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Exclusive Premiere: The Slants “Con Kids”

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The Slants have no problem making a statement, but they’d probably rather just keep making their infectious dance-rock. The Portland, Ore., group, who is known for providing the soundtrack to some insane dance parties, brings their music to the masses with a message. Much like bands like Public Enemy and N.W.A., The Slants, who are all Asian American, are co-opting what was once a racial slur and making it their own. Unfortunately the US Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t see it like that, and when The Slants went to trademark their name, they got embroiled in a lawsuit sparked by a government attorney’s claim that the band’s name was disparaging to Asians. “We were pulled into an unexpected struggle,” explains founder and bassist Simon Young. “A touring band has enough to worry about, let alone an international disaster involving friends and family or dealing with a legal battle against the United States government.” Speaking about the trademark suit, he added, “It was like banging our head against the wall, trying to convince someone that we were not offensive to ourselves, that the community was in overwhelming support of our band.”

Not that fans of The Slants are going to listen to some fusty trademark attorney when it comes to recognizing that the band’s shout-along anthems are filled with ethnic pride, community spirit and set to a beat that is nothing but dance-party fuel. Their new album, The Yellow Album , the group’s third, was named with that same playful calling out of racial stereotypes that has become the band’s hallmark. “We’ve actually been sitting on the idea for a few years,” says Moxley. “The Beatles had The White Album, Metallica and Jay Z had The Black Album, so we wanted to have The Yellow Album.” It is filled with the band’s “Chinatown dance rock” meaning dynamic songwriting, driving beats, and head-over-heels rock and roll abandon, which regardless of whatever ruling the US Patent and Trademark Office makes are the band’s real trademark.

Watch the new video for The Slants “Con Kids”:

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Catch The Slants on tour:

12/01/12 – Ash St. Saloon (Heather’s going away party, 21+) – Portland, OR
1/04/12 – Destination Anime at Emerald Coast Convention Center – Destin, FL
1/05/12 – Destination Anime at Emerald Coast Convention Center – Destin, FL
3/22/13 – Zenkaikon at Lancaster County Convention Center – Lancaster, PA
3/23/13 – Zenkaikon at Lancaster County Convention Center – Lancaster, PA
3/24/13 – Zenkaikon at Lancaster County Convention Center – Lancaster, PA
3/25/13 – Zenkaikon at Lancaster County Convention Center – Lancaster, PA
5/24/13 – Ultimacon at Sheraton New Orleans – New Orleans, LA
5/25/13 – Ultimacon at Sheraton New Orleans – New Orleans, LA
5/26/13 – Ultimacon at Sheraton New Orleans – New Orleans, LA

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Trump Funny or Die

Art of the Spoof

Watch Johnny Depp, Jack McBrayer, Patton Oswalt and More in Funny or Die’s Donald Trump Biopic

Johnny Depp just got very classy.

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Photo Credit: Funny or Die

We’re barely halfway through February, but this year’s Too Many Cooks Award for the most bizarre comedy project is already a lock. Blindsiding the world with greatness without any warning, Funny or Die released a 50-minute Donald Trump parody starring an unrecognizable Johnny Depp as Donny.

Ron Howard introduces this “lost” 1988 TV movie adaptation of Trump’s how-to manual The Art of the Deal produced with the retro quality of a Wendy’s training video. Along for the big hair and shoulder pads flashback are Patton Oswalt, Alfred Molina, Todd Margaret‘s Jack McBrayer, Andy Richter, Rob Huebel, Jason Mantzoukas, Paul Scheer, and Michaela Watkins as Ivana — as well as many Reagan-era surprises like a cameo from that loveable cat eater ALF and a theme song by Kenny Loggins.

Much like Eric Jonrosh of The Spoils Before Dying and The Spoils of Babylon fame, “Trump” writes, directs, and narrates his own epic tale of real estate wheelings-and-dealings. Check out the trailer below, and head over to Funny or Die to watch the full Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal movie before the real Donald sics his army of lawyers on Will Ferrell and company. (For more bizarro Johnny Depp characters, be sure to catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this month on IFC.)

Exclusive premiere: Sebastian Mikael “Beautiful Life”

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Sebastian Mikael left his native Sweden for the land of opportunity and so far it’s worked out very well for this classically trained singer/songwriter with a voice that makes Auto-Tune sound off key. While at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Mikael wrote this love ballad in his dorm room, about a girl far away in LA.

“It’s my most personal song,” Mikael said. “I wrote it when I had just gotten out of a rough relationship. I was like, ‘Man, I wasted all this time.’ She lived in LA and I lived in Boston. It’s about that relationship. It’s about what I felt. And it’s also about looking at her perspective, knowing that nobody’s perfect, and it takes two to make something work.”

It was a YouTube video for this same song that caught the eye of former Motown Records’ Sylvia Rhone, who scooped him to her new Vested in Culture label partnership, with Epic Records. Here Mikael performs his deeply personal song, in all its harmonic smoothness live at Converse Rubber Tracks, in Brooklyn. Expect a debut full-length sometime in 2013.

 

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Exclusive Download: Peanut Butter Lovesicle “Complex”

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Peanut Butter Lovesicle isn’t the name you’d expect for a band out of Brooklyn these days, nor does their blues/psyche rock sound call to mind the moustachioed lofts of Bushwick or the gilded parlors of Williamsburg. You might think LA or Akron, Ohio. But everything I first assumed about this young dirty threesome turned out to be wrong.

PBL, as you may wish to refer to them, scored a spot on Gossip Girl for their single “Black Eyed Blues” which was then turned into a video with actor Ed Westwick (and model Julie Henderson). They recorded their new EP, “Dirty Pride,” live in an old church up in the Hudson Valley with Lenny Kravitz/Mick Jagger go-to man, Henry Hirsch.

“Complex originally started as a piano part which is now the intro, it was slower and reminded me of a church melody,” vocalist/drummer Timmy Miller, who penned the song said. “When played faster, with guitar and added parts, it came out like you hear it; a heavy downbeat groover…. it’s a favorite of mine and I can visualize the scene of the lyric when I hear it.”

DOWNLOAD: Peanut Butter Lovesicle “Complex”

The band kicks off a tour tonight, Nov 29th,  at Brooklyn’s at Cameo gallery.

 

 

Full Tour dates:
Nov 29 – Cameo Gallery – Brooklyn, NY
Dec 01 – Yesterdays – Marmora, NJ
Dec 06 – Tammany Hall – New York, NY
Dec 08 – Grape Room – Philadelphia, PA
Dec 19 – Scully’s – Columbus, OH
Dec 22 – Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA
Dec 27 – Windber Hotel – Windber, PA
Dec 28 – Hurricane Relief – New Brunswick, NJ

 

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