Everywhere.” But that song was actually recorded in 2006, and it was just an older song that I felt needed a proper home because it stood out from a lot of my other recordings. I’ve always been a fan of progressing and moving on. I wouldn’t want to make the same album again. Before any of the labeling started happening, I was already telling Carpark [Records] that I wanted to do an album with organic instruments and traditional recording—not all in the laptop. I think it was sort of a coincidence that it all started gaining ‘chillwave’ labels right when I was planning on progressing. Did you change your songwriting process when working on Underneath the Pine? Yeah, I did. It was hard, because I hadn’t

recorded just straight piano or guitar or anything in a long time. It took me forever to do drums, just trying to get them all in one take. The equipment I have, it’s really simplistic—it’s not like Pro Tools or anything. It was hard because I would try to do everyone in one take, and maybe do some punch-ins every once in a while. It was a therapeutic lesson of teaching myself to remember how to do things that way. I remember before I started talking to Carpark, I was still making guitar-based and piano-based music alongside electronic stuff. It’s just that I’ve always gotten sort of bored, and I thought it was interesting to keep writing on different sides of the spectrum. Of all the songs on new album, “Before I’m Done” is the biggest departure from Causers of This. Is that kind of folksy, acoustic guitar-based music something you’ve done before? It is, yeah. I was trying to show more dynamics than versatility. It just fit the record to have something slow down. When it came to how I was going to arrange the song, guitar was sort of the go-to instrument. That was a good introduction to what else I could try to do, because I have albums that are pretty much all like that—

they’re acoustic. I’m just trying to wait for the right time to release it. I don’t really want to overwhelm people by releasing a bunch of stuff at the same time. Maybe one day I’ll put some old songs out that are just acoustic guitar like that. Would it be under the Toro Y Moi banner?

Why did you decide to adopt a different name for your Les Sins project? When I made that name up, I was doing it to have a moniker for all of my dance tracks and remixes. I was getting billed and booked under ‘DJ’ or ‘house music’ or something. It’s hard to put a description on it because I keep changing, but when they were booking me as a DJ, people

“I’ve always been a fan of progressing and moving on.”

Yeah, most likely. With Toro Y Moi, I wanted to always keep the same name but constantly change my sound. I didn’t like how I was getting pigeonholed in other band situations; we just started creating the same sound over and over, the same songs over and over. I guess just because it [Toro Y Moi] is even more personal than a band—it’s like a little bedroom project—I felt it was easier to transition to a different sound.

were just expecting a dance party the whole time. That sort of puts you on the spot. I’m not a DJ. I don’t really know how to DJ yet—I’m learning. What inspired the title Underneath the Pine? It’s sort of a reference to South Carolina. That’s where I’m from, and that’s where I want my home base to be, in the south. The song that it comes from, “How I Know,” is basically about how I should... (continued on p.138) colORMAGAZINE.CA


volume 9 issue 1

wordsby javier mendizabal

photos & captionsby fred mortagne


t’s always nice to run away from the winter and come back to summertime for a few days, to just leave the rain and the cold behind and be welcomed by the biggest sun. So, when Jeremie Daclin proposed right before the winter to go on a skate mission to Israel, I didn’t think twice! “Lets go!” was my reply. Furthermore, Israel is one of the youngest countries in the world, but one with the most ancient history, so it was already an intense destination before we left home!



These Israeli militaries are ok with this fronside lipslide of Charles Collet right near the Jerusalem Old City.

There are too many machine guns around for you not to know what is going on.

Jeremie “The Clean” Daclin, Fred “Moretime” Mortagne, Ricardo “Font Sex” Fonseca, Flo “Me Tang” Mirtain, Adrian “Coy Lair” Brophy, Boris “Priest” Proust and myself, met up in Jerusalem with the driver of this adventure, Mr. Gili, the godfather of Israeli skateboarding and Cliché distributor. We stayed at his place, taking up the entire living room, the terrace and any available corner in the house. A little warm up for the next gypsy tour!

Cliché’s newest recruit Adrien Coillard has a hobby, charging all the spots that come along his way, even if they are quite tricky like this one. Wallie 50-50.

Jerusalem is a city that is extremely regulated by the different religions existing there, and things can be completely different from one neighborhood to the next, or even from one day to the next, so it was great to have Gili with us, not only to show us the skate spots, but to explains to us how the city works. There are too many machine guns around for you not to know what is going on. It can really shock you to see all these neighborhoods separated by big walls, or all these young girls dressing in normal

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Adrien again. This was less than 10 minutes before the wallie 50-50 (previous page). The kid was hungry that night. Gap frontside lipslide.

They don’t use any electronic device, nobody goes to work, everything is closed, and it’s just time to pray.

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clothes but carrying guns; or to see how the Jewish side of the city stops completely from Friday night to Saturday night. During this 24 hours, those of Jewish orthodox faith don’t do anything, no matter what. They don’t use any electronic device, nobody goes to work, everything is closed, and it’s just a time to pray. But meanwhile, the Palestinians, of course continue on with their lives. But even as they coexist, you can feel the tension. People seem to be used to it and try to live their lives, but always with one eye on the neighbour. For all these reasons it was really good to have Gili with us, who was born there, and for him all this is just totally normal. It really calms you down when you see someone laughing at you because you are worried about something! Anyway, not everything is so religious and so under control, there are young people too. Students, musicians, artists, skaters … young people in general that just want to express their inner selves and have fun.

Last day, last spot, last cat, last trick. Javier Mendizabal always on top of things! Frontside pivot.

We had a great time meeting with this girl from Jerusalem, Neta, who showed up out of nowhere while we were skating the streets. A local photographer and a smooth talker, she took Fred and me to some of the secret spots: the underground scene, little bars in little streets where people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry so much about religion. Fred was on a real mission every night. It was his first skate trip as a photographer instead of a filmer and he really took advantage of it by shooting all day and all night. He was disappearing at night and then coming back hours later to get more film because he had run out and then disappearing again, looking for this narrow street, a cool arch, or even just a street cat in the right place. Believe me, he was not sleeping much but he was the happiest guy every morning. He took Boris, Neta and me one night to the old market, a big undercover labyrinth of narrow streets with all kind of stalls.

