Seaweed - Four (1993 - Sub Poop)
Seaweed - Weak (1991 - Sub Plop)
I started snowboarding in 1991. It was a glorious thing to experience. I bascially learned how to snowboard on golf courses. This may sound weird, but the only mountain we had near us was called Big Birch and, let me be honest, there was nothing big about it and I dont really recall any Birch trees, but that part is of minor significance. The main point is that it should have been called Big Bump. I got some better snowboarding in on my front yard then I ever did at that paltry mountain. But credit is due where credit is due; along with my friends Joe and Fooch and another friend from high school, Dan Hickey, we made the trek to learn snowboarding. I believe Dan was the only one who had been before. Joe and Fooch and I were deep into skateboarding at this point so it seemed a natural progression to throw the same moves down while moving very fast on a slippery downward slope. This turned out to not be a bad thing and we all picked it up within the afternoon. Except for Dan, he already knew what was going on. That night we went to the old folks home and used the hill to try out some more carves. This also proved useful and quite more so because it was free and only a walk away from the house. Thus began out snowboarding lives.
That winter was great. In fact, we had lots of good winters in the early 90's. Not really sure what happened, but its of no consequence to me (excuse the extreme ecological incorrectness of ignoring what many call Global Warming), this is a story about snowboarding, and somehow, the band Seaweed. So fast forward a few weeks and one of us came up with the great idea of to hit the Mount Kisco golf course. This was probably Joe as he and his dad did landscaping and plowing and he was privy to lots of hidden areas of the great expanses of tiny Northern Westchester. So we head out there and sure enough there is a hill. Kids are sledding and we begin snowboarding. It was tiny, but it made for an easy hike back up and it was endless fun. Especially when we started making jumps. Now, which one of decided to venture into the golf course, i dont know, but it was surely inspired by one of the sand traps that we encountered on our first day there. They made natural jumps and were capable of giving you quite a pop into the air. So begins our 18 hole adventure of snowboarding.
In an effort to move this along, I will say that the first year of my snowboarding career took place mostly in that golf course, slogging with our boards, hitting every sand trap we could. Sometime just setting up on the high side of a sand trap and treating it like a mini bowl. After all, we were skateboarders and it was hardly a stretch to think of snowboarding as incredibly similar. So sand trap after sand trap, grinding bushes covered in snow, shooting through trees, I only wish I could do that now without getting arrested.
So, in a similar vein as my experiences with Thrasher Magazine playing tastemaker to my unbridled enthusiam for all things punk and hardcore, Transworld Snowboarding entered my life and, aside from offering pretty pictures of places I wouldnt visit until over a decade later, it offered a wonderful music section which I frequently would skip to first to see what was new.
Enter Seaweed. The biggest draw for checking out Seaweed wasnt that they were punk. That was a given. Thats most of what Transworld and Thrashers music sections consisted of. The biggest draw for me was the fact that they were from Tacoma, WA. I was born in Tacoma, Washington, exactly one day after my father died in an Air Force accident. Saving the specific dates for myself, it happened on the 11th while my mom was in the hospital and the 12 I was born into this world. Needless to say, my Bronx born mother was now alone with a new child in her care and a family that was very far away. So my tenure in Tacoma and the west coast ended shortly after it began and we moved to Yonkers where my grandparents could help my mother get back on her feet and take care of me when the need arose. This was an agreeable decision to my unformed mind and I happily remember this as my life. I am a New Yorker, born and raised just over a half our out of NYC. But I was born in Tacoma, and this is where a great rift happened that I to this day have not figured out. It was draw that could not be ignored and before I knew it I had ran to the store and purchased Four by Tacoma's very own Seaweed. Somehow I felt my dad would be proud.
It's no suprise that music and skating or snowboarding go so well together. Fluid motion, pushing yourself, pulling off sweet moves like in the BMX movie RAD or Breakin' all deserved proper soundtracks. Seaweed was the most inspiring soundtrack to go snowboarding to. It was perfect in every way. It was upbeat, melodic punk, with great vocals, great lyrics, not too much or too little of anything. In fact, I will go so far as to say Seaweed made me a better snowboarder. How, I couldnt tell you, but I'm laying claim to the truth of that statement. Of course Seaweed didnt prevent me from destroying my knee, but maybe thats a whole other matter. I dont hold it against them. Seaweed still rules these many years later. And the link with Tacoma? Still hits every time, gives me chills of nostalgias and mysteries I dont quite get. I imagine my father smiling.