California Rocker

Award-Winning Online Music Magazine

Chicano Batman Debut New Politically Charged Video Ahead of U.S. Tour


Popular psych-soul band Chicano Batman has released a new video called Freedom Is Free based on the title track of its latest album. It’s a serious subject handled in a matter-of-fact way but packs a punch.

Freedom Is Free via ATO Records earlier this year. The album speaks volumes during the political climate of this time.

Chicano Batman is comprised of Bardo Martinez on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Eduardo Arenas on bass, guitar, vocals, Gabriel Villa on drums and vocals and Carlos Arévalo on guitar. The dapper, tuxedo-sporting guys have an immense following, particularly in Southern California.

Check out Freedom Is Free here:



“Freedom is a word that describes one of our best states of being,” says the band. “It’s a birthright, subject only to the infinite flow of the elements. When we fight abusive governing bodies or oppressive forces that try to control our freedom, we are actually fighting them to accept something which is universal in nature.”


Chicano Batman Donna Balancia

Chicano Batman makes a statement with their latest video. The band performed at FYF this year – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Freedom Is Free video was filmed by Latin Grammy-winning director Carl Zitelmann.

“Oppressors usually design situations so people succumb to racism, hate, resentment, etc, in order to benefit their agendas,” Zitelmann said. “The purpose of showing the band both peacefully and defiantly in a circumstance as extreme as being tortured by drowning was exactly that: you can take away the air from me, but you can’t change me.”

Chicano Batman starts a fall tour this week with three SOLD OUT nights at The Fonda in LA. Khruangbin and The Shacks join for most of the dates, which can be found here. For more info go to the Chicano Batman website.

Chicano Batman Tour Dates

Sep 21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre **SOLD OUT**

Sep 22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre **SOLD OUT**

Sep 23 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre **SOLD OUT**

Sep 29 — Milwaukee, WI — Turner Hall Ballroom #

Sep 30 — Chicago, IL — Thalia Hall #

Oct 01 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club #

Oct 03 – Columbus, OH – The A&R Music Bar #

Oct 04 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club #

Oct 05 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza #

Oct 06 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw #

Oct 07 – Boston, MA – Paradise #

Oct 08 — Philadelphia, PA — Theater of the Living Arts #

Oct 20 – Black Mountain, NC – Leaf Festival #

Oct 21 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre #

Oct 22 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West #

Oct 24 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger #

Oct 25 – Dallas, TX – Grenada Theater #

Oct 27-Oct 29 – New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

Oct 28 – Austin, TX – Emo’s #

Oct 29 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live #

Oct 31 – Albuquerque, NM – El Rey Theatre #

Nov 01 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre #

Nov 02 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge #

Nov 03 – Las Vegas, NV – Fremont Country Club #

Nov 04 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren #

Nov 10 — Oakland, CA — Fox Theater #

Nov 11 — Long Beach, CA — Queen Mary Events Park #

Nov 12 – Reno, NV – Whitney Peak Hotel #

Nov 14 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theatre #

Nov 15 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s #

Nov 16 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theatre @ HSU #

Nov 17 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom #

Nov 18 — Seattle, WA — The Showbox #

# w/ Khruangbin & The Shacks

Ty Segall, Iggy Pop and Chicano Batman Shine at Uneven FYF Fest; Nine Inch Nails Closes with ‘Hurt’

Fest May Return to Historic Park in 2018


Performances by Ty Segall, Chicano Batman, and Iggy Pop highlighted an otherwise uneven FYF Fest last weekend at Exposition Park.

Rumor has it that the event — which attendees say suffered logistical challenges —  could be moving back to Historic Park in Chinatown next year.

Chicano Batman frontman Bardo Martinez dances at FYF – Photo by Donna Balancia

Parking snafus and entrance issues occurred Friday night and delays at ticket pickup were out of the ordinary.  But the diverse if not unusual lineup mix of Frank Ocean, Bjork, Solange, Missy Elliott, Run The Jewels and Nine Inch Nails were enough to please any eclectic taste and were worth the logistical challenges some encountered.

Iggy Pop leaps during performance Sunday in Exposition Park - Photo by Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop leaps during performance Sunday in Exposition Park – Photo by Donna Balancia

It was the acts on the Lawn Stage on Sunday that stole the show. Iggy Pop, Ty Segall, Cherry Glazerr, Chicano Batman and Run The Jewels ran away with the prize before thousands of enthusiastic moshers.

Cherry Glazerr

Cherry Glazerr’s upbeat and charming performance is always a hit with locals in Los Angeles.  The band has a style that is unique, a combination of punk and new-alternative and the musicianship is vintage.

Cherry Glazerr - Photo Donna Balancia

Cherry Glazerr – Photo by Donna Balancia

Ty Segall

The remarkably talented Ty Segall is a regular at the July festival and as usual he gave his all, wasting no time and kicking off his set with “Play Your Guitar” and treating the crowd to his abstract and wild style. The moshers and crowd surfers warmed up with him and put on the full press with Iggy.

Video courtesy of Prestoff2000

Iggy Pop Whips a Frenzy

One thing about the King of Punk, there is experience, longevity and a surprising dose of humility as his set came at sunset on the Lawn Stage. #IggyPop has come off a wildly successful run touring with Josh Homme for Post Pop Depression.

Iggy’s Career

He opened by running on stage and drawing in the crowd with “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” a song that has endured throughout a 50-year career.  Iggy’s work may have been misunderstood in the day, but one trademark about a good song – it endures the test of time.

Iggy Pop – Photo by Donna Balancia

Search and Destroy

Iggy’s music may not have been understood when he was in his teens and 20s mainly because there was no frame of reference to anything like it.  Now today with YouTube, he has achieved worldwide acclaim and praise from big bands who draw on him as their inspiration.

Iggy Pop shows ’em how it’s done – Photo by Donna Balancia

Inspiring Iggy

And inspire he did as he sang an impassioned hour-long set, sweating, spitting, falling down on stage, whipping the floor, throwing the mic stand, putting the microphone in his pants,  and, well … just being Iggy.  The crowd of surfers and moshers left their black and blue marks on many in the aftermath of Iggy’s tight music, which ranged from Stooges songs to the David Bowie-produced selections off The Idiot.

Iggy in the prime of his career – Photo by Donna Balancia

Chicano Batman

Chicano Batman, the local LA band with crossover appeal, really played their hearts out to their thousands of adoring fans. With Bardo and the crew, it’s always a classy affair that draws an enormous crowd. The band has grown so popular they’ve been running meet-and-greet events after their performances.

Video courtesy of Alex Pena

Chicano Batman shows love to the audience – Photo by Donna Balancia

Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels brought the fans and didn’t disappoint. Their infamous music and stage presence is well earned and they build new followers by the dozens.

Check out Run The Jewels video courtesy of EdNLA:

Mainstream Performers

Not to be overlooked are the performances that earned mainstream media attention.

When you have a famous sister and you ate seeking your own path, what better way to be noticed than to do a local festival. Often. Solange is no stranger to the annual July festival.

“Her performance is great and I love her songs,” said Elvia Martinez of Silverlake. “She is different than Beyonce.”

Check out Solange video, courtesy of Prestoff2000

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott brought her girl power crew of supporters and fans, she’s a survivor.

Video courtesy of EdNLA:


As far as productions go, #FlyingLotus #Bjork and Nine Inch Nails took the honors from fest goers for most amazing and mind-blowing experiences:

Flying Lotus

Video courtesy Joan Jetsetter, Bruno Pritchard (warning: pulsating light)



Bjork never disappoints and this time around, the Icelandic talent outdid herself complete with full orchestra.   Video courtesy of Prestoff2000


Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails, while giving a taste of new songs, did not finish with the now infamous David Bowie song “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” but performed it in the middle of a great mix of old and new tunes. The #NIN version of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” by Bowie was hardly upbeat as the song comes from Black Star, the album Bowie created while dying.

It was worth the three year wait to see Trent Reznor show his stuff as the frontman of a band that has always been known for dynamic performances and intriguing musical dynamic.


Ending Fest on a Downer

#NiN actually wrapped up the night with “Hurt,” the ultimate downer tune covered by Johnny Cash. That was the encore.

(If you really want bizarre Check out the perverted Kermit The Frog version of “Hurt” on YouTube.

In any event, the last note of the festival was fitting for an event that has enjoyed many years of attendance, with a local LA flavor that may or may not be a taste for the masses.



%d bloggers like this: