In early 2014 I was invited by my buds at Jetty to get on a Nicaragua trip to gather marketing content for the coming year. It was non stop laughs the whole time. I also got to spend some real time with team rider, Tim Daley of Brigantine.
Eastern Surf Magazine included Daley in this year's Who Da Guy Issue, #168, August, 2015. I really appreciate surfers like Daley who know a thing or two about hard work in the real world.
"You know that ace on the surf trip? He’s not a pro, but he rips. He’s the good-looking one, but you never catch him in the mirror. He’s got a six-pack and sculpted pecs, but you don’t see him exercising. When the surf is firing, he puts himself into the slot of the day. And when it’s shithouse, he somehow finds the speed in mushy lines to crush crumbly lips. He gets friendly with the boat driver and somehow manages to nab a Spanish mackerel on the way back in. He never gets sunburned or spends a night barfing/shitting out some third world bacteria. Between his grasp of the language and natural disposition, he hits it off with the local ladies or some Euro backpackers. He knows exactly what to order at the bar in any country, but always holds his drink. And by the end of the night, he’s teaching a local Bad Religion chords on guitar, entertaining everyone in the room.
You want to hate him and his mustache, but in this case, you have to love him.
That guy is Brigantine’s Tim Daley."
I have always loved writing about food. This recent feature that appears in the Food and Drink Issue of the Beachcomber, edited by my friend Victoria Ford, (out now) was particularly fun.
"In the mid 2000’s, they became all the culinary rage with celebrity chefs, foodies and bloggers gushing about them. They could be found up and down the Jersey Shore. It only took another decade for them to reach LBI… sometimes we’re a little slow to catch on."
Joe Sib is the co-founder of Side One Dummy Records, the guys who have put out record by 7 Seconds, the Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Casualties, and Title Fight, and are still releasing amazing work from Pup, Restorations, and Chuck Ragan.
Sib is still running the day to day ops at Side One Dummy, but in addition to the day job, he's got a little stand up comedy career. A lot of his material is based on his experiences in the punk scene. Some folks in independent culture take themselves too seriously, so he's really refreshing. Of course, our conversations were funny as hell and we both had stories of being grown men and saving important emails from Ian MacKaye. Read the full profile I wrote for Huck Magazine.
For the last 18 years of my life, few things have influenced me as much as Hot Water Music and the solo folk career of Chuck Ragan I've been fortunate enough to hang out with him on several occasions and also interview him. The most recent was before a Red Bull Sound Select Show in New Brunswick last fall with Cory Branan, Jared Hart of the Scandals, and Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids.
We put away a massive amount of sushi while we talked about punk, travel, fishing, and Chuck's past. When this guy tells stories about angling excursions while on tour and bringing fresh catch into a restaurant in a random city and asking them to cook it, it's priceless. He also relayed a chapter of this youth that I had never heard. He took incarceration in a juvenile detention center and turned it into something inspiring and positive.
We walked back to the Court Tavern and Chuck proceeded to blow our minds until the early hours. I reconnected with Chuck and his entire band, The Camaraderie, in Atlantic City in early December where my friend Bryan Derballa took some amazing portrait shots.
Busy, busy times here on LBI. We're fighting to get those early mornings and evenings on the beach these days with heavy work schedules - impending projects, Liquid Lines columns, photo shoots, feature articles and everything else that comes with the summer workload.
But we had to take a few minutes this week to celebrate the releases of the Beachcomber. I again wrote and edited the Beachcomber watersports issue.
Apparently, it resonated. My editor, Nick McGregor felt that it exposed a few truths about the game and some of the players. Plus, I got texts from a few of New Jersey's pro surfers saying it hit the nail on the head. At the very least, it gave respect to some guys and girls who have been putting in their time and producing some great imagery.
There are also some epic shots accompanying it.
One of the coolest parts of my job is that I get to interview some serious badasses. This was particularly fun because Freestyle Motocross pioneer Ronnie Faisst is originally from South Jersey.
I actually met Faisst back in 2006 while covering a winter X Games. It was my first and only experience covering moto - intense dudes, backflips on ice, and the Godfather of the sport trashed the competitors tent and told everyone to go fuck off. And when it was all said and done, this solid guy from New Jersey took the bronze metal. They pulled freestyle moto from Winter X a few years later because it was just psychotic.
So this time I got to chat with Faisst about coming up, shaping the sport, staying at the top of his game for two decades, his new career in off-road truck racing, and of course, tattoos.
“I was like 14 and got tattooed by this biker guy in my town in South Jersey. His name was Al—long hair, big burly beard. He basically just did flash off the wall, typical biker tattoos,” laughs Faisst, “No shading, straight outline… real basic. He used to tattoo at the 4-H Fair in my town out of a little ghetto trailer.”
It’s been about seven years that I have been contributing to Huck Magazine. From a feature on gender identity and sexism in punk music to the Superstorm Sandy rebuilding efforts, an interview with a photographer from the 1961 Beatnik riot, to wooden surfboards and snowboards, I have always enjoyed the subjects I get to cover.
Huck recently released Paddle Against the Flow a creative bible that “features lessons on life – original artwork and words of wisdom – from inspiring individuals previously featured in the magazine, who we love and admire. It's a celebration of independence, freethinking, creativity and collaboration.”
For the book they selected quotes from my interviews with influential street artist, Shep Fairey and Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman, Ian McKay. Needless to say, both of these guys were pretty inspirational to me. It also features tidbits from Mark Gonzales, the Beastie Boys, Spike Jonze, Kim Gordon, Judd Apatow, and many others. The book is available through Huck, Amazon and you can find it now in Urban Outfitters too.
Ok, so maybe this is an excuse to post the new Tim Barry video for "The James" that Archie and I watch now every night when I put him to bed.
But I was fortunate enough to review the whole album, Lost and Rootless on Chunksaah Records, for Eastern Surf Mag. Of course, Barry's former band AVAIL still influences me every day, but I've now reviewed three of his solo records going back ten years and done a full interview for ESM's "On the Record." Personal and stripped down, this one is another keeper.
Today was a great opportunity to watch democracy in action. A dedicated group of people from coastal communities went to tell Chris Christie to "Finish the Job," of helping them get home 26 months after Superstorm Sandy uprooted their lives. Before the State of the State Address, they banded with other activists to get the word out to the national media that New Jersey has some more work to do. I got to write about and shoot the event today for The SandPaper which is running the story as breaking news. (Yes, I was next to CNN's Dana Bash with a GoPro...)