Music Appreciation: Multi-Lingual Soundtracks

[spotify id="spotify:user:124752056:playlist:51v0vRmZ6n7XWNwgk0my1A" width="300" height="380" /]

click "play", then begin reading

I was watching the Helas Mixtape one day, thinking about Lucas' career, doing some exploratory analysis, and my research led me to a place I didn't expect to go. I was in (quite literally) foreign territory. It seems like we've had a resurgence, although I'm hesitant to call it that in fear of the "don't call it a comeback" retort, but after watching the Magenta Capsule (Jimmy Lannon SOTY), and the Helas edit, I couldn't help but think about songs with non-English lyrics.

Look - I realize that it may seem like I have some sort of English-superiority complex, but I think we all really need to just look at this objectively and agree, first and foremost, that the vast majority of skate soundtracks are to songs with English lyrics. Disagree? Well I just did a tally of every single song on skatevideosite, and it's 87.289%* English-lyric songs, so suck it.

With that said, I would like to explore, or recollect, some of the videos, bands, and skateboarders responsible for giving the skate world exposure to languages outside of the customary American dialect.

*fabricated statistic

Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song Round 2

rodney daewon

Yes, there is a VHS review coming soon, don't worry. IN THE MEANTIME, however, we need to take a moment and discuss the music supervision** in this video. Reckless would be a great understatement, and would do a disservice to whoever was at the helm. Grabbing tracks from the Matrix soundtrack, taking in French rap, Flamenco, Rockwell, Techno, Eric Sermon, and the list goes on. This eclectic soundtrack has a little something for everybody. I actually really like this soundtrack. I know. Fucked up.

JB. The fact that people go uncorrected when they pronounce his last name as though it rhymes with 'skillet' is further proof that the skate community needs to tighten up on its' "who fuckin' cares" attitude. Anyway, I absolutely fell in love with JB's part to some French rap. Couldn't tell you one word that the guy was saying, but I had this shit memorized. If the internet had come around just a bit sooner I probably would've sought out more French rap, and probably could've pursued a career in the music industry. Oh well, c'est la vie. ;)

Enrique's song was easily my favorite in the video. Damnit, you have no idea how badly I wanted to download this song, or go buy the album at Strawberry's or whatever. As I'm writing this I'm wondering why the American music industry was so exclusive 10-15 years ago. Maybe skateboarding is truly the link to cultural diversity (awww). Either that or, as we all know, skateboarders just have the best taste in music, right? Anyhow, Enrique seems to have some control over what he skates to, whether it's 15 years ago, or in a recent bones edit. I would say he's the most underrated dude of all time, but are you still underrated when everybody picks you as the most underrated? Or does everybody just wanna keep you as their own little secret. Think about it brah.

Javier Sarmiento/ Rodrigo TX


Speaking of the perpetually slept on...which eS contract shoe did you buy?

I could specifically talk about The Firm - Can't Stop, but if I were to do that, I'd also have to bring up Bob Burnquist skating to a song written by Ray Barbee about Bob. So, instead, I'll talk about these two guys. I actually don't like the photo above because it makes me really nervous. The amount of talent on that bench is too much for me to handle, and heaven forbid there be some sort of strange accident that happens in that location, I'm not sure that skateboarding would survive. Rodrigo and Javier skate to great songs every single time, but their choices in Can't Stop are particularly noteworthy. I know you're all waiting for me to say it, so this is your cue to click play on Ja Sei Namorar. Crowd favorite. Instant classic. Javier to Dame Veneno is great, but sorry, it gets smoked by Rodrigo.

Diego Bucchieri


I just want to squeeze this one right here in the middle because I just remember this part distinctly sticking out in Good & Evil, and how absolutely absurd I felt the song was. Until I couldn't stop listening to it. Spanish Metal. I couldn't believe it. Also - Diego is a boss.

Gipsy Kings

gipsy kings

If there is one band that is single-handedly responsible for introducing the skate world to flamenco/salsa style music, it is the Gipsy Kings. You might remember them from Adrian Lopez' part in Dying to Live, or perhaps that scene from Big Lebowski, I Fernandez/Chico's part in Pretty Sweet. If you don't remember these parts, and somehow haven't heard anything by the Gipsy Kings, well, that's kind of sick because you get to experience it for the first time today, like a newborn sucking in it's first warm drop of milk from it's mothers teet. Except in this case it's my teet you're suckling, and it's the sweet milk of great music that you'll be forever indebted to me for showing you.

But speaking of Chico. 


Chico Chico Chico, only you could pull off a 59 second part. I just want to take a moment to go out on a tangent and talk about his Tommy Hilfiger long sleeve at 0:14. Need that.

Chico's music selection has been impeccable. I mean, the guy skated to Bill Withers. If I were to rate his song selection on a scale of 1-10, I wouldn't because life isn't about ratings, it's about...well... I don't know where I'm going with this I'd probably give it like a 9.

Cliche - Bon Voyage


This brings us back to our hero, Lucas. What does he skate to? You guessed it, you know it, heedless French Rap. Lucas shows his longevity and whether knowingly or not, pays tribute to his roots by throwing it back to what Gillet was doing 15 years prior. Damn this part is insane. I promised myself I wouldn't talk about skating and would focus on the music, but. 

