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PHOTOS: Ramonda Hammer Residency Night #5

words and photos by Shab Ferdowsi

Ramonda Hammer's final residency night at the Hi Hat last night left me wishing the night would never end! So many great bands brought only their best vibes onto the stage, and absolutely killed it. I'd be so down to see Ramonda Hammer play all night every night.. if only. 

Here are some of my favorite shots form last night:

||  mmothdrops +Ramonda Hammer + LA Font + The Knitts  ||

INTERVIEW: Lauren Ruth Ward

words and interview by Shab Ferdowsi

Lauren Ruth Ward will easily melt your heart this Friday night at Resident. She's been making waves around LA this year, and I'm excited to have her a part of BL's next party, Making Friends is Easy. Read my little chat with her below and catch her hit the stage at 11:15 sharp on Friday!

Describe a moment while being a part of LA's music community where you thought to yourself "THIS is friendship".

The first time I didn't have to pay out my band for a show I wasn't getting paid for.

If you were able to round up a group of people for tea, who and why?

Kimi Recor because she loves tea and is the only person I've ever had tea with. I loved having tea with her and sharing ideas. She is magical. 

if you could paint a picture of  your music, what would it be?
I would paint portraits of the band. We have something really special right now. We're beaming off each other.  Something I've always wanted to be apart of.

What's your favorite kind of cupcake?

SALTED. CARAMEL.

LAUREN ON THE WEB

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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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#TBT unDisposable Memories: Summer '16 with ICE CREAM

Here's a bunch of pictures off a disposable camera I was shooting with while hanging out with ICE CREAM all summer long. Shots are from the studio in San Francisco in May, my second trip to SF in August, various shows on the road in Santa Cruz and SLO, and the last day of tour in LA in September. 

Cheers to the good times:

Catch ICE CREAM  next week at the Echo opening for DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats on November 8th! Tix here. 

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:

PREVIEW: Disco Shrine 'Soft Fur' EP Release

Disco Shrine is an LA-based electro pop duo who is releasing their debut EP 'Soft Fur' tomorrow via The Burning Ear! To celebrate, Beating Lights is helping them throw a party at The Hi Hat with live music, cupcakes, face painting and good vibes all around. 

Take a read through our interview with them and jam to their latest single "Drive" to get a feel for what the dance party on Friday night is going to be like:

photo by Olivia Lim

photo by Olivia Lim

This is your first EP as Disco Shrine. That's so exciting! How long have you been working towards this release? 
Jes: We first started talking about releasing an EP in the summer of last year. When Tommy and I began collaborating, we were writing so many songs so fast and it surprised both of us how much material we had after a matter of a few weeks. We were both just really excited about the music and it seemed to come so natural to us. After the summer, we started working more on our live performance and playing more shows, and I think that allowed us to take a step back and look at those songs from an editing standpoint. So that's what we've been focusing on since the beginning of January. We're both just really eager to get this EP out and give people a taste of what's to come. 

Tell us a little bit about how you two collaborated to create this project?
Tommy: It all started with a voice memo. Jes and I knew of each other through our hometown music scene, but actually started talking after a show in Los Angeles. Both of us were making pretty melancholy music at the time, so we talked about the possibility of collaborating and making dance tunes together. I sent her a track I was working on. She sent me a voice memo that same morning with her idea for the track, and that song actually became 'Shy', our first single. 

Jes: As far as Disco Shrine goes, the name was sort of this mix of words that came to us that ended up perfectly describing our music. Tommy was telling me about how he wanted to make this art installation with a bunch of broken pieces of mirror like on a disco ball. And I said , "Sort of like a disco shrine?". And we looked at each other and thought it was perfect after coming up with the stupidest names for weeks. But it's more perfect now because our music is super upbeat and funky at times but also really passionate and moody so those two words just seem right I guess.

