Thrasher SOTY, Shannon and the Clams, Bass Drum of Death, Naughty By Nature
December 13, 2014
The Public Works
San Francisco, CA


Award to the Wise

Blow the dust off the needle and set it spinning. Or, to the spinning. We’re all trying to put the needle to some spinning something to check out what’s hidden in there. Maybe it’s something rad. Shit. (We) skateboarders are so close to being taken seriously. Some skaters seem to think that the rest of the world finds skateboarding as important as we do. Which is obviously fine and easy to do when your whole fucking world is skateboarding. Constantly submerged in the choir, just nodding our heads to the words of the preacher. And its only in brief glimpses that we see that no matter how hard we try to pretend we’re being treated like adults, we’re still just really the same unruly mob of heathens that we were born as. The same blood runs through us that turned us to skateboarding in the first place. And we’re kinda not really all that normal.

Every year Thrasher holds the SOTY Party and Candice and I were making jokes that its sort of the closest thing skateboarding has to the Academy Awards. Where instead of a red carpet, it’s the cracked and littered sidewalk of an alley where the cast of ne’er-do-wells stand and enjoy various refreshments while waiting to get inside. Walking along the span of the line that night it was a perfect example of the proximity of professionals to everyone else in the skateboarding industry: kids waiting to see if they could get in were standing beside the art’s most celebrated professionals, some of whom were even candidates running for the night’s heralded award, Skater of the Year. I love this crappola goddammit.

The party had been kept pretty under wraps and we had no idea who was playing that night. Which was fine cause the bands that took the stage at the SOTY Parties in years past were often at least marginally tits. Always a good time. As we hobnobbed thereabouts, seeing all the friendly and familiar faces, word on the wind was that Naughty By Nature would be gracing us. Well shit, we were thrilled at the idea of such a thing but the sources for this information was spotty at best. We were trying not to get our hopes up. And by “hopes” I do not mean “sobriety.” That was certainly not Up in any way. Yeah, we were drinking. When in Rome as they say. Even so, it would prove impossible to keep up with these particular Romans. The moment we stepped through the door there were already people yelling, fighting, and simply unable to stand without complete concentration.


So the first band started after we’d been there a little bit, Shannon and the Clams. I was stoked because I’d grown familiar with them when we went to Burger Boogaloo last summer, but only in name and spirit since they played the day that Candice and I weren’t there. I loved them from the first song tonight at SOTY and their set just kept getting better. Shannon Shaw has this incredible voice that makes me think of some 50’s-style girl bands, but backed with a raucous tint. She also plays bass.


The guitarist, Cody Blanchard, would take turns on the mic, including when they played a cover of Master of Puppets. That one got us all both happy and afraid. Just kidding, we were just happy. And it was proven down on the dance floor, which I quickly joined. I am now a fan. And I don’t mean a literal Fart Fan. Or do I?


Next to take the stage was a young trio that looked straight out of the early 90’s. Otherwise known as The Sweetest Time In Music Ever. They were called Bass Drum of Death and Candice and I acted like proud parents talking about those cute kids down there rocking their gnards off. Which attests less to their youth than our elderlyness. They were awesome, giving us some good reverby ballads to rock to. The crowd was growing less and less able to make good decisions, which always makes for a better dance floor. And Bass Drum of Death gave us the perfect soundtrack to move our bodies recklessly to.

Tonight would be an event to announce not only the SOTY Winner but also the winning team of Thrasher’s annual King of the Road Contest. The stage became a huge cluster-fudge of wasted enthusiasts as they read off that Birdhouse won and everyone became exuberantly jubilant.


Then it was time to announce this year’s SOTY. Wes Kremer took it! Do you even skate and/or give a shit? Well, if you do skate and have paid any attention to such things, well then you’re probably thinking: ‘Wes Kremer?! Rad! I totally thought he deserved to win.’ Am I right? Yes? Told you.




Third and final on the night’s transcript of festivities was (Yep) Naughty By Nature. They took the stage and it was like the whole building exploded, showering confetti of stokedness upon the commoners. They ruled, doing this wonderful Mixed-Bag of verses from days of yore. Their stage presence was the sort of shit that just makes it impossible not to feel a part of the show, joining in, arms thrown in the air, yelling along to the whole display of Fuck Yeah! Everyone was feeling it, just getting rowdy and stoked.


T-shirts began to rain from the heavens and I felt like I was on some hip-hop version of Cloud 9. Cloud 69? I dunno. That’s weird.

So there you have it. The skateboarding community again celebrated their dysfunctional version of The Academy Awards, and we were all reminded once more why we’re part of this huge fucked up family: because we’re weird in an awesome way so piss up a rope! See you next year.


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