Friday, March 28, 2008

Vans Pier Classic or I Love Polaroids.

Today I skipped the office and headed down to the pier at Huntington Beach, CA to see the Vans Pier Classic Surf Event. When I showed up, it was fairly early and kinda chilly. The only people there were the competitors, joggers who happened by, and a few die-hards. Surfers are morning people, however, I don't know if I am. They were all happy and chatty. I barely managed to mumble something conversational, ", eh?" Around 10am things really got going. It's summer, and there were kids all over the place. Nah, they ain't worried about no school! In HB, you ain't got to sweat what to wear, either. It's mellow. You need swim trunks and flip-flops, and you are totally solid.

I managed to meet a few of the Vans surf team pros. You'll be happy to know that Dane, Jon Jon, Rat, and Pat really are all nice guys. I also found out that Toby (little kid in brown shirt see above) has an electric guitar and can, in fact, play 'Smoke on the Water.' He told me.

Also, Huntington Beach parking attendants are awesome. Michelle. Go find her. True Story. Happened to me today, "So all you have is a credit card? You don't have any cash? Oh, it's ok. Have a great day!"

And don't gimme no crap for scanning these pics all jank. I am keeping it real and real is kinkos and kinkos is jank. There's a full circle for you. Besides, bro. It's beach day! Go eat a fish taco.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kyle Field for Mollusk

Kyle Field is a man with a beard and makes neat drawings. That's about all I got for ya on the bio tip for this artist. I suppose he chooses to let his work speak for itself which is okay by me. He's got a limited number of custom Authentics for sale at Mollusk in San Francisco. Mollusk tends to uncover some high-quality talent, and I'll say Kyle probably doesn't stink at all. Not one bit. To sweeten the deal, Mollusk has these kicks priced at 60 bones per pair. For a one of a kind sneaker, I'd say they aren't charging enough...but it's great for us po' kids. Here is a bit more of Kyle's work for which I have a particular penchant.

You can see more of his work here: KyleDrawsdotRad. And take a look at Mollusk Surf Shop SF while you're at it. (Hey Daniel! Thanks for the heads up on this one.)

What's Shakin' Cab?

Hey ya'll. Steve Caballero has started his own blog. He's only got a couple of posts currently, but it looks promising. If you've ever found yourself thinking, "Gee. I'm at work right now. My life is a bitter, bitter pill. I want a soda. I wonder what Steve Caballero is doing today?" Take a look at his new project. ClickaClicka

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Update: Kermit x Supreme x Terry Richardson

Kermit was DECAPITATED! Reports indicate the vile act was carried out by a fellow known as (you guessed it) The Decapitator from the Shoreditch neighborhood of London. According to Mr Lomo, the finder of this here item, "This guy takes regular ad posters seen around London and 'decapitates' them, this is his latest I think." I heard Kermit been gettin' too high-post actin' and somebody needed to remind Kermit where he come from. It ain't easy being green... and covered in blood 'cause then you look like Christmas.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Love You, Philadelphia.

Oh, Philly! I miss you so much. I got to talking about you the other night. You, know...digging through old photos of you with our friend Hershel, (You remember him, right?) and bringing up funny stories of all the crap you used to pull. (I think you had been drinking most of the time.) We ran across this picture of you, Philadelphia, and I can't remember what mag this was in....but it really sums you up. Here's the ramp from Dave's house. (No, I'm fine....that's just dust in my eye. Quit being a mark!)

Ask Steve Van Doren

People who don't have a history in skateboarding keep asking me, "What does 'Off the Wall' mean?" I figured I'd go straight to the best source and hit up Steve Van Doren (Get it? VAN Doren? Act like you know. ) to get the quick back story:

"Hi Nikki. Off the wall was a saying that the skaters back in the mid 70s used to say when riding pools. They were coming Off The Wall! So Vans' first official skateboarding shoe was on March 18th 1976 and had the Off the Wall newly created logo on it. Since then, all vulcanized skateshoes carried the red and white logo on the heel of our shoe. The skaters were allowed to customize their shoes in any color. We then put the Off the Wall Logo on all the crazy wild colored shoes as they were developed (such as the slip ons) and eventually the checkerboard shoes that came after Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out in 1982. Vans was a little bit different and edgy and Off the Wall stuck as a corporate logo."

