Ya he leído en varios lugares que a Best Coast se les ha acabado la fórmula, que ya no emocionan, que el LoFi cálido de su primer trabajo se ha perdido en la producción más aguerrida y poderosa de Wally Gagel. Evidentemente, a Bethany se la tenían guardada desde varios medios cuando el año pasado publicase Fade Away.
Aquí hay varios aspectos: evidentemente, Best Coast no son Frank Zappa ni son un grupo que vaya a pasar a la historia por cambiar cualquier movimiento musical ni por un carácter especialmente innovador. Hay cientos de bandas que continúan facturando sonidos semejantes durante toda su carrera y son un deleite escucharles cuando en sus sonidos hay autenticidad o, como en el caso del dúo Consentino–Bruno, las canciones son la herramienta perfecta para llevarse por delante el gusto de todos los que disfrutamos con su música.
Personalmente, continúo disfrutando de las canciones ingenuas de Bethany Consentino (¿Acaso ahora todos los grupos Pop tienen que ser, además, poetas de su generación?). Sus historias continúan enganchándome, sus voces dobladas continúan cautivándome.
Su sonido, en lo básico, no ha variado: sí que hay más trucos de producción, sí que hay quizás más poderío en las baterías y desde luego se han perdido los defectos de su primer trabajo. Es lo normal.
Oyendo Heaven sent, Feeling Ok, In my eyes, So unaware, When will I change, California nights, Run through my head… sigo creyendo en la música de Best Coast. Si en el cuarto álbum suenan a Sheryl Crow o a Hole (comparaciones que ya he leído en algún lugar…), dejaré de creer en ellos.
Tenían razón los que decían que en este Ep de 2013 de Bethany Cosentino y Bob Bruno se habían recargado las pilas. Les ha salido un disco más que interesante, en el que no sobra nada (me encantan los Ep´s), y en el que, en verdad, parece que enseñan un poco las garras. Bueno, hay que tomarse ésto en su justa medida, aunque sí que es cierto que su sonido se torna algo más crudete y la distorsión es algo más protagonista.
De entrada hay que decir que el concepto de la música de Best Coast continúa siendo el mismo: Pop soleado, Pop de raíces sesenteras y temáticas sentimentales en la mayor parte de sus temas. Evidentemente, lo que funciona no hay que tocarlo. Y nada más comenzar nos topamos de bruces con This lonely morning que probablemente sea de lo mejor que Bethany haya escrito jamás. Y me gustaría destacar la facilidad para la melodía y el estribillo pegajoso que posee esta chica. Porque continúa haciéndolo en I wanna know, y la traca festiva continúa con Who I have become. Un comienzo de auténtico diez. Sin paliativos.
Encontramos algo de pausa en la nostálgica Fear of my identity y en Fade away, donde podemos rastrear la estela del Pop de féminas de mediados de los sesenta. Baby I´m crying muestra influencias de Mazzy Star, y el tema que cierra, I don´t know how, es un corte algo más convencional, de Pop de toda la vida, con cambio de ritmo incluido, para epilogar este brillante extended play.
En Fade Away Bethany continúa preguntándose cuestiones del tipo: “Last 30 seconds I’ll wait for him,”, “You taught me that my heart would grow old”, “I won’t change/ I’ll stay the same”, “Life is short but so am I. What does it matter, anyway?”, “Who have I become?”… las dudas del eterno adolescente. Y precisamente en esa frescura pienso que es donde radica el encanto de su música. Mientras que la conserve, Best Coast tendrá cuerda para rato, pese a que para muchos el género esté de capa caída. Con discos como Fade Away, Bethany demuestra justo lo contrario.
“Fade Away attempts to answer these questions in a single, satisfying way: by returning to the unmistakable elements that characterized Best Coast when they hatched during the fuzzy garage-pop boom a few years ago. She’s back with propulsive melodies, a significant dose of reverb, repetition, and sticky, simple lyrics about aimlessness and the type of love that advances at a lackadaisical West Coast pace. The project is a return to form in the most literal of senses, too—it’s out on Cosentino’s new label, Jewel City, and at an unorthodox seven-song length, it has the scrappy, self-governed feel of her band’s early demos, albeit with a bit more polish. There are no name producers in the credits or songs that sound like jingles written for the Los Angeles Department of Tourism. Which is to say there’s nothing on Fade Away that would fit naturally on Best Coast’s slickly inert sophomore album, The Only Place, a record that boasted maturity but never really resonated.
