Tag Archives: TheCrocodile

We the Music

Every movement has its own distinct sound. Music helps capture the time and people of a movement. It reveals who they are, what they believe in and expresses what’s on their minds.

Folk songs and rock became platforms for anti-war sentiments during the Vietnam war, Hip-Hop and rap were born from the inner cities of New York City highlighting social issues over beats to get down to, punk and grunge were generations of young teens resisting societal norms expressing their fears of a bleak future.


Today we are in the middle of yet another time of great change. A new movement born out of the political and social climate is being created. It is my intent to share and discuss some of the music that is being made and that is helping to define this movement’s sound, the people’s sound.

The first song I want to highlight is the cover of the folk classic “This Land is Your Land”. It’s a simple, timeless tune that grade school kids learn when they talk about inclusiveness. Woody Guthrie wrote the song 77 years ago on February 23rd in 1940 according to this NPR article. It was written in response to “God Bless America” which was a jukebox favorite in the 40s. As a frequent hitchhiker, Guthrie developed a unique view on what was going on in the country and it differed from the America portrayed in “God Bless America” leading him to write the tune.

Countless musicians have covered this alternative national anthem but one of the latest bands to do so I think does one of the best versions. Chicano Batman debuted their cover of “This Land is Your Land” at the end of January for a Johnnie Walker commercial. The Los Angeles band puts a slightly psychedelic/rock spin on the classic tune. It’s got a synthesizer going on giving it an element of funk and with a chorus in the background a hint of soul. If you didn’t know what you were listening to you might have thought it was a new hit on the Alternative charts.


What makes Chicano Batman’s cover especially important is what it represents. A Latino band from East L.A. takes a classic American folk tune and puts their own spin on it. The lyrics are sung in English but they slip into Spanish by the end singing “Esta tierra es para ti y para mi,” the famous line “this land is made for you and me.” It’s as much of a statement of resistance as it is about hope.

When our head of state has declared their intention of creating barriers for people wanting to make a better life for themselves and their families, this song becomes undeniably relevant. The members of Chicano Batman come from both L.A. and countries in Latin America. Without their different backgrounds their sound wouldn’t be the same. When cultures collide it results in better art, new perspectives and new ideas.  

Guthrie wrote “This Land is Your Land” as he witnessed a side of America that was struggling during the Great Depression, that didn’t have the blessing of God on their side. Today, we aren’t going through a Great Depression but we are going through a time of great division. “This Land is Your Land” sung by Chicano Batman reminds us with the words of Guthrie that all people of America that they belong too.

Chicano Batman’s new album Freedom is Free is out March 3rd. They play The Crocodile on Thursday the 23rd, tickets available here.

-Grace Madigan

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Interview with R&B artist Bibi Bourelly

22 year-old artist Bibi Bourelly knows she’s brilliant.

Walking into the green room, she hands us hugs and compliments.

“You smell great!” she tells me, and we gab about clothes shopping as if music wasn’t even on the table. Incredibly stunning with long dark hair and piercing eyes, Bourelly gets right to the thick of who she is.

With two parents both in the music industry, Bourelly is clear that she was called to create.


“I was born into music,” she says seriously. “I’ve been doing this since birth. Music is a language right? I just understood the language since I was exposed to it at a very early age. I heard it before I was born, and by the time I got to the point where I could express myself, it was just a form of communication I naturally picked up since I was surrounded by it since birth.”

Already in the business, Bourelly has already made a claim in the industry, co-writing Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money and Nick Brewer’s “Talk to Me.” Signed with Def Jam Recordings, Bourelly has a studio EP, Free the Real. With tracks like “Ego” and “What If” on her EP, Bourelly has a voice reminiscent of Rihanna, and the passion of Amy Winehouse. Yet the woman knows the pros and cons of working in the music industry.

“I was jaded as a musician for a while, because when you enter the mainstream music world, it’s just very dark,” she says. “Business and music are the complete opposite things. But in order for me to be successful, I have to be in the music business. I fell into this sort of depression for a while because the industry is just a fucked up game of people in the creative world who shouldn’t be in this world, but are here to capitalize on art. But once I hit the road and started to establish myself in my career, I realized I could gain power and change the way certain things worked and create my own environment and hopefully with my success, this environment will grow.”

With a strong vocal range and an R&B soul vibe that hints at pain in her music, Bourelly carries herself with a strength and grace of more than 22 years. But as excited as Bourelly is that her career is taking off, she doesn’t see the claim to fame as anything important.

“I’ve been doing this since the beginning of time, since I was born, before I could talk,” she explains emphatically.  So recognition is cool, but it’s nothing compared to what I do and why I do it. So all the fame doesn’t mean anything to me.”

And you can definitely tell that it’s just the music she cares about when she takes the stage. Closing her eyes and crooning soulfully in the microphone Bourelly’s vocals bring the audience almost to tears. Bourelly knows herself better than most 22 year-olds do. Her pain and relatability behind her song-writing process relates to all of us as she sings unheard tracks like “Sunshine,” that account her depression as a 19 year-old.

We finally ask her who her favorite person is to listen and she answers in an unwavering fashion, bringing a smile to all of the faces in the room.

“Me. When you make music, you’re obviously making what you think music should sound like. What you want to hear. So for me, that’s what my music does.”

Be sure to check out the incredible R&B artist Bibi Bourelly, her tour, and her EP Free the Real, and watch her music change the industry.

Ariana Rivera