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Catch Hanni El Khatib - By jschiewe - February 23, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Catch Hanni El Khatib

Whether you recognize the name or not, you’ve probably heard a Hanni El Khatib song at least once. Since 2011, the San Francisco singer has been landing songs in commercials — for brands like Nike, Converse, Applebee’s, Audi, Nissan, and Levi’s — and in TV shows — like Californication, Suits, and Hung.

His sound, a hard-to-define blend of desert blues, surf rock, and electronic instrumentation, is at its best in his most recent, 19-track album, Savage Times. The record’s inception began shortly after the November 2015 Bataclan attacks when El Khatib was in Paris to perform a headlining show with fellow musicians from BadBadNotGood and Crystal Antlers. Because of the attacks, the performance was canceled, and El Khatib found himself with a surplus of free time. He decided to hole up with his guitar in his hotel room, where he wrote down and recorded dozens of ideas for songs.

The immediate results from that session were the album’s first two tracks: “Baby’s OK,” a drum-heavy, screamo number, and “Gonna Die Alone,” a psych-rock ditty that sounds like a mash-up