LMN Interview: Bethpage Black

Neurotic band members, an oddly defined sound and cheese. Say hello to Los Angeles’ own Bethpage Black


Los Angeles-town has no shortage of bands for me to talk about but we’re going to change things up a bit and let the band talk about itself. Why? Well, why not?

Bethpage Black (http://bethpage-black.com/) is two things: a world famous golf course and a band that thinks to be defined by a whole new genre unto itself. “We call it ‘Sickle Pop,’” explains drummer-songwriter Steve Coy. “It’s aggressive pop-rock with a slight metal edge.”

Intriguing. As an up and coming band in LA, Bethpage Black has been making the rounds at local venues like the Viper Room and radio play on KROQ. On March 8th they’re primed to hit yet another renowned LA stage: the Troubadour for a night of rock solid local bands including the Crash Kings, the Active Set, and Light FM. I cornered Steve Coy for a little more info on the band.

LMN: So how long has the band been in existence? Who are the players and why are they here?

Steve Coy: In its current and best lineup, since May 2011, the players are me, Matt Carmichael (Vox/guitar), Davin Givhan (guitar), and Vivien Larena (bass). Collectively we are here I think because we like playing in a band where every song is a new experience instead of the “soundalike” scene where not only do 20 bands sound the same, but all 20 of their songs (if they have that many), sound the same. We’ve had people tell us our songs sound like everything from Death From Above 1979 to the Ataris to Muse to The Used to U2, and that’s definitely by design.

LMN:  What’s the musical definition of Bethpage Black?

Steve Coy: Bethpage Black is an effort to, as our guitarist Davin says, “always write better songs.” it’s a starkly simple statement but I think it’s our driving force, along with executing those songs better every time we play.

A visual aid, anyone? Video- “Losing My Nerve”

LMN:  Got it. Is that why you spend your spare time playing drums when there are homeless kittens around the world that need love?

Steve Coy: I’ve been many things in my life: Chef at LA’s #1 restaurant, web designer for major recording artists and superstar athletes, but it’s playing drums and writing songs for my unsigned, money-sucking rock band that’s brought me my greatest sense of personal triumph. When I wrote “I’ve Got Friends” in 5 minutes, I knew at least I’d created something undeniably great, and that will be with me forever. Music hurts me a lot, but she’ll never leave me. I suppose a cat wouldn’t either, though.

LMN: Never underestimate a cat. Now who’s the most neurotic member of the band?

Steve Coy: Unquestionably me. The days and weeks leading up to a big show, I want to jump off a cliff, until we play our first note, then it’s smooth as eggs! Davin is neurotic in a different way, more of a Rain Man, I’d play guitar for 16 hours a day if I could kind of way.

LMN: I think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway: what band do you want to be bigger than?

Steve Coy: Foster The Fucking People. I want to stomp them out of humanity’s collective musical memory, and you can print it exactly like that. They are the opposite of, say, Young The Giant or Saint Motel, to name two other LA “indie-whatever-pop-rock” bands that would probably get booked on a festival with FTP but who wipe the floor with them in every conceivable way.

LMN: Final and most important question: cheese or cotton candy?

Steve Coy: Cheese–my goodness, what an invention! The first person to willingly eat the solid by-products of fermented milk–that’s a brave human.

This is the stuff of greatness or insanity, folks. Either way, you can catch it in the live on March 8th at the Troubadour when Bethpage Black rock out along with the amazing Crash Kings. Get a ticket or two right here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/94703


This interview was conducted by friend of Local Music Nation, Trina N. Green (AKA @dharma69 also of High Voltage Magazine and The Owl Magazine). 

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar 3/14-3/21

Currently watching the latest episode of Supernatural. This afternoon, I’m starting my birthday week off by heading to the PaleyFest Supernatural panel so I want to be prepared. Then it’s time to go to Austin! SXSW will be insane!! Hopefully there will be time for updates, but check out my list of the artists I’m most looking forward to seeing. When I get back I’ll work on preparing my annual SXSW mix.

