Singer-songwriter Andres Aparicio returns with another bag of tricks and treats for his new album, “Once Upon a Time in Bakersfield,” dropping on Halloween.

Online anticipation has been high following the release of the album’s first single, “High School,” and its music video in September.

Currently prepping for another lengthy tour following today's headlining show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, Aparicio and his crew will pack up for 24 promotional stops through the South up through the Eastern Seaboard and back to California.

“Hands down, touring is the most important thing when it comes to growing your fan base. I love doing it and the results and growth is always very evident after a good ol' monthlong tour around the country,” said Aparicio. “Major cities in Texas, Florida, Philadelphia, NYC, Detroit and Chicago are always really good nights for me.”

Aparicio went for another bold look for his latest album cover, trading in his superhero tights seen on “Heroes, Villains, and All That Jazz” for a vintage barbershop quartet outfit complete with straw hat. 

My initial take on the bright-red cover art was that Aparicio might be paying deep homage to the Buck Owens and Buddy Alan Owens 1972 album “Too Old to Cut the Mustard?” but I was wrong. In fact, after jumping the gun on a couple of things, including the title, which also had nothing to do with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Aparicio laughed (thankfully) to expand on the artwork’s inspiration, which, as expected, was much cooler.

“I wanted to wear an interesting outfit on my album cover to continue the theatrical element I have going on. I had recently watched 'The Music Man' and thought to myself, ‘I kinda wanna start dressing like these guys.’ I stumbled on the jacket in a thrift store and decided to run with the outfit. The title is more of a theatrical reference. There's a play called 'Once Upon a Mattress' and a movie 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico.' It's just a classical cheeky title that I wanted to borrow for the album.”

Opening with the acoustic and melodic “Coldhives and Screwdrivers,” the album heads into the second track, “Maybe,” featuring a Latin piano intro that melds into rock-infused pop without abandoning its Latin flavors — something Aparicio had touched on with his previous album showing range in his mix.

“I had a lot more fun experimenting. Latin music has always been something I wanted to incorporate more, and this year I really took the time to study it.”

While Aparicio’s eclectic and, at times, youthful erratic style has also become a signature stamp of much of his work, signs of maturity shine on the symphonic ballad “Child’s Garden of Verses,” showing Aparicio at his best dropping everything from the Bakersfield Symphony to Jerry’s Pizza and tattoos into the song’s lyrics.

“I really didn't know what I was gonna call the album when it was done but when I listened to all of them front to back I was like, ‘I talk about Bakersfield a lot in these songs.’ I think the vibe I had on my last album was more of an internal dialogue about my behavior and my hopes and dreams, and my mindset with this album was more just storytelling and reflecting on certain emotions that I am missing all tied to stories that took place in Bakersfield.”

While there’s no immediate plans for a hometown show on this leg of the tour (his last local show was at Temblor Brewing in March), Aparicio says he plans to book Bakersfield just after the new year.

“Once Upon a Time in Bakersfield” by Andrés will be at all music streaming outlets Apple Music, Bandcamp and more. Physical CDs can be purchased at shows and at his official website,


Tired of the same goofball novelty tracks every year? Try adding some of these into your official Allhallows Eve mix to get you started.

“Every Dream Home a Heartache,” Roxy Music: David Fincher revived this 1973 underground hit to open season two of Netflix’s “Mindhunter.” The song is the eerie soundtrack to a fragment of the BTK serial killer origin story that meanders through the first two seasons of the ’80s-themed crime drama. 

“Bloodletting,” Concrete Blonde: The title track from the band’s 1990 release sets the tone for an entire album that’s a little bit classic rock and whole lot of goth. Take this album to a cemetery, drape some Spanish moss and get ready to commune with the spirits.

“Season of the Witch,” Lana Del Rey: This updated cover of the 1966 Donovan classic is a dreamy homage to the original. Written as a warning to his fellow bohemians about dark forces flocking to their peaceful counterculture, the song carries a fresh message for 2019 with Del Rey’s vintage vocal and aesthetic stylings.

“Street Justice,” Death Valley Girls: Courtesy of one of L.A.’s best live bands to help you break free of the daily stresses of life before you go off the deep end and do something you might (or might not) regret on Halloween. The creepy and cool accompanying music video was also filmed inside a haunted attraction.

“Bury a Friend,” Billie Eilish: Eilish’s pop rock may have landed her at the top of the charts with her hit “Bad Guy,” dethroning Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the No. 1 spot at the top of Billboard charts, but the slower, much creepier “Bury a Friend” is perfect for Halloween.

“Monster,” Kanye West, featuring Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver: While West may be the marquee name, the standout voices on this frightening pre-“Jesus is King” track are a young and aggressive Minaj (who had yet to release her debut) and Justin Vernon of the quiet and contemplative folk indie group Bon Iver. This is the third single from Kanye West’s 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”  

“Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” The Killers: The first track off their 2004 debut album “Hot Fuss,” the song is about the death of a girl and the boy who stands accused. It’s also the first song in The Killers’ “murder trilogy” followed by “Midnight Show” and “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf” about the same victim.

Contributing columnist Matt Munoz brings you the latest news on Bakersfield’s music scene every other Thursday.

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