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!


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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EVENT RECAP: The Backyard Collection

What:  Beating Lights x The Paper Mixtape Present: The Backyard Collection

When: May 2nd, 2015

Where: A backyard in West LA

Spring ended with a beautiful bang as we presented our biggest collaborative event! In a backyard in West LA, we gathered as many creatives as we could: musicians, poets, visual artists, a boba master, a DJ, and art lovers of all kinds. It was a blend of locally brewed creations and we had such a swell time swaying and having real connected conversations in the afternoon sun.

We had music from FEiN, Naked Walrus, Seablood, New Beat Fund and Corsica Arts Club.

We showcased the visual art of Nicole Ellsworth, Bean Crosby, Angeline Dy.

We collaborated with Boba 7, The Altar Collective, Touch Vinyl, Todo Se Mueve. 

Here's a video that captures the vibes. Watch, sway and stay tuned for Summer @ Beating Lights! :)

video by Eliza Moley

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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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.


RØSE is our 2nd artist on the bill for Friday night's show! A thoughtful pop songwriter with a  voice that'll melt your ears:

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How do you hope your listeners feel with your music ?
I try to write music that is very honest and relatable and I hope that my listeners feel that. 

What's been your favorite live show you've ever seen and why?
I saw Ben Gibbard a few years back during his solo tour for Former Lives.That was pretty special. He's definitely one of my all time faves. 

If you could collaborate with any current artist, who would it be and why?
Justin Vernon because he's the shit. 

Why do you think local music matters?
As an artist, it's important for me to feel supported by other musicians in my community; to inspire and to be inspired. 



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



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.


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.


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


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.


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. 

PHOTOS: Armors/ The Bulls / Kid Cadaver/ Conway @ The Satellite 3/9/15

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last night was CONWAY's second residency night at The Satellite. On the bill were ARMORS, The Bulls and Kid Cadaver.

It was a packed venue and I was grooving the entire night, not to mention the lighting was on point so I  was able to capture some cool moments:

NEW MUSIC: Kid Cadaver- New Friends

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last week LA-based trio, Kid Cadaver, released a new song, "New Friends" off their upcoming EP to be released later this spring. 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 Kid Cadaver's new tune makes me feel when I take a listen. 

"New Friends" makes me feel like like I'm at a pool party in mid-August, in the heat of summer break, probably in high school,  in the heat of some summer crush. Maybe it's the Weezer-esque guitar riffs that sound like summer, maybe it's the vocals that sound like Phoenix, maybe it's the grooving drum beats that want us dancing to the rhythm. Whatever it is, it takes me to a carefree moment where every next second is more exciting than the last, and every next minute holds endless possibilities.  

"Moving west, I'll be a broken boy at best / I'm over this, over the promise of moving lips / I came and went, but all the symptoms have never left / I'm only human."  The lyrics at the chorus, not only catchy, make it feel like the the nearing of the end of something brief, whatever it may have been. Maybe summer? maybe adolescence?  

Cue the percussion heavy instrumental interlude, and now we're all running away down a street at golden hour, clothes still  wet from our swimsuits underneath, running away from an end in the hopes that summer will last and we'll stay young forever. 

Take a listen to the track below, and let us know how it makes you feel:


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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!


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PHOTOS: Kid Cadaver @ The Echo 2/4/15

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I found Kid Cadaver's music around 3 weeks ago on a local blog, fell in love instantly with their sound and was more than ecstatic when I found out they were playing The Echo. 

Now The Echo has a really unfun/unfair/uncool way sometimes of having their sound be simply mediocre for their opener, or at least I've noticed this another couple times as well. Either they don't soundcheck long enough, either the sound guy is just warming up (doubtful?) or for some other reason I can't come up with. My point is, I wish someone else was running sound that night.

Regardless though, the 3 guys of Kid Cadaver each played such a fun show. They blew me away with their energy, and each seemed to be having their own dance party up there. They were each completely in their zones, vibing along to their own individual beats, having so much fun themselves that I wanted to get up there with them. 

So passionate, so fun, so hot. They definitely left us swooning. 


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Haven't heard of Lincoln Jesser yet? It's about time you did. This local LA artist is making that synth-pop that makes you groove and writes the lyrics that make you roll down the car window and sing at the top of your lungs. 

Take a listen and get to him a little better below!

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If someone’s never heard your music before, how would you describe it to them in one sentence? Psychedelic synth pop.

If you could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Marvin Gaye...I'd want to produce for him. His voice and his message were both amazing beyond words.

As an artist, what’s on your long-term bucket list? Scoring a film.

What do you want listeners to take away from your music? I'd hope my music inspires them to take risks in the name of happiness, and to let the people they love know that they do in fact love them.

What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to? Daft Punk at Coachella 2006, MGMT in Brooklyn 2007, and The Strokes at Lollapalooza 2010

Who are you listening to right now? Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Lemaitre, and CHVRCHES


INTERVIEW: Cameron Fife

If someone’s never heard your music before, how would you describe it to them in one sentence? 