If you’re not joining me in Texas, there are still plenty of shows to keep you busy here in LA. Go celebrate my bday on Friday by heading to The Troubadour to watch George Stanford and Truth & Salvage Co.

Here’s what else I would be up to if I weren’t enjoying the music elsewhere…


Monday: Honeyhoney at Bootleg Theater (10:30)
ALSO: Maniac at The Troubadour (8:30)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)


Tuesday: The Shakers at Molly Malone’s (8pm)
ALSO: Papercranes at Bootleg Theater (10pm)


Weds: Semi Precious Weapons at On the Rox (10pm)…FREE with RSVP
ALSO: Moderne Man at The Viper Room (8:50)
ALSO: Chasing Kings at The Hotel Cafe (10pm)


Thursday: Makepeace Brothers at The Hotel Cafe (8pm)
ALSO: Alkaline Trio ad Dead Country at The Mayan (8pm)
ALSO: Winchester Rebels at The Mint (11pm)


Friday: Foster Timms, George Stanford and Truth & Salvage Co at The Troubadour (9, 9:45, 10:45)
ALSO: The 88 at The Hotel Cafe (10pm)
ALSO: The Canyons at Molly Malone’s (11pm)


Saturday: Tyler Hilton at The Hotel Cafe (11pm)


Sunday: ??


Monday March 21st: Honeyhoney at Bootleg Theater (10:30)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)


To Keep in Mind:

March 22nd: War on Drugs at The Troubadour
March 26th: Lady Danville at The Troubadour
March 28th: Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Echoplex
March 30th: Imagine Dragons at The Viper Room
April 11th: Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Echoplex
April 16th: Matt Wertz and Ben Rector at The Troubadour
April 25th: Airborne Toxic Event at The Satellite
May 27th: The Script at Club Nokia
June 9-12: Bonnaroo!!!
June 13th: Florence and The Machine at The Greek Theater
September 22-24: Hotel Carolina

~ Kristen



Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 1/24-1/30

Amanda and I are in New York City at the moment. Just came back from seeing the boys of Carney rock Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark (again). They made some changes in the second half that I loved. As you know, we ventured to the east coast because my first favorite band, Pepper’s Ghost, had a reunion show at The Grape Room, Saturday in Philadelphia (their first show since 2007…). There are no words to describe how I felt about seeing this band play again. The whole day, really, spent with some of my favorite people and seeing a couple of my top bands (we also went to Northstar to catch a bit of Alright, Junior’s set) is bound to go down as one of the best days of my year…hopefully I’ll find some time to put up some pictures and, fingers crossed, video (!) soon.

But, in the meantime, we’ve got lots of great shows to look forward to this week in LA! Can’t wait to get back (and not just because I’m freezing my fingers off over here)! Here’s what I’d like to do:

Monday: Cold War Kids at Bootleg (10:30)
ALSO: Camp Freddy at Whiskey a Go Go (9pm)
ALSO: The Script at Jimmy Kimmel (6:45…with reservation from 1iota.com)
ALSO: Iron & Wine FREE at Amoeba (7pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot featuring Royal Bangs and Gary Clark Jr. (10:30)

Tuesday: Cold War Kids at Amoeba (6pm)
ALSO: Anna Nalick at Saint Rocke (10:30)
ALSO: WPA featuring Glen Phillips and Sean Watkins at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: The Vaccines at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: The Canyons at Molly Malone’s (9pm)
ALSO: Iron & Wine at The Wiltern (8pm)
ALSO: Olin & The Moon FREE at The Echo (10pm)
ALSO: 8mm at The Good Hurt (11pm)

Weds: Red Circle Underground at Silverlake Lounge (11pm)
ALSO: Keaton Simons at The Roxy (8pm)
ALSO: Iron & Wine at The Wiltern (8pm)
ALSO: Bryan Greenberg at Saint Rocke (10pm)

Thursday: High Voltage Presents at The Mint featuring Armada, 8mm, etc. (8pm)
ALSO: Amos Lee at The Music Box (9pm)
ALSO: Graydon at Silverlake Louge (9:30)
ALSO: Steel Train at The Troubadour (8:45)

