A Musician's Guide to Twitter: Four Tips On Surviving The 140-Character Rapids

The "social" part of "social media" describes the relationship users can develop with each other through constant updates. Twitter epitomizes this principle, inviting users to post their quick chirp-like thoughts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and providing an overwhelming amount of time for both opportunities and letdowns.

There's no need to stalk a concert in order to see the unfiltered side of an artist—just go online and check out what they're putting out on social media. But like any other relationship, this one has its limits—rules to the game, just like Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments. Etiquette, if you will, to handling online stardom and the commentary that surrounds it. Here are four guidelines for those people looking to navigate the social-media waters:

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Q&A: Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino On Planned Parenthood, Her First "Sex Talk," And Being A Role Model

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Yesterday morning a vote by North Carolina's legislature overrode Governor Bev Perdue's veto of the state's budget, and as one of the consequences North Carolina became the third state in recent weeks to cut all public funding to Planned Parenthood programs. Proponents of the measure relied solely on the fact that its clinics also provide abortion services—even though 97 percent of all Planned Parenthood services are preventative. Some historical context: In 1936, North Carolina became the first state to recognize birth control as a public measure when it allowed the early stages of the then-growing Planned Parenthood program to provide contraceptive services and education through their public health program.

The whole thing has been emotional and, quite frankly, pretty scary for many women and Planned Parenthood supporters nationwide. When Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino heard about the threatened government shutdown over federal budget debates a few months ago—specifically the GOP's plan to cut healthcare funds that went directly to programs like Planned Parenthood—she was outraged, and she linked up with with Planned Parenthood's New York Action Fund rally for their cause. Tonight, the singer (alongside friends Those Darlins) takes the stage of (le) Poisson Rouge to raise money for the organization. We caught up with her via email to talk about her support of the program, her anti-choice fans, and her first "sex talk."


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Best Coast Cat-Lady Stats Update: Check The Tweets

So yesterday we conducted an in-depth analysis of Best Coast's lyrics, to chart the frequency with which she sings the words "boy," "love," "summer," "weed," and "cat," as compared to the frequency with which her critics/admirers use those same words to describe her. General findings: The general public uses "weed" and "cat" way more than she does. Gripping stuff. But it has since been pointed out to us, reasonably, that as vital a source of data as they may be, Bethany Cosentino's lyrics may not be the clearest, most intimate window into the depths of her soul. That, of course, would be her Twitter account.

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Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino Is The Savviest Crazy Cat Lady Of All Time, And We've Got The Stats To Prove It

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Bethany Cosentino and her alleged muse
You can summarize Best Coast's roughly 1,040,000 Google-search results in just seven words: "boy," "love," "summer," "weed," "cat," "cat," and "cat." This is remarkable because a) frontwoman Bethany Cosentino has been anointed indie-rock's first ever "crazy cat lady," which is an accomplishment of sorts, and b) holy crap, she only mentions the word "cat" in one song. That's it! The line is, "I wish my cat could talk." Why is it, then, that nearly every review, feature, or blog post about the band gives a shout-out to her cat, Snacks?

The short answer is that Cosentino has enough marketing know-how to be a character on Mad Men. The long answer is revealed in a pseudo-credible statistical analysis we've conducted here at SOTC, juxtaposing the words critics most often use when describing Best Coast's debut album, Crazy for You, with the lyrics to Best Coast's actual songs. The results will make you say, "Well, huh."

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Was 2010 The Best Year For Music Ever? The Final Chapter: Katy Perry Is A Bad Feminist But We Are All Vulnerable Somehow

This has been Sound of the City's year-in-review rock-critic roundtable, an amiable ongoing conversation between five prominent Voice critics: Rob Harvilla, Zach Baron, Sean Fennessey, Maura Johnston, and Rich Juzwiak. We're sad to see it go.

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Sleigh Bells frontlady Alexis Krauss, you deserved your own Dr. Luke co-write this year. Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
My friends.

