music

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:

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.

CONNECT WITH TOUCH VINYL

Website Facebook Twitter • Insta

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. 


EVENT RECAP: A House Party in East LA 7/10/15

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

On July 10th 2015, We headed into a garage in east LA near USC for a night full of jams and good vibes. It was SO rad: cool people who were down to meet other cool people, great live music and a V cool space to gather everyone in.
We had music from Andrew Barrack and The Waves, Attic Empire and Connor & Karlee, and showcased photographs by Stephanie Barajas, Sculptures by Sarah Johanna McAllister and Paintings by Shabnam Fersowsi (me!)

If you were there, THANK YOU. If we met, it was wonderful.
If you weren't there, it's ok! There will be more to come.

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

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

Backstage Chat: Stalking Gia @ School Night 5/11/15

photo and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I have never seen the Bardot as packed for a School Night as it was on Monday night. And although I couldn't see a thing from where I stood, Stalking Gia blew me away. The NYC-based artist played her first LA show that night and stole the crowd with her sultry vocals and cool charm. 

I was able to meet up with her after her set and take a few minutes to ask her some quick questions.  

How did you feel about your first LA show?

It was insane. I actually came to this venue a month or two ago to see another band play; it felt cool to be the one playing this time. I got a lot of adrenaline off [the crowd].I had fun picking different people in the crowd and just zoning into them. I'll just freak people out: I'll stare at them to the point where it's kind of uncomfortable. I love it. 

How do you want to leave your audience feeling?

Inspired, happy, and flowing with creativity. 

So how did you come up with the name "Stalking Gia"?

I feel like the whole music industry, the whole aspect of celebrity and social media is just stalking. There's no other word for it; everyone tries to make it normal- but like no, it's stalking.

Have you had any stalkers?

Just random things online... Maybe gaming? Maybe that happens to me? And then maybe I stop playing? World of Warcraft, maybe? I don't know, something like that.

What's your music scene in New York like? And how does it feel different than the one here in LA?

It's more secluded, and I feel like there are less people within the scene. But at the same time, all the writers [at Warner/Chappell Publishing] are super close and tight-knit. It's real nice to have that strong community. In LA there's just so many people and all so spread out; then again that could be a good thing. Positives and negatives on both sides, and it's good have a little of both. 

1 Fun Fact: I'm obsessed with anime. I can't wait to go to Japan one day, and I wish I was a J-pop K-pop star.


CONNECT WITH STALKING GIA

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Carlton

Our 3rd artist on the bill for Friday night's event is Carlton!

How do hope your listeners feel with your music ?

Musically elevated.

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

Everyone has a different answer. Brian says the red hot chili peppers. 

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

Reggie Watts because everything he does is interesting.

Why do you think local music matters?

Every artist needs a community in which to grow.


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: 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 FRANKIE

WHO: FRANKIE

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Current Location: Los Angeles

Sounds Like: "credible pop"

I first heard of FRANKIE when I saw her play We Found New Music's showcase at the Bootleg Hifi a few weeks ago. She opened up the night and blew my mind. I was instantly hooked. So I hit her up for this shoot + interview a week later, and met up in her producer's Silver Lake abode. After our chat over a cool glass of Coke (because it was simply too hot for water that day) and a fun photo session in the backyard, I can easily conclude she's one of the sweetest people you'll meet and about make some waves in the music world.

Read more about the popstar below and listen to her newest single, "New Obsession", off her upcoming EP!

You've been getting so much great reception on the new music. What are you doing differently than you were before?

I feel like because we were just having fun with it, that's why people  respond to it so well. It's not like we're making these formula pop songs; its just us vibing and having a good time.

We're calling it "credible pop". We don't want it to be guilty. No matter how it's produced, we want people to just be like, "that's a nicely written song." 

What's been your favorite show you've played so far?

I played a show in San Francisco at the Rickshaw Stop in January. I really expected no one to be there, even though it's my hometown. But it was packed and we had so much  fun on stage. I think we just went into it with really low expectations that when we came out it was so awesome. In LA it's a little different because you never know who's going to be in the audience, who they work for, you never know. But oh man, we just had such a blast up there [in the bay].

How did you decide on this pop sound?

"Blackout" started the whole EP, and it was so strange [how the song came to be]. I was falling asleep one night, and it was during that moment where you're almost asleep, where you're literally not thinking about anything. I payed attention for a quick second and realized I was singing a song in my head, full lyrics and melody. I was like "What? woah! what am I doing?". So I recorded a voice memo, half asleep; it's hilarious. After I had that I somewhat knew what the song was going to sound like. I teamed up with Petros, and he's amazing. His production quality is so quirky and has so much attitude which I love. So  "Blackout" created this little sound on its own. 

Your EP is going to be called DreamState. Does that title have something to do with how "Blackout" came about?

Yes!  After I wrote "Blackout" I was just channeling that, so half the EP came from stuff like that. 

The other half of the EP I wrote with  my band. We went to this beach house for two days and wrote all these songs, "New Obsession", "Problems Problems" and "Gold". It was crazy: we came back, tried them out the songs and loved them all. 

If you could tour with any band this summer, who it would be?

There's this artist, BØRNS, I'm really loving right now. I feel like his pop is really credible as well, so I feel like we could be a really cool mix together. That would be awesome, and not insanely out of reach. 