Friday: Queen Caveat and Nico Vega at Saint Rocke (9,11)
ALSO: The Postelles and Free Energy at The Roxy (8pm)
ALSO: Honeyhoney at Bootleg (9:45)
ALSO: Parade of Lights at Club Cohiba in Long Beach (7:30)
ALSO: Juke Kartel at The Hotel Cafe (10:30)
ALSO: Maxim Ludwig at The Sante Fe Seven (11:45)
ALSO: Rocco Deluca and Daniel Lanois at The El Rey (8:30)

Saturday: Charlotte Martin at Bootleg (10:30)
ALSO: Tyler Hilton at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Oh Darling at the Santa Monica Pier (5:30)

Sunday: George Stanford at The Hotel Cafe
ALSO: Against Me! at The Music Box (8pm)
ALSO: The Shakers at O’Briens

To Keep in Mind:

Feb 1st: Patrick Park at The Hotel Café
Feb. 1st: Queen Caveat at The Viper Room
Feb 5th: The Silent Comedy at El Rey
Feb 9th: Sarah McLaughlin at Nokia Live
Feb 9th: Tina Dico at The Troubadour
Feb 16th: Nicole Atkins at The Troubadour
Feb. 16th: Scars on 45 at The Hotel Cafe
Feb. 20th: Beth Hart at The Echoplex
Feb 26th: Josh Ritter and Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit) at The Music Box
March 1st: Biffy Clyro at The Troubadour
March 3rd: Civil Twilight at The Troubadour
March 4th: After Midnight Project at The Roxy
March 22nd: War on Drugs at The Troubadour

~ Kristen

Scarlet Grey!

With Scarlet Grey’s Sky and I video release show less than a week away I wanted to share a story with you about one special experience with the band…

It was sometime in mid October and K and I were spending our Saturday helping at the shoot of Scarlet Grey’s newest video “The Sky and I.” Now how did we manage to score such a sweet gig you ask…

Scarlet Grey.

They posted on their Twitter and Facebook about the shoot and said they needed some assistants and would anyone want to help? First off, how many bands do you know who openly invite all their friends/fans to come help out on a video shoot? So, naturally K and I jumped at the opportunity to help our new band love and chance get to know the guys better (we had just met them a week or so before!).

Everyone on the set was so nice that it made the whole day fly by so fast! It was such an honor for me (well both of us), to share this time with them because we all were part of the process of something really special. The shoot was a blast and while I’m not at liberty to divulge any details about it, I can tell you that it will be a fantastic video. If you want a sneak peak, here is a photo Ben took from the set that day.

If you haven’t already, check out Scarlet Grey on Myspace and you can follow Ben and the band on Twitter. You will love them.

And be sure to get your tickets to the Scarlet Grey Sky and I release show on December 2nd at The Troubadour with The Young Modern, City (Comma) State, and Killola.


Kristen’s Concert Calendar: 7/12-7/18

Well, Amanda and I certainly had quite the busy weekend getting sneak previews of some very exciting projects coming out soon. Slash-approved British rockers, Gods and Men, are in the process of recording their first album for Pacific Records. Remember the name…it will come up again soon, I’m sure. Also, San Diego’s own Endoxi just finished their first full-length CD, Earthbound. The record is coming out August 3rd and the release party will be August 6th at Epicentre in SD. I’m very excited about Endoxi, and feel that they are poised to become the next big band out of San Diego.

But if you need a good show before August 6th, this week will definitely satisfy. Two of my very favorite bands are playing the Troubadour, The Silent Comedy on Tuesday (opening for Andy Clockwise) and Nico Vega on Weds (opening for Sweethead). You know you’ve been meaning to check out these bands I’m always blathering on about…well, here’s your chance so don’t miss it! 