I've always been terrible with this question, but maybe this is a time for me to lock down an answer. I've been tossing around "aggressive indie folk" a little recently but honestly I'm not sure what that even means. Maybe "indie folk punk"? I like to think I have a little of every genre in some songs somewhere but maybe thats a little too pretentious of an answer for me to commit to. Sorry this wasn't one sentence, and sorry I didn't actually lock down an answer. I failed. 


If you could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who it be and why? 

This is a toughie. I think I would have to pick Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! That band taught me a lot about being a human when I was 14 and discovered "Reinventing Axl Rose" at Ear-X-Tacy (a local record store in Louisville KY. Fun fact: It's now a Panera Bread). The Do It Yourself attitude is something that that particular album really instilled in me and my friends at a young age and to this day is still an important part of my life. That album inspired me to tour at an early age with my best friend in a band called Eat This McKinley, which was heavily influenced by Against Me. Against Me has always felt like a constant in my life and "Reinventing" is a grounding force for me and reminds me of my roots. You can also just feel the passion bleed through on that record. It's pretty incredible. I saw them recently and they played a lot of songs from that record and it was a big push for me to start playing music again.


As an artist, what’s on your long-term bucket list?

I think I would completely lose it if one of my songs was used in a Scorsese film. I could probably die a happy man if that ever happens. To me, he is the master of using music to create an interesting atmosphere. I'm not saying he is the only director to do so, but he just seems to really care about music and it shows. Watch any of his movies, it's such a huge part of it. He also is my favorite director. If any big time directors want to use any of my songs, I would be beyond stoked. 


I would also be completely happy just packing a bar/house full of friends and strangers who sang along to every word and then I'd buy everyone a round of shots after. That seems fun. 


I also need to find a different shirt to play shows in because I've been playing in the same one.

What do you want listeners to take away from your music?

A really great friend of mine once wrote this in an insert for our band's (Eat This McKinley) first album and it always stuck with me: "Forgive us for any wrong notes or off tuning, but I guess that's what music is all about: purpose, meaning, and emotion comes first. Hopefully skill will come later. Go out and start a band. Play the music you wanna play and don't worry if you think you're horrible. Don't let skill get in your way, write with everything you got and go play your fuckin' heart out" 


I'm paraphrasing a bit but that's the gist of it. It's not to say that you can just throw up a disclaimer before any show or album and be bad on purpose. You should respect stage time and studio time and give yourself a chance to grow and develop the skills you find important, or what you like to hear in songs you like. At the end of the day I just want to inspire people to make music that means more to them than to anyone else and that it's okay for any art you make to have scars because that's whats going to stand out the most. I hope people take that away from my music. Most people probably just think I'm a sad bastard though, which I'm also fine with. 

What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to?

I just recently went to my favorite concert I've ever been to! It was Mimicking Birds and Modest Mouse at Pappy and Harriets in Pioneertown, CA. Modest Mouse played a 105 minute set including the song "Broke" which I didn't think they'd play. It's probably one of my favorite songs ever written and I think it's almost 20 years old now which is crazy. If you ever get a chance to see a show at Pappy and Harriets, do it. It's a "wild west watering hole" under the stars in the mountains. It's gorgeous. 

Who are you listening to right now? 

Young Jesus is a Chicago based band I've been listening to a lot recently. Their album "Home" is probably in my top 5 favorite albums of all time. I really love it and can't seem to tire myself out from it. Everyone should check it out. It's on Spotify. They also just released a single called "G" after a two year hiatus, which is great. I heard they just moved to LA so hopefully they play a show soon. Everyone like them on facebook and tell them to play a show so I can see them!



LISTEN: Tapioca and the Flea-Take It Slow

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

This LA-based band has been on my radar since they opened for a Red Bull Sound select show last summer, and I'm finally going to see them  again this weekend! They're playing at Tarfest, the free music festival at the LA Brea TarPits along with a  few other local indie bands. 

"Take it Slow" is the only track currently on Spotify (my main source for listening to music) but I know their music setlist is filled with more good stuff like this one. It's dance-y, it's synth-pop, with a dash of indie rock and if I'm not already sweating from the 90 degree weather at Tarfest, I'll make sure I'll be moving to the beat, because how can you not? 

Local Spotlight: Young Creatures- Foreigner

Who: Mikey Escalante (Drums), Spencer King (Bass), Mike Post (Vocals/Guitar), Andrew Gleason (Guitar/Vocals)

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Today's local spotlight is on Young Creatures who released their self-proclaimed "psychedelic pop" single last week. "Foreigner" is a groovy tune, with a bass-line that'll make your head bop and electric guitar stylings that'll make you want to flow with the funk. 

Hit the beach, grab some speakers and take a listen here:


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