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It’s just crazy to skate there in a place where everything has so much history, like over 2000 years old.

Food, fabrics, furniture: everything! It’s a super crowded place during the day but completely empty at night. They leave the lights on at night so we spent hours there shooting all kinds of photos and getting some really cool footage for the next Cliché commercial that Fred and me have been working on. It was super fun to be there at night by ourselves! During the next day, we went to the Old City to skate some spots in there. It’s just crazy to skate there in a place where everything has so much history, like over 2000 years old. We skated all day long and no one said anything. It’s probably not so common to have skaters there, so it must be something kind of new and fun to watch them, at least it was fun for us to skate there. Good spots, perfect weather, great food and Gili playing some local music in his car. Days were passing fast, but that’s how it goes when you are having fun! And when the time to leave Jerusalem came, we packed everything, put some mattresses on the roof of Gili’s car and hit the road. Destination: Tel Aviv.


(opposite) Charles Collet was another starving trouper for spots... Skating about every single one of them. That maneuver was surely deadly, but only the spot got killed. Lien air transfer. A trick for the fun of it. It’s ok to do simple tricks. This is skateboarding. Flo Mirtain, frontside rock ‘n’ roll.

.israel 121

Another simple trick. But visually striking right? Hope you like it as much as I do. Charles, ollie to fakie.

Ending up swimming in the sea on a couple of nights while Europe was frozen. Tel Aviv is a totally different city from Jerusalem, less religious, more open-minded. A modern metropolis by the sea with all these skyscrapers. We split up into two different houses: Homero’s and David’s, two local skaters. Good vibes. We spent the next days hanging out with the locals, skating many different spots in the city and its surrounding areas. They are building new neighborhoods so fast there are new spots popping up all the time. There is even a huge skatepark, where we did a demo (probably the best Cliché demo ever, don’t ask me why), and they are starting to build a new one now. At night, we traded our cultural exploration and photography missions in Jerusalem for some other kind of nightlife in Tel Aviv. Ending up swimming in the sea on a couple of nights while Europe was frozen. That was the best part of Tel Aviv, the sea and the skate spots! But nothing lasts forever and the final day came for most of us. Not soon enough for poor Flo, who was more ready than anyone to fly back home because his heel didn’t let him skate much during the trip. But then some fucking hijos-de-puta broke into one of the cars while we were eating and stole Flo’s bag with his passport in it, so he had to stay an extra day by himself! C´est la vie!! Lots of thank you to Gili for making this trip happen, and for making it fun, and thanks to the all the local skaters for their hospitality and friendship. We had a lot of fun! Shalom!



volume 9 issue 1


JT GLEASON backside disaster [ o ] bertsen. 125

126 SHANE BARLOW frontside feeble grind [ o ] woytowich.

JS LAPIERRE nollie flip [ o ] andrews.

RUSS MILLIGAN switch kickflip [ o ] ying.

JEREMY REEVES frontside shove-it [ o ] zaslavsky. 129

130 NATHAN OLOKUN frontside boardslide transfer [ o ] comber.

EMANUEL GUZMAN frontside pivot [ o ] oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;meally.





volume 9 issue 1

The Beets

stay home (captured tracks)

The Beets are a bit of an anomaly on the Captured Tracks roster. While most of the current fleet of bands on the Brooklyn-based label have been swept up in the current reresurgence of the gothy and glossy ’80s, The Beets seem to be more influenced by first wave US garage rock. Surely a tired influence if there ever was one, but the group take a ramshackle swipe at it, coming off like a cross between a Nuggets band in rehearsal and The Shaggs fumbling their way through newly acquired chords [Ed: or a folksier Black Lips]. Fronted by singer-guitarist Juan Wauters and his nasally drawl, the band gleefully strum slightly out of tune guitars and add some primitive drumming, making for a record short on skill but high on earnestness. Not a perfect album by any standards, but The Beets wouldn’t have it any other way. —mark richardson


red barked tree (pink flag)

Is it too much to say that Wire is the postpunk version of Madonna? The British outfit has always exuded relevance—whether they were suing Elastica or inspiring Spoon’s Britt Daniel to title his imaginary solo album “Fish Fingers”—and their ability to consistently reinvent their sound is uncanny, given the rigidity of punk rock. Over a career spanning four decades, they foresaw punk’s evolution into new wave, jumped on the industrial bandwagon before it existed, dabbled in noise rock, disappeared and then reappeared just in time to remind indie rock of where it came from. As impressive as their trajectory is, Wire’s real feat has been in managing to bring their fans along for such an experimental ride. In this vein, the band’s latest offering can be read as a thank you note to all those listeners who stayed the course. Although darker and slower than their most well-known material, Red Barked Tree has something for every incarnation of Wire fan. —luke simcoe


The Babies s/t (shrimper)

Despite the lull since the last Vivian Girls full-length (a new album is due this spring), the two original members have kept plenty busy. Katy Goodman began the dream-pop outfit La Sera and now Cassie Ramone has gotten together with ex-roommate and bass player for Woods, Kevin Morby, to form the Brooklyn mini-super-group The Babies. Combining the breezy folk of Woods and the energetic garage rush of The Vivian Girls, they’ve managed to bridge the gap between the two bands, rather than acting as an outlet for songs that didn’t really fit their day jobs. This is a true collaborative affair. Cassie and Kevin trade off lines and back each other up on most songs, coming off as an updated (and cuter) version of The Pixies. Short and to the point, the twelve tracks on this excellent debut swoop in with deadly hooks and sink their claws in deep. They also manage to do what any great record should do: leave you wanting more. —mark richardson

