A Letter from the Editors to Best Coast and their Fans

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A Letter from the Editor to Best Coast and their Fans

We at the Foghorn would like to speak to those who took offense to the Best Coast concert review recently published in print and on our website. Best Coast and their many fans are entitled to their reactions. We are glad to see that they read the piece, and that they felt comfortable sharing their opinions about it. Journalism is not a one-way street, and the Foghorn appreciates hearing any feedback or difference of opinion that any of our readers may have.

That said, we are not sorry for publishing it. The review was simply a representation of what our critic felt was important to the audience that attended the show. It is unfortunate that it was misunderstood as an act of sexism.

As Mr. Garcia said in his review, music should never be a fashion show. He certainly did not attend the concert looking for one. He went hoping to hear good music, and as he clearly stated in the article, that is what he heard.

What he did not like was the idea that a popular band — a band that can pull crowds to a historic San Francisco venue like The Fillmore on a Wednesday night — did not seem to be able to form a connection between themselves and the crowd. After seeing Cosentino’s immaculate outfit and hearing her wonderful music, it seemed a shame that the band was unable to give their fans what they deserved: some interest and personal investment in a show they had all paid to see.

Several readers have criticized Mr. Garcia’s comment about how Cosentino did not smile throughout the show. This was compared to asking a woman on the street to smile, something that, we agree, is horribly sexist. It is important to keep in mind that Bethany Cosentino, at least while on stage, is not a woman on the street. She is a rock star, one with fans who buy her albums and journalists who will be critiquing her performances, of which appearance and presentation are always a factor.

After further review, we realized that smiling is simply not apart of a typical performance put on by the band, thus the absence of a smile should have no affect on the quality of the band’s perceived performance. However, it should be expected that a paying audience member can anticipate some form of connection from the artists–which Best Coast did not provide at that particular show.

David L. Garcia has written for the Foghorn and other Bay Area publications (SF Weekly) for nearly three years and has consistently shown himself to be an excellent writer and reporter. We at the Foghorn value his opinion, and we stand by his right to express it in this paper. It was somewhat unprofessional of Best Coast to question his right to a journalism degree.

A majority of the Foghorn editors, including the Scene editor, are women who had read the piece thoroughly and had no qualms with its content. Many of us are, and will continue to be, fans of Best Coast and their music, and we wish them only the best. We would appreciate it if Best Coast and their fans not allow their personal connections or opinions to color their reactions to a negative review.

Thanks for Reading,

Nichole Rosanova

Scene Editor

Nureen Khadr

Editor in Chief

David L. Garcia

Copy Editor/Staff Writer

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s incredibly unfortunate you were unable to admit to and learn from your mistake. I genuinely hope you can do so in the future, not only for the sake of women but for your own heart.

    • As someone who has never heard Best Coast’s music before, it’s incredibly unfortunate you were unable to admit to and learn from your mistake. I genuinely hope you can do so in the future, not only for the sake of women but for your own heart.

  2. David Garcia- music reviews aren’t a journal entry, there has to be something more than your fleeting opinion going on within one. “I dunno, I didn’t feel connected to it” isn’t journalism. If you have real critisms, back them up with something resembling factual info. Bad “journalism” is so exhausting. Write better, please.

  3. “…It is important to keep in mind that Bethany Cosentino, at least while on stage, is not a woman on the street. She is a rock star, one with fans who buy her albums and journalists who will be critiquing her performances, of which appearance and presentation are always a factor…”

    If that’s the best you can come up with to justify such lazy journalism I really hope that you aren’t considering a career in media once you graduate.

    I can appreciate that David Garcia didn’t like the gig. Fair enough but to attempt to justify the comments by spending the first paragraph describing her looks and effectively demeaning her as a sex object is pretty fucking blatantly sexist.

  4. J. Mascis doesn’t smile or make inane small talk on stage. No one calls him out as not a rock star or not being an engaging performer. Your criticism was unfair and absolutely sexist. Bethany and the other members of Best Coast deserve more respect than that. She is a musician and nothing else; she isn’t on stage for decoration or to make you feel like she likes you. And, sexism isn’t isn’t limited to men, so please don’t think that the defense of “the story was reviewed by a woman” absolves your publication of any guilt. You are part of the problem, and that’s all there is to it.

  5. “As Mr. Garcia said in his review, music should never be a fashion show. He certainly did not attend the concert looking for one. He went hoping to hear good music”

    Uh, what? Literally, from his review:
    “But a concert isn’t about listening to music”

    So if a concert “isn’t [just] about listening to music,” and it should “never be a fashion show,” what should it be? If a concert is about more than just the music, then surely the look of the band has something to do with it, no? You guys are confused, contradictory, and stumbling all over your ignorant selves.

