Music News

Best Coast: Things Are Going Swimmingly for Bethany Cosentino

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast sounds pretty rough as she answers the phone for our Monday afternoon interview, but given her week, it's understandable. A few days before, she and her bandmates — guitarist Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehle — made their television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

"We were super-nervous [about] our first TV performance. We were just like, 'Oh, God, this is going to be so bad,' and then we did it, and I was like, 'This was super-easy,'" Cosentino says. "It came out much better than I thought it would. The show was about to start taping and Jimmy ran in and said, 'Just wanted to introduce myself,' and we were like, whoa, because we didn't think we'd have any contact with him. He was really nice, but I didn't get to meet [the night's other guest] Gwyneth Paltrow, which sucked, because I wanted to meet her."

The band followed the taping with a four-night residency at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. "We just played eight shows in Vegas in four days, and it was like really, really intense, so I think I got sick there with a combination of being in Vegas for four days [laughs], a.k.a. partying too much.

"We are the least likely band to ever perform in a casino environment, but it turned out really cool. It was like a paid vacation. I got to stay in a crazy fucking penthouse with a hot tub in my room. It was a lot of work, but we had a lot of fun," Cosentino says.

It's a big start to a year that follows Best Coast's breakout popularity in 2010, cresting on the fuzzy pop of their debut LP, Crazy for You, which earned Best Coast glowing reviews from media outlets and garnered big-name fans like Rivers Cuomo, Thurston Moore, Will Arnett, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Cosentino's charm hasn't been limited to her musical pursuits. She's reached celebrity status on Twitter, using the micro-blog site to riff on topics ranging from her cat to reality TV and musical crushes (see: her back-and-forth with Hayley Williams of Paramore).

"It originally started as just me saying: We have a show or we have a seven-inch coming out, or posting a picture, and then I realized I could do it from my phone and I just started doing it because I was bored," she says of her tweets. "Sometimes I say something on Twitter and it will come back to bite me in the ass or end up on a blog or some shit. I'm like, oh, wait, I have 24,000 followers. I think Twitter is just a way for your fans to feel like they know you on a personal level. The things I say on Twitter are the things I say in real life. It allows me to be who I am to a whole bunch of people.

"When I first heard what it was, I was in New York, in college, and I was taking a narcissism class, and my professor was like, there's this new website called Twitter, and it's a perfect example of narcissism, because you are just talking about yourself all the time, and she showed it to us, and I was like, 'What? That is the stupidest thing I've ever seen,' and now here I am, using it every five seconds of every day."

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.