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Snapshots: Chicano Batman w/ Lido Pimienta @ 9:30 Club — 5/8/24

At 9:30 Club recently, Chicano Batman showcased their latest album, Notebook Fantasy, in a highly anticipated return to DC.

Steve Satzberg was there to photograph the show.

This article is adapted from a press release.

The latest album from SoCal institution Chicano Batman, Notebook Fantasy is a body of work that sheds all inhibitions and fully reveals the sublime expanse of the Los Angeles-bred band’s musical imagination.

In the making of their fifth full-length, vocalist/lyricist Bardo, guitarist Carlos Arévalo, and bassist Eduardo Arenas doubled down on their hyper-creative tendencies, discovering new dimensions of their prismatic musicality while infusing their lyrics with a soulful yet unflinching honesty.

Notebook Fantasy taps into the unbridled creativity Chicano Batman previously brought to their 2009 self-titled debut, 2014’s Cycles Of Existential Rhyme, and 2017’s Freedom Is Free, and 2020’s Invisible People. However, the project, produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Erykah Badu) and partly recorded at the historic Sunset Sound, veers away from the subtler sensibilities of their previous works and embraces a much bolder sonic approach — a move that involved executing their vision with a newly heightened mastery of their musicianship.

With its dizzying constellation of song forms and sounds — including arena-ready anthems, symphonic love songs, psychedelic space odysseys, and freewheeling hybrids of cumbia and funk — Notebook Fantasy endlessly channels moments of lightning-in-a-bottle inspiration into songs that push into fantastically strange terrain yet remain rooted in raw emotion.

At 9:30 Club on May 8, Chicano Batman weaved eight songs from Notebook Fantasy into the set, performing “Era Primavera” near the end of the show.

Watch the official music video for “Era Primavera” by Chicano Batman on YouTube:

The album is the latest triumph in an extraordinary career that began with taking the stage at local dive bars, growing their powerful live performances by touring with artists like Alabama Shakes, Portugal The Man, and Jack White, playing Coachella numerous times, and most recently earning a headlining spot at L.A.’s iconic Forum in summer 2024. The result is Chicano Batman’s most truly collaborative work to date — one that wholly reflects all the joy, pain, and much-needed catharsis that fueled all aspects of its creation.

Colombian-Canadian musician Lido Pimienta opened the show at 9:30 Club on May 8. Pimienta reached tremendous new heights with her 2020 release of Miss Colombia (ANTI-), which was praised widely by the NY Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NPR, and far beyond. The album earned Pimienta her first GRAMMY nomination as well as her first Latin GRAMMY nomination. She also performed at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony. Pimienta’s debut album La Papessa won Canada’s prestigious Polaris Prize. A composer, electrifying live performer, prolific visual artist, and collaborator with the likes of Bomba Estereo and Ricky Reed, Pimienta’s singular vision is boundless.

Watch the official music video for “Eso Que Tu Haces” by Lido Pimienta on YouTube:

Here are some photos of Lido Pimienta performing at the 9:30 Club in DC on May 8, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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Here are some photos of Chicano Batman performing at the 9:30 Club in DC on May 8, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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