If I stumbled upon a magic lamp and had three wishes, I would wish to be able to have financial security, to be able to survive on less sleep, and to be able to enjoy live music events. The first item is negotiable but the second two are kind of important because I hate staying up late and I hate going to see live music–and those two obviously go hand in hand. I would love to be able to experience and see all these Los Angeles based musicians I’ve heard about first hand but, damn, I just hate going to live shows. Watching little documentary Not A Beat, Not A Scene really hammered in this want to be able to see more shows, specifically in the now booming electronic scene in Los Angeles. The documentary discusses the recent rise and origination of the Los Angeles “beat” scene, the still forming music genre that has seen stars like Flying Lotus, Shlohmo, Daedelus, and more spring up from.
The documentary is directed by Tom MacVicar and does a beautiful job capturing all the stories, the history, and the city that have formed the beat scene. Through interviews and brief music clips from the artists involved, you get to learn about the current landscape of “beat” based music and where it’s coming from. It’s part being in a lax city and part stoner culture and part diversity and part congregating at places like Low End Theory. A big factor in this genre’s story is wanting something new, something that’s never been done. As Angelenos, as far West as you can get in the United States, we all want something new and we all actively seek it out and try to create this newness: the beat scene is a direct reflection of this.
You get to hear from artists like Juj, Co.fee, Free The Robots, Sir Froderick, and Daedelus, who kind of serves as the grandfather to the scene and is the biggest driver and authority figure in the ten minute documentary. Again, it is super, super well made and is perfect in every way: it jumps into a world, defines and explores it, and gets out with you feeling educated, fulfilled, and wanting to dive into this world yourself. Now if only I could get myself to go to the clubs and venues mentioned in the video. Guess I’ll just have to keep looking for that magic lamp.