As for everything else (it’s quite a fantastic week for music):

Monday: Matt Morris at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Mississippi Man FREE at The Echo (10pm)
ALSO: The Shakers at Les Deux (10pm)
ALSO: Abbot Kinney at Molly Malone’s (8pm)
ALSO: Kings of Leon at Hollywood Bowl (7:30)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm) 

Tuesday: The Silent Comedy and Andy Clockwise at The Troubadour (8:30)
ALSO: Imagine Dragons FREE at The Viper Room (10pm)
ALSO: Matthew Jordan at Cafe Was (7pm)
ALSO: Austin Hartley-Leonard at The Hotel Cafe (8pm) 

Weds: Nico Vega at The Troubadour (9:15)…what else do you need? 

Thursday: KT Tunstall, Garrison Starr, Jay Nash, Joe Firstman at The Hotel Cafe (7-11)
ALSO: Killola at The Viper Room (11pm)
ALSO: Wakey Wakey at Bootleg (10pm)
ALSO: Alex Band at The Roxy (8:30)
ALSO: Fitz & the Tantrums at the Hammer museum (7pm)
ALSO: Alternate Routes at Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena (8pm)
ALSO: Nico Vega at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara (7pm) 

Friday: Tyrone Wells at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Victoria Clemmons, Kris Karlsson, Alex Rhodes at Genghis Cohen (8,9,10)
ALSO: Lovers Drugs at Rusty’s Surf Ranch in Santa Monica (9pm)
ALSO: Juke Kartel at The Viper Room (11:15)
ALSO: MGMT at The Greek Theater (7:30) 

Saturday: Thrice at Fox Theater in Pomona (6:30)
ALSO: Leerone and Laura Jensen at The Hotel Cafe (8, 10)  
ALSO: The Silent Comedy at The Casbah (SD) 

Sunday: The Swell Season and Bird and the Bee at Hollywood Bowl (7:30)
ALSO: Joe Firstman and Jay Nash at Saint Rocke (7pm) 

To Keep in Mind:
July 21st: Gaslight Anthem at The Wiltern
July 23rd: Tony Lucca album release at The Mint
July 28th: Bang the Gong Tour featuring Civil Twilight, Paper Tongues, and Neon Trees at The Glass House
July 29th: Queen Caveat EP Release at The Viper Room
July 29th: Civil Twlight at The Hotel Cafe
July 30th: Dirty Sweet at The Viper Room  
July 30-31st: Morcheeba at Hollywood Bowl
August 6th: Endoxi CD release at Epicentre (SD)
August 12th: Semi Precious Weapons at Staples Center
August 21st and 22nd: Sunset Junction
September 4th: After Midnight Project at The Key Club
September 25th: Band of Horses at Greek Theater
September 25th: Muse at Staples Center 

~ Kristen

Carbon Leaf at The Troubadour

Do you ever associate a particular song or band with a certain time in your life so much so that whenever you hear that song or see that band you are transported back to those days when that music meant so much to you? Well that is how I feel about the band Carbon Leaf who had a strong presence in my college days. There is one verse in particular from their song “What About Everything” that really struck a chord with that particular time and place in my life. It includes the following lines:

“…Before time takes each year, like a knife cuts it clear
It’s school, then work and then life that just sharpens the blade
I think about time for fun
I think about time for play
Then I think about being done, with no resume…”

I first discovered Carbon Leaf in 2004. Their CD, Indian Summer, was just released when I stumbled upon it during one of my Borders listening sessions. I was immediately struck by the soothing vocals and the general positive/happy vibe I picked up from the songs.  I have been following Carbon Leaf ever since. The band is from Virginia and it took a couple of years for us to be in the same city at the same time. I finally saw them in 2006 at the TLA in Philadelphia. They were on Tour with Matt Nathanson and their CD Love Loss Hope Repeat had just come out.  It was a packed house and I remember struggling to get a good view, but also being impressed that the energy from the stage could make its way all the way to where I was, piercing my soul as all my favorite songs were being performed on the stage.

Last night at The Troubadour was only the second time I’ve seen Carbon Leaf live. Being in love with a local band is amazing if you’re in the same town, but I don’t make it to Virginia all that often and I kept missing the guys when they would go on tour. However, the little family of Carbon Leaf lovers that gathered at The Troubadour for the band’s 2 hour set made me feel like I hadn’t missed a beat.  I was certainly not alone in my adoration as the band’s unique brand of Celtic/bluegrass rock (Wikipedia’s categorization) seemed to transport the entire room to a different place and time where the one commonality was music that we were all, at that moment, experiencing together.