And there you have it. Thanks Steve! (Correction- This photo was taken by the lovely and talented and brave PR champion of Vans, Adriana Matthews.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Milo-down

San Diego is about to get an interesting addition to it's sneaker-loving art scene. Milo, a new store opening at 3824 Ray Street, has a quite specific mission. Owner and sneakerhead, Magali Jay-Snyder, is teaming up with both local and international artists to create a space where you can pick up the best-of-the-best of original custom painted sneakers. The entire inventory will be custom work. This ain't limited edition. Some of this stuff will be no edition. There be, like, one pair like yours. Neato! A couple of weeks ago, the shop held a preview event for the neighborhood where a couple of local artists sat in the store front window and worked on kicks live. (Oh! And Ben Bobzien, an up-and-coming artist that I posted about a few months back, is this here fella with the dark hair.)

Milo isn't due to open until late May or early June, but you can stop into Santos Coffee House (Magali's other spot) and give a shout of support. I hear they got a good cup of joe. Holler. Skinny mocha weenie half caff. 180 out. Milo Myspace (under construction).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tom Bond, Tom Bond Stole You.

I saw these tarted up KVDs on the Joy Engine site. The artist, Tom Bond, is a friend of theirs who is a student at ye olde Colorado University. He be making art there and probably listening secretly to some jam bands. I did my best to get more info on Tom Bond via the usual channels to no avail. (How you ain't gonna be on facebook, sucka?) I hate to tell you, Tom Bond, but you got competition for your name AND occupation. Tom Bond, are you ready for Tom Bond? (the big reveal) Here is the other TOM BOND who is also an ARTIST!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

and this is a sample of his other work.... OHHHHH!!!!!

and here is part of the elder Tom Bond's artist statement... more AHHHH!!!!
"His highly developed sense of color, tone and composition evokes an almost magical sense of life into his paintings." Whoa, Tom Bond. That sounds like a threat to me... a threat to be handled by a no holds barred battle! CAAAAGE MAAAATCH!


The Club Kids: Too Much? Not Enough!

You just CANNOT be wearing some gear like this and make the "I'm hot" face. You just can't. Now, I'm all for dressing like a party the morning after. Let's get rollerskates, a turban, and a sequined fish suit (with a little bit of throw-up on the front and a Dorrito for good measure) and have at it. Yet, this kinda thing takes dedication. You have to really go for it. You gotta be rolling deep with the sunshine and candy written on your face. Are these kids taking it too far? Nah, they ain't taking it far enough.

This is what I am talking about. It works now, right?

Come on LA Club Kids! Let's get FAMOUS! Thanks to The Arab Parrot for the photo. (We ain't discussing the skateboard, ok? We all know. Gah!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Skatebikes Are Better Than Typhoid.

Somehow I missed the boat on this thing when I was a kid. I've never seen this contraption, and concede that I am probably better off. What's best about this commercial is that all the cool bad kids are on the skate bikes being chased by lame policemen on skateboards. The message was clear. Skateboards were officially about to be lame. This message somehow becomes cloudy when a 'close enough' Michael Jackson enters the scene and hops on a skatebike, too, making a fast get away from a tough crowd of ladies. (EWWWW!! GIRLLLS!!!) I wonder if the skatebike people were trying to get the real Michael, but couldn't afford it because they spend their whole budget on something dumb? Like making skatebikes, maybe?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Supreme x Kermit the Frog x Terry Richardson

If you ever find yourself wondering, "Why does everyone love Supreme so much?" or "How is Kermit going to get his career back on track?" or "How is Terry Richardson going to make yet another seemingly innocuous subject seem totally pervy?" You need look no farther than here. I'm sorry, but this is just flat retarded awesome, and I'll fight you over it.

The show is up currently at Colette: Colette is tre cool.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Anna is Sick of Being Called Anna Banana

That title is total conjecture, however, I bet you two flippin' bucks it's true. Globe trotting jazz singer by day and closet sneaker customization queen by night...or the other way around...either way it makes a funny combo. But hey, that's what stokes Anna Fleisher out. Her customs have been selling in boutiques for $250 a pop, but if you hit her up from her site, I hear she'll cut you a break. If you have the idea, she'll chat you up about it for a hot minute and hit you back with something pretty neat. Some people have even been ordering his & hers matching customs for their weddings from Anna, too. Because they are wedding sneakers, they are automatically $5000 more expensive. Kidding. As a note, she's the only artist I've found so far that sometimes paints her designs over pre-existing Vans patterns like skulls or polkadots. Yeah, I've seen people paint over the checkerboard pattern, but it's taking a lot to impress me lately. (I say that as I adjust my black Ray-Bans at night. Duh, that's cool.) Holler at Anna here: Anna's Homestead.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Gross Uncle

