Last week, I got a one-on-one interview with Travis Rice in LA, on the day of the premiere of his latest film "The Fourth Phase." I hesitate to call this a "snowboard" film because it's so much more. Rice and crew studied, followed, and rode the hydrological cycle of the North Pacific for four years. It's not just an action sports film - it documents the place where riding, science, and philosophy all meet. And there's so much more than that.
This film is excellent.
In addition to being a snowboard pioneer, Travis Rice is a very bright dude.
Last Saint Patrick's Day, I set sail with a few thousand punk rock misfits and Irish hooligans aboard the Salty Dog Cruise - Flogging Molly's annual voyage out of Miami to the Bahamas with an amazing lineup. Three straight days of seeing Rancid in a small venue and floating around on rafts in the Caribbean with Fishbone watching Flogging Molly, plus hanging with Frank Turner, Christopher Ellis, and The Street Dogs.
"The ship’s stewards—tall, distinguished Norse men in pressed white sailing suits— began to cajole the masses. They herded mohawks and green fedoras, pin-up girls and skinheads, chubby weirdos in Speedos, and miles of tattooed limbs, all while maintaining a smile. Once assembled, the spike-belted mob broke out in soccer chants and squirt gun fights, calmly quelled by the stewards until 2,000 people simultaneously learned how to put on a life vest.
Somehow we got through the drill. When the leather jackets, pirate wenches, checkered Vans, and half of Boston were all back on the pool deck, the cruise director welcomed everyone to the Sail Away Party. Then, as Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sky cruised past the southern point of Key Biscayne, Frank Turner commandeered the mic.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the English punk folk singer declared, “We are on a fucking boat!” The assembled misfits raised their glasses with a roar like the sea."
23 years of seeing Fishbone, seeing them on a beach in the Bahamas was jus surreal. Frank Turner is literally the least pretentious musician I have ever met. And I pretty much avoided the pool since there was free booze 24/7 and no one ever seemed to go to the restrooms.
We are actually on the front page of Inked today. The article features some really amazing images of the crew of characters by Rich Johnson and Caleb Morgan of Spectacle Photo. Huge thanks to Flogging Molly and CA Management for getting me on the boat and Inked for running such a great piece.
I have traveled all over the Caribbean and Central America (mostly like a dirtbag) but I had never been to the Dominican Republic. In June, I finally had the opportunity to visit this country for GrindTV This was more of an overall adventure mission mixed with some serious culinary experience than a surf trip, but still a really amazing journey. In the same day we were racing ATVs though the outback and then watching the sunset from the new Gansevoort Playa Imbert with a good time crew. And frankly, if I'm getting two sessions a day on a trip, I'll take go with the fantastic food voyage.
"Sometimes, it’s cool to check out new digs. This has never been a priority of mine, and as a result, I have spent nights in fishing-net hammocks, sketchy hostels, the pavement of Central American border crossing, airport floors, a puddle under a van and even the Tenderloin district in SF (well before the first fixed gears rolled through). But today was about both ends of the spectrum. This morning, we checked into the Casa Colonia, the only boutique hotel in the Playa Dorado region.
The place has been here for 11 years, which is apparently the perfect amount of time for the bamboo to grow around the 50 suites, two restaurants and the Bagua Spa, because the landscaping is phenomenal."
You can read the entire trip log via these links. Day 7 has a quick GoPro edit.
In addition to his journalism work, Jon has directed, hosted, co-directed, produced and scripted several video and film projects. His most recent is "Just Beneath the Surface," a series of mini documentaries on the Long Beach Island region.
Just Beneath The Surface Episode was directed and produced by Jon Coen, working with Oak Leaf Media. It examines two hyperlocal food sources on LBI - blue claw crabs and Jersey tomatoes and find out what it is about Southern Ocean County that inspires local artists. But it's more about the characters as we meet Richie the Crabber, Tomato Jay, Bunkerfish and Cathleen Engelsen.
RED BULL SURF AND RESCUE 2015
The Red Bull Surf and Rescue mini doc was co-directed by Jon Coen for Red Bull. In 2015, Red Bull highlighted the storied history of lifesaving in New Jersey by inviting every patrol in the state to the biggest, most unique lifeguard competition ever in the state. The film relied on Coen's network and knowledge of the New Jersey Shore.
East Coast Rising "A Surfer's Tale of Hurricane Sandy" from Transition Productions on Vimeo.
East Coast Rising by Transition Media was just one of many films made in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. This shows how New Jersey and New York surfers worked with Waves 4 Water to respond to the crisis caused by this historic event. Coen was interviewed on Long Beach Island during the clean up effort.
RED BULL PRESENTS INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN FALLON AT THE PRESS ROOM
After years of working with Brian Fallon and the Gaslight Anthem Coen was given the opportunity to talk with Brian Fallon in a recorded interview with a live audience at The Press Room in Asbury Park. This turned out to be a pretty interesting interview, as Fallon took the conversation into hilarity.
