Saturday, June 26, 2010


Soaking. Fucking. Wet.

After working 7 days a week for 6 months, a couple of fucked up shipments, holes punched in the wall, bad spoke measurements, several unnecessary trips to Harris Cyclery, tons of bottled water, more driving than I prefer to do, several long conversations, and a good chunk of money.....I finally have my GEEKHOUSE bike. Apparently, in the bike industry, nothing goes right. At least not the first time around. I don't think there is a single aspect of this bike that was right the first time. It was a pretty stressful process for all involved. And were it not for the friendship, patience, creativity, and passion of a slew of people, I would not have a story to tell. So thanks Tom, Jason, Josh, Wei Wei, Steph, Nao, Marty, Brad, and Greggles.

VEGAN DOUBLE STRAPS! Thanks to Joshua at OPEN.

I talked about this beast a little bit in my last post. But let me get in to some of the nitty gritty details of what I was looking for with this bike. First off, Marty is one of my best friends, and a truly great talent in the frame building business. He might not be the most punctual. But he fucking nails it every single time. If you haven't seen his bikes yet, definitely check out his FLICKR. While many other builders are trying to be the next Sascha White, Marty stands firm in his belief that you have to pave your own road, and define your own style. (For the record, both Marty and I LOVE what Sascha/Vanilla has done and are doing.) And Marty has done just that with GEEKHOUSE. His bikes are a wonderful combination of class and off-the-wall-ness.

Braze-on cursive Geekhouse logo. The clear coat over this bike just makes it look incredible. (You'll have to wait for complete build shots to see the sick placement of this logo.)

Anyhow, I went to Marty with an idea to build a bike that I had been designing in my head for nearly a year. I was envisioning something classy and crisp. But with slightly relaxed geometry. No toe overlap, and putting me a bit more upright in the saddle. My daily whip is a Bridgestone keirin bike that is basically super twitchy, responsive, tight and racy. So I wanted something different. But the zinger was that I didn't want curved tubes or for the bike to look like it was all loosey-goosey. I wanted a bike the looked different than it rode. And since I was getting a custom bike, I wanted it to be obviously custom. So I went with an integrated seat mast, as well as a custom one-piece bar/stem combo, something Marty had not done before. Luckily, he was up for the challenge. (And a challenge this bike was!)

The seat post mast. Custom! Machined in Cambridge! SICK.

Top view.

The beginnings of the bar/stem. One of the many headaches that my bike gave Marty.

The result is simply stunning. It literally is the realization of exactly what was in my head. Only now I can ride it. There will be full pictures to come later. But here are a few from my phone of the process, and the finished product. I want to thank GEEKHOUSE, SUPERB, and quite frankly, MYSELF for making this bike happen. It's a real piece of legit artistry.

OH. And I went to NYC for the 10th Anniversary of the Bicycle Film Festival this past weekend. What a fucking adventure: Emergency Rooms, stolen bikes, 3 am after parties at strange Chinese restaurant/shopping mall/karaoke bars, miles and miles on the bike, tons of vegan treats, record shopping, and almost ZERO sleep.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My MASI road machine.

I have been riding bikes my whole life in one form or another. Whether it was the standard BMX bike as a kid. I had a Huffy Sigma, then a Haro. Man, I remember that Huffy SO WELL. I used to ride it everywhere. Anyhow, the Haro was a little more serious. Then my dad bought me my first mountain bike. It was a weird soft-tail beater thing that he got probably at a garage sale or something. I remember being really mad and ungrateful because it wasn't what I wanted. But it grew on me and I had that bike for years.

Pretty sure I had some crappy road bikes after that, but I mostly was skateboarding at this time and moved away from bikes. I actually got pretty fucking good at skating, which I will save for another time. I got back in to bikes about 12 years ago when I ended up in FL and didn't have a car for about 7 years. The skate scene where I lived SUCKED, so I bought a used Panasonic road bike with an old Campy group on it. It was lavender and beautiful. That fucking bike got stolen ON MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY. I replaced it with another used road bike that was not nearly as nice. Which then also got stolen. So a month or so later I got my first NICE road bike. A Cannondale CAAD 6 with full dura-ace group. I got really in to riding on that thing. I was putting in about 100 miles on that thing per week. When I moved briefly to NYC I got my first fixed gear. A guy I worked with was the messenger for the company, and gave me his old Surly. What can I say, I was hooked. I rode that thing all over the island of Manhattan. I even used to strap a crashpad on my back and ride to Central park to go bouldering after work. (MESSAGE TO NYC FIXIE PEOPLE: You think you're badass? Try riding down 5th avenue in 5 O'clock traffic with a crashpad strapped on your back.)