Hunx And His Punx

too young to be in love (hardly art) After the 2008 disbanding of Oakland’s queer electro-pop outfit Gravy Train!!!!, front man Hunx (aka Seth Bogart) began releasing singles with his new group, Hunx And His Punx. These singles began to generate a lot of interest from the garage rock underground, and they eventually landed a high profile spot on a tour with Jay Reatard and No Bunny, two acts already cresting on success. Since the inception of the band, those early singles became top-dollar eBay items, and one of their songs was picked up by a Lens Crafters commercial. Then Seth appeared naked in the hardcore version of Girls’ “Lust For Life video,” and did a photo shoot with Vogue. And after all that build-up, we finally get their proper debut LP. Hunx And His Punx continue on with their ’60s girlgroup and pop obsession on Too Young To Be In Love. Songs range from Phil Spectoresque heartbreak to bubblegum punk, all of it slyly wrapped in the homoerotic imagery that’s made Hunx a standout in the macho garage rock scene. —mark richardson


vicki leekx (free online)

It makes more than enough sense for M.I.A. to clutch the coattails of the Wikileaks furor: her best music strikes an insurrectionist tone that tries to make sense of (or perpetuate further, depending how look at it) political ambiguity with its sheer glut of information and ad hoc organization. You might even see a parallel in the cult of personality between her and Assange, but we forget that stuff when Maya gets the party started, which is something she returns to do on this 36-minute workout. After her unsuccessful stab at agitprop with MAYA, Vicki Leekx recalls all the triumphs of her early work: the globalized, hyper-stimulating music truly of the internet age. M.I.A. is nothing if not a bundle of contradictions and the encompassing theme of Vicki Leekx is ultimately contradictory in M.I.A’s context—the idea that music, like information, should be free—since we have a pretty good idea how her handlers at Interscope-UMG feel about that. —rj basinillo

Demdike Stare tryptych (modern love)

When England’s Demdike Stare—comprised of Miles Whittaker, MLZ of Modern Love and Sean Canty, the world-class record collector behind Finders Keepers—announced their plans in 2010 to record and release three separate albums, little did they know they’d be largely overshadowed by an American clottage of feel-bad music: the “witch-house” of Salem, OoOOo and the like. Tryptych, the triple CD anthology of these releases—Forest of Evil, Liberation Through Hearing and Voices of Dust—is a generous entry-point for those that remain uninitiated. A daunting two hours and a bonus forty minutes of extra session material to sort through, Demdike Stare absorbs the forgotten music of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as obscure early pressings of psyche, jazz, industrial records, and re-aligns this material with the machinations of Canty & Whittaker’s dark droning dub techno. Demdike Stare, via the time-tested traditions of record collecting, one-up their American counterparts and peer further into the abyss by simply digging deeper. —rj basinillo

Panda Bear tomboy (paw tracks)

The anticipation for this one was so high that I couldn’t even listen to it right away. I had to sit it on top of my stereo for a while and work up the nerve, that’s how apprehensive I was that it might not live up to my incredibly high expectations. No worries, though: Noah Lennox came through. Tomboy doesn’t depart too drastically from the loopy psychedelia of 2007’s landmark Person Pitch, though this time the trance-like repetition is mainly provided by Lennox’s own guitars and synthesizers rather than samples. His voice is the really central element, though, soaring over all these tracks in the multi-tracked, major-key harmonies that have spawned so many imitators (and Beach Boys references). In line with the endless beach-y themes that have dominated indie music for the last year or two, track titles here include “Surfer’s Hymn” (with requisite crashing waves samples) and “Last Night at the Jetty,” but Lennox’s immensely deep and emotive compositions are likely to outlast any trend cycle. —saelan twerdy

Hercules & Love Affair blue songs (moshi moshi)

With basically a completely new crew from the one that helped make Hercules & Love Affair’s eponymous debut a nearly instant classic, Andy Butler moves chronologically ahead through the history of dance music from the Studio 54/Paradise Garage axis ’70s disco to the warehouse rave of the late ’80s and early ’90s. It’s a more unstructured and unwieldy era of dance music, a fact reflected in Blue Songs disparate influences and aspirations. Long gone is former co-producer Tim Goldsworthy’s organic, almost live-band inflections and incoming are the stricter synthdriven formulas of Patrick Pulsinger, utilizing even more transparent Roland presets. Odd sequencing hampers the record as the middle lulls with “Boy Blue” and “Blue Songs,” back to back ballads that are formidable individual tracks but stonewall the record’s early house rush. The album doesn’t reach the anthemic heights of “Blind,” and Antony Hegarty’s startling vibratto and immediacy is sorely missed, but Butler remains fearless. Blue Songs, while perhaps a step back, is still more than worthy to step to. —rj basinillo


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

native speaker (arbutus)

These Montreal kids have been making waves across Canada for a little while now, and their much-anticipated debut is sure to add to their momentum. The most succinct summary would be that they sound a hell of a lot like Animal Collective circa Feels, but that would be unfairly reductive, especially once you’ve heard Raphaelle StandellPreston’s voice. Demure and cooing one moment, drawling and teasing the next, she possesses some fearsome pipes that she’s not afraid to let loose with in more cathartic moments. Often startlingly lurid, many of her lyrics are ripe with sexual innuendo and punctuated with occasional profanity, but much like the band’s arrangements in general, she defies most conventional modes of sounding “sexy.” Instead, Braids approximate the diffuse drift and fluid pulse of sexual rhythms. Keyboards sparkle like acid-trip lights, the bass throbs, and drums skitter and tumble on rims and cymbals when they’re not pounding out a heartbeat on toms. A few tracks climax with huge melodic force while others sustain an unstructured intensity. Native Speaker is as exciting as a new crush, and I can’t wait to see what Braids will do next. —saelan twerdy

belong (slumberland)

