SAN FRANCISO — Offensive band names are a staple of rock music. San Franciscans of a certain age will remember The Dead Kennedys of punk rock fame. The Butthole Surfers, Pussy Galore and Dying Fetus developed substantial followings despite, or because of, their outrageous names.

Oregon dance rock band The Slants is another that seems determined to provoke. The band’s Asian-American founder, Simon Tam, has said the band’s name is not intended to offend people of Asian descent, but rather “a way to reclaim that stereotype and take ownership of it”—much as Dykes on Bikes has done with sexual orientation stereotyping.

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