I took a trip down to Kinetic this weekend to peep the new 5Boro vid and to personally congratulate long time underground ripper and FDR local Willy Akers, on joining the pro ranks. Always humble and permanently stoked, he may be the one guy out there who could give Theotis a run for the “nicest pro skater” title. Delaware’s finest for sure – the kid kills it on all fronts.
And the whole Join or Die video is super sick. With gritty super 8 footage of the Big Apple and a rugged soundtrack of classic tunes, it definitely delivers that raw, east coast vibe you’d expect from the good dudes over at 5Boro. Easily one of the most underrated squads out there. Tookmanian, Falla, Jimmy MacDonald, Pensyl – everyone on the team kills it with style.
If you haven’t caught it already at one of the premiers, the new 5Boro video, Join or Die, will be up on the Thrasher site this Friday, Feb 24. Don’t sleep on this one.
I finished a new portrait painting recently, this one is entitled grip. It is 24 inches wide x 12 inches tall and is oil paint on canvas. It was completed in February 2012.
Skate Docs: Maybe it’s because dudes my age are at that point in their lives where they start feeling nostalgic about the old days but there are a healthy crop of very cool skateboard related documentaries hitting the festival circuit this spring – including Stacy Peralta’s Bones Brigade film and the Danny Way doc by former Plan B filmer, Jacob Rosenburg. Looking forward to check these out sometime. Trailers below – get stoked.
I’m throwing in some other cool recent internet pieces on Chris Pastras and Tom Groholski – two of New Jersey’s finest. Enjoy.
The Rushing Fog is a cut paper collage using images taken from vintage magazines and other ephemera that are handcut with an xacto knife then dry adhered to paper using a gel medium and augmented with gouache. The original is roughly 15 inches wide by 20 inches high (not including matte and frame) and was completed January 2012.
Prints and more are available over at society6.com. The original piece has already been sold and is no longer available.
A General Update: First off – Happy (belated) New Year, dear readers. I hope this finds you well. My apologize for the lack of updates but I’ve been on a creative tear lately, trying to spend as much time in the studio as possible just working away. And although the posts might be few, believe that I have a lot in store for the coming months – new paintings, new collages, new music (hey, anything is possible, right?).
And I just realized that Jan 18th was the 7 year anniversary for this site – that’s a lot of mileage so thanks for sticking around. And thank you to those who bought a painting or a print, download a podcast or came to a show – your support is deeply appreciated. Special thanks this year to The Slingluff Gallery, ABNRML, Fringe Salon, Science Skateboards, Switch Skate Shop, Zilla Rocca, Has-Lo, Curly Castro and Justin Clowes for all they’re help in 2011.
Anyway, as I’ve always done in the past, below are my favorite albums from 2011, in no particular order. (still haven’t heard the new Black Keys record yet, in case you’re wondering why it’s not on the list). And if you think I’ve left anything off or want to recommend something, let me know. I’m always looking for new tunes and inspirations.
Joe Castro’s favorite records of 2011
And, to try something new, here’s a list of my favorite skateboard video parts from 2011. Again, if you think I missed something, let me know.
Joe Castro’s favorite skate parts of 2011
Dennis Busenitz, Real Since Day One
Torey Pudwell, Big Bang Theory
Nyjah Huston, Rise and Shine
Nick Merlino, WTF
Mike Anderson, Not Another Transworld Video
The new Shake Junt video is pretty sick as well, by the way.
Until next time….
Finished a new painting recently – this one is entitled Iodine and will be included in the upcoming For Penn Treaty group show at the Slingluff Gallery. A portion of the sale of each piece will go toward maintaining and renovating Penn Treaty Park in Philly, The opening is this Saturday night, January 7th from 6-9 pm. 11 W. Girard Ave Philadelphia PA 19123. The show is also sponsored by Art in the Age, Philadelphia based makers of Root, Snap and Rhuby liquors. Click here for more information.
The painting is oil on canvas and is 24 inches wide by 12 inches tall. It was completed in December 2011.
Inquiries about the purchase of the original piece should be sent directly to email@example.com.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Curly Castro on a video for his latest single, They Call Me Castro. Produced by Blueprint, the track is from his upcoming Fidel LP, that should be available sometime in Jan. 2012.
