Kill the Engine

Dreams Destroyed

By Michael Sieben

When I started this column the basic concept was to write about things that had happened the previous week. Seemed simple enough. Skateboarding missions, art shows, swimming sessions, beer bashes at the moon tower… stuff like that. But it didn't take long before I realized that most weeks I don't do anything interesting enough to write about. It's hard to come up with 500 words describing staring at a computer screen and changing diapers. Or at least 500 words that anybody would want to read. So I've had to be creative some weeks and dive into my nostalgic collections of crap in order to fulfill my obligations as a contributor to this site. But every once in a while the stars align and my week is so full of bloggable events that this thing just sort of writes itself. Last week was one of those rare weeks. 
 
I recently had the opportunity to work with adidas skateboarding on a collaborative line of products with my skateboard company, Roger Skateboards. That in itself seemed crazy enough, so when they contacted me and said that they wanted to make a short web film in Austin to promote the collection I was all like, "Are you for real, dogs?" Turns out they were for real, so I had to get ahold of my homeboy Shortbus. Because any project + Shortbus = 200 percent more awesome. 
 

Shortbus' enthusiasm for life is contagious. 

The dude is like a lion half drunk on cheap beer—in the best possible way. 

My business partner Stacy Lowery flew into town to film some ridiculous shit too. He's a real good sport about putting on costumes and acting like a dipshit when I ask him to. I have no idea why. 

This must be what Hollywood feels like. Minus the fame and money.

Wall plant pop shove-it on demand. Hey, the dude used to be pro-styles. I'd tell you more about the video but then it wouldn't be as awesome to watch when it comes out in December. We tried pretty hard on this.

So I spent most of the week working on a video for adidas. We finished filming Friday night. The next day my buddy Andy Rihn was having a big performance art event a few miles outside of Austin at a dirt farm. I'm being serious. There really is such a thing as a dirt farm.

They look kind of like this. 

 
But when Andy Rihn interacts with them there is way more denim in the mix. 
 

The performance was called the Texas Longest Hammer Choir. I'll briefly try to explain to you what it entailed. 

Get a couple hundred people to dress in head to toe denim. 

Then pair them up and equip them with hammers. Have them create a snaking river of people through the desolate expanse of a Texas dirt farm. Then have them clink their hammers together in unison like a crazy hammer band. (I know this doesn't look like a few hundred people, but this was just a small section of the hammer choir.)

Then drive a denim engulfed golf cart (that looks sort of like an armadillo) through the line of people and have the participants part ways for the denim armadillo as it approaches. (Like Moses parting whatever that was that he parted.) Then as the golf cart passes, the hammer choir people rejoin like a wave pulsing the golf cart forward. 

The golf cart emitted an ambient song, which created the soundtrack for the performance. The cart also had videographers recording the action from the front and the back. 

Andy Rihn: The denim dreamer. 

So that was Monday through Saturday. Then I found out that on Sunday, there was going to be a farewell session for the Prather Ramp. What's the Prather Ramp? Good question. 

The Prather Ramp is basically just the raddest backyard ramp ever. 

Of course I'm totally biased since it's just a few minutes away from my house, it's in the backyard of my buddy Cary's house, and Cary's house is the first house I lived in when I first moved to Austin in 1996. Lots of memories on Prather Lane. 

Over the past 15 years there have been a multitude of ramp configurations in this backyard. The current manifestation of the Prather Ramp is probably my favorite though because it's pretty small and I get scared skating things that are very tall. My tough friends joke that I'm a pussy. Actually they don't joke, they just call me a pussy.

This is Cary. I'd like to take a moment to thank him for giving so many people a place to skate for so many years. Thanks, dude. You have definitely taken more than one for the team. 

Darrin (Darin? Darren? Daren?) Dreams Destroyed. 

My buddy Lee Brooks and I used to make a zine called Keg Party. It's probably the best skateboard zine ever—excluding F.K.P. (Fuck Keg Party) Zine.

One of my most favorite dudes ever, Stan (Antonio) Rose. If you ever find yourself in Austin, make your way to the Yellow Jacket Social Club. Or go to Sixth Street and get beaten up by a frat boy. Your call, bro. 

Art.

I guess if the ramp is coming down there's no reason to finish the death corner. Highway to the Danger Zone.

Goodnight, Sweet Prince. You'll be missed. 

Movie Review: Roadie 

Throughout this entire movie Meat Loaf (who was 33 at the time) totally wants to bang a 16-year-old self-proclaimed "jail-bait virgin." The End. 

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