Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I'm not going to talk too much about how awesome all the bands were at Coachella. Duh. I had the fantastic dilemma of deciding which of my favorite bands to go check out because they were playing simultaneously within 100 yards of each other. Then I got to hang out with them. Yep, you missed out, but here’s the real deal. I watched a ton of people dripping sweat while smoking cigarettes in 104F degree heat. Now that’s dedication. I saw mess of guys so sunburned that it looked like they were wearing fresh white tees when in fact they were shirtless. The gross-out award goes to the multiple guys and gals witnessed going barefoot into and out of port-o-potties. (That ain’t dirt on your feet, slice.)

Nighttime was utter chaos. It was a battlefield strewn with casualties. Imagine people lying in the middle of a field passed out…a lot. No, not near anything…the frickin’ center of a field with everyone walking AROUND them. Ten feet away you’d see people full on making out. Ten feet from that, you’d see “cool dad” with a straw cowboy hat and 3 kids pounding down some pizza. Toss in a glow stick circle and call it a day. Best weekend EVER!

Click below for the big ol' close up gallery. WHOOHOO!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dyemond Apparel Custom Slip-Ons

This DIY custom shoe biz has an interesting approach. The lead artist, Ashley Brackins, does limited editions of no more than 15 pairs of any one of her designs. She signs and numbers each edition just like a print series. Kicks from Dyemond are definitely meant to be worn since each of the designs is heat set so that you don't have to worry about loosing color. There's not too much worry about dye bleeding onto your socks, either.

Besides the limited series design by Ashley, Dyemond also offers "The Heritage Collection." Think flags, ya'll. They will customize a pair of Vans for you based on elements from the national flag of your choice. You can link up with the folks at Dyemond here: Dyemond Apparel.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rock The Bells Kick-off Show

Vans just signed on to do tour support this summer for a pretty fantastic indie hip hop tour called Paid Dues. The same people that run Paid Dues also do the big ol' Rock the Bells tour. Both tours share a few artists so when we were invited to go to the Rock The Bells kick-off party last night for a preview of who'll we'll be seeing on the road we were all over it. Don't think there wan't some booty shakin' goin' on up in that club! In a venue about the size of my house we got to see Wale, Raekwon, De La Soul, Murs, Supernatural and a whole mess of serious talent. Let's just say there were a couple of us that were a little "under the weather" today at the office. You can see the lineups for the tours here: Guerilla Union.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looptroop Rockers.

Sweden's Looptroop Rockers have their new album dropping in the US tomorrow. This video for the first single "The Building" was making me kinda bop around in my office chair so I thought I'd share. Instead of using tons of live and travel footage, the vid is actually a fast-paced still photo collage. There are a few Slip-On cameos in there for good measure. Enjoy!

Looptroop Rockers // The Building from Bad Taste Records on Vimeo.

'Bama Mud! Hellfire, Son!

In 1977 Rodney Wills was a kid living outside Birmingham, Alabama. Everything changed for him when he managed to get hold of a magazine that introduced him to his first glimpse of skating. Not a big deal for most, but for a kid in the rural south...that's pretty much like seeing aliens eating french fries at McDonald's. Every job this guy's had since picking up that magazine when he was a kid has involved something crazy with wheels...from skating to bmx, to motor sports. Somehow, he's managed to hang on to the first pair of Vans that he ever bought! Here's what he has to say about his original gangsta Eras:

"I remember this pair of VANS very well. They are size 4.5 and I bought them in 1977. I think I ordered them from Val-Surf as no one was selling VANS in the state of Alabama in 1977. Kids at school laughed at me the first time I wore them to school. They had never seen them before. I did not care if they laughed as I knew they were skate shoes and were from California. I found the Val-Surf advertisement in Skate Boarder magazine. There was no internet back then!!!"

He's got a whole stash of these old SkateBoarder Mags...hmmm...November, 1977.

If you like things with wheels, too, you'll really be into Rodney's blog. Don't worry hip kids! He covers fixed gears as well. GCRad1 Blog.