Mmmmm.....SRAM FORCE.

When I moved to Boston I left my 40 lb. cruiser/grocery getter behind and brought only my Cannondale. I didn't have a clue where to ride, and nobody to ride with, so the poor thing sat a lot. I ended up selling it and then getting a Specialized Langster. Not a terrible bike. I upgraded components and gave it a custom paint job. Up next was my Bridgestone, which was a labor of love. My friend Adam taught me how to build wheels, and I really put a lot of time and money in to this bike. That bike still makes me smile, and I have been on many many adventures with it. But I was beginning to feel the itch of the long open road again. I needed a geared bike. I missed my Cannondale. So I got a Masi 3vc Team Edition. Which then hung on my wall as just a frame/fork for almost a year until I finally had the money to build it up.

That's some hipster bullshit right there.

There was really only one thing missing (Don't say a mountainbike, that's not gonna happen. Or Cross bike. I am terrified of riding Cyclocross for one reason only: It looks like so much goddamn fun that I am afraid if I did it, I would stop climbing.) So what was missing? A CUSTOM BIKE.

Enter close friend, gentleman, and avocado hater: Marty Walsh of GEEKHOUSE bikes. I will make this already long-winded story a little shorter by just saying that I am really pumped to be able to create a bike that is exactly what I want. From geometry to color, to style, to fit. It's a pretty amazing process. Marty is really down for whatever. Which is cool. He isn't too snobby about what you want. And what I want is a tad bit unorthodox. But I figured....fuck it, if I'm getting a CUSTOM bike, I'm gonna get a CUSTOM bike.

My Geekhouse frame all tacked up and hanging on the wall at the shop.

Integrated seat post, custom one-piece bar/stem, braze-on polished Geekhouse logos, and custom powder coated rims. Those are just some of the features. I am very psyched for this thing to be done. It's mostly finished....mostly. The polishing of the braze-on logos will take hours.

The mock-up of the bike. Color is way off. As you can see from the image on the right, I am going for ZERO toe overlap.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


My last post was sometime in February. It's actually pretty amazing that I even managed to keep it going that long. Back in December of 2009 I took a second job, bumping my work hours up to 70+ hours a week, and 7 days on. I did that up until this week, taking less than 10 days off that entire time. It was brutal. My life came to grinding halt. As did my health, fitness, and ability to really participate in the things that I love the most. After about 6 months, I had had enough. So this weekend was my first weekend as a single-jobber again.

So I will be able to put some more time in to this thing here. I have been busy with other things as well. I have been DJing regularly, and that's going pretty well. You can check out more about that here. I have also been pounding away at expanding the Boston Rock Gym empire. There's a ton of news on that front. But nothing I can really get in to just yet. Here's a hint: HEART OF STEEL 2011 is going to crush anything New England has ever seen. More on that later.

I also have been doing some serious bike investing. I finally put together the road bike, and OH MAN is it gorgeous. Pics soon. And in even more exciting news, I paid for my custom Geekhouse bike! I will be documenting that whole process as well.

For now, I am back. And I give you THIEVES LIKE US VOL. 8. I have basically been obsessed with all the excellent fuzzpop and shoegaze and goth rock stuff that has been coming out lately. So I thought I would put together a little mix.


