ICFTG greatest hits

23 06 2008

a lot of people think a band should wait until after their fifth album to do a greatest hits album.  

personally, i think they should release one as soon as possible; a lot of bands just don’t make it to a fifth release and/or release at least one album full of duds somewhere after their “brilliant sophomore effort”.  

and we all know you want the greatest hits album before the 13 track craptastrophe.     

it is with this (our) imminent failure in mind that I have compiled this post: i want our inspired garbage to be highlighted before we start writing uninspired garbage…..

climbing is overrated

i am cursed

lying is rad

soul versus numbers

problem name-o-rama

garage problems


the anatomy of a garage problem as seen through the eyes of the architect

24 03 2008


in the midst of this gloriously relaxing evening, while contemplating the nature of my first guest quip, i decided that i would expound upon that which i am most familiar and qualified to expound upon; namely the art of setting that which we treasure most: the garage problem. for without this simple pleasure bestowed upon us by those most highly esteemed individuals to whom homage should be payed, our lives would be a little more empty. i feel it is one of the few arts to which i have a unique insight and understanding, and frankly, one of the few things i am truly passionate about. furthermore, i feel it is my solemn duty to share this divine knowledge of mine in order that others may benefit from it’s truth and beauty, and render their world just a tad closer to thearchitecturality- that utopian, perfectly set garage society to which we all strive.

but first, in order to understand the anatomy of a garage problem, we must first understand the setter and his process.

the day starts with me entering the garage which is that garage that does not belong to tissue tendons, and the one which i am only partially responsible for creating. lets say on this particular day i am climbing alone, again. i begin to warm up on the same problems that have been on the wall for months utilizing the same holds that have been on the wall for years, reflecting upon the intransient nature of my setting and how it reflects the intransient nature of my climbing ability. i put on the same cd that has been in the cd player for the entire season and pretend that it makes me want to climb instead of play guitar hero and/or cathartically destroy the cd player. i slowly warm up.

as my brain is slowly able to convince my fingers that they’re going to do some climbing whether they wanted to or not, and they submit to the tyranny of my traverses, i start to feel like i can begin to attempt to climb hard despite the utter lack of motivation that is creeping like a pump into my bloodstream. i search for some new problem that i can latch onto with a misguided belief that it will fulfill me in some way, but settle instead on an unfinished line from the last session. i try it and fail on it again mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately large wingspan.

with my demotivation building more, it’s at that moment that i spy a new problem on the far wall, and a contemplation of the meaning of this garage climbing is briefly averted. i try it with fresh enthusiasm and fail on it mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately large wingspan. i look around at the empty garage and begin to ask myself what i am doing here and whether i really believe this is fun- but in the process, again, spy a new problem, poorly taped, starting in the corner. desperately seeking affirmation, i try the problem and fail on it mostly due to the lack of a disproportionately long torso and legs.

it is at this point that i go into a sort of knee jerk reaction mode. it is not so important that you utilize my same methods for arrival at this point, only that you too get to this feeling of aggravated dejection and use it as the motivation for your garage problems.

the trick now is to visualize all the climbers you know failing miserably, and to channel that into your problem. mentally note the moves where they always seem to have trouble, get frustrated on, or fail at, and consciously make note to include those in your creation. think about their body type and imagine what would give it trouble. analyze their strengths and play to their weaknesses. but most importantly set the very epitome of a problem they would hate.

however, the trick now is to get them to try the problem. and this is where the real genious comes in. for unless you have mastered the art of setting, all your scheming will have been in vain.

it begins with the line. nothing- nothing, is as important as the line. it is that which always catches our eye first and beckons us with it’s sirens song. it is the sacred geometry of the wall that jumps out at us and yells in our faces like a drunk disgruntled walrus telling us, oh yes, this is where the route shall go. you must find this line. it is your destiny.

next comes the holds. you must use the best, most dope holds available. and you must establish early that those holds are yours and not to be used otherwise in the creation of some bastard child route of satan. the late, great hunter s. thompson once wrote: “you can establish the right reputation in this regard- you might, right in the middle of conversation, just swat some motherfucker across the room. make his blood shoot out in big spurts.” hunter s. thompson was one of the best setters.

and finally comes the movement. the visualization of failure mentioned above is utilized here. make the route as utterly scrunched as possible. force a heel hook over their head on a sloper so it pulls their shoe off. force that high step that is all but impossible for anyone else. but most importantly make it suit you to a ‘t’. this becomes important later when you will be running laps on it to show everyone that “it’s not that bad.” finally, tell everyone about your route, and how you specifically set it for them, and how they have to try it.

assuming you have carried out these instructions within reasonable accuracy you should be well on your way to creating the kind of discord necessary to foster a healthy climbing posse. at the very least, you should feel better about yourself having crushed everyone else’s egos and dreams of being the strongest garage climber. they will have to bow down to your pwnage and accept that they just cannot seem to climb your uber-problems; that the moves don’t fit their body type at all, yet somehow, they just have to keep trying them. no need to thank me though. i am but one humble man, earnestly seeking that righteous path towards thearchitecturality.

-the architect