Kilian Martin

April 14, 2011

A buddy of mine recently passed along the video below. The tricks defy physics, let alone logic. The anachronistic wardrobe and music are killer. The cinematography is nostalgic. This makes me want to go to a drive-in theater with a chick in a poodle skirt. Except we’re on a skateboard.

Deathbowl to Downtown

February 7, 2009

I still cannot wait for this to come on DVD. COME ON already.

Calexico – Alone Again Or

November 29, 2008

A buddy of mine recently got me into Calexico. I’m a particularly huge fan of the song “Alone Again Or,” a beautiful cover of Arthur Lee’s original. I first heard the track on the Fully Flared skate video, where it accompanied Jesus Fernandez’s part. Check it out below…striking song, sick skating.

Good song. Trippy video. Makes me miss summer in the city. Happy Friday.

Beautiful Losers

August 20, 2008

I’ve been unable to post for the last few days due a breakdown in our internet thanks to the yellow bellied scoundrels at Time Warner. That is until I realized that my work laptop detects connections from lands far, far away. So here I am stealing internet, transmitting via guerrilla blogfare.

I’m not quite sure where exactly I first stumbled upon Beautiful Losers, but as soon as I chanced on it, I was intrigued. The film—directed by Aaron Rose, founder of NYC’s now defunct Alleged Gallery—documents the rise of a D.I.Y. art movement in the early ’90s that revolved around the urban aesthetic of street art, graffiti, skateboarding and underground music. Anyone that reads this blog regularly (all four of you) know that this is right up my alley. And when I learned that the film focuses on artists that I respect and admire: Harmony Korine, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and others, I knew I had to see it. Lucky for me, the film began its general theatrical release right here at the IFC Center at W4 St.

I must say that leaving the theater I was not at all disappointed. First, it was interesting to hear first-person accounts from each artist explaining their initial engagement in the D.I.Y. scene. Most began with an early self-derived perception of outsider status, or being different from the other kids in the cafeteria. Of course these claims are validated through quirky, often hilarious anecdotes from each artist. In one particularly memorable scene, Harmony Korine tells a little girl that a friend of his was once decapitated in the very park in which she was playing, to which she responds, “Cool!” It’s actually hard to tell if he’s serious.

Beautiful Losers was also worthwhile as it exposed me to several artists with whom I wasn’t very familiar. I learned about the work of Mike Mills who has designed dope album covers for Sonic Youth, Beck and the Beastie Boys, Margaret Kilgallen, whose San Francisco-based folk art I recognized and Chris Johanson, who sports a massive beard and is just plain nuts.

I also appreciated the fact that the film didn’t raise any negative sentiment for artists applying their work for commercial purposes. So often today artists are accused of selling out and alienating their core audience, the audience that was there during the come up. If an artist has the opportunity to project his or her vision on a larger scale without compromising their creative integrity, he or she should be encouraged, not chastised. Specifically, the film touched on graphic designer Geoff McFetridge who has spearheaded cool ass campaigns for Pepsi and done collaborations with sneaker companies.

There were only a couple aspects that detracted from the film for me: In my opinion, the cutaway shots of the artwork were often too quick and sporadic. I understand that a film has to move, but there were times that I wanted a few more seconds to take it all in. I also thought the unfortunate death of Margaret Kilgallen was touched upon very abruptly and disrupted the flow of the film somewhat towards the end.

All in all however, Beautiful Losers is the type of film that lights a creative fire under your ass and makes you wonder why you ever stopped taking art lessons in seventh grade. It reminds you why you enjoyed drawing and making things…because it was stimulating and fucking fun. Excuse me while I go tag my bedroom wall.

Supreme x Tera Patrick

August 13, 2008

Occasionally my roommates and I will cut out clippings from newspapers and magazines that we find interesting or provocative and post them on the fridge and kitchen wall (ok fine, I’m pretty much the only one that does this, but still). One such clipping that’s been on display for several months now is a striking Supreme ad that I tore out of Vice. It features a busty brunette woman scantily clad in a bikini hugging a skate deck. Her expression is…suggestive. I cut it out simply because I thought it was fucking awesome. What’s not hot about a sexy woman posing with a skate deck?

The ad has become somewhat of a fixture of our decor, and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it in a while until today. That is until I read in the latest issue of Complex that the woman is in fact pornstar Tera Patrick. I must admit that I was taken aback by this discovery, not so much that Supreme would use her in one of their ads (their mantra as a brand seems to be “If you don’t like it, step off”) but that a pornstar would be in an apparel ad to begin with. Supreme is a brand that prides itself on existing on the fringes and I’m wondering if we’ll begin to see a similar trend with other such “cooler than thou” brands. Are pornstars and other societal outliers the next way to earn street cred for your brand? It’s funny to think about, but in this day and age, where every brand is looking for a way to make a name and turn heads, it might not be that far from reality.