1] Anathema
2] The Mary Onettes
3] Butterfly Explosion
4] Black Tambourine
5] Ceremony
6] Cold Body Radiation
7] Solemn Novena
8] Team Ghost
9] Soundpool
10] Depreciation Guild
11] Future Islands
13] Cold Cave
14] The Big Pink
15] The Radio Dept.
16] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
17] Fungi Girls
18] Singapore Sling
19] Gliss
20] Ride
21] Blessure Grave
22] Entertainment
23] A Sunny Day in Glasgow
24] The Fauns
25] Have a Nice Life


Friday, February 19, 2010


Sorry I missed last month on the monthly mix gig. But I had A LOT on my plate with the Heart of Steel comp and what not. If I get around to it, I will make a second mix for this month highlighting some of the dark, broody music that encompassed the finals soundtrack for HEART OV ZTEEL. For now, here is Volume 7.

Pretty simple. I have been hearing a lot of talk lately about how hardcore is over, or punk is dead. Or whatever. Blah, blah, blah. So I thought I would go through some of my favorite tracks from current hardcore/punk oriented bands. So here you have it, 25 tracks proving beyond shadow of doubt that things are alive and well. Maybe you will listen to this and think a lot of the music sucks. But it's not really about that. Hell, a lot of the bands in late 80's and early 90's sucked too, but it's pretty undeniable that that was a high point for punk and hardcore. So the moral is, if you don't like these bands, START YOUR OWN FUCKING BAND. Don't sit around and whine about how shows back in the day were so much cooler, or how punk is totally dead, yadda yadda. If it's dead, it's because you killed it.


  2. ON
  9. PUNCH
  15. RVIVR
  16. THE ICE


Every once in a while, through the endless murk and mire of product, videos, and will arise that is so goddamn awesome it almost defies description. I refrain from reposting every frigging cool video I find on the internet. If you want a site for that, there are plenty out there. But this one I have run in to just so happens to combine many things which are dear to me. Cycling, the mountains, travel, good music, social activism, and radical clothing.

It is no secret that Rapha makes extremely expensive and equally awesome garments for cycling and lifestyle. So when their Spring/Summer 2010 line was made public recently, I gave it a look. Nothing completely out of the ordinary. Just really well thought out and designed apparel for the cycling community at large. But then I found this video:

TRANSIT ELITE from Dave Christenson on Vimeo.

Wow. I mean. It makes me want to go out and order one of the damn sweaters right this second. I love a brand or product with a story. And not just some contrived story for the sake of having a story. Because I'm sorry, but there is a difference between a "theme", and a "story". Something many brands seem to get confused about. Rapha has completely nailed it with this one. Good work guys. It's really great to see someone not only do things well, but do things GOOD. If you take my meaning. My only beef is obviously with the use of Cashmere and Wool. Then again, I suppose some people's version of social justice only applies to humans. Sad.

Either way, the video is superbly crafted, as is the sweater. As is the entire concept behind it. More brands should put at least half this much thought in to what they do.


So, as I posted last....I went to see a really stellar show at Great Scott in Allston. The bill was: Megasus (RI), Howl (RI), Iron Age (TX), Skeletonwitch (OH), and Doomriders (MA). Needless to say, this is a strong bill from start to finish. It was actually pretty hard to say what band I was even there to see, if you take my meaning. It was sold out, which I suppose is not saying too much in a club this size. But whatever. All in all, the show was phenomenal. It's nice to go to a show where you don't leave the front of the stage once all night.

I missed Megasus, but had heard good things about them. I picked up their LP on the way out the door based solely on the artwork alone. As it turns out, the record is good too!

MEGASUS ARTWORK. Total purchase inducing.

Dre with the metal hair!

Howl was getting ready to play just as we walked in the door. I have to say I have a tiny little soft spot in my heart for Andrea, their guitarist as we were very close friends years back when we both lived in Gainesville, FL. I remember when her boyfriend at the time was teaching her how to play guitar and we would sit in her bedroom listening to Ire records and he would teach her chords and what not. Ahhh memories. The moral is it's really awesome to see Dre ripping it up in an awesome band all these years later. Howl's music is really awesome, and sort of reminds me of a more metal and less sludgy Neurosis....or something. My only complaint was that they took too long to set up, and then their singer decided mid-song that he wanted to swap guitars. So he just stopped playing and there was about 6 minutes of down time. Sort of ruined the energy of their performance. Either way, go get their EP, because it's fucking radical.

Iron Age....KVLT?