But while it’s tempting to claim that Best Coast have reverted to a simple formula, or to think of Fade Away as an easy stopgap between The Only Place and the band’s next record, that’s not quite what’s happening, either. There are touches of sophistication across Fade Away that Best Coast haven’t been able to achieve until now, and Cosentino glides easily between shades of guitar-pop and chillier sounds. She seems as comfortable on a swooning ballad (“Fade Away”) as she does on a song that harnesses the frenetic sugar of Josie and the Pussycats (“This Lonely Morning”) or the gauzy whisper of Mazzy Star (“Baby I’m Crying”). She’s flexing her muscles as a songwriter, and she makes something that’s probably very difficult sound as though it comes easily to her.
The Cosentino who openly admits to struggle, or to not having figured it all out, then, is now relegated a familiar lyrical space. It can be easy to write her words off as too simplistic, too repetitive, or to dismiss them as retrograde in sentiment, but those qualities are what allow Best Coast to endure in a sea of acts with similar aesthetics. Cosentino is unafraid to fuss over the trivialities of plain old-fashioned love in a time when marriage has been described as the merging of brands. She’s ambivalent or confused about pretty much everything while everyone else’s tastes are codified to Likes. She has become reliably great at distilling a complex range of human emotion to basic sentences, and all of a sudden, the weed leaves and cats and cut-outs of the shape of California are merely kitschy insignias rather than overarching frameworks. “I won’t change/ I’ll stay the same,” she sings on “I Wanna Know”. While Cosentino is anxious to figure out who she’s become, Fade Away points to how strong she’s been all along” (Pitchfork)
Como podréis imaginar, mi enamoramiento de Bethany Cosentino me impide ser totalmente objetivo con su música, y el acercamiento a este segundo disco tiene que ser forzosamente igual de positivo que lo fue con su primer trabajo: Crazy for you (2010). Dejando a un lado cuestiones platónicas, os diré que The only place (2012) tiene mucho de continuación con aquel y a la vez no. Me explico:
Probablemente muchos de los temas fueran compuestos durante el mismo período de tiempo, su estructura musical, su composición es muy semejante.
La temática sentimental-amorosa vuelve a aparecer en muchos de los temas, Bethany no se corta un pelo y habla de sus sentimientos lo mismo que una adolescente los escribiría en su diario.
Por otra parte, es cierto que ciertas aristas sonoras han sido convenientemente pulidas, y se aprecia un cierto distanciamiento del Lo-Fi-Pop de Crazy for you (Up all night, No one like you; temas digamos que prescindibles). Responsable en buena parte de ello ha sido Jon Brion, ejecutor también de trabajos de Fionna Apple y Kanye West. En The only place le ha dado más brillantez al sonido de guitarras clásicamente surf de Bobb Bruno y Bethany, elevando también el tono vocal de Beth, otorgándole quizás un mayor protagonismo y una mayor carga dramática.
El mismo carácter de la Cosentino quizás sea algo más sosegado y le apetezca serenarse un poco en un sofá de su hogar (“no hay un sitio mejor donde ir que a casa“, de Let´s go home).
Una vez vistas las semejanzas y desigualdades con su debut, tengo que deciros que The only place es, como su predecesor, un gran disco. Vale, quizás no llegue a la brillantez radiante y soleada de aquél, pero en éste nos encontramos con temazos: The only place, Why I cry, Last year, How they want me to be, Better girl, Do you love like I used to… o My life, la que quizás nos presente a la Bethany Cosentino de posteriores trabajos, un inspirado tema de Folk-Pop de alto quilataje y contenido emocional elevado.
Los más críticos dirán que su evolución es prácticamente nula, que su fórmula Pop-Surf-Noise está casi agotada… Me da igual. Mi enamoramiento es el mismo y continúa tal y como el primer día.
“Yearning has been at the root of a lot of great singles. Pop music articulates desire, and you don’t think about how much you want something unless you can see it dangling in front of you, just out of reach. Crazy for You, the first full-length by Bethany Cosentino and her Best Coast collaborator Bobb Bruno, got a lot of mileage out of yearning. Her songs structures were basic; her production consisted of the reverb-heavy, fuzzed-out nods to 1960s pop; and her lyrics found her pining for boys and feeling sad about being alone. There was nothing profound about Crazy for You, but there was something affecting; Cosentino was able to tap into a very specific kind of angst and articulate it in the simplest possible terms. Sometimes you want a song to untangle complex feelings and help you figure out how to get through what ails you. And sometimes you’re lonely and bored and sitting there thinking about how you wish your cat could talk. For those moments, Best Coast was there.
