Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Ode To Skating

skating, slamming, progression, style, ageless friendship.
Passion for rolling on wood attached to wheels, going fast,
power sliding, chirping, clipping, BOWLS, speed train carves -
Knowing your true dirty self through skating.

Some OLD lady looked me dead in the eye after a fly-out and
said, "It looks like magic." I replied back back to her, "It feels like
magic." She looked back with dark, sad eyes and asked, "It does?"

Skating is an ethereal gift to those on the sidelines - never
underestimate the power of what it can do in your own life.

Milk life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Something for the skaters and musicians -

Two new videos to share. The first is another skating compilation from the last few weeks on the east side. Lots of footage from the Beech and a fun session at the garage mini ramp. Skating continues to be the driving force in my life that pushes me to create, challenge fear, take hits, progress and simply have fun.

The second video is a solo guitar performance I recorded today. It's a Doc Watson arrangement of an old tune from the 1900s called Warm and Windy. This style of guitar is called Travis-style thumbpicking made famous by Merle Travis. In this style the guitar gives the effect of two instruments, a bass and a guitar playing together. The thumb holds the bass line with the other fingers playing the melody. The secret to this method is syncopation. It's no different than what the great ragtime pianists like Scott Joplin were doing. It's an amazing thing to play on guitar and extremely rewarding. I gravitated to this style when I was younger after realizing the limitations of strumming or playing single note lines. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Terminal Union Update

My music project is rolling. Ian and I have gone quite a ways in 7 months. We've worked on finishing 13 original songs and have another 25 roots, alt-country, americana classics down cold. This project is turning into everything I was hoping when Ian and I first got together. We wanted to create something that was focused 100% on the music and creating. We moved away from the idea of catering to a bar crowd and instead focused on writing our own material and seeking out the places in Cincinnati that embraced it. So far it's working well. We booked our first Artist in Residency at Southgate House starting in October. We'll be playing every Wednesday night and inviting local artists to share the stage. We hope to see you there.

Here's some recent videos. The first is a new, original song I wrote last week. Ian put harmonies on it and we are really having fun playing it. We both feel this is a perfect example of the kind of the core sound we are going for.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SKATING - Mass Montage: End of Summer 2011

Here's a massive montage from the last month or so of skating. I found that I just love sittin' back and watching skating with some tunes. No need for every clip to be a banger. It's a long one at over 10 minutes. But, if we skated together recently then there's probably a clip of you in here. This edit covers so much sick skating from skaters all over Cincinnati. Most of the footage is from the east side homies but there's shots of Louisville, Newport UndertheBridge, FLOPA and Matt Siimpson's back yard Mile High ramp.

Skating is always best when you are shredding with your homies. I'm pumped for every session and thankful to still be rolling in my geriatric state.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Devil's Toy - skating evolution

Trying to take in the enormity of the progression of skateboarding in the last 50 years. I found these two very early (~1965) skate films/shorts The Devil's Toy and Skaterdater. These are some of the first skate films ever made.

Times have changed but the spirit of skateboarding was evident in it's infancy. These kids were the early stoked-out pioneers - bombing hills barefoot with metal wheels on 2ft boards. Full on cop chases, getting booted, hassled. They had completely no idea what they were doing but they were doing it. So, skateboarding was rejected from the start yet skateboarders number in the millions today. Maybe because we're all feeling the same thing that's worth fighting for: that overwhelming feeling of joy, rush, living and freedom from simply rolling!

The Devil's Toy


Monday, August 22, 2011


Got to let my body heal up a bit after going super hard the last few weeks. Goin' hard for an older dude doesn't mean throwin' myself down rails and gettin' crazy. It just means skating hard, non-stop, few breaks, 50-50s, feebles, frontside schralps, super-stretched out layback powerslides, marathon mini sessions, bowl sessions, trains CARVES!!!!! I can't be one of these totally chilled out rip masters who shred some mind-blowing flip trick then sit down for 15 minutes and start complaining that their K-Slims aren't tight enough. Old dudes know that you have to get it when you can - When you have a chance to skate, you have to. Unless your body won't let you.

