Well, well, well, we finally went ahead and did it. We got our lazy asses off the computer and into the world of literature (or something close to it). What is Jenkem Vol. 1 exactly? It’s the first printed edition of our online mag – hardcover and full gloss – filled with some of our favorite old pieces and some other new ones we did exclusively for the book. This thing is perfect for your coffee table, the back of your toilet, or for you to break down your weed on. But don’t take our word for it, preorder one for yourself and give it a shot.
To celebrate the upcoming release we threw a little shindig at Rubber Tracks in Williamsburg with the help and support of Cons. Needless to say, we had a damn good time, and from the photos below, I think a bunch of other people did too. So if you weren’t able to make it, here’s a little recap so you can live vicariously through these pics, and if you were able to make it but blacked out from drinking, maybe these pics will help you piece back together your Thursday night. Thanks for coming out and thanks to Lagunitas for donating the brew!
I was pretty amped on the comments about the book so far, and the fact that in the middle of a party in 2016, with iPhones, girls, free booze, and a million other distractions abound, we have a bunch of skaters huddled around a book. The page they’re checking out is from Colin Sussingham’s photo feature that was made specifically for the print edition.
The day of the party, the Jenkem crew assembled to help hang this little gallery wall of photos – comprised of behind the scene photos, iPhone stuff, and little goofy shots that I felt embodied the spirit of the book and the site as a whole. Additionally, we included some “real” photography on the wall from talented guys like Jon Coulthart, Colin Sussingham, and J-hon Poellnitz (who also have features in the book).
Zered stopped by with Hopps mastermind Jahmal Williams. Speaking of photography, if you didn’t know already, Zered is also a legit photographer. He’s not just some dude that is milking his skate name to get into art – he’s a better photographer than a lot of “photographers” out there. True story.
Throughout the night we had Mike Bloom, Michna, and Roctakon spin. Michna is my brother and helped make the Jenkem Mix series a reality, mixing the first couple of ones, and then creating the Jenkem Mix explosion and sample sound. Bloom has been doing the mixes ever since, and is in the process of starting his own label, Maddjazz. And Roctakon is a well known DJ (and skater) who is famous for his now defunct blog, BoyslifeNYC, and starting the genre “Erotic Skate Fiction” with his book None of the Bad Ones.
The party went from 8pm to midnight, but we ended up hitting capacity pretty quickly – apologies to anyone who had trouble at the door or had to wait to get in.
Maybe it’s because we just endured Vogue Skate Week, or maybe it’s the fact that a lot of girls in NYC skate, but there were a decent amount of girls for a skate party. We probably had 30% chick turnout which beats the usual 1-5%.
Here we have Anthony showing off the book to Chaka Malik, a big NYHC dude from the band Burn, Orange 9mm, and Ghost Decibels. I turned to Anthony at the beginning of this project for help because he’s published his own books and has worked in and around the field forever. I didn’t know shit about publishing and would constantly ask him for help in terms of the layout and rollout for this thing. Not to mention, he read and copyedited the entire book multiple times, to the point where he probably can’t even stand the sight of it anymore.
The dude pointing at the camera is our friend Raspa, who helped film all the “Can It Skate?” videos. He’s always down for an adventure and willing to try something new, which is why he’s so fun to work with.
Again, there is no better feeling than being a crowded party with all sorts of distractions, and seeing people perched up in a corner reading. It is definitely a dying art, and there’s no higher honor than seeing what this dude is doing right here. Thank you.
Eli Reed showed up looking pretty pretty with his custom gear. If you weren’t yet aware, he’s not on Expedition anymore, and is riding for this upstart brand called Becky Factory. To be honest, because Eli’s so deep in the fashion world and running his own brand, I sometimes forget that he’s a damn good skateboarder. Who isn’t these days, I guess, but these Instagram clips he recently put out – switch bs 360 kickflip and hurricane on a NYC barrier – speak for themselves.
What’s up with the Converse branding in all of this? Why Cons? It’s pretty simple – they backed us, believed in the project, and helped make it all happen. Chipping in with book print costs and offering up their space in Williamsburg to throw the party, they made it possible for us to actually do the damn thing, and do it all ad-free the way we wanted to do it.
Hard to believe, but here’s more people reading!
OK – I don’t know if I’m kooking it or do Zered Bassett and Eli Reed look EXACTLY THE SAME HERE. Same smirk, same eyes, similar beards. It’s kind of mind-blowing. Like two long lost twin brothers finding themselves for the first time, a fisherman and an elusive artist. You decide who can be who. (Twin talk aside, thanks for coming guys).
Two of our favorites, Jerry Mraz – one of the nicest guys and amazing skater/builder/local hero – as well as Kevin Tierney of Zoo York/Bronze fame. Jerry knows NY better than most anyone and has built or altered many of the city’s favorite DIY spots you’ve probably seen or skated before. Anyone that has skated around NYC and skated DIY stuff owes this guy a beer or at least a high-five.
@Weed_slut_420 and @Alesandrawelborn came through, which was pretty fun to watch. But Lucas, editor-in-chief of R**e Channel, was too busy checking out the book and getting his market research in to notice.
We wanted to keep this one kind of just friends, family, and local skaters, so we didn’t end up posting the party or flyer anywhere on the site or Instagram or any Jenkem social media. That made me a bit nervous because that’s obviously the easiest way to get the word out there. Instead, we just went straight to text messages, hoping that word of mouth would get enough people to show. I probably spent 10 hours texting people in the days leading up to the party, but I think it was definitely worth it and way better because I got to catch up with everyone in the process.
Lagunitas hooked up the party with a stack of IPAs to get everyone started. They sent over 15 cases – and with 24 beers per case and 2 cases of Vodka, we thought we were good to go. Of course, it all only lasted about 1 hour and then we had to go to the nearest deli and we literally bought out every beer they had, which was interesting… and expensive.
Three remarkable humans right here in very different ways. To the left is Lee Berman, Converse marketing/swiss army knife, Static video series alumni, and former Consolidated rider. In the middle is filmer Josh Stewart, who you know as the Theories of Atlantis mastermind as well as the Static series creator. And then to the right we have Colin Read, the creator of Tengu and the upcoming video, Spirit Quest. There’s gonna be a premiere for it August 13 in NYC, so if really good skating and wild animal effects are your jam, you know where to be.
Billy Rohan stopped by and got some footage for his infamous “Craze Cam” series. He films with a shit cam and his footage just reminds me of looking through my brother’s home videos from the 90s. I know the VHS effect is played now thanks to Instagram filters and what not, but for all those who grew up looking at that type of footage it still feels nice and nostalgic. The glow and warmth of the footage are a nice change from the overproduced jagged edge of most HD footage, plus when someone as unique as Rohan is behind the lens he’s sure to find the NYC mischief.
Thanks to all who came out. And for those who couldn’t make it, preorder your book now for the coffee table you probably don’t own!