This Saturday, we’re all going to be taught a little lesson on which coast is really the best. Our east coast doldrums due to the melancholy weather of November are about to be thrown for a loop when Best Coast brings us a little of those California chill vibes. Based out of LA, the trio will transform Bulldog Alley with their lo-fi surf sounds.
Starting off the night will be DC native Long Walks on the Beach, which is (albeit unfortunately) not a reference any romantic missed connections. The music of Long Walks on the Beach actually fits in quite well with this lo-fi, fuzzy, chill vibe which is going to fill the Alley Saturday night, and it’s not just fabricated in a studio: this underground-indie-pop-vocalizer records all the tunes on his Mac, with little influence from other sources besides the very core of his city, DC. The real artistry of this DIY project comes from the admirability of a guy who has a completely satisfying day job, yet returns home each night to tool away on a laptop making music. Long Walks on the Beach really brings the focus back to where it belongs (for free, too, on his website) and will set the stage for the slightly more established, Cults.
With songs like “Go Outside” and “Oh My God” filling up the playlist for my own radio show, Brooklyn-based Cults entered the scene early this year and introduced a whole new sound. The sweet voice of Madeline Follin escapes over the appealing simplicity of xylophonic melodies and the supporting vocals of Brian Oblivion. Despite the almost instant realization of the awesomeness present in their waifish three-song EP (padded now by the more recent “Oh My God”), Cults have yet to choose a permanent home for themselves. Although the couple still remains unsigned, one can only hope they’ll settle down soon and satisfy our desire for a few new opportunities to be taken away by their charming sojourns. While I’m not usually too keen on boyfriend-girlfriend artists (and maybe it’s obvious why), you hardly even notice that Madeline and Brian are going steady but for the seamless entwinement of their vocals. As for the sound you’ll be hearing Saturday, it can only be characterized as an easy, effortless expression of a modern sixties simplicity, undercut by a slight disquiet, as shown in the Jim Jones quote at the beginning of “Go Outside: – “To me, death is not a fearful thing. It’s living that’s treacherous.”
After a move up the East coast, we’ll finally learn what is really the best, when Best Coast takes the stage. Fronted by the adorable Bethany Cosentino, who even shouted us out on her Twitter (hey! We’re famous!), the band gives “easy breezy” California pop a new sound as they share their take on the craze launched by the original beach bums so many years before. Best Coast transforms that surfer sound epitomized by the Beach Boys into something we can relate to; it’s a little bit more matter-of-fact, a little bit raunchier, a little younger. Possibly their most popular track yet, “Boyfriend” is not your regular unrequited love song. It’s filled with fuzzy guitar, a little bit of girl power, and a whole lot of hook which seems to emanate the classic Leslie Gore. Pitchfork described Best Coast as “slathering honey over every song and letting them drip-dry in the sunshine,” and I find it hard to pick a better metaphor. What can sometimes become repetitive or unoriginal in classic indie pop tunes is given a new spin as Cosentino and partner Bobb Bruno assert their own coastal independence. I think it’s safe to say Best Coast provides the world with the antithesis to Katy Perry’s superficiality (of both sound and content), and this little trip down laid-back, bong-hitting, cat-loving, West coast tunage will be a welcome break for overly libraried Hoyas.
8:30 pm, Bulldog Alley, Leavey Center. We’ll be taken on a journey through DIY lo-fi DC pop with Long Walks on the Beach, Brooklynish, xylophone-assisted sixties ease with Cults, and finally, staticky, chill, West coast vibes with Best Coast. The combination will undoubtedly create a playlist you’ll want to replay over and over on those long drives during the summer when there’s absolutely nowhere else you have to be, or just when you want to remember those days when your holed up in a cubicle in Lau’s basement watching motorized bookshelves, stocking up on carbs, and “writing” that final paper. So hurry up, WGTB will be tabling for the next few days in Red Square, but time and space is limited, so get your ticks before Friday. Only $5 for students!