WeSC

May 23, 2008

I don’t consider myself particularly fashion conscious, but one brand that I have had my eye on for the past year or so is WeSC. Founded in Sweden in 2000, WeSC (WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy) rapidly emerged as one of the country’s premiere labels with little to no marketing push by sponsoring artists, musicians and skaters in Sweden’s underground scene. Gradually, WeSC opened boutiques in NYC, LA and Japan and has achieved a presence in other countries as well. Still, the brand maintains an aura of exclusivity as the clothing can only be purchased at boutiques or through select dealers.

WeSC translates an urban/skateboarding sensibility to stylish yet casual clothing, which is what I find most appealing. Their affinity for plaid and striped patterns also aligns with my own stylistic preferences. WeSC makes the type of clothing with which you can either dress up or down comfortably. Plus the logo is sleek and they call themselves ” a street fashion brand for intellectual slackers.” Nifty.

Apparently, WeSC has come under scrutiny in Sweden recently for “selling out” (i.e. placing stores near high-end retailers like Gucci) while portraying an underground image. Who cares. What hasn’t “sold out” in this day and age? WeSC makes ill clothes and I’m going to continue to support. Hell, why don’t they just sponsor me?

Check out the collection HERE.

Deathbowl to Downtown

May 14, 2008

One of my favorite films of all time is Stacey Peralta’s landmark documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, which chronicles the beginnings of skateboarding in 1970s Southern California. The film presents a candid look at each member of the Zephyr team, notably Jay Adams and Tony Alva, and their ability to adapt a surf style and aesthetic to the pavement. Original footage and photography provided by Craig Stecyk and Glen E. Friedman, combined with a killer classic rock soundtrack make the film infinitely re-watchable.

Needless to say, I was pumped to see that at last it appears the East Coast has an answer. Rick Charnoski and Buddy Nichols’ Deathbowl to Downtown details the evolution of skating, particularly street skating, in NYC. According to the films’ website, “Deathbowl to Downtown goes deeper than ‘just’ skating to combine documentary with an incisive and artful exploration of skateboarding and its culture.” Sounds sick. Chloe Sevigny narrates the film and artists such as the Beastie Boys and Bad Brains provide the soundtrack. Living in the city and skating a bit myself, albeit pretty poorly, I’m excited to see how the innovators tore up New York’s unique and frenetic landscape. Not sure when the film has its theater run, but I do know there was a preview last week at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. (Right by my crib and I missed it. Shit.)

Regardless, check out the trailer and other dope clips at deathbowltodowntown.com.

There was also a photography installation tied to the film at the Etnies showroom on Greene St. last weekend. It included a bunch of old school photos, decks and gear from back in the day. I’ve included a couple pics I snapped here.

Harold Hunter Day II

May 7, 2008

harold-hunter-web.jpgLike many perhaps, my first introduction to Harold Hunter was through Larry Clark’s controversial film Kids, in which he played a character by the same name. I got the impression that Hunter wasn’t really acting at all, that it was how he really lived his day-to-day life. This is what made him stick out; it didn’t matter if he was in a movie or skating with his boys, he was who he was. Then I gradually caught him in various skate films and came to view him as a powerful and talented skater, but more so as a funny, likable and rambunctious personality.

From what I’ve read, Hunter was well-known and well-liked throughout the city and across the world. It comes as no surprise then, that those who knew him best organized a day in his remembrance following his passing in February, 2006.

Saturday, May 17th will mark the second anniversary of Harold Hunter Day, established to honor the memory of the New York City legend. The event will include a skate jam and live music from 12-6PM at the Manhattan Bridge Skate Park followed by an after party at KCDC Skateshop in Williamsburg. I can’t think of a better way to honor a dude who seemed to epitomize the New York State of Mind.

Check out the official press release for the event HERE.

Lakai Fully Flared

April 23, 2008

A buddy of mine recently informed me that I’ve been using a lot of big words in this blog, so I’ve decided to start this post with an easy one: RAD.

That’s how I would describe Fully Flared, the first skate video released by Lakai Limited Footwear. Directed by Ty Evans, Spike Jonze and Cory Weincheque, the film features some of the biggest names in the game including Eric Koston, Mike Carroll, Marc Johnson and Guy Mariano.

I do skate a bit and love cruising around the city, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not very good and can’t even name half the tricks in this vid. Yet I do know that this video kicks ass and the jaw-dropping intro alone is worth the price tag. The diverse soundtrack is also killer, highlighted by great tracks by Bad Brains, Flaming Lips, Fischerspooner, Band of Horses and others. I recommend watching this video at high volume and in the right state of mind (smell me?).

I wish I could afford to skate everyday. Check out this clip from Guy Mariano’s part, it’ll skin your knees.