Archive for the ‘Best Coast’ Category

[CANCELLED: March 20, 2020] Best Coast / Rosie Tucker [CANCELLED]

indexI had tickets to see Best Coast at Union Transfer in March 2020.  I like them although I was more interested in seeing their opening act Mannequin Pussy.

They were one of the first bands to cancel their tour outright back in May 2020 rather than rescheduling dates.

They announced a new tour for 2022 back in June.  I’d have rather seen them in Asbury Lanes, but that show was on the same night as our War on Drugs show.  So I considered going to the Union Transfer show.  It was supposed to be a busy week of shows, so I wasn’t sure I’d want to go or not.

But on January 6, the band announced they were cancelling the tour

Best Coast is canceling its upcoming tour in support of its “Always Tomorrow” album due to COVID concerns.

The tour was set to kick off on Jan. 11 at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California. The SoCal indie-pop group — consisting of singer-songwriter-guitarist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno —was scheduled to hit August Hall in San Francisco as well as such cities as Chicago, Toronto, Seattle and Los Angeles.

“We are devastated to announce that our upcoming Finally Tomorrow tour is unfortunately canceled,” the band posted on Twitter. “It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that we ultimately felt was right.

“The last two years have been so difficult for us as a band (and the entire world) — and we appreciate your support through it all.”

“Our last show was in Chicago (on March 11, 2020). It was about two weeks into a monthlong tour.  We had obviously been hearing a lot about COVID. But I think when you are on tour you exist in such a bubble of just what’s going on in the tour landscape. We were all kind of like, ‘OK, like I guess we’ll see what will happen with this.’ I fully didn’t think that the world was truly about to shut down. I did not see that coming whatsoever.”

“At this time, we are not rescheduling any of these dates, as the rollercoaster of the reschedule-announcement-cancelation cycle we’ve been stuck in is incredibly exhausting (for you too I’m sure!) and we just need a moment to decompress. We love you SO much and we hope to safely see you soon. Hang in there. love, bethany and bobb”


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[ATTENDED: August 7, 2021] Mannequin Pussy

I had tickets to see Best Coast back in March of 2020.  I like them, but the primary reason I wanted to go was because Mannequin Pussy was opening.  I had seen them open for Japandroids in 2018 and really wanted to see them again.  Best Coast had cancelled their tour and while they are coming back early next year they had a new opening act.

So I was pretty psyched to find out that Mannequin Pussy were opening for Japanese Breakfast (whose tickets we had for a while already).

Mannequin Pussy are now officially a trio (they were a quartet when I saw them last), with the core of marisa “missy” dabice–guitars & vocal; colins “bear” regisford–bass & vocals and kaleen reading–drums.   Although they were a five piece on stage with a “new” guitarist and keyboardist (not sure who they were).

They came out, the red lights went on (I forgot about those terrible-for-photos lights at Union Transfer) and proceeded to play two brand new songs.  Somehow I had missed that they released the Perfect EP earlier this year.  They sounded great–Missy’s voice a terrific mixture of pretty and screamy.  “Control” set the stage followed by “To Lose You.” (more…)

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[CANCELLED: September 16, 2020] Best Coast / Mannequin Pussy [rescheduled from March 20]

indexThis show was rescheduled from March 20.

Best Coast was one of the first bands whose show/tour was postponed by the coronavirus.  The band quickly rescheduled their March show for September, which was a relief and an indication that everyone thought things would be back to normal by the fall.

Then on May 12, I was sent this update:

Some sad news to share, the re-scheduled September 16th show w/ BEST COAST has now been outright canceled.

Right now our business, like so many others in the live music industry, is feeling the effects of this shutdown. It’s been eight weeks since we had a show, and our doors will likely be closed for at least a few more months. Although our shows have been temporarily paused, the hard work of our staff, operating costs, and continued expenses have not.

As of May 12, there’s no explanation for why (I’m sure that will be on their site).  Is it just preemptive cancellation or a way for people to get refunds rather than holding on to tickets?  Who knows.

I do hope that concerts will resume by September, but I guess it’s not looking to good for that.

best coast

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[POSTPONED: March 20, 2020] Best Coast / Mannequin Pussy [moved to September 16]: SEPTEMBER DATE CANCELLED as of May 12.

