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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Drenge at Johnny’s Brendas, Best Coast at Union Transfer

Drenge | Photo by Samuel Lewis
Drenge | Photo by Samuel Lewis

U.K. up-and-comers Drenge will headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of their sophomore release, Undertow. The grunge rock band started as a duo of brothers playing guitar and drums, but they have since incorporated a bass player to create a new dynamic. Tonight’s show will be their second-to-last in the U.S. before they head off to play the European festival circuit. Watch their video for song “Running Wild” below and get tickets for their 21+ show with Made Violent here. Continue reading →

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Rocking and Rolling Down South: A recap of Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival

Dr. Dog | Photo by Tom Beck
Dr. Dog | Photo by Tom Beck

There’s usually a downside to festivals having stacked lineup: with so many great artists, you’re never going to be able to see them all. So when I made the trek down south to attend what is becoming the best indie-rock festival in North America – the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta – there were a lot of difficult choices to be made. Do I see The Kooks or Wavves? Kaiser Chiefs or Manchester Orchestra? Wilco or Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds? Dr. Dog or Diamond Rugs?

But even with all these conflicts (my picks: Wavves, Manchester Orchestra, Wilco and Philly’s Dr. Dog), I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading →

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Recap: Best Coast showcases California Nights at NonCOMM

Best Coast | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Best Coast | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Best Coast brought the fuzz to World Café Live to continue 2015′s NonCOMM convention. The Southern California band powered through new material from California Nights, their latest album released on May 5. Vocalist and guitarist Bethany Cosentino led the group through a dynamic mix of sounds: the wall-of-sound dream-poppiness of the new album’s title track, “California Nights,” as well as pummeling punk beats on another “Heaven Sent.” Continue reading →

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Listen to Best Coast’s set at the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase, watch “California Nights”

Best Coast | Photo by John Vettese
Best Coast | Photo by John Vettese

As long as Best Coast is made up of songwriting duo Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, you can be certain that they’ll be kicking out sunshiney pop nuggets like “When I’m With You” and “The Only Place.” The Best Coast that took the stage at the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase on Friday took it to another level, filling out the band to a six-piece and filling out the sound with robust arrangements of keyboards and guitar. Continue reading →

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SXSW Dispatch: Public Radio Rocks showcase with Twin Shadow, Courtney Barnett, Gang of Four and more

Courtney Barnett | Photo by John Vettese
Courtney Barnett | Photo by John Vettese

We’ve parked ourselves at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center, the site of the fourth annual Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase, curated in collaboration with WFUV in New York, KUTX in Austin, KXT in Dallas, The Current in Minneapolis and WXPN in Philly. On the bill for today are Twin Shadow, Ryan Bingham, Best Coast, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Gang of Four and Courtney Barnett.

The show is streaming live until 7 p.m. EST, and you can listen to the performances here. Over the next several days, we’ll bring you video and full-set audio recaps of each artist’s set. For now, peruse the gallery below for an overview of the show; keep checking back, since we’ll be updating it as the day goes on. Continue reading →

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Best Coast celebrates its home state in “California Nights”

Best Coast | photo via facebook.com/bestcoast
Best Coast | photo via facebook.com/bestcoast

Rock duo Best Coast pays tribute to the California terrain and state they call home in the new  video for “California Nights.” It’s the title track for their third album, and it gives us a glimpse of what the new songs are all about: “California nights make me feel so happy I could die.” The sentiment by lead vocalist Bethany Cosentino is as beautiful as it is haunting. Continue reading →

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Review: Best Coast bring sunny California to the TLA

Best Coast arrived in Philly on Wednesday night bringing their brand of sunny California guitar pop to an enthusiastic crowd at the Theatre Of Living Arts. Early arrivers were rewarded with a strong performance by LA’s The Lovely Bad Things. They complimented a fan wearing a Sub Pop t-shirt and then proceeded to deliver a high-energy performance that would make that label proud, swapping instruments, bouncing around the stage and all taking turns singing. Next came New York’s Guards, on tour in support of their excellent In Guards We Trust album. Leader Richie Follin held his guitar over his head frequently and waved it out over the crowd during a powerful and crowd moving performance of the band’s psychedelic rock. (Check out their session with World Cafe’s David Dye here.)

Best Coast then took the stage to a roar from the crowd. The band is still on tour for last year’s successful The Only Place, playing a twenty-song mix of songs from their two albums and a couple of new songs. Highlights from early in the set included a moving, droning performance of “Last Year” followed by a sun kissed version of their ode to California, “The Only Place.” The prize of the night came in the form of two new songs. The first was a danceable rocker called “Fear Of My Identity” which the crowd reacted to with approval. The second was a shimmering new number called “Who Have I Become” which featured some stinging guitar work from Bobb Bruno. Late in the set came a slow starting “When I’m With You” with singer Bethany Cosentino playing the first verse slow by herself and then the band kicking in loud and fast. They played the song at a much faster pace than the recorded version, turning the floor of the club into a smiling sweating dancing mass.

The band returned for their encore with “Do You Love Me Like You Used Too.” When the band headlined Philly last year when The Only Place came out, Cosentino admitted that she added the song to the set list reluctantly, but did so because the fan response to it was so powerful. In their second performance here, the band played the song with an energy and intensity that shows the fans asked for the right thing, and they demonstrated their approval in the form of a loud response to the number. The band closed with the beautiful, yearning wall-of-sound “Boyfriend,” and sent the crowd out into the hot outdoors wishing for more summer nights like this.