We’re a very lucky city to have a park as awesome as the Jamail Skatepark. If you’ve never visited it, this Saturday may be a really wonderful day to check it out as the second annual Skatestock ( http://skatestock.wordpress.com/ ) is taking place there on Saturday. The bands alone are a pretty sweet cross section of Houston music - Something Fierce, Hell City Kings, Sanctus Bellum, No Love Less, Herschel Berry and The Natives, Bald Eagle Burger, Tax the Wolf, Pinky Lieder, Brother Roo, Ceeplus Bad Knives, & Cipher – but, in addition to all the music and skateboarding, there will also be art, photography, movies, and, yes, even SCIENCE!!! Hear that kids, you can tell your mom and dad that this is educational! The whole thing sounds pretty amazing as well as a little overwhelming so we hit up organizer Barry Blumenthal about the event.
Tell us about Skatestock? How did it start?
Barry -I started it last year. I had been bringing bands into the skatepark since day one. Three World Cup Contests, Skate & Rock Concert Series over the last few years, but we were always missing the artist community in the park. My goal was always to let Houston know this is a great City park in fact my belief is the park should be referred to as the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate…Park. When you combine the energy of the skaters with the view of our skyline there are no major U.S. City parks like it in the nation. Skatestock is very much a grass-roots unique Houston event. I don’t think there is anywhere else on the planet where a person can experience a benefit/arts- festival/live music/science experiment all at one event. Skatestock is ART in Motion in every since of the word.. Oh yeah it is FREE! Thanks, to Scion, Pinks Pizza, Houston Parks & Recreation Department our generous sponsor for making it possible.
This is the second one. How did last year’s go?
Barry -Last year was our first year and I am a fish out of water when it comes to bringing together an arts festival. We had a few great area artists and a fantastic roster of local bands, but we needed more Houston artists to fill the expansive Jamail Park. So I engaged Elaine Dillard, Houston’s expert if you want to pull off something special in the Houston arts world. She was instrumental when we were raising the funds to construct the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate…Park 7 years ago. Elaine has really done all of the heavy lifting to make this possible.
You’ve got a good line up tell us a little bit about the bands playing and why you chose them?
Barry -Skateboarding is a high energy aggresive activity especially bowl riding. Therefore, I wanted to make sure we had some punk/metal/hard rockin music to charge up the skaters. .Also, I did not want Skatestock to be just about punk and skateboarding because Houstonians have diverse tastes in music. Our line-up will provide a little something for everyone. The overiding theme with all of these bands is they make GREAT Houston music. These bands are all donating their time and music to make this event possible. Thank You! ( For more see: http://skatestock.wordpress.com/bands/ )
I’m sure a lot of people out there are new to this event. What should they expect?
Barry -First of all if you have never been to one our events you are in for a fantastic treat. As I stated there is nothing like the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark in a setting like this. The energy between the bands and the skaters will be palatable. The music and art speak for themselves. Be ready because it will be a sensory overload experience.
Tell us about the foundation that is benefitting from this event?
Barry -Morgan Moss was an inspirational Houstonian/photographer/skater. He represents everything Skatestock is about. Morgan unfortunatley passed away in a car accident last year. His family and friends dedicated a wonderful memorial bench earlier this year in Jamail Park. They established the www.morganmossfoundation.org to fund photography equipment for Houston and Austin high school photography classes. It will provide a lasting legacy for Morgan’s passion for photography. A portion of all art sales and refreshment proceeds will go toward the Morgan Moss Foundation. Friends of the foundation will be on hand to answer any questions potential donors may have.
Barry -Starting around 6 p.m. Adrian Lenardic ( Jamail Park regular), Rice University Physicist, will conduct unique weightless experiments on the skaters carving the world’s largest skatepark cradle structure. Your kids may not realize if they are interested in skateboarding they are also interested in physics. (For more see: http://skatestock.wordpress.com/science/)
You guys are projecting some movies in the evening? What are you showing?
Barry -Once darkness settles over the park surfing dvds will be projected in the large cradle structure while the skaters carve through the structure. It creates a surreal video game experience for the spectators. The skaters will appear as though they are surfing the waves with the surfers in the videos. Skateboarding is derivative of surfing, therefore it is natural to overlay the two.
If you are a total novice at skateboarding, should you feel intimidated?
Barry - If you are just learning to skateboard this is a better day to watch are learn. You need to already have a good skill set if you are planning on skating with a large crowd. However, this is a great day to observe and try to pick up some tips. The park provides free lessons for novices once a month on Saturday mornings.
You will have artists there? Who is attending and how will their art mesh with the goings on?
Barry - The artists will be set up throughout the spectator areas of the park. Some of the artists have been inspired by skateboarders and surfing. We have a fantastic line up of area artists many of who will have interactive art exhibits targeted for young people. Much Thanks go to the artists for donating a portion of their sales to the foundation. (For more see: http://skatestock.wordpress.com/artists/).
Why do you think skateboarding and music go so well together?
Barry - Skateboarding and music to me are hand in glove. Over the years I have been inspired by so many Houston bands that have played our park. When the music hits you while you are skating it heightens the experience and turbocharges your energy level. It is not a coincidence so many skaters are musicians and so many musicians are skaters. The two really cannot be separated and one of our goals is to make sure it stays that way in Houston.
One last question. What does skating mean to you?
Barry - I started skateboarding when I was 10 years old….fast-forward 37 years and it is more fun than ever. The coolest thing about skateboarding is it is near impossible to articulate how FUN it really is. I just feel like a kid in the candy store. Sometimes even at 47 it feels like I am in the coolest dream, but I don’t have to wake up.
Skatestock 2012 @ Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark (110 Sabine)
12-9PM, all ages, FREE!!
Something Fierce 8 p.m.
Hell City Kings 7 p.m.
No Loveless 6 p.m.
Sanctus Bellum 5 p.m.
Tax the Wolf 4 p.m.
Herschel Berry & The Natives 3 p.m.
Rivers 2 p.m.
Bald Eagle Burger 1 p.m.
Pinky Lieder 12 p.m.