Chicano Batman: Pizza Party for Fans & New Single to celebrate their Aug. 28 Homecoming show!

Don’t worry if you missed out–I asked about their new single for you.

Chicano Batman. From right to left: Gabriel Villa, Eduardo Arenas, Carlos Arevalo, and Bardo Martínez.

Chicano Batman. From right to left: Gabriel Villa, Eduardo Arenas, Carlos Arevalo, and Bardo Martínez.

by Amanda Wang

(LOS ANGELES) — It’s August 18th, a bright Tuesday on the Westside. For SoCal band Chicano Batman, the year has had in store for them the spoils of Coachella and opening for Jack White. Next up is a grand homecoming on August 28th as headliners at the El Rey. Though they’ve just wrapped up their tour with Alabama Shakes, Chicano Batman celebrates by throwing a humble kickback with pizza for their loyal Angeleno fans.

Pictured with Jack White.

Pictured with Jack White. Photo: David James Swanson.

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Film of Cambodia’s Lost Golden Age of Rock n Roll Finally Premieres!

Documentary filmmaker John Pirozzi premiered his long-awaited film, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, this past Saturday, January 11, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is an homage to a musical renaissance that was happening in the 60s and 70s — Cambodian musicians were creating a rich, unique sound all their own, blending Western rock and pop with traditional Khmer folk music. Cambodia’s phrenetic capital was an exciting place to be then, with an active music scene the likes of which the West had never heard before and would not ever again, with the tragic intersection in history with the Vietnam War.

After illegal US bombing destabilized the country, the Khmer Rouge quickly overthrew the country and within a span of just a few years, proceeded to exterminate 2 million Cambodians, a third of the population, one of the worst modern genocides. Artists, musicians and intellectuals were systematically selected to be slaughtered first. Miraculously, a few notable musicians survived and 3 decades later, Pirozzi has been able track them down to preserve their memories of the music and culture both before and during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror.

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Seu Jorge at The Fonda Theatre Sat July 13

(UPDATE 7/6/13: The LA show on July 13 has been canceled. I couldn’t find out any more information other than the San Francisco show on July 12 also being canceled. So I guess if you really want to see him, you’ll have to travel to the East Coast where he’ll be playing as part of the Brasil Summerfest in NYC from July 17-24 and a free show in Miami July 27.)
If the Brazilian Nites Summer Series featuring a bevy of great Brazilian artists like Ana Carolina wasn’t already enough to get you excited for the summer, Brazilian international star Seu Jorge will be performing at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, July 13! Tickets for the all ages show are on sale Friday, June 14 at 10am for $35 and $45 on Ticketmaster. Seu Jorge was one of the top draws for me at That 70s Soul on December 16, 2012, and I had to be content with just the 2 songs he played as a special guest: the classic 70s hit Everybody Loves The Sunshine and the iconic Brazilian song Mas Que Nada. I’m definitely not missing a chance to see this legend play a full show!

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Video: Quadron live at Amoeba Records

If you’re one of those like me who couldn’t get a ticket to Quadron‘s sold-out show at Hollywood Forever tonight, don’t despair. I was at Amoeba Records yesterday for their free mini-set where Coco O belted out these 5 songs from their newly released 2nd album Avalanche, including the song Neverland dedicated to Michael Jackson. Enjoy the videos! You can also replay their live in-studio set yesterday at KCRW!

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My Picks for Make Music Pasadena Sat Jun 1

Make Music Pasadena
is on Saturday, June 1, and is a great start to the first month of Summer! What I love about music festivals is also what I hate: too many choices!! Over 150 concerts will be featured there! Add to that conflicting set times and throngs of people to get through and my decision-making falls along 2 groups: great musicians I’ve seen before (and love to support) and new acts to be discovered. You can’t go wrong with any of the great bands playing this Saturday but here are my picks. It’s a free festival but please consider donating $5 to support your local music and festivals like this one! It’s forecast to be 92 in Pasadena, so drink lots of water, don’t forget your sunblock and like the song goes…don’t let the heat get you down!

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New Music Discovery: Dom La Nena. LA Shows June 1-2

(UPDATE: 5/31/13: Just saw my blog featured on Dom La Nena’s Facebook page where she says these shows are her very FIRST shows in the US, so you definitely don’t want to miss them!)
Thanks to KCRW, I just discovered Dom La Nena who was born in Brazil, lives in France and studied cello in Argentina. Her music is as intricate as her upbringing, spanning 3 countries, 3 languages and an early calling to the cello. Born Dominique Pinto in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Allegre, Dom started playing piano around age 5 but very soon fell in love with the cello and wanted to devote her life to it. She moved with her family to Paris, France when she was eight so her father could pursue his doctorate while she continued studying cello. Upon returning to Brazil 5 years later, Dom could not find a cello teacher and started writing letters to acclaimed American cellist Christine Walevska, known as “the goddess of the cello”. With Walevska’s encouragement and her parents’ support, Dom moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina at the age of 13 to study with Walevska until she returned to France at age 18. Her song “No Meu Pais” exquisitely captures her uprooted life without any one place to call home.

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Hola Mexico Film Festival: Film + Food + Music! May 15-22

Last night was the opening night of the 5th Annual Hola Mexico Film Festival and it’s the most ambitious to date! Here are the details from their site:

For the first time, in addition to celebrated and award-winning films, Hola Mexico will include food and music festivals, bringing together some of the best chefs and musical performances from Mexico. Continue Reading →

420 Day Events and Music

April 20 is the unofficial global day of celebration for cannabis aficionados. I don’t use marijuana but I recognize its benefits and I support its legality. If you’re a music fan, you already know it’s an important source of creativity and comfort for so many talented musicians and there is no lack of musical homage to it throughout the years! Here’s a list of some 420 events throughout LA today and some music, from well-known US hits to some songs from around the world. Much of the list is from Latin America, our southern neighbors. I love discovering new music and would love to find more music about marijuana from Africa, Asia and Europe! If you know any, post them in the comments! As marijuana and music are synonymous, it’s also Record Store Day today too! You can find celebrating venues here. Continue Reading →

Hapa Japan Festival April 2-6

Hapa Japan Festival is April 2-6 and explores mixed race and mixed roots Japanese people’s history, identity, and representations through film, music, scholarship, an exhibit, and community activity. Come join them for a concert featuring emerging hapa artists, a comedy night at East West Players, readings by award-winning authors, a historical exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, film screenings of great documentaries, and a 2-day academic conference at USC. Presented by the Hapa Japan Database Project and the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. All events are free and you can register here. Continue Reading →