La Batalla Pre-Party ft. Dante Elephante

La Batalla Pre-Party ft. Dante Elephante

Veronica Bianqui, The Altons, Lily Waters

Thu · May 3, 2018

8:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Dante Elephante
Dante Elephante
A music writer once criticized Santa Barbara while taking a stab at another band from the city by saying, "since it's near wine country rather than Orange County, it lacks the stifling suburbia that can generate great punk music as a response." Generalization or not, this statement rang true for Ruben Zarate, singer and songwriter of Dante Elephante, spending his formative years surrounded by peers whose tastes didn't deviate much from the local college party bands and Cali-reggae that has long defined the musical landscape of the town. Add to that the fact that Zarate is actually from the far less know neighboring town of Goleta, the proverbial "other side of the tracks" defined by a hazy boarder of diminished opulence. Goleta certainly lacks the affluence referenced in the aforementioned critique, and is best exemplified by the Blue Skies trailer park, who's sign is memorialized on the cover of the Atari's"Blue Skies, Broken Hearts" record."

Goleta is small town through and through. Goleta is the kind of place where in one year of high school Zarate got pulled over 16 times driving his dad's Suburban (no pun intended) home at night after work simply because it had tinted windows and after-market rims. Despite its lack of diversity and cultural stimulation, Zarate managed to avoid complacency and kept from having his musical tastes dictated by the scene around him. Instead, he dove deep into dusty old record collections, discovering and falling in love with the work of classic songwriters like Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, and Alex Chilton, and the post-punk weirdness of Orange Juice, The Pastels, The Pixies.

By the time Zarate established Dante Elephante as a full blown project in 2010 he had already done his time and paid his dues toiling in less than ideal musical projects playing the unfulfilling party music circuit in Isla Vista, home of one of the top party schools in the country. Inspired to play and write music from an early age by his grandmother, a multi-instrumentalist, and his grandfather, a self proclaimed poet, as well as his many musician cousins, Zarate was left feeling unfulfilled. However, a shot-in-the-dark Craigslist post yielded responses from UCSB students Kevin Boutin, Tommy Devoy, and Chris Lopez, all who proved to be unlikely-yet-true musical co-conspirators for Zarate. With the newly formed Dante Elephante, Zarate was finally able to explore his musical interests and shine as a timeless songwriter in the vein of his influences.

In spite of the aforementioned journalist's assessment of the disconnect between Santa Barbara and Orange County, Zarate and company found a home and kinship with the LA based, Orange County transplants runningLolipop Records, and released the surf tinged "German Aquatics" cassette EP with them in 2013. Soon after, they took a new batch of songs into the home studio of producer Jonathan Rado (one half of Foxygen), who stripped away a bit of the surf sound and helped Zarate tap deeper into his longtime influences, a task made fairly easy due to the overlap of many of Rado's own musical heroes. The resulting LP,Anglo-Saxon Summer, is Dante Elephante at it's most fun, most exacting and most sincere — punk at heart, but with a timeless, organic sound, accentuated by Rado's key work. At its heart, as will always be, is Zarate's own songwriting fingerprint. His suburban upbringing has forever wormed it's way into the core of his art, where it serves as the catalyst and context for many of Zarate's themes. His ability to craft an anthem based on the mundane day to day, turning the trivial into the substantial, essentially making a song about nothing (in the Seinfeld-ian sense) puts Zarate's songwriting in the category of some of those other great poets of suburbia, Jonathan Richman, Stephen Malkamus, and Rivers Cuomo; its essence being the trials and tribulations of a small town existence, universal and workaday, yet cinematic and poetic.
Veronica Bianqui
Veronica Bianqui
27 year old Veronica Bianqui was born in Los Angeles and raised during the rise of all things lo-fi and jangly; but for her own work, she prefers to skirt the edges of LA's garage rock revival, rather than jump through the eye of the storm. With her catchy-as-all-hell songwriting, strong melodies, and effortlessly complex song structures, her music is a playful mix of Classic R&B/Soul, pop and garage rock. It's as personal as any female songsmith of the early seventies, but with serious raw 60s power in every note-like like if Carole King opened her mouth, and out came Tina Turner!

That's not to say Bianqui sounds like Tina Turner, or like anybody else, but there's definitely something of the Ikettes review in her stage presence, and her history. Before breaking out with her solo material, Bianqui performed in local horror-garage band Isaac Rother & The Phantoms as well as in Jail Weddings across the U.S. and Europe. While her own career eventually took precedence over both those projects, she still finds time to play with psychedelic stoner rock band the Blank Tapes.

In a few short months, and only one recently released single (on Lolipop Records) under her belt, she has managed to already get a swarm of press, including an LA Weekly Show Pick of the Week, "Ears Wide Open" feature on Buzzbands.LA as well as "Hot New Artist" on Grimy Goods, and airplay on LA's top tastemaker independent station KCRW.

Last year, she put together a hugely successful residency at Hollywood's trendy venue Harvard & Stone, averaging over 200 attendees each Tuesday. She recently opened for Mikal Cronin in Manchester, UK as well as played a string of additional UK dates in November/December. Upon her return to LA, she had the honor of playing The Echo's annual FOMO Fest featuring handpicked, up-and-coming artists to watch.

With a new single due out in the next month, and an EP later this year, it's safe to say, with only limited material online, and the praise she's gotten for her performances, 2016 and beyond is looking up for the young songstress.


"If she isn't already on your radar she should be now." ~Grimy Goods

"The chorus will lodge itself in your brain, and the verses contain some quirky gems that are worth savoring." ~Buzzbands.LA

"Tuesday night's show attested why people are showing up in droves to see the new L.A. indie rock it-girl." ~Janky Smooth

"Cheeky lyrics like "I like it rough, and you like it round" give Bianqui a level-up from girl next door to girl you want to be seen cruising town with." ~Indie Rock Reviews

"Special praise is saved for the production, pitched perfectly between lo-fi garage and glossed-up bubblegum." ~lo-pie

Listed as one of Top 10 acts to see at Echo Park Rising 2015 by Grimy Goods and Indie Rock Reviews
The Altons
The Altons
With roots in different schools of thought, The Altons combine soul and rock with a Latin twist into one sonic sound. Driven by energetic licks and grooves from the rhythm section, they bring the audience up to their feet. Soulful voices from each lead singer as well let lovers come in close for dancing. The experience that is The Altons is not one to be missed!
Lily Waters
Lily Waters
Lily Waters is fronted by singer-songwriter Gabbi Green and lead guitarist Robert Cifuentes, formerly of the adored LA post-punk outfit Corners. Gabbi’s tormented vocals and Robert’s harmonic compositions span a wide range of musical styles and influences including blues (Etta James, Muddy Waters, Amy Winehouse), Rockabilly (Wanda Jackson), Country Pop (Patsy Cline), Jazz (Billie Holiday, Nina Simone), Indie (Cat Power, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Shoegaze (Mazzy Star), and Psych (Jimi Hendrix).

As a result, Lily Water's sound is filled with grit and from the soul. After releasing their self-recorded single “Breath in the Wind” via Soundcloud, Lily Waters has secured supporting positions for the likes of Blac Rabbit, Hockey Dad, and Broncho, and show no sign of stopping in their tracks anytime soon.

They are currently working on their debut full-length album with producer Kyle Mullarky (Allah-Las, The Growlers, Tomorrows Tulips) at Lolipop Records.
Venue Information:
The Hi Hat
5043 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90042