Monday, May 30, 2011

I wanna live

During a recent drive through a traffic-infested north shore, Fred Hein selected an excellent track by The Ramones from my ipod. He would have had no way of knowing this, but the track comes from a compilation which was the first CD I ever purchased. I think that The Ramones are really more of a pop band than a punk band in the sense that they present essentially upbeat, heavily melodic and simple riffs. Sure, they were among the first to pioneer the musical structure that would be adopted and further developed by bands through the coming decades, but The Ramones were never really that confrontational, and many of their songs are complete nonsense. I grew out of listening to these guys, or I thought I did anyways, several years ago; in favor of later heavier, faster, more emotional, and more directly political bands. Still, there is something incredible about the simplicity of statements such as "I wanna live" being the core of a song. How much simpler can you possibly get? These are guys who wanted nothing more out of life than to be left in peace to live their lives as they chose. Have you ever heard that the simplest solution is usually the correct one? I find that to be the case more and more every day, and The Ramones couldn't have been any simpler.

Still with me? Skipped to this sentence already? Still skipping; looking for skate photos?

In the spirit of simplicity, lets remember why we all started skating in the first place. We liked the adventure of finding new parts of the city, the continuous personal challenge to progress, and the camaraderie of people who, like ourselves, just never really seemed to fit in with the rest of them. All of these things can be summed up very simply as having fun. Today, as we go out on missions to get footage and continually punish our bodies in the effort of putting together a video part or getting photos, lets remember: if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong. 

You may or may not remember this geezer from the previous post. I had overlooked this fantastic example of fun though, and thought it crucial to share before the file be relegated to the Kiln's Vault. 

The minutes preceding this moment were not fun. Mike Tenney destroyed his board by means of smashing and crashing it against the rocks of the SBLI gap after failing to land a trick. Nobody likes falling over and over and over and failing to get a clip, but next time, maybe instead of smashing your board, calmly walk away form the spot, dismantle it at the shop, and leave it in said shop with a "Free" sign for some kid who comes in with only 27 dollars and can't afford the fanciest new decks. That kid would go on to have a lot of fun. 

Again, yes, not landing tricks is very not fun, as Matt Lane knows full well here. Still, there is something that drives us to do it over and over and over again. The payoff of getting a trick that you have put so much effort into, while not exactly "fun" in the purest sense, does feel well worth it in most cases. Honestly, what would you rather be doing?

Matt Lane continues to draw fun from tricks, that personally, I would be frightened of. Also, skating concrete parks with your friends is fun. FS Nosegrind.

Jason Ross knows all about fun because he invented it with the SBS'ers. FS Feeble 180 out.

Speaking of Jason, He just had this sequence in Focus' Sequence Saturdays promoting skateshops with fun names

The amount of fun that Fred has doing nose manuals is simple immeasurable

These wooden benches are a very fun spot. Matt Lane, BS tailslide in a line that made great use of the obstacles available. 

The following post will include photos from the beginning of my trip across the USA. Right now, I must go to bed, because not getting enough sleep is never fun. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back on the "b[e(a)st]" coast; back with a vengeance.

I have likely violated / ignored / invented a few grammar rules while writing the above title. I'm not a writer, nor do I claim to be. However, I do enjoy doing these little write-ups to accompany my dumping of photographs into the rivers of the internet, much akin to the dumping of photographic chemicals into the river of my toilet. Don't worry... a little developer in the water ain't neva hurt nobody. That said, I have a feeling that in the coming months I will be shooting skateboarding more and more digitally as my volume of work has been increasing at a suspiciously proportional rate to the decrease of funds dedicated to film and developing. I will continue to shoot personal work exclusively on film though. After all, I do intend to one day be an old man who gives slideshows that nobody cares about. Longingly though I look into the future for that moment to come, for now I shall settle for another Chemical Kiln post in an effort to bring the blog back from the brink of becoming a digital wasteland.

Almost a month ago now, I set out on a trip across the country from Los Angeles to Boston. So, where did I go first? An hour in the complete opposite direction of course. I drove to Oxnard, CA to stay, shoot and skate with Moose and Auby Taylor for a couple days. Both have uncanny abilities on a skateboard, and unlike certain other skaters, aren't complete plunks off them. A big thank you goes out to Moose for letting Auby and myself both stay at his house.