It helped that Crazy for You was a little sloppy. Some music hides behind reverb and fuzz, but for Best Coast, the relaxed imprecision of the sound kept the music grounded. The rote chord changes and melodies and predictable lyrics (you’ve never heard “crazy” rhyme with “lazy” until you’ve heard Cosentino do it) were bumped around just enough by the messy production to keep things interesting. Best Coast’s new album, The Only Place, is another story. Produced by Jon Brion, the sound is dry and comparatively spare; the guitars jangle and twang rather than fuzz; and Cosentino’s voice, still strong and clear, is front and center. After their garage-rock beginnings, Best Coast are making a bid for alt-country singer-songwriter territory à la Neko Case, a musical sphere where the nuts and bolts of songwriting and storytelling are paramount. But it proves to be a poor fit. While shifts away from atmosphere and in the direction of personality and songwriting are often a sign of growth, here the clarity and sonic directness accentuate Best Coast’s weakest quality: lyrics.
In every instance where there’s an obvious choice to be made, one clearly dictated by the formula of a song structure or rhyme scheme, that’s the one Cosentino makes. This lack of care makes the record hard to identify with. It feels robotic instead of relatable, and when your medium is straightforward singer-songwriter pop, that’s a serious issue. The problems were apparent out of the gate with the title track, a love letter to California: It has no specificity and comes off like a tourism jingle. “We got the ocean/ Got the babes/ Got the sun/ We got the waves” is a couplet Mike Love would dismiss as shallow. It doesn’t help that Cosentino has a strange aversion to bridges; it’s hard to channel the classic songwriting forms of the 50s and 60s if you never write a middle eight. Virtually every song is verse/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus, and the resulting album feels longer than its 34 minutes.
You might be thinking, “Hey, you could say the same thing about the Ramones,” and there’s something to that. “Complicated” does not equal “better.” But as a whole, The Only Placestrains for maturity and sophistication. There are songs about feeling alienated (“I don’t want to be how they want me to be” is a nice line) and overwhelmed (“Last Year”) but there’s no spirit to match the ambition. What’s odd about all this is the presence of Brion; in interviews, Cosentino has indicated that he pushed her to work, to move from writing instinctually and try and create something outside of her comfort zone. But there’s little evidence of stretching here. And with its slow and mid-tempos and generally plodding delivery, there’s no energy to balance out the blandness.
The album does have its charms. Cosentino is still in fine voice, and she continues to have a warm and agreeable persona. The songs here are reasonably catchy and tend to stick with you with repeated plays. Cosentino also has a decent ear for pastiche. She channels 1970s AM gold on “Dreaming My Life Away” and adds some nice backing vocals to the “Stand by Me” chords on “How They Want Me to Be”. The closing ballad “Up All Night”, which appeared a couple of years ago in blown-out, lo-fi form, has the same feel as Santo and Johnny’s immortal “Sleep Walk”. You can almost see the wheels turning here: the same descending chords, some darkly romantic atmosphere. If the original is called “Sleep Walk”, how about we call this one “Up All Night”? That sort of thinking permeates The Only Place, a grinding sense of marks being hit while inspiration is in short order” (pitchfork.com)
Gone again es el regalo que Bethany Cosentino nos tenía preparado para este inicio de verano. Tras su eclosión con su maravilloso disco homónimo de debut, Bethany contraataca con una canción de un corte continuista -como es normal- con su grandioso álbum. Lógicamente, esperamos impacientes nuevo material de los californianos. Por cierto, el single lo regalan desde el portal Adult Swim.
Está claro que no podemos dejar de hacer referencias a unas de nuestras bandas favoritas del momento. Los californianos Best Coast han editado un single conjunto con Jeff The Brotherhood, el dúo de Nashville más cañero de los últimos tiempos. ¿Jeff The Bestyhood, Jeff Coast? Los primeros editaron uno de los mejores discos del año pasado, y los segundos acaban de editar disco (que reseñaremos en TJB): We are the champions. Pues el resultado es éste: Sunny adventure / Bummer. Los Coast siguen empeñados en hacer del Retro-Pop adornado al estilo californiano su bandera. Con Bummer, los hermanos Jeff se apartan algo de su estilo más descarnado, facturando un Pop más noventero, con sintes y guitarras al estilo Weezer. Además han incluido el tema en su último álbum.
