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L.A. Unheard: Hanni El Khatib revisits the garage

January 26, 2011 | 12:35 pm


Editor's note: Every week, our colleagues at Brand X’s L.A. Unheard column unearth one of L.A.’s best undiscovered acts.

The band: Hanni El Khatib, a pair of recent Bay Area transplants, led by the eponymous Hanni.

The sound: Drawing from a deep pool of influences, El Khatib is a rock 'n' roll time traveler, incorporating '50s doo-wop vibes with harder-edged blues and garage sounds. El Khatib's voice is like woodsmoke or bourbon, acrid yet sweet, as timeless as jeans and a T-shirt.

Riffing on a '60s Silvertone, like many of his garage-rocking predecessors, El Khatib moves easily from big blues leads to doo-wop melodies. With talented drummer (and longtime friend) Nicky Yaryan backing him up, El Khatib is versatile enough to make a classic sound fresh again.

The details: Hanni El Khatib will join White Arrows for a Boobs4Food benefit show at Mountain Bar at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The band has two 7-inch singles -- “Dead Wrong” and “Build. Destroy. Rebuild.” -- out on the label Innovative Leisure, and will be releasing a full-length album this summer.

The rest: Head over to Brand X to download "Dead Wrong."

-- Daniel Siegal

Photo: Retro rocker Hanni El Khatib. Credit: Dustin Askland