So it turns out your reward for having a surprisingly magical SXSW–in which your Built to Spill-reminiscent band with its Cool Kids-reminiscent bandname plays a few good shows out in the sun with Eat Skull and Ponytail–is a March 24th-dated cease and desist order. Teenage Cool Kids–“four shark-tooth-necklace wearing bros” from Denton, Texas who play pleasantly Merge-era indie-rock–were served on Tuesday by lawyers purporting to represent the other Cool Kids, hipster rap duo extraordinaire out of Chicago, Illinois. To wit:
Please be advised we represent Creating Art for Kids Everywhere, LLC (“CAKE“), the owner of all right, title, interest in and o the United States registered trademark, THE COOL KIDS (the “THE COOL KIDS MARK“)(attached hereto as Exhibit A is Registration Certificate). It has come to our attention that your use of the name, TEENAGE COOL KIDS (the “Infringing Name“) in commerce associated with entertainment services, audio performances, live music, live online concerts, recorded music, and concerts, infringes our client’s federally registered trademark rights and dilutes the products and services associated with THE COOL KIDS Mark.
See the full pdf, which the Teenage Cool Kids helpfully (if perhaps unwisely) put online, here. The letter goes on in the same entertaining mix of agonized legalese, uneven capitalization, and self-aggrandizement for another couple of pages. There is a spirited legal debate underway at Viva La Vinyl as to just how much business the Cool Kids really mean here. To which our only contribution might be to point out that Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish have never been less than extremely harsh towards swagger-jackers.
And we might further point out that having a logo that reads “Teenage Cool Kids (The Rock Group)” seems an awful lot like a tacit admission that confusion was inevitable. And that having a song called “Sleeper Hold” on your MySpace page might seem to be tempting yet another one of these letters from No Age, who are probably too nice to sue but who also could be forgiven for feeling awfully proprietary about that particular song title. [h/t our buddies at Weekly Walkie Talkies]