Para esta mañana de lunes no tengo ningún recopilatorio preparado, así que retomo otra vieja costumbre de los lunes, la de los directos, de los que casi nunca posteo casi nada. Pues para hoy la actuación de Best Coast en el programa Morning Becomes Eclectic, de la estación de radio KCRW. El show se compone de casi todos los temas de su gran álbum de debut, y particularmente me encanta el sonido del show, con una voz de Bethany doblada y que suena realmente encantadora. El programa lo podéis descargar desde la página del programa o pinchando en el enlace, y además podéis ver el show desde la página.
Bethany Cosentino ha conseguido enamorarnos de un flechazo este último año con la edición de su disco de debut Crazy for You. Pues bien, no hemos sido los únicos en caer rendidos a sus encantos, porque Nathan Williams parece que también ha sido otro damnificado. Pareja o no, lo cierto es que tanto Best Coast como Wavves van a girar acompañados de No Joy por las antípodas. Para celebrarlo, su sello ha decidido editar un single compartido entre las dos bandas californianas más cool del momento, y el título no podría ser más indicativo: Summer is Forever. Best Coast aporta un tema delicioso llamado When you wake up que podría haber ido incluido en Crazy for You. Waves aporta otro tema inédito llamado Stained glass. El tema de Bethany es el que os acompaño en el post porque pienso que es el material más interesante del single. Junto a ellos temas conocidos de las bandas y Hawaii, la aportación de No Joy, como sabéis, otra de las bandas favoritas de TJB.
“So colour me confused (actually I did spell “colour” correctly, thank you very much) but the tunes I’ve heard coming outta the Best Coast camp that aren’t on their album, have been better than most of the songs that are on the album. Their Christmas jam they did with Wavvess and released as part of a Target compilation was awesome, and this new one (a split 7″ between the two called “Summer Is Forever”) is better than at least three of the songs on “Crazy For You”. It’s standard Best Coast though, straight surf-rock played on a moving skateboard, draped in a cape of sunscreen” (listenbeforeyoubuy.net)
Ésta es una entrevista que el portal Pitchfork realizó a Best Coast no hace demasiado tiempo. En él cuentan todos esos cotilleos y curiosidades que tanto gustan a cierto sector de la prensa musical. Con todo, es bastante interesante. Además, se acompaña de un documento sonoro en el que Bethany y Bobb muestran sus últimos gustos musicales.
Favorite New Songs From the Past Year
Bethany Cosentino: Real Estate: “Beach Comber”. Real Estate is one of my favorite new bands to come out within the last year or so. I also really like Drake: “Up All Night” from [Thank Me Later], featuring Nicki Minaj— two of my favorite people in hip hop right now. Wavves: “King of the Beach” and Happy Birthday: “Girls FM”.
Bobb Bruno: Smith Westerns: “Tonight” and Those Darlins: “Wild One” are probably my two favorites of the last year.
Favorite Older Songs at the Moment
BC: I started listening to E.L.O. a lot on the European tour, and “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” is one of my favorite songs ever. And another is James & Bobby Purify: “I’m Your Puppet”, which is a song that Bobb and I listen to a lot when we’re touring and driving.
BB: Fleetwood Mac: “Sara” from Tusk. I listen to that song probably every day, at least once. Some days more than once [laughs ]. And “You Make Loving Fun” from Rumours. I’ve been really obsessed with those. Favorite New Artist BC: Two of my favorite new bands we’ve actually been lucky enough to play with. No Joy are these two girls from Montreal who are just the most bad-ass slayers on guitar. They’re super awesome, and they just had a 7″ come out on Mexican Summer. And the other band is Dunes, from L.A., who also just had a record come out on Mexican Summer. Dunes are close friends of ours.
BB: I like both those bands a lot. Those Darlins, I don’t know how new they are, but they’re new-ish to me. I’m super into that band.
BC: I knew you were gonna say that [laughs].
BB: They’re gonna come up, probably a few more times [laughs].
My Dream Collaboration
BC: I would really like to collaborate with Drake! I’m obsessed with Drake, I think he’s, like, one of the best artists to come out within the last 10 years. His record is so good, and all his mixtapes are really good too. [Drake] would be awesome, but I’m also obsessed with Stevie Nicks, so I think, ultimately, my number one collaboration would be to do something with Stevie Nicks.
BB: Probably Little Boots. I think her music’s really cool. Or Lindsey Buckingham is probably the ultimate. The other side of Bethany’s dream.
