Sometime during those drunk final ten days of 2018 when no e-mails went answered, an associate mentioned the difficulty of isolating “trends” as we approach the final year of the decade. In this era of post-everything where the past exists at the same time as the future, what even qualifies as a #trend? Gone are the simple days of noticing a sudden spike in camo-panted legs at Tompkins, or bleached heads doing no complies and being able to declare: “trend!” No, in recent years, the #trendwatch has leaned towards psychological states of being, and on occasion, fully fallen short of fruition. Even something as under-a-microscope as “BLESSED” is a more refined version of what the same cast had already been molding since 2014.
And then, the associate says [name redacted for fear of “YOU’RE WHAT’S WRONG WITH SKATEBOARDING!” retribution], “What if the 2019 Trend™ is simply skating in really expensive shit?”
This goes beyond Dill or Dylan being inspired by Prada shoes, or Pappalardo waiting for a flight with his Louis luggage. Obviously skateboarders have been documented with nice shit before, but now, you open Instagram and see Lucien Clarke and P-Rod posting photos of them in Louis Vuitton outerwear within an hour of one another. Further out in the Instagram universe, in a galaxy most-closely observed by those who list their favorite skaters by handles rather than government names, there is a burgeoning sect of volunteer teamriders for Gucci, Versace, and Burberry. At a cultural crossroad where Playboi Carti is one of Jay-Z’s biggest influences, there seem to be two choices across all spectrums: reenact a skate version of the intro from John Shanahan’s It’s Time part, or take advice from the other Jonah Hill sports movie, which is, of course, “adapt or die.”
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Interview & Intro by Zach Baker
Original Photos by Mike O’Meally
Collages by Requiem For A Screen
Despite our many Ludditical tendencies — like an asinine reverence for a MiniDV camera that was born the same year as Meatball — skaters can all agree that the internet has been a great thing for us. You can argue about megapixels, what to call a nollie cab (the correct answer being “nollie cab”), and which tricks do and don’t deserve Renaissance; the globalized culture of skateboarding has benefitted as a result of our generation’s interconnectedness. From the ease of recording it, to the ease of uploading, sharing, and seeing it, makes it feasible to peek into any scene to see how people skate, dress, talk, and talk shit.
For a person from the eastern United States, one thing that I’ve come to terms with is how little my peers and I actually know about the scenes and histories throughout Europe and really, much of the world outside of the U.S. I thought I knew a little something about the U.K. from watching Blueprint videos, liking Tom Penny, and retaining a handful of shit that’s gone down at Southbank, but in recent years of following dudes like Science Versus Life, I’ve been shown myriad photos from mags, photographers, skaters, and spots I had never heard of.
This sense of cluelessness is heightened when sitting down to watch Palace’s first video. Palasonic, a seemingly authoritative report on what’s going on in London, was logged camcorders of the cavemen, captured digitally on a tripod from a VCR, then edited on a twenty-year-old Macintosh. Convoluted as this may be, it gives the vid a sense of timelessness and intertextuality with a regional past that, frankly, I know very little about. So, I talked to Lucien Clarke, the man with the video’s seven-minute ender, whose rumored to be able to singlehandedly sell out even the most flamboyant Triangle-stamped kits just by filming an Insta line in them.
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“Some fucking balls, badmouthing America. Especially now.”
You should re-watch Nik Stain’s Bruns part just because.
There are some Photosynthesis-era outtakes plus one-pants-leg-pulled-up extras from Andy Bautista’s INFMS part in the latest installment of In Absentia C-roll.
New part from Lurker Lou for Prizefighter, which features a ton of chill avant-garde noseslide maneuvers. Slappy Flushing is up there for N.S.O.T.Y. honors.
For anyone keeping track of WATTBA #musicsupervision… Free’s Lucien Clarke + “I’m The Plug” compilation part is great, and the new Cell Jawn video features a sslloowweedd rendition of “Plastic Bag” + an emphasized Conor Prunty flick. FYI your “Summer Trip To N.Y.” clip prob isn’t good enough to waste “Scholarships” on ;)
Was wondering when footage on that abandoned BMW at Lenox Ledges would begin to surface. Surprised that thing wasn’t the most popular spot in New York this summer.
Green Zine has a detailed and rather biographical interview with James from Labor.
Interviewing young skaters without ~a decade’s worth of coverage is a tough assignment, especially if you’re trying to avoid asking the same shit you asked the last young skater (“Soooo, like Instagram and Street League? So crazy right?”). The source shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Chromeball pretty much did an under-25 skater interview as best as you could possibly do it with Ishod Wair.
The guy behind Fakie Hill Bomb, one of my favorite skate sites with words on it, wrote a piece about knobs and other prohibitive architecture for The Guardian.
Boil the Ocean re: Love Park, Sabotage 4, and the discontinuation of Actavis. Here you were thinking it was a drought…
The body varial has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, and there’s still a raging battle in ballcourts throughout the city for someone to do it over a vertical can (sans bump.) SMLTalk stops to contend that the best has already happened for said trick.
Ever want to glo up at the skatepark before? (You gotta.)
Village Psychic interviewed Mehring about his new book, Skate the World.
The Theories guys give an #authenticportrait of what skating in [north] Brooklyn is like.
When I was a little girl in Poland, we all had ponies.
QS Sports Desk: Can’t wait for the season to start man.
Quote of the Week: “Do you think Johnny’s complete disregard for anyone’s feelings is the real source of MPC’s productivity?” — Nick Boserio
Three weeks late on “Thotline Bling” :(
You know how rappers drop mixtapes before the album? With the Palace video on the way, and intent on only including London footage, they just dropped the would-be mixtape before the “official” video, which may or may not be out by 2020. It includes street footage from trips to Los Angeles, their 2013 U.K. tour, Copenhagen, Paris, and probably some other parts of Europe that are less recognizable to the untrained eye.
Rather than go the Euro barge, edit-by-city route, this one features full parts from Rory Milanes, Lucien Clarke, Charlie Young, Karim Bakhtaoui, Benny Fairfax, Chewy Canon and Danny Brady. Guest tricks from Torey ♥, Rich Homie Juan, Powers and others.
Previously: The Annual PWBC News Segment
The best web clip in who knows how long. While “summer in New York” clips typically embody a play-by-play ending off at the Courthouse Drop, the creative team over at Palace Skateboards aspired for something significantly different. The clip falls in line with the VHS nostalgia seen in projects like Gnar Gnar and Caviar, but blends it with token nuances like non-annoying instrumentals, Waka Flocka, Bun B vocal cut-ins, and other things more synonymous with the modern era. The skating is all sick, including many instances portraying the difficult pursuit of doing meandering street lines that don’t seem forced, or like, “weird, bro.”
While some asshole is probably on the internet screaming blasphemy at the re-usage of Jeff Pang’s Mixtape song, we’re supporting it wholeheartedly. Especially in light of the fact that that red bench ollie (at the spot that isn’t actually *the* Red Benches, but on the northern side of the building) is the sort of thing that would have been in a nineties skate video. On an anecdotal note, that particular song features Matthew Mooney’s favorite rap line of all time from none other than Keith Nut. Ask him what it is sometime, it’ll be a good conversation icebreaker.
(The real question is: Does Palace receive endorsement checks from Long Island University? And if so, how does it tie into the company?)
Palace also put together a Lucien Clarke compilation, featuring some of his This Time Tomorrow footage, and set to another nineties classic. Who would have thought that a British company would have cornered the more nostalgically inclined side of the skateboard media world and not come off as contrived.
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