Chicano Batman – Tickets – Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA – December 30th, 2017

Chicano Batman

Casbah presents

Chicano Batman

Hanni El Khatib, Thee Commons

Sat, December 30, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Observatory North Park

San Diego, CA

$30

This event is all ages

Chicano Batman
Chicano Batman
Chicano Batman, a quartet from Los Angeles, embrace a kind of cultural ricochet effect, playing fuzzed-out soul with pan-Latin grooves and rhythms that reflect and demonstrate their Mexican, Central and South American heritage, but with musical roots pointing back to Curtis Mayfield and James Brown. If the music of the African diaspora boomerangs all over the world— picking up bits of regional flavor wherever locals develop a taste for jazz, blues, gospel, reggae and other styles—then certainly, Chicano Batman’s sound is steeped in Tropicália from Brazil, Peruvian psych-rock and Mexican garage jams, as well as American soul. The styles all reflect off each other in one way or another. The band makes excellent use of wah-wahs, overdriven organ and generally retro effects, playing dance-friendly music that is still totally 21st-century American.” – John Adamian, Relix Magazine
Hanni El Khatib
Hanni El Khatib
Hanni El Khatib’s first idea for his Savage Times project was to do something he’d never done before. Instead, he ended up doing … well, everything he’d never done before. He’d be playing new instruments, writing in unfamiliar new ways, opening himself up to an unrelenting stream of ideas and dedicating himself totally to pure musical instinct—and then releasing songs instantly to the public, without waiting to tour or assemble an album or anything. At the end of 2015, he’d walked into the studio with his guitar and a few lines of lyrics, hoping to sketch out a track or two just to stay busy, but that very first day he walked out with two finished songs and the inspiration to create something raw in real time, recording and releasing songs (and even videos!) direct to the public as soon as tape stopped rolling: “Everything was really as I did it,” he says. “It was meant to be an experiment in how I could write and record and release something as quickly as possible. I didn’t wanna make an album—I wanted to put songs out every week. It’s personal for me.”

Hanni El Khatib started Savage Times last December, after the Bataclan attacks forced the cancellation of a planned Paris performance. With unexpected time on his hands—and unexpected ideas on his mind—he’d scheduled open-ended studio time at Crystal Antlers frontman-turned-producer Jonny Bell’s Jazzcats studio. Each day, he’d take the hour-long drive through L.A.’s industrial corridor to Long Beach, sketching out riffs and lyrics as he drove. (The Suicide-meets-Italo-disco burner “Born Brown” came suddenly while in traffic, and he started screaming the words as loud as he could so his voice would be the perfect amount of wrecked.)

If he felt like making an solo electric guitar song, he’d do it—like the one-take from-the-heart “Miracle.” If he wanted to compose on piano for the first time ever, he would, and that’s how he ended up with the shimmering soul-searching “Gun Clap Hero.” And if he wanted to resurrect old-school studio pro techniques like charting music for a string section or hiring a trio of singers for backup vocals, he’d do that, too. For seven months and fifty songs, he’d work with Bell to capture, strengthen and grow that morning’s burst of inspiration, celebrating at Long Beach’s oldest bar—or with the studio’s resident cats and chicken—once the fifteen-hour work day was done. For a grand finale, he wrote and cut the scorching “Mondo and His Make-Up,” a nod to the supercharged guitar-garage he made his name on, and after some precise editing, the Savage Times experiment was done.

And the result? 21 best-of-the-sessions songs, destined for vinyl release as a 10” box set, as well as the kind of creative revelations that only happen when you quit looking around and start looking ahead. Originally, he’d hoped to explode the lingering idea that he was simply a blues-rock guitar player, left over from his first single and his work with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach: that’s why Savage Times touches everything from garage rock to punk to disco, hip-hop and even some unexpected solo-guitar self-portraiture. But on the way, he also exploded his own idea of what he could do—even maybe who he was, or would be. Savage Times was an experiment, but an experience, too.

