Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the road again...

This one shall be short and sweet. I'm about to start driving across the country, so all you wonderful people will have to wait a little while for another update. Or perhaps at some point I will waddle into a starbucks for the free intertubes and write up a blog post... on a mac... in a starbucks.

To everybody whom I've met and skated with over the past couple months in the LA / Long Beach area, you guys fucking rock. You've made my time here a hell of a lot better. Thank you.

Yesterday, Steven Ban ripped this newly paved LA spot a new one. There is more here than meets the eye, and it shall be revealed in due time.

I've recently decided that Link Wray makes for the best driving music in the world.

Ready for your fun fact?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blowing the Blog Biz: Vegetative Edition

I apologize for the lack of updates through the past week. It has been one of the busiest, gnarliest, longest weeks on record thus far. College classes are over with forever, and the solo adventure across America will commence shortly. I'll be documenting it mostly with 35mm slides on the Nikon F that Ilja Maran, proprietor of the venerable Dead Pixel Productions recently gave me. I'm looking forward to putting it to good use. Over the past week, Auby Taylor has gotten 2 NBDs in LA, which, as you know, is teeming with ABDs. Be on the lookout for that guy... He's got a part dropping with Index skateshop in the coming month or two, and let me tell you, its a doozy (doozie?). Admittedly, the photos in this update are nothing too exciting, but there are plenty of goodies under wraps which will be released in due time. For now, To whomever figures out the double meaning of this post's subtitle, a Simpler Times Sixer goes!

Auby got a 4 page spread in this month's issue of Trasher, not to be confused with the skate mag of a similar name

Trasher Cover

White trash at its finest

Surprisingly, yes we did walk away with footage form that excursion

After winding up the day at Cherry park, I snapped this random flick of the light in LBC. Can somebody please explain to me what the fuck those evil green spirits are doing? I say we gather a mob and lynch 'em!

Mike likes the recently unicolorized skittles ledges so much that he had to bust out signature stretches. Ilja saw the opportunity, and proceeded to threaten his offspring. 

One of the best parts of skate photography is the fact that there is so much incentive to climb trees, buildings, and anything else you can find for your angle. Damn, I love what I do. 

I've realized that my attempt at double meaning in the title is stupid. It was supposed to be that there is vegetation in all the photos, which is a rarity in the concrete jungle that is LA, and that I have been in a vegetative state in terms of updating this here internet space which is being squandered on the jockish timewaster that is skateboarding. Therefore, if you have red thus far, I am voiding the previous offer of Simpler Times, and will instead give it away to the first person who can tell me who skated to the following brilliant bit of elite musicianship, and also tell me where the devil went. If you get it, you get it. If you don't, you don't. But, if you get it, you also get drunk, so I think that getting it is slightly preferable to not getting it. 

By the by, a round of applause if due for Kentucky. Of all fucking places in the country to do this... Kentucky is Doing it Right

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The economy is dragging us down, man

First and foremost: go buy the Real video. Booze n' Tit's part alone is worth the money. Remember, as Hurling mentioned, that he exists in real life. He is not merely a graphical representation of somebody's idea of the ideal street lines. OG rippers JT Aultz, Peter Ramondetta and Justing Brock, amongst others, all have killer parts, as do relative newcomers Davis Torgerson and Ishod Wair. Go buy the video at your local shop before they run out.

Now, I do apologize for the lack of material over the past week, but after Boston south shore shredder, and loyal Orchard Skateshop employee Andrew Haskell won the first Chemical Kiln Simpler Times giveaway by correctly explaining the differences among bonelesses / boneless ones, fastplants, and beanplants, my financial advisory board suggested that should I continue to post with the same frequency, the venture may soon run out of capital, and be forced to shut down. For this reason, I have suspended activity during the past week, and now that the budget here at the Chemical Kiln is finally under control, we resume. If anybody is wondering how this clearly and undeniable for-profit foray is doing, here are the preliminary ratings as of last night.

I'm relieved that our ratings are represented by a human number, as opposed to a satanic one. 

This past weekend was very successful, and should, in the future, allow me to give away much more Simpler Times, but for now, the best of the best shall remain a secret. Here are some fun things from the weekend...

Ilja Maran filming

BS tailslide - Don't even know who this was, but probably Mike Piwowar (click for large)

Sunday's crew at the first spot of the day

Nate Principato had the idea for a quick snap of this ollie (bad light often necessitates fake BW)

Immediately after, Auby Taylor wanted one too, so I took the time to light it a bit

Nate has the best hardflips I have ever seen in person

Roy Foner Tailslide

Chris Joslin Ollie (No land, but click for large) Chris just turned 15. The way he skates, you would swear he had bones made of steel and concrete. Speaking of bones, he gets Bones and Powell flow. Keep an eye on this one. 

It's a busy day in a busy week, so I'll keep the closing section short and sweet. 

