On the strength of a few irregularly released seven-inch singles and online-only EPs, L.A.‘s Best Coast have been building up considerable buzz not only on the blogosphere, but even in the mainstream media, with glowing write-ups in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Indebted to the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac, as the homages on the group’s MySpace site attest, Best Coast’s West Coast pop is mostly sunny with a touch of June gloom. While the band is most often mentioned alongside Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls, frontwoman Bethany Cosentino’s genealogy goes a little further back: From the tone of her voice to her songs about wanting romance without the baggage, Cosentino sounds like the little sister of Barbara Manning and Liz Phair, just more adventurous than the former and less potty-mouthed than the latter. The eagerly awaited full-length debut is due some time in 2010, but here’s the official video for the summery single “When I’m With You”.
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I miss regular-guy music. While I certainly appreciate arty, and theatrical, and over-the-top, sometimes I just want to rock out to some dudes who look and sound like they work a day job at Home Depot. The Gary, out of Austin, TX, fit this bill. I got hooked on their new single, “(Eyes in the) Taproom” because it reminded me of the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo and the Hold Steady, without exactly sounding like any of them. And if you can identify with songs about sitting on a crappy barstool night after night and wondering if you might just die on it, well then, so much the better. There’s a gritty, no-bullshit vibe about this band that is eminently relatable. No guyliner involved. The Gary just released their first full-length album, Logan, on Cedar Fever Records. Find out more at their MySpace page.
“(Eyes in the) Taproom” [MP3]
Raise your hand if you’re looking for a job, but think you’re overqualified and underappreciated, and likely not to be paid enough? McSweeney’s knows how you feel and they’re rubbing it in with a mock-up want-ad for the most work intensive and least rewarding unpaid internship ever. Some highlights include:
* Candidate should be an expert in ALL forms of social media and have a MINIMUM of 50,000 Twitter followers
* Bachelor degrees in communication, new media AND political science required. Masters Degree in Filmmaking preferred. PH.D. in Journalism, a plus. Candidates with a law degree will be given special consideration.
I know what you’re thinking: This parody doesn’t seem to be that much of an exaggeration when it comes to finding work these days.
Gogol Bordello is a long-time PopMatters favorite, as we have a serious weakness in these parts for genre-bending music that draws from many of the world’s sounds and has an international sensibility. The New York gypsy punks release their toe-tapping and butt-shaking new album Trans-Continental Hustle this coming week and “Pala Tute” is the infectious lead-off tune.
In this short video, frontman and singer Eugene Hütz discusses the band’s love of recording in Brazil interspersed with live performance segments of this hyper-catchy song. This is feel-good gypsy party music, perfectly suited to the brighter times right around the corner as summer comes and the recession fades.
Quentin B. Huff will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST along with Lah Tere of hip-hop group Rebel Diaz discussing women in hip-hop. Recently Huff wrote for PopMatters in “A Declaration for Female Emcees” that “hip-hop needs a women’s movement ala Seneca Falls. The Declaration of Sentiments used the Declaration of Independence as its structural model (in hip-hop we call that “sampling”).”
Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Female emcees, or ‘femcees’, have always been a minority in hip-hop. But in this decade, they became almost an endangered species. The few women in the genre are not nearly as successful or engaged as rappers like Queen Latifah or Foxy Brown, who made inroads in the 1980s and ‘90s.
To examine this question we’re joined by Quentin B. Huff, who wrote a column about the issue for PopMatters.com; and Lah Tere, a member of the Bronx-based hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. She is also the founder of Mommas Hip Hop Kitchen, an annual all female hip hop showcase.”
You can listen to the program online here.