Tag Archives: gyakusou

TIMES SQUARE

This blog entry is approximately 27 hours late and an affront to my OCD inclinations. The real kicker is that it’s both tardy and pretty poorly thought-out too. In fact, the majority of it is given to images from an already well documented book that are — to add insult to injury — heavily watermarked too. What can I say? I slacked this week. I’m keen to get my hands on a full copy of Powerhouse’s ‘The Forty Deuce: The Times Square Photos of Bill Butterworth 1983-1984’ because it seems to be laden with strippers, pimps, b-boys and girls and plenty of other characters from the era. I grew up obsessed with b-movies from the time (as well as the classic ‘Times Square’) that depicted the area as a very scuzzy spot indeed, usually laden with offensive stereotypes of Puerto-Rican gents, complete with flick knives and bandanas and hookers berating the stray innocents who wandered into the area Butterworth depicts. Think ‘The Burning’s opening setup, ‘Fear City’ or ‘Basket Case.’ And while it looks grindhouse sketchy in Bill’s photos, there’s an evident sense of unity between crews, whether it’s sex shop workers, drag queens, dancers or anyone else who hung around there. The portraits are strong and the outfits are pretty spectacular, with plenty of posing. You know your swag is at a trillion when you can stunt in front of racks of gay porn (apologies to one-handed surfers who just found this blog through those words and were assailed with paragraphs, shoes and other geeky things) and still look gangster. That couple next to the ‘Beat Street’ (and ‘Strange Invaders’) display? Incredible. There’s plenty more information and imagery right here.

One of the few things that marred my pre-teen years as much as Belial in ‘Basket Case’ was David Lynch’s ‘The Grandmother.’ I always found that short infinitely more nightmarish than ‘Eraserhead.’ Lynch has a habit of tapping into the hallucinatory, claustrophobic essence of a nightmare situation. The car crash scene in ‘Wild At Heart’ troubles me deeply, but Robert Blake’s appearance in ‘Lost Highway’ is utterly unnerving. Blake’s real-life antics give his nameless character extra edge and the whole film remains underrated. Just as I found myself preoccupied with watching the film again, I wandered into Uniqlo and was faced with a ‘Lost Highway’ t-shirt as part of their David Lynch collection. Then I got the news that Universal are putting out pretty much every David Lynch film as a Blu-ray around June 4th. ‘Wild At Heart’ includes ‘The Grandmother’ as a special feature and I want to know what the “Four Intervalometer Experiments” that are on the ‘Lost Highway’ disc are. Even ‘Dune’ is part of the rollout. All this sudden activity around a film I hadn’t thought about for at least half a decade didn’t throw me as much as Bull Pullman talking to a man face-to-face who’s also miles away in his home, but it caught me off guard a little. Now Robert’s eyes and laugh are embedded in my mind all over again.





Retro isn’t going anywhere — right now somebody’s probably being kicked to the ground for a basketball shoe from 1997 — but the new wave is wildly on point. I’ve loved Nike’s Lunar pieces but the Undercover GYAKUSOU collection has done a good job of introducing me to shoes I wouldn’t have paid much attention too until they got some Terra-esque makeups. Zoom Structure+ 15? A serious shoe even though I hadn’t looked at Structures since the bestselling Structure II back in the early ’90’s. I loved the Lunar Elite+ but the Zoom Elite series looked like one of those ranges that was made for serious runners who’d sneer at anything aesthetically pleasing for its fanciness. Suddenly, with that transparent overlay and almost 180 style forefoot, the Zoom Elite+ 5 is a thing of beauty and this version highlights every key feature. The Terra Humara style colourway elevates these significantly and like the Structure choice, there’s a sense that Jun Takahashi isn’t hunting the hype vote with his footwear picks. Shouts to Nike UK fam for these — all I need now is a health scare to encourage me to run. All the gear, no idea is a mantra I live by.