Having won over the blogosphere with their fuzzy, basement-brewed debut, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart teamed up with megaproducer Flood (U2, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Nine Inch Nails) for their sophomore album. Now recording in a proper studio, the Pains sound significantly more full-bodied than in the past. This gives them a chance to show off their versatility, as Belong features acoustic guitars and keyboards more prominently than on the band’s previous work. The distorted guitars are still there, but this time they’re more grunge-y than shoegazing, and come accompanied by a muscular rhythm section. Thankfully, the studio gloss doesn’t interfere with the group’s charm or songwriting chops, since these ten tracks are filled with dazzling pop hooks and poignantly lovelorn lyrics. “Heart in the Heartbreak” and “Girl of 1,000 Dreams” will please fans of band’s noisy material, while cinematic cuts like “My Terrible Friend” and “Strange” dial down the guitars in favour of dreamscape synths. Songs like these push the Pains’ sound into new terrain, while still retaining the sweetness that made their debut so compelling. —alex hudson

Eternal Tapestry

Tim Hecker

beyond the fourth door (thrill jockey)

ravedeath, 1972 (kranky)

Since 2007, California’s Eternal Tapestry have released a steady stream of heady psych, mostly on tiny labels run by friends, but always issued in frustratingly small numbers. Featuring members of other psych-sters Heavy Winged, Tunnels and Jackie-O Motherfucker, not to mention lead-guitarist Dewey Mahood’s prolific solo projects as Plankton Wat and Edibles, Eternal Tapestry are as monumental in sound as they are in personnel. Now signed to Thrill Jockey, the core trio has added a saxophonist and a synth player to their mystic fold, who together have crafted their most refined album to date. The band’s signature sprawling psych is at the core of Beyond The Fourth Door, but the recent additions to the band are a new layer, bringing to mind the soundtrack work of Popol Vuh. The lengthy songs here are slow-building, usually begun with a methodical bassline and Mahood’s fiery guitar lines, and when the sax and synth are eventually employed, lift-off is accomplished. Though never blazing like some of their heavier contemporaries, Eternal Tapestry are masters of atmosphere.

If you’ve been following since his 2001 debut, Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again, you know that each Tim Hecker release is a challenge to describe without having to rely on default descriptors. Whether tense, painterly, or ethereal, the best adjective is this: consistent. Ambient’s a cheap tag for Hecker’s songcraft: his ghostly audio mulch is more nuanced and engrossing, often aided by conceptual anchors to keep the listener from drifting away. For associative guidance, see Ravedeath’s terse song titles (e.g. “Hatred of Music I and II”) and cover art featuring a piano about to be dropped from the roof of a building. The album was recorded in a church in Iceland and leans heavily on the piano and organ, which appear mainly as wreckage bobbing on the surface of sound. Working from guitar treatments and AM radio static as his initial calling card, (never mind his mini-concept-album about Van Halen on 2002’s My Love is Rotten to the Core), there’s always been a bit of the rockist in Hecker, and Ravedeath is, true to form, so much more than just mood music. Play loud.

—mark richardson

—chris olson

No Gold

s/t (unfamiliar)

Finally! Vancouverites have waited nearly five years for these breezy afro-poppers to record their debut, but let me tell you, the wait was worth it. Surprisingly, this album is far from a straight translation of the live sets they’ve been playing for so long. Ian Wyatt, who replaced their old drummer, has a huge effect here: he got behind the mixing board and helped them refashion their songs into something like a disco-edit record. The result still has that straight-off-the-floor sound and rangy, loose-limbed jamminess, but it’s adorned with subtle samples (extra percussion!) and humid new age synth ambience. Their afro-style guitar picking and tropical vibes are still in effect, but alongside some surprisingly edgy early disco-funk strut. The cut-up grooves and layered polyrhythms here could call up all kinds of experimental references (Arthur Russell, Can, Liquid Liquid, Four Tet) but everything’s grounded in Jack and Liam’s really down-to-earth vocals and warm personalities. It’s a truly fantastic record: intimate, real, and bursting with originality. I can only hope it gets them the attention they deserve. —saelan twerdy

Iron & Wine

kiss each other clean (warner bros.)

With each successive release, Iron & Wine mastermind Sam Beam has moved further away from his original stripped-down folk sound. While he once needed only his own voice, guitar and banjo to carry his songs, Beam now relies on massive studio-crafted arrangements stuffed with percussion, horns and glitchy electronic squiggles. The instrumentation is rich and diverse, but this doesn’t do much to benefit the songs and often seems more distracting than complimentary. “Big Burned Hand” is a catchy R&B groove, but it’s marred by an incessantly noodling saxophone, vocal distortion and squishy wah-wah effects. “Monkeys Uptown” is similarly awkward, with its computerized blips and ill-conceived clavinet outro. Thankfully, Beam still has a knack for a delicate folk melody, and this shines through on “Tree by the River,” a gorgeously nostalgic ballad that’s mercifully free of the fussiness of much of the collection. Beam is clearly trying to branch out on Kiss Each Other Clean, but unfortunately his strengths lie closer to home. —alex hudson

Dirtbombs party store (in the red)

Detroit’s Dirtbombs are no strangers to covers. Their breakthrough record, Ultraglide In Black, which caught a lot of attention during the post-White Stripes garage-rocksigning sweepstakes of the early 2000s, was nearly all covers, consisting strictly of soul, R&B and Motown songs. They’ve also done covers of INXS, Suicide, Yoko Ono, Flipper, and Sparks, among many others, proving that they’re one of the more versatile bands in garage rock today. It should come as no surprise then, that they’ve decided to tackle an entire record’s worth of classic Detroit techno. They take on the three masters of Motor City techno: Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Juan Atkins. The robotic and primitive drum machines on the originals are fleshed out with real drums, while quirky synth lines are replaced by guitars. The result is lean and hard. Rather than some dancerock hybrid, The Dirtbombs have come up with a ripping garage album that has all of the relentless insistence of classic techno. It’s a worthy tribute, and guaranteed to make you move. —mark richardson