Why did you decide on Soft Fur as the title track?
Tommy: Soft Fur is the name of a synth we use for one of the tracks on our EP. It's a vague name that's kind of sexy and open to interpretation, and since we both really liked the name, we thought it would be a good name for our EP. 

What do "good vibes" mean to you? :
Jes and Tommy: Writing music that's a two way street. We don't like being a part of music that has no intention of being enjoyable to other people. A portion of our enjoyment from song writing comes from the audience digging what we've written. Giving and receiving good vibes is a big part of what we like about music.


Make sure to catch Disco Shrine at their EP release show that Beating Lights is presenting on February 19 at The Hi Hat! More info here.

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PREMIERE: Bedbugs- Like The Earth

words and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Bedbugs is our resident band this month, so I'm really excited to premiere their next single,"Like The Earth"! The trio from Thousand Oaks has added a fourth member on the guitar, and changed up their vibes by moving from recording in their garage to a drum studio. They recorded this track with Jake Munk from Hunny who brought in his own vision for the song to make this sound like the Bedbugs crew got remixed into a different playlist. It's rhythmic like adrenaline and synthetic like the dancefloor, but it's still as raw as any band who's used to playing loud in their suburban garage. Singer Alex Johnson's lyrics pull at your heartstrings as always though, and remind you what it's like being human. I'm loving seeing their sound evolve right now, and I can't wait to see what more is coming next.

I got the chance to ask frontman Alex Johnson some questions about the new sounds. Take a listen to "Like The Earth" and peep his answers below:

The Bedbugs sound is evolving. Was this an active decision or something that just started naturally happening? Are there new artists who’ve been inspiring you?

I feel like this is something a lot of people are curious to know whenever a band modifies their sound, and it has definitely been natural for us. We are always listening to and discovering new music. With influence from the outside world, the way your brain works is totally switched up. When you hear a new song that really gets you going, that affects the "creative process" whether or not you're aware that it happens. 
Plus, Bedbugs kind of started as a side-project when I was in another band, so the sound started to have some variation once it was a main focus.

What was it like working with Jake from Hunny on this? What did he bring to this track you wouldn’t have originally brought on your own?

Working with Jake was really cool - I think he really saw something in Bedbugs and he took us out of our comfort zones. That's what makes for a great song and a great recording - uncharted territory. We actually recorded Like the Earth months before we recorded our previous single, You Think You Know Me. Before we recorded this song, the only recordings we had of our band were done in a garage - so you can imagine the drastic difference in sound and vibe when we decided to move into a drum studio and then a bedroom for this song.

 What's the Bedbugs vibe like these days ?

Bedbugs' vibe? What's it like? These days? I don't even know, man. I get my personal daily vibes from @whatsmyvibe on Twitter. Very underrated account. 

Just listen to this song and accept some Valentine's Day vibes. Someone out there is thinking about you and it's probably not me. 
Peace!


Check out Bedbugs around LA this month at one of their upcoming shows!

UPCOMING SHOWS

2/15 @ the Hi Hat w/The Knitts, House of Affection (Beating Lights Presents)
2/20 @ 560 Customs for DIY Fest III
2/21 @ Three Clubs in Hollywood
2/29 @ Silverlake Lounge for Bright Missiles' residency

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PLAYLIST: January 2016

words  and playlist by Shabnam Ferdowsi

January was a whirlwind. On the first of the month, I landed back in Los Angeles after spending 3 months abroad, immediately released the new website, and started promoting the relaunch party. So I dived head first, sprinting and cartwheeling back into the grind of real life, going to shows multiple times a week,  working my day job at a daycare, booking photoshoots and remembering how to have a social life again. 

I've been listening to a lot of new music.  My taste has been evolving really hard and really fast in the past 6 months, and it started fueling whole new feelings while I was away. The fidelity is lower, it's noisier, fuzzier, less polished,  and runs on the same rhythm as my adrenaline is these days. 

