Thursday, November 7, 2013

Best Music for a Part #2: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

When you look at the number of skate videos that have used songs by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (who I will call ESTMZ for short here) on, the long list is quite stunning. But there's a reason for the madness (pun intended as Kenny Hoyle will explain) because ESTMZ simply produces great music for skate videos. Mixing qualities that make videos memorable and epic at the same time, the music makes you feel happy while watching the skating but excited too for the trick progression throughout the part.
If I remember correctly, the first time I heard ESTMZ was the heavily-used-in-skate-video song "40 Day Dream" through Addie Fridy's Mag Minute. The part came out a good 3/4 years ago I think but The Skateboard Mag re-released it this year. What caught me off guard was just how many bangers Addie kept coming out with, even in the quieter verse of the song. The slo-mo's near the end of his Mag Minute matched the hype from the good-feeling refrain and the double-take on his nutty ender goes hand-in-hand with the double-take on the final words: "Ohhh oh, I could die". (What's crazy to me is that while this part is pretty old by now, for these day's terms, it's still super gnarly. I'm surprised Addie is just now coming up on flow with Expedition.)
My second experience with "40 Day Dream" was through RVK's Younited Nations entry to the Berrics a few years back. But the defining video part for this song would be Kenny Hoyle's turning pro part in Expedition's Madness. The introduction as Rob Welsh leaves Kenny in the dirt to shovel out his first pro model is ideal: short enough that you don't start begging for the skating to be back, funny with the solid acting from the Expedition crew, and meaningful enough to the unleashing of the new pro. Kenny's few stomps on the dirt patch covering his board cue the fade in of the music, which slowly amplifies to Kenny's opening line of buttery ledge tricks. The first "Ahhh-ah!" at about 1:38 is timed out perfectly with Kenny's line in that clip: a sick flick on a nollie tre and a cruising no comply together build up with the music and then unleash with a huge frontside half cab flip at full energy. The held out "yeahh" at 3:55 on the varial heel across the long Chinese street gap works really well. But probably my favorite clip is right after when Kenny switch heelflips into a manual and the music momentarily is silent, suspending the suspense perfectly only to have Kenny switch 360 flip out! That culmination of excitement was too awesome so that every one of Kenny's following bangers is just made that much better. The quick cut to black after his ender and the short cut off on the music also leave that stunned feel as to what just went down.
ESTMZ's radio-popular song "Home" was featured in Lakai's Am I Am feature, with Vincent Alvarez, Riley Hawk, Raven Tershy, and Daniel Espinoza. The song was the last song used and goodness did it do a great job of closing out the video. The skating by these four dudes was heavy (enough to have 3 of them be pro by now, and arguably Riley should be as well) and "Home" created that really epic feeling with every trick going down.
Walker Ryan skated to ESTMZ's "I Don't Wanna Pray" in Organika's Grow With Us. The very beginning seemed rather quiet, but as soon as the upbeat tempo starts, you just want to start snapping your fingers along with it. It helps that Walker keeps it playful with his first few clips: 180ing into a bus after landing his grind and cruising along a sick DIY bank spot and even skating some tree branches. Walker's positive attitude shows through his skating and this song could not fit better to bring that out. The whole part takes his great skating and leaves you feeling impressed and happy at the same time. When the song quiets down again at about 2:58, it highlights all of his pretty crazy manny tricks. It brings in feelings of amazement that all work up to Walker's insane switch backside flip over the bump to bar ender. Satisfaction completely guaranteed by the experience.
Lastly, with one of the most epic video parts in recent memory, Andrew Reynolds skating to ESTMZ's "Om Nashi Me" in Stay Gold (see above). The introduction fills you with pure joy: visually Reynolds skating around his backyard and playing with his daughter is complemented by the song's cheerful introductory chords. So as soon as the music builds up from the intro and Reynolds frontside half cab flips Carlsbad, you know the part's going to be magical. The song provides that really epic video feel as all the tricks are going down. After he nollie noseslides a gnarly rail at about 3:08 and gets the elated high five from Herman, the music calms down a tad. At this point, while watching Stay Gold with my friend for the first time, we literally remained speechless with our eyes glued to the screen watching legendary spot after legendary spot be crushed. The music matched the compilation of tricks in a way that left me with feelings of pure awe. And when Reynolds kickflips the UC Davis gap at the end, the final melodies from "Om Nashi Me" make the kickflip feel like the battle has been won and celebration is in order. Exactly how an epic video part should conclude.

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