BC: Boys versus girls. [laughs]
Favorite Song of All Time
BC: My favorite song of all time is “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys. It’s a pretty generic Beach Boys song, and a pretty generic favorite song to have, but it’s just incredible. When we were in Europe, I listened to it probably 50 times a day ‘cause it would just push me through the anxiety and the homesickness and stuff. I just think that’s the best song ever.
BB: Probably “No Reply” by the Beatles. No matter how I’m feeling, if I put that song on it just feels instantly better. It just kicks in right away, on the first word. So good.
Last Great Concert I Saw
BC: When we were in London, we went to see Teenage Fanclub. They played down the street from us. I was super drunk, so I didn’t really watch them, but I heard them the whole time and it was really awesome. I don’t remember what the venue was called, but it was old-timey looking and really cool.
BB: Wilco at Primavera. Wilco’s my all-time favorite band, so any time I see them is incredible, even though they had a lot of technical difficulties at that show. They could have a show where every song goes wrong, and it would still be my favorite.
BC: I also watched Beach House at Primavera and that was amazing as well. Teen Dream is one of the best records ever. I watched them with Matt Mondanile from Real Estate, and we were standing on this hill with thousands of people everywhere. He and I were looking at each other like, “This is nuts, right?” They sounded amazing, and it was a really cool experience.
Last Great Film I Saw
BC: The last great movie I saw was Toy Story 3 in 3D. We saw it at this theater in L.A. called the El Capitan, which is owned by Disney, so they have all of the big Disney movies playing there. There was a Toy Story-themed carnival that you could go to across the street, and if you had a ticket to the movie, you got to go into the carnival for free. I felt like I was 10 years old again, and I love to feel like I’m a kid. So it was almost as good as Disneyland.
BB: I watched this French movie called Martyrs. Essentially it’s a horror movie, but there are a lot of twists and turns.
Last Great Book I Read
BC: I’m obsessed with Chelsea Handler, I think she’s hilarious, and I read her last book on our last U.S. tour, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. She’s really funny and relatable, and the other one she did, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, it’s really good, but I think Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is better.
BB: Storms by Carol Ann Harris– that was the Fleetwood Mac book I read on tour. She was Lindsey Buckingham’s girlfriend, and they started dating right before Rumours came out, and then she was with him, I think, past Tusk and onto the next record. If you like Fleetwood Mac, it’s an amazing book because you get to read about all the insane decadence and then everybody’s weird personality things.
BC: Coke stories?
BB: Yeah, a lot of cocaine stories. Stevie Nicks’ dog likes to eat cocaine, that’s one of them. Don’t leave it around her, ‘cause her little poodle will eat it.
Favorite Piece of Musical Equipment
BC: My dad gave me an original Danelectro. It was his guitar, and he gave it to me when I was 16 or 17. He bought me a Strat as a Christmas gift when I was 13, so that was my first guitar, but the Danelectro is the guitar that I wrote most of the Best Coast songs on and the guitar that I used when we first started playing. But I think [the Danelectro] is my favorite piece of musical equipment, because my dad gave it to me and it got to go on a tour and do cool stuff.
BB: The Zoom HD16 recorder is really easy to use and really small, and that’s what we did all the early Best Coast singles on. I still use it to record pretty much everything, or when I’m working on new songs and stuff. Even though it’s digital, the way it’s laid out is really easy. You pretty much don’t have to read the manual, which is good.
Favorite Record Shop
BC: My favorite record store is Rooky Ricardo’s in San Francisco. We went there when we were on a West Coast tour with Vivian Girls, and I had heard everybody telling me, “This would be your favorite record store, you have to go there.” We went there and it was actually closed! The Yours Truly guys were filming us and they knew they owner so he opened it up for us, basically. And it was like my dream. They had every girl group ever, and just every kind of 50s and 60s thing you can imagine. The guy who owns it makes these really awesome comps, where he just picks his favorites from surf to girl group to more a cappella shit, and they’re like 10 bucks each, and you get 30 or 35 songs on a CD ‘cause the songs are all pretty short. So that’s definitely my favorite record store. I want to go there every time we’re in San Francisco.
BB: Aquarius Records, also in San Francisco. I feel like their tastes are totally, exactly in line with mine. They like weird soundtracks, black metal, and then also really cool, weird pop records. Any genre of music that I have an interest in, they always seem to know what’s the best, coolest, newest, or most obscure things– they’re always on top of it.
