Lee Ralph documentary to get full release

The documentary on New Zealand skateboarding legend Lee Ralph‘s life has gone from web documentary to full blown release says Alex Dyer behind the lens and organisation of the project. Words with Dyer published here discuss the filming that is going down with various pro’s:

“Pretty much every story is funny and entertaining, as Lee has a way of spinning a classic almost Chopper-esque style yarn for every story. The only hard part is trying to get him to keep on a subject, or conversely to actually get to the point that he was aiming for before the memory cards run out. It’s fantastic though, most of the best stories have come from the informal nature of the questioning and the rambles that come from Lee’s encyclopaedic mind.”

We are patiently waiting but inside we are screaming to see it right now!

Keep up to speed with plans of ‘Barefoot – The Lee Ralph Story’ release here.

Youth of Yangon: Burmese skateboard documentary

James Holman is back online with a brand new documentary on skatebaording, this time featuring the skaters of Yangon living in the changing times of the former capital of Burma. Look further into their lifestyles, makeshift ramps and much more from the sovereign state in Southeast Asia here.

Skateboarding Venom Injecting Superman

As best friends go, one of mine, Steve Ludwin is not your average mate you go down the pub with, discuss the latest TV show and say goodnight. Over the 18 years we have known each other, I have seen some of the most bizarre things with reptiles I will ever see in London. Waking up on his sofa to feel one of the most poisonous snakes in the world licking your nose was just one of them. All just for the crack, of course.

Steve features in a recently filmed documentary for VICE this week and explains how injecting venom enhances his skateboarding, his personal studies in his quest to help find a cure for cancer through snake venom and much more.

Danko Jones – Bring on The Mountain

DANKO JONES
‘Bring on The Mountain DVD’

[Bad Taste]

Formed in Toronto in the mid-Nineties the Canadian trio Danko Jones have been belting out their own punked up homage to the golden years of harder than hard, hard hard rock ever since, with half a dozen albums to their name, and a solid fan base at home, and in mainland Europe.

The main feature of this expansive 2x DVD package is the rockumentary ‘Bring On The Mountain’ where mainstays, and band founders, Danko Jones (vocals/guitar) and bassist John ‘JC’ Calabrese, talk us through the bands history. Format wise, this is a pretty standard setup, as the groups members and their inner circle of crew, soundmen, producers, et al, spill the beans on the ups and downs they’ve experienced over the years. What I liked was, the DJ guys come across as really regular fellas, who primarily let their music do the talking, and whose only ‘gimmick’ as such is the bellowing self-testifying witticisms of front man Danko, a man blessed with a booming set of vocal pipes, and endless stash of one liners and tongue in cheek innuendo. Politically correct they are not, but, as we’re reminded, in the timeless words of Nigel Tufnel… “What’s wrong with bein’ sexy?”

The key message of the DJ story is they’ve gotten where they have through sheer hard work, following the dictate of AC/DC that it’s a long way to the top, if you wanna Rock’n’Roll. Danko and JC have dedicated themselves to the cause, forgoing the 9 to 5, and keeping their heads above water between tours and recording, by working low pay jobs. When it comes to releasing music, the band refuse to sign to any label that would see them relinquishing their publishing rights. A very smart decision, and one a lot of bands over the years will have regretted not doing themselves. Not all members have shared the Danko vision, and at least half a dozen drummers have fallen by the wayside, but as the 90minutes draw to a conclusion there is a positive note with the addition of former Rocket From The Crypt drummer Atom Willard, who’s also served time in The Offspring, and Angels and Airwaves. This solidified line up has been recording a brand new album, and get ready to take to the road again.

Also on Disc One, is a 20minute short film that sees the Danko boys starring in a short thriller that features a host of cameos including Lemmy, Mike Watt, Selma Blair and Elijah Wood. It’s a pretty predictable plot line, but buoyed by decent acting, hard jams, and nice cinematography. Disc Two collates all the bands videos and a stack of live performances, making it a great companion piece to all Danko Jones fans collections.

Words: Pete Craven

Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana
‘Fools And Worthless Liars – Deluxe Edition’

I have to admit, when I first heard Deaf Havana‘s material after the departure of unclean vocalist Ryan Mellor, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened. It really lacked the punk bite that their early work was full of. But eventually 2011’s ‘Fools And Worthless Liars‘ began to grow on me, and I’d happily put it up there as one of the most solid rock albums to come from the UK that year.

Via a short documentary put out in summer 2012, the band announced they would be re-releasing the album later this autumn. Rather than just doing some fancier album artwork and a couple of bonus tracks, Deaf Havana went the extra mile and re-recorded the whole thing. Ever the pessimist and never fully content, front man James Veck-Gilodi admitted he didn’t feel the album completely reflected his taste in music where as this re-release does.

All of the songs have been reworked, some slightly, others completely, making the album a totally different listen to the record that appeared first time around. Tracks that were previously acoustic are now performed as a full band and rockier numbers are now toned-down gems. Its beautiful. Lets pick a few stand out tracks to discuss…

Opener ‘The Past Six Years’ feels like its heavily influenced by Irish Rock (think Flogging Molly), and despite being a million miles away from DH records such as ‘It’s Called The Easy Life’ it gets this album off to an optimistic and quite literally stomping start. Piano and vocal track ‘Anemophobia’ is absolutely stunning. Broken down to structurally core elements, James Veck-Gilodi sounds vulnerable and desperate against the lonely notes. Its a heart wrenching performance that could connect with even the emptiest of souls. During ‘Hunstanton Pier’ the guitar tone adds nostalgia and brings the lyrical content to life, but its ‘I’m A Bore Mostly’ that epitomises why this album is a must have.

The recording process of using multiple microphones placed around an old warehouse is slightly bizarre but the effect it has on the track puts it into a different dimension. As the music reverberates through your speakers it feels as if you are there with James as he passionately performs. Even the sound of him slamming the door as he leaves the ‘studio’ is included on the track, a unique element that adds a personal touch to the piece, emphasising the emotion.

Again it has to be said, this isn’t Deaf Havana of old, but thats not a criticism. Its not their early punk/hardcore style, its not their most recent mainstream rock vibe, it’s something else. It is a showcase of the band’s (and in particular their dynamic front man’s) extraordinary talent. It is a touching album which has re-worked a commendable original into something worth treasuring.

Words: Emma Wallace

Salad Days: The Birth of Punk Rock in the Nation’s Capital

minorthreat_by_jim_saahIf we had a spare $32,000 right now, we would not hesitate to invest it into Scott Crawford’s Washington DC punk scene documentary ‘Salad Days’ that should hopefully come to fruition in 2013.

Scott, like us grew up obsessed with the DC punk scene, listening to bands such as Fugazi, Minor Threat, 3, Bad Brains and so many others that he decided to start filming with various bands, promoters and locals who were active in the scene to tell the full story of how this movement, this energy haven became so popular with youth culture and spread to the likes of us here in London.

“Salad Days: The Birth of Punk Rock in the Nation’s Capital” needs funding so if you are reading this and have a few quid tucked away then spend it on something that will educate and inspire another generation that will hopefully kickstart another music scene that means something and will be looked back on fondly just as this is.

Take in this new documentary trailer and look forward to someone out there stepping up.

Title Fight Documentary and Single

Today, Crossfire favourites Title Fight dropped latest single ‘Secret Society‘ which is from their forthcoming full-length record ‘Floral Green‘. The single can be purchased here via Side One Dummy Records and is available to stream below.

In other Title Fight news, the band recently posted the second part of their documentary (directed/edited by Alex Henery) online. The short film features the band at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA with engineer/producer Will Yip. Watch it below: