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Chicano Batman: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

It's very appropriate that Chicano Batman's Tiny Desk Home Concert comes with the band members in four separate boxes.

The group has been an Alt.Latino favorite, almost from the beginning, and I've always enjoyed listening to how creatively they've crafted their musical identity with layers of sound, from vintage organs to the most nuanced of funk grooves. So, watching them in their individual Hollywood-Squares-type boxes is the visual equivalent to how I listen to them.

The songs performed are from their new album, Invisible People which, coincidentally, is a major shift in their group sound. As you hear in songs like "Polymetronomic Harmony," their sound is now much denser, with full-on references to a variety of influences, including the 1973, Herbie Hancock funk-jazz classic Head Hunters, which makes a walk-on appearance in the stack of vinyl just behind guitarist Carlos Arévalo.

Vocalist and keyboardist, Bardo Martinez, bassist, Eduardo Arenas, and drummer, Gabriel Villa all close their eyes during the performances, and you can both see and hear how they mentally inhabit the same musical place that has made them a favorite and clubs and festivals for nearly ten years, now.

Even as they each perform in their home music spaces, they can't avoid bringing it all together to give us a Chicano Batman performance that grooves hard and brings a smile to our faces.


  • "I know It"
  • "Moment of Joy"
  • "Color my life"
  • "Polymetronomic Harmony"

    Bardo Martinez: vocals, guitar, keys; Carlos Arevalo: guitar; Eduardo Arenas: bass, vocals; Gabriel Villa: drums, percussion


    Video By: Jon Lurie; Audio By: Chicano Batman, Jose Cruz, Matt Lynch; Producer: Bob Boilen; Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Video Producer: Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.