california

A MONTH WITH FEVER CHARM: Intro

words by Shab Ferdowsi

Beating Lights' resident band this June is Fever Charm! A four piece band from Oakland, CA now based here in LA, who are about to start making waves around town.

I love telling the story about how I met Fever Charm.

Sometime during Spring 2014 I get an email from their frontman Ari, sending over their music for submission on this blog. I was instantly hooked. Fast forward a few months and the band lets me know they'll be in town for a weekend that summer! So of course, we set up a little hang that includes an interview along with a live performance video (remember those acoustic sessions I used to shoot?) in a backyard in Silverlake. We have a swell time, but soon enough the band is on their way back to Boston to finish up their last year of college, so for the next 11 months we remain nothing more than Facebook friends. Summer 2015 comes around though, and I get word that all four dudes are moving to LA! So while they continue writing more music, while they start recording, and while Ari goes back to finish up one last semester before graduation, I hang tight anxiously waiting for them to get out into LA's music scene.

Which brings us here: June 2016. Fever Charms is now officially based in Los Angeles and getting ready to release an EP this summer. Beating Lights is now something  way more than what it's ever been, and it's so cool seeing where we are now, two years after we first connected.  

This June, I'm going to spend all month hanging out with these four dudes, getting to know them like I haven't been able to since we met, and hopefully getting you tuned in along the way.

Take a listen to the first single "Love Letters off their upcoming EP, and stay tuned for more as we make our way through this residency!

CONNECT WITH FEVER CHARM

Facebook Twitter Insta

WATCH: Fever Charm- Buenos Aires (Music Video)

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

The Fever Charm boys came back on the radar with their newest jam "Buenos Aires" this summer and are continuing the party with their music video for the single. Shot in their apartment while still in college in Boston, the video shows off the band's goofy personality, candidly and casually, to a point where you feel like you've known these for years. What was once my favorite Oakland-based band has officially made the move down to LA and I'm so excited to see what more shenanigans they brew up!

Check out the video below, directed by Shay Williams.:

CONNECT WITH FEVER CHARM

Facebook // Twitter // Insta

PHOTOS: Echo Park Rising-Day 2

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Day 2  of Echo Park Rising was fantastic. I ran into so many new and old friends, caught up with bands, handed out business cards and discovered new music. It was also really, really, really hot out there... but worth every drip of sweat.

Here are some photos I took of The Knitts, Winter, The Wild Reeds, Tambourines, Yoya and Paper Pilots


NEW MUSIC: Kid Cadaver- Keep Well

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Kid Cadaver is that band I've been obsessing over since I first heard of them in January, and now I'm swooning all over again with the release of their newest track, "Keep Well." It stays true to their synth-infused rock that can get you simultaneously dancing your heart out under a disco ball while rocking out in a tiny, heated garage. The trio has been making music for a while, and if they've slipped your radar, it's time you jump on board before you miss out on all the fun they're having.  

Their new EP Roam is out on August 21st, and the play a release show in LA at The Satellite on the 25th! Come dance with us. 

CONNECT WITH KID CADAVER

Facebook // Twitter

LISTEN: SNKNGL- Geography

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I don't often (if ever) post up much electronic music on here. But new kid on the block SNKNGL just posted a new track that's been tickling my fancy lately. It's eerie in a fleeting flutter, but not too hard on the beats. This is definitely not for a night out on the dancefloor, but rather something for a cool rooftop hang with new friends, casual but exciting, dark but glimmering. 

CONNECT WITH SNKNGL

Website// Facebook // Twitter// Soundcloud

NEW MUSIC: Casey Brothers- When People Don't Rock Out

Casey Brothers, currently the drummer of Wildling (formerly of Cayucas) just released his newest tune. "When People Don't Rock Out" feels like an island jam, sipping piña coladas under  a lazy sun, grilling fresh caught fish and building sand castles under we're sun burnt. It's the perfect escape for today's oddly overcast weather here in LA!

