Chicano Batman: Lembrancinha (snippet)
Itotiani (snippet)
From Chicano Batman (Unicornio, 2010)

When Super Sonido’s Joseph Franko sent me this album, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A name like “Chicano Batman” doesn’t really instantly invoke a particular sound – it’s a bit hard to reconcile, say, East L.A./Whittier Blvd. soul with the “Batman” theme – so when I threw it on, I was prepared to expect anything and yet I got was a genuine surprise of the best kind.

Chicano Batman is made up of the Los Angeles’ trio of Bardo Martinez, Eduardo Arenas and Gabriel Villa and they’re clearly conversant with any number of styles – many of which don’t scream “Chicano” in any predictable way. For example, what instantly struck me the first time listening through was the heavy Brazilian influence. As you can hear on “Lembrancinha” (Portuguese for “souvenir”), the whole vibe is very Jorge Ben/Milton Nascimento. “Itotiani” is more enigmatic to me and even more sublime – I love the mix of soulful rhythms with the spacey zaps and those “oooh whee” background vocals. The rest of the album goes in many different directions, including some nice, laid-back cumbias; it’s just a hard LP to pin down to any single sound.

The band is going to be playing this Wednesday at one of my favorite Southland bars – Footsies. Looks like this will be at my man Rani D’s night; L.A. peeps – come through and holler.




  1. Love the music but they could use some marketing help. I had to search like hell to find a find a place to get the album online (strangely, it’s nowhere to be found on their label website). I ended up special ordering it from Amoeba. In any case, I’m seriously feeling this.

  2. Also, Juno has this listed as a 2010 release but Amoeba had it listed on their best world music list for 2009. I’m guessing it was originally self-released and then picked up by Unicornio. O, do you know what’s up with that?

  3. Hello Thomas,
    This is Lengua, 1/2 of Unicornio. As far as availability, it is not officially out yet.
    It will be on May 29th. The guys in the band made CDs on their own back in Dec. and so we agreed to put out the vinyl. Check back on the website really soon for the LP and the digital as well.

  4. Wow. I can’t wait to get my hands on the vinyl. I will spread the word far and wide on this gem, for what it’s worth.

  5. Thanks for the info, Lengua. That all makes perfect sense. Unfortunately for me that means I ordered the CD not realizing the vinyl would be available at the end of the month. Oh well, I’m really looking forward to spending some time with this album.

  6. Thomas,
    you may have ordered a vinyl, if Ameoba said it was then it is. Our distributor, Revolver Records, is sending them to Amoeba, if that isn’t the case then hit us up on the emails on our website and we’ll get one out to you.


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