indie

INTERVIEW: Tillie (R.I.P. Grace Kelly)

words and interview by Shab Ferdowsi

tiLLie is Grace Kelly. The LA based (by way of Georgia) singer-songwriter turned alternative pop artist recently changed her stage name on all social media fronts earlier this month, leaving her birth name behind and moving forward with new inspirations and new songs. She's playing our show on Friday night for Maddie Ross and blushh's single release party at the Resident, so I decided to chat with her to get you to get to know her a little better.

 

How do you feel about becoming tiLLie? How will she be different than Grace Kelly? 
Tillie is the next evolution in my journey as an artist, so it's definitely very exciting for me. I wouldn't say it's light years away from Grace Kelly stuff but rather that it's just a natural progression into the next realm of possibility. These new songs are the first songs that I feel truly represent who I am completely unapologetically. But what I'm most pumped about is the fact that my cat's legacy will live on forever seeing as I stole it from her. ;)

If you were able to round up a group of people for tea, who and why? 
Dolly Parton because she seems like the sweetest human ever/she’s a genius songwriter, Russell Brand to pick his brilliant brain, Paul McCartney because he’s the only member left of my fav band of all time, and Hayley Williams so that I can convince her to marry me. Oh also, Fred Armisen for the jokes obvy. 

How do you make new friends? 
I spend just about 100% of my life focused on music which doesn't always leave a ton of time for making new homies outside of it. I'd say that most of my friendships have their roots in studios, rehearsal spaces or venues! 


What's your favorite kind of cupcake?
Red velvet without a doubt! Especially from Magnolia’s Bakery.

 

Catch tiLLie at our next show this Friday November 18 at Resident!

::RSVP HERE::

 

TILLIE ON THE WEB

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RECAP: Official Echo Park Rising Showcase 2016

words and photos by Shab Ferdowsi

Last night was surreal. Beating Lights hit Echo Park Rising with an official stage at the Lost Knight on the second night of the fest this year. I still can't believe I was able to make it happen!

BL is still fairly new to the local scene. I threw the first backyard show in September 2014, but it really wasn't until January of this year when I began booking shows at venues, connecting with more bands around town, and putting myself out there that I began to become more involved with the scene. 2016 has been nothing short of thrilling so far, and to be able to celebrate where BL has come in just the past year with a stage at EPR was humbling.

For the bill, I gathered all the bands who've been giving their friendship (and time) back into Beating Lights in one form or another. Because that's why I do what I do! I strive to be able to support the artists I work with, hoping to give them a platform to share their art, connect with one another, make more friends, and eventually, expand their own communities for even more growth. In return, all I really ask for is friendship. 

Last night the bands came hours earlier before their sets, and stayed passed their load-out times, to hang out, mingle, and support the community. It was SO Sweet to see it all happen. :)

Shoutout to my friends who killed the stage: WASI • Minimall • Super Whatevr • Royaljag •  Bedbugs • AudioMammal • The Knitts • Liv Slingerland • Outside Animals

Check out some photos from the night and listen to the playlist below!

Our next event is on Sunday September 4th in backyard in DTLA, 2-7pm, FREE, All ages, free ice cream, free beer, 6 bands, all kinds of fun.

More info here.  

See you around town, friends!

xx

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!

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PLAYLIST: May 2016

words and playlist by Shab Ferdowsi

Hey it's been a minute, hasn't it?

I've been quiet on the blog front this month because BL hasn't had any events, but it's been a swell month to say the least. I left my day job, spent a weekend in San Francisco, continued planning summer happenings and finally, finally, finally signed a lease for an apartment in Echo Park! I drank a lot of coffee, sent more emails than ever, and became the person who texted you back instantly because I was so tuned in to the adrenaline I couldn't take a break. I loved every single second of it. The future is looking beautiful, and I can't wait to see what I can do with you all.