First Record I Bought For Myself
BC: The first actual thing I remember buying and listening to and having sort of shape the music that I listened to as a young teenager was the first Punk-O-Rama compilation. I grew up in the suburbs, and my friends and I were all sort of quote-unquote “alternative kids”, while everybody else was into surfing and water polo. [laughs] The first Punk-O-Rama had, like, Pennywise and NOFX and Rancid and Total Chaos and a bunch of really funny pop punk bands. And every time they would make a new one, my friends and I would go and we would buy it from this record store called Tempo, which doesn’t exist anymore. Once it got to Punk-O-Rama 5, we sort of grew out of it.
BB: Wow, yours is way cooler than mine.
BC: [laughs] Well, you’re old!
BB: There were records that I had my parents buy for me, but the first one that I actually decided, “I’m going to buy this,” was the “Footloose” single. I was really into pro wrestling, and there was this tag team called “The Fabulous Ones,” and that was their entrance music. In hindsight, not the best choice– they were a tag team with their whole look patterned after Chippendales dancers. But when you’re 11, they’re just cool dudes with beards that are beating people up. Now that I’m older, I look back and it’s like, “Whoa.”
BC: Well, mine is Punk-O-Rama, so I’m not trying to say it’s cool either.
BB: Well, being into punk rock is a lot better than an 11 year old who’s into sweaty Chippendales dancers.
Favorite City to Play In
BC: I love playing in Toronto. We have played in Toronto a couple of times, and I always have a lot of fun. I love playing in Toronto, and I love playing in L.A. ‘cause it’s home and, you know, it’s always good vibes when we play here.
BB: Toronto and L.A. are also my favorites. We played in Toronto three times a couple weekends ago, and every show was really fun and different and–
BB: Yeah, really sweaty. But the people in that city who come to our shows are super awesome and really nice to us.
BC: I think my favorite venue is this place in L.A. called Echo Curio. It’s a small DIY sort of art gallery space, and we’ve played a bunch of shows there.
BB: Our first show!
BC: Yeah, we played our first show there. I always like going to shows there. They don’t have a professional sound guy or sound system, so it’s not always the greatest sound, but it’s always really fun to hang out there and drink beer on the street with your friends. They always have really awesome bands play there, too. There’s also a place in Toronto that we’ve played twice now called the Garrison. It’s becoming one of my favorite venues. The people that work there are really cool, and we have good memories of that place. Bobb got his hair braided there once.
BB: The Garrison is awesome. I really like Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. It’s a really beautiful venue, and the people who work there are really nice. The sound is really good, too. And then, at home, I still really like the Smell. The L.A. music scene wouldn’t be at all what it is without that place.
BC: I agree with that.
Best Thing You’ve Bought in the Past Year
BC: I recently bought an oil painting of Kramer– from “Seinfeld”– for my house. I got it on eBay. It looks like Al Pacino and Kramer combined, and that’s why I bought it, because it was so bad looking that I was like, “I have to get this.” I really need to get a frame for it and hang it behind my couch.
BB: The Danelectro baritone guitar that I bought this year. I just bought it as a cheap replacement but actually, it’s probably the best baritone that I own. And I own, I don’t know, like five of ‘em. It’s just really light and easy to play. I also bought a spring reverb called “The Moisturizer”, which is made by this guy in Baltimore. It’s really cool ‘cause the springs are on top of it, so you can fuck with ‘em with your hand and do all kinds of weird shit. But as a regular reverb it sounds amazing.
BC: What about your Jäger backpack?
BB: That is pretty good too. I just look like the biggest bro everywhere. In every airport that we go to, to bring a Jäger backpack.
BC: It’s black and orange and has the Jäger logo on it! And it’s like, a mini-backpack. It’s amazing.
BB: It’s funny because it’s essentially a kid-sized backpack [laughs].
Best Thing You’ve Done At All This Year
BC: Primavera Sound 2010. Primavera was one of the craziest, coolest moments that I’ve ever experienced. I was super nervous before we played, and then while we were playing I kind of had that moment where I realized, “Wow. This is actually happening,” y’know? Being able to go to Europe at all was awesome. I never thought I’d go to Europe, and Barcelona is a beautiful place. I had so much fun at Primavera. It was the moment that I realized, “Okay, this is real. I’m actually in a band. This is my job now.”
BB: Making our record was definitely the best thing. We had to do it really fast, and at the beginning it seemed like, “Are we even gonna be able to do this?” We put our heads down and just worked super hard to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible. And we actually pulled it off, and it came out great, and I’m really proud of it.
My Dream Merch Table
BC: Best Coast bongs. No question. That’s what we’re selling [laughs]. A bong shaped like a cat.
BC: Yeah. We can do that. We can do both [laughs].
