Welcome To SkateTronics

My website is www.skatetronics.com My goal is to bring music and skateboarding together. "If hip hop was a sport it would be skateboarding".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Skatetronics.com goes On The Road With Fishbone

I’ve experienced many things in my life but this one has to be up in the top 5 best experiences in my life. At 3:30pm on Wednesday, December 3 of this year (2009) I got a call from Norwood of the legendary Ska-reggae-punk-funk-rock group “Fishbone” and he ask if I wanted to come out for a small set of four show long the coast of California in four cities, San Francisco, Los Angeles, The Inland Empire and San Diego. They were going to leave for San Francisco the next morning at 7:00am. It was a last minute thing but I had to say yes because this was a chance of a lifetime. I’ve been a fan of the Fishbone movement since the 1980’s, plus I do have some previous history with the lead singer and original member of Fishbone, Angelo Moore. We met at the Sherman Oaks Galleria at the arcade when we were kids. I lost contact for a couple decades only to re-contact at a Los Angeles Poetry Lounge in the Fairfax district called “Da Poetry Lounge”. Angelo is also a deep and eclectic poet but I digress. This tour was my chance to witness this group, which will be in the rock and roll hall of fame because I do believe the small-minded industry people who ignore Fishbone are going to either wake up and correct themselves or they will move on and real music authorities will take the place of this, hopefully-soon-to-be-retired, music establishment. But again I deviate from the story. I told Norwood yes and I would meet them in the morning.

The next morning I traveled with the band up to San Francisco along highway 5 through the many farm communities destroyed by politicians that take their orders from lobbyist and special interest corporations bent on killing America. It was a long ride and I got to know the guys in the band a bit. This included the road manager, Will who appeared very young but very capable and in control of his job through his strong people skills. This guy is going to be someone big one day soon. There was also the sound engineer and other crewmembers. Every one of the guys in the group is talented beyond probably anyone in the popular music business today. These guys play several instruments at the highest level and performed like it was second nature. There are six members in this live music band and each show was better than the previous. The elements are Angelo Moore: lead vocals, saxophones and theramin, Norwood Fisher: bass , Dre Gipson: Keyboards and vocals, John Steward: Drums, Rocky George: Lead Guitar and John McKnight: Keyboard, Trombone and Guitar. The backbone and one of two original members of Fishbone is Norwood Fisher who keeps it deep on the bass and drives the grooves hard into the pocket. I’ve heard the Sly and the Family group without Larry Graham, their bass player and it’s nothing like it should be, so I can imagine if there were no Norwood in Fishbone there’d be no Fishbone.

The tour was head by Florida ska-punk rockers “ Less Than Jake” along with Michigan’s The Swellers and Underground rapper Cage. The shows were never boring, the bands were all very professional but at the same time friendly like everyone was homeboys. You could see members of the other bands watching each other perform from the sides of the stage and in the audience. And speaking of the audience, they were full of energy. They gave back what was given to them, which made this a great tour to see up close.

In the show the first act was the Swellers then Cage then Fishbone and rounding it out, the headliners, Less than Jake. But the high light of the show has to be Fishbone as this legendary hardworking band puts on a show that would be difficult for almost any of today’s bands to match. Combine the energy of James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, the Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chilli Peppers all coming from probably the best front man in the music business today Angelo Moore. Even after thirty years of doing it Moore has the energy of a 19 year old. He juggles singing the lead and fronting the band with playing multiple saxophones and the theramin, which is a weird electronic instrument he plays without touching the instrument at all. The sound is like the scaring soundtrack tone from a 1950’s sci-fi, horror film or vampire movie of that era. Angelo flips, slides and dives into the audience in mid-song or lyric and continues to sing as the audience holds his body high above their heads floating Angelo from the middle of the crowd back to the stage.

sets start with the horn section filled, reggae inspired The Suffering, a song that exhibits the soul-funk side of the band, I’m still laughing about the lyric “you’re a fool and a sucka - you po’ muthafucka”, followed by Behind Closed Doors a reggae/ska/punk –rock hybrid jam where Angelo gives up some lead vocal time to Dre Gipson who comes out from behind the keys and raps it up Jamaican style. After Closed Doors is Cholly a song about the thickness section of the girlie isle in your local neighborhood, from their 1986 album, which is a straight ahead rock tune. Next was the anthem to the state of inebriation entitled Alcoholic, a cross between reggae and hard driving ska-punk that leads off with the liquor-love chat of Ya-ya-ya drink is goood… Then drives you into a frenzy of wooos and ahhhhs. Ma and Pa follows. Another ska jam for sure. Then there’s Date Rape, a cover from Sublime that is next and arguably Fishbone has made this song their own. Not trying to start anything but they put their stamp on it in the same way Earth Wind and Fire did for the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life”, for which EWF won a Grammy. Give It Up is next and comes from the mid eighties project which has hints of the Sly and the Family Stone jams from the 60’s. Next to the last song is the immortal Let Them Whoes Fight. This nod to the ever-popular game of competitive ego wrestling slamming their pride on the mat of redemption that never comes. Following it all up is the 80’s hit Party At Ground Zero, which is amazingly relevant almost thirty years later as politicians are still letting warmongers run America into the ground towards the ultimate conflict. Might as well have a party as the world turns to pink vapor stew.

