Just below the surface of Bakersfield’s fragmented music soundscape, Andrés Aparicio makes his way.
Already a familiar name in the tight-knit underground of downtown’s energetic all-ages scene for more than a decade, he now has his sights on taking his art worldwide.
Not that he hasn’t already started. Logging thousands of views on his YouTube channel from fans awaiting his latest music short, each production is an independently produced gem with an entertainment value that outweighs any possible budget.
Now prepping for his latest U.S. trek, the Bakersfield singer-songwriter has most of the year already planned out without pause.
“I have an upcoming U.S. tour for the month of February with Eidola and Capstan, some California shows in March with Slaves, writing, recording and focusing on my next album, and more touring after that,” Aparicio, 24, said in a recent interview.
My first encounter with Aparicio was during his time as a member of the now-defunct experimental rock outfit Terra Alive. Although I’d missed a number of opportunities to catch the band live, one of the group’s strengths was documenting each creative step. But just like their shows, if you fall out of the loop for even a few weeks, you’ll find yourself playing catch-up, exactly the predicament in which I found myself.
“I was a little kid when I started Terra Alive, and although the music was unique, there was a lot of elements that were immature and undeveloped. I've always loved entertaining my audience with videos, so videos have always been a part of this whole music thing.”
In Terra Alive, Aparicio was a wildly, youthful erratic front man with a unique voice to match, but has since shed most of his skin from that era. Collaborating with longtime friend and producer Allen Casillas, at his Lion’s Den Studios in Montebello on his latest batch of songs, Aparicio works with his own management and booking agent. He also finances his every creative move himself.
“Being confident in one's own abilities and having the mentality that no one can help you more than you can help yourself has been the greatest lesson. The days of waiting for the right label or A&R to hear you are over, and the music industry is there for the taking.”
Unlike the earlier sounds with Terra Alive, Aparicio’s sound today leans more to the pop side of earlier recordings. He still likes his chaos and self-effacing poetry, but writes with a slightly less frenetic rhythmic energy, and elements of funk weaved in.
“I decided it was time to let the past die and rebrand myself and focus my efforts on promoting myself as a solo artist. I would describe my evolution as an artist as learning to sing better, learning to think about what a larger audience would like to hear, and learning to be more organized with all the intricate musical moments I like to sprinkle in my songs.”
For the best introduction to Aparicio and a peek into his current musings, make a point to check out his videos of “Self Aware” and “Bad Boy.”
“I like to spread the word with music videos and touring extensively. Nothing spreads the word better than a one-on-one personal connection with people in their hometown. Music videos can be shared and watched by a group of friends, so I try to make mine as entertaining as possible.”
While there are no immediate plans for a Bakersfield show (we just missed him, again), Aparicio assures fans and curious readers they will get their chance again soon at his favorite pizza joint and show dive. Stay tuned.
“I'll be hitting Jerry's at some point this year. Jerry's is the best!”
Los Angeles Azules
Tickets are currently on sale for a Feb. 10 concert by Mexican cumbia legends Los Angeles Azules at the Fox Theater. The story of this iconic family band of hitmakers dates back to the 1970s, but it was in the decade that followed where the group amassed a collection of radio gems back home and here in the States. Ranging from songs about love to bittersweet and scornful breakups, the group's career simmered steadily on Spanish radio until 2013, when tributes by some of Mexico’s biggest pop and Latin alternative names, including Natalia Lafourcade and Ximena Sarinana, introduced their catalog to a new generation of bilingual fans. Today, the group can be found on the festival circuit playing to all-ages crowds, even scoring top billing at this year’s Coachella music festival, alongside Beyonce, Eminem and The Weeknd. Tickets are $25 to $79.50 (plus service charge) and can be purchased at the Fox Theater box office or ticketfly.com. A rare local concert opportunity not to be missed.
Black Sabbitch, 9 p.m. Friday, Riley’s Tavern, 3401 Chester Ave. $7.
I can count the number of tribute acts I'd pay to see again on one hand, and this mighty SoCal group is one of them. Taking all the premium, dark, hard-rocking hits from illustrious godfathers of heavy metal Black Sabbath, this all-female outfit is no mere cover act. They can play their instruments with the all the gloomy, doomy rage of the real deal. From “Black Sabbath” and “War Pigs,” to “Iron Man” and even “Never Say Die,” their attention to detail is on point. Their show last year at Temblor Brewing was one of the fun highlights of 2017, and I guaranteed this will be too. Also performing are The Aviators and DJ Evil Flynn. For more information, visit blacksabbitch.com. Oh Lord yeah.