Last night’s crop of bands at Monster Island Basement were of the “let’s get high and make out” variety. And even though i wasn’t smoking the weed that was so clearly being passed around not just the audience but also band members on stage, i could still feel it, man.

Enough of that.

Monster Island Basement is a great space- it’s a little cavernous and echo-ey and the walls are actually built out of rocks. Solid. It wasn’t even too hot, amazingly. The guy doing sound was really meticulous too- so props to Todd P and that guy for working tirelessly to make un-legit places sound great.

First up was Alex Bleeker (pictured) and the “ever-revolving cast of Freaks.” This guy knows a rock hook if i ever heard one. And Matt Mondanile from Ducktails and Real Estate solo’s like nobodies business. They covered Mountain Man’s “Animal Tracks,” which i saw them perform the night before. Both were awesome. Bleeker’s take on the folky song was very much a “rock and roll saves your soul” type of cover.

Fluffy Lumbers was on next. Last night at MonkeyTown, Sam Franklin played solo but tonight he had his full band. Apparently the band needs a drummer and so Sam filled in himself. It was great to watch a 20 year old kid run his own band from behind the kit. And he did it masterfully, with grace even. When some things went awry, shoulders were shrugged and the band lumbered on. Heh heh. I like the punk edge in Fluffy Lumbers songs… an interesting take on a traditional sound. Franklin’s drumming is fast and like a garage pop headache. He could stand to hit harder– resulting in punch in the face type songs. I’m interested to see the band with Franklin on guitar…

Coasting played their first show ever last night. It was obvious only in the fact that they were so proud and their girlfriends in the front row were, too. The devotion was pretty impressive- one girl who couldn’t have been older than 23 actually tapped a guy on the shoulder and told him to move when he stepped into her view. The band has well crafted pop tunes with specific and interesting guitar work. They have potential.

My feet hurt and I needed to tweet so I went outside and sat on the really nice benches under a tree that are right around the corner at Secret Project Robot. We were right outside the basement window and the sound was actually better from up there. That’s how I experienced High Life, living the High Life in the cool, cool air.

And finally- the girl i’ve been dreaming about for months- Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. It’s interesting to finally see someone perform after so much hype and thinking and listening on your computer. Unlike Washed Out, Best Coast was actually fun. Her music is still the kind experienced best laid out somewhere, but the fog of sound that surrounds her and all she emits is pretty interesting in a live setting. Oh, and you can’t take your eyes off of her.