James Blake s/t (atlas/a&m)

For everything that’s been written of James Blake, the “startlingly unique one-of-a-kind musical prodigy”—a soulful singer-songwriter informed by dance music deconstructions: Arthur Russell via Basic Channel—you might be convinced Blake was destined to do no less than usher in a whole new pop paradigm. Against these loftier expectations, though, this debut comes in a bit undercooked. Devotees of his earlier work may be surprised to hear that he’s mostly set aside beats and production in favour of real songs (including a Feist cover), played on the piano and sung with minimal effects, which brings out his voice’s resemblance to other crooners like Antony Hegarty and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The hype and the ensuing backlash is somewhat illustrated in the lyric, “My brother and my sister don’t speak to me.” The song is titled “I Never Meant To Share,” and maybe Blake has always been indifferent, selfish even, making music just for himself. The real truth is that James Blake is an only child. —rj basinillo



(continued from p.56)

OFF! Interviewed by Justin Gradin

As you guys move forward is it still mainly you and Keith doing the writing? Do Steve and Mario contribute to that process? No, it’s just been me and Keith. The problem is that three of us are dads, Mario lives in San Diego, the rest of us are here in Los Angeles. Steven has a real A&R job at Warner Bros., and there’s just not a whole lot of time to like, hang out and come up with riffs together. It’s a lot more effective when I can just get together with Keith, and that seems to be where the spark ignites, it’s just our tension together. We’re such good friends, he pushes me into a direction that I’ve never gone, and I’d like to think that same is true for the reverse. I was really hard on him with his lyrics, and just preaching what I believe is the 138 coloRMAGAZINE.cA

power of a well-written song, and he was just really hard on my guitar playing. I actually have to change the way I play to write with him. I come from a rock background so I wasn’t used to just down stroking literally every single time the pick hit the string. It was a really interesting way of approaching the guitar for me, and it brought something out in my playing.


You were saying earlier that the sound of OFF! was headed towards a Black Flag, darker sound, and I definitely think you guys have an old school punk rock sound. Is that something you guys are using as a reference point or do you think of it as something completely new? Well, it’s interesting because, like I said, Keith and I first sat down writing together with a particular target in mind. I was producing his band, and they needed songs, so we started heading in one direction writing for that band. I come from more of like, a heavy rock, borderline metal background, so as we moved forward it just kind of shifted, I guess accidentally into a bit more of a Black Flag thing. I remember one time Keith was like, “Record that, let’s go for a walk,” and I was like, “Okay,” and we were walking and he was like, “That last riff you were playing, that’s where I originally come from with Black Flag.” And I’m like, “Okay,” and it just kind of took him deeper into his history and he started getting really excited. Then when the whole Circle Jerks thing fell apart, we just took all of those songs, and anything we were doing from that point on, we just allowed it to go where it naturally wanted to go. I think as we move forward it’s gonna be really interesting to see how we develop. So, to answer your question, no, we’re not trying to be Black Flag, but there’s definitely a nod to that piece of Keith’s origin. It’s important not only to him but to fans of the genre, it’s really the birth of hardcore, you know, West Coast hardcore. So, to hit any kind of bulls-eye with the original singer of that band is something that’s become really important to a lot of people. So yeah, we can’t wait to hit the road and bring it across the country and around the world the best we can, and continue to put out records, and you know, just let this thing be what it’s gonna be. I don’t think we’ve really even scratched the surface. We’ve hit on something, but we feel very much like a new band. Like a baby.

I saw you guys at the Club Lingerie show in Hollywood as well, and I remember Keith read this disclaimer about how it was being filmed for NBC, or something like that, but I also noticed Dave Markey [legendary underground film maker] was there. Was he filming for something completely different? I don’t know what he was filming for. I think he could have been doing something with Redd Kross, he could be archiving the night. I know he goes way back with both Keith and Steven. I’m sure we’ll do something with him at some point. Who knows? For a minute I thought he was filming for NBC. Maybe he’s working on 2011: The Year Punk Broke Again [laughs]. 2011: The Year Punk Got Repaired [laughs]. Redd Kross was so amazing that night, too. I mean, Redd Kross, Circle Jerks, Burning Brides, Rocket From The Crypt, you guys have all been in other really successful bands. Other than those bands, are there other contemporary bands that you guys feel a connection with? Well, you know it’s tough because I guess we’re considered a punk band. Some would argue that we’re a hardcore band. I know Keith doesn’t like to think of it that way. There’s a conscious decision on our part to just think of us as a new band. Why can’t we play with Deerhunter, and then play a show with Mastodon, and then open for Sonic Youth, and then play All Tomorrow’s Parties? If there’s any kind of conscious approach to how we’ve viewed ourselves in doing what we do, it’s with that in mind. We don’t really see there being anything to latch on to in terms of a particular scene, especially punk. There are bands like Fucked Up we think are cool. We’re about to do a tour with Trash Talk. We’re just fans of music, and our backgrounds are so diverse, we could see this going in a lot of different directions. OFF!’s First Four EPs box is out now on Vice Records. For tour dates and info, check www.myspace. com/off. Stay posted for upcoming show slated for Vancouver at Fortune Sound Club.