Here are the tunes that kept me going this May:

INTERVIEW w/ Me and My Dog

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Me and My Dog (MaMD) is band based in Dublin, Ireland. When I was there in November, making my way out of Ireland, singer/frontman Luke Healy was kind enough to host me on his couch for a couple nights. So naturally, we got the whole band together for an afternoon photoshoot and interview, which turned into a 9 hour hang with a movie night included. Needless to say it was one the most fun band shoots to date.

The boys of MaMD are originally from Westport, a town on the west coast of Ireland, and have been friends since their wee years of elementary school. There's clearly something magical about being in a band with your best friends, and hanging out with these guys for 9 hours only proved me that point. Their cohesiveness, their camaraderies, their genuine bond is not contrived, not forced, and so humble that it is easily transferred to their relationship as a band. 

The band is part of  the artist collective Popical Island, like Oh Boland who I met up with in Galway a few weeks prior. The collective-run space, the Pop Inn, houses a bunch of a rehearsal and recording rooms for the bands to use and hang out in, share gear, put on diy shows, and simply be a space for the community to interact within. Surrounding yourself with people who are doing exactly what you're doing, and being to help one another out, is so important in leading a creative life, and that's what's proven the collective an essential part of the band's life. 

Jam to them below, check out the photos from our hang, and stay tuned for more good stuff from these Dublin boys:

CONNECT WITH ME AND MY DOG

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INTERVIEW w/ Little Animal

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Little Animal is a four piece band based in Paris, France, and led by Romain Blatter. When I was traveling through their city in October, we were able to meet up in Mont Martre for a photoshoot, then a chat over some beers. 

As most bands do, this one also started as Romain's solo project. Desiring a fuller, louder sound, he decided to hit the interwebs and put out a call for bandmates, and found his current band over the course of 2015. Basically, they're a very new band on the streets! The most important thing right now for them is become a more cohesive body, tightening their performance, becoming more in tune with one another. Then they can start working on the good stuff: recording another EP, touring, etc. 

Jam to them below, and follow them on Facebook! 

CONNECT WITH LITTLE ANIMAL on Facebook

 

PREMIERE: The Big Gone- Killer For Crazy

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

The Big Gone have just recently popped onto my radar, and I'm excited to premiere their newest tune, "Killer for Crazy"! Fuzzy vocals, hot guitar riffs and those harmonies that initially  got me hooked to their music. It's a trip down west where I might as well be running for my life in the desert, chased by my ex-lover, at the end of a Tarantino meets Wes Anderson film.  Not to mention the track artwork is beautifully eerie in a way that has me fascinated and creeped out at the same time. 

Listen on below  and don't forget to catch them at our own show at the Silverlake Lounge on 9/26! Free, 21+,4pm.

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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

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PHOTOS: Moons of Mars/ The Cold and Lovely/ Island Apollo/ WASI @The Study 7/31/15

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

The second OPEN HOUSE night at the Study on July 31st brought a diverse lineup from Moons of Mars' electro-pop dance beats, to the Cold and Lovely's low key grunge, Island Apollo's powerful indie-rock , and finally to WASI's energy-fueled pop punk. As usual, DJ Grant Owens of WeFoundNewMusic was on the decks in between sets spinning some real fun indie remixes. Basically, the last thursday of the month, you better be at the Study! It's a showcase for the indie-music lovers out there, craving for the next best sound, the next best vibe. Can't to see what more awesome bands go through!

Here are some of my favorite shots from that night. 


NEW MUSIC: Barkley- Faster

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I'm obsessed with Barkley! She's a new pop singer songwriter in town who just released her debut single, "Faster". Produced by the very talented Matias Mora, the track highlights Barkley's sultry vocals and visually rich songwriting. You feel the rush and the adrenaline powering through, building up throughout the track. The music video is hot, illustrating fiery tones of young love and reckless innocence with simple yet powerful imagery. I can't wait for more music from this girl!