“I realized that if I want, I can play everything,” he says. “Or if I don’t wanna play guitar or make a straight-forward rock song, I don’t have to, and it’ll still sound like me. It opened my eyes to how I can sound like myself over whatever backdrop I want. That’s not important. What’s holding it together is my point of view as a musician. What surprised me is how self-sufficient I can be. You realize you don’t need all the things people tell you that you need to make great records. You need good gear and good people—that’s it! And you don’t need much more.”
Thee Commons
Thee Commons
Since banding together in 2012, psychedelic cumbia-punk trio Thee Commons have made waves in and around their hometown of East LA. Featuring los hermanos Pacheco and one of several lively session bassists, these romp ‘n’ rollers have managed not only to marry two unlikely genres -- world’s apart -- in perfect pastiche harmony but have also compiled a prolific catalogue of music to which they toured through the United States in an extensive 32 days, 35 shows tour in the Summer of 2016. Named #15 on LA Weekly’s “LA’s 20 Best Live Shows of 2016” outranking the likes of ELO, Bruce Springsteen and The Who, Thee Commons have created a buzz with their vivacious performances. Chris Ziegler founder of LA Record wrote about Thee Commons, “Live, they’re fearless, confident and ready to go off-script at a moment’s inspiration. It’s wild stuff, just as it absolutely should be.” To which Chris Kissel of LA Weekly further comments, “If Thee Commons aren’t the best live band in Los Angeles, they’re damn near the top.”

Altogether, Thee Commons have played well over a hundred shows, gaining in the process hundreds more in fans -- those eager for something new to call their own. They have performed at several of Southern California’s prestigious venues and festivals, including Echo Park Rising, Desert Daze, Viva Pomona, The Echoplex of Echo Park, The Regent Theatre of Downtown Los Angeles, the Glasshouse of Pomona, the Roxy of West Hollywood and the Observatory of Santa Ana; have been hosted for a residency by pocho wine bar Eastside Luv of Boyle Heights -- which consisted of a weekly burlesque-dancer-entangled-affair dubbed the “Cumbia Psicodelica Cabaret”; and have opened up for such acts as Chicano Batman, Bomba Estereo, Thee Midniters and even unofficially -- by way of an impromptu guerilla-style street show -- for The Pixies.

Discographically, Thee Commons’ “DIT” (do it together) hard work ethic has yielded them a debut 7inch vinyl EP paradoxically titled Sunburn at Midnight -- self-released spring 2013 -- and a fragmented compilation entitled Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors, which is to say an 8-volume limited edition EP series, the volumes of which they released successively throughout 2014. As of 2015, however, Rock is Dead is available, as a full-feature 20-song CD, and as a specialty, limited edition cassette and 10-inch -- 10-song -- vinyl originally co-released by the independent O.C. label Burger Records. 2016 brought about their sophomore album “Loteria Tribal” co-released with Burger Records on CD, Cassette and limited edition Flexi Vinyl. The same year also brought about two new 7-inch vinyl’s that include their refreshing cover of Los Saico’s “Demolicion,” on Denver, Colorado’s Heavy Dose Records, and a single of “La Fiesta” an obscure swinging Mexican cover b/w a grungy cover of Selena’s “La Carcancha” on Steady Beat Records out of San Pedro, CA..

Looking forward, 2017 Thee Commons plan to release the ambitious 18 song junior follow up album “Paleta Sonora” out later this year. Teamed up with Cosmica Artists Management group and Monterey Int. Booking Agency, the future looks auspicious for these young and determined “chunsters” who doggedly strive to perfect their hypnotic yet invigorating act -- which includes an intertextual take on Nirvana's “Love Buzz” and a punk cover of Selena’s “Baila Esta Cumbia”-- and disseminate the perfect pastiche that is psychedelic cumbia punk.
Venue Information:
Observatory North Park
2981 University Ave
San Diego, CA, 92104
http://observatorynp.com/