Best Coast: Coming to a Quinceanera or Bat Mitzvah near you

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There are singers that express desire, and then there are singers -- such as Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino -- who take keening for things to new heights. On the California band’s summer debut, “Crazy For You,” Cosentino wants to not be such a brat sometimes. She wants to know where her weed is -- do you have it? She wants a boyfriend -– not just any old boyfriend but a certain guy. She also wishes that certain guy would call her. And she would really love it if he’d say something, anything, about the way he feels.

But nobody likes to be too literal about such things, least of all in a music video. So when Consentino was presented with director Taylor’s Cohen’s idea for “Boyfriend,” in which Best Coast would play as the party band for a girl’s quinceanera, she gravitated toward it immediately. “All the other ideas we got,” Consentino said, speaking on set at Kenneth Hahn Park where the video was shot last month, “were about me being with a dude, which seemed too straightforward and obvious.”

The quinceanera, a celebration of a young lady’s 15th birthday, is one of those events that every Angeleno has experience with, whether through attending one, having one herself or by simply driving through a neighborhood, smelling carnitas in the air and catching a glimpse of a thrilled girl stepping out of car, the pomp of her lacy dress rendering her nearly immobile. Cohen’s approximation of it in Hahn Park was spot-on: corn tortillas stayed warm under tin foil; little dogs combed the ground eating scrap; the extras for the video (which debuted last week on MTV) are all kids who know each other, so the chatting and horseplay captured on camera is real.

“Quinceanearas say Saturday in the park to me,” Consentino said. “They are very L.A., very California and that’s our vibe. Of course we’d be the band randomly performing at the party.” So while it might be the summation of a certain California spirit that first attracted her, there’s still an aspect of youth, of pining, that’s captured by seeing a girl smiling sweetly in braces, fiddling with her bouquet. Which boy does she wish was hers?


Best Coast has a little bit of experience with being entertainment guns for hire. With her partner in crime Bobb Bruno, who plays a little bit (or a lot) of everything on “Crazy For You,” they played a Sweet 16 party in Rancho Cucamonga earlier this year. ‘It was the Mom who was the real fan,’ Consentino said. ‘The girl and her friends sort of stood off to the side for a while but then they got into it.’

Now a trio proper with the permanent inclusion of drummer Ali Koehler (who left Vivian Girls earlier this year), Best Coast, despite a year of gushing reviews and playing to packed houses on tour, might still be convinced to play a little party in the ‘burbs for some prepubescents, as opposed to some place teeming with the usual blog-band hipsters. ‘We’d love to be hired for quinceanera or bar mitzvah,’ Consentino said. ‘And don’t worry, we’ll bring our own DJ and lasers.’

-- Margaret Wappler