1. Rockabilly : the Twang Heard Around the World – great new coffee table book on the early rock-n-roll sound, covering everything from the first days at Sun Records to later rockabilly revivalists like the Cramps and Reverand Horton Heat. Tons of great photos and lots of artists that you may not have heard of. A solid primer.
2. Norton Records – these folks release some amazing, rare rockabilly and garage records – so many odd little audio gems in there. And it’s getting more and more difficult not to just order the entire catalog right from their website – with discs like these, a life of poverty might not be that bad.
3. Super 8 – best “summer” film I’ve seen in a long, long time. Part E.T., part Close Encounters and part Goonies. If you grew up in the late 70’s/early80’s, you’ll definitely dig the look and vibe. A solid watch and a lot of fun. But, damn, I wish it was still that easy to get super 8 film developed.
4. Mike Anderson’s part in Not Another Transworld Video. Loved his style – lots of weird little wallride tricks (that boneless out of the frontside wall ride was insane!). Very original and super fun. Nestor’s part was sick too. The whole video’s pretty insane.
5. Torey Pudwell – this guy’s been on a tear the last two years and his new Thrasher mag part, Big Bang, is no disappointment. The fact that he filmed the whole thing in 6 months is just mind blowing.
6. Ed Templeton’s Teenage Kissers – got to meet and talk briefly with Ed at the opening of his excellent new photo show at the Half Gallery and he was super cool, a real gentleman. Lots of heavies lurking about (Glenn E. Freidman, Craig Stecyk, Guy Picciotto). The show’s up until July 25 – check it out if you’re in the big apple this summer and pick up the book from the nice folks at Seems.
It’s the first day of summer, and nothing compliments driving around town with the windows down and inhaling in the warm night air, than some good tunes. So whether you’re BBQ’ing with the homies, relaxing solo in your hammock with a margarita in your palm, strolling the boards down at the beach or just hanging in at the homestead, here’s the soundtrack for long days of warm weather. This one’s nothing but shameless fun – like the best summer’s always are. I hope you like it. Enjoy.
Randomness: Nothing major to report here – just thought I’d post a few video clips I’ve stumbled across the past few days. The first is a really cool interview with Gonz, chock full of high speed San Fran hill bombs. The next two are various Jimmy Fallon clips – one of him doing a spot-on Neil Young impersonation, followed by an equally spot on Dylan. I’ve been sleeping on this show but damn, these clips are so well done I might need to hop on that train.
New podcast coming in hot next week – stay tuned.
I recently designed a t-shirt for Kinetic and Switch skate shops in Delaware, to help raise money for the new 7th Street skate spot in Wilmington. The tee is loosely based on the film Stand By Me, as an inside-joke to the way-out-of-the-way location of the new park – it’s basically a long walk down a deserted, overgrown road to an abandoned boat dock where the side walk ends. Regardless though, the spot is heavily sessioned by the local kids 7 days a week and worth checking out – I-Path, Mystery and the Vans teams have all been through lately.
All proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go toward pouring new concrete obstacles for the park. You can pick one up at either Kinetic or Switch skate shops or, if you’re from out of town, you can now order them online as well. Thanks for the support.
And for all the cinephiles who will undoubtly cry out “…but Castro, it wasn’t Teddy Duchamp who said that line in the movie, it was the fat kid Vern. You’ve got it all wrong!” – well, yeah, I took a little artistic license here because it made a cooler shirt. Plus you can never go wrong with one of the Cory’s, bro.
Not really too much to say about this one – just want to extend a Happy 70th Birthday to Bob Dylan, someone who has definitely been an inspiration to me not just as a musician, but also as an artist in general, mainly for consistently pushing forward and keeping us guessing instead of resting on his past glories as the years go by. The guy takes a lot of chances – many don’t really work out but that’s not really the point. No one bats 1000. And each year as I get older, I look more and more to guys like Dylan, Tom Waits and Neil Young as inspiration on how to keep the creative fire burning and to stay true to the process. So Happy Birthday Bob – thanks for the inspiration.