(continued from p.112)


Interviewed by Alex Hudson

try to remember my roots and try to remember to have fun and not become jaded. The album cover doesn’t really reflect that. It’s a pretty decadent shot of you eating fruit. I feel like it shows the more intimate side, the perverted side. Being open with that kind of stuff, I feel like, is what people are interested in. Without sounding perverted myself, I think it’s interesting to talk about anything with anyone. I don’t think that there should be anything to hide, really. That’s the fun stuff to talk about. Kissing and telling is the game that everyone wants to play, but doesn’t want to do. It’s just the thrill of it all, just being weird and perverted. I’m not really that perverted. That picture—I just thought it was funny and interesting. I really do like the texture of the fruit that’s in my mouth and how that drip was caught right at the right moment. I actually like the photograph, it wasn’t just a joke or anything. Is the way that people write and talk about your music something that affects you? Not really. When I was writing Causers [of

This], for example, I wasn’t thinking ocean or beach-ey vibes. It was interesting to see how people were taking it. To me, I thought I was making something that was dark or cold, because of the lyrical content. It was my breakup album. The whole time I was making it, I was sort of a downer. It’s ironic that people categorized your music as ‘beach music,’ because Columbia, South Carolina isn’t on the ocean. [Laughing] Yeah exactly. Earnest [Greene] from Washed Out and I, we like the water and we like the south, but we’re not really that close to the ocean. Causers of This is out now, and Underneath the Pine is out February 22nd, both on Carpark Records. For tour dates and other info, check




volume 9 issue 1

California Bienniel

image courtesy of the artists.

October 24, 2010 - March 13, 2011 David Adey, Agitprop, Gil Blank, Nate Boyce, Luke Butler, Juan Capistran, Zoe Crosher, Brian Dick, Dru Donovan, Mari Eastman, Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab, Carlee Fernandez, Finishing School, Eve Fowler, Rebecca Goldfarb, Katy Grannan, Alexandra Grant, Sherin Guirguis, Drew Heitzler, Violet Hopkins, Alex Israel, Glenna Jennings, Barry MacGregor Johnston, Vishal Jugdeo, Stanya Kahn, Andy Kolar, Jennifer Locke, Los Angeles Urban Rangers, Tom Mueske, Tucker Nichols, Camilo Ontiveros, Nikki Pressley, Andy Ralph, Will Rogan, Paul Schiek, Taravat Talepasand, Wu Tsang, Zlatan Vukosavljevic, Nina Waisman, Flora Wiegmann, Allison Wiese, Lisa Williamson, David Wilson, Patrick Wilson, John Zurier.

wordsby nicholas brown


ince the Venice Biennale first opened in 1895, the ‘biennial’ exhibition has become central to the way contemporary art regions around the world represent themselves. Now spanning three centuries, the bi-annual survey exhibition continues to grow in popularity as meanings get muddled along the way. Self-described biennials are too many to count and have come to represent efforts to take the pulse of contemporary art in its global and local manifestations. Within this sprawling field, regional biennials, often folded into the programming mandates of museums and branches of government, occupy a unique role. Unlike worlds fair-styled international affairs, museums like the Orange County Museum of Art—others include the Whitney’s biennial of American art, or in Canada the triennial of Quebec artists at the Musée d’art Contemporain—organize group exhibitions that present new works to be consumed largely by audiences that reside in the same region as the artists.


Vishal Jugdeo Thought Composition with Model of the World, 2010 mixed media installation, dimensions variable

Andy Kolar Six Deep, 2009 oil on canvas, 81" x 132"

Paul Schiek A Single Perfect Moment, 2007 chromogenic print, edition of 7, 14" x 11"

Nate Boyce Interlaced Increments, 2010 standard-definition digital video, color, sound; televisions, variable lengths, looped

This creates its own set of problems. How does an institution like the OCMA set out to represent a region as vast as California within the specific location of Orange County? Simultaneously, how can it possibly convey a diversity of artistic practice within the confined and overdetermined setting of the museum?

One example of this uneasiness, a highlight of the Biennial in spite of its environment, is Vishal Jugdeo’s Thought Composition with Model of the World, 2010. An episodic video made up of Beckett-like interactions between two characters in a self-consciously staged setting, the work deftly incorporates installation elements (altered readymade objects that include a bulging garbage bag, a kettle and a disembodied clay hand) placed on a makeshift stage in front of a flatscreen monitor. These elements variously relate to, and in some cases even emit sounds, that interact with the stilted drama unfolding onscreen. Unfortunately the work is so poorly sited that it competes for sonic space (bleeding together with an adjacent video work) and physical space (just steps away is another floor-based installation work, suggesting a weird sculptural equivalency that I sincerely hope was intended).

For the 2010 California Biennial, the fifth such exhibition at the OCMA, curator Sarah C. Bancroft has assembled works by 45 artists, mostly under 40, who indeed represent a diversity of practice, albeit unevenly situated within the institutional setting. Not surprisingly, the exhibition leans heavily on works suited to the white walls of the gallery. Framed works on paper dominate the exhibition, with an abundance of figurative representation, contributing to the air of conservatism inherent to the museological context. While not a categorically negative assessment, it doesn’t bode well for the more performative, multimedia or processbased components of the exhibition, which struggle to find a place amidst the wallworks.

Elsewhere, relational works by Brian Dick, Agitprop and the Los Angeles Urban Rangers combine references to ongoing performance projects with elements specific to the exhibition. At best, Dick’s pinata-like environ-

“The exhibition leans heavily on works suited to the white walls of the gallery.” ments and Agitprop’s mobile interview station provide contingent spaces within the museum that highlight its limitations and point to worlds beyond the neutralizing white cube. Yet I suspect the nuances and social complexities of these works may be undermined by their use as education tools for the institution. Most troubling is the marginalized placement of the Los Angeles Urban Rangers information kiosk (outside the galleries, next to the museum café). Considering that the work represents efforts to highlight hidden— and often privileged—public spaces of LA, its deployment is ironic, if not undermined. These vexed power dynamics are neatly addressed by Mexican-born LA artist Camilo Ontiveros, whose contribution interpenetrates the outside world with the museum by targeting its internal mechanisms. Free Entry (Biennial Law) exists as a wall text that greets visitors at the admissions desk. Aping the language of Arizona’s oppressive new law, SB 1070, Ontiveros proposes that if museum staff find “reasonable suspicion” of a visitor’s alien status, a reasonable attempt be made to provide free entry. Simultaneously

referencing past artistic gestures of generosity (renowned LA artist Michael Asher made free museum admission a component of his work for the 2009 Whitney Biennial), filtered through the lens of raging debates around border discrimination, Ontiveros’ work exists simultaneously as an artistic statement and as a means of compelling the institution to make its own political statement. Accompanying the artist’s text is a response from the museum’s board of trustees invoking the 1959 Unruh Civil Rights Act to justify its refusal to grant the artist’s request on the basis of discrimination. Read simultaneously, the texts convey the artist’s savvy hand in compelling the OCMA, as an agent and representative (particularly in the case of the Biennial) of the State of California, to speak in opposition to Arizona’s contentious law. Read alongside the prevailing tone of the exhibition, Free Entry speaks vigorously, with satiric edge, to the specific context of the California Biennial, its presence at a civic museum, and to wider political forces that eclipse the rarefied sphere of contemporary art.



