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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!

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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