Best Coast

Best Coast

With all of the disturbing change California is facing these days, be it financial, social, or political, it would seem a stretch to call it anything but doomed. Heck, even the weather seems to have left the once seemingly endless sunny shores. Fortunately, there is still hope to be found. A hope that has risen before when all seemed dire, and that hope is in the music from the Best Coast. An appropriate name for a musical project that hearkens the days of surfer rock from it's majestic heyday of the 1960s.

It is easy enough to imagine Bethany Cosentino in a brightly colored go-go dress, thigh high boots and possibly a beehive hairdo, as she swoons to the swaying rhythm of her and fellow bandmate Bobb Bruno's songs. And though the imagery might not be factual, the music certainly is. Inspired by such acts as the Ronettes, Connie Francis, and Patsy Cline, with a heavy dose of reverb and a dash of lo-fi, Best Coast is currently doing quite well from sea to shining sea.

Their first full length album, Crazy for You, released in July of 2010, has had a very positive critical and popular reception, even cracking the Billboard Top 40 in August of the same year. They have been featured on Jimmy Fallon, named as one of the best albums of the year by Spin Magazine, and generally reached mass popularity at a rate most bands can only dream of. From this point on it is anyone's guess as to what the future holds, but it surely is refreshing to hear such uplifting music coming from the West Coast. If Ms. Cosentino continues to write such happy and dreamy melodies, perhaps the West Coast can continue to vie for the title of Best Coast.

CHAD MITCHELL

Lemuria

Lemuria's sweet sounding post-punk with pop sensibilities is unlike anything out there right now and for that reason, along with the band's stellar and hard-working track record, is why Bridge Nine Records is excited to welcome them to the roster. Label owner Chris Wrenn said, "It's important for us to have a diverse roster of artists and we feel like Lemuria compliments a lot of our other bands while standing strong on their own accord. We've had Get Better in rotation in the office here for a while and after adding two hardcore bands to our roster, Mother of Mercy and Foundation, we decided to change it up a bit and sign Lemuria. I think our roster really mirrors our collective musical tastes and it's always exciting to expand on the types of music we release." Formed in the summer of 2004, Buffalo's Lemuria has garnered quite a bit of attention thus far in their career. The band has released a myriad of splits and 7"s (drummer Alex Kerns runs the label Art Of The Underground) and one full-length LP, Get Better, on Asian Man Records in 2008 that Punknews.org called the best debut full-length of the year. This July, Lemuria hit the studio with producer J Robbins at the Magpie Cage in Baltimore, MD (Hey Mercedes, The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker) to record their Bridge Nine debut. Drummer Alex Kerns said, "We are so proud to announce that Bridge Nine will be releasing our second full-length album. B9 is a family of great bands and great people and we are honored to be welcomed aboard. We can't wait to get started recording this July with J Robbins from Jawbox right after we wrap up a full US tour." This will be Lemuria's first Philadelphia show following the release of their second LP, "Pebble"!

Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Laura Stevenson was schooled in the traditional music of her grandfather and grandmother (composer of "The Little Drummer Boy" and vocalist for the Benny Goodman Orchestra respectively) from an early age. It wasn't until she started performing with Bomb The Music Industry in her teens, that she began writing on her own. Privately crafting songs on the softer side of indie rock and traditional folk, Stevenson was soon tapped as the band's opener and, with the addition of Mike Campbell and Alex Billig in 2007, Laura Stevenson and the Cans solidified. Their live band grew into a quintet, often times swelling to eight members, and the following debut LP, A Record, won them fans far and wide having been downloaded over 25,000 time since it's 2008 release.

Sit Resist, an album centered around never sitting stagnant, sees a matured band that has been continuously at work writing, arranging and touring for the past three years. Lyrically, Stevenson's pen has a sharp, poetic tone, making it impossible not to be taken in by her stories. Where A Record crackled with Stevenson's intimate voice alongside gentle acoustics, begging the listener nearer, Sit Resist commands the attention of all within earshot with its rich instrumentation and textured melodies.

Over the course of the album's thirteen songs, you'll hear the band weld a variety of musical styles that dreamily caress and nurture one another into a wholly unique rendering of Americana. "Master of Art" with its Phil Spector-esque, girl-group tease of an intro, explodes with the energy of Stevenson's voice - an instrument that is as strong as it is lovely. "Caretaker" conjures up ghosts and memories of homes inevitably / regrettably left behind. You'll find major-key resolution in the juxtaposed tale that is "The Healthy One," and "I See Dark" waltzes you, dear listener, into the lonely night, hand-in-hand.

The overall effect achieved by Laura Stevenson & the Cans is an album that's as invigorating and life-affirming as it is quietly emotional and delicate. This is an intelligent, literate album crafted of fragments of fleeting memories of time and place, yet it manages to convey volumes. Sit Resist is a true piece of art! Out now on Don Giovanni Records.

The Mind Spiders

Garage punk from Fort Worth, Texas on Dirtnap Records.

$15.00

Tickets Available at the Door

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