Find out why L.A.'s soul-psychedelic quartet is more than just a Latino band
By Dita Quinones ••
Take one listen to "Cycles of Existential Rhyme," and you’ll be wooed by the poetic vocals of Chicano Batman’s frontman Bardo Martinez. The Los Angeles quartet’s lush, soulful ‘70s sound feels like a drive along Pacific Coast Highway on a warm, sunny day with someone you love.
Chicano Batman has been gaining momentum, having been tapped as Jack White’s opening act on his last national tour, and will make a stop in San Diego to headline at the Museum of Contemporary Art for their Thursday Night Thing show on July 16.
The self-described "champion for the underdog" musicians recently told Billboard what it’s like to keep the crossover and being more than just a Latino band.
"We're opening up for Jack White and we're a bunch of Latinos," said Martinez. "Just to give you an example of the racial dynamics that exist, on our Twitter feed this guy was like, 'My dad says, 'Why is a Hispanic band opening up for Jack White?'' And he responded, 'Dad you didn't see the band. They were awesome.'"
Chicano Batman are students of music and life -- for that reason they show no signs of pretentiousness or rehearsed theatrics. In the same way a mariachi dons a charro suit, Chicano Batman are suited in retro, ruffled tuxedo shirts and pants during their performance -- paying homage to the uniform style worn by ‘70s soul groups.
Last year, they released "Cycles of Existential Rhyme" on their own El Relleno Records and NPR Music’s Alt Latino included the sophomore full-length in their "Best of 2014" list; they've also been busy winning coveted praise from the New York Times, Paste, Nylon, Rolling Stone and the LA Times.
Chicano Batman performs July 16 at Museum of Contemporary Art’s Thursday Night Thing. For ticket info go here. “Like” Chicano Batman on Facebook here.
Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.