Pronto Rhymes with Toronto...

And Toronto is where the artist currently known as Joel Lee is holding residence. Joel's work runs the gamut between hand drawn 3-D pieces, like the little Munny here and the Slip-ons, as well as an extensive portfolio of digital illustrations.

OH! Look at this neat illustration he did for Thunderheist. (Electro music duo, duh. You didn't know they were from Toronto, too, did you? You did not.)

Also, according to online detective work, he's male and he's taken. You can contact Joel about his work here: Click for Joel.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another...

Have you heard about that new book “Custom Kicks” by Dutch design collective MAKI? It ain’t out yet, but you can jump in on the pre-sale on Amazon: Custom Kicks Book.

One of the artists featured in the book is the 19-year-old Florida college student, Michael, owner of ChooseYourShoes.net. (Yeah, he’s just “Michael” like “Oprah” is singularly “Oprah.”) His work is one of only a couple dozen artists featured in the book. Michael’s got so much work right now that he’s backed up for the next 6 months, but you can take a number on his site: Choose Your Shoes. Here’s a particularly interesting pair that Michael just finished for up-and-coming photographer, Ryan Pfluger, whose portfolio I checked out because of these sneakers.

Dang, Ryan’s work is pretty rad. He’s shot for New York Magazine, Paper, Time Out New York, BPM…blah, blah, blah. Count me as an instant fan of Ryan as he took this nice portrait of Panda Bear. You can check out Ryan’s work here: Ryan Pfluger Photography.

If you don’t know Panda Bear… that leads us back to the Panda Bear video that skate peeps Pat O'Dell and Sam Salganik shot last year. I sure do love following me some threads. You don't even need 7 degrees.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ed Force One

As some of you may know, we've been working with Iron Maiden on a few sneakers so I thought I'd give you a little more info on how the band is doing these days. I tell you what. They ain't hurtin'! Check out their new whip....

In fairness, I think they just have it while they are touring, but this zinger is too bad/good to use...THE EGO HAS LANDED! YAH! Thanks to Rad Balls for the tip and Tom Podolec for the photos.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"My Heart's Beepin'!"

Beth C. sent me this mini-doc following a baby skater from the time he was 3 months old until his current age, 4 years. Yeah, it's cute, but you know what? It makes me mad. I'm gonna have a baby to spite this baby. My baby will get its little feet duct taped to the board straight out of the biz the day its born. Scaaaa-rew Sesame Street. My skate baby is watching nothing but Fully Flared and Video Days. And his diapers gonna be sponsored by Pepsi 'cause they need a comeback. Dollar!

Monday, April 14, 2008

You're a VIP to Me.

Last Friday night, I dropped into a Warped Tour Kick-off show in West Hollywood to snap a couple of photos. (Yay! Two drugstore disposable cameras, and I am the paparazzi.) Of course, there was a big line outside the club. Each time you go out in LA there is always a big line down the street. Besides that, everyone always wants to get into VIP. (The grocery store has got to give people VIP cards so you can get your free turkey at the holidays, nah mean?) Throughout that fine evening, I spent a little time behind the curtain and a little out in general admission. Let me take a couple of minutes to show each group what the other was missing.

VIPS, you missed this: Out in general admission, there were at least 100 kids who were having the best time of their lives. I mean, really, best night ever lived in all their 15 years. I do not doubt that there were mad kids in the show that drove an hour into Hollywood from Riverside for the first time, and their parents didn’t know it.

General Admission, here’s what you missed: Dicky Barrett’s necktie, the Tony Alva skate team, one of the guys from Norma Jean’s boots, and pizza. Oh, and you missed little cheeseburgers too, but so did I because Dicky ate them.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tim Wolff... With Two "f"s.