I shot 5 rolls of 35mm slides on the trip across country, and will be posting a few photos from each leg of the trip in the next several posts, and this edition kicks off with a session from a Bones weekend filming trip around LA. These will likely be the only skate-related photos in this little series of mine.

Trevor McClung Tre Flips while Conhuir Lynn looks on

Auby Taylor with an fs tailslide (trick out, shh) in the background of this one

2/3 The McClungs, Moose, and Seu Trinh watching the session

There is reason behind the awkward punctuation of the title. Since I have been back east, Matt Lane, Kevin Leslie, and Jason Ross have all been in beastmode as far as getting clips. It is hard to beat the west coast as far as skateboarding goes, but Boston will always be my favorite at heart. This realization hit hard on a recent skate around the city with Jason and the SBS guys. The combination of no cameras, no cars, and no worries made for an amazing skate session in the city. We all know that this combination is a rarity these days.  

The following are a few shots from the past days in and around Boston

Matt Lane FS Blunt Boston 

Matt Lane BS Tailslide

Jason Ross Switch varial heel, Dave Profirio filming a line for Cheap Thrills

Jason Ross Switch polejam 180

K-Man getting down on a Backside flip in Providence, RI

Despite the fact that Fred Hein is once again back, the man now handboards more than he footboards, and insists on posing unrealistic crooked grinds. All joking aside, Fred kills it on a regular basis. He's got a sequence in Focus' Sequence Saturdays.

This man in the Navy Yard proved to be a fine specimen of the type of human who sits down directly where other humans are trying to ride skateboards for no reason other than to prove a point that it "Isn't allowed". We conversed for a few minutes after which he decided that we were actually a group of fine young lads and that despite the fact that a (misspelled, yes) sign stated that there would be "No Skatboarding" on the premises, he would turn a blind eye to our trickery and mischief.  

I have never given it much thought before, but skateboarders tend to have very erratic musical preferences. To whom else would it make perfect sense to list Andre NickatinaGG AllinThe Smiths, and Electric Wizard in the same sentence? I think this this diversity is part of the reason we all tend to get along so well. There is something inherent to skateboarding that lets two people who have never met before get along incredibly effortlessly, and in a way that would not be quite so certain for many others. There are exceptions of course, but this does tend to be the case. 

In other news, I have set a new personal record for earliest swim in the summer season. 
Time to go outside; goodbye internet. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adventures in the Windy City

After staying three days in the great state of Iowa with Kyle Bunker, skate photographer extraordinaire, I rode off toward Chicago, heeding Kyle's recommendation to seek refuge at a fine establishment, not to be confused with lesser organizations that go by suspiciously similar names. 

Before I go any further, though, let it be known that Kyle Bunker is a helluva host, and a helluva good dude in basically every way. I can't say enough good things about that fucker, so I shall shut up before I kiss too much ass. Photos from the Iowa adventures to come later once I get a chance to develop the rolls. 

Beerblunt; nose variation

fake axle stall + nose stall + beerses

Following a night that revolved moreso around beers than skateboards, and specifically the lack of landing tricks anywhere near the bolts, the Chemical Kiln authorities decided to take it easy until a night session the following night with one Blake Matthews, chief mastermind behind Ideal Humans. It was a proper night of street skating highlighted by riding in front of traffic, pizza, talking to friendly bums, and the backbreaking toil of skating with a backpack full of gear and joints left frail by years of constant abuse. I've got a bone to pick to the pace of human evolution and why we don't yet have ankles of steel. More film proofs of the escapades to come, but for now, enjoy these digi flicks. 

 Timmy Johnson, crook bonk 

Timmy Johnson, BS 5050

Timmy killed it last night, and on a cruiser board nonetheless. 

Toward the end of my stay with Kyle, we engaged in a music swap, and I came across a few albums I had been looking for for quite a while. Not the least of these was Grey Matter's Food for Thought. The album holds such classic's as the little ditty in Ali Boulala's Sorry part hidden away somewhere within this post, and many more good jams

This editions news is strictly skateboarding, and affects absolutely nothing in real world. But in our little world... get hyped! There's a petition to reopen Max Fish,