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CONNECT WITH FRANKIE

Website //Facebook // Twitter 

Interview with Alanna Clarke

Who: Alanna Clarke

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sounds like:  "sultry, gritty, blues-y pop"

photos by  Shabnam Ferdowsi

Alanna Clarke is a Canadian singer-songwriter who spends a few months at a time in Los Angeles, a few times every year, on a performance visa. She just released a couple tracks, "Heartstrings" and "Linger", so I decided to meet up with her for a swell afternoon shoot and chat in Silver Lake. 

How has your style changed since when you first began writing music in your teens?

I started writing music a cappella. The thing that's changed the most is the production style around my music. A lot of that has been figuring out how to communicate what I'm hearing. 

So on this new music that's out now I worked with a producer, Mike WUFF Wofford, who's amazing. We had a great working relationship. But I do work in Logic and can kind of demo my ideas now. Because if everything I do is with an acoustic guitar, someone has to have a really big imagination to take that and make it into the music I'm making. I've learned how to direct that  now, so it doesn't get taken out of my hands. 

When did you decide to start spending more time in LA?

I had the opportunity to come down here for a month, and I met a lot of people who started making it possible to go back and forth between LA and Calgary. So that was about 2 and half years ago at this point, and now I'm coming down three or four times a year. 

So what's it like now when you go back? Do you still do your music thing there too?

Yeah I'm always playing around and writing, but when I'm there I get to play with my cats, so that's a plus side there. 

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

It's funny that some of the ones that stick out the most are one of the first ones I ever played, just because it was so new and exciting. Like if my parents were having a barbecue, it was really my show.  But the first time I really played was for our talent show [when I was eleven] and I sang one of the Kelly Clarkson songs. It was that first season of American Idol, so I sang one of her songs and I remember just feeling so at home on stage. 

What do you see happening for you in the next six months?

Right now I definitely have another song on the way. Then I'm just writing a lot on my own, and trying to figure out who exactly I want to work with on this new stuff, in terms of production. My goal is to put out an EP this year, either with these songs on it or with completely new music. Then hopefully some shows, hopefully some traveling. 

CONNECT WITH ALANNA CLARKE

Facebook // Twitter 

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:

#NowPlaying in Drew Tabor's ears

Drew Tabor is a musician based in Los Angeles. Here's what she's been listening to this week:

1. Seeing Stars- Borns

2. Drop The Game- Chet Faker (Flume remix)

3. Menswear- The 1975

4. Know Yourself- Drake

5. Childs Play- SZA ft. Chance The Rapper

6. Help Me Lose My Mind- Disclosure

7. Eyes Wide- Meadowlark

8. Open Season- Josef Salvat

9. I'm Torn Up- St. Paul & The Broken Bones

10. All Of Me- Ella Fitzgerald 

#NowPlaying in FEiN's ears

Introducing a new playlist series, coming to you every Sunday. Each playlist will be curated by an artist, band, or some other entity /group/ person who's opinions we value, and will consist of 10 songs they've been listening to the past week.

First up: FEiN , aka Luke Walton and Brandon Woodward, an LA-based electro-pop-rock duo.

Here are 10 songs  they've been listening to this past week:

1. Distant Past - Everything Everything

2. The Love You're Given - Jack Garratt

3. Get Out The Way - Mother Mother

4. Ghosting - Mother Mother

5. Christmas In L.A. - Vulfpeck

6. Slum Love - Kimbra

7. The Antidote - St. Vincent

8. Disposable Parts - Enon

9. No Control - One Direction

10. My Type - Saint Motel

HEARTBEATS #5: The Paper Mixtape

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: Morgan Cadigan

What: The Paper Mixtape, an arts and culture magazine at UCLA

Meet Morgan Cadigan, sophomore Art History student at UCLA, Founder and Creative Director of the newly established Paper Mixtape, and all around #girlboss.

Originally from the Seattle area, Morgan began her ventures into publishing for her senior project in her last month of high school. She created seeMag for that purpose, where she featured and showcased local artists and their artworks. Shortly after arriving at UCLA, Morgan decided to bring her project to LA, and began building a team of passionate staff members around it. Currently in its first semester as an official student organization at UCLA, the team consists of writers and photographers who venture out into different LA communities, meeting with artists, and showcasing their work. 

Why "the paper mixtape"? The magazine is like a mixtape, where the writers and editors curate their favorite artists to share with you. 

Their first issue is expected to be published in May and I know these guys will be making waves no doubt. I'm also personally so excited I got to meet another passionate creative who cares about local arts. 


CONNECT WITH THE PAPER MIXTAPE

Website // Facebook // Instagram

WATCH: The Young Wild- Not A One

LA-based band The Young Wild just released their music video for their most recent track, "Not A One." The video is a performance piece where each band member was filmed separately, then each shot was spliced into the bigger picture,creating one very cool single shot. The track has got me grooving and I can't wait for more music from these guys!

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The Young Wild is the creation of singer and songwriter Bryan B. William. From writing songs on the piano William created the modern rock sound that he had always envisioned for the band that he wanted to create. After forming in late 2014, The band released their debut EP "For Now Not Forever" and had success with their single "Moment Goes." The band then hit the road with Barcelona and Switchfoot and wrapped up 2014 in the studio writing new material. The Young Wild plan to release a new EP in 2015 and will go on tour across the US.