Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DGK Captain and golden artificats amateur Stevie Williams has decided to go "back to roots" fot his annual skateboarding production. Indeed, the trick is not without remembering his Transworldian coup de grace at Love Park. If the maneuver was somewhat avant-gardiste in 2000, it has aged rapidly to the point of being considered highly anachronistic in 2010. But perhaps this move is an intentional elipse for an aging Stevie who wants to address his fans a reminder of his technical heyday. More interestingly, the outfit Sir Williams sports gives evidence of his success in the entrepreneurial department of extreme sports. Since the Reason, the Swoosh, though unofficially, made its appearance and one cannot but wonder at the number of zeros figuring on his unofficial check. Besides, the matching combo "cap'n'shoes" and the palm trees in the background testifiy of certain detachment from the east-coast grayness to the profit of the Californian lights, land of his mitigated rap success. (although I suspect the photo to have been shot in Florida)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Frame by Frame part 3 - Fabien Chaigne

"Another goddam disciple of Satan!"
Such were my words at the opening of the part. Because yes, Satan is definitely in since the rise Deathwish era, partly thanks the exceptional promotional work made by disciple Sammy Bacca and disciple Lizard King. I was then expecting the logical consequence of such an intro: Black Sabbath ringing out into my hear while a Dickies&Vans enthusiast blasted airs and hammers. How easy am I to fool!
It does no harm just this once, it was actually Jay Hawkins that I heard screaming his funky music into my hears. What?! If Jereme Roger fears no man, Greg Dezecot fears no criticism for he had the boldness to brave the rigid conventions of skateboard-editing.
Even worse, instead of a fat angry dude, I realized that Fabien was actually a light-footed Nate Broussard look-alike who had the tendency to do long and fluid lines on architecturally awkward spots. But that funky rythmic music on such fluid skateboarding? How dare they?
How ignorant was I in those days! After intense reflexion I finally made the connections and understood the stakes of Fabien' part. Satan + "Africa gone funky" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins = Voodoo!! Fuck yeah! Voodoo, the exotic version Satanism! This makes sense, especially if we include the cool arty black figures that the editor included.

What conclusion should we draw then? By his advocating of Voodoo, Fabien shows how he proceeds to produce such skateboarding. You take one popular skateboard-trend (Satanism) and your add your own touch (exoticism) and come up with something unprecedented: Voodoo! Shall we apply this theory to his skateboarding, we will find that Fabien mixes "modern east-coast" type of skateboarding (wallies and wallride) with 90s inspired tricks (fs crooks, sw bs 5-0). In this post-9/11 era we shall label this type of skatebaording as post-modern, for it shows assimilation and mastery of the codes of the various eras, and a deep consciousness of the stylistic mood the skater evolves in. The Voodoo thing only reinforces this phenomenon for it creates an interaction between the skater and the editor. Thus the editor, by bending the rules of editing, higlights this post-modern aspect. Although, and in my humble opinion this is to deplore, the post-modern style has not come fully to maturity yet for Fabien tends to drifts more towards the modern way.
Not sure if the reference is intentional, but this subtle mix of class, violence and Voodoo is not without remembering Guy Hamilton's untemporal Live and Let Die. Should we interpret this as an implication that Fabien is as elegant on a board as Roger Moore with a gun in hand?

We shall leave this question unanswered, however the simple fact of raising it already means a lot.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dorkness it should be

Thrasher July'89

What's funny is that the first thing I wanted to post, I wanted it to be something that struck when I first started skating.
Me and my older brother bought 3 Thrashers for 100Francs at the time. (We ordered them on 36 15 SKATE, no kidding). I honestly think I spent hours devoring these magazines back then.
Well, that ad (shown here) represented like the essence to me. Being out, skating, eating, dorking, whatever… It's also way punk. I used to just stare at it as a kid and think it looked like a purpose in life (as weird as it could be).
I honestly didn't care that much about those Gordon & Smith trucks, anyway.

Ricky Windsor used to ride for Circle A Skateboards. Ed Templeton rode for that company as well before turning pro for New Deal when it started.

There's a lot of companies out there promoting that 'have fun philosophy' thing and what not, nowadays. I don't know.
Just think about why you've started this in the first place.

