WORDS Marcus Bandy
For me, skateboarding is an amazing sounding board for creatives to share ideas, culture and politics, and music has always been one of the main forms for creative communication in our community. I feel so grateful for all of the rad music and ideas that being a skateboarder has allowed me to enjoy and explore over the years. Each and every one of us—depending on where we come from, when we arrived, how long we stay, and with whom we ride—is building a lifelong sounding board of ideas and culture through the connections between music and skateboarding. Below is a brief overview of my personal sounding board featuring melodies, rhythms, beats, and textured treats from my journey through skateboarding thus far:
THE MISFITS Walk Among Us “20 Eyes” (1982)
I’m not sure where I first heard the Misfits, but it was definitely through skaters, as my my parents were strict evangelical Christ lovers and only when I snuck out to hang with my skater friends could I ever get away with listening to this “devil’s music”. That said, we listened to this via a tape deck via many a ramp session back in the 80s.
THE DEAD MILK MEN Bucky Fellini “Badger Song” (1987)
Back in these days skateboarders consisted of all the “weirdos” and “dorks” and we were stoked on that. The Dead Milk Men were weird, dorks, garage style, gave zero fun, and thusly, we liked ’em a lot!
PUBLIC ENEMY It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back “She Watch Channel Zero” (1988)
P.E. introduced me to political rap and music with a strong sense of community and social empowerment. This group changed my world view.
MINISTRY Land of Rape & Honey (1988)
I found this a bit after it came out—a couple years I think. This was a time of skating all night, going to shows a lot, partying in abandoned building, living on the streets, big time of teen angst and substance and things. . . It was a crazy time and Ministry mirrored my fed-up attitude and pent up aggression of that era.
CHARLIE PARKER Dial “202” (1949)
I was never really into jazz until Stereo’s “A Visual Sound” video (1994) came out and got me hyped on it’s playful yet precision fluidity. The sound was a lot like raw street skating felt. The Birdman is still my shits!
BEASTIE BOYS Check Your Head “Gratitude” (1992)
This album is the theme song to some of the wildest and most fun street and park skating of my youth.
BUILT TO SPILL Keep it Like a Secret “Carry The Zero” (1999)
I was turned on to Built To Spill via a Transworld video called The Reason, featured in Cairo Foster’s part. I loved that dude’s skating and Built To Spill’s unique style, and I’ve been a fan of this epic band ever since—went to their show at the Echoplex last week in fact.
BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY Master and Everyone “Hard Life” (2003 my surfing daze)
It’s funny because at this time I was burt on skating and the industry so I started surfing a lot so I could feel the same ride as skating but maybe try and find some deeper roots back in the water—get my head straight and remember why feel in love with shredding. Anyway, surfing definitely helped me get reinvigorated with skateboarding on a rawer level again. And as I explored skating waves and the culture of it I found some rad music and artist like Bonnie “Prince” Billy. BTW, every skater should dedicate themselves to surfing if they can. Major key!
THE MORNING BENDERS Big Eco “Excuses” (2010)
I met and skated with their drummer, Julian Harmon, in Oakland quite a bit when I was going to school at UC Berkeley back in 2006 and 2007, So he’s invite me to shows all the time. The above song officially came out much later than I was around, but it’s one of my favs. Also this alternate orchestra collab version is dope. I think their band is called POP ETC now. . .
NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998) (for me 2012)
I had never hear of this group until taking a trip to New Mexico with some downhill skaters in 2012. I think Matt Kienzle or Louis Pilloni had it on their iPod. I was hooked and we listened to this the entire trip! One of my favorite albums of all time.
ODDISEE The Good Fight “What Something Done” (2015)
Heavy rotation. This is what’s in my headphones on most sessions these days. This guy is DIY at it’s best, one of the best writers and spitters in hip hop, and he speaks some serious mind-freeing inspiration. Respect.
Thanks for peeping my sounding board column. Please leave a link to some of your favorite music below and make sure to join my live-streaming discussion of this new Action Now column on the “WheelbaseMag” Periscope tonight at 5PM PST. More details below. Shredlove!
– Marcus Bandy
Also, please make sure to spread the word about this and add any comments ya have below in the comment section so that we can discuss them on-air tonight once we go live. Shredlove and thanks for checking out Wheelbase Magazine and my column!
I just want to reiterate that the comments and ideas presented above are published with the sole purpose to create dialogue, not as instruction. If any of these ideas get your panties in a bunch please first: relax, and then pluck and place said undergarments in a more comfortable position and let’s have a heathy skater-to-skater chat. The live streaming Periscope discussion for this week’s Action Now column begins at 5PM PST tonight (2/19/2016).