Take a listen and feel what I was feeling last month:

PHOTOS: Surfer Blood • Cayucas @ The Teragram 1/8/16

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Surfer Blood and Cayucas played to a packed Teragram Ballroom friday night, bringing their sun soaked vibes to Downtown LA. Local band Cayucas warmed up the crowd with their sunny, pool side jams. Surfer Blood blew my mind in the best ways possible, and had me high on happy adrenaline all the way home.

Here are some photos I took throughout the night:

 

reLaunch Party Spotlight: Touch Vinyl // POP UP

"I opened Touch Vinyl in 2012 after traveling in Scandinavia and realizing how great record shops can be for community building! Selling new and used records and hosting in-store shows and DJ sets has helped us build a great community in West LA. The sight of my favorite customers brings a smile to my face each and every time!"

- Sebastian Mathews // Founder

Touch Vinyl will be setting up their pop up shop at our reLaunch Party on January 30th! Come hang out, connect with Jenay, and support local brands!  More info here.

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PHOTOS: ARMORS • Dark Waves • Kid Cadaver @ The Constellation Room 1/2/16

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last night ARMORS sold out the Constellation Room in Santa Ana for the release of their newest EP Collisions. It was packed to the brim, making it so difficult to groove but that definitely didn't stop their fans from dancing their way through and singing along to every lyric. Dark Waves and Kid Cadaver opened the night with killer sets, and DJ Grant Owens of We Found New Music spun some cool indie jams in between.

Here are some photos I took throughout the night:

PREMIERE: Royaljag- Jungle (CLARENCE Remix)

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last month I wrote about Royaljag's groovy track "Jungle" so I'm excited to premiere this remix by CLARENCE! The new vibe still fits my impressions of the song, keeping it smoky with a dash of funk, but slowing it down to a new electric crawl. 

CLARENCE is the electro side-project of Jeff Lehrer of Maudlin Strangers. Check more of his sounds on Soundcloud!

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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.:

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EVENT RECAP: Spearmint Hippo/ The Big Gone/ GoodKids/ ICE CREAM @Silverlake Lounge

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

When the music is killer, the bands are the coolest, and the people are the friendliest, the vibes are good all around. The show at Silverlake Lounge yesterday was so fun, and I absolutely loved making these new connections. 

I'm officially obsessed with: Spearmint Hippo, The Big Gone, GoodKids, ICE CREAM. 

Here are some alright photos I took (lighting was janky and my flash stopped working):

LISTEN: Royaljag- Jungle

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Royaljag's latest and only track currently out on the webs, "Jungle", is an indie-rock tune that gets you shamelessly jamming in the driver's seat while tuning in to some blues-y grooves on the 405. You'll definitely feel like you're running in the havoc of the jungle, in the middle of the city full of drive and ambition, through the traffic and past the the lights. 

While you anxiously wait for the band's next groove, listen on repeat below:

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PREMIERE: Caitlyn Cope- Secrets (Official Music Video)

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I'm thrilled to premiere  Caitlyn Cope's official music video for her song, "Secrets". It's the opening track off her latest EP, Heartbeat., that was released last year.  The video features a series of people writing up their secrets on pieces of paper, tying them to a balloon, and letting them go. Simple, soulful and full of a soft aesthetic that captures Caitlyn's music in a heartbeat (pun intended). The LA-based singer/songwriter is currently working on her next EP, so keep your eyes peeled!

Check the video below, shot and directed by Jeremy Harris:

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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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PHOTOS: FRANKIE EP Release Show 8/27/15

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

FRANKIE is going to kill the game. She just got signed to RCA records last month, and released her debut EP Dreamstate  yesterday. To celebrate the release, she played the Satellite to a room full of amped fans and proud friends, giving a performance that got me feeling high on life, and ready to dance into the night (if it wasn't a weeknight!). Exciting things ahead for this popstar and I can't wait to see what's next. 

Here are some of my favorite shots:

 

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