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The End is Nigh…

It all started with The End.

Last night Len, the laser engraver, dropped of the yo-yos and Phil and I will spend most of this week getting these babies fully put together and shipping the pre-orders.

Now that I have a pic online, let me explain a little bit about The End. It all started while working with Kiya and Sonny, I asked them for an exclusive batch of unpainted raw Eetsits to use for a special run. Of course nothing is ever as simple as that. So Phil Cox and myself started working together as “Yes, Absolutely.” and recruited our good friend Nick Corea to help modify these raw eetsits into even better devices. First we sank the bearing well in, to prevent the slipping string problem, then we removed some in surface to keep the yo-yo from being to narrow, then added groves for the silicone, then we added Shmoove Rings.

Now, this is kind of different, the Shmoove Rings are the two recessed circles on the inside of the yo-yo. It’s a new concept, I’ve never been a fan of concave bearings, but I can understand why someone would want something to reduce the friction of the string rubbing the side of the yo-yo. So I thought, why not just remove more of the inside surface? So using these rings, we’ve managed to reduce the inside surface that could rub against the string by about %50, but it doesn’t affect the wind or throw or anything.

Once the yo-yos were finished, we had them anodized. We wanted these yo-yos to have a classic and unique color, it’s hard to describe exactly what they are.. Orange/bronze/yellow/oil-ish? I like ’em, whatever color they are.

Then, with a lot of help from Nick, I took the halves to Len for the Laser Engraving process. The yo-yos were engraved on several places; the outer ring, the inside well, numbered on the posts and even writing on the inside. The inside writing, which says “Shmoove” is a subtle touch that gives the silicone more of a surface to grip on and is partially visible through the clear silicone.


Each yo-yo comes with a concave bearing and a handmade The End yo-yo holster by me. They play great and only 22 will be made. Of those, only 17 will be sold.

I’m expecting the yo-yos to ship by next monday, they retail for $150, if you are interested in getting your hands on an End by Yes, Absolutely. please email me for paypal instructions.

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BLC

Just a heads up, it looks like I’m going to ride down to the BLC this weekend in LA with Johnny DelValle.

Whee!

I hope to see tons of ya’ll there, ’cause I’m not going to worlds this year.

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My Twelve Minutes and Twenty Eight Seconds of Fame

You can download a high res version of the show here.

Last night was the episode of Master Of Champions that I’ve been waiting for, no surprise that they crazy edited it for drama and stuff.

I had a watching party with some friends last night and was able to give a little commentary during commercial breaks, here’s a bit of what you didn’t see on ABC.

When I first signed on for the show, the main priority for the producers was music. Oh my god we can’t have copyrighted tracks on the show. So they had us send in stuff that we liked and they would create a similar song. I was actually happy with what they chose for us, but Dave hated his song. I think he called it disco on a casio.

So we got our songs taken care of, then they came down to film each of us for a day. It was an entire day, we filmed some of my friends and I hanging out at Zeitgiest, then went to the Golden Gate Bridge (which was actually the first time I’d ever walked on it). Drove around a bunch and got some really cool stuff. So they pretty much allow me to say and do whatever I want, but they did ask me to say “I am the best yo-yoer in the world”. Like I would ever say something that stupid, I told them I wouldn’t do it, eventually they twisted my arm to say “I would say my innovation is what makes me one of the best yo-yoers in the world”, I hated saying something like that, but I could see why they would want something like that for the show to make it more interesting to folks. So I said it.

I tried to sneak as many of my friends and their art in as possible, they interviewed my buddies Nick and Phil, but only Phil made it in the final cut. Phil and I are building yo-yos together now as Yes, Absolutely. (our new yo-yo “The End” is now available for pre-sale, only 17 for sale, blah blah blah).

So I got 8bit bEtty’s 1” button on the show, and my Fony Hat, plus a shirt that I sewed all up with my heart on my sleeve (a theme that pops up later in the show), but they would never let me be on camera with my LoveLife Bag because of the tag on it. We filmed in my girlfriends apartment and got some of her Frida shrine (and subsequently some of her friends paintings) on there too.

The next thing they wanted was a name, originally I think that Dave and his crew where going to be Team Buzzon (an obvious selection since they are of course all core members of Buzzon), but for whatever reason the name was changed to Texas Crew. It was probably because ABC wanted to avoid specifically promoting any brand. Matter of fact, I don’t think they ever even mentioned that Bazan owns a yo-yo company do they?