Lately for me it's just back pain that forces me to take time off of skating. Taking time off is OK - it's good for your body and your mind. Let's you see things differently, helps you appreciate the times you are rolling and helps you think about your own longevity in skating. Will any of us be lucky enough to f/s grab carve the deep end when we are in our 60s? We really don't know yet. That's how young skating is. I think it's possible that we will see a fast growing group of older skaters reaching their 50s and 60s who are still stoked as ever and skating at advanced levels. Guys like Tony Alva at ~55 is doin' it hard still. I'm still ten years away from 50 but find myself consumed at times with skating longevity. I don't want to stop rolling. No skater does. But that's the beauty of life and skating in general. We are all only rollin' a short while so you got to get it while you can. There is no destination in skating - it's all a journey.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Branson at 7 - Summer Skate Montage

Branson continues to amaze me with his hyper-sonic youth progression. I'm lucky to capture these moments in time.

In the end it's 100% about fun, progression, fears, creativity, friendships, pain, failure, success, adventure.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Newport's Skate Park

Check out what's going on under the 471 bridge in Newport, KY. This is a 100% DIY skate park being built by the locals from Newport. They are making amazing progress. Check out their photo journal and blog here:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweet Sunshine: An Amazing Photographer in the Making

Got to skate with the Fickle guys a few days ago. We hit the garage mini-ramp then headed down to Newport to skate under the bridge. These guys go so hard and skate on a different level. And Aaron, known as Sunshine, has been taking off with his photography. Check out his shots from our session under_the_bridge in Newport:

Click Here for all HI-RES 471 Bridge Session Photos

Branson performing a quick risk analysis under the bridge.

Matt Simpson: Hard-core father and working man.

Here's a quick vid clip of some fun on the garage mini. Branson tryin' to show off to the Fickle guys his new BS Disaster he's been landing. Sick!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Have Another Round (Courtesy of CPD) Covered in CityBeat

Mike Breen, long-time music editor of CityBeat, wrote another article about the Bones tragedy. This time he was kind enough to cover the work we did on our new song Have Another Round (courtesy of the CPD). In the article Mike talks about how musicians are coming together in order to keep Bones' cause front and center in the news.

Some good news along those lines: Just today the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a big article regarding past conduct of the officer who shot Bones. You can read it here:

Link to Cincinnati Enquirer Article

Link to Mike Breen's CityBeat Article

Here's an excerpt from Mike Breen's article regarding Have Another Round (Courtesy of the CPD):

"The recently formed Roots/Americana/AltCountry duo Terminal Union has recorded a song inspired by Bones and the sketchy circumstances surrounding the shooting. Members David Faul and Ian Mathieu weren’t best buddies with Bones, but the levity of the situation — and literal proximity to it — moved them to construct the song. With melancholic harmonica, percolating banjo and rich, expressive vocals, “Have Another Round” is an excellent, pure expression of the sadness, confusion and outrage that followed Bones way-too-early passing.

While Faul had never met Bones, Mathieu (a local music vet who recently relocated back to Cincinnati after some time in Nashville) had seen him perform when he was in bands during the ’90s and had a few drinks with him in the weeks leading up to his death. Mathieu was also living in Northside within a couple hundred feet of where the shooting occurred in early April. Faul says Mathieu woke up amidst the early morning commotion and looked down as paramedics drove up, checked the body and left in less than a minute.

Mathieu knew someone had died and the next morning he saw the reports that it was a police shooting. Faul says between that and the media retrospectives about the 10th anniversary of the police shooting of Timothy Thomas that sparked widespread unrest in Cincinnati had pushed Mathieu to begin writing a verse for a song. For more material and perspective, Mathieu attended the initial police press conference about the shooting. That’s when he found out it was Bones who had been killed.

“He was very put off that it just seemed like another day at the office for everyone attending the press conference,” Faul says. “This is what really got (Ian) worked up and inspired him that this was a song he needed to finish.”

