Henry D'Arthenay is psyched for this Sunday's Dodger game, and not just because it's only the second of his life. As he tells us over Skype from his home in Caracas, Venezuela, his band La Vida Boheme will also perform at Dodger Stadium for the Viva Los Dodgers event before the game.
La Vida Boheme, featuring vocalist-guitarist D'Arthenay, drummer Sebastián Ayala, bassist Rafael Pérez Medina and guitarist Daniel De Sousa is a Venezuelan disco-punk outfit that has been garnering critical praise since the 2011 stateside release of their debut album, Nuestra. The work is a 12-track collection of rock influenced by The Clash, LCD Soundsystem, Mano Negra and The Rapture, and is distributed in the U.S. by Nacional Records.
The album earned the quartet two Latin Grammy nominations last year as well as a Grammy nomination this past February for Best New Latin Artist. The group were also branded as iTunes "Latino Breakthrough Artist of the Year" and were featured in NPR's Top 50 Albums of the Year.
La Vida Boheme's return to L.A. also includes a performance at Exchange LA during Artwalk today, as part of a special event sponsored by Zippo. The band was commissioned to design their own lighters to give away at the concert.
"It's pretty weird for us to be participating in this whole lighter thing," D'Arthenay admits. "It's a very cool opportunity because I think it's very rock 'n' roll ... in the sense of the whole rock 'n' roll tradition. It's Eddie Cochran, it's wild kids of different races going crazy, it's Jerry Lee Lewis going crazy on the piano."
Sunday's Dodger game against the Chicago White Sox is special to the band for another reason. They'll have a chance to see fellow countrymen Gustavo Molina, Gregory Infante and Eduardo Escobar of the Chicago White Sox and Ronald Belisario of the Dodgers play in a major league game. Plus, the game comes just two weeks after another Venezuelan, Johan Santana, made history when he pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the New York Mets franchise.
"The fact that a Venezuelan guy gets the first [no-hitter] for the Mets -- I think that's a very important fact," says D'Arthenay, adding that his father raised him on Venezuelan baseball. "Any Mets fan from now on will have a different face when he meets a Venezuelan guy, and those are the kinds of things that make social relationships easier."
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La Vida Boheme play at Exchange LA at 8 p.m. today (free with RSVP at email@example.com) and Viva Los Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on 6/17 (free with game ticket).
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