Back in early 2011, my then-editor at LA Weekly handed me a CD from a guy called Bei Ru and asked me if I wanted to do a story on him. Of course, I did. The CD, Little Armenia (L.A.) was gorgeous, made by samples of Armenian music, grounded in L.A. hip-hop. It immediately became one of my favorite L.A. albums. I felt an immediate connection to Bei Ru, we’re both Armenian-Americans from the Valley who were obviously influenced by our city’s always-awesome underground music scenes. The story remains one of my favorite assignments (it’s also one of the only articles that everyone in my family read) and Bei Ru is still one of my favorite local musicians.
Right now, Bei Ru is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his next album. It’s a more ambitious release in that he’s planning on working with other musicians and recording engineers. Because of that, he’s looking to raise $10,000. You know the Kickstarter drill by now: Bei Ru has to hit the goal by November 26 or he gets nothing. If you pledge, there are some really cool incentives, including Bei Ru releases, lots of limited edition art and even a 2-hour live Bei Ru gig at your house. Check out Bei Ru’s Kickstarter page for more info.
Crowd-funding platform PledgeMusic is gaining a lot of steam with musicians. Helen Marnie from Ladytron just raised the money for her first solo album through the site. LCD Soundsystem and Esthero are getting closer to their goals. And, today, Chris Corner made waves by hitting his goal in less than one hour of clicking his campaign live. The news came via a press release earlier this afternoon.
Corner is the mind behind IAMX. He’s also a former member of Sneaker Pimps. (And, for you Mighty Boosh trivia buffs, he appeared on the cover of Mod Monthly in “Jungle,” aka the episode with the Mod Wolves.) Right now, he’s working on his fifth IAMX studio album. Corner, who typically self-produces IAMX, is working with Jim Abbiss in the studio. Abbiss’ credits include Sneaker Pimps debut album, Becoming X, as well as albums from Editors, Temper Trap, Ladytron, Arctic Monkeys and Adele. There will also be a behind-the-scenes documentary accompanying the release. You can see what he’s doing in the video above and related footage available on his YouTube channel. Continue reading →
Mash-ups are like everything else, there are some amazing ones and a lot of terrible ones. This, dear reader, is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. Special thanks to my friend Sheyne, purveyor of all things awesome, for tipping me off to this. Continue reading →
Shelf Life is the tale of action figures stuck on the shelf of a young boy’s room who pass the time riffing on hot topics and getting into sticky situations. Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal, two L.A.-based actors well-known for their voice acting work, conceived the series and star in it as Hero Lass and Bug Boy. I talked to Tara and Yuri about the show earlier this year for L.A. Weekly.
This is one of my favorite shows on the web and the season premiere did not disappoint. Go watch it now.