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No More Reverb: Full-Throttle for Best Coast

I am really surprised how much I enjoy this album. It really has a great vibe for the coming  Summer months. I just hope the fabulous Beach House album doesn’t overshadow it too much. 

LAST fall Bethany Cosentino was working on “The Only Place,” the second full-length album by her indie rock band, Best Coast. Day after day, she’d drive to Capitol Studios, in the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, the hallowed halls where the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra and others recorded some of their most important work. On the way, she’d listen to “Take Care,” the Drake album that had just come out.

“Honestly, when I was writing a lot of lyrics for this record, I was very hesitant to be as honest as I was, because I was like, I don’t want people to ask me ‘What was your problem?,’ ” she said on a sunny, breezy day in early March.

But Drake, hip-hop’s foremost confessor, left a mark. “I was just like, You know what?” — she cursed, for emphasis — “I’m going to make this record like a rapper would make it, or at least how Drake would make it.”

The result is an album that invites all sorts of attention. “The Only Place” (Mexican Summer) is a huge step forward for this formerly committedly small duo. Ms. Cosentino is more forceful and direct in her lyrics here than ever before and, thanks partly to the producer Jon Brion, the careful craftsman who’s been responsible for some of Fiona Apple and Kanye West’s most vivid work, she sounds more alive, bursting out of the mix

To read the rest of this great profile by the the always on point Jon Caramanica head over to the New York Times

A Band Battles Ticketmaster on Sales Fees

Never been a fan of this band, but I always love when bands try and fight the status quo of ticket pricing. The second hand market especially needs to be fixed.

One Friday afternoon recently, about 50 fans and friends of the band String Cheese Incident took $20,000 in cash to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to take a small stand against the system — in this case, Ticketmaster.

With money advanced by the band, each person had enough to buy eight tickets at $49.95 apiece for the group’s show in July. Once all tickets were in hand, almost 400 of them, they were carried back to String Cheese headquarters in Colorado and put on sale again through the group’s Web site — for $49.95.

“We’re scalping our own tickets at no service charge,” Mike Luba, one of the group’s managers, explained in an interview last week. “It’s ridiculous.”

String Cheese Incident, a jam band with a solid if under-the-radar following, wants to offer tickets to its whole summer tour without the service fees, now ubiquitous, charged by Ticketmaster and other vendors. To do that it is going through much more rigmarole than almost any group would bother with, but feels strongly that the effort is worthwhile.

“It costs us money to sell the tickets,” Keith Moseley, the band’s bassist, said. “But we are going to eat that cost this summer in order to make a better deal for our fans and let them know how much we appreciate them.”

Click here to read the rest of this article by Ben Sisario.