New music: Mastodon’s Emperor Of Sand

Mastodon Emperor Of Sand album

On my desk at work is a Post-It note with the names of four bands a metal-loving former colleague recommended after learning that my musical tastes took in the likes of Bad Brains, Minor Threat and more.

Alongside Baroness (a real favourite in the last couple of years), Torche (can’t decide) and Tides From Nebular (haven’t checked out yet) is written Mastodon, the Atlanta heavy metal band that has just released its seventh album.

I’m not quite as up to date with new music as I’d like – though perhaps this blog will help remedy that. In fact, it’s only in the last month that I bought a second-hand copy of Mastodon’s 2004 album Leviathan, which rocks in all the right places and is heavier than a lot of what I listen to.  Continue reading “New music: Mastodon’s Emperor Of Sand”

Tony Hawk – how does he do that on a skateboard?

His website may talk of the ‘Tony Hawk brand’, and the above picture is from a demonstration on his massive vert skateboard ramp in Toronto, Canada to launch the Tony Hawk Signature Collection (a ‘comprehensive assortment of apparel, accessories and footwear’ since you ask).

But it’s hard to begrudge the man – one of the most influential skateboarders of all time – his figurehead role.

Particularly when his Tony Hawk Foundation has given away more than $5.2 million to over 550 US skatepark projects in low-income areas around the country to help provide them with a safe place to skate. Continue reading “Tony Hawk – how does he do that on a skateboard?”

Backyard skateboarders: Empty pools and an illegal underground skate scene

Tino Razo backyard skateboarders

The posher ends of Surrey might not be short on swimming pools, but you can’t imagine that any of them are empty for long.

Not so in Southern California, if a new photography book is anything to go by.

Tino Razo’s Party in the Back captures what feels like a uniquely American scene, illegally skateboarding empty swimming pools.

Continue reading “Backyard skateboarders: Empty pools and an illegal underground skate scene”

Dinosaur Jr’s Knocked Around and a heavy dose of guitar schralping

Dinosaur Jr Knocked Around video

Dinosaur Jr kicked off a US tour this week and to mark the occasion released a new video for Knocked Around that was filmed on their last tour.

Taken from the alt rock band’s outstanding 2016 album Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not, Knocked Around is half mellow and contemplative, half thumpingly propulsive guitar work.

Or, as Otis Bperiod – who filmed the video – put it: “It is everything amazing about Dinosaur Jr: soft yet hard with J’s awesome sense of vocal melody and a heavy dose of guitar schralping! I shot the entire video live while on the most recent US tour, and in slow-mo and black and white to capture the way I see tour life.

Continue reading “Dinosaur Jr’s Knocked Around and a heavy dose of guitar schralping”

The Vans store in London and a skateboarding collage

Vans - Off The Wall

The window artwork at the Vans store in London’s Covent Garden will need updating soon, given that it celebrates last year’s 50th anniversary of the stakeboarding brand.

In fact a ‘This is off the wall‘ theme should probably be expected sometime soon.

But until then you can play ‘count the skateboarding culture’ references, starting with a youthful Henry Rollins, before browsing for a new pair of shoes.

Welcome

Skateboard practice in the dark

We’ll start with the theory. In theory our blog is going to be all about skateboarding and music.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans. At least we’ve got Instagram and Twitter up and running.

Still, it seems like a fun time to start a UK skateboarding blog – it’s only three years until the Tokyo Olympics (when skateboarding will have another way of answering the ‘but is it really a sport’ question).

And it’s always a good time to be thinking about music.