Recently, I connected with our friend Cyrus Sutton about his latest documentary focusing on food production. It's called "Island Earth," and it's really taking a look at the nature of farming in Hawaii, where the Islands have become the test lab for chemical companies. Surfline had me do a short feature on Cy's new project that ran this week. Check out Island Earth: The Movie, Examining Cyrus Sutton's new film on food production on Surfline.
“There’s an underground movement of young people who are going back to the land to grow their own food. This is in direct response to corporate corruption of our food supply and an understanding of the instability of the current way we grow and distribute food,” says the Californian, who also runs Korduroy.tv. “After months of research, I chose to focus on Hawaii as a case study on this phenomenon. Food is probably the most important cause of the environmental and social ills of today and I'm trying to communicate the complex issue of industrial agriculture through the medium I know best -- documentary.”
This is a big issue. There are still a few days to support his project via Kickstarter if you're interested in helping out. It's also been years since I have submitted to Surfline and it's good to be working with them again.
Toms River/NYC photog Danny Clinch just released his latest photo book edited by our friend Tim Donnelly entitled "Still Moving." I got to do some moving with Clinch last year when he drove me to his studio in Hell's Kitchen. On the ride, he told me the stories behind five epic music photos from his book: Eddie Vedder, Radiohead, Tupac, Springsteen, and the Foo Fighters.
Danny started with the story of meeting Pearl Jam in 1992 at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ because he knew I was there that day. I was 17. It was the first and only time I saw them live. I transcribed the stories for my Clinch piece entitled, "I Shot Tupac and Chilled with Thom Yorke" for Huck Magazine. The story ran in issue 43 of the print mag. Check it out for some great anecdotes. Congrats to Clinch and Timmy. You can find the book at DannyClinch.com.
In terms of the surfing world, especially the East Coast, this major news. Thanks to Red Bull, I took part in a swell chase mission in the Northeast with my friends Sam Hammer and Mike Gleason as well as global big wave chaser, Ian Walsh.
What it turned into was more of a gamble on a ledge, some 12 miles offshore. What we got absolutely blew our minds. I was sitting on a ski or the boat next to perhaps the most critical wave on the East Coast for two days. Men's Journal ran my piece on this pretty amazing and rare New England discovery. It was big and steep. Seeing the pros not making it look easy, I didn't even try to get one. But man, am I inspired for fall barrels.
The Bouncing Souls first played the Court Tavern in 1989 (no one remembers the exact date.) Well, the boys came back to rock New Brunswick's famously unfamous venue again last week, 25 years later, as part of Red Bull Sound Select. Opening the show was Tacocat from Seattle and then Bayonne's The Scandals, who are quickly becoming our good friends and one of my favorite bands.
“It was pretty much the same as it was now… just dirtier,” joked guitarist Pete Steinkopf. “It’s funny, I was talking to Dave Hause and this kid comes up and starts complaining that the Court Tavern isn’t what it used to be because the bathrooms don’t smell anymore.”
“I, for one, don’t miss the smell of urine,” added bassist Bryan Kienlen, “I’m just happy the Court Tavern still exists. There was always a threat of it being knocked down, taken over, or shut down.”
The Melody, Club 357, the Roxy Grill and many of the legendary New Brunswick punk houses that used to host shows are no more. But the Court lives on.
Big thanks to Red Bull for keeping a focus on good artists and Andy Diamond for bringing it all together. I'm really looking forward to the next Sound Select show when Chuck Ragan plays the Court on October 25.
Eastern Surf Magazine asked me to pen this piece on the recent controversy in Asbury Park the controversial townhome project on the North End and the developer's co-opting of surfboards to align themselves with part of the culture that has helped rebuild the city's waterfront. They also used a handful of Ann's photos. This is the full story and images.
Ann and I both have a history with this town going back over 20 years each, long before the redevelopment. We're still there for shows, events, and friends a few times a month. You can check Ann's online Asbury Gallery that has shows some of the history of the last ten years, with many of the photos taken before the revitalization.
Eastern Surf Magazine Issue 178 is out. This is the annual "Who Da Guy" issue where they profile a bunch of East Coasters you may have not heard of. This summer, they asked me to write up two of the dozen - LBI/Maui charger Ben Raimo and his tale of beating alcoholism to ride some serious Hawaiian surf and our good friend and Barbados charger, Barry Banfield of Surfing Barbados Banfield's profile shot was by Ann and the insane barrel was taken by our Bajan bud Tarik Brown.
I was super-excited to be asked to edit my own issue of the Beachcomber this summer by Curt Travers, our publisher at The SandPaper. The idea was to create more of a "magazine" style publication and let a few key writers edit their own editions. I was assigned the Watersports issue and I am really happy with the way it came out. The Production team did a nice job and thanks to Kyle Gronostajski for the cover shot, which really encapsulates the best of LBI summer.
I wrote the content, gathered some of the photos and included a list of cool Summer Apps and a Calendar. But I think my favorite was the story on the 1978 SandPaper Surf Classic. I would have been four when this event went down in Harvey Cedars, but I love the single fin era. So many similarities to what the Jetty Clam Jam is today. My bud, Jack Ryan gave me some good background and most of the photos were by Trish Craig.
"Even if you never saw Operation Ivy play at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, you’re still aware of the stories. Everyone has heard of LA’s Roxy Theatre, if only from the live Social D and Bob Marley albums recorded there.
Mabuhay Gardens, the 9:30 Club, the Brixton Academy, Fireside Bowl, the Whiskey … they’ve all become part of the greater culture of rock. And thanks to some brilliant (borderline obnoxious) merchandising, the whole world knows what CBGB’s was.
But unless you’re from Central New Jersey—or were a touring musician in the 80s—you never heard of Trenton’s City Gardens."
It's fairly amazing how one venue influenced the lives of so many people I know today.
I had only been to a few shows at City Gardens, and it wasn't until after it closed its doors when I was 19 that I realized how influential it was.
This summer, "Riot on the Dance Floor," Steve Tozzi's documentary is doing the festival circuit. It's the story of City Gardens and promoter Randy Now, bolstered by the photos of Ken Salerno. I was fortunate enough to be on location for a few of Tozzi's interviews several years ago and put together a feature for Inked Magazine on the film. I also had a story on the Lighthouse Film Fest premier in The Sandpaper.
"Riot" makes it's New Jersey premier at the Lighthouse Film Festival on June 7 (Surflight Theatre, 3:30 p.m.) and we are hosting the Salerno Art Show directly afterwards at the new Ann Coen Gallery 1418 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City.
Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Token Entry, Bad Brains, Lifetime, Endpoint, Rancid, De La Soul, Inside Out, Underdog, Fishbone, Bad Religion, The Bouncing Souls, Fugazi, Shelter, Vision, 3rd Bass, The Descendants, A Tribe Called Quest, 7 Seconds, Into Another, Mouthpiece, and so many other of our favorite bands played there. It was where Green Day, the Offspring, and Nirvana played right before blowing up to massive commercial success.
We are also extremely excited to host Salerno's first art show, "Caught in the Act." Not only did he capture countless shows and skate images for "Thrasher" at the time, but his work spans nearly five decades from shooting the burgeoning surf scene in New Jersey to Caribbean travel and the slow rebuild of Seaside Heights since Sandy. We both have a lot of common threads with Salerno. This is going to be a great weekend.