Our team name was puzzling, the producers wanted to call it Team Doctor Popular, which I flat out told them I wouldn’t do. Augie, Paul, and I aren’t on the same team or anything, and they definetly don’t work for me or get paid by me, so I wouldn’t want to make them associate themselves with my site or anything. So I played around with a bunch of names that I tried to get the producers to accept, especially “Sleeper Cell” which I guess was just a little too edgy for the producers given the current political climate. Eventually the would allow me to promote The College for the Easily Amused ( http://www.easily-amused.org ). The CFTEA is a group I started with a friend a long long time ago in Minneapolis. It is purely a non-profit that I’m really no longer associated with, there are chapters everywhere, each one is run in it’s own way by the locals there. So none of us where really capitalizing by the name, it just sort of helps out these other groups.

So, we never were able to rehearse before the show, Paul lives way south, Augie lives hella north, so we didn’t actually try our routine out until we all went to LA.

There was going to be tons of practice time with the harness and lighting and stunts, but all that fell through and we only got a few runs in the harness on Thursday and none on the day of filming.

The crew watched us like babysitters, we couldn’t even pee without crew members coming along, they were always rushing us around just to end up waiting. All the rehearsals fell through and we spend most of our time in our trailer. Hurry up and wait.

During this time I got to hang out with Rick and throw cards together. I’m okay at card throwing, I think I’ve got some distance and accuracy, but not the strength this guy had, he was amazing.

So the day of the filming they kept us in a little area and wouldn’t let us watch the other acts for some reason. But Augie found a little whole in the set that we could watch some of Joe Eigo’s set. We got in trouble for that. I heard the director on his bullhorn “The ******ing yo-yo guys are in the shot!”. Way to go Augie.

Ivan was a trip, a really nice, but really out there individual. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anybody else in my life who just seemed so cool as Ivan. He is on his own planet, but he’s just so cool about it. I mean, he gave us his promo dvds and stuff, and he misspelled his own website. I assume you just gotta know that by working with Ivan you just can’t control him. So check this out, in the very middle of his set, right after the backflip off the platform, Ivan just took off. He left the building. Cameras and crew everywhere and somehow Ivan just vanished. They came pounding on all of our trailers “Have you guys seen Ivan?!”, which is hilarious ‘cause I’m thinking how could you guys lose him in the MIDDLE of his routine. You can’t go anywhere without crew people on the set, and you guys lost him?

He went to the restroom. He did a backflip, pumped up the crowd, then went to pee… came back five to ten minutes later, and went right back into his routine. Ivan hijacked the show, it was great!

The car guys were nice of course, but I didn’t get to see their routine, I just remember coming out onto the stage and thinking “wtf is this flipped car doing here?”. So last night I got to see how it got there. I think the producers were actually surprised by that, but I’m not sure.

The card throwers routine, I’m going to be honest here, it was not his night. I did get to watch his routine take place and it was just one of those nights, and all you performers out there know what I’m talking about, where you are watching someone just crash on stage. Nothing was going right for Rick. I don’t know if there was a weird draft or something because I know he could easily nail all of these tricks, but it just wasn’t happening right then. He had them reset the stage a couple of times and take way more attempts than we thought he would. There was an entire extra section with an assistant in a red dress, The first take with her didn’t go swell at all. Just lots of misses. So they took the cards of the foam board behind her and tried again, this time went even worse, he accidentally cut her with 3 throws in a row.

The funny part about all of this is that he nailed the finale on the first try. He just looked at it, and BAM! Right in there. So they edited all of his routine to make it look snazzier, except for the only trick he nailed on the first try, which they added misses to make it more dramatic I guess. The producers couldn’t just let the show be, all the real drama was deleted and all this b.s. drama was added, crazy.

So I guess that leaves the Texas Crew and Easily Amused performances.

All of our costumed rehearsals were cancelled for the day, which meant two things, the cameramen had NEVER seen our performances, and we never got a stage rehearsal with lights and everything.

So they didn’t let us watch Dave’s routine, which I didn’t mind at the time because I figured I’d see it on the TV… Now I really regret it because it looked like a bunch of stuff was missing, and they were using redundant footage, so we only saw a teeny tiny bit of their routine. I know they did offstring in the routine but they never showed it.