volume 9 issue 1

Welcome to MIA josh stewart (mia skateshop)

The MIA shop video, aptly titled, Welcome to MIA, is a Static-reminiscent film featuring multiple generations of skaters from Florida. Land O’ Lakes native and longtime skateboard videographer, Josh Stewart (Cigar City, One Step Beyond, the Static series) has successfully produced the warmest looking and sounding video that he’s done to date. Other than the DVD cover looking like it should have Lieutenant Horatio Caine’s face painted all over it, the skateboarding speaks for itself. Ed Selego shows why he should still be hanging with the Sovereign Sect, Brian Delatorre terrorizes the streets of his new home and Ben Gore should be far more recognized by the skateboard public by the time you read this. Joel Meinholtz looks like he has the time of his life when he’s cruising on his skateboard, and so should you after watching him fly around. Along with the usual crowd favourites, there are plenty of up-and-comers embedded into the montages that will have you appreciating their unique views on what a skate spot looks like. Using MIA [the artist], Selda Bagcan and a Nina Simone remake in the soundtrack was a risky, yet, somehow good choice, but I have to say that unleashing a Floridacentric skateboard film in the dead of winter was the smartest idea of all. Take a break from watching the Berrics, book a spring break trip to Miami Beach and support one of the only skater-owned and operated shops in the Sunshine State. —jeremy elkin


New Year’s Dae

The Bones Video

Despite the legend of this brand’s name, and its surprisingly Canadian roots, Famous Stars and Straps is all about its friends: la familia. They roll deep at every event, and after watching this video at the world premiere at Black Box during Crossroads, I believe it. It’s rad to see the tradition of togetherness still a part of skateboarding today. Who can forget the Bones Brigade or City Stars crew rolling through with their medallions and shimmering jackets? Sure it might not be what skateboarding is to you, but to a lot of people, especially those from a place where skateboarding wasn’t always accepted, you had to roll deep, just to protect yourself! And these guys have the skills to back it up. With the exception of Darren Harper, you couldn’t ask for a more progressive team. From Luis Tolentino’s ridiculous pop (he lipslides a third row bleacher from flat) that further pushes the current up-rail craze by challenging the limits of skateboarding, to Andrew Pott’s much-anticipated part, that proves his skills indeed kept up with his apparent growth spurt. And if I didn’t know it before witnessing him win the Crossroads Best Trick contest, then I was certain after watching this video: Manny Santiago is the fucking ruler! Not to mention Felix Arguelles, who at 42 can still impress those kids young enough to be his grandchildren. This isn’t one of those reviews where I need to dance around the truth of whether the video is good or not; it will go down as one of the most important videos of 2011, so make sure you cop your copy. Who would have guessed it? From the offspring of Blink 182, it’s a video true to these times, highlighting the more ‘hype’ side of skating, one that some of us might have otherwise chosen to ignore.

Following up the success of their 99 cent download Shane O’Neill’s pro-debut webclip, the Berrics recently released New Year’s Dae, a five-minute mini-part from none other than the legendary Daewon Song, a man surprisingly absent from the usual torrent of Berrics coverage. The video opens with some pretty rad street tricks, classic Daewon. It isn’t until he takes it indoors and onto a series of circus-trick manny pads that the video becomes kind of sadly reminiscent of Daewon’s regrettable picnic table period. The reason everybody hated Dawon’s picnic table period so much was because we all knew how good the man was, and he was just wasting his talents on those weird nose-blunt slide roller coasters on elaborately set up picnic tables. This was what made his breakthrough DVS part so thrilling was his return to the street, and marked the return to his Love Child greatness. Because, contrary to the current fashion, skateboarding really isn’t about progression at all costs. Frankly, after like 35 NBD manny tricks—many involving flips or pirouettes in the middle—flashed before my eyes—all on the same plywood manny pad—I’d already stopped caring. The whole thing actually kind of reminded me of life-sized fingerboarding. There is also kind of a quality control problem here, too, probably as a result of this pressure to do NBDs. Lots of tricks in this section are sloppy: wheels getting put down and awkward slow landings; and we all know that Daewon is good enough not to let this shit happen. But don’t get me wrong, the dude fucking kills it, and the video is interesting to watch. I’m just waiting for something more like his DVS part, with some real, going-for-it street action, which is where Daewon’s formidable powers really shine. Please God, anything but those picnic tables again… —mike christie