Husker Du is a great band, and this track off of "New Day Rising" is a classic. 

Remember how The Egyptian people ousted Mubarak, and reclaimed their freedom and all that good stuff? Well, the Egyptian military leaders that formed the interim government until proper elections take place are certainly doing a swell job. Oh wait, no they are completely blowing it. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obligatory 35mm BW post

I'm going to go ahead and say... scanning 35mm on a 4490 blows. It fucking blows. For medium format, it is a brilliant little machine, but it can't hold 35mm flat for shit, and it simply can't draw all the detail out of the film. Just some quick gear advice. 

Last week, Ilja insisted that I take his Nikon F off his hands for a while, and so I shot a quick test roll while out for a day. I haven't shot a roll of 35 so fast (about an hour) in, well, maybe ever. It's a pretty liberating experience. Also, since the F doesn't have a built-in light meter, I just threw out some educated guesses for most of the exposures. The sunny 16 rule, with a little personal tweakage really does work pretty well, and open shade on a sunny day is 3 stops dimmer than direct sunlight, so everything else falls in between as long as you're shooting during the day.

Between using a camera that was first manufactured in 1959, using cheap $2.19 / roll film, guessing at exposures, and using a really depleted developer and fixer on top of that, I'd say this stuff came out decently for what was really just a test for light leaks and shutter / aperture problems. 

V for Victory

Spot's got a couch. Brilliant

This frame was at the end of the roll, and I loaded up the film super quick so the center of this was partially touching another frame. Just another of the random things that can happen with film. It's not at all hard to develop a roll perfectly by yourself though. (that goes for c-41 and e6 too. Really.)

The people working next to this ledge spot decided to call the cops instead 
of walking 30 feet and talking to us. I love human reasoning. 

Beanplant? Boneless? Fastplant? Whoever can explain the difference to me gets a Simpler Times sixer


Bullshit tones in sunlight = depleted developer to blame. I'll have to splurge on the good stuff soon instead of keepin on with old man d76

Not a land. This ledge had a tiny bank up to it that made it super fun

This post's music section is a very special one. A very special treat, yes indeed. This is the covers edition.  So, for your enjoyment, here are three covers that don't suck, along with the originals. 
Ok, so Mistadobalina isn't exactly a cover, but is draws some clear and present inspiration from the Monkees' song. Row, row, row your boat. 

Recently, Dennis Kucinich displayed the rare and mythical trait that has, over the years, come to be known as common sense. Rumor has it that there is an endless fountain spewing this rare substance from the earth somewhere in the southern hemisphere. Many men have lost their lives in search of it. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Middle of the the weekend weekend wrap up

Due to the fact that I have a 6am call time in the morning for a (granted, very exciting) set, I won't be partaking in the hammer-related festivities on the morrow. As Brendan Herling so eloquently put it earlier today though, it's not all about dropping skate hammers. One has to also drop life hammers. These could simply be the insane ramblings of a man who has failed to drop skate hammers in the past days (more on that in a few), but nonetheless, I fully endorse these words of wisdom. 

I wanted to post a few random shots from the past days before they get lost in the mix that is my incredibly unorganized hard drive. 

Mike Piwowar Fakie ollie. Notice the stupid ass bird that decided to position itself directly behind the electrical wire at the exact moment i pressed the button that makes the picture happen. 

Brendan found a dog skull

There were vast quantities of disfigured lemons available on the premises. Ilja happens to have some jugg'lin skills. Inevitably, this photo came into existence. 

This spot was in a relatively poor area, and these kids were hanging out on the perimeter. Now, I'm not making any assumptions about them, but the following statements are a result of thoughts triggered merely by the image itself, and not the reality of the situation, since, well, I simply took a photo. It is important to make a distinction between stereotyping, which is the assumption of knowledge about a particular individual, and concern for societal issues which impact a particular group. We take a lot for granted every time we go to skate considering the fact that so many people in the world are preoccupied with much simpler activities, such as making sure they have something to eat on that particular day. Just in the US, the richest country in the world, roughly 14 million people are hungry. Keep yourself in check, and try not to take anything for granted. That goes not only for what you were born into, but (perhaps more importantly) the people in your life. Try and show someone that you care. 


We went on to eventually check out a hubba spot which Brendan considered attacking
The attack failed
And resulted in civilian casualties
The flash stand was eventually replaced, but Brendan's spirit was lost for the rest of the day, as he sulked/siesta-ed in his own misery at the next spot 

We finished the day off with a low-key session at an abandoned pool
Andrew (sorry Andrew, don't know your last name) Ollie

Now, you may be saying to yourself, hey Dan, you shithead, you're getting lazy. All these shots are digi... shoot more film. More likely though, you DGAF. Despite this blog's name, these will by no means be strictly film shots. I shoot about 75% of my "serious" stuff of film because my digital sequence camera has less megapixels  than a goddamn iphone, and that is bad for anything that may at some point be printed in a mag. Digital is just a tool though, and a very convenient one when it some to homie shots, and other solid, but non-hammer tricks. If i shot everything on film, I would be playing with chemicals in the bathroom more often than being out in the streets shooting. That said, you can expect a film post sometime later this week. Ilja Maran lent me his Nikon F, the original Nikon pro-level slr, and I rattled off a roll today. The camera is build like a freakin tank. For anybody looking to get a great film slr, I highly recommend it, or the Fm2n (if you so desperately need a light meter built in). Ilja, filmer/skater extraordinaire, and proprietor of Dead Pixel Productions drove us around all these spots, unaffected by the outrageous $4.00+ LA gas prices, so yes, a collective thank you is in order. 