I don't know too much about this artist, but I found this pair of Old Skools that he designed so I figured I'd do a little more digging on his work. What I do know is that Tim's an illustrator and designer from Stuttgart, Germany. Being a hipster from Germany is exponentially cool 'cause people think you're up on some new shit if you are from there and you don't dress like a goth-raver with a Raiders New Era cap and rainbow platform sneakers. In addition, he claims to like "fun." Likely story.

Also, this little piece of toast that is jelly-ing itself up in excited anticipation, ready for us to eat him, is fantastic. Have a look at Tim's other projects on his blog: TimRobot.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Slaughterama 5

Fireworks, little juice chugging, boxing, chariot racing, skating, bands, reasonable & unreasonable nudity, dragons, baby dolls, dirt, bike races while chugging six packs, puking, mild explosions involving what may be flour, lots and lots of PBR, bike jousting, smashing, building things, costumes, tattoos, blood, ambulance, ghetto blasters, home made flags, face paint, most people on one bike race, making out...all this went down in a barn in Richmond, VA the first weekend in April. Thanks to Fecal Face for the tip on the best contest I've ever seen.

Check out more photos from the event HERE and get more info on the the Slaughterama myspace HERE. Next year...totally gotta expense a trip to this one...nudge, nudge, eh Vans?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chobopop: That's Budapest talk for "Neat!"

Chobopop are Amee and Csabaa. Who are they? A couple of artsy-fartsy kids from Budapest (Dang, I'm HUNGARY...sha-ZAM!), that's who. They make handmade toys and all kinds of neat prints and junk. A while back, they made these customs for the Vanstyle Budapest Godor Show. This ain’t just another paint job, suckas. That's some flock heat transfers on them jawns. I'm sure you'll be seeing more from them soon. Just last week, they debuted a collaboration with Nakanari at myplasticheartnyc. Their myspace looks like a Japanese-teenage-vomit-party, but in a cute way. Chobopop!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Little Girls are Gangsters.

They keep it real simple. "These shoes suck. My mom wears them. These shoes rule. Now, let's sing rhymes about what we like." I'm down for that approach. Maybe I'll start applying that straight forward tactic within everyday life... as in social situations, "Yes, I got your call. You suck, and I didn't answer. I only talk with people who rule." Then I'll belt out, "Yo quit buggin. You bein' a curmudgeon. Bowl of gruel. Inflatable pool." That would end any come back, I'd guess.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kurt Does His Taxes Listening To Hatebreed.

I got an email yesterday from Kurt Ehnle from Kentucky who spends his time on tour running around the world with bands. He takes photos, too. Besides that, he's definitely done at least one thing that you haven't. "I once jumped on a trampoline with a daughter of an ABBA member." Nope, haven't done that. Kurt has taken the same pair of checkerboard slip-ons on every trip for the last 5 years. (Try to tell me these things ain't stanky. You know you'd be putting them things double-bagged in the trunk of the rental car and trying to leave them at the airport if you had to travel with him. Don't front.) Secondarily, Kurt was in a band called Bonerwolf. They only had one practice and broke up, but as far as the trend in predatory animal band names...this one is my current favorites.

Here are more of Kurt's photos so you can look at them and want to go someplace: Vietnamted.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I May Have Seen One Tattoo Last Night.

I ended up making it over to Thought Gallery in Hollywood last night after all for the Compound Radio art auction/great reason to party. As expected, the crowd was shoulder to shoulder and hanging all out the door. I caught the owner of the gallery, Ian, for a quick chat about the idea behind having an art gallery in Hollywood. It's about walking by and walking in. Thought Gallery has no website, no phone number, and is only open during bar hours. You can go next door to the adjoining Burgundy Room, snag a beer, and pop back around the corner to check out whatever show that's up.

Josh Lazie and Janine James from Compound were busy being absolutely flippin’ adorable while simultaneously running the show. The recurring theme of the evening was definitely mustachioed marvels. Artist, Oliver Peck, and Honus Honus from the band Man Man talked serious wax. Clubman, my friend. (You got to craft them things, son.) We also learned that Honus’ dad is Charles Bronson.