The band played songs spanning their entire catalog including many off Indian Summer despite the fact that the record was released 6 years ago. They also played some great tunes from other records including a couple songs from Curious George 2 (to which Carbon Leaf supplied the soundtrack), and one from their forthcoming album, How the West Was One.

This upcoming album is fairly special as it marks the band’s break from their record label and return to the DIY world of music-making.  They were especially proud to announce that despite the fact that the mixing of the new album had just been completed, the songs were available that night via download cards. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who is bothered by a record label’s decision to hold material for release long after it’s completed.  This move also means that the band will have a lot more music coming out over the next year or so. They say that How the West Was One is really going to be volume 1 of 3-4…all songs that the band has written over the years while they have been east of the Mississippi.

I have yet to download the new tunes, but I wanted to get something out about the brilliance of this band before tonight’s (Thurs July 8th) show at The Belly Up in Solana Beach (right outside of San Diego). I know many people at last night’s show plan to drive down and I wish I could join them. If you’re in the San Diego area, I’d highly recommend heading over the Belly Up (a fantastic venue) and checking out Carbon Leaf.

For the rest of their tour dates:

8 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA Find Tickets
9 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Soho Restaurant and Music Club Santa Barbara, CA, us Find Tickets
10 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Cafe du Nord San Francisco, CA Find Tickets
11 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Fat Cat Music House Modesto, CA Find Tickets
12 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Harlows Restaurant and Nightclub Sacramento, CA Find Tickets
14 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheater Seattle, WA Find Tickets
15 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Aladdin Theater Portland, OR Find Tickets
16 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Basin Summer Sounds Free Music Fest Ephrata, WA Find Tickets
17 Jul 2010 8:00 P
East City Park Moscow, Idaho Find Tickets
18 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Knitting Factory Concert House Boise, ID Find Tickets
19 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Kilby Court Salt Lake City, UT Find Tickets
20 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Bluebird Theater Denver, CO Find Tickets
21 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, NM Find Tickets
23 Jul 2010 8:00 P
The Warsaw Houston, TX Find Tickets
24 Jul 2010 8:00 P
The Aardvark Fort Worth, TX Find Tickets
4 Aug 2010 8:00 P
KELLYS OUTER BANKS Nags Head, NC, us Find Tickets
5 Aug 2010 8:00 P
KELLYS OUTER BANKS Nags Head, NC, us Find Tickets
19 Aug 2010 3:00 P
Rock and Blues Concert Cruise [Aboard the Frederick L. Nolan Jr.] Boston, MA Find Tickets
21 Aug 2010 8:00 P
Portland Music and Arts Festival Portland, ME Find Tickets


and a few more pics:

~ Kristen

Nico Vega West Coast Tour

Now THIS makes me want to do a west coast road trip. Nico Vega is finally playing another hometown date Weds July 14th at The Troubadour opening for Sweethead. This show is the first on the band’s journey up the west coast. Dates listed below…don’t miss out!

14 Jul 2010 8:00 P
The Troubadour w/ Sweethead West Hollywood, CA, CA  
15 Jul 2010 7:00 P
Velvet Jones w/ Sweethead Santa Barbara, CA  
17 Jul 2010 7:00 P
Fat Cat w/ Sweethead Modesto, CA  
18 Jul 2010 8:00 P
Cafe Du Nord w/ Sweethead San Francisco, CA  
20 Jul 2010 6:00 P
Doug Fir Lounge w/ Sweethead Portland, OR  
21 Jul 2010 7:00 P
Biltmore Cabaret w/ Sweethead Vancouver, BC  
21 Jul 2010 7:00 P
Biltmore Cabaret w/ Sweethead Vancouver, BC  
22 Jul 2010 7:00 P
El Corazon w/ Sweethead Seattle, Washington

And just in case you haven’t seen their most recent video:

and to get a taste of the band they are opening for:

~ Kristen