Casey grew up in Minnesota. He moved to Los Angeles in 2011 for a short-term job with the Sierra Club, and stayed for the weather and the music. He started playing drums with Cayucas in 2012 and saw the band from its first shows to the end of its first album cycle. He joined Wildling in October 2014. Wildling is recording its debut EP this summer in prep for a fall release, when they'll also be touring as direct support for Young the Giant.

While playing drums with different projects, Casey has always maintained a prolific pace when it comes to songwriting. His upbringing in rural western Minnesota led to themes of solitude, separation, and introspection in his music. Since moving to California, the themes have remained while the sound has incorporated elements of surf and beach.

He currently lives on the ocean with his girlfriend Ally in Santa Monica. Besides making music and playing with Wildling, he travels often and writes essays that he shares on gentlemyn.com.

CONNECT WITH CASEY BROTHERS

Tumblr// Twitter

MUSINGS: In Search For the Favorites

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

What's your favorite band? What kind of music do you listen to?

As someone who runs a music blog, who's constantly going to shows, who's deeply  passionate about all things music, I get asked those questions a lot. Until now, I've been very broad in my answers: "Some folk rock, some synth pop, a lot of bands I guess",  "a lot of stuff" or, the worst, "indie music." 

Recently a friend pointed this out to me. Why don't I have an answer? Sure, music is still a relatively new passion, and sure I didn't grow up with it affecting me the way it does now. But that's the thing: it does now.  I listen to so much music, I care so much about it, that I should have favorites, right?

Do you get attached to any of these bands? my friend asked. Somehow, that question hit the nail on  the head. I've been so focused on constantly finding new music I forgot to get attached. 

So now I'm on a quest to find my favorites. How do I know they're my favorites? That requires a whole different blog post and research project. I'll leave that for later. For now, I'm going to begin by compiling music  that has deeply made its mark on me, whether it's old goodies like The Lumineers, or new loves like The Drums. What kind of mark? Again, one question at a time!

So far the process has made me realize how much music I'm intaking, a lot that goes in one ear and out the other, a lot that has its own time and place but isn't necessarily a listening tune but just a fun beat, a lot that ends up being devoid of much connection, and therefore attachment. 

This will be an ongoing project, in the hopes that I'll understand music, my taste and myself a little better. And so I can tell people what my favorite bands are, like a normal music blogger, you know?

Follow along by following my Spotify playlist!

PHOTOS: Bully / Best Coast @ The Wiltern 6/27/15

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Best Coast and Bully ended their 3 week tour in LA on Saturday night, bringing Best Coast to the Wiltern to an ecstatic  homecoming crowd.

Although I hate shooting at this venue, although I was dead beat and tired before the show even started, their performances could not have been more enthralling. Bully played such a hard, impassioned show that I just wish I was seeing her in a small, sweaty, intimate room where I could lose myself in the crowd. I felt her feels, which is happily ironic because her latest album released last week is entitled "Feels Like." Best Coast  swooned the crowd for the rest of the night  I felt underwater, immersed in  her raw sound waves she was fluttering our way. She ended the night with a favorite of mine, "Boyfriend", leaving the crowd wanting a second encore, which we never got. Guess we just have to wait until the next show!

Below are some of my favorite shots I took that night:

NEW MUSIC: The Palms debut EP

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

 Johnny Zambetti and Ben Rothbard of Terraplane Sun recently started a new project called The Palms and have released their debut EP. The duo began exploring ideas and sounds influenced by hip-hop and and pop, and have come out with these 5 songs.  I love the simplicity of their sound that's still filled with attitude and  charisma. You can flutter and sway to the piano and acoustic guitar riffs, while still feeling the vibes of a night out on the town.

I'll be catching them live at The Satellite on 6/29! It's a midnight set, but they'll be the worth the late night out.


CONNECT WITH THE PALMS

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

NEW MUSIC: Alexa Melo debut LP

Words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Alexa Melo is a 20 year old singer and songwriter currently based in LA. She's been in and out of record deals since the age of 14 until finally deciding to go indie. She's just released her first official LP that's filled with soulful rock and wispy angst. 

