Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jeff Kendall #3.

One of the great things about the Santa Cruz videos back in the 1980s and early 1990s was the music in them. Growing up in a small town in the pre-internet days, you certainly weren't on the cutting edge of what important things were going on in the world of underground music. It was something that you weren't even positive existed.

The Santa Cruz video soundtracks were filled with bands on SST Records. This would have been one of the first places I ever heard Black Flag, The Descendents, fIREHOSE, Minutemen, Dinosaur Jr., and Sonic Youth. Unlike the Powell Peralta and H-Street productions, you could actually find the music of these bands at the local record store. Of course you usually had to special order them, which was a bit of gamble in case you picked the wrong tape that didn't have any songs from the video.

I remember pondering over the cassette of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation at Record Giant and wondering if I should buy it. I didn't. It was expensive and the cassette holder covered the song listing so I couldn't tell if "Catholic Block" or "White Cross" were on it, which they weren't. So I'm a little glad I didn't buy Daydream Nation then because I would have been disappointed. I wasn't sure what I thought of Sonic Youth at the time based on the two songs that I knew. I didn't dislike them, but it didn't register instantly as something I liked. And that was probably a good thing. All of this is funny now because Sonic Youth became one of my favorite bands.

I sometimes wonder if videos today have the same influence on the music selection of the younger generation of skateboarders. Truthfully they probably do, although I don't know if that is always a good thing. It probably is no different than back when I was a kid. It sort of doesn't feel the same, which could be the perspective you gain from growing older and developing your tastes. Other than the Beach Fossils album from a couple of years ago, I can't remember the last time I checked out a band I'd never heard before solely from a skateboard video. I'm at a point now where I'd prefer a well edited part set to a song that didn't think much of over somebody skating to a band I enjoy. Although there are often bands I do like a lot used in videos these days so I guess everything evens out in the end.

Thrasher - June 1990 Volume 10 Number 6


Keith said...

haha. It drives my wife crazy when I say "I know that song from a skate video"

One of the only albums that I bought because of a skate video that actually had songs from it was Bug.

Anonymous said...

I think the vids I watched opened up the sound world for me. Whether it was The Odd Number in New Beal's 1281, The Cocteau Twins in Jeremy Klein's part in Ravers, or Olivelawn and Big Drill Car in the Plan B video. I did by Big Drill Car's album because it was used in Danny Way's part.

The 411s did the same for me once I got older. And I thought it was great that the artist, track and album title, and record label were given. The vids from the early-to-mid 2000s had some great music and I never would have listened to ambient-type music otherwise. I never purchased an album, but I streamed plenty of ambient music on itunes radio while at work.

Today, I think kids will just download the song, but not purchase the album. We didn't have that choice, unless the song was released as a cassette single. But I wonder if they have the attention span to follow through. I watch these clips on Thrasher's site and without fail, there will be someone in the comments asking what song was used? If they watch until the end, all the info is given.

--Rikku Markka

Justin said...

Keith - There's so many songs that I only like because they were in a video.

Rikku - I agree. It was great that 411 did that. I spent so much time tracking down the soundtrack to Questionable my freshmen and sophomore years of college. It all kind of came together once I figured out the song I liked was by Green Day. I got the Big Drill Car CD, too.

I realized recently that if it wasn't for skateboard videos I would have barely any knowledge of hip hop and jazz.

The kids do probably just YouTube it or download the music. I think part of the problem is that when you are younger you don't always think to wait for the credits.

I get ticked when videos don't have music credits. Girl never does and they use some obscure songs by their friends. Andy Jenkins had a few MP3s of them on Bend Press a long time ago. I think I've still got them on a Zip Disc. I still have a working drive for those ancient things at my office so I need to pull a few things off those discs while I can.