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Chicano Batman charms with suave tunes at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

Chicano Batman | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Chicano Batman recently packed their eclectic ensemble into NPR’s office for a Tiny Desk concert full of suave, smooth and spirited grooves. As per usual of the Californian four-piece, the dapper band was dressed to the nines as they performed three songs, including “Freedom Is Free,” “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm,)” and “Jealousy.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Stargazer Lily at The Grape Room, Chicano Batman at The Foundry

Stargazer Lily | photo via Facebook

Well well well, this is a nice surprise. Since this weekend is Scooter Best’s seven-year anniversary owning and operating The Grape Room in Manayunk, he’s getting the band back together. Stargazer Lily was a super fun force on the Philly music scene in the early aughties, and were regular players at the Grape’s previous incarnation as Grape Street Pub. The band is led by dual songwriters Susan Rosetti and Stephan Hayes, who mutually reinforced one another in harmonies and words (“remember last week when we had that conversation about how we both thought that we were brilliant”). They bridged the worlds of folk, pop and alternative rock with Jim Miades on bass and Best on the drums; think Velocity Girl, Indigo Girls and The Sundays. In short, the show tonight will be a trip down memory lane, but in the best way. Below, listen to the band’s 2002 album The Lift and The Drag — Hayes’ powerful opening track “Middle America” is as relevant in the Trump era as it was during the Bush era — and get more information on Stargazer Lily’s celebratory reunion gig at The Grape Room here, via FacebookContinue reading →

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Spoon, Amos Lee ft. Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Suffers and Chicano Batman will headline night two of XPoNential Music Festival 2017

spoon
Britt Daniel of Spoon | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.deltufophotography.com/

This just in — Austin indie rock favorites Spoon will light up the BB&T Pavilion stage on night two of this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. Co-headlining alongside Britt Daniel and co. are Amos Lee and Friends, featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band, with The Suffers and Chicano Batman kicking off the show; seated tickets for the concert on July 29th go on sale this Friday, March 10th, at 10 a.m. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Chicano Batman make an encore appearance to begin day three

Chicano Batman | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Chicano Batman | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

After playing a packed show at the BB&T Pavilion last night as part of XPoNential Festival’s day two headliners, Chicano Batman returned to Camden this morning, this time to open day three of the fest with an afternoon performance at the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage in Wiggins Park. The venue faired well, having been submerged the following early evening by surprise flash thunderstorms. With a dry ground and sun shining bright overhead, the band got the crowd ready for the final day of stellar live music. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chicano Batman at Underground Arts, Spaceship Aloha at Johnny Brenda’s, Meyhem at Union Transfer and more

Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist
Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist

Drawing on 60s and early 70s bossa, and samba, cumbia, psychedelia, and soul, Los Angeles four-piece Chicano Batman plays Underground Arts tonight. The retro-leaning Latin rockers released Cycles of Existential Rhyme last year, and will be joined by Las Cafeteras at tonight’s show. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Read The Key’s interview with Chicano Batman here, and listen to “She Lives on My Block” below. Continue reading →

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Interview: L.A.’s Chicano Batman take global approach to Tropicália

Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist
Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist

Designed by Cesar Chavez and his brother Richard in 1962, the logo of the United Farm Workers became a potent symbol for the burgeoning Chicano rights movement, taking the eagle symbol from the Mexican flag and patterning its stairstep wings after an inverted Aztec pyramid. A little less than fifty years later, a singer, guitarist, and organist in East L.A. made a few slight alterations to that logo, bringing it to a sharp point at the bottom and replacing the eagle’s head with a familiar pointy-eared bat’s head, bringing together the un-parallel worlds of the UFW and DC Comics.

The new symbol stands for Chicano Batman, and if the Los Angeles four-piece doesn’t exactly fight for farm workers’ rights or battle criminals by night, their throwback blend of R&B, Tropicália and psychedelia does provide its own kind of uplift. “The idea of it is that underrepresented people can be superheroes in their own right,” says guitarist Carlos Arevalo. “There’s people out here in L.A. that are working hard every day to provide for their family, and that’s a superhero to us.”

The name of the band, which will perform at Fleisher Art Memorial on Monday, came from another sketch by frontman Bardo Martinez, this one depicting the superhero himself. “Bardo was at a party one day doodling,” recalls Arevalo, “and he drew a Latino Batman character with a little mustache, where the cape and mask was actually a flannel shirt like you would see a cholo in L.A. wear, and he called it Chicano Batman.”

The name initially became a pseudonym for Martinez’s solo work, but he soon gathered bassist Eduardo Arenas and drummer Gabriel Villa to form an actual band, releasing their self-titled debut in 2009. Arevalo joined two years later to fill out the band’s sound and allow Martinez to devote his attention to the organ.

That instrumentation is key to capturing the retro sound that Martinez envisioned for Chicano Batman. The music on the band’s recently-released second full-length album. Cycles of Existential Rhyme, combine the influences of American soul artists like Brenton Wood and the Delfonics with Latin-American soul groups of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, including Los Angeles Negros and Los Pasteles Verdes; and the Tropicália sound of Brazilian artists like Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes.

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Wowzers! Check out the 2017 NON-COMMvention performance lineup

Photo by John Vettese

WXPN’s NON-COMMvention, the station’s annual music-industry centered conference, announced their nightly performance roster for their 17th iteration. Apart from becoming a hub for the industries’ best, the conference always brings some damn good performers. Brace yourselves: This three-day event is jam-packed with performances from The Pixies, Blondie, Real Estate, PWR BTTM, Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Districts, and a whole lot more.

NON-COMM 2017 takes place May 17th through May 19th; check out the full day-by-day lineup below. Tickets to these performances are only open to XPN Members, so head over to the pledge page to become a member and get access to this incredible show — and get acquainted with the artists in the playlist below.

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Foxygen joins the XPoNential Music Festival 2017 lineup

Foxygen | photo via facebook.com/foxygen

I know what you’re thinking: this year’s XPoNential Music Festival could not possibly get any better. What with Wilco, Conor Oberst and Hop Along headlining Friday’s show at BB&T,  Spoon, Amos Lee,Chicano Batman, and more headlining Saturday night, and Drive-By Truckers, Angel Olsen, Strand of Oaks, Joseph and more performing at Wiggins Park, it’s like a beautiful, musical dream come true. And we’re here to notch that that dream up another level by announcing that Foxygen is joining the lineup. Continue reading →

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Stream Spoon’s new Hot Thoughts LP, see them at XPN Fest

spoon
Britt Daniel of Spoon | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.deltufophotography.com/

Saturday night XPoNential Music Festival co-headliners Spoon have released their new record Hot Thoughts and it’s streaming now on Spotify. It’s the Austin outfit’s ninth LP and will set them off on a world tour that stops at BB&T Pavilion on July 29th for the second night of the annual festival.

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