Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ollie's Skatepark Edit

Here's a quick edit of Branson and some unknown shredders at Ollie's skatepark today in Kentucky. Branson is having a blast and starting to look much more comfortable on his board.

The music is Greyboy Allstars with Inira George - How Glad I Am. Check 'em out out here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

When Jazz Ruled The World

After leaving California in 2004 I knew I wanted to start a Fender Rhodes based jazz trio in Cincinnati. My goal was to create something authentic and different from the typical jazz piano trio. I searched for two months and found what I was looking for: a 1975 Rhodes Mark II and a 1974 Fender Twin Reverb. Those two pieces combined weigh in at about 150 lbs and can make gigging a nightmare (as I found out throughout the year). But, the tone and look of a Rhodes is unmistakable and incomparable.

I was lucky to hook up with two extremely talented musicians and improvisers. Chuck Sengo, a Tanzanian drummer/percussionist who had toured the world but somehow ended up in this town looking for gigs. Chuck was years ahead of me in terms of jazz improv and his overall sense of time. Jared Manker at the time was just in his early 20s yet well versed in jazz theory and possessed an exceptional gift for technical, Victor Wooten-style type runs on the bass.

In early 2005 we formed as Anderson Rhodes Trio and played throughout town for the year. Our set list was focused on 1950s-60s be-bop/hard-pop and more jazz-funk modern stuff like John Scofield. In fact, have a listen to Anderson Rhodes Trio's version of John Scofield's Hottentot below. This track and entire demo were recorded LIVE at Apple Hill Studios in 2005.

The trio disbanded at the end of 2005 but Jared, Charles and I continued to make music together in other projects. Throughout the course of the project we all found out how extremely difficult it is in this town, or any town for that matter, to keep a jazz trio working consistently. There is not much of a demand for jazz these days. But the spirit of the project was realized and there are some great tunes left behind.

Hope you enjoy this track from the archives:
Anderson Rhodes Trio - Hottentot (scofield)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Caught Inside at the Rust Belt

I wasn't kidding, folks. I think we are at least 10 days into this carnage of White Death. I'm coming up gasping for air on this beautiful Sunday morning...just to see I'm about to take another one right on top of the head. For all those dedicated to the sacred ground that is dry concrete let's hope this is winter's final swell.

If you're interested in real carnage, real swells and hell-man chargers then check out the highlights from yesterday's 2010 Mavericks Surf Contest from our old town of Half Moon Bay, CA. When the winter swells are big enough this small little spot, just a few miles south of San Francisco, will see waves break larger than anywhere else in the continental United States. It's an amazing thing to see. $50K was awarded to the winner.

Here's the article and re-cap from yesterday's contest:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Get it while you can! Ain't you heard? White Death's a comin'!

I knew today was going to be the last day to get some skating and filming in before White Death hits the tri-state area. Oh, it's comin'. And it will leave a wrath of moisture rendering any outdoor skating surface unrideable for at least five to ten days. That's a big deal, people. The good news is that there will be plenty of time for music.

The video edit below would never have been possible without a stranger named Greg Maloney. Greg works at Parkside Church right next to the skate park on Salem Rd. He saw my video camera and brand new fisheye lens fall off the back of my bumper as I left the park yesterday. After searching endlessly up and down Salem and calling the cops I pretty much gave up.

Now, I'm not a bible thumper but I do believe in God. Something in the back of my mind the next morning told me, "You have to check the church." Greg has worked at Parkside for 15 years and he had the biggest smile on his face when he saw me pull up the next day. He yelled, "You lost your camera, didn't you?" Man, that dude is alright. If you ever lose anything I hope you have an angel like Greg looking over you. So, here's a shout out to Greg and Parkside Christian church on Salem Rd. Get on in and get your Jesus on!

The short edit below features another Beech Acres ripper named Nik Smith. Nik's got great style. Very steezy. Charger. Poor guy said he's never seen any footage of himself. That's not right. Now it's fixed. I hope you enjoy this edit with music by Xavier Rudd - Messages.

Remember that the real gifts in life are not things at all. The real gifts exist in our experiences with those we love, those we befriend and those moments within the nature surrounding us. Well, at least in my opinion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Break In The Music - For Skating...

The sun was shining and the concrete was dry on February 1st, 2010. In the dead of winter that equals perfect skating conditions no matter what the temperature. With this gift on a Monday, a mid-day park session was in order.

1 minute video edit from the session:

There are a few shots of my old, decrepit self in here but most of these clips are of my friend and local ripper, Ethan. Ethan is one of those guys driven by skating for the pure love of it. He doesn't follow the pros, read the mags or really care anything about that entire scene. He knows it's all about fun. I've seen that attitude take his skating to new levels over the past year.

I ran into Ethan at Beech Acres skate park almost exactly one year ago to the day. We'd skate the mini-ramp for hours while the park was empty. As we got to know each other he revealed, "Man, I can't even frontside carve, kick-turn or anything." Yet, his backside skating was decent. With his passion it was clear that his skating was going to take off. One year later and he's doing flip tricks on transition!

Is this story/video proof of so many things that are rarely recognized in the general public about skateboarding;

a) it's ability to drive us to higher levels mentally and physically
b) it's ability to help us overcome our fears and recognize our limitations
c) it's ability to foster our own creativity
d) it's ability to connect us in a unique way with nature and our own surroundings

The list could be endless but in the end it's all about fun. That's the beauty of it all.

Beech Acres Skate Park Edit - Xavier Rudd - Yirra-Kurl from David Faul on Vimeo.

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