Many blogs are either too frantic or too earnest for my tastes, but I really like The Obviously Uncommon. That’s because the man behind it, knows a lot about a lot of stuff and had a Doublegoose way before I ever did, but also because it celebrates the bargain hunter. There’s so much emphasis on matters of flossiness and conspicuous consumption, but shelling out full price or an eBay markup is a fast track to a hollow purchase. Bargains come with tales of exploration, disbelief and triumph. £25 Pendletons, wear tested Stone Island coats, Air Max Lights found in garages and 50p hats that are inexplicably big make this site my new favourite. Salutes to the enemies of RRP out there.

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT…

This is a quick entry, because I’ve been wasting time schmoozing and I want to watch ‘Dog Pound’.

This blog was forged in the maelstrom of some kind of temper tantrum about getting E-cast as some kind of “shoe dickhead”—the wanker they reel out to talk about “sneaker heads” after the presenter ends his link with a joke about Imelda Marcos. It’s not a case of taking myself seriously. I’ve got a ton of psychological ephemera to unload on camera if needs must. The issue is that I’m 32 years old and quite honestly, I’m barely qualified to talk on the subject. There’s many more people deserving of a position on that dubious pedestal. But when the good folk at Complex who keep it thoro’ like the incarcerated Albert (shouts to Bradley and Joe) got in touch about writing a top 50 greatest Nike Air Max 90s, I had to get involved. It’s as far from the anti-sneaker sentiment, tweed and handcrafted wankiness as you can get. It felt good. In fact, it was almost cathartic. I can leave this sports footwear shit fulfilled.

Seeing as I’ve broached the forbidden topic of sneakers, just to prove that print still holds sway over the mass of twitching pixels in front of you, if you can take the smirk from your local newsagent vendor’s face (“would you like a bag?”) at the kitschy, heavily-hyped Britney (Britpop, geddit?) cover in the new (and largely excellent) ‘POP’, the magazine that still channels some spirit from its deceased sibling, ‘The Face’, flick through the pages for a decent showcase of the much-teased Nike x Undercover ‘GYAKUSOU’ collection. Bored as I am of standard collaboration projects, the brand using its phenomenal new running shoes as a basis, in what feels like a vast, pure-performance leap from the example Wood Wood set with their excellent LunarWood late last year. Jun and his buddies engaging in a marathon-style run through traffic is a purer and more clinical representation of the project’s intent than more sullen hermits in moccasins.

The GYAKUSOU Zoom Spider TT+ shoe is my kind of thing. A good little launch for the kind of thing that tops up my interest sufficiently before the retro-cavalcade sends me to sleep again. They’ve used augmented reality to allow access to a little documentary called ‘GYAKUSOU – 24 HOUR TOKYO ENDURANCE TRIAL’ too.

A cautionary tale: My old forum username, back when things weren’t compressed into ‘Likes’ or 140 characters, was actually ‘Shogun Assassin’. That was because the VHS collection was in the spare room in the house where the PC was kept during sign up. It was just something that was more that 10 characters. Just to log in. Then I got involved. Then, l met some people in the real world and had to introduce myself accordingly, apologising for being such a wanker. I ended up changing it. It pays to pick a username carefully. So for years, that film has carried the mark of Cain, bringing back memories of one minor humiliation after another. But I can’t shake my love for ‘Shogun Assassin’.

Yeah, you can recommend ‘Lone Wolf & Cub’ films to me all day. Split apart (bear in mind, ‘Shogun…’ is an edit for western audiences) it’s an epic, but I still prefer the shorter version. I love the electronic score, the poster art by Jim Evans (the legendary ‘Skateboarder’ magazine artist who worked with Powell in the early days on video art and did an Alice Coltrane cover too— his son did the little boy’s voice on the overdub) and the geysers of blood. The RZA knows how powerful the intro is. A negligent father of a friend let us watch the film at an unnervingly young age. Those sharpened swords of fury left a mark on my pre-pubescent psyche. But it always looked bog-standard in terms of video quality and oddly compressed—much like one of my PhotoShop resizing blunders. Respect to Animeigo for putting it out on Blu-ray, cleaned up with some watchable extras and a couple of strong commentaries, one of which includes Mr. Davis talking about his production experiences. It’s good to know someone else really likes an oddball film you’re preoccupied with. I love the 21st century.