Backseat Beat is a video series highlighting indie musicians and the city by the Bay. Armed with Flip cameras, we interview bands in the back seat of our ‘83 Volvo as we spirit them away to unexpected, forgotten corners of San Francisco, where they plug in outdoors to play a few tunes. Each band’s performance transforms these urban spots from their anonymous day to day existence into surreal, magical backdrops.

Now, we don’t know about you, but back in high school we didn’t have a lot of experience with filled-out rich bitch popularity queens, jocks in corvettes, or vaguely racist portrayals of exchange students. When we were 16, our main priorities in life were pretending we already knew how to smoke cigarettes and trying to seduce our junior year crush with some strategically requested Color Me Badd at our birthday party. We just kind of figured everyone’s high school experience was like that, until we heard that not only have The SHE’S already played the same shitty dive bars we’ve played, and not only have they already played venues we could only dream about playing, like the Fillmore, but that they’re also only 16, for chrissakes.

Sitting back and watching The SHE’S tear it up for us—cool, talented, nailing their performance like a bunch of old pros—it was impossible to think that these girls are actually in high school the same way that we were once in high school. They had to be like those larger-than-life teens in every John Hughes movie (never mind that the Brat Pack were all actually in their 20s, were all headed for NA, and had divorced their parents). When you interview Watts, you don’t expect her to say she’s kind of shy in school and that she digs watching Star Trek with her mom after doing her math homework.

So what if The SHE’S are skipping their prom? Somebody’s gotta kick ass at the battle of the bands, wiping the floor with peachfuzz-toting wannabe rockers who think owning a sparkly instrument means you can’t play it. Hey assholes, haven’t you seen Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains? We didn’t think so. It was only five years ago that The SHE’S were microwaving gummy worms at slumber parties for fun. We can only imagine what the next five years will bring. Hey ladies, maybe you can buy us a drink then.


Backseat Beat
Created by Brad Robertson
Produced by Dana Goldberg & Brad Robertson
Hosted by Jaime Lee Currier