CONNECT WITH BARKLEY

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NEW MUSIC: FutureFeel- Orion

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

FutureFeel is an LA-based duo that's been creating electro-infused indie-rock. Today they released their third single "Orion". The track is consistent with their uplifting vibes that sounds like OneRepublic with a 2015, synthetic twist. The chorus lines beg you to sing along, windows down, chasing dreams: "With you I'm a fire / I'm lighting up the sky/ Burning like the stars of Orion"

Their music is fun, light and bound to put a smile on your face. Take a listen to the single below and stay tuned for more form these dudes!

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NEW MUSIC: The Wailin' Smithers

Who: The Wailin' Smithers

Where: San Diego, CA by way of Bloomington, IN

What: sun soaked indie rock

I was introduced to the Wailin' Smithers a couple weeks ago and fell for their music a few seconds into their debut album that was released earlier this month. The surf rock tunes sway like Weezer and shred like a lo-fi tape recorder.The album was written over the course of the past four years and recoded in Bloomington, Indiana last summer. 

My favorite track off the record is "Ocean Song". It leads you in with the sound of waves and a fuzzy melody, putting you in a lazy haze under blue skies, on a remote beach with your best friends. Needless to say, it puts me in a real wonderful mood  If I were to tell someone what the Wailin' Smithers sound like, I'd play them this song. 

I decided to ask the vocalist a few questions to get to know them a little better. Listen to the album and read our interview below!

Why the name 'Wailin smithers'?

 Everyone loves the Simpsons.   

How do you want to make your listeners feel with this debut album?

 I don't want to make anyone feel anything. I can answer how this album makes me feel I guess. Young. Stupid. Naive. Crushed out. Optimistic.  

Where have you been drawing your songwriting influences from over the years?

A healthy fix of really sappy pop rock. Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, Weezer, and The Beach Boys. Lyrically it's a mix of personal narrative and anecdotal account. People huffing and crashing cars, stalking, casting curses, falling for someone, suicidal cults, gender transformation. Normal stuff.

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

I have a few shows in mind that really stand out. One time we played in a huge skateboard half-pipe at a party. It felt like it was something out of some early millennium teen movie (think American Pie or something in that vain). 

Another time that sticks out is when we played a huge house show in our drummer's basement. It got unbelievably rowdy with people chanting and jumping around...acting like wild animals. My friend's girlfriend got punched during the frenzy somehow and had to leave with a bloody nose. All of the jumping around somehow lead to people grabbing the water pipes that were hanging down from the ceiling causing them to bust. Water started going everywhere. Fun time. Videos somewhere.


Connect with The Wailin' Smithers on Facebook // Bandcamp

Interview with Cody Crump

photos and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Who: Cody Crump

Where: Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA

What: Death, an EP released 5/5/15

Sounds like:  "very dark but uplifting"

Originally from a small town in Colorado, Cody Crump moved to LA a few years ago. His newest EP, Death, is a synth-infused, indie rock anthem with a heavy dose of sarcasm and a hint of melancholy. Nevertheless, tracks like "1989" and "Just Another Day" keep the electro-vibes high and you'll feel yourself dancing to the laser beams like it actually is 1989.

A couple weeks ago we met up in Silverlake for ice cream, a fun shoot and chats about Death (and life, naturally).

Why so dark? What's influenced those feelings and ideas?

Probably just a lot of what I listened to that I really liked growing up, likeTrent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). He was one of of my biggest influences and I guess I was always drawn to that sort of thing.

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

I would say Kendrick Lamar. He's really good and he's what has sparked my interest in hip-hop again. 

If you were going on tour this summer, who would you tour with?

In fantasy land? let's say AC/DC.

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CONNECT WITH CODY CRUMP

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Two Cheers

Answers by Bryan Akcasu

How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

We want our audience to be bubbling over with unearthed emotions while succumbing to the urge to dance. 

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

Bryan says, "I saw Taking Back Sunday while they were touring for their first album. I was blown away by Adam Lazzara's total abandon -- like swinging the microphone 20 feet in the air and crashing into things. And if I remember correctly he was on crutches too. Anyway, they really brought the energy that night and I never forgot it. On the other side of the spectrum I saw a little-known folk singer named Mark Geary at Hotel Cafe who really just mesmerized me. It was very low key; just acoustic guitar and a kind of soft-spoken vocal approach but when he sings he really means every word and he holds you captive. That's the mark of a master in my opinion."

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

I really liked the production on Ellie Goulding's album Halcyon from a couple years ago. I think it was mostly her and Jim Eliot from Kish Mauve. I'd love to bring that range of textures and sounds into our music -- like blaring synths alongside delicate harps.

Why do you think local music matters?

I think the main reason local music matters is that bands like ours make music whether it matters or not. What I mean to say is that people today really want to see musicians making music that is out of the bounds of what the consensus says is music that matters. The best way to do that is to get in on the ground floor, so to speak, and go see first hand what people do when they are making music because they love to do so and because they can't help themselves.


ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Angela Cross

Friday night is our second event in our Coachella alternative series! And Angela Cross is our first artist on the bill. 

photo by Austin Chee

photo by Austin Chee

 

 How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

You know when you’re driving around past midnight with someone you love and trust, whether it be your best friend or significant other, and you just talk about life for hours? It’s so simple, but for some reason it’s always really special. That’s what I want my music to feel like to people, intimate and honest. I think people talk about their feelings because it makes them feel human and normal. That’s really all I want. I just want my music to be that simple conversation that we all need. 

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

I recently saw Kimbra, and it still feels like a dream. Not only is she an amazing songwriter, she’s also an incredible performer. She has this way of expressing vulnerability but also be whimsical at the same time. Her band was also amazing. Holy crap, they pulled off some really difficult moves and everything was so clean. I was also with one of my favorite people and we danced so violently, everyone around us just hated us. 

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

Ideally, I would want to collaborate with musicians that I’m close to. I have a million well-known artists I look up to, but songwriting is a really personal experience for me, so I’d like to share that with people I love. But if I had to pick someone that’s not a friend of mine, I’d choose Frank Ocean. I love his sound and he is just an amazing storyteller. 

Why do you think local music matters?

A lot of mainstream music is tainted by industry and as much as I love mainstream music, I am always searching for something more real. I’m also going to state the obvious here: there are tons of talented, passionate musicians out there to be discovered. Often times, it’s difficult for a sold out show in a gigantic venue to capture the same intimacy a local show can. 


Connect with Angela Cross on Facebook

MORE INFO ON FRIDAY NIGHT'S EVENT

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Behon

Behon is our final artist on the bill for Saturday's event!

(Answers by Brendan Han)

How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

In my perfect world, our music would make them feel anything, whether it was happiness or sadness.  It would inspire them and give them hope. 

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

I think I can speak for at least most of the members of the band when I say that, at least recently, our favorite show was by Moon Hooch a few weeks ago.  It was one of the wildest, most energetic live shows I've been to for sure.  It was like a rave but with horns and it melted my mind.  And having three horns players in the band, I think you can see how much we appreciate that.

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

A band that's really inspired me as of late would be The Head and the Heart.  It's not a coincidence that the title song of our EP is called Head and Heart.  I obviously love all their songs but their lyrics are also relatable and they make me think.

Why do you think local music matters?

Local music is the best way to really grow as a musician.  It's the only way to meet and talk to other musicians, where you can really learn more about music as a whole and discover things you never would have found on your own.


ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Moons of Mars

Moons of Mars is our 3rd artist on the bill for Saturday's event! They're starting to  make waves in LA's local scene, getting radio play on KROQ Locals Only and gaining the attention of local blogs.They just released an EP yesterday in perfect timing for our show!

(Answers by Mario Polanco)

How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

We hope that people are able to connect with these songs in whatever way makes sense to them. We love it when people write us and feel an emotional connection to a specific song, but also enjoy it if the song just makes you want to dance and puts you in a good place. I remember the song "with or without you" by U2 really speaking to me as a young boy. I didn't really know what Bono was trying to say but I remember having a crush on a girl named Courtney at the time. I held on to the words "without you I can't live". I made it my song at the time and fell in love with that song because it was written for me and Courtney.

