Saturday, August 11, 2012

THE ONLY PLACE by Best Coast

Best Coast (2012). The Only Place (CD). NewYork: Mexican Summer. $14.98

Description: The Los Angeles band Best Coast's second record creates a sound that merges fast-chugging dreamy pop with jangly country guitar. It's a winning combination on this work, an ode to the city where they live -- the key lyric in the title track is "Why would you live anywhere else?" The great thing about this record, aside from singer Bethany Cosentino's soft yet edgy vocalization, is the band's historical mindset. They dig up the musical archives here, blending Phil Spector's girl group pop with touches of indie country (hints of Wilco), classic rock (touches of Roy Orbison) and New York art-rock (Velvet Underground pulses throughout everything). It is both a great contemporary indie rock album and a historical journey that takes you through some of the best sounds of the past 70 years.

Artist bio: The group Best Coast was founded by Bethany Cosentino, a reclusive young woman who lives in Eagle Rock, a bohemian neighborhood in Los Angeles that is also very low key – some coffee shops, a small college, lots of car repair. Their music has some of the same low-key, retro, lived-in quality.
 Cosentino and her musical partner Bob Bruno started working together in 2009, after she relocated from New York. Though she’s often photographed in a Fleetwood Mac T-shirt, Cosentino’s most active musical influences for Best Coast seem to be Phil Spector’s girl groups. She seems to like putting a lot of reverb and echo on the guitars, the way surf bands and the Velvet Underground sometimes did. Their sound has gotten cleaner and less shaggy with time.

Genre: CD -- Indie Rock.

Curriculum Ties: N/A
Reading Level/Interest Age: All ages.
Challenge Issues: N/A

Why Included: This band has become one of the best reviewed indie rock groups over the past few years. Their historical mindset makes for rich listening.

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