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.

After a few shows earlier this week, I was actually planning another one today.  Primarily I was excited to be seeing Mannequin Pussy, a Philly band who I saw open for Japandroids back in 2018.  They were amazing live and I’ve been wanting to see them again ever since. I missed a chance last year, but I was all psyched for this one.

I was also pretty excited for Best Coast, a band I’ve enjoyed–and really like the new single.  I have been seeing a lot of duos play live and it’s always fun to watch bands like that play with just two members (I don’t know if they play as a duo live).  At any rate, I assumed it would be a really fun set full of catchy pop punk.

I hope when they reschedule that Mannequin Pussy is back on board.

This is out to be the sixth of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.

UPDATE: On May 12, Best Coast cancelled the entire tour.

best coast

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SOUNDTRACK: BEST COAST-“Everything Has Changed” (2020).

I’ve enjoyed most of the Best Coast songs I’ve heard–simple power pop songs from Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno that can be surprisingly dark.

Although Best Coast is a duo, this song is multi tracked with all kinds of overdubs–lots of backing vocals and guitar solos.  It sounds bigger than anything they’ve done before with loud crunchy guitars and a really simple riff.  And it is catchy as anything.

I like this couple of lines

I used to cry myself to sleep/ Reading all the names they called me,
Did they think? No, of course they didn’t.

After the big chorus she talks about what has changed

Now I’m walking a little dog on a leash
Now I live in a big pink house
I escape to witch mountain every day

I honestly don’t know if that’s a positive or sarcastic change.  But the chorus “everything has changed and I like it this way” certainly sounds positive.

One thing I particularly like about this song is that while it is all pretty simple verse/chorus, there is a third part that changes the tone and sound of the song, if only briefly, before returning to the catchy riffage.

I have plans to see them this spring and I’m looking forward to hearing this new record live.

[READ: January 15, 2019] “Who is She?”

In this brief story a woman has an existential crisis and her public reaction to it causes others to suggest ways to help her.

She says a long time ago someone told her that it was important to “locate and deploy” your own story.  This theory is put into question when she starts seeing graffiti around that says in white paint WHO IS SHE?

She saw it in a number of places and couldn’t get the idea out of her mind.   As she was crossing a boulevard, she decided to lie down on the grass in the median strip.

It was early on a Sunday and therefore very quiet but soon enough cars began passing.  Across the street from her was a gym and there were people working out with ruthless, glistening intensity,  And then (I rather enjoyed this), (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: BEST COAST-“Little Saint Nick” (2019).

It was only a few years ago that I realized that this song is about a car.  For years you can sing words to a song and not realize what you’re actually saying.

The song is a fun upbeat Christmas song that I rather like.

Best Coast is a rock duo: Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno.  They sing California indie pop with a rocking edge.

This version of “Little Saint Nick” is not radically different from the original.  The biggest musical difference is how fuzzy and distorted the main guitar is.  But her deliver of the lyrics is pretty clean (with some very nice backing vocals).

I appreciate this version because it finally taught me what the deep-voiced part is in the song “he don’t miss no one.”  I could never tell form the Beach Boys version.

This is a delightful poppy version that with just enough edge to get you moving for the holiday.

[READ: December 23, 2019] “The Adventists”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

Ian Williams has my favorite answer to one of the Q&A questions:

When did you write it, and how did the writing process compare to your other work?

IW: I wrote “The Adventists” because Michael Hingston asked me for a story for the Short Story Advent Calendar project. I pretty much already had a title from the invitation. He said that the story didn’t have to be religious or about Christmas, so, good lawkeeper that I am, I wrote a story that was religious and about Christmas.

Indeed, this story is about Adventists.  Seventh-Day Adventists.  The narrator is the father of a family of Adventists and his daughter has just come back from college in Leeds for Christmas.

The story begins, “Our daughter is trying to persuade us that the world is more  than 6,000 years old.” She’s also got quite the posh British accent (after being away for a semester).

She doesn’t dismiss the Bible out of hand–it gives comfort to many people.  But not you? her father wonders.  She says you can’t deny science.  He retorts, “You’re going to trust some rocks above the Word of God?”