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

So many great bands and shows over the years but I'll share about a recent band. I saw Mumford and sons the last time that they played the Hollywood bowl. I liked their music but became a fan after seeing them live. They sound great live, have a great light show, and have so much energy. They are such great song writers and the crowd sings every word they sing. It was incredible to experience! 

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

Kanye west I think would be a great current artist to collaborate with. I respect him so much as an artist and love everything he does musically.  I would love to write together and come up with something "moons" with a hard hitting "kanye" vibe. 

Why do you think local music matters?

 Music is a universal language that can move people like nothing else. Everyone has a story to tell. I believe everyone deserves a chance to be heard. I love going to local shows, hanging with people, and listening to local music to find inspiration. Often I'm just as, or more inspired by the local artist playing 2 blocks from my apartment than an artist at a major venue.


ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Chasing Nora

Chasing Nora is our second artist on the bill for Saturday's event!

ChasingNora-1.jpg

How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ? 

Chasing Nora is a project that hopes to evoke reflective, pensive thoughts in its listeners.

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

 I saw Go Radio play at Bottom of the Hill in SF.  I really like the show because it was a small, intimate venue and I was really into Go Radio at the time.

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

I would collaborate with Bon Iver because I have always wanted to learn more about his writing and recording process.

Why do you think local music matters?

Local music matters because it fills the holes made by mainstream music.


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. 


NEW MUSIC: FEiN Times Issue #2

Words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I’ve been waiting for this second issue of FEiN Times since the first one was released last year. The LA duo has a way of making music that keeps you coming back for more. With this EP, FEiN continues to create a distinct sound that blends their wide array of analog talents with synth-pop tendencies that’ll make you turn up the stereo (or maybe just the volume on your laptop?).

Since we’re a blog that’s so intrigued by how music makes you feel, I’ve decided to share with you a little bit about how FEiN’s new music makes me feel when I take a listen.

“Creatures” makes me feel like I’m being chased down in a colorful maze of surrealistic faces and abstract shapes, straight out of a scene where Picasso meets Dalì in a Looney Tunes themed dance party. It’s all kinds of playful, dark and messy. The chorus is catchy, “Knock me out / Swing the hammer, knock me out / Pull the trigger, knock me out/ Leave no traces”, but the lyrics definitely aren’t meant for the superficial heart. Instrumentally the track does amazing things electronically to capture the feelings of overpowering weakness rather perfectly, from the enhanced vocal sound effects to the computer-tronic notes       à la sci-fi.

“Girl You Can’t Hide It” makes me feel like I’m at the disco in 2015. One second I’m standing there in my parachute pants in the middle of the dance floor grooving my shoulders to the rhythmic beat, then the chorus hits, it’s 2015 and I’m swooning over the boy band/pop duo /indie group on stage at a house party. Cue the instrumental interlude where the guitar riffs are followed by a fluttering sax line, and all of sudden the party has turned into a fully-fledged flash mob.

Sounds like it could be a fun night, I’d say.

My favorite though still remains “Lonely People”, that I distinctly remember being a hit during Beating Lights’ most recent backyard show where FEiN played an acoustic set.  It’s stripped all the way down, so you can feel your ears melting over the harmonies, and sway to the lyrics of unexpected harshness. “We’re all just happy frolicking through hell / But at least we’re not some sad, sad sucker there alone” is the chorus line that has me both cringing and swaying, singing along yet wondering where these feelings are coming from.

You definitely weren’t expecting so much darkness, were you now? Granted neither were we, but that’s what makes these guys so cool. Their songwriting is not without intention; they have some things to say and they’re using their synth-rock melodies to visualize them in our ears.

I know this is only just the beginning for the duo, and simply cannot wait to see what more they can create together. 


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