I’m honored and excited to be participating in Hypno Design’s Creative Partners Roundtable event this weekend in NJ. Brought to you by the same caring folks who put together the annual Create-A-Thon benefit, this event is geared toward lending a hand to over 40 deserving non-profit organizations by offering free advice and consultation on everything from marketing and development strategies to getting the best mileage out of a printing budget.
From the press release: “During this 5-hour “speed dating”-type event, representatives from area nonprofits will be able to seek counsel from experts in a variety of creative disciplines, including graphic design, copy writing, website design, strategic marketing, public relations and social media. The experts will provide any type of marketing-related guidance that the nonprofits need to help take their branding or marketing to the next level. Organizations can ask the experts for advice on web design, marketing strategy, branding, maximizing their use of social media as well as fundraising ideas, volunteer recruitment, and the like.”
For more information as well as updates on this great event, please visit creativepartnersroundtable.blogspot.com.
I recently finished a new portrait oil painting which I have entitled Maya. This piece is a visual tribute to Russian American experimental avant garde film director Maya Deren. It is oil paint on board and the size is 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall. It was completed in April 2011.
Inquiries about the purchase of the original piece should be sent directly to email@example.com.
Earlier this month I donated a collage to the 1 in 91 art show in Venice, CA, to help raise money for the A.skate Foundation – well, Vans’ Off the Wall TV just posted a great video about A.skate and all the work they’ve been doing over the years for children with autism – worth watching and worth supporting.
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Spent the weekend digging through a milk crates worth of random old cassette tapes and, among other things, came across one filled with all the old Obese Pharaohs of Funk recordings, including, much to my surprise, the two songs we recorded for Switch Skateboard Shop’s Switchstance compilation back in 1994. I’m super stoked, since I’d lost my only copy of the comp years ago so it was nice to hear these tracks, which were the first recordings we ever did. These two songs were recorded by Nick Rotundo at our bass player Bret’s house, back when Nick was using his mobile 8 track reel-to-reel recorder. For the comp, each band had to record one “skate rock cover” and one original song – for the cover we went with The Last Goodbye by Agent Orange, a song we played live pretty frequently (As a young skate rat, I was a huge Agent Orange fan). For the original, we recorded a tune called Enchilada, which was one of the band’s earliest songs, and one of the few (along with Last Time I Laughed and Beginnings) where I wrote both the music and lyrics. And, no, I’m not claiming greatness on any of those tunes – this is just a nice walk down memory lane and a chance to finally put these lost tracks out there with the rest of the Nero/Obese Pharaohs of Funk material. The sound quality is a little bit dodgy, as the tape had been through some wear and tear over the years. Anyway, hope you enjoy them.
And, as always, Rest in peace Jeremy Tuschak. Thanks for all the memories.
Don’t forget – this Saturday is Record Store Day so be sure to stop by your local shop and pick up some tunes. Plus there’s plenty of limited edition discs being dropped just for the occasion, so don’t miss out or risk lurking on ebay with their inflated prices.
People often ask why I care so much about record stores (or independent book stores for that matter) and, more often than not, I get told “record stores are dead – they’re on the way out. no one cares anymore.” Well, just because the media are once again ringing the death bells doesn’t mean I’m going to follow the sheep and just give up. The way I see it, the future’s unwritten – so you gotta support the scenes you believe in. And the record store is about community, a gathering place where music fans can meet up, talk about rock-n-roll, hunt through the crates for hidden gems and random discoveries, a place to hang out with your friends and people watch while listening to new tunes being blasted through the house sound system. You can’t get that online. The album cover art and liner notes in all their 12 inch glory – you can’t get that online. And you can’t get in-store performances by touring or local bands online either. Sure, the internet is convenient and easy but that’s what makes it soul-less. And this is no nostalgia trip either – this is about fostering and supporting the culture you love. So, if you’re a music fan, you have to support music and the bands or else watch it all come to an end. So put that on your soap box and choke on it.
Viva indie record stores. Viva indie book stores. Viva indie skate shops. Viva the art of life.