Read our little interview and listen tot he full LP below!

 

Your debut  self-titled album has such a raw, rock-influenced sound, something that's harder to find these days in new music. How do you think you've been able to hone in to and maintain your distinct sound?

While I was signed for almost my entire teenage hood, I was constantly being challenged to prove myself. There was this echoing criticism that kept being brought up- that I didn't know who I was as an artist. especially in my younger years, I was constantly experimenting with my sound and trying on different genre DNA. Nothing ever stuck. I would enjoy the process of creating something new but then immediately feel the urge to move on again and create something completely different. This obviously annoyed the label as they had no idea how to market an indie/experimental teenage girl, so the label didn't spend a lot time on my project and for even 6 months at a time I wouldn't even hear from them. I was homeschooled and being ignored by the label, so in those pockets of spare time I'd basically spend my days writing new songs and producing. I honed my sound by writing and producing in a constant state of transformation. I've recorded 13 albums by myself in my room from age 13 to now and each one wears its influences loudly. You can hear that i was obsessed with Bob Dylan when I was 14, and you can hear my Pixies phase clear as day on an album I made when  I was 16. I still don't feel I've settled on a sound. That's one of the reasons why I left the record label- so I can be in an environment that will allow me to continuously evolve as an artist. 

You've been in an out of so many different places and phases of the music industry. What's been your biggest take-away?

Never to trust anyone in this industry. I know how cynical that is but it's true. You got to go with your gut and trust YOURSELF whole heartedly. You got to make a best friend out of the voice in your head and move forward knowing that whatever happens, whoever fucks you over, you still have yourself and your love for music and that will always allow you to prevail and move along. Being a female and an artsy fartsy type has made me an easy target for some because I'm very vulnerable at times. I've learned to NEVER make myself an easy target. I have to believe with all my heart and soul that I'm the shooter and they're the targets. 

How do you want to leave your listeners feeling with this album?

That's tough to say. I want listeners to feel the way I feel after I listen to a piece of music that I relate to and thoroughly enjoy. Just fulfilled, inspired and intoxicated. Thats a stretch and quite a lot to hope for but if I could choose how people would feel when listening, it would be those things.


If you could collaborate with any current artist,who and why?

AH! My head just exploded. This question could give me an anxiety attack! Jack White or Thom Yorke. I'd say that those two are the biggest current rock stars of our time, alive today and I think i would learn a million new things by simply being in the room with them.


CONNECT WITH ALEXA MELO

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Interview with WASI

words and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

WASI (an acronym for "we are / she is") is a band currently based in LA who makes punk-inspired  pop music and just released a new EP, "Bleed Pop". Last Friday they had their EP release show at the Smell (that I reviewed here), so we met up beforehand at a diner in Echo Park to chat. What followed was one of my favorite interviews I've ever had with a band, and the four members of WASI are now some of the most humble yet passionate people I know. 

Embracing the DIY music culture WASI is a band with a brand that's attempting to make real connections with its fans, and turn these connections into conversations that last beyond a show,  beyond just the purchase of their music. A couple weeks ago they headed to Tijuana to make a documentary about the local music scene, and shed some light on the many stereotypes the city has. During the short trip, they played a small show yet packed to the brim with more energy than an LA audience would normally rally. No frills, no pretention, just simply cool people and music connected together in one space. 

Here's a quick highlight from the interview, because our conversation was way too long, albeit inspiring, to possibly post here:

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

As a band you're very consistent and cohesive with your brand. How do you think you've come to this point where you know exactly what WASI looks like, sounds like and just is?

Jessie: Merilou and I have been playing together since high school, coming up on ten years now. When we first started neither of us knew how to play our instruments. She books a show and is like "Hey, wanna play in my band?" I'm like, "Sure"!" But the show was in two weeks, so we just learned to play our instruments writing songs together. [...] So over the years, being in different bands, playing all these shows, being boo'ed off stage... and for me, being bullied my whole life. All these things have fine-tuned our sound. This is the first time in my life where I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. And that's what WASI is for me.