I have to give mention to the other members of the band here; Rocky George is one of the most talented guitarist in a band, listen to his phrasing and ability to bring back the old-school technique in today’s music and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Ray Gipson, keyboards and vocals is a strong counter punch to Angelo Moore’s performance on stage. John McKnight has mastered the extremes of playing guitar, trombone, keyboards and singing like he was born doing this, all in the same song. And last but not least is the pocket master and groove locksmith; drummer John Steward, who makes anyone who’s ever picked up a set of sticks think twice. Don’t get on the trap unless you can set a trap and hook the listener.

With that said, this band can out perform any band in this industry. Ask anyone who’s attended a Fishbone concert; I guarantee the answer confirms this. The live music experience is fully on display when they’re on stage. The bone-head buster asses with whatever hang-ups, who control the levers of power in the music and publicity industry needs to get over their puke-filled hater-aide laden mind-set and give these guys their due. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy and many others have all but been left out of any rock music retrospectives produced on television when talking about who is and was the best… will Fishbone have to follow in those same footsteps? Let’s hope not.

The House of Blues performance in San Diego convinced me I was truly witnessing something historic and real and the new or somewhat recent line-up in the group makes no difference. These guys performance and talent will keep the most hard-core Fishbone fan loving this band for years and years. I can’t wait to see them again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Skatetronics.com - LMFAO interview extras

When Skatetronics.com edited the interview with LMFAO we used only what we thought was needed for the interview. But in this time of being environmentally conscience we felt we shouldn't leave anything to waste. So the cutting room floor was swept up and the contents have been recycled here. Skatetonics... doing our part to save the planet". Let us know what you think.

Village Hall to crack down on skateboarders

I had to write this because it seems like people in charge of government or city policy are people who appear to be governing peasants they have disdain for. There's an emotional distance between the people in government and the citizens that's self imposed and un-necessary.

I read this article out of Port Jefferson Long Island in N.Y about newly elected village board trustee Leslea Snyder proposing a city policy making it illegal for skateboarders to ride on the sidewalks or in the parking lots and areas around buildings in the business district. Snyder proposes violators have their skateboards taken away if caught. Does this woman have kids in her family? Does she, and many other citiy officials around America, remember when they were young and just wanted to be a kid have fun? Doesn't sound like it. It also doesn't sound like Snyder really cares about the safety of skateboarders as she states in the story, [linked below]. If she cared she would speak to some of the high and mighty's around her in politics and ask them for donations to build more skate parks around the city (village). This would be a small price to pay then to sick the police on these kids. Cops have better things to do than playing parent to kids who just want to have fun. In this society where the politicians line


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SkateTronics.com talks to LMFAO about their style/clothing company

Skatetronis.com asked LMFAO about their clothing line. A part of what skatetronics.com talks about is a person's personal style which includes gear or clothes. That includes shoes and accessories. We asked where can we get our hands of the stuff they wear. What was the inspiration for some of their gear. Before these guys hit the big time they had their clothing company up and running. They have a strong business sense which is probably why they are successful. For LMFAO stuff www.partyrocklife.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Skatetronics Blog appearence

Hey everyone, I was concerned about my blog having a dark color so I thought I'd ask you what you thought. Do you think it would be more appealing if the color wasn't so dark? Let me know. Thanks and also refer me to your blogs. I want to read what's going on with other people and their interest. So leave your blog info here for me. Thanks again


Friday, August 14, 2009

The story behind the LMFAO interview

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LMFAO is a duo from Los Angeles, California. The members are Red Foo and Sky Blu. Their music style is a combination of Electro and hip-hop that has come together to form what can be considered a new style of their own which Red Foo calls Electro-hip hop. He also refers to it Party Rock music for people who like to Party All the Time… to use the title of the 1983 Eddie Murphy song written and produced by Rick James.

