Band Spotlight: Los Dharma Bums

July 1, 2014

Los Dharma BumsSoutheast LA's very own Los Dharma Bums are July's Band Spotlight for good reason. If you have a taste for eclectic eccentricity, then this group of dudes comes highly recommended. The bums were formed in 2007 by Mike and Joe Dharma as a two piece (Joe on vox and guitar and mike on drums) just for funsies to play in bars and get free drinks.

The pair quickly realized the response was much more than what was expected and began looking for a bassist. Gabriel and Bryan would join the fold later after running into Mike at the In-n-Out Burger in Downey. Having known the Maldonado brothers (as well as Bryan Ponce) from the Bell High wrestling team, Mike invited them to come jam out at Joe's pad, the house that would become a commune of sorts, doubling as both headquarters and a practice space that they all would spend most of their time a lot of time to just hangout playing video games. Ponce Later took a stab at recording the band on a digital 8 track machine and though the recording proved unsuccessful, he would go on the join them on guitar as their fifth member toward the end of the summer of 2008 having learned the songs all by ear while giving recording a shot.

Mike went on hiatus in October of 2010 prompting a series of drummers beginning with Jesse, then Chris and finally Carlos (the youngest of the Bums) on skins. Mike would return as hype man in 2012 causing ruckus and talking shit on the microphone between songs and inciting dancing and other movement in the crowd.

       Video of The Dharma Bums - Bruce Wayne

Truly a spectacle to behold. In a world of copy cats, Los Dharma Bums stick out like a sore thumb and give hope for anyone worried over the state of independent music. The Bums take different musical cultures and genres and blend everything seamlessly creating a timeless sound, both classic and fresh, familiar and new. Live sets are navigated flawlessly at times starting with anything from a blues classic, 'Goin' up the Country', moving on to Ska tunes like 'Pour Out A Little Liquor', then an Indie song like 'the Telephone Song' and before you know it, you're in a full out Cumbia jam sesh, dancing your butt off next to Mike switching from tambourine over to guiro (percussion).

The band shares enthusiasm and love for vintage and current video games as you may be able to tell by the cover of their self titled EP, or the video for 'The Bruce Wayne' that includes their rendition of 'Streets of Desolation' (from Batman the Video Game for the original NES).

All around the guys take a light-hearted approach to life and it definitely shows if you've ever seen them keep a party going. They came to ROCK and bring FUN to the crowd. These Bums are Southeast LA through and through and plan to keep it that way "until they move to Japan to find wives."

If you're in the LA area, catch Los Dharma Bums next gig on Tuesday Aug. 12th at Harvard & Stone with HOBART W FINK for the low price of FREE.  21+  5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

You can listen to some tunes HERE

Or Keep up with them on Facebook HERE


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