Tag Archives: Wavves

Show Review: Wavves/Best Coast @ Starlight Ballroom, Philly 2/1/2011

It’s tempting (to me, at least) think of Wavves in light of the financial crisis. At first glance, the sneering irony, the punk-like-fury without the punk, the air of apathy calls to mind the Gen X indulgences of the last economic cycle. And, given that Nathan Williams formed the band in 2008, wouldn’t it be easy to dismiss his (and Best Coast’s) music, as The Inquirer‘s Sam Adams does, as having “no women or… men … just girls and boys fumbling their way through an adult world”?

But when Adams dismisses Wavves as stumbling “on and off stage quickly enough, that no one was the wiser” to the monotony of their sound, I have to wonder: what show was he at? Ripping through a set that continually dragged people away from the cramped bar of Starlight, Wavves proved themselves something more. While “Idiot” and “I’m So Bored” have always sounded a bit flat to me on record, live and with the ecstatic playing of ex-Jay Reatard backers Stephen Pope and Jacob Cooper they were pulsing and angry but oddly delicate. On Tuesday, it was palpable that Williams’s subject is his own self-aware callowness: “I won’t ever die/ I’ll go surfing in my mind / I’m not supposed to be a kid / But i’m an idiot.” This is the sound of a generation waking up to find that the bright future they took as their birthright will never be inherited. This is the sound of a generation, despite their irony, despite their sneer, despite and because of their aggressive stance, that is deeply scared.

What Best Coast is I’m less sure. The crowd thinned after Wavves set, never a great sign for a headlining act, even if the opener is your boyfriend. And the fuzzy but slick playing of Best Coast’s album never materialized. The somnolence of Ali Koehler at the drums made me dream of Meg White: although Meg may not have the chops, she plays. Leadsinger Bethany Cosentino was still captivating (and fetching), despite a pre-gig trip to the ER for a respiratory infection. And the presence of a cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City” was instructive if not particularly outstanding: with their pop sensibilities with country undertones, Best Coast should take a page from Lynn’s lovelorn, fierce, and perfectly-constructed songbook. As the band exists now, they have moments of pop brilliance (“When I’m With You,” “Girlfriend”) that unfortunately do not hold up well to sustained attention. A few too many songs that sound the same and end up making me wonder that for all their pleasurable packages, what’s inside?

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Upcoming Philly Shows: Dismemberment Plan Reunion, Wavves & Best Coast

Real talk: I was too lame to listen to Dismemberment Plan in 1999. Despite the accolades, despite the badass cover, despite the sweet ripped-from-Groundhog’s Day band name, I dropped the ball on listening to Emergency and I (and then, later, Changes). And by the time I really got into them, and boy did I, they were wrapping up their last tour. And I’ve bitterly regretted that I never got to see them ever since.

But even the uncool get a reprieve. And we’re all invited to Philly’s Starlight Ballrooom to see them tonight, with the excellent Cymbals Eat Guitars opening. And for those whose stomach lurched when tickets sold out months ago, a doulbe reprieve: R5 has re-opened the box office and a limited number of tickets are available.

The Dismemberment Plan, “You Are Invited” [Buy]

The Dismemberment Plan w/ Cymbals Eat Guitars, Trophy Wife
8:30PM Thu, Jan 27, 2011
Starlight Ballroom, 460 N 9th St, Philadelphia
[Buy Tickets, $20]


Even more evidence of my continued uncoolness. When Wavves first hit the scene, I wrote them off as just another likable noise outfit. But a video of “So Bored” set to Home Improvement wipes and a fucking killer third album wrote me off as just another clueless Noise Narc. Wavves’ stoner noise rock is for real.

And to prove that the concert gods love us, The Wavves are touring with girlfriend/killer musician Best Coast. And if you don’t love the Ronettes with a Wall of Noise (yuck yuck) sound they’re laying down, exemplified by the absolutely perfect “Boyfriend,” then you should check your pulse.

Wavves & Best Coast w/ No Joy
8:30PM Tue, Feb 1, 2011
Starlight Ballroom, 460 N 9th St, Philadelphia
[Buy Tickets, $15]

Wavves, “Post Acid” [Buy]

Best Coast – Boyfriend by snipelondon

UpdateNot to mention, Best Coast played one of my all time favorite songs on the 24th, Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” Please, please, Bethany, once again in Philadelphia?

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Age-old complaint: Corporate-commissioned indie Xmas rock starts earlier each year

Man, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone complain about corporate commissioned indie Christmas songs starting earlier each year, I’d probably have enough nickels to buy this Boys’ C9 Champion┬« Power Tee at Target (shrug, it was the first cheap thing I could find). Which is probably all part of Target’s master plan, since they’ve just released a commissioned song by indie darling couple Wavves and Best Coast called “Got Something For You.” Click over to Target’s website, dreadfully named “The Christmas Gig,” where you can also listen to holiday songs by such groups as Bishop Allen or Guster (no, I have no idea why you’d want to do that, either). And listen to the Wavves/Best Coast collaboration below, while I put all my nickels in a roll.

Ho ho ho! Happy pre-Thanksgiving indie Christmas, everybody!

Best Coast and Wavves, “Got Something for You” [Target]

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Wavves of Home Improvement

1-Up is a regular feature in which we drop a quarter into music we had once written off.

Despite all of the hype, I didn’t bother listening to the Wavves until Pitchfork released their best tracks of the year list. I liked “No Hope Kids” and put it in my “to listen to” list. Where it stayed. Like a Tarkovsky film on my Netflix queue.

But now that somebody put the Wavves’ “So Bored” to the wipes from the third season of Home Improvement? Top of the queue. 1-Up, indeed.

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