Bodog Music Battle Of The Bands: The Slants go another round, but where's the love?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Some cool news about The Slants and making their way further into the Bodog Music Battle Of The Bands contest (from their newsletter):

Portland, Oregon-based Asian outfit The Slants - Simon Young (bass), Aron (vocals), Jen Cho (keyboards), Gaijin (keyboards), AC (drums), and Jonathan (guitar) - have just won the third round of the second-ever Bodog Music Battle of the Bands. The Asian dance rock band will now be moving on to round four of the competition for an opportunity to win a million dollar recording contract.

So far in the competition, The Slants have obtained first place in every single round. However, it has not been an easy journey as they had the odds stacked against them from the beginning of the battle in Seattle.

"Half of our band was stranded on the way up to the show because of car problems," says founder and bassist Simon Young. "However, a close friend of ours saved the day when he decided to drove from Portland to pick them up-and they barely made it to the show on time! Furthermore, during the rush to get the other members up here, they left several pieces of key equipment - like drumsticks! Luckily, our friends in the band Silversafe were also performing and gave us enough to make it through."

Unlike most bands in the competition, a major portion of The Slants' fan base is made of proponents of Asian culture: appreciators of anime, manga, jrock, and games. In fact, a large portion of The Slants' tour duties include special performances at anime conventions such as Kumoricon, Sakuracon, MTAC, and others across the country.

The Asian media, a very supportive network, has also helped propel interest in The Slants, with publications such as The Asian Reporter, Asian Week, AA Press, and Shojo Beat Magazine doing features on them.
At the same time, there was an article in the The Portland Mercury which had this to say about The Slants:

We get it. The Slants are Asian. The Portland sextet has a boastful bio which constantly mentions it, all of their press seems to hinge solely on that fact, and the band plays up every possible stereotype by booking slots at anime expos and holding a contest for an adorable pink Hello Kitty guitar. Much like a white rapper with confidence issues, the Slants' constant reminders of their ethnicity seem forced, if not a little desperate. Much like any white kid can rock the mic with the best of them, the concept of a few Asian kids playing keyboard rock isn't exactly mind-blowing, nor does the experience lead to, as their bio puts it, "melting people's faces off with 'Chinatown Dance Rock.'" Instead, the Slants offer another take on the sterile dance rock made popular by Depeche Mode, the Faint, and countless others who clutter the stage with an abundance of keyboards and black clothing. While Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts (OMG! Slanted eyes, because, you know, they are totally Asian!) was released last September, tonight is another CD release, this time celebrating national distribution for the album. EAC
Reading this is kinda like WTF? So an Asian American band is too Asian for this reviewer (AA, white, black - it doesn't really matter who EAC is)? So you can be as white as you wanna be but being Asian American and loving all things Asian is wrong? Giving something away with a *gasp* Asian theme is stereotypical? Talking about your experiences as an Asian American is desperate?

I mean seriously - who let the intern write this?

Did someone have a deadline they couldn't meet and promised EAC some sexual favors? Don't they have editors down at that paper? Shouldn't the intern be fetching coffee and donuts instead of trying to make a coherent sentence?

Fine if the reviewer doesn't dig the music - but bashing on The Slants' Asian goodness - well, that's what I'd call desperate.