Interview: Kid Koala + new videos from his band, The Slew

Interview: Kid Koala + new videos from his band, The Slew (photo)

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Eric San, aka Kid Koala, started work on a rock record with his pal Dynomite D (whom he met on the ’98 the Beasties Boys tour) after they had been approached to do a soundtrack for a documentary film. The film never materialized but the result of the collaboration is the deadly rock outfit, The Slew: Kid Koala, Dynomite D, Chris Ross & Myles Heskett – the former rhythm section of Wolfmother. And six turntables.

I was involved in booking a gig in Milwaukee some five or more years ago with Kid Koala where we met in a dark, sweaty little club. His performance blew my mind, and I swear he produced a third hand somewhere in that blur of three-turntable light speed man handling. I corresponded with him about this and our mutual love for Milwaukee’s Old Man Malcolm. He also admitted to having a thing for Woody Allen weepies. Read all about it and check out these hot off the press live videos of The Slew!

I remember there was something odd on that Milwaukee contract rider like tube socks or soft TP you used to cushion the turntables. Do you still roll like that?

I remember that gig! Malcolm Michilles was there deejaying too. He’s still one of my favorite deejays on the planet.

Yeah the tech rider probably had household rolls of toilet paper on it. You put them under each leg of the table to help absorb some of the low end feedback on the turntable needles. It’s all very nerdy but it works. It was actually Malcolm that taught me that trick!

I remember doing a show with Citizen King and seeing them all jump around and his turntables were set up in front of the bass amp. And they were all jumping around and the needles didn’t skip or feedback. I asked, “How did you do that?” He said, “Rolls of toilet paper. It’s the best 2 bucks you could ever spend.” He was also the first dj I know that used sawhorses turntable stands. They were way sturdier than regular tables and they folded up and toured well.

We still use sawhorses today on Slew tour. We added extra layers of foam and rubber feet to help further. But it’s generally the same idea. They’re great. And they let us rock out and not have to worry about needles skipping or anything. It’s just drop the needle and go!

So you see, I owe a lot to the Milwaukee DJ scene!

So where do these tough songs come from with The Slew, who writes them, you, everyone?

Dynomite D and I put these tracks together over the last 4 and half years. We wanted to make a heavy sounding record that all of our skater friends would enjoy. Every layer on the record was hand cut on a turntable… that’s why it took so long and also why a lot of it has that twisted turntable sound which we liked. We knew we wanted this record to be off the grid… so doing it by hand was one way to get that feel.

Chris Ross, and Myles Heskett (formerly of Wolfmother) joined us to help recreate the album tracks live on our first Slew tour earlier this year. We had so much fun playing with them that we’ve planned to record a new Slew album. They’re going to record some bass and drum parts for us… at which point we will cut it to vinyl and recut their parts back into the tracks and see what happens. It should be fun.

What song would you live inside of if you could?

It’s Not Easy Being Green.

What film?

The Hudsucker Proxy.

You dabbled with composing some for some shorts haven’t you? Ever thought about feature films? Let’s make this a three part question while we’re at it, what film would you score or write a soundtrack for if you could?

No one’s ever asked me to score a feature film. I’ve mostly scored for animated shorts so far. Right now, I’m happy just scoring scenes from my comic books to get used to the whole idea of tailoring music to picture and different dramatic moments. It’d be fun to score a Woody Allen film or a quirky rom com. I could do a handcut turntable New Orleans Jazz soundtrack for that! I think The Slew could easily do a great score for some action-adventure movie. That’s some great car chase music!


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.