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.