There’s no need for a “review” of Static IV. The video is great. The premiere was one of the funnest skate video experiences ever (New York had the first viewing, so everyone was unaware of the dual video format, Jake part, and plenty of other surprises), and the physical copy feels more like a fancy Criterion DVD than a skate video. All the snarks about the video’s endless delays from these past 7-50 years were eradicated with the final product.
Everyone has had time to properly digest the video, so here are ten loose observations in a format lifted from Chris Nieratko’s “17 Things You Didn’t Know” Vice piece. The timeframe for spoilers has expired by this point, and some of this might have already been discussed on the T.F. bench. Fair warning if you’re under a rock.
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There’s that old line about “eight million stories in the naked city.” Skateboarding’s variant is something like 27 minutes of footage in a day, at least according to this DVD. For the few who may not know, the All City Showdown is a contest in which three skaters and one filmer are allotted eight hours to get as much footage as possible within city limits. (Staten Island was conveniently ignored.) The best team wins two grand that one could assume will be spent on art supplies or alcohol.
The final result is a footage dump by design, but it’s tough to not watch it with “Wow, this all happened in one day?”-sentiments throughout. Compare this to say, ten years ago, when an east coast footage dump like E.S.T. took over twelve months to come out. All City Showdown features almost every young not-pro you have seen in a New York web clip or homie video before. The real pleasure of a video featuring non-curated, sometimes B-level footage from people you could easily YouTube a cohesive video part from is that it encompasses everybody at once. Practically every recognizable crew is represented. (Except Quartersnacks, obvs. We declined participation because we can only skate flat, and also don’t start skating until 5 P.M.)
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At a moment when everyone is preoccupied with the Emerica video, we are going to discuss some skateboarding that is two or three universes away, not eight. Stee, the collaborative video between Sk8Mafia and Sweet Skateboards, has been out since June, but recently went from “I’ll see it when I see it” to “must-see,” thanks to a hyperbolic tweet from Frozen in Carbonite (more on that later.)
Sk8Mafia is great. Though they are grown-ups who spell “skate” with an eight, rarely travel outside SoCal, and have art direction that reaches the bare minimum required for a brand to look more like a skate company than a drug front, they utilize a winning formula in which everyone onboard actually skates together. This translates to a fun experience when watching anything they put out.
“If you like Sk8Mafia so much, why did it take so long to watch Stee?” To put it bluntly: What the hell is Sweet Skateboards? (Answer: Sweet Skateboards is a Swedish company that has existed for over ten years, with a bunch of tall, mostly technical white guys whose names you cannot pronounce on its team.) It’s like the skate video equivalent of when Cam’ron started putting out those mixtapes with Vado — there’s always some hesitation when an old favorite mixes with an unknown. This sort of European crossbranding has worked in small doses, e.g. J.B. in the late-period World videos, the likes of Penny being introduced through 411, etc., but an entire project seems like a bit much.
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Some of these videos came out in the summer, so this post should have went up in September. Oh well, better late than never. The DVD may be closer to the end than the beginning, but dudes are still out there grinding on them. Don’t be a YouTube bandit. Support local skate scenes and buy a physical video.
Stop Fakin’ Volume 2
In 2004, the trailer for Static II boasted a section of “Philly Survivors,” a reference to a city recently depleted of the world’s most famous skate spot. (The section would be re-named “The Philly Four” in the actual video.) Why Josh Stewart, or anyone with a grip of footage from Philly circa 2004 for that matter, didn’t edit a montage to Cher’s 1998 mega hit “Do You Believe in Life After Love” is beyond anyone’s wildest guess, but that is a topic for another day. If those Static II guys were “survivors,” Stop Fakin’ 2 is a peek into a thriving post-apocalyptic world. Using D.C. as a home base, a roster of mostly unknown dudes (and Jersey Dave) comb every inch of territory between New Jersey and Virginia, filling in the spaces with Pulaski Park and footage of Love’s pink remnants. None of its skaters file under notable northeastern stereotypes (thankfully not a whole lot of highwaters, cellar doors or 200 mile trips to the Courthouse Drop), and the music supervision is gumbo of everything, making it feel like an east coast version of last year’s exceptional Sk8Mafia video. Current college applicants who won’t get accepted to their top choice school in New York can take solace in Stop Fakin’ 2, as it is good enough to make them less bummed on having to move to D.C. or Philly, in turn saving their lives from being ruined by “the party.”
Order a copy here
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We could have reviewed the new Transworld video. We decided to review the new Natural Koncept video instead.
By Galen DeKemper
Creepin’ for Life will make you forget you own other videos. Along with graffiti, Club Feria and urine consumption, Creepin’ for Life features the skate obstacles that try men’s souls. For a trick that allows Josh Zickert to have women call him “JZ Radical,” he goes above and beyond any call of duty save his own to master a vast intimidating sculpture in the heart of a landscape automobiles had previously owned. The rest of the video is similarly raw. Each rider’s part includes a heavy nod to his home turf mixed with the touring footage that ensues when this eleven man squad travels by van feeding off each other. Observe landmark skating on landmarks, monumental tricks on monuments and some wavy banks that you’d like to skate in the course of this 50-minute production that includes Sean Payne and thanks Paul Sevigny.
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