    And the review was sexist.

  6. Maybe David Garcia had trouble noticing Best Coast’s connection to their fans because he was too busy critiquing Beth’s outfit.

    I think it’s pretty lame that you claim Beth’s appearance is the best part of the show, but then add, “The music, the actual sounds the band was making, that was pretty great.” As a music journalist, you would think the band’s ACTUAL music would take forefront in the article. When a woman’s appearance is mentioned first — before her talent — yeah, that’s sexism. It’s like when interviewers ask female musicians/actresses/etc about their clothes or dating life, versus their work. See: http://theodysseyonline.com/radford/ask-her-more/140429

    And on that note, Garcia writes, “But a concert isn’t about listening to music, in the same way that going to a restaurant isn’t always about eating food. We go to concerts to hear a band play, yes, but also to form a connection, to get as close as possible to the source of our aural happiness.” I don’t know, David… I go to a concert for the music. I understand musicians are humans — not everyone has the perfect night every night. Not everyone is happy all the time. Not everyone wants to be at work every day. Not every crowd is awesome, sometimes a crowd is impossible to “connect” to. (P.S. The Portland, Oregon crowd was epic, maybe SF can take notes…)

    It isn’t a musician’s job to make a connection; they just want to play the music they want to play, and hopefully it’s that same music that we want to hear or pay to hear. I go to shows to make a connection to the lyrics, to the notes, to the songs I have been singing to for the past few years, not the people playing them — but if I do that too, well hey, that’s cool. Personally, I DO make a connection with Beth because she is real; she doesn’t try to be the perfect rockstar bopping around and blowing kisses at her fans. She’s not Katy Perry, or Miley Cyrus, or Taylor Swift, she doesn’t want to be, I don’t want her to be. That’s why I listen to Best Coast, that’s why I pay to see them live. They play good music, and that’s really what it should be about. Maybe you just don’t get it because you’re a guy. Maybe you just don’t get it because you’re a critic, and you’re supposed to nitpick a show. I feel like your judgement on her inability to “connect,” in addition to the comments on her appearance, comes from a skewed perception on what to expect from female musicians — and that’s sexist.

    Also, all because women approved the review before publishing does not mean it wasn’t sexist. It’s like a racist saying, “Oh, I can’t be racist because I have friends who are black!” Let’s be honest… Would David attend a Weezer show and say “I need to describe the incredible outfit bandleader Rivers Cuomo was wearing. He looked sexier and badder than any rock star I’ve seen in years?”

  7. When every person who’s commented on your article has given you the same feedback, maybe you need to swallow your pride and admit that college students are capable of mistakes. The Foghorn desperately needs some humility.

  8. So in other words sorrynot sorry and it wasnt sexist. Yes it was. Focusing on her outfit and comnenting on her apoearance and specifically mentioning hwr lack of a smile is sexist. He felt entitled to a smile and even write straight up about her outfit.

    Bethany herself said she didnt care about the bad review of the performance and no one is disputing that, but by specifically ignoring his leering comment abiut her looks and mentioning her smile isblatant apologism for his shitty behaviour. And I dont give a shit how long he’s bern writing for the foghorn, this piece of writing and the fact the editors saw fit to publish it and defend his sexism speaks volumes.

    Dobt bother covering rape, campus rape (and the huge toxic culture if dilence where perlertrators are protected at the ecpense of their traumatised victim) or violence againat women because youd be massive hypocrites perpetuating sexist attitudes which us the root cause of Vaw.

    Well done editors , well done.

  9. This response is disappointing, at best. The review was hugely sexist, and there was an opportunity to learn from it and react accordingly. Just because you, the editor, can’t see that doesn’t make the sexism untrue. Many of us are able to see it. There’s room to grow here.

  10. This is a total joke. A dude could get up there and snarl at the audience and play okay guitar and walk off the stage the second he’s done and no one would bat an eye. Not only are you absolutely being totally sexist, but this is the saddest justification I’ve read in awhile. Playing music in a band as your job is not about how you look OR how you “interact with the audience.” Maybe someone back stage was totally rude to her or maybe she was having a bad night (which even musicians are allowed to have, believe it or not). Or MAYBE she was focusing on her songs, which is like … the reason you’re supposed to go to shows, right? Not to pretend like you made a really great connection because the band smiled at you or said something generic like “San Francisco you’re the best!” I hope you all look back on this and realize how wrong you are.

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