You should know by now that BBB’s monthly Expert Fan profiles are to introduce you all to someone I know that is a tireless supporter of indie music. These people absolutely amaze and inspire me with their levels of commitment and passion.
Today’s Expert Fan is no exception, and in fact, is by far one of the most dedicated music fanatics that I know. She’s currently working on her PhD at UCLA and STILL makes time to attend multiple shows every week, as well as run her own music site, Local Music Nation. On top of all that, she is also part of the High Voltage Magazine team!
I can’t remember when I first met Kristen Coveleskie, it was likely through Trina Green. She was one of those people that I met and immediately recognized that she was the same kind of fan that I was. One of my favorite things about Kristen is that no matter what show you run into her at, no matter how much stress she is under, she always makes it out to support the bands she loves and does so with a smile on her face.
So whether you know Kristen or not, read on to find out why it is important to her to make time to get to all these shows, what her favorite live show has been thus far, and why she started Local Music Nation.
Hometown: Sayre, PA
How long have you lived in LA?
Six years in July.
Favorite Bands growing up?
This is a hard one. If we want to go back as far as growing up listening to my parent’s music, I liked The Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. Then I got to high school and listened to Jewel, Alanis Morissette, and my favorite was Dido. I went to see her in concert; it was actually my first concert. We had to drive two hours to get there so it was a whole road trip. Well, opening for Dido was Emiliana Torrini and Travis, and they became my new favorite bands. I like a lot of singer/songwriter types. My boy band of choice though was BB Mak. I didn’t listen to Backstreet Boys or NSync, I was all about BBMak. Also, anything Andrew Lloyd Webber. That is what we used to listen to on long car trips.
Best live show you’ve ever gone to?
You’re lucky, I keep a list! I revisit it about once every six months and sometimes the order changes. Right now, number one is Pawnshop Roses, Jealous Curve and Peppers Ghost at the TLA at the beginning of 2006. Those are my three favorite bands ever. They are all Philadelphia local bands and I fell in love with them when I was in college. They were the bands that changed my life and to have them all on one bill was amazing. I only knew two of them at the time and then I fell in love with the third that night. It was the night I joined Myspace because one of the guys from Jealousy Curve said to me, “Join Myspace and keep in touch with us!” So my friends and I went home and immediately checked out what Myspace was all about. It was a just a night. We kept in touch and now I’m friends with the band. Almost ten years after that night, they were selling posters from that show that had all three of the band’s signatures. So, I have this poster, which is framed and signed which I will carry it with me forever.
Obviously a live show is about the music, but what else makes it memorable for you?
The people you’re there with is huge. When I think back to shows I remember fondly, a lot of it has to do with the people I was with. The mood you’re in that day can also make a huge difference about how you perceive a show. The venue can also have an impact. The one thing that will always make a show good for me is ice cream. There is one show on this list, that wouldn’t be there if we hadn’t gotten milkshakes before the show. I was so buzzed from these milkshakes that I was acting like a crazy person all night. It became one of these memorable nights because I was bouncing around and talking to everybody, which is something I don’t always do.
Why did you decide to start Local Music Nation?
Local Music Nation was a long time coming. The idea came about in college. My college roommate told me that I needed a music blog, or some kind of outlet, because music is all I wanted to talk about. She is the one who told me that music was my passion. She said, “I don’t care what you do in your life, this is your passion.” I didn’t know much about running a website at the time. So, when I moved out to LA, I met up with my friend Amanda and we decided we were going to do it together. She was more technically savy and graphic design capable. At this point I was already sending out weekly emails to my friends about shows going on. I started that because I was tired of rejection. Instead of asking personally, I told friends, “If you want to go to anything on this list, we’ll go.” They rarely ever did that, but that was the whole point. I put a lot of work into it. I do a lot of research. Even if no one read it, I would still do it. It’s a compulsion. So I figured if I was going to do it anyway, I might as well get it out there. When I can, I’ll do show reviews and things like that.