The harness looks like fun right? It was! A bit uncomfortable, but fun as heck. I loved practicing my Hong Kong fight scene style moves in it. Chun Li ain’t got nothing on my bicycle kick now. It doesn’t really look like it, but my jump movements where supposed to be imitating Super Mario. Imagine a gold brick above me as I jump.

There were certain uh.. costume requirements for the harness.

Oh, our costumes looked great, right?

I was really happy with our routine for the most part, since we didn’t have any practice that day, I think it helped the routine seem more spontaneous. We really did have fun while doing it, and our energy was high. After it was done, they asked if we wanted another run and I said no, because I thought it may take away from the energy, but I kinda regret that now because I don’t think they got all the good stuff on tape. The camera guys were watching it for the first time and I think they missed some of the cool things, for instance the routine ended with me being 20 feet up in the air and using a 12 long string on a viper, with Paul doing tricks with it below me. They also messed up the lighting for both acts, we invested about $125 dollars on light up yo-yos and they never even turned the lights off. The routine was supposed to begin in the dark and stay dark until halfway through, so that was pretty messed up. All of Dave’s routine was supposed to be in black light, they had dayglow string, neon yo-yos, etc, and it never even happened.

Add to that the biggest insult, they didn’t use any of the music! The routines were all cut up weird and they didn’t use the music, so all that practice of the routines and choreography was sort of thrown out the window. We could have come out to Master of Puppets, it wouldn’t have mattered.

So, I mentioned how they made Rick hit the tricks he missed and miss the tricks he hit… They totally butchered our stuff in the weirdest ways… Did you notice they kept re-using the same close ups of Dave and I? Just to add these emotions that weren’t there. Man what was up with the part where they introduced us and they said “Gentlemen, great your opponent.” Then they took out his shaking hands and added this footage from us waiting to be miked. Those shots were from us standing around when they weren’t supposedly filming. So weird, so they took out any real drama, and added this totally fake looking drama. Basically, you could tell they had an agenda from the very start of thee show, how they were going to make people look, and all that. We were hanging out with Dave’s team the whole week, Dave and I have done business together for years, and yet there are writers or cameramen coming up to us all the time saying “So, what is up with the rivalry?” WHAT?! Stop asking that.

There was probably more rivalry between Ivan and Eigo. I think the shows biggest flaw could be that reluctance to go with unfolds naturally, and stick to a preconceived idea. The talent is high, but they twist whatever happens into something else. Make a good performer look bad, create false emotions using stock footage, ignore the amazing things that happen right in front of the camera.

Blah blah blah. I’m not bitching, seriously, I’m just giving extra info for those who care about the process of the show, and the performers involved. Of course I’m bias and stuff, but I think it’s a pretty interesting story. The end result is that all of us involved are so grateful to be a part of this. It was a huge thing for our sport and for each of us to have a chance to come out there. I felt personally that we did the best we could do, we had an awesome time filming it and hanging out, and hopefully everyone will see extra performances out of this. I’m sure Dave will have some cool new kids come to his club, I’m hoping to meet more yoers in the area, and maybe more folks will check out some of my comics and music and stuff.

added: And just to show how yo-yoing can enter the pop culture vocabulary for a day or two, check this vid out

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New date for Master of Champions

Hello cool world,

I have just heard from the ABC executives that our show date has been officially moved to July 6th!

So, watch it this Thursday if you like, but be sure to schedule a free evening for the 6th, and might as well go ahead and request the following day off from work to… Cause your just gonna stay up all night watching it over and over again on your TiVo.

Word?

I’m finishing up the last of the silkscreened and embroidered Hand of Yo shirts, if you interested, send me your shirt size (keeping in mind that American Apparel is just a little smaller than other tees) and I’m expecting a new yo-yo in the Doc Pop Store any day now.

Word.

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Thursday Thursday Thursday


This Thursday, June 22nd, I’ll be performing with DJ Marz at the Hemlock Tavern. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll be doing yet, but I’m sure it’ll be keen as heck. Here’s a secret, if you say “Pippylongstockings” at the door, you get in for free, not kidding.

I’ve been informed by the producers over at ABC that our episode of Master of Champions will air on June 29th, unless the big basketball game goes on an extra week, then the show will air on the following thursday.

That being said, here is a listing from the Futon Critic with show info and a different time slot.