Give “Have Another Round” a listen below and on Terminal Union’s ReverbNation page"

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Video: Live Performance at Stanley's

Ian and I have a gig at Stanley's pub on Thursday, June 2nd. We wanted to get out a little bit before our first performance so we headed to Stanley's last night for their weekly open mic. A guy we meet named Brenton was cool enough to film and post a video of us at our first performance. Thanks, Dude! We have plenty of kinks to work out but overall it felt great. This is a version of Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

David "Bones" Hebert Tribute

Ian was living in a house in Northside just 200 feet from where David "Bones" Hebert was shot by the CPD. A few days later we wrote and recorded this song in his honor:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fisheye Lens Test for iPhone4: Short Skate Montage

These small fisheye lenses for iphone and other mobile devices are really nice. For $25 you get a good effect. It makes things so easy to capture on the fly. It doesn't really replace the real deal but for small timers this is a good find and well worth it.

Skaters: Branson, Nick, Jace

Music: Town Mountain covering Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Louisville, KY Skate Trip

I just spent three days with James and Roy skating an amazing park. The Louisville Extreme park is well worth the hour or so drive. It's definitely crazy crowded on the weekend nights but we had plenty of time to ourselves during the day. Get down there and skate it. Louisville skate scene has a great vibe and some serious rippers (unfortunately not really seen in the video below, just old dudes hanging on to scraps and going with it).

Here's Roy's montage:

Get out there and skate with your friends. Go to new places. Always hit new spots. Be respectful to local riders. Enjoy the journey.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Be Safe Out There - Heavy Slammin' -

Skateboarding is dangerous. Difficult. Not easy at all. Skateboarding hurts for everybody who tries it. You will slam many times very hard. If you are called by it you'll get up and continue the journey. Seasoned skaters speed through the streets and parks with the kind of ease and grace of a swallow. Always at ease yet always on toes. Although the ride is relaxed the navigating, computing mind never is. The instant you leave the moment is usually followed by the moment your body hits the ground. The best riders commit themselves in meditation to oneness with their boards at high speed. The best riders will still get hurt. Contrary to public opinion skateboarding is a thinking man's game with an added, sometimes heavy, twist of fate.

- Cincinnati skater Justin Gibson all zen'd out on a salad grind -
Ghetto Skateboards, FL

If skateboarding was easy everyone would be doing it. Skateboarding challenges every athletic and mental muscle in your body. Stay on your board and stay right in your head. Keep the moment forefront at all times. Remember what you are doing is a gift bestowed upon and given to very few. But, respect your limits and respect your intuition.

Please send all positive thoughts, vibes and prayers to my friend Kyle who took an incredibly heavy slam today and got a concussion and ruptured spleen. Kyle is a Vet, husband and all around generous and friendly guy. Sessions at Beech Acres are always better when he's around. Hoping he gets better soon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still...

Cash sings of Revelations - It's Alpha and Omega's kingdom come -

Amazing before and after satellite photos
Japan's Northeast Coast
8.9 magnitude Japan Earthquake, Tsunami 2011

Model-computed energy from the March 11, 2011 tsunami as visualized by the NOAA Visualization Lab

Monday, March 7, 2011

That Vintage "Nashville Sound": The Last Date by Floyd Cramer

From Wikipedia: "Floyd Cramer was one of the architects of the "Nashville Sound." He popularized the 'slip note' piano style where one note slides effortlessly into the next. This was a major departure from the percussive piano style which was popular in the late 1950s.

Cramer moved to Nashville in 1955 where the use of piano accompanists in country music was growing in popularity. By the next year he was, in his words "in day and night doing sessions." Before long, he was one of the busiest studio musicians in the industry, playing piano for stars such as Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, The Browns, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, Don Gibson, and the Everly Brothers, among others. It was Cramer's piano playing, for instance, on Presley's first national hit, "Heartbreak Hotel." However, Cramer remained strictly a session player, a virtual unknown to anyone outside the music industry.

Cramer had became well known following the release of "Last Date", a 45 rpm single in 1960. The instrumental piece exhibited a relatively new concept for piano playing known as the "slip note" style. The record went to Number two on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart, and sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple Hill Studios Live Performances -

Just me and Ian working through some material at Apple Hill Studios.
The Devil's In The Details - written by Ian Mathieu

Here is a short clip of us working on the Avett Brother's Ill With Want, from their new album, I and Love and You. If you are into alt-country, no depression style music then you have to check these talented brothers out. They were invited to share the stage with Bob Dylan at this year's Grammy awards. Doesn't get more legit than that (at least in my book).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Clark Jenkins album featuring Chris Walker: Listen!

Chris Walker was and will always be known as one of Cincinnati's most respected and beloved bass players...