At 2:45 in the morning I received an email asking me to change the interview time from 2pm to 12 noon, which was fine but needed to get to sleep because I’ve been up all night working on the skatetronics.com website and I’m so tired. Saturday morning I arrived at the home of the LMFAO duo. I knocked I noticed how quiet and peaceful it was, but then I remembered it was only 11:30am in the morning, which is early for music people especially when their careers have taken off like a rocket such as LMFAO’s career has. When I get in the house I’m immediately stuck by how it looks like the control center of this electro-hip hop machine. There’re boxes of their clothing line stock all over the place. A small keyboard controller used for programming music on a Mac in the corner next to a brand new pink skateboard that reads “La La La” on the deck of the board.

As I look around I see “Reek”, who works with the company who manages LMFAO, sitting on the bottom of a bunk bed in the living room with his knees up as he works on his laptop. “What’s up bro, Foo is upstairs in his room he’s waiting for you” says Reek. I tell him thanks and I head upstairs. Now this house is a very notorious spot in a city known for a multitude of notorious events. The fact that four or five people were viciously murdered right here years are not far from my mind as I climb the steps up to Red Foo’s room.

Red Foo is standing in the middle of the floor shadow boxing trying to awake some energy. He smacks himself in the face, “yo yo what’s up man” as he shakes my hand and gives me the arm-in-the-way-hug. Which, by the way is the preferred way to hug a guy, but I digress… This room is the actual control center of the music of LMFAO. “I told Sky the interview was at 12 but we were up late so he might still be in his room, where do you wanna to do the interview?” Foo ask. I tell him “anywhere you want, it doesn’t matter”. Red Foo proceeds to the bathroom and starts to shave his mustache. “I gotta take a shower first” says Red Foo. Cool, so I head downstairs to see if Sky Blu was up or asleep.

As I open the door to Sky’s room I looked to the right to where the restroom is. I see this thick smoothed skin girl (really hot) in the bathroom combing her long brown hair and for a second forgot what I came in their for. I turned to my left and saw Sky sitting on his bed that sits on the floor working on his mac. This room is also a control center for the LMFAO music. Both guys write the songs together and both are musicians in their own right. Sky happened to be fully dressed and waiting for the interview to start. We dap and exchange pleasantries. After the few words I go out to the dining room and wait.

Both guys came downstairs and make a few final plans for meetings and other details of the day. Later today they will be performing at the big Powerhouse concert in Anaheim California sponsored by KPWR 106 radio in Los Angeles. The guys look very dapper in their Huck-Fin shorts, a new part of their Party Rock clothing line inspired by the knee length short pants from the Mark Twain book and film Tom Sawyer. They grabbed their skateboards and we headed outside.

Now these guys live in the Hollywood Hills on a small street, which is cool unless you happen to be outside trying to hold an interview in the street that has suddenly start to look like Time Square. I turned on my camera and started the questions and everything was going pretty good until a nice older lady, trying to make a u turn on this small street ran up on the curb and then backed into a car. There was no way we could continue because we couldn’t believe she did that. But we won’t tell. Shhh…

In mid 2008 LMFAO signed to Interscope Records under Will.I.Am’s production company. At the filming of their first video “I’m In Miami Trick” you could see Interscope’s commitment. I met one of the suits in charge of the project for the record company. Neil Jacobson seemed like a cool dude for a suit and I could tell they were really behind the group and wanted to help the world discover how hot the LMFAO sound is. Their first single, “I’m Miami Trick” PG rated version made noise all over the world. Their new single “Yes” is out now and it stays true to their Party Rock lifestyle. They just finished the video and it will be out soon.

Today some of the biggest names in the business are seeking these guys out to put their thing on their thang. Lil John, who does a cameo on a song called “Shots” was in the studio with the guys a few weeks ago working on something new for himself. They’re doing remixes and producing acts like Lady GaGa, Paradiso Girls, Kanye West and Pit Bull and others. Expect more from LMFAO, because though they have an image of partying the one thing they do better than many is work hard and take care of business.

A big part of LMFAO’s image is reflected in their clothing line, which is all about having a good time. These guys actually wear the stuff that they sale. Their look is all day everyday 24/7. What you see is what you get. They have an online store at www.partyrocklife.com SkateTronics.com You can also join their community website at www.partyrackpeople.com

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SkateTronics.com DVS demo

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Skatetronics.com covered its first event April 18, 2009 at Pedlow Park in Encino, Ca. The DVS shoes team came out and rocked it. They gave all the kids free stuff and everyone had a good time. Thanks to Gabe and Jeron and a very special thanks to Ryan Newman from Zeke and Luther. And a super thanks to DJ Gimel for lacing the air with beats.