Merilou: Because we didn't look or sound like [ other] bands, we had to go all out with what we  would decide to do: that would include really understanding yourselves as people, and making that as vulnerable as we can make it. That way, the people listening and coming to your shows aren't just paying $5 to come to a show but to be a part of the community that you're creating as a band.

Jessie: To tail on to what Merilous's saying: it's not about us. It's about other people. To be able to use our experiences and to help other people is my number one goal. [...] What we're doing and saying means a lot, so if it means a lot to someone else, then mission accomplished. 

Garrett: There are these certain albums that bands put out that really get you through hard times, good times, whatever. Since a lot of the production on "Bleed Pop" happened before I came in and seeing it from the outside, It's by far the most cohesive package that WASI has had at any point. 

Make sure to catch WASI at the Slidebar in Fullerton on June 5th! 8pm 21+ FREE supported by our good friends in Kid Cadaver. 


CONNECT WITH WASI

Facebook // Twitter // Insta

PHOTOS: ARMORS @ The Echo 5/26/15

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I'm such a fan of these guys. Percussion-heavy anthems that'll have you stomping your feet and jamming even if you've never heard them before. I simply can't wait for them to blow up (because they will, I'll bet on it!).

Here are some photos I took:

CONNECT WITH ARMORS on Facebook // Twitter

NEW MUSIC: Bedbugs- Orlando

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Who: Bedbugs

What: "Orlando", off their new EP Alone coming out May 26!

Where: The Valley, Los Angeles, CA

photo by Marisa Shirar     

photo by Marisa Shirar 

Bedbugs' new EP is coming out at  a perfect time for my music library. Last week I was jamming hard to Together PANGEA, The New Electric Sound and Boxed Wine, which together have some grunge-y alt-rock, catchy alt-pop, and   lots of attitude. Throw in some fuzz and put it in a garage that's located  by the boardwalk and you've got Bedbugs' new single, "Orlando".

The track makes me want to join a rock band and play small yet crowded and rowdy shows for fans but mostly friends, then all head to the beach to catch some waves with our best pals. None of which will ever happen in my real life, but a girl can dream you know? I took a few listens to the rest of the EP and it's filled with the same catchy alternative rock that could definitely turn a skate park into a dance party.

The EP was recorded in a garage in LA's San Fernando Valley, mixed by Jeremy Harris (of Kid Cadaver) and mastered by Frankie Siragusa at theLAB in Van Nuys. 

 

Take a listen and jam below, and stay tuned for May 26th!

CONNECT WITH BEDBUGS 

Facebook // Twitter // Insta 

NEW MUSIC: Two Cheers- Brinka

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

What is it about Two Cheers' new track that reminds me of the 90's? Something about the warm guitar riffs wants me to sing along like I used to to Blink-182, but with more nostalgia and less resentment, more swaying and less stomping. 

It's been on repeat and I can't get enough.

CONNECT WITH TWO CHEERS

Facebook // Twitter

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Caitlyn Cope

As we approach our next event this Saturday, we're going to be spotlighting our featured artists throughout the week! 

First up, pop singer-songwriter Caitlyn Cope!

How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

 

I hope that it can be something they can connect with and relate to. I want to say the words that they might not be able to find themselves. 

What's been your favorite live show you've ever seen and why?

John Mayer. He is a musical genius in my opinion. He was so passionate & absolutely mesmerizing live. I don't think I spoke to a single one of my friends during the concert because I was so captured by it all.

 If you could collaborate with any current artist, who would it be?

Ed Sheeran. He's an insanely talented songwriter & has a killer voice. 

Why do you think local music matters?

I think it's important to support local talent because you never know what you're going to find. It's a great feeling to stumble upon a fellow artist & just be blown away by the rawness & realness of what they bring to the stage. 


