La/La Land: Chicano Batman in a legendary recording studio
A good sign and a good time
(Santa Monica, CA) The Village Studios in Santa Monica is one of the nation’s most legendary venue, so it was with great anticipation that I accepted an invitation to attend a private concert by soon-to-be legendary Chicano Batman in one of its world class recording rooms, produced by KCSN, a small listener-supported station based at California State University at Northridge.
Finding The Village Studios is not easy. The bland, two-story brick buildings with Romanesque columns on a tiny side street offers no hint of the history and technology inside except for a singular bronze door. It was built in 1920 as a Masonic Temple, taken over by Center for Transcendental Meditation for a few years and then converted to a recording studio in the late 60’s. The rest is literally history – a that history lines the walls with gold and platinum records and photographs of superstars who have recorded and still record there. You are likely to run into Lady Gaga, Louie C.K., Elton John, Adam Sandler, Mary J-Blige, Vampire Weekend, Alicia Keyes or John Mayer in the halls. The night I was there for the Chicano Batman showcase, a recording session was going on in one of the other studios but the staff was tight-lipped about who it was.
While hanging out – and wandering around a little and chatting up the studio staff – I recalled that recording studios are no longer struggling. The closure of hundreds of studios across the country in the late 90’s and early 2000’s under pressure from cheap recording software has abated after a massive shakeout. Recording budgets are up as the competition in the music market is making more bands realize that a studio-polished sound is needed for labels and radio airplay. It is a hopeful sign for the music business, I think, that a large studio like Village Studios can afford to give space and time for an event for a little non-profit like KCSN. To be able to see a band of that caliber in one of the most legendary studios in the nation is not only an LA story, but an unforgettable memory. And a great reason to become a subscriber.
Chicano Batman. http://chicanobatman.com/
Village Studios. http://villagestudios.com/