Today, Brendan and Mike Piwowar engaged in a series of first land contests which ended in a dead tie. The following photos are form a spot that was new to us all, and full of possibilities. 

 Mike landed the nosegrind bonk first, with proper tech kid steeze...
... and Brendan immediately (or as soon as I changed my lighting) shot right back with proper hesh kid steeze. Brendan is actually possessed by the spirit of Erik Ellington. Tell me the dude doesn't look exactly like him here. 

This photo of Nick Cave and Henry Rollins early Black Flag is one of the oddest things I've seen in music, or at least music I care about. I'm going to start posting single songs instead of links to torrents. You all know how to find them if you want to get something, or better yet, if the artist is alive and will benefit from you buying part of her or her life's work, just buy it afterwards if you have enjoyed it. 

Somebody had the brilliant idea of making use of the animal by-product from slaughterhouses in order to produce a petroleum (oil) -free plastic. This isn't exactly great for strict vegans, but at the same time, is much better than letting the materials go to waste as they currently do. I'm sure our Native American brothers and sisters would be proud. Ugh. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Medical attention is a good thing to seek when cysts begin to appear all over your feeble body: the sequence post

I have so many people to thank right now. A few folks have been spreading the word about this blog, so I'd like to send a shout out to Ian Coughlan who runs So Trill, your one-stop shop for all things current and/or east coasty in skateboarding. Ian is a a great friend I met at Emerson College. He has recently got a little bit of coverage for this throwaway part that I an will convince you isn't any good if you ever talk to him. Ian also had a Fresh find page in a recent Focus that, incidentally, was also my first published photo.
Also, a shout out to Will Burstein for his post in the blog section of RAW New England. Raw is, well, about a raw as it gets. They are a truly skater run enterprise from the east coast, and I have always respected them, primarily for their complete and utter lack of advertising, and of course, dedication to skateboarding. Will also runs a blog at Wheels of the Future. Be sure to check it for detailed essays on wide-ranging subjects relating to mathematics, science, politics, and all tying back to skateboarding. Will is nothing short of a genius. Finally, one last thank you goes to Buddy Bleckley, a fellow east coast photog who is currently interning at Focus skate mag, and recently started the Sequence Saturdays feature for the website, which many of the following sequences are featured in. Buddy is a rad, unassuming, and genuinely nice dude which is becoming quite a rarity these days

WIthout further ado...
(does anybody know where that came from? Simpler Times sixer to whoever lets me know)

Click images to see the sequences.

Mike Piwowar Noseslide bigspin

Ryan Chlumecky heelflip nose manual nollie 3 shove out

Ilja Maran Nose manual bigspin out. Notice the possessed Telescope.

Gavin McMahon Nolan Bs tailslide Bbigflip

Jason Ross 360 flip lipslide to fakie. This brings fond memories of skating indoors because you have to, a concept seemingly entirely absent from the state of california. Jason Ross is a genuine east coast shredder who will have a part in the upcoming Cheap Thrills video comin straight atcha straight from the good town of Woburn, Mass.

Before we get too far off track, you may have noticed all those industrial-looking things in Ilja's sequence. More likely, though, you did not, so I would like to bring your attention to them for a minute. 
You drive by this shipyard when driving to San Pedro from Long Beach. Let me tell you, it is one of the most rancid smells I have ever smelled or expect to smell in the future. Keep in mind next time you're having that burger, driving your car or updating a blog from a macbook that all these things we like to use come from somewhere and that there is a massive industry behind every convenient aspect of modern life. Don't take anything for granted, and try to think about the effect, however small, your purchases have in perpetuating modern industries. Every time you pay for something, you are effectively voting to see more of that in the world since profit is the only thing that corporations, and most larger businesses in general, understand. 

I did a photo project largely focused on industry about a year ago, and if you so desire, you can check it out here. I promise, it's worth a few minutes of your time. 

The Kinks are always an excellent listen. In particular, I'd recommend the brilliant 1971 "Muswell Hillbilies" at the moment, but as you see, you have your pick of the litter.

Ok, I promise next time I will have an actual story, but for now, check out the politics section of FARK for all the goddamn idiotic things people do in this and other countries, and with witty headlines to boot!