What might I be sick of 12 months from now? Rich, are you teeing up that "I Hate Katy Perry" piece that Rob was agitating for a few days ago? Even if you're not, let me (briefly) take the bait. To me, the Christian singer-turned-Betty Boopster is a shining example of how pop feminism has pretty much failed -- her career arc since "I Kissed A Girl" first blessed my ears a mere 19 months ago reminds me more than anything of those sex bloggers who decide to settle down and blog about their husbands and/or their offspring, and who are adamantly "MY LIFE CHOICES ARE THE BEST LIFE CHOICES" about every decision they make. She's kissing girls... but waking up with a boyfriend in the video where she bleats about her exploits! She's subjecting her cleavage to meek little Elmo... then telling anyone who'll listen that her husband's last name will take the place of her own! She's singing an empowerment anthem about being a California gurl [sic, RIP Alex]... but the perpetually leering Snoop Dogg is the song's true star! I could go on.

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Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino Attempts to Define New York in Three Words: "Stressful, Congested and Cold"

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"Lil Wayne is free. I am on the cover of the la weekly. Life is pretty alright," tweeted Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino earlier today, and indeed, her face is proudly plastered over our sister paper's front page this week, under the combative legend: "The West Is The Best." Debatable! But there's a reason for the coverline. In addition to speaking on working with Weezer, defending her pop star bretheren ("I really hate it when people talk shit about Courtney Love"), reading Joan Didion, and being called "ditzy" ("I grew up in the Valley, and I am sort of like a Valley girl"), Cosentino speaks at some length in the piece about her time in New York, interning for the The Fader and being bummed:

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Is It Possible to Sell Out in 2010?

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Today's New York Times brings a startling bit of news: the sneaker company Converse is opening a recording studio in the heart of Williamsburg, to be called Converse Rubber Tracks, where bands "deemed dedicated and needy enough" will be able to record for free. Artists selected to use the space will retain the ownership rights to whatever they record there. (Though Converse also promises that the studio will "give bands the means to expose their music to a much larger audience through content captured while recording, including songs and behind-the-scenes video," meaning that those things will be posted to the Converse website. Whether that's optional, they don't say.) The article's author, Ben Sisario, after first detouring through why Converse (and a host of other companies) would do this (it's good branding) and why bands would cooperate (they're broke, and don't care), arrives at the central question that arises from such an unconventional arrangement. To paraphrase: does doing business with Converse necessarily mean selling out? And, more basically: Is it even possible to sell out in 2010?

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Live: Best Coast Channel The Ramones (And Shout Out The Voice) At Bowery Ballroom

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She couldn't get into the Drake show either. Pics by Kiernan, more below.
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Bowery Ballroom
Wednesday, September 29

Better Than: Going to a show in California.

Just before Small Black took the stage at the sold-out Bowery Ballroom tonight, Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino was Tweeting (what else?) about how she wished she were at the Drake show instead. Sounds about right. She doesn't seem to take her band, or its success, especially seriously. You get the sense that her prolific output in the past two years is less a result of creative urgency than just writing down the first thing that pops into her head.

What she does take seriously are pop-culture icons (like Drake) and prospective pop-culture icons (like her cat, Snacks). Once she took the Bowery stage herself, she didn't say a whole lot, but she did dedicate "Goodbye" thusly: "This is a shout-out to my cat, who made the Village Voice today."

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2010: The Year of Indie Pets

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Bobb, Bethany, and Snacks

It's become increasingly impossible to mention Best Coast, the three-person vehicle for noise-pop Cali-queen Bethany Cosentino, without referencing her pet Snacks. That darn cat is on the cover of her debut full-length Crazy For You, nonchalantly poised amid an oceanic sunset, his homestate's shape tracing his butt. He's illustrated on the cover of Cosentino's boyfriend's record, Wavves' King of the Beach, holding a spliff. The kitty's even on Twitter. But Best Coast, who headlines the Bowery Ballroom tonight, aren't the only ones this year whose muse has been a domestic creature. Behold, five reasons why 2010 is the year of the indie pet.

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Looming Disaster: Ali Koehler, Best Coast's New Drummer, Is Allergic To Cats

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Here's, courtesy the Guardian, is a wildly amusing as-told-to chat with Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, who remains somewhat of an obsession for us these days, in large part due to her obsessions: namely, her cats. Lots of choice lines here, from "I'd sooner talk about my cats than my music" to "I leave Snacks with Nathan Wavves sometimes when we go away on tour. Do I worry about Snacks getting tinnitus? No! He just watches Nathan play video games." But our favorite part is even more frivolous:

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