Up next was Iron Age. I made the comment about how I thought it was pretty cool that there was a hardcore band on an obviously predominantly metal bill. Stupid me, since last I heard Iron Age, they had obviously gotten their hands on some black metal records. Because everyone in the band had grown their hair out, were clad in metal shirts, and their singer had changed his vocal stylings from the sort of gruff Cro-Mags thing they had going before to some sort of shitty screechy metal thing. They also had obtained a new guitarist whom apparently just wanted to "get dusted", listened to shitty racist black metal (Graveland), and made some comment about how he wanted to see the girls up front get kicked in the face. I'm sure this is all really hilarious to someone. But it's not to me. They were still awesome live. Their new songs are good as hell. But the reality is that Iron Age was much better when they were a hardcore band.


Skeleton Witch. Man, Ohio is a funny place. Not sure that there is anywhere else in the country where a band like this could come from. Very melodic, shredding, dancing guitars. Basically every metal stereotype is used, abused, exploited, and embraced by these guys. And while normally this would bug the shit out of me. It works really well for them. Like...REALLY WELL. Their drummer even had TWO KICK DRUMS with obnoxious heavy metal artwork painted on them. Hahaha. Spiked bracelets, long hair, denim vests, and comments telling the crowd to "get drunk, smoke weed, and EAT PUSSY." I am not kidding. I couldn't make this shit up. And I'm telling you, even if these guys are total fucking works, and they were amazing. Albeit a bit monotonous, but still great. I had some tracks by them but had never seen them live. Get in to it.


Up last, Doomriders. First off all...Nate Newton has turned in to a goddamn lumberjack since last I saw him. Holy hair! I said, this was a very, very solid bill. So it's pretty amazing how Doomriders managed to get on stage after all of these great bands played AND STILL BE ABOUT 500 TIMES BETTER THAN ALL OF THEM COMBINED. I don't give a shit what anyone says "Darkness Come Alive" is one of the best songs in the last five years, hands down. They tore through a maddeningly awesome set. I have no other words. Get their records.

Thanks to all the bands for the great show. Thanks to Steph for taking the dope pictures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So, last night I went to a show at Great Scott here in Boston. I had never so much as heard of the bands. And I must admit, in my somewhat jaded old age, it's been a while since I have dropped coin on a show where I knew zero about any of the bands. Here is how it shook out:

Some band from Brooklyn called GROOMS played. They were....fine. Sonic Youth was a good band, I get it. But I'm not sure I would start a band based on that notion alone. But whatever. I have sure as hell seen worse bands. Apparently they are a "noise-pop band from Brooklyn", uhhhh right.

Up next was a Boston band called YOUNG ADULTS. And I am not finna lie....they were awesome. I am not entirely sure how I would describe them...I guess "post-punk" but ew, I hate terms like that. Honestly though, you need to check this band out. Immediately. They are going to get big, promise. Don't listen to me though, check out their demo for free HERE.

So all in all it was a nice night out. Could have been a heck of a lot worse, that's for sure. I would have pictures of the show too, except that my partner in crime went to all the trouble of packing up her bag, stopping by her house to get her flash, swapping lenses, and FORGETTING HER SD CARD. Oof.

In other news, tonight there is an absolutely amazing show taking place at Great Scott. If you don't go, you might be an actual idiot. DOOMRIDER's new album "Darkness Come Alive" is my pick for best record of 2009. The show starts at 9. See you there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


For those of you that are local here in Boston. I have for the past month or so been DJ-ing at The Model in Allston. To any of you whom have come out to hang, dance, and support....thank you so much.

I plan to continue do it. It's every other Sunday from 10pm-2am. I play pretty much whatever the hell I feel like, so there aren't really any restrictions. I am pretty sure one night we went from Slayer to Kanye West. Which is either the best or worst thing ever. You decide. At any rate, in my constant need to stay busy, put things out there, do things new and exciting, I have started a blog for the night. Bookmark it, and check back often, as we will be recording our sets each week and posting them on the blog for download. Plus we will be scouring the music world for the best new tracks, and we will probably share them with you on the site.

