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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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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

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