Clam Jam from Mangrove Media on Vimeo.
Ben Kalina of Mangrove Media released "Shored Up" in 2012 on beach erosion and replenishment. It not only was accepted to several film festivals, but really got the dialogue going about better beach fill projects. Coen was interviewed several times throughout the filming of this documentary.
When we first started surfing and skating the Casino Skate Park in Asbury Park in the 90s, it was a different kind of town. And when we saw the "Dogtown and Z-Boys" doc a few years later and got the full history of Venice Beach, we used to say Asbury was the East Coast's Dogtown. And just like Venice, it was the creatives, the skaters, musicians, tattoo artists, and surfers who were the first to have a stake in rebuilding Asbury.
For the last few years, a couple buds in that area, especially my good friend/skate legend/writer/and Bloody Mary connoisseur, Derek Rinaldi have been pushing to get a legitimate skate park in Asbury. For as weird (or as uncharacteristically normal) as everything is getting up in the city but he sea, this is an awesome movement. The park has been approved by the city council, but now there are the new hurdles of awareness, location, and funds. On July 23, The Asbury Park Skateboard Foundation will host a free screening of "Made In Venice," which isn't even out yet, thanks to the Asbury Park Film Initiative - a fitting film considering the two city's common stories on opposite coasts. And NJ native, Mike Valelly will be there as part of the Street Plant "Open Hearted" tour. This is all super cool.
And I hope to someday head up to Asbury to roll around the new park with my kid.
It's been 25 years since Jane's Addiction dropped Ritual de lo Habitual and then headlined Lollapalooza. The celebrate the silver anniversary this Friday at the Stone Pony with Dinosaur Jr. and Minus the Bear.
Admittedly, I am really more into Dinosaur Jr and have seen them in Baltimore, New Jersey, Colorado, New York, and Boston. I've listened to Jane's for as long but have never caught them live, but very aware of the influence they had on the counterculture of the early 90s. So, I am pretty stoked to see what they bring to Asbury this Saturday night.
I had the opportunity to interview Perry Farrell for this Jane's/ Dinosaur Jr. preview in The Aquarian Weekly and we talked about the importance of the live show, his love of parametric architecture, and women ingesting drugs off a certain male organ (although that last part didn't make the story.)
“I was down on the technology, but then I adjusted to it really fast,” admits Jane’s riveting frontman, Perry Farrell. “I realized that people were going to get music online for free and I just made my trade the live performance. It used to be that the recording was everything, but now it’s more important to be a great live player. When we started out, you played shows for five years before you ever recorded anything, so you learned to play for a crowd. Today things happen so quickly. Bands appear, get big, and then disappear. They don’t get a chance to do what we did. We lived it and breathed it.”
This is a day I have really been anticipating. I am very excited to release Episode One of "Just Beneath the Surface," the mini-documentary focusing on the Long Beach Island Region. I worked with the extremely talented Oak Leaf Media Of course, everyone likes to come here for the beach and ice cream, but the idea was to tell the stories of the people, passions and culture that make this place what it is. We tried to show what is literally just beneath what you see on the surface - two hyperlocal food sources on LBI in blue claw crabs and Jersey tomatoes, and find out what it is about Southern Ocean County that inspires local artists. Meet Richie the Crabber, Tomato Jay, Bunkerfish and Cathleen Engelsen. We are currently planning a whole season of episodes and all the social interactions, shares, and likes will help. #beachcultureredefined
Harvey Cedars has long held a special place in my heart. As a kid, it represented independence, getting away from the beach my family went to and discovering waves were bigger and broke harder. This is a Harvey Cedars retrospective for The Beachcomber's history issue that came out earlier this summer with some great insight from Kim Leary, Eric Pirie, and Bob Selfridge, who all grew up in HC. Also, this really came together because of fantastic photos by Chris Pfeil.
This is not my work, but definitely worth posting. The legendary hardcore band Bane played Philly for the last time on May 6 and May 7 of this year. They have been a shining light of positivity and inspiration in the hardcore scene, a band you can pop in to get you through the hardest of times. My bud, photographer Ryan Johnson and I got to see the May 6 show at the First Unitarian Church in Philly. This is the amazing video by the good folks at Hate5six.com. 500 people, no one on their phones, no barriers, PMA, living in the moment, and one couple got engaged.
These are photos taken by Ryan Johnson. Bane has since played their final shows ever in Worcester. -"Never been much good at saying goodbye."
In 2013, I covered The Race of Gentlemen a throwback vintage motorcycle and hot rod race on the beaches of Wildwood by the Oilers Car Club for Inked Magazine. Well, Mel Stultz and his closest group of maniacs has taken their show to the next level, racing around tundras on vintage motorcycles as The Frozen Few and I caught up with him to write about this band of ice hellions. You can check it out "Ice Road Bikers" at InkedMag.com or in issue 75.