Woman in calavera face paint during Día de los Muertos | Photo from "Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead" ABs10

Chicano Batman: Not Another Band from East L.A.

Chicano Batman is the sound of local Latino music in the 21st century. In 1993, when Los Lobos released the now classic "Just Another Band from East L.A.," the band was paying homage to -- and locating themselves within -- the legacy of Chicano and Mexican music coming from "East Los" going all the way back to icons like Lalo Guerro and legions of other more anonymous working musicians. Twenty years, later East L.A. is still an important hub of Chicano/Latino culture in Los Angeles but the cultural map of music making has also significantly shifted. Suburban sprawl, real estate prices and the changing nature of the Latino community have all contributed to a re-mapping of Latino L.A. Today, that map would have to include the San Fernando Valley, east through the San Gabriel Valley to the Inland Empire, the south harbor communities west through South L.A. and spilling over into North Orange County. Add to this the growing diversity of the Latino community as Central Americans, new generations of Mexicans and other Latin Americans have immigrated to the greater Los Angeles area. Plus, identity politics are also in flux as national identities meet ethnic constructs such as Chicanismo and Latinidad.

Chicano Batman -- comprised of Bardo Martínez (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Eduardo Arenas (bass), Gabriel Villa (percussion) and Carlos Arévalo (guitar), exemplifies this new geographic and cultural reality. Only one member, Eduardo Arenas, grew up in East L.A. The band, the brain child of lead singer Bardo Martínez began to form at a fundraiser for KPFK's Soul Rebel Radio where he met Arenas and bonded with him over a similar interest in the music of Caetano Veloso and the tropicalia movement. Drummer Gabriel Villa who emigrated from Colombia to the U.S. at the age of eighteen met Bardo at a show for cumbia group Very Be Careful. Guitarist Carlos Arévalo met Martínez through mutual friends in local music scenes and eventually joined the band in 2010.They were brought together by music not geography. 

The band simultaneously exists in the local and transnational spaces of Latino music, a sonic space of past, present and future Latina/o sounds reaching for something new. The band is in tune to local eastside musical histories dominated by Chicano bands but also in tune with Latin American and South American sounds that echo the band mates' diverse interests and personal histories. Bardo is half Columbian, half Mexican, Eduardo is Mexican-American, Gabriel is Columbian and Carlos is of Salvadoran and Mexican descent. More importantly, the band claims, is their shared musical eclecticism that is heard in the bands mix of funk, R&B, Latin soul, bossa nova, psychedelia and pop.

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Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic

"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s. Through the writings of Edith Heath, the founder and designer of Heath Ceramics and voiced by renowned chef Nancy Silverton, this episode explores the groundbreaking work of a woman who created a classic of American design.

  • 2019-10-13T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-16T20:00:00-07:00
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Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions with renditions enacted in communities all around the world.

  • 2019-10-17T06:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-20T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-23T20:00:00-07:00
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How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

  • 2019-10-24T06:00:00-07:00
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Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

  • 2019-10-31T06:00:00-07:00
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Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.

  • 2019-11-07T05:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-10T09:00:00-08:00
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