If a quarter of the current skate industry backs their wheels, then that should definitely be enough for you to go try some out. But since Bones’ last full-length video project The Bones Brigade Video Show, the face of skateboard videos has drastically changed. Sadly, it seems that this film did not escape the negative influence of the web, which uses the formula: mind-numbing tricks + quantity over quality = production value. There must be at least fifty skaters in this thirtyseven minute movie that was filmed by what seems to be about one hundred videographers. Apart from the rapidly changing filming styles and lack of careful editing, the skating here is obviously out of control. After inserting the disc (and immediately muting the soundtrack) I began my journey to Southern California. Canuck Jordan Hoffart puts his life in danger with tricks like varial heel backside grinds down heart-attack hubbas. More than most, he is pushing his personal limits every time he goes skating. Ryan Decenzo’s tricks are better than a great deal of pro’s best footage, Sierra Fellers went to Canada and China to film his tweaked-out bag of flip tricks and the only clip Willy Akers has is a beauty. Both Ozzy Duncombe’s skating and puking are fun to watch because he looks like he thoroughly loves his life. I’d recently seen Chad Bartie in a new Osiris ad, doing what I’d assumed to be a gap to nosepick on the top of a fence. Well, my assumption was incorrect, because after seeing the footage, it turned out to be a frontside 180 over both the gap and the fence and onto the other side of the universe. David Gravette murders parks and no-complys, Murawski gets Arizona-tech for three seconds and Dave Abair bombs hills not countries. The best part about the video is that this team of skaters are actually skating outside in sunny California, and not losing their minds locked up in a Deca-style warehouse, filming weekly fulllength skatepark parts. —jeremy elkin

jared lucas

joe krolick & aaron brown (felix arguelles)

—sandro grison


(a berrics web release)

volume 9 issue 1

words and photosby gordon nicholas


ith the new year upon us, there has been no shortage of excitement in 2011. Celebrations abound stretching across the country and beyond. From Christmas celebrations to Trade Shows up and down the coast, theres been no lack of extracurricular events to keep any weathered skateboarder and crews thirst for excitement quenched during these often dreary winter months. From KnowShow to Crossroads, and to the skateboarder owned bars Saloon and Hensleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Lets take a moment to remember some of the moments those who experienced may still not.

Elliot Heintzman

Jennifer Mcleod & Johhny Burgess

Ben Marvin & Daniel Pitout

Ako & Atiba Jefferson Morgan Hystad & Zach Barton

Keith Henry & Joel Dufresne

Sheldon Meleshinski

Pat Burke

Jordan Hoffart & friend

Jenn Jackson

Jess Atmore

Dan Zaslavsky

Mila Franovic

Jamie Thomas

Jamie Tancowny & Judah Oakes

Felix Arguelles

Ryan Smith & Matt Mumford

Keegan Sauder & Spencer Hamilton

Black Box

Steve Clare, Windsor James & Trevor Uriona



arto saari /


volume 9 issue 1

words and photoby landon stirling

Peter Hewitt


pon entering the Cubicle for the first time, I unknowingly stepped into a strange and twisted realm where Battleship determined the space and time continuum. At roughly 0400 hours Pacific Time, American Peter Hewitt declared war on the Austrian Gernot Kinast and summoned him to a battle at sea. I figured this might be the optimal time to delve into the mind of Mr. Hewitt for a little question and answer. High at sea, and already critically damaged, a battle was about to ensue. The following are excerpts from the heavily coded mission. Try to figure it out and your mind might melt. Electronic Battleship Game: BEEP BEEP 1 PLAYER MISSION SELECTED INPUT NUMBER OF PLAYERS, INPUT GAME OPTIONS 2 PLAYER MISSION SELECTED, ADVANCED MISSION SELECTED

Landon: This atmosphere is tense, it feels like we are getting ready for a great battle. Have you manned your cannons and readied the torpedoes? Peter: Fuck yeah, shining up the armor, all the ladies are crying, making my rounds. Are you going to get the planes up? It’s not a bad idea, planes are a good fucking option, but I like to go straight for the kill. Man your battleships! Man your stations! This might be a two joint operation. What’s with the “Secure a Block” up on your front door? I feel it secures the pad. in case Gernot goes crazy. We could buy like 8 mattresses and put them up and it would be one big padded room and then we could all eat acid. Yes! And mushrooms? And mushrooms. we could combine the two. I’ve never done that before, and maybe some OT. Sam will bring something in and we will all lose our minds.


I will be the United Nations, which countries are you guys going to be? Gernot: No countries! Think outside the box, I’m the Universe, the Universe of Not Not. Peter: I’m actually a pirate fleet and I am the captain of all these fuckers and their minds. We’re renegades stuck out in the ocean: Sit down, now the game starts. Gernot: Now the game starts? You didn’t do your job! I did my job. I made torpedo’s. What’s the average time it takes to get your battleship fleet ready? Peter: I average out at about two minutes. Gernot: My guys are still like hungover... people are puking. I have to press the button again? Peter: No, I got you. You missed all the F, you missed all the G, You got the H, You got the 5, 6 and 7. Gernot: So I sunk it? Peter: No, it said you sunk my uhh plane. RADAR CONFIRMED HIT AT INDIA 8. TARGET NEUTRALIZED. DESTROYER SUNK.

What is your strategy? Peter: I sunk your destroyer. I have little patterns I like to do up here, but Gernot’s markings are interesting. So where did you get all the avocados? Clear waters… my friend Steve, he use to be my neighbor. SONOR SYSTEMS CONFIRMS CLEAR WATERS

It was amazing watching Duane skate today. Dude, he is so gnarly right? He was going off! He seriously blows my mind, he’s so fucking good. I thought he was going to win the last Combi contest and take Hosoi and Cab out. Gernot: Fucking going to blow out your brain man. RADAR CONFIRMED HIT AT E 10

Who else was there tonight? Salba, Grosso... Gernot: Who gives a fuck about whoever, recon’s one and two destroyed. Peter: Eric Nash, Pat Noho.

My brother had the Desperado Nash board, with rip grip. Oh yeah! I used to rock that shit. Do you think it will make a comeback? Um no It’s hard to talk while the game is playing, got a lot of serious moves and a lot of serious strategies. A lot is on the line here, cause fucking reputations are at stake, a lot of fucking people will be talking about this. What’s the worse thing about getting hit? It’s the best part of your day.

distributed by Ultimate

Over & Under, Rick McCrank and Eric Koston demonstrate the benefits of teamwork. morfordphoto.


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volume 9





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Volume 9, Number 1  

featuring Lee Yankou, a Shazam with east coast shredder Zander Mitchell, the musical mind of Destroyer, Javier Mendizabal and Fred Mortagne...

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