Hailing from the YAAAAAY Area of California, The Gross Uncle (aka Grant Gilliland) is probably sitting at his computer right about now mulling over what he is going to blog about today. He probably has his little blue mug of coffee and can't stop thinking about how much fun he had at his friend's roller skating zombie birthday party last night. Oh wait. That's me....womp, womp. Here's the bio of the fantastic drawingsmith that I like, The Gross Uncle:

"Born and raised in Ohio, The Gross Uncle ventured towards the Westest of Coasts after graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2005. His search for new places and publications to let his imagination run "wylde" is never-ending and exhilarating. His work has appeared in the SF Weekly, various boutiques, galleries, and street corners all around San Francisco. The Unc lives and works in the Mission District and enjoys Papalote burritos, bike rides, and cats."

His choice to spell 'wild' like 'wylde' is a smidgen questionable. Maybe it's one of those inside jokes that's really funny to San Francisco because it pertains to the new name for all the bike lanes or something...combined with the probability that the mayor has banned the use of the letter "i" as it is too self-involved. For example, "Hey pal! Let's ryde our bykes yn the wylde layne! BLAAAA!!" Check out Grant's lovely portfolio here: See Grant Draw.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vans Will Make You Popular

Here's a homemade Vans commercial made by a group of middle school girls. In the first scene we see a girl who has bad posture and glasses. Obviously, she is a total looser. I mean, who has bad posture? Gross! Glasses? Yucko! Skip to scene two where the unfortunate lame-o is confronted by a vicious pack of 13-year-old girls wearing Vans. “Your shoes are ugly. I don't like you!" Completely deserving of slaughter, the dork takes it. If only she could get the right shoes. Crud! Suddenly self-aware, the nerd sees that the road to social salvation lies within the purchase of a new pair of shoes. Zing! Instant popularity. Genius. You want to make fun of it, but you know it’s effed up and true ‘cause you have that one friend that dresses like a meth-head grandma that you make fun of and always say, “She’s be so cuuuute if she’d just fix up a little!” Coldretardedbusted. Thanks for pointing out that we’re jerks, kids. Go to school and shut it. Furthermore, this video also proves that if you go to the US Virgin Islands, where this video was reportedly shot, Vans will turn you into Catherine Zeta-Jones wearing a sparkle dress.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Paranoid Park (Finally) Hits Theatres

We've all been hearing about this film since Gus Van Sant began shooting it at Burnside forever ago. Now it's finally showing up in theatres in the US today. I was a little skeptical when I saw the trailer. However, after I saw one fantastic clip (only available on the New York Times site) earlier today, I have changed my mind. It's the signature slow moving Van Sant long shot that really nails it. The other trailers are the typical Hollywood attention grabbers, but this's plain soulful. The sound design isn't lost to it, either. Take a sec to watch it: The GOOD Paranoid Park Clip.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

World's Second Hardest Skateboard Trick

AHHHHH!!!! It kills me! He just keeps filming! Alright so the guy behind the camera is pro snowboarder, Nate Bozung and the kid is his little brother. A friend of mine dug up this gem. Ok fine. We aren't really friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This is Diyosa Carter. She Takes Pictures.

Diyosa Carter emailed me last week after she'd been out taking a series of photos. Her subject was rocking a pair of super clean, white vans on a rainy muddy day in Berkeley, California. The photos turned out pretty neat. Nice contrast and some more of that art Pump up the treble. Right on? Right on. Diyosa's got two little girls but still makes time to shoot photos for fun. What's your excuse? Gonk. Thought so. You can check out her galleries on flickr: Diyosa Carter Photography.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Vans Cup Tahoe- The Moral of the Story

While I was sitting in the registration office before the half pipe event, this guy walks in who is obviously new to the snowboard scene. He tells us that he "saw on the tube" that he could get a free ticket to watch the event, and he wasn't going anywhere until he got it. I could tell that this cat had a story like no one I know, so I asked him if I could interview him. Guess what? The file got corrupted. Awesome. Here are the basics:

I sat down with Raphael having no idea what's going to come out of this guy's mouth. I started off with an easy know...what brings ya here and all that rot? He tells me that he's never been on a snowboard and he thought it would be kinda trippy to check it out. One thing leads to another and we get to the topic of his occupation. "I'm a career hippie." Raphael states it in a way that I know he's serious. He goes on to tell me about his life on tour with Grateful Dead from 1977-1998. While on the road he sold ginseng for money at the tour stops. I asked him if he could recall the first time he met the band. At some point, he'd met Bob Weir and Raphael became Bob's ginseng supplier. One day when he was taking Bob's ginseng backstage, he ran right into Jerry Garcia. He was awestruck. All he could think of to do was offer Jerry some ginseng. Jerry looked at him and said something like, "Nah, I quit doing that one."

That's not where the story ends. Raphael told me that a year later to the day, he ran in to Jerry for the second time backstage at a concert and offered him the ginseng again, but that time he took it. "It was like I was living the same moment again somewhere it had just doubled back again on the universe and had gone full circle. I couldn't believe it! The same thing in the same situation! It was so trippy!" What could I say but, "Man, Raphael! You just melted my face." Thanks, Raphael. Keep on truckin.'

What does it all mean? Well, sometimes you're a 15-year old girl with braces and you have a fish on your head.

You can see all the out takes from all of the photos that Andy, Cate, Britt, and I took from this past week here: Vans Cup Tahoe Photo Collection.

Vans Cup Tahoe- Exclusive Shot!

Andy Lewis from Totally Board was shooting the event from the top of the pipe for most of the day. When we were discussing shots for the day, I asked Andy to make sure to get one make or break shot...Danny Kass' hand. I mean, a shot like this can basically make a post in itself. Everyone has been after it for so long. I mean, Danny always has his hands in his pockets! There were rumours that he didn't even HAVE hands! Can you believe it?

And for those of you who have never stood on a half are a few little nuggets for you...

Vans Cup Tahoe- Day 5

Yesterday was the last day of competition for the Vans Cup. Yes, people did win things. While people were winning things, Britt from Butterbox was being vans guest blog photographer for a second day. She did a fantastic job, wouldn't you say? I mean, who's going to say, "No cute girl. Go away and don't take my picture. Leave me alone." No one. Exactly. Also, thanks to Butterbox for letting her slip out of work for a while. This first one of Steve Van Doren watching the event is one of my favs...

Vans Cup Tahoe- We should have been asleep.

Of course, no snowboard event would be complete without a knockdown, drag out, party were everyone goes bananas looking for wristbands (but no one ever finds out what the wristbands are for). The Snowboarder Magazine party for Vans Cup was no different. Set the stage in a sketchy casino on the Nevada/California boarder where the d├ęcor reflects the theme, "It takes a whole lotta money to look this cheap." Basically, it was gorgeous. I'll assume you can guess what happens when about 500 snowboarders are drinking for free..."one-two-skip a few" and start my story at about 2am on yesterday morning.

So...I'm sitting with the whole Vans crew out in the lobby of this casino waiting for a cab. This little kid comes up to me, doesn't even look like he's old enough to drive yet, and says, "Are you Leanne Pelosi?"

Now, Leanne is a pro-snowboarder whom I look absolutely nothing like except that we are both white girls and have hair. Of course, I say to the kid, "Hi! No, sorry. I'm not Leanne. I'm Nikki." The kid starts arguing with me about it and getting really pissed. He's all, "I saw you on hill today and you signed something for me, and now you want to act like you don't remember?"

Enter stage left, JG from Satellite Board Shop, "Aw come on Leanne! Just sign something else for him. It's not a big deal." Thanks, pal.

Then, everyone in the lobby chimes in, "Yeah, Leanne! Stop being a snob," etc. What am I supposed to do? I don't want the kid running around saying that Leanne is a jerk, right? So, I'm all..eff it. I apologize and give the kid a hug...and what happens? He grabs my ass and runs as fast as he can down the hallway. Well, I guess, figuratively, he grabbed your ass, Leanne. What happened next? You can't punch kids, especially ones wearing Vans T-shirts when you work for the company. I went outside to catch a cab. Good thing I did because the shot of this girl really sums it all up nicely...

Oh! Parting shot. Kris from The House snowboard shop and Dan from One Way board shop are now BFF. They have promised to write each other at least once a week and hope to hang out again at camp next summer.