shabnam ferdowsi

PHOTOS: Bedbugs EP Release Show @ The Bootleg 5/1/17

words and photos by Shab Ferdowsi

The Bedbugs EP Release show was a friend fest for the books. Gardenside, Family Hahas, Arms Akimbo joined them for the party at the Bootleg on May 1st, and the room was filled with too many friendly faces from the bubble of social circles that makes up the community we're in.

I was literally smiling all night.

Listen to the EP "Glasshouse" below and view some photos I took at the show!

photos below by yours truly.

MUSINGS: In Search For the Favorites

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow along by following my Spotify playlist!

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: Parade of Lights- Feeling Electric LP

Words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Parade of Lights was one of the first bands I interviewed when I started this blog, back in the summer of 2013. It's been really cool to see these guys grow since then. From signing to Astralwerks in 2013, to recording in Nashville in 2014, I've been following their journey through and through. Now they've just released their first official LP and I'm still in love with their sound, if not even more now!

Each track is an electro-pop anthem that pulls you up on to the middle of the dance floor, stomping your feet,  singing to the top of your lungs, feeling hopeful, feeling alive, feeling electric. 

We asked the band some questions about the record, so read on and listen to the title track, "Feeling Electric" below!

(Answers by Ryan Daly)

Beating Lights first interviewed you during the summer of 2013. Tell us about some of your highlights and favorite moments of the past 2 years. 
It's been a busy couple of years. We've had the opportunity to do things we never thought we would, and met lots of great people along the way. I think the highlights of these past two years, at least for me personally, were playing festivals (Firefly, Bonnaroo, etc.), and living in Nashville while we wrote and recorded our debut LP.

What's inspired your sound and how do you stay inspired?
We are into many different forms of art such as photography, design, film, etc., and I think the marriage of all of those different mediums helps inform what we do. I feel the best way to sum it up, at the risk of sounding cliche, is "larger than life". As far as staying inspired, we're always looking for new music and new art, as hearing something fresh is always a great way to jump start creativity.
What are you most excited about releasing this album? 

We've been a band for a long time and have never released a full-length. It's been a long time coming and if it resonates with people and can help someone in one way or another, it makes all the time and hard work we put into it worth it.

How do you hope this album leaves listeners feeling?

Hopeful. Even though there are somber moments on the record, there is a common thread of positivity and an encouraging narrative that we hope helps people find or reinforce what they love about themselves, then channel it to live life to the fullest. That being said, if it's as simple as wanting to dance, that's cool too.

Buy the Feeling Electric album on iTunes!


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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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PHOTOS: Golden Coast/ Armors / Act As If @ The Bootleg 5/4/15

photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last night was Golden Coast's first Monday night residency at the Bootleg HIFI this month. Act As If and Armors opened up the show, both bringing so much energy to the floor. 

Did I mention that ARMORS' had their lead singer playing the drums while standing? Never seen anything like that before, but they definitely pulled it off.  Their  set was percussion-heavy, groove-worthy  and passionate. Top that with Golden Coast's pop vibes that take you to the beach on a 90's summer's day and it could've easily turned into an all-nighter dance party.

Golden Coast has three more Mondays at the Bootleg, so make sure you check them out!


Golden Coast  on Facebook // Twitter

Act As If on Facebook // Twitter

ARMORS on Facebook // Twitter

PHOTOS: The Neighbourhood @ Hollywood Palladium 10/30/13


…. was my first though when The Neighbourhood walked onto the stage at The Hollywood Palladium last week. But soon the sound of the screaming died out as NBHD began to rock it (literally). From going to many concerts I a have learned, or rather decided, that what brings a band to the next level of talent is their ability to play a good show. Stage presence is key, and these guys were so comfortable, to suave, so charismatic up there, that all of a sudden everyone felt like a fangirl. 

Check out The Neighbourhood if you already haven’t!