He was a true musicians Musician if you know what I mean. For years Chris was one of Cincinnati's premier bass players in the local, performing and recording music scene. He played with everyone. I was always so drawn to him because he seemed to be driven entirely by music and he gave himself to that drive completely. There are few people who truly live that way. Chris sacrificed much to lead a life dedicated to music but no matter where he was playing he was always in the moment and in the song and at ease. That to me is a true musician's Musician.

Chops and style: Walker was in a league of his own.

The year of Chris' car accident I had been playing with him in a group called the Kelly Evans Trio. It was an original project fronted by a talented singer/performer. But, the group was led by Chris. When Chris called me the prior year and asked me to play B3 and keys with the group I was floored. At the time I was focused on playing out live and working on my Hammond and keys chops. It was a period where I was really trying to get my playing to the next level. Having him ask me to play in that group was an amazing confidence boost. I'll never forget that experience and the music we made. I learned so much playing with him.

One of the few live performance shots with Kelly Evans Trio/Quartet.
Stanley's Pub, 2006. Musicians: Kelly Evans, Chase Blowers, David Faul and Chris Walker

Around that same time my good friend Clark Jenkins from Big Whiskey was recording an album that Chris was playing bass on. The project was put on hold for quite some time after Chris' accident. After Chris' death last year Clark began re-work on the album that includes Chris' initial bass track recordings. It's been a really difficult project for him. I can't really imagine trying to do it myself. With help of lots of friends Clark is finishing up the album and he's just released the first six songs on his site. Please stop by and check it out.

I wanted to share one of the tracks from the album here on my site. 50 Miles is a song that Clark wrote and asked me to record Hammond B3 on back in 2007. The track features Chris' bass playing as well. For obvious reasons this song a total treasure to me. Thanks, Clark, for your work and dedication to get this album finished.

Hope you enjoy the track.

50 Miles : Clark Jenkins
musicians: CJ, Chris Walker, Joel Cotton, David Faul, Austin Spiegel, Mer Hogan, Chris Verbanic, Elton Clifton
Pre set shot before Kelly Evans Trio gig - Chase Blowers, Chris Walker, David Faul
Blue Whisp, Cincinnati
Midpoint Music Festival, 2006
...RIP Chris - you are missed by so many...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another Ollies Edit

Branson and I had another great weekend at Ollies. It seems like a joke to have to pay to skate but when it's winter in the rust belt you do what you have to do. It's been brutal all winter long around these parts. It feels like most ground surfaces have been covered with water, ice or snow since before Thanksgiving. It's hard to think that spring is right around the corner. It's really not. We're still in the thick of it. In the meantime it seems that everyone is inundating YouTube with skate edits from Ollies. The options are limited out there this time of year.

So, here's some more clips from Ollies to throw into the pile. Actually, there is some really good skating in here - from both young and old. And don't forget to watch all the way through or else you'll miss a very special performance of John Brumley on Broom.

The best part about weekends at Ollies is just hanging out with my boy, my friends and meeting new people with a love for skating. We skate, sit, bs, someone gets broke off, someone learns two new tricks, we skate nearly every inch of the park. No one takes it too seriously yet everyone works on progression - from 6 year olds to 46 year olds. It's really like nothing else.

You won't find this vibe on a golf course - And no disrespect to the golfers of the world - My Grandpa, Branson Faul, my son's namesake, passed away on the 18th hole of Lunken's golf course in 1976 after a beautiful drive. He actually spoke of his love for golf and wanting to "go while playing" someday. That's the kind of passion that seems to have always guided my life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ollies Weekend Edit - January 2011

It's been a year since I've had this blog up and running. It's been a year more full of skateboarding than I could have ever imagined. Branson is really taking off on his board. Less than one year ago he couldn't even drop in. Now he's working on his first blunt fakies. Also, big things going down in Cincinnati with Fickle Boards and new announcements coming soon. In the meantime enjoy this quick edit from last weekend at Ollies. Skaters: Branson, Brennen, Wes, Ethan, Sean, Matt.

Skating and life in general is a gift. Make the most out of the ride. The times I share on my board with Branson and my friends are truly some of my most memorable.

Here's what's going on...Please check here before calling ;)