Tom Penny, Mini-Ramp


Oh, you thought the article was over? Not yet, little Johnny. Quite possibly the most well-known mini-ramp section of the 2000's, the introduction to Tom Penny's long awaited part in Sorry pretty much floored anybody watching. People weren't sure what to expect, it had been years since he had released a full part (remember - his part in Menikmati was mainly old footage). When this intro happened, everybody wanted to move to France and build a miniramp in a barn. Everybody. The song is the perfect fit, and crushes hearts when coupled with Tom's alleyoop frontside ollie spanning the width of the ramp. *hits repeat on part*. Classic Tom.


Music Appreciation: Brad Cromer


Brad Cromer was the first person who came to mind when I thought about creating this column. Historically speaking this guy nails it every time, and not to mention he’s one of the best dudes riding a skateboard today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a part of his that 1.) I didn’t like, and 2.) was edited to a bad song. Let’s really think about it.


Skate FL 2: Before The Black Keys were cool, then played-out, then uncool again, Brad skated to a track from their debut album in 2008’s Skate FL 2. I’m gonna go out there and say it that this was the first Black Keys song I had ever heard. “Brooklyn Bound” is really unlike any of their shit that has come out in the past 4 years, and happens to work really well with Brad’s skating. Then in a twist of fate just crazy enough that it might work, Brad’s second song comes on and it’s fucking Radiohead. It seems almost impossible to pull off Radiohead nowadays after what Dill did so long ago, much like how Pulp’s catalogue has remained virtually untouched since PJ used “Like a Friend”. The skate gods were smiling on Brad when editing time came along however, resulting in an awfully pretty two-song part. Great Job.


Welcome to Krooked: This Must Be The Place. This must be the crown friggen jewel of skate songs. Holy  Jesus. If I were Billboard I’d create a Top 1 Most Beautiful Songs Ever Written list just for this song. I’m not quite sure how this one slipped through the cracks, but I sure am glad Brad got to skate to it. And it was all so perfectly timed. Wanna make the best first impression as the new dude on Krooked? Skate to the most tasteful song imaginable. God damn they just don’t make em’like this anymore.


Krooked Naughty: Showcasing once again that he was ahead of the curve, Brad’s part in Krooked’s VHS-themed Naughty was set to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. I went into this entry thinking I would try to explain why I back his use of Ariel Pink, but I figured for once in my life I’d stick up for myself and just say it: I like Ariel Pink’s music. Especially here, Ariel’s lo-fi vibe completely matched the skating. Watching this part in 2014 is almost like watching a really good, Oscar worthy iPhone edit…I think that’s a compliment? Either way, Brad nails it on the board and Ariel nails it on whatever assortment of tape cassettes and instruments he used to record that song.


Shred Shed 2/Lo-Fi/Brad Cromer Turns Pro: The kid likes Shoe Gaze, so what? Though inaccessible at times, here we’ve got three examples of justice being served to noise rock. “Just Like Honey” is the real showstopper of the bunch, but altogether not a moment goes by during these parts where I’m bummed. The evidence is piling up.


Shape Deuce: If you’re looking for a healthy dosage of psychadelia and skateboarding, look no further than Cromer’s Shape Deuce part. Edited to TWO (as if one wasn't enough to melt your brain) Frank Zappa songs that basically fuze together at one point, this part transports you into the body of a drunk, stoned, and talented skateboarder with nothing to lose. It all happens so fast, and before you know it your boy is making boardslides on ledges cool again. Given the endless party vibe that was Shape Deuce, Cromer and Zappa fit together like two peas in a pod...or two tabs of acid and a 12 pack of Milwaukee's Best.


Holy Cow: Alright Brad, how many parts you gonna pump out here? I could easily just look through what I’ve written so far and give you the actual number, but I’m gonna say we’re at at least 27 parts by now. All of em’ have had good songs, yada yada yada. Here we’ve got a sort of forgotten part, put out at a time where splicing in 80’s movie clips during the intro was still becoming a thing. Cue the soundtrack though and boom we’ve got a Cure song you’ve probably never heard of before. The fucked up thing is that it actually works.

He can’t be stopped. Or can he? OK. I’ll admit, I did some research and it turns out Brad skated to a Nickelback song one time a little ways back. Idunno man, sort of backing that too though. Sometimes when life hands you lemons you’ve gotta just say fuck lemons and bail. I think that’s probably where Brad’s head was at when he put that part out. Look where he is now.

*UPDATE* - The missed pun opportunity up there can't be ignored. He skated to a Nickelback song. I should have written that I NICKELBACKED it. I'm sorry guys, it will never happen again.


Music Appreciation


If there were a pyramid chart for what makes skateboarding videos “good”, soundtrack would be damn near the top of the line. Let’s be honest here: when skateboarding is edited to bad music it holds zero replay value. The amount of Straight-To-Thrasher Friday (and even Thursday now) video parts I’ve been seeing lately, edited almost exclusively to ‘ignant’ rap has become completely overwhelming. I know the whole “internet ruined skateboarding” argument has become a tired topic, but the more chief keef songs I see people willingly edit their video parts to, the less faith I have in the future of skateboarding or by extension, humanity. Alas, there is still hope. In order to remind folks that there were and still are a bunch of people who appreciate music as an essential piece to the editing process, I’m launching a new column here called, well...Music Appreciation. Yeah, that's the name and we're sticking to it.

We’ll talk about some of the best songs to ever be used in skateboarding. Some examples will be obvious. Others will focus on the appropriateness of the match between song and skateboarder. Intros, credits, slams, transitions, friends sections, all of those things will be included. No one is safe. But this is all a good thing. Let’s give these skateboarders and editors the credit they deserve. Maybe (just maybe), in doing so we can help eliminate trap music from FCP timelines everywhere. This is war.