I was listening to Best Coast on Amtrak a few weeks ago and I was thinking about how I used to listen to Best Coast all day every day. And I remembered those days. And like any old person, “I can’t say that I miss ‘em, things are better now harhar.” But like they are.
I’m pretty sure the person that introduced me to sad gal music is this guy I used to date that had a walk-in closet and he mostly only had his drums in there. I loved that walk-in closet. And I’m glad he showed me sad gal music. He showed me a lot of cool music and I am forever grateful. He also lived in JC when I (shamefully! stupidly! only because my rent was $700!) lived in Hoboken and helped me see that I had to move to JC ASAP. And then I did.
When I was younger, like in high school, I think the top 3 CDs on rotation in my car were Nelly, Nas, and 50cent. I still don’t fully know how a whole grade of 152 students attending a high school literally in the middle of a cornfield got completely obsessed with this type of music but that can be explored another time. Update: Nick read this and told me, “it was MTV, DUH.” Mystery solved.
And then in college I listened pretty much exclusively to Bob Marley. And cheerleading music I guess. But that was it.
So my brain was ripe for finding and accepting and absorbing and relating to some new music. I think.
And Best Coast was the perfect gateway to sad gal music. They are Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno and they are my favorite. The lyrics are simple but poignant, to me at least. Like, boys are bad and they break your heart and you hate them but you love them so you’ll let them keep breaking your heart and the pain is beautiful and you will chase after them even though skateboards go faster than human legs can go and you should have learned to skateboard when you were ten and you had the chance.
JK they didn’t say the part about the skateboards. But I did.
No matter what song, for me they all invoke a sense of longing. When I’m sad, the thing I get most sad about is that feeling of longing, of wanting something you don’t have and feeling so desperate to have it that it feels like you have a black hole in your chest. Does anyone else know about this?
Maybe you don’t but you can agree that the happy, surf-y, California-y vibe of the music is the complete opposite of the lyrics and that’s part of what I like about it. Like hey we’re jamming on the west coast BEST COAST but people still suck and we still want things we can’t have and feel like shit about it.
I’ve often told people “if you want to know what the inside of my head sounds like, listen to Best Coast.” Things have gotten a little different over the years but I think this still applies most of the time.
I mentioned previously that part of my love for Best Coast comes from them being open about mental illness and that comes out in the songs as well. And it’s just a real feel fest.
I used to listen to it every day because I felt this desperate longing EVERY DAY and I felt a strong sense of solidarity and validation as I blasted this in my headphones and stomped around everywhere in combat boots and maybe that’s why I went deaf in one ear I guess we’ll never know.
It just really fit my VIBES for an extended period of time. A period of time that was like…OH GROSS A WHOLE DECADE PRETTY MUCH.
I’ve been to quite a few of their shows, and I can’t locate the photos from any of them. I know there was one at Terminal 5, one somewhere in Brooklyn, and one in a random spot on the West Side Highway that I thought was random as hell. I also missed them one year at Governor’s Ball because that was the ONLY year we took the ferry and that stupid thing made us late. Don’t take the ferry. Just walk you guys.
One time when I was in LA I met Best Coast! They were DJing at this Space 15Twenty place on Cahuenga (ka-WANG-a) and I walked up to them and was so excited and glad to meet them and I only spoke to them for like 20 seconds but they were the best….COAST!
JK that was dumb.
But I was so excited, look at my face here.
I mean I look insane but they look cool as hell and also kind. That’s how they always look I love them.
2016 was a tough year for many and we also got Trump later that year, but 2016 was my rebuilding year so I am not mad at 2016. And meeting Best Coast in 2016 was part of that.
And then in 2017 they CAME TO JERSEY CITY and did a show at White Eagle Hall which I could walk to in 5 mins from my old apartment. And it was like two of the things I love most in the world (JC+BC) came together in a perfect moment in an old high school gym turned concert venue. And it was like that because that’s what it was. They killed it at White Eagle, these poorly compressed .gifs don’t lie.
I started writing this earlier today because I’ve been wanting to write about them, my most fav band, and a few hours after I started writing it I saw on Bethany’s Instagram that they’re coming out with a new album on 11/5! Like they just said that today! IT’S LIKE I KNEW.
IT IS SCORPIO SEASON.
(Bethany is also a Scorpio)
So go ahead and listen to them on Spotify or wherever you get your music these days. You have like a week to catch up before this new album!
I think it’s best to start from the beginning, so chronologically you would want to do these first (links go to Spotify):
Then head over to this one, their first more mainstream one:
Love it. And then next comes my fav:
And also these two which I also like but didn’t listen to quite as obsessively as Crazy For You and The Only Place but still pretty obsessively:
Honestly I love them all. What about you? Do you love Best Coast? Do you love another band as much as I love Best Coast? Do you like sad gal music as an overall genre? I do. And I’ll talk more about it soon. Thanks for listening.