Daily Archives: October 1, 2010

Best Coast: California noise rock rules

Best Coast at The Bowery Ballroom. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

We here at Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? had been looking forward to Best Coast‘s return to New York for months.

We missed the California stoner/noise-rock band’s free show at South Street Seaport because of scheduling conflicts — imagine that! — and so we jumped on tickets for the Wednesday, Sept. 29, show at the Bowery Ballroom as soon as they became available.

Bethany Cosentino: No longer California-girl blond

Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno and Ali Koehler did not disappoint. (Okay, truth be told, Ali, the Vivian Girls drummer who became an official member of Best Coast didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but that’s a relatively minor quibble.)

Bethany, who said she’d been sick, still managed to sing her simple but charming lyrics well, and Bobb set the room on fire with his amazing playing. We have hopes that Ali will wake up and start really playing her kit, but in the meantime she did a decent job of keeping time. Or maybe she could just try to look like she’s not totally bored by the proceedings.

Is Ali Koehler bored or just projecting a chill image?

Comedian Eugene Mirman hanging out in the Bowery Ballroom bar.

Oh, and indie-rock comic Eugene Mirman was there for the show. He spent a lot of time in the downstairs bar, and pacing from there to the smoking area outside — we didn’t see whether he was smoking  — while checking his smartphone.

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Belle and Sebastian’s triumphant return to New York

Belle and Sebastian at The Williamsburg Waterfront: Undaunted by the threatening storm. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

UPDATE: The dancing fool in our video (scroll down)has identified himself via YouTube as “deandempseync” on YouTube. He tells Will You Miss Me: “Who’s the handsome devil on the left of the screen? ME! I’m the ‘tall one with the curly hair [who] got a bit carried away by the whole thing.’ Somehow rather proud… And [that] was a bottle of gin.”

The impending fury of Tropical Storm Nicole wasn’t enough to keep the fans away from showing up in droves at The Williamsburg Waterfront on Thursday, Sept. 30, to for Belle and Sebastian‘s first New York show in four years.

In fact, the threat of a storm brought B&S onstage a bit earlier than scheduled in hopes of beating the rain. That turned out to be a boon for the audience, as B&S played a longer set, going right up to the venue’s 10 p.m. curfew

Teenage Fanclub played a tight and tuneful opening set.

Amazingly, with the help of a tight and lively set by fellow Scots Teenage Fanclub, B&S managed to keep the bad weather at bay (Nicole behaved herself until early the next morning) and put on a show that was nothing short of spectacular.

Aside from some terrible sartorial choices — with Sarah Martin, Stuart, and Stevie Jackson all unwittingly donning very similar black-and-white horizontal stripe shirt, causing Stevie to keep his coat on all night, Stuart’s unfortunate man-scarf — it was quite a spectacle in every respect.

B&S played plenty from the forthcoming album, Belle and Sebastian Write About Love, but didn’t beat it to death. The band focused on keeping the fans happy with a wide range of songs from its huge catalogue. And that effort paid off well.

It was satisfying to see that B&S didn’t call on any celebrity friends to make guest appearances at the show. Given that New York’s Norah Jones duets with B&S on the new album’s “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John,” it was plausible to think she might show up. But B&S kept things strictly in the family for this show.

Stuart even invited seven fans onstage to clap and dance along with a classic number, “The Boy with the Arab Strap.” Here’s a video of that amusing interlude. Pay particular attention to the tall guy with the curly hair:

Check out a great new interview with the band by Laura Barton for The Guardian. And click through to the jump for more Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? photos from the show.

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