If you haven't come out yet, please do. It's a great time. And it's free. Tell your friends too. Obviously, I am trying to get this thing going. Any help is much appreciated. Here is the current flyer for our party on the 21st.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Holy frigging crap. After over 80 hours of work, countless hours of route-setting, countless hours of fore-running, 6 thai meals, 7 packs of CRANK FOREARM FUEL, and at least three days of actual real craziness the Heart of Steel 2010 comp is finally done. Over 170 competitors entered the arena on January 30th to try their hands at the boulder problems. There was free food, drink, pumping beats, free shirts and racebags for each competitor, and more climbing than you could shake a stick-clip at. AND THAT'S JUST THE QUALIFYING ROUND.

After the qualifiers were done, it was time to relax, enjoy throwing out thousands of dollars in gear, raffles, and more. And to watch the premier of Taylor De Lench's climbing film "SICK. Climbing in New England". There was a super finals to determine a tie-break between Zeb Engberg and Michael Bautista. In the end, Michael made it to the finals round to compete against Rob D'Anatasio and Vasya Vorotnikov. For women, it was Sidney McNair, Sasha DiGiulian, and Francesca Metcalf.

Never being one to do anything less than totally and completely off the wall and insane, we filled the gym with about 400 spectators, blasting industrial and black metal music, and eerie red lighting and smoke. The center-piece of the event was "The Dark Crystal", a 6.5' x 3' swinging/spinning feature that I designed in collaboration with the guys at Brewer's Ledge. This feature literally blew the minds of the finalists, and the onlooking crowd. It was pretty awesome to watch it all unfold. In the end, here is who took away the most money:

MEN:1st Vasya Vorotnikov, 2nd Michael Bautista, 3rd Rob D'Anastasio.

WOMEN: 1st, Sasha DiGIulian, 2nd Francesca Metcalf, 3rd Sydney Mcnair.

I'll let these amazing shots from George Lucoozi/ASA Photographic tell the real story.

Sasha DiGiulian flashing her benjamin at the top of Women's #2

Sasha DiGiulian Reaching for the cash on Women's #1

Michael Bautista flying on Men's #1

Francesca Metcalf trying to decipher what the hell to do on The Dark Crystal.

The Victorious.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


One other reason I have been so out of touch lately is because my primary job The Boston Rock Gym is hosting our second annual HEART OF STEEL bouldering competition. I have been putting unreal amounts of work and thought in to this. It's my baby to be honest. I have the help of some seriously talented individuals to bring the climbing community what I'd (perhaps foolishly?) like to think is the most exciting climbing comp around. If you live anywhere near Boston, or even if you don't I highly recommend coming. We have thousands of dollars in gear to give away, free food, fun, excitement, and more surprises. Here is the official press release that has made the rounds all over the climbing world. It was written by my good friend Kaleigh. She is the best.


Climbing enthusiasts everywhere, mark your calenders: on January 30th, 2010 the Boston Rock Gym and Evolv will host the second annual HEART OF STEEL bouldering competition. Flaunting a $2,400 cash purse in addition to a gorgeous line-up of prizes provided by a flock of industry leading sponsors, the HEART OF STEEL appeal speaks for itself. And, believe it or not, this year's sequel is guaranteed to upstage last year's inaugural jaw-dropping throwdown.
"Big cash prizes and good competition mixed with incredible event organization make this one of the most well run and unique climbing competitions going on," explains one of last year's HEART OF STEEL finalists Jon Glassberg, "HEART OF STEEL is setting the standard and breaking the mold for competition format and style. Period." Glassberg's thrilling performance earned him third place overall in the men's Open division last year. Glassberg is shifting his focus this year by joining forces with the Boston Rock Gym's elite team of route setters rather than entering the arena as a competitor.