My whole point here is that skateboarding has always been about being out, enjoying your time, and dorking around.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Poll Results

So you guys went for Lucas. Really? I mean, it's not that I dislike the guy, but I just had this idea that La Lodge was a place dedicated to alternative forms of skateboarding. Well, fuck it. The guy seriously rips. I recently watched the last Gypsea Tour that saw Lucas' accession to the coveted throne of the Gypsy King, and I definitely enjoyed his performance.

And I have the feeling that little blue short he has apparently rocked along the whole tour is going to be the next raging trend. Even more than flannel shirts.

Get yours right now, I'm already sporting mine everyday.

Moving on to our next bi-weekly poll, I was wondering what is the worst trend in skateboarding right now according to you guys. And I'm not talking about flannel shirts or beanies or anything, but more about tricks or particular way to do a trick. In other words: things that happen on the board.

- the excessive use of 3-6 shove-its. I don't know if the trend is really popular in the US right now, but it's raging in France, especially among young lads. Despite being beyond reproach, I might be a bit guilty on that one even though I make sure that my trick be tinted with irony.

- combos: Paul Shier's boarslides to 5-0 have always been a pleasure to watch, but now the trend has definitely taken over the world. The most incongruous/ineasthetic of those might be Lucas' bs smith to bs noseslide in the Flared video.

- the lazy legs: okay that one might not be obvious. Here I am not talking about the spread-eagle tre flips but about the increasing numbers of skaters whose legs look so weak that they skate with their knees bent inwards. (Austin Gylette, Yaje Popson, etc...)

- kids that are too good.

ps: part 3 of Frame by Frame very soon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Doing things the way they should be done

Despite our self-proclaimed independence and indifference to the rest of the world, we have to admit that skateboarding is not very different from politics. Indeed, a faux-pas happens really quickly and it might be a long time before a brand can get rid of its tarnished image. Unfortunate alliances with corporate companies such as Timberland or Echo have proved to be enough to come to term with the formerly legitimate brands Ipath and Zoo York. And if Zoo York is slowly redeeming itself in your eyes, I guess it would not be bold to put it on the team's recent powerful achievements.
This is why, in these days and age, La Lodge would like to salute the work done by èS and Expedtion One, be it the skaters or the poor anonymous white-collars-designers/graphists who spend their days in the office day-dreaming about the 30 minutes session they will manage to catch before heading home to the wifey. Nevertheless, lately I have been turned on each time these people have put out footage or products. Some might complain about éS excentricity and excessive use of the air bubbule, but I perceive it as a tribute paid to the too often forgotten era of the early 00s. These people do their job with talent and sobriety and from the tour footage that I have seen, it seems that demos still actually matter with them.
Bien joué messieurs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Frame by Frame part 2 - Jo & Greg Dezecot

I shall start this essay by referring to one of the greatest French scholars of skateboarding, who saw the alliteration between Dezecot and Decenzo as a good opportunity to draw a parallel between the two pairs of brothers. Well, allow me to push the comparison slighlty further. Before entering the details of the part, I would like to point that the Dezecot Brothers' marketing department has made serious improvements over the years . I use to be able to differentiate them because (if I remember well) Greg used to be an Ipath-enthusiast who had the habit to pop his boardslides before reaching the ends of rails, while Jo used to be a relatively small fs half-cab flipper in skinny jeans. But these days are long gone, for Jo has grown up and they have now decided to bet on their resemblance to reach skateboarding-stardom, like the Decenzo brothers have done.

Consequently,and at the image of their Canadian counterparts, you can expect to seem to get big RDS or Dakine contracts and Thrasher covers in the very next future.

Moving on to their shared and self-edited part, as stupid as it might sound, the most significant weakness was that I had a really hard time differentiating them. Dead Meadow constitutes a logical musical accompanement to the commited nature of their skateboarding. I appreaciated that the amount of "pushing shots" was rather limited to let room for actual shredding.

