Growing up in the late 90′s and early 2000′s as a young pimple faced pre-pubecant lower class suburban nerd in the outskirts of Sacramento, there wasn’t much ‘Culture’ to be had. Like many other young teenagers I felt I didn’t ‘fit in’ (boo-hoo). I hated the music on the radio, I resented and rebelled against anything my fellow classmates liked, I despised the image of a ‘standard teenager’ the television was constantly shoving down my throat (Except Sabrina and Tapanga. I LOVED Tapanga.). So, while other weirdo snot nosed children struggled to find their place among the Goths, Metal kids, and Jocks, I opted out to pick up a skateboard. 1999 was not a particularly forgiving time to be a skateboarder in middle school, I was made fun of, picked on, bullied, beat up, etc. (boo-hoo). It was by no means the gleaming, MTV polished skateboarding of today. But it was something I had that nobody else had. Something nobody could take away, and something nobody could relate to or become a part of without relentless hours of hard work and dedication. I loved it. I embraced everything about it; the style (Hell yeah I had a pair of D3′s), the attitude, and more importantly THE MUSIC. Remember this was pre-internet. Where the only way to discover music was either word of mouth, record stores, or, in my world, skate videos.
Skateboarding was my only window into ‘outsider culture’. The art on the bottom of boards wasn’t being made in art class, and the music in the videos wasn’t being played on the radio. Up until that point I had no idea music even existed outside of the radio. All of the sudden an entire world was opened up before my eyes, and I very much dove right in. I owe almost every ounce of my character today to skateboarding, ESPECIALLY my taste in music.
It is surprising how many bands and musicians I meet today that either used to, or still do skateboard. It breeds a certain kind of person, a certain mentality that exists within itself, and is not present in any other discipline I can think of besides musicianship.
Anyway, without ranting any further, I’ve compiled a list of 10 video parts with tracks that I would consider milestones in shaping my musical preference today.
#1 Anti Hero-1998, John Cardiel, Brotha Lynch Hung “Return Of Da Baby”
If you skateboard, you know who John Cardiel is. If you ACTUALLY skateboard, he is your favorite skater. Brotha Lynch Hung’s “Return Of Da Baby” soundtracked his ’1998′ video part. The song is, well, disgusting to say the least, but something about its griminess attracted me, and lead me down the dark path to Brotha Lynch Hung’s sick and twisted discography.
#2 Girl-Yeah Right, Marc Johnson, Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
Marc Johnson was never particularly one of my favorite skaters, he wasn’t jumping off buildings and I never had the patience to learn any of the tech shit he was doing. But his 2003 video part in Girl’s ‘Yeah Right’ video was soundtracked by Joy Divisions “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Joy Division is my favorite band, and I owe that to this video part.
#3 Zero-Misled Youth, Intro, Pailhead “I WIll Refuse”
The intro to Zero’s 1999 “Misled Youth” video was essentially all falls soundtracked by Pailhead’s “I WIll Refuse” … It summed up allot. Fuck it.
#4 Anti Hero-Cash Money Vagrants, Tony Trujillo, FANG “The Money Will Roll Right In”
FANG is a gritty cult punk band from Oakland, CA. The singer later went to jail for stabbing someone in the face a million times so I never got to see them live.
#5 Real-Real to Reel, Nate Jones, Gil Scott Heron “Gun”
I remember listening to this track on a mini-disk player shortly after I figured out how to use Kazaa. I would galavant around downtown Sacramento and pretend I could skate a smooth as Nate Jones could. I’m pretty sure Gil helped the smoothness.
#6 Transworld-In Bloom, Credits Montage, The Shins “Sphagnum Esplanade”
I used to be REALLY into The Shins. The closing montage from Transworld’s “In Bloom” video are responsible for that. I can still recite every word from the first three Shins records. … So what?
#7 Transworld-Sight Unseen, Henry Sanchez, Cali Agents “Neva Forget”
I can honestly say that this video part, and the Cali Agents track that soundtracked it, got me into Hip-Hop, like, for real. I think it also responsible for getting me into swooshy khaki cargo pants…
#8 Toy Machine-Jump Off A Building, Brian Anderson, Dinosaur Jr. “Yeah We Know”
Anyone that says they were never into Dinosaur Jr. is lying to you. I remember plugging my tape player into the VCR to record the audio from this video part. So whenever I listened to this song on my tape player it would also have the skating noises in the foreground. Now that would bug the hell out of me but at the time I really liked it…
#9 Transworld-Sight Unseen, Heath Kirchart, The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin”
I remember the first time I saw Heath Kirchart’s part in “Sight Unseen” thinking to myself how effective it was to have such a dramatic song set to such wild skating. The song fit perfectly. I owe many broken bones to the influence of this video part.
#10 Anti Hero-2-songs, Song 2, Devo “Be Stiff”
This part embodied everything I wanted to do. Travel, BBQ, camp, skate, etc… It also set me off on a full blown Devo rampage for about a year. I wish skating (as a whole) and skate videos were still like this… I guess the edge that drew me towards it initially are still there, you may just have to dig and search a bit harder to find them.
So, maybe this can shed some light on the disjointed taste of this tiny music video website. Of course tastes change, but I will love these songs forever and never be able to hear them alone without visualizing their accompanying video parts. Thanks for journeying down my anxiety memory lane with me.
A young me. Third right.
*Featured image: Aric Hondel photo: Yours truly.