How long has Local Music Nation been up and running?
Since the beginning of 2010.
How did you and Amanda meet?
We met in San Diego, I was working in video production doing equestrian events. We worked mostly in Del Mar, and wherever we went, we would hire locals to help edit or whatever we needed. Well, she was one of those locals and into the horse scene down there. We ended up bonding over The Raconteurs and just clicked. We stayed in touch through Myspace. She would tell me about all these San Diego bands, one of the first being The Silent Comedy in 2006/2007. We just stayed in touch and when I moved down here, I wanted to go see a band called Carney in SD, and I asked if she wanted to go to the show with me. She came out, and the rest is history. I go down to shows in SD and stay with her, she comes up to shows here in LA and stays with me. It’s perfect really. We call each other our ‘musical other half.’
How did you link up with High Voltage Magazine?
Through Trina Green. We met at a Stolen Player show, Stolen Player of course now being Queen Caveat. I don’t know what happened, but we bonded immediately. I think the next week we ended up driving down to San Diego together to see Nico Vega at The Casbah. Then through Trina, I met Chelsea. I found another kindred spirit in Chelsea. She ended up asking me to write for HV.
So you are working on a PhD, and yet somehow you still make it to shows every week. How important is it to you to make it out to these events?
It’s not easy. I don’t know how I do it. I don’t think I would have made it this far in my PhD career if I didn’t have that outlet. It pulls the life out of you and can be soul crushing. I have this whole other world/family I can escape to that know very little about what I do. It’s refreshing and necessary to have that escape. I need the music; it drives me.
Favorite moment working in music so far?
My favorite moment is also one of the most tragic moments in my life. It’s a bittersweet moment. I got the opportunity to interview Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro. Biffy Clyro had become one of my favorite bands over the years and this was like my rock star moment. The tragedy comes in when a week before the interview, I got sick. When I get sick I tend to lose my voice, like complete laryngitis, I can’t talk at all. So I couldn’t speak the day of the interview. I can’t even describe to you the emotions. It ended up working out, I wrote up my interview questions and Trina came and saved the day. She was my voice. It was an amazing night, they did a really small show at The Satellite. We just hung out before the show and I sat there meekly and nodded. Simon was wonderful. He is the nicest guy. It may have even worked out better than had I been able to talk because I might not have been able to function.
Favorite venue? Why?
Hands down The Hotel Café. Before they move to LA, everyone has these ideas of what the LA music scene is like, usually involving the Whisky or Viper or The Troubadour. I didn’t really know those venues, but I knew The Hotel Café because I was really involved in the singer/songwriter scene. They were all from LA and they all played The Hotel Café. The very first night I moved here, before I unpacked or anything, we went straight to The Hotel Café. One of my favorite bands, The Kin, happened to be playing that night. It happened to be an epic evening of music so it lived up to the hype. I love it because it may be the only venue that you can go to on any given night and hear great music that you’ve never heard. You may go for a particular band somewhere, maybe the whole lineup, but at The Hotel Café, that’s where I’ve discovered a lot of bands and met so many of my friends.
If you were booking one night at The Hotel Café, who would the lineup consist of?
If I could go with any band, anywhere, ever, I would have to go back to my favorite live show. I would make one addendum to that and add the band Carney. They are the other band no longer in existence that I would die to see. So it would be Pawnshop Roses, Jealousy Curve, Peppers Ghost, and Carney. That would be my absolute dream lineup.
Who are you listening to right now?
Well, we recently got back from SXSW so my head is still buzzing from all those bands, so Hozier, Sam Smith, Parade of Lights, and Semi Precious Weapons.
As a fan, what is one piece of advice you would give bands?
Within a Google search of your name I need to get to music I can listen to in two clicks. Any steps you can take to get you to that point is good. Don’t pick a name that isn’t Google-able. Pick a website that has easy access to your music. If I can’t find you, I won’t put the effort in to find your music.
Find Kristen’s show listings/work here: