Coachella 2011: Best Coast and the anatomy of girl love


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Best Coast
, the breezy, stoner-friendly L.A.-based band fronted by Bethany Cosentino, pulled off a sweetly melodic lo-fi show on the Outdoor stage at Coachella on Sunday.

Cosentino is one of modern girl rock’s most earnest lyricists, and the disarmingly simple songs on her debut album, ‘Crazy for You,’ receive praise and condescension in equal measures, the latter mainly from male reviewers who don’t understand why girls love songs about loving boys who don’t love them back.


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But Best Coast fans know and don’t care what anybody says. For them, lyrics like ‘when you leave me the bed is empty and I feel crazy cause I didn’t say anything / I wish you would tell me how you really feel but you’ll never tell me cause that’s not our deal,’ hit all the high and low points of a type of love that is all too familiar.

So, watching Best Coast do what it does best exorcises all sorts of demons.

For example, it’s possible that a certain Pop & Hiss writer once passed out drunk in the lap of a boy she loved who was just a friend while singing along to the song ‘Boyfriend’ as he drove her home after a fairly disastrous dinner party.

For those of you not familiar, those lyrics go, ‘I wish he was my boyfriend, I’d love him ‘til the very end, but instead he’s just a friend. I wish he was my boyfriend.’

Needless to say, it’s also possible that the next day found the writer simmering in a stew of embarrassment and regret. But Cosentino would like that story. It’s moments like those that Best Coast songs are made of.

It’s sugar and spice, but not everything nice.


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-- Jessica Gelt

Best Coast performs Sunday at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times