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/listings.aspx?id=20060615abc03

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Master of Costumes


There’s a new boutique on lower fourteenth, right beside where Needles and Pens used to be*. It’s owned by Miranda Carol’s, and primarily features Miranda’s own designs, however my friend Bethanne has some jewelry there too.

For the show, I wanted our team to have some decent costumes, so I went to Ross and bought three orange shirts to work with. I got together with Miranda and discussed my idea, based on old shirt with a heart on the sleeve that I designed (that will also probably be in the show also). Amanda sewed the original shirt design.

I’m really happy with the end result, I also bought a black coat to have as a back up in case we needed it for our stunt. A heart was added to the coat as well as cool blue and orange trim.

Miranda took my heart on the sleeve idea and made it uber sexy, note the embroidery on the collar too. She also added a zipper to my pants and surged the edges of the coat with orange and blue thread.


Bottom line, Paul, Auggie, and I look great in our fresh new gear, word.

miranda caroligne – a living construction boutique
485 14th st @ guerrero sf ca
open 1-7pm tuesday – sunday
415-355-1900
www.mirandacaroligne.com

* Needles and Pens moved over to where Otsu used to be** on Guerrero and 16th..

** Otsu has moved across the street from 826 Valencia.

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Augie, Paul, and myself are all back in the Bay Area now after a week of rehearsing and filming a yo-yo routine for ABC’s new prime time TV show Master Of Champions. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the show should air on June 29th right before an NBA game.

The idea of the show is that they find people who are in the very top of their field and they have them compete against another act, then all of the finalists come back at the end of the show and a group of celebrity judges choose the “Master of Champions“. The show is an hour long, and our show features a pimped out car, b-boy, karate expert, and card thrower.

The other act they matched us up against was Dave Bazan’s Texas Crew (w/ Jesse Garcia, Miguel Correa). Incidentally, our crew was called The College For the Easily Amused.

The show was crazy, hectic, and stressful. I’m not gonna lie, it was 4 days of mis-communications, hotel problems, waiting in hot trailers, and production problems that had us all stressed out. Both teams were jerked around, with last minute extra challenges and changes to the show. I was way out of the loop on so many things, even all they way up to when they were interviewing us for the show, I know I said some stupid stuff about hoping to come back or something, because they said something about some guests having a chance to come back later. So I’ll probably look pretty silly. The week was a rollercoaster to say the least. Speaking of which, Augie and I met up with my girlfriend Shannon in LA and took a train ride back.

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Hello folks,

It’s been a while, not due to a lack of things to type about, but actually because I’ve been overwhelmed with new projects.

First off, I will be going to LA next week to shoot some material for an upcoming show on ABC television. I don’t want to talk to much about it right now, because things always change, but a camera crew will be coming to SF this weekend to shot some bio material on Doctor Popular, and then me, Paul, and Augie will be heading down to LA to compete as a team against another yo-yo squad. The show will likely be airing in early July.

Pretty nifty.

My buddy RJ has updated the site a bit, fixed some links and added some stuff to the store. I have copies of my newest comic book “Ideas” for sale, super cheap and it’s 24 pages!

Next week I will be picking up special edition Doctor Popular Element X’s from Buzzon. These will be recessed, big bearinged, marble blue, black metal rimmed, with bright orange pogs. Gaudy? Heck ya, that’s the point!

Yes, Absolutely. is the name of a new yo-yo company headed by Phil Cox and myself, our first yo-yo, The End will be a special edition of Anti-Yo‘s Eetsit, featuring an awesome new anodized paint job, laser printing, silicone response, and shmoove rings. This yo-yo is about a month away in production.

For fans of Drown Radio, my music project, check out NerdcoreHipHop.org and RhymeTorrents.com for some new tracks. Drown Radio will be featured on a couple tracks on the upcoming Nerdcore Hip Hop Compilation coming out on June 6th and downloadable for free from RhymeTorrents.com. Here is a new verse and beat I did for my session on the Nerdcore Posse track. I like it… note the mouth harp.

Those of you in LA, send me a “hey howdy” if you’d like to be part of our National Yo-Yo Day hang out activities. I’m propossing a game of Miniature Yolf right here, right now.

If you live in the Bay Area and are over 21, this Sunday is Consurtium of Yo at Zeitgiest bar, this would be a good chance to wear your Doc Pop Hand of God shirts and be caught on film by the ABC film crew.

Check my calendar on www.DocotorPopular.com