Interview with ARMORS

Who: ARMORS (Olen Kittelsen, Sam Beresford, Kody Buxton, Jacob Berger, Tyler Mathews)

Hometown and Current Location: Orange County, CA

Sounds Like: "Dark alternative infused with R&B sensibilities" 

ARMORS are a 5-piece band based out of the OC, formerly known as Breach the Summit. We met up this weekend for a quick shoot in Echo Park to chat about their new music, 2015 and their Godzilla lyric videos we've been so intrigued about.

What happened to Breach The Summit and what's inspired the new sound?

Jacob: We went to Firefly as Breach The Summit last year. Sam reached out to The Colourist because they're from the OC as well and asked if we could talk to them while we were out there at Firefly.They were super nice: we got to meet them, got to talk to Maya and Adam, then they came to our set..  So after that Adam actually offered to produce a few tracks for us, which ended up being "Old House" and "Parasite". That music was in a very new direction for us than when we  were Breach. So that and definitely Kody (Buxton, bass) coming in to the band helped shape the sound. 

Sam: It was also just a natural progression of our sound and us growing as musicians. It had been  a long time since we'd written any music, so by then we'd all progressed a lot. 

Are you doing anything differently now as ARMORS? Or do you want to be? 

Olen: One thing that's been really cool that Jacob and Katie (who has been working with us in a couple different capacities) have been working on is a street team they got up and going. It's a really cool space for people who have started out as fans but as they came to more and more shows have become super close with us and  very invested  in helping us out. It's funny because it's just people who heard of us randomly, like when we were Breach The Summit playing at a mall, and have stuck with us and really been there for us. 

So what's up with the Godzilla lyric videos?

Kody:  "Old House" is really about broken homes and finding the good in all the negative you have. And for me growing up, something that took me away from the negative in my home was literally Godzilla vs Mothra; I don't know why I used to watch that every day after school. So I was thinking it would be so rad to have the lyrics be the subtitles and try to awkwardly voice these things over. Then we kind of just fell in love with the concept after. 

What do the next six months look like for you guys?

We definitely have plans on releasing an album, but our biggest goal is getting back out on the road and tour. Currently Southern California, and North. Maybe out East.  So hopefully by next year we can be out on our own national tour. 

 

Make sure to buy their latest single  "Old House" on iTunes!

CONNECT WITH ARMORS:

Facebook // Twitter 

SESSION: Kid Cadaver- New Friends

Kid Cadaver is a band based in LA. I found them on Free Bike Valet about a month ago and instantly got hooked onto their music. So I hit them up, went to a couple of their shows, they played our backyard event last week, and now here they are playing a stripped down version of their newest single,"New Friends".

CONNECT WITH KID CADAVER

Website // Facebook // Twitter

HEARTBEATS#4: Todo Se Mueve

Our "Heartbeats" features aim to showcase the creative minds behind passionate projects in the fields of music and all other artforms. 

words and photo by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Who: Sheida Mohammad


What: Todo Se Mueve (Everything Moves)

Todo Se Mueve  began as most passion projects seem to do as a simple hobby.  Having a lot of musician friends, Sheida began booking shows around the LA area a couple years ago. At the end of 2013, she put on a show at the Witzend, calling it “Todo Se Mueve in Venice". From there the title just stuck.
Presenting a few shows here and there she got the attention of the people at Touch Vinyl and so began the start of a beautiful collaboration. Since April 2014, Todo Se Mueve has been taking lead on the Untouched Music Series: free shows featuring local artists every Friday night for a month. Currently in its fourth installment, the events draw out a dedicated local community and bring music to a rather quiet Westside. 
Todo Se Mueve currently functions as a not for profit entity very similar to Beating Lights' current state of life. The simple satisfaction of bringing people together through music and hoping connections and collaborations spark is what keeps Sheida going. 


The Untouched Music Series this month has 3 shows left, so make sure you check it out!

CONNECT WITH TODO SE MUEVE

Facebook // Twitter