Best Coast frontwoman Bethany Cosentino writes songs about boys, but when she plays The Magic Stick in Detroit tonight, concertgoers shouldn’t expect your quintessential adolescent girl fare.
Friday at 8 p.m.
The Magic Stick
While Taylor Swift’s lovelorn, painfully overplayed “You Belong With Me” spawned a generation of tween fawners, Best Coast proved to be the indie alternative for a overlooked demographic of girls searching for a grittier, less mom-friendly rock persona — It’s safe to say you won’t see Taylor Swift releasing bold and cheeky tracks like Best Coast’s “Sun Was High (So Was I)” anytime soon.
There’s more to Best Coast than Cosentino’s shamelessly garish persona, though. The band has made quite a splash in the indie blogosphere, riding a wave of retro California cool stardom for a slew of breezy lo-fi summer jams, notably being last year’s laid-back, guitar-fuzzed single “When I’m With You.”
Though she was busy preparing for a North American tour, Cosentino couldn’t have sounded more relaxed when she spoke to the Daily last August about everything from Cali-influences to pre-show jager shots — and of course, her Twitter-famed cat.
“It reflects the last year of my life and the growth of our band,” Cosentino said in describing Best Coast’s debut album Crazy for You, which was released around the group’s one year anniversary.
Although Crazy for You may be more accessible than previous compilations due to the record’s cleaner production, the band’s Cali-girl tendencies have not shifted.
“I’ve always been inspired by ’50s and ’60s girl group bands, the beach boys and the whole California aesthetic,” Cosentino said.
While Cosentino may use personal relationships as inspiration — she is currently dating chillwave artist Wavves — she made it clear that her songs aren’t 100-percent autobiographical. Instead, she focuses more on producing tracks with vintage beachy vibes à la Shangri-Las and The Ronnets.
“A lot of it is I’m trying to take a stab at kind of throwbacks to girl bands who wrote songs pretty much all about love — and boys, and breaking up, and getting back together and all that kind of stuff,” Cosentino said.
Though Cosentino doesn’t have any real pre-show rituals, she wasn’t afraid to disclose typical antics: “Once you’ve been playing as many shows as we have in the last year it becomes a routine. But then sometimes you’re like let’s do something crazy tonight and take a bunch of jager shots before we play and then you’re like, wait why did I do that?” Cosentino said, laughing.
Jager shots aside, Cosentino’s best on-stage moment was at this year’s Pitchfork festival, where “a kid in the front row had a sign that said ‘Hi Bethany’ and he drew a picture of a cat wearing sunglasses. I thought that was really cool. And he gave me the sign afterwards.”
Cosentino quickly added, “And my cat’s definitely got a Twitter.”
Cosentino ended the interview describing what kind of entertainment diverts her.
“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, I’ll just admit that I have bad taste and that sometimes I don’t like everything that’s quote unquote cool.”
For instance, when asked what she was currently listening to, Cosentino revealed her affinity for Drake’s debut record — “Up All Night” being her favorite track.
“I really, really truly love Drake. I listen to him non-stop and I really can’t remember the last time I went to my iTunes or in my car and put on something and it wasn’t Drake,” Cosentino said.
But reality television tops everything else as her favorite form of entertainment.
“I just love television. I love it more than anything, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a huge TV person and I have a real obsession with really, bad, terrible, trashy reality television. I love ‘Jersey Shore’ … I just love it. I love watching people’s lives. How can you not watch a show with a 4′ 11″ girl that gets drunk all the time and wears a bump it? I mean it’s amazing.” Cosentino said.
Dress up like Snooki or bring a cat poster in tow in order to catch Bethany’s eye — and her heart — at tonight’s show.