DVS Demo- Skatetronics.com - the Remix

Skatetronics.com covered its first event April 18, 2009 at Pedlow Park in Encino, Ca. The DVS team came out and rocked it. They gave all the kids free stuff and everyone had a good time. Thanks to Gabe and Jeron and a very special thanks to Ryan Newman from Zeke and Luther. And super thanks to DJ Gimel for coming out.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Skatetronics.com - Video interview of LMFAO

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My interview with LMFAO has a pretty large file size and I'm not sure if it will fit here on my blog. People who haven't gotten to my website www.skatetronics.com can see a bit of the interview here. About a 1:00 min clip of the almost 6:00 min interview. I have 10:00 minutes in all of an interview but haven't had the chance to edit the rest of it. Here's the short clip


Skateboarder and Skate Park designing pioneer, Andy Kessler passes away at the young age of 48

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In an earlier writing on my website skatetronics.com, I referred to the world of skateboarders as being similar to that of early hip hop because they have their own language their own culture and they live in a world inside of the world we all live in. Well Monday when skateboard pioneer Andy Kessler tragically passed away apparently from a heart attack due to an allergic reaction to a wasp sting, I learned he came from a community of young skateboarders and graffiti artists in New York called the Soul Artists. Very cool name. As anyone knows, graffiti artist and rappers are a major part of how hip-hop is identified and apparently skateboarders as well. Anyone who knows anything about ancient culture understands these cultures had their own languages their own tribal look and their own written forms of expression. Graffiti stands to be the hieroglyphics of the skateboarding and hip-hop cultures, which would be considered cousins if it were to be studied by anthropologist.

In the late seventies hip-hop was able to be financially exploited by corporate America and it seemed to have bolted out of the gate and clear ahead of skateboarding. Though they both appear to have developed around the same time, skateboarding is showing a strong resurgence just as hip-hop looks to be being euthanized by its vampirish corporate masters. Hip-hop will continue but with the trueness it began with which is a benefit skateboarding has been afforded by not being engulfed by corporate cultural disfigurement. One of the characters of this disfigurement is the element of age. Age in hip hop has been turned into a barrier which is ironic since hip-hop is really about information and knowledge of words which increases with age where as in skateboarding age has not been turned into a barrier though the culture is based on physical ability, something that can diminish with age. But now days corporate America appears to be toying with the idea of maximizing the profile of skateboarding similar to the way a cat toys with a mouse before the cats makes the mouse "famous", to use a phrase popularized in the "Young Gunns" movies when Emilio Estevez's character "Billy the Kid" would tell another gunslinger just before he shot him, "I'll make you famous".

But this is about Andy Kessler whose passing at the age of 48 is much too early and will be sorely missed by the culture he helped establish in a place bursting with culture, New York City. Andy’s dedication to something he loved to do is mirrored by millions of skateboarders all over the world. Its just Andy Kessler was doing it before it was considered cool. In a You Tube video by ‘mdorothy’ called "Grandmaster 108", Andy equates skateboarding to freedom, which is a line I used in describing the skater or rider culture on my website skatetronics.com. Andy also headed up the move towards creating a safe and so-called legal place for skateboarders to do their thing when he encouraged the building of skate parks in that concrete jungle New York City, many of which Andy Kessler designed.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The LMFAO interview with SkateTronics.com

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Finally I had the chance to interview LMFAO, the guys who brought us the hit " I'm in Miami Bitch", Red Foo and Sky Blu from the debut CD "Party Rock". I met the guys at their home in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles at a time that is kind of early for musicians. But the guys did great. They're both skateboarders from way back and still ride. Matter of fact they were going the perform at Powerhouse, the big concert for Power 106 radio in Los Angeles that day and needed to meet with someone for some business who lived in their neighborhood. So after the interview the guys skateboarded 8 blocks away to meet with the guy. That's real. Their new single is "La La La" and is out now. Part of the concept of skatetronics.com is style or a person's self expression illustrated through the clothes they wear. I had the guys talk about their clothing line which is very popular. It the clothes they wear everyday and can be found at www.partyrocklife.com I'll post some of the interview here later. Be Real

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SkateTronics- Website Launch

We are so excited about this… FINALLY! The new website is up www.skatetronics.com is up an running. We worked so hard on this and still have lots of work to do but here it is. The start of a beautiful friendship. We’re going to bring the most interesting music and skateboard artist we can get our hands on. Each week we want to make people say, “damn that was pretty interesting” or “I didn’t know that about that person”. Stop by and check it out, let us know how you think we’re doing. We’re open to anyone's opinion. So thanks for stopping by. Let’s Grind on into the wind www.skatetronics.com

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