When it comes to hip-hop, I grew up on groups like Public Enemy, BDP, LL Cool J and De La Soul, leaning more toward the politically charged (Dead Prez, Nas) and the rough and rugged (Wu-Tang). So I was pretty blown away when I heard Winston’s Appeal, Curly Castro’s full length from earlier this year, which combined all those influences and filtered it through his own effortless yet raw style. Yeah, it was about lyrics and skill, but it was also about content, which I respected. Old school with a reggae influence, slightly militant but not without heart and humor. So I was super excited to work with him on this video, because I think he brings back a lot of the edge that hip-hop originally had.
Much of the video was shot in Oct/Nov at the Occupy Philly site, on three separate occasions, including his live performance there from last November. The archival black and white footage of the Black Panthers and the march on Selma, Alabama was taken from the National Archive and is listed as public domain. The nighttime performance footage was shot one night in West Philly, guerilla style.
And for those wondering if we’re related – well, we might not have fallen from the same family tree, but we come from common ground.
Anyway, I hope you dig it – I’m pretty proud of this one. And be sure to check out more music on Curly Castro bandcamp page.
I was super stoked when the guys at Switch skate shop contacted me about doing a painting for a shop board graphic. I go way back with co-owner Joey Simpers – we grew up skating together in the late 80’s, and continued to stay in touch as our paths crossed over the years in the DE music scene (some may remember Joey as the dreadlocked bass player in Walleye, one of my favorites back in their heyday). Although I slowed down on skating shortly before they opened, I’ve always dug Switch and what they’ve done for the local skate scene. And my old band, Obese Pharaohs of Funk, which later became Nero, was featured on the Switchstance music compliation that the shop put out back in 1994, so there’s some history there for sure. Anyway, the decks are available 8″, 8.125″, 8.25″ as well as a really cool old school shape so grab one before the holiday shopping rush hits. You can pick one up at their new location, 54 East Main Street, Newark Delaware. And be sure to stop by Rainbow Records around back and grab some new and used vinyl. That’s a win-win set-up right there.
Thanks again to Tyler and Joey for making this happen.
Last week, I stopped by the Fabric Workshop to check out Laurie Anderson’s multi-media installation, Forty Nine Days at the Bardo. Spread over two floors and dedicated/influenced by the recent death of her dog, Lolabelle, it’s an intense tribute and discussion on loss as well as the deep spiritual connection between pets and their owners. Consisting mainly of a series of 10’x14′ foot charcoal drawings detailing Lolabelle’s time in the Bardo (a forty-nine day period between death and rebirth, as mentioned in the Tibetan Book of the Dead), the scale of the work quickly engulfs the viewer, bringing you into this nether world of lucid dreams, bizarre illusions, touching realizations and ultimately, rebirth. The installation also features a sculpture of a violin, created from layers of mud, clay and the ashes of her dog. Now, I’m more of a cat person myslef but I did hear stories from the staff of more than a few dog lovers leaving the exhibit in tears, which speaks volumes more on the success of this installation than anything I could write.
I was most impressed by her Iron Mountain floor – an erily darkened space with a sparse collection of tiny clay figures, brought to life by video projections of people working, running and talking on them. They’re almost like holograms, and in the stillness of the room you get the feeling like you’re inside someone’s brain, browsing through a collection of their personal and intimate memories. Worth seeing in person for sure, as obviously a photograph or video won’t do something like this justice.
So don’t sleep on this one – the exhibit runs until November 19th at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia.
Laurie Anderson Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo at the Fabric Workshop and Museum from Canal Street Communications on Vimeo.
Zilla Rocca with Has-Lo – Full Spectrum.
For those who missed it’s official release yesterday, Zilla Rocca dropped a new music vid. for his song, Full Spectrum. Taken from his excellent Nights and Weekends EP, the track features a guest verse by Has-Lo. The film was shot and edited by myself and Justin Clowes (aka SlowMotionTrax).
We shot the whole thing on August 29 in Asbury Park, NJ, the day after Hurricane Irene blew through town, leaving a few spots without power and more than a couple of trees knocked down. Asbury ‘s a cool town – pinball museum, paranormal museum, the Wonder Bar, good pizza – and provided a pretty cool backdrop for a rag-tag group of misfits running around it’s streets with outdated super 8 film cameras. The people were friendly and everyone was super nice. Good times, good times. Thanks to everyone involved.
And for all those keeping score and wondering what ever happened to the Weak Stomach video – it’s finished and has just been sitting quietly for the past 9 months waiting for it’s release. Honestly, I don’t know what the hold-up is, something to do with lawyers and red-tape. Hopefully soon.
And below are some photos from the shoot, taken by Justin Clowes. Check out his flickr page for more visual goodness.