Soon enough, his daughter took out her phone and started “texting or tweeting or whatever she does when she has no retort for the real world.”

The Monday before Christmas [that’s today!] they went to Walmart.

I love this aside:

For a significant period our family refused to celebrate Christmas in protest against its pagan origins.  Made no dent on the economy.  Now we were back, somewhat grudgingly to being standard Protestants.


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SOUNDTRACK: BEST COAST-Live at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC (2010).

Best Coast made Carrie Brownstein’s best album of the year accolades, but when I listened to the track she selected for the post, I wasn’t all that impressed.

But I have to say that live, Best Coast blew me away.  Bethany Cosentino, the lead singer and guitarist has an amazing stage presence.  She is charming and funny and very silly (and I guess she loves cats).  The band sounded tight and impressive and even though the songs are kind of dopey bubblegum pop, they are drenched in enough noise and rock to make them really wonderful

They seem like they should have come around during the 90s, when all those rocking female bands were all over the map.  And so this is like a wonderful blast from the past.  Best Coast is sort of like The Muffs (except they write love songs) and other bands that play really catchy pop but bury it under a layer of fuzz and rock.  This is a great set available on NPR, and will definitely get me to check out their album a little more.

[READ: March 28, 2011] “Seven Love Letters”

Six of the seven letters here were later collected in the book Four Letter Word which I reviewed in September 2009.  When I reviewed the book, I didn’t give very much in the way of detail, I just summarized the letters.  I’m going to copy what I wrote then (since my thoughts didn’t change all that much), and I’m going to include a few more lines about some of the pieces (original stuff is in italics).  I’m also including titles which (for some reason) were not given in the book.

I’m also not sure why Sheila Heti’s story did not appear in the book.  (It’s only 4 paragraphs and is, indeed, a letter so why not include it?)  If you enjoyed the book, think of this story as a Bonus Feature. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: WAVVES-Live at the 9:30 Club (2010).

Wavves opened for Best Coast (what a great double bill).  Wavves play a raucous, rowdy set of bratty punk.  Unlike Best Coast, the lead singer seems like he might be something of a jerk.  But it played pretty well into the personality of the music (sloppy, abrasive).  And I wonder just how many times he said he was drunk?

Personalities aside, the was a really fun set.  I have the newest Wavves album, but I think their live show was more engaging.  For all of their sloppiness, the band was always together, with no missed notes (except when the drummer was apparently not paying attention).

They play 16 songs, including a cover of Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” (which the play very well).  And even if you’re not won over by the singer’s personality (which is kind of funny), you’ll be won over by the simple, punky music.  You can listen here.

[READ: March 29, 2011] The Riddle of the Traveling Skull

This is the 4th book in McSweeney’s Collins Library Series.  It’s the final book in the series that I’ve read and I have to say that once again, Paul Collins has blown me away with this selection.  Collins apparently stopped his library after 6 volumes.  I wondered if there were more coming, but the Collins Library website is rather confusing.  There’s an almanac with updates as recent as March 1st, and yet the Biography of Paul Collins says: Paul Collins is currently on tour in support of his memoir, Sixpence House, which recounts his time spent living in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, known as the “Town of Books.”  But Sixpence House came out in 2003 (and it sounds awesome!).

Anyhow, back to this book, which was my favorite of the bunch.  It is a genuine mystery from 1939.  Indeed, Harry Stephen Keeler was even more prolific than Agatha Christie (they were born in the same year).  The thing about Keeler though is that his stories are, well, crazy.  Many of his stories were just his attempts to meld disparate ideas into one story.  He includes crazy dialect.  He seems to have no concern for conventional storytelling.  Indeed, he has little concern for conventional mystery storytelling (in one of his stories, he introduced the murderer on the last page).

And this story has similar improbable elements.

In sum: Clay Calthorpe, a salesman returning from the Philipines picks up the wrong bag on the trolley.  When he gets home he finds a skull inside it.  The skull has a name plate affixed to it, a bullet inside it and, in the wads of paper that are keeping the bullet from rattling around, he finds the carbon copy of a poem. (more…)

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