Some of the flatground tricks and technical moves might be a little bit shaky or awkward, but that is not where the point of the part rests. Instead, the accent is put in those rough semi-urban transitions that you are likely to find if you skim through the medium-sized French towns. I personally thought that the best declension of the case was this ToddJordan-like bank to bank ollie:

More generally, the whole part is sprinked with ideally chosen tricks on hostile spots. Being a 90s enthusiast, I deplore the lack of switchstance maneuvers on ledges, though I remember a sw frontside lipslide which almost reconciled me with the blatant and excessive use of regular version of that trick. And that is a lot to say. We should also salute those two for their adaptation skills and their relative detachment from some of the worst trends in skateboarding. However, next time it would be a good idea not to have a shared part so that we might know who to give credit for each trick. I deliberately won't say whose skating aroused me the most, to make sure that each breakfast in the Dezecot family might be darkened by the doubt until the end of time. Indeed, one is always by himself at the top.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frame by Frame - part 1

No matter what you might think about the video in itself, you cannot but take a bow in front of the people at the root of this enterprise. The release of an independent skateboard video in France is probably as historical as the passing of the health care bill in the US. We already had some but I guess it is legitimate to say that the quality of the editing had nothing to do with the job made by the guys Behind the Lens.

For those who don't know, Frame by Frame is made by a bunch of unpretentious chaps from Le Mans, Tours and Paris, aaaah Paris. [...] The concept of the video is similar to Transworld's Cinematographers or the more recent Cliché's Déja Vu. And filmer/editor for each part. An ingenious concept I would say, even though the skater (and his personality) still seems to be the one who gives its flavour to a part. I guess the concept is first of all a justification of the fact that Frame by Frame is a common enterprise.
A common project certainly, but uncommon by its nature. Before entering into the details of the protagonists' feats, we shall take a moment to celebrate the fact that they managed to avoid the most reccurents spots in the landscape of French skateboarding. [...] The most illustrious pilgrimage places of the City of Lights have been skillfully avoided in favor of more obsucre spots. Aside from Oscar's 8mm-filmed-ollie, le Dôme is let at rest. And this might be for the best, because this allow us to discover the resources that our cherished Hexagon has to offer. However, it seems these wonderful resources are going to be kept secret a little longer, because a lot of the protagonists made a point to choose the least attractive/skatebale spots.

Therefore, you can already classify Frame by Frame in the categories of videos featuring tricks that look doable until reality comes to shatter your hopes. How many times have you resolutely claimed that you were going to one up the local hero, and pathetically failed because of some unforeseen gravels or a too short runway once you were at the spot?

- I can probably do a fs flip here! I can do it first try on the skatepark's pyramid. Guys, I swear tomorrow I'm gonna do it, don't forget the camera!
And then he day after:
-Naaaaaay. You know what? This spot sucks, I bet they came with broomsticks and wooden plates to make it easier...
Well, they did not. The spot is simply harder to skate than it looks. And so are the spots in Frame by Frame, for having been to some of them.

(to be continued when willing to...)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Evolution: Man vs Monkey

I am sincerly sorry to shock my creationist readers, but here is another proof of the accuracy of the Evolution theory.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chico Brenes : Minister of the 90s

Seeing Chico Brenes' latest and self-explicative Banging reminded me of French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner's entry into the government. "What, in the name of Adam and Eve, is he doing with those pieces of shit?!" was my reaction in both cases. Indeed, for an ambassador of the 90s such as Chico or a socialist such as Kouchner, entering (respectively) the Berrics or President Sarkozy's government can be very compromising.

But as you can see, the test is taken successfully. When it might be more debatable in Kouchner's case, Chico's performance converted me to Scientology at once. Despite the blatant lack of picnic tables and benches, Chico keeps doing his shit the best he can. It is a rather pleasant sight to see him struggling in the Berrics to keep the aesthetic codes of the 90s alive. No embarrassing back leg dancing move, just smoothness and delicacy. As Kouchner has sometimes been accused of his conspicuous use of humanitarian causes, one could easily attack Chico for his excessive use of the fs-shove it. However, I believe this maneuver managed to survive pretty well the drastic changes of 00s skateboarding, so that its integration in 360° maneuvers such as the lazer flip manual rendered me speechless.

Moreover, and this you might not know, Chico is not the last in terms of humanitarianism. After a non exhaustive research, I found out that he opened Central Skate Shop in Nicaragua, his homeland. Besides I've heard he is doing some other stuff for the community over there. What is all the more appreciable is that Chico did it with the class and discretion of true gentlemen rather than with the loudness of our Che Guevera of skateboarding $teve Berra, who judges necessary to release an internet campaign each time he gives a nickel to a bum.