LA’s 70’s influenced psychedelic-soul band Chicano Batman will play their first ever show in Iowa at Daytrotter’s venue in Davenport on Friday June 30th. Chicano Batman recently performed at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, appeared on Conan O’ Brien’s late-night tv show, as well as starred in a Johnnie Walker ad performing and singing “This Land Is Your Land” in both English and Spanish. Daytrotter is excited to host Chicano Batman’s first appearance in Iowa.
Chicano Batman came out of L.A., four young men in vintage formalwear, playing songs that blended Brazilian Tropicalía with early ’70s psychedelic soul and the romantic pop of bands like Los Ángeles Negros. It was an immediately addictive sonic brew, and their reputation grew fast. Since forming in 2008, Chicano Batman have released two full length albums—a self-titled 2009 debut, and 2014’s Cycles Of Existential Rhyme—and two EPs. The band has played Coachella, and toured with Alabama Shakes and Jack White, among others. Now, they’re making their boldest statement yet with Freedom Is Free, their third album and ATO Records debut.
Frontman Bardo Martinez met bassist Eduardo Arenas in 2008, and they quickly found common ground in the work of Caetano Veloso and other Tropicalía performers, as well as the kind of vintage soul and pop heard on “the albums our parents have in their closets.” They recruited drummer Gabriel Villa and made their first album as a trio; guitarist Carlos Arévalo joined the band in 2011 and they released The Joven Navegante EP the following year.
Chicano Batman’s look has done as much to set them apart as their sound or their name. Since the beginning, they’ve performed in matching suits and ruffled shirts; Bardo explains, “We’re making a particular reference that some people understand—Los Ángeles Negros, Los Pasteles Verdes. In the ’70s, it was a big thing where all these cats were playing romantic ballads, but they were funky as hell.”
That sharp funk groove shows up throughout Freedom Is Free, but especially on the title song. Bardo’s uplifting lyrics, delivered in his uniquely dreamy/romantic style, are bolstered by the backing vocals of New York’s all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache.
“It’s a counterpoint to the propaganda catch phrase that was invented by the US government during the first Iraq war, ‘Freedom isn’t free,’” he explains. “It’s a counter-narrative…the song itself relates to the idea that freedom is inherent to every individual on this planet and in the universe. I live in Los Angeles, and people are pretty jaded; everybody’s so caught up in their routine they can’t tap into their own spirits. For me, music is about the spirit.”
Chicano Batman Live at Daytrotter Davenport. Opening up the show will be The Golden Fleece, a psych-rock band from Peoria, IL. Tickets are on sale now online for $12 in advance and $15 (if available) at the doors. When you purchase a ticket in advance, you also receive a free drink at our bar. Doors open at 8pm and music will begin at 9pm. Visit http://www.daytrotter.com/live-shows/ for more info, tickets, and more upcoming shows.
The Daytrotter experience comes to life at our live music venue, located in the heart of Downtown Davenport on 324 Brady St., Davenport, IA 52801! Visit daytrotter.com for music discovery and information on live shows.