Strangest Display of Affection from a Fan
BC: Oh my god, where do we start? I think the craziest thing was in Chicago. This kid made fan art– wasn’t really as strange as it was hilarious because the picture that he drew of Bobb looked identical to Bobb. Like, it was a portrait of Bobb, basically. And then the one he drew of me was just a printed out photo of my cat with my name written on it.
But I think the weirdest thing was when we played a show in Stockholm, Sweden, and there was this really drunk guy in the front row that threw a glass of whiskey at me and then came into our backstage and tried to punch us all in the face. Bobb and Keith [Abrahamsson], the guy who runs our label, and [drummer] Ali [Koehler] were all pushing him out of the room, and he wouldn’t leave. And then he was like, “I just wanted to tell you how much I love your band!” And we were like, “Oh, you wanted to punch us in the face while telling us that?” So that guy sucked, and that situation was really bizarre.
BB: That one was definitely the weirdest. At one of our L.A. shows, I traded merch for weed cupcakes. I don’t smoke weed, but Bethany was very into that. I did try some of the frosting.
BC: I ate the shit out of that cupcake.
BB: Before they gave it to us, they added extra frosting, which had even more weed in it. It was just dripping with frosting by the time I took it backstage.
Favorite TV Show
BC: My favorite TV show of all time is “Seinfeld”. But I’ve been watching a lot of “The X-Files” lately, particularly the first and second seasons. I have to watch it during the day ‘cause I get too freaked out to watch it at night. But I think David Duchovny is the hottest guy ever, and that show is really crazy and awesome.
BB: My current favorites right now are “Top Chef”, even though everybody is kind of despicable this season. But I love Tom Colicchio– he’s a hero of mine. I’ll watch that show no matter what. And “True Blood” I’m also really into. This past week’s episode had probably the most insane sex scene I’ve ever seen in my life.
Favorite Video Game
BC: My favorite video game is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for Nintendo 64. I used to stay up all night playing that game, when I was in junior high. Not to mention it had the best soundtrack ever– Pennywise and Lagwagon and a bunch of weird pop punk bands that I was into. I love Ms. Pac-Man, arcade style, and I’m also really into Skate 2 for Xbox. I am not really good at modern video games, but that’s one game that I am actually pretty good at.
BB: I play Rock Band a lot with my friends. We’ll do marathons. I think our record is 45-song sets, which is like going to a concert.
Favorite Radio Show
BC: There’s a radio station in L.A. called KDAY 93.5, and it’s the old-school hip-hop station. They play a lot of really awesome 90s West Coast hip-hop stuff. And K-EARTH 101, which is the Oldies station, does this thing on Saturday mornings called “Breakfast With the Beatles”, and they play all these rare Beatles songs and interviews.
BB: I’m gonna come off as the biggest loser in this interview, but my favorite radio show is called “Wrestling Observer Live”. It’s on the Internet. They do it a couple of times a week, but they just recap what happened in professional wrestling that week. And also Mixed Martial Arts.
BC: The ringtone on my phone is just the standard iPhone ringtone, but I never have my phone volume on. I kinda wanna just make my own ringtone and make it a Beyoncé song or something. Maybe I’ll look into that.
BB: Mine is usually vibrate, but I’m gonna make one that’s the “Good day, sir!” from Willy Wonka. That’s gonna be my new ringtone, just Gene Wilder saying, “Good day, sir!”
Hablar de Crazy for You no es sólo hablar de un disco de verano, como hemos leído en numerosos lugares. Crazy for You (2010) es, al menos para quien escribe, uno de los mejores discos del año en el panorama estrictamente Pop. Un disco imperecedero que se basa en unas influencias clásicas para erigirse como un disco intemporal, preñado de melodías deliciosas y de la espontaneidad de unas composiciones absolutamente arrebatadoras. Sus huellas sonoras son clásicas, como dijimos: Beach Boys y cualquier manifestación del sonido Surf; las Girl-Groups de los años sesenta y el Wall of Sound. Todo ello aderezado por unos toquecitos amargos del mejor Noise-Pop. Bethany Cosentino se erige con este álbum de debut en una especie de Kim Deal californiana influenciada por un buen puñado de discos de corte clásico. Un lujazo. El disco no tiene desperdicio en ninguno de sus trece temas. Boyfriend, When I´m with you ya eran conocidos: himnos post-adolescentes del mejor Noise-Pop. El resto no desentona: The End, Crazy for you, Goodbye, Summer Mood, Our deal, I Want to, When the sun don´t shine, Bratty B, Happy, Each and every day… son todos temazos que nos descubren a una chica que lo mismo muestra la energía rockista y positivista de Bratty B a la dulzura juvenil de Our Deal. Añadiré que buena parte de culpa del sonido del disco la tiene igualmente la otra mitad de Best Coast, Bobb Bruno, conocido músico y productor que ha colaborado decisivamente en que el sonido del disco sea algo así como una maqueta bien producida, con los arreglos justos y con algunos instrumentos que habrán sido grabados prácticamente del tirón o en muy pocas tomas. Un disco maravilloso, en fin, que pasa a formar parte del rincón de favoritos de The JangleBox. Un álbum que sobrepasa sobradamente las etiquetas de disco veraniego y que junto con el de su amigo Nathan Williams, factotum de Wavves y otro espíritu juvenil inquieto como el de Cosentino, nos muestran un panorama musical californiano absolutamente envidiable.
