Beat LA

“Beat L.A. is a music education” – L.A. Weekly

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On Tuesday January 12th 2010 the world was rocked by news of a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. It killed a staggering 230,000 people, injured a further 300,000, and left 1 million without homes. After seeing the shocking footage of the aftermath on the news, like many, Narnack Records founder Shahin Ewalt with Toddrick Spalding and Angel Mendoza of Greatminds Records were inspired to help the victims of the quake.

Self-confessed music nerds and stalwarts of the Los Angeles music scene, the trio began making calls to their friends. The result is Beat LA, a collection covers by current LA artists featuring songs written by alternative, punk and rock musicians of the past that helped define the LA-sound. “We’ve managed to pull together an amazing cross section of underground music in Los Angeles and are excited that this compilation will be a true document of our music scene,” says Spalding.

Classic songs from the likes of Wall of Voodoo, X, The Germs and Gun Club have been covered by an eclectic selection of contemporary artists who call Los Angeles their home, including experimental electronic geekmaster Boom Bip, folk rocker Imaad Wasif, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and indie rock / noise pop duo No Age, among many others. All songs were donated by the artists. Proceeds from the compilation benefit Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the leading relief organizations working in Haiti.

Beat LA was curated by Toddrick Spalding, Angel Mendoza, and Shahin Ewalt. Liner notes have been written by LA punk legend Geza X. “LA had a FANTASTIC underground scene for a few years, say 1977 to 1982. It never got properly documented but it was huge and it was fun. These songs were part of the soundtrack of my life back then,” says Geza X. “But there is more to it. This is a healing project too…This album is one of many goodwill gestures people have come up with to help out. The political problems of the Western Hemisphere may be too much to tackle as individuals. But human problems sometimes wake the world up to the need to pull together and do something. I invite you to enjoy this great album and remember the good we can do if we all pitch in, even if all we can do is a little.”