HEART OF STEEL's distinction as New England's premier indoor climbing competition was imminent in its countless hours of preparation the first time around. But within the dawning moments of its preliminary competition, HEART OF STEEL proved itself capable of revolutionizing the face of indoor climbing competitions not only in its district, but nation wide. The triple digit turnout was littered with strong, revered climbers; the routes were as futuristic as the concepts that breathed life into the HEART OF STEEL brainchild; Manowar's 'Heart Of Steel' (the song after which the competition earned its appellation- a reference appreciated by fans of metal music) pumped adrenaline into the iron-clad veins of every participant, climber or otherwise. The tone had been set and a vision had been realized. "I love it when a competition has a style and a theme and becomes something that spectators and non-climbers can latch on to and really associate with," says Glassberg. And this year, we can only expect a fine-tuned version of something that was nearly perfect to begin with. But overshadowing the many aspects of HEART OF STEEL leading up to its main event is the highly anticipated game show style finals round that really awards this climbing competition its rightful badge of honor.

If for no other reason, you won't want to miss HEART OF STEEL for its outstanding display of a finals round. The event's most notable distinction is its groundbreaking strategy for distributing cash prizes to the top female and male athletes of the day. Exponentially increasing denominations of cold hard cash are taped along the course of each finals problem, baiting each competitor to shamelessly duke it out amongst the others in an outrageous episode of sheer plastic-pulling pandemonium. Bathed in spotlight, each competitor is challenged to pull as many bills as possible off of the wall, creating their own personal cash pot. "Instead of being awarded a check for finishing in a top position, you can complete a finals boulder problem and have the cash in your hand as a direct result of climbing well in the moment. A tangible reward that is very motivating to climbers," Glassberg said.

In addition to the generous cash prizes, there's a whole slew of killer swag provided by some of the climbing industry's top sponsors. Just some of the loot up for grabs this year include three crashpads; two Nemo tents; sleeping bags, packs, and softshells from The North Face; Evolv shoes; rope from New England Ropes; Petzl harnesses, and more. Additionally, there will be free coffee and hot chocolate, free food, video games, and sponsor tables to take advantage of during down time.
The HEART OF STEEL competition is quickly becoming a benchmark for innovation in the competitive climbing circuit, and everyone made up of the industrial-strength vital organs to handle it is encouraged to be a part of it. "The Boston Rock Gym knows how to throw a party," Glassberg assures us.

All photos courtsey of ASA Photographic


Sorry everyone. This month has been bananas. I have not been climbing, but I have been training like crazy. I took a second job and as a result have not had a day off since early December. 7 days a week, brutally windy and cold weather has kept me mostly indoors, huddled up. Although I have been getting on my bike a lot. As it turns out, if you are dressed right, riding in single digit weather with double digit winds is honestly not that bad.

That said, for most of the winter, I was trying to figure out what the hell to wear for shoes. I needed something for cycling that would be waterproof, warm, and ride-able. While preferably not looking like total shit. Oh, and I'm vegan, so no leather. Quite a tall order. I had looked at some clipless shoes. LAKE makes some awesome ones. But I don't want to have carry extra fucking shoes with me everywhere (work, etc.) and the reality is that as soon as I get off my bike on to the icy sidewalks, I will be skating all over the damn place.

Well, as luck would have it. The Swedes come through. Just like they do with EVERYTHING. Anyhow, TRETORN makes some amazing gore-tex kicks that are also insulated and look absolutely great. They fit perfectly in to toe cages, and ride really nice. They are waterproof, windproof, insulated, and comfy as hell. I picked these buggers up and have not taken them off since. Unbelievable warmth. All I need is a pair of regular socks underneath in even the most brutal of conditions. I got the black hi-tops. Which keeps the laces out of the way of my chain ring, and provides a little extra coverage and integration between the bottom of my pants. They are not cheap. But definitely worth it. They are on sale at Sneakerstuff, check it.
The other must have item for me, is my Arc'teryx Fission SV. I had the pleasure of working closely with the brand for a while when I was the outerwear buyer at The Tannery in Harvard Square. And I got this baby for free, which is nice since they retail for something nuts like $650. However, with 500 grams of primaloft insulation inside of Gore-tex waterproof, windproof exterior shell it's worth it. I have had mine for about 4 years and it still kicking. Perfect for riding, ice climbing, mountaineering, etc. The fit is awesome, the hood fits over a helmet. This thing is unreal. Get you one!

The only thing left really is something for my legs. I have some OUTLIER pants that I love, but I can't reasonably wear those every single day. I have just been rocking jeans with base layers underneath and that seems to work fine. Anyone have any suggestions?