“There’s a great scene in Twilight: New Moon where Bella sits by her window waiting for her drippy goth-vampire boyfriend Edward. She sits in her chair and waits. Months go by, and the camera slowly pans around her, not moving. Elsewhere in the movie she awakes screaming, so tortured is she to be apart from her beloved. It didn’t take me long to picture Crazy For You – the debut album by west-coaster Bethany Cosentino, formerly of Pocahaunted, now of Best Coast – as a kind of alternative, reverb-drenched soundtrack to the perpetually chaste Twilight series. The sheer quantity of longing on this album positively soaks the speakers, almost every track a paean to forbidden and lost love.
“I wish he was my boyfriend” Cosentino sings on ‘Boyfriend’; this sets the tone – later we hear how “I can’t do anything without you”, “I want you so much”, “I always miss you”. That’s not to say that there isn’t much to commend Crazy For You. The tracks are all snappy slices of girl-group garage pop, admirably well constructed (only one breaks the dreaded three minute mark) and with plenty of sunny doo-wop delay vocals. Yet if there’s to be life beyond one record, Best Coast will have to find something more substantial to go with their well-worked three-chord formula.
Indeed, Cosentino’s perpetually lovelorn persona is so one-dimensionally persistent it makes Bella look like Anna Karenina. As refreshing as it is to hear an indie-rock record fronted by a strong female voice, it’s equally frustrating to find that voice with little to say: the album’s strongest track, ‘When The Sun Don’t Shine’, adds the kind of fuzz and lilting riff needed to lift the music away from the vocals. Of course there’s still time for Cosentino to develop as a songwriter, as well as to remember that Fifties and Sixties girl-pop often had more to say than just ‘I need a boyfriend’ (whether addressing impotence or domestic abuse), often toying with a darker side (as any fan of Mulholland Drive can testify) that Cosentino chooses to gloss over. To paraphrase the title of one of her tracks she’s more “brat” than lovable mope. Her Best Coast is enjoyably light and breezy, but whether you want to share the vista with a brat is another matter” (drownedinsound.com)
No podía resistirme a incluir hoy el ocurrente vídeo de Best Coast When I´m with you, que el grupo editó el año pasado. La canción es autenticamente cautivadora, y la banda suena a Breeders por todos lados. Perfecta.
Best Coast se han convertido en una de las sensaciones Indie del momento. El dúo californiano son algo así como los Strawberry Wiplash del Pacífico. Facturan un Noise-Pop de lo más digerible y ameno, y han editado varios singles previamente durante el año pasado. Tienen previsto su debut para este 27 de Julio, un disco llamado Crazy for You, que seguramente será maravillosamente recibido por The JangleBox. Según nos anticipan en Pitchfork (donde son bastante mimados), en el disco encontraremos una maravillosa colección de canciones al más puro estilo Breeders, sol, playa y el bonito gato de Bethany Cosentino surfeando en un maravilloso atardecer californiano. Este tema lo ofrecen en descarga directa para ir abriendo boca hasta el día de su debut.
“Crazy for You, the debut full-length from Cali noise-pop duo Best Coast, is due out July 27 on Mexican Summer. To tide you over until then, you can stream the opening track from the album, “Boyfriend”, above and download the song after the jump (you’ll need to part with an e-mail address). “Boyfriend” is a chugging, mid-tempo rocker, with frontwoman Bethany Cosentino pining over an unnamed boy, singing, “I wish he was my boyfriend”. Guess that clown from the “When I’m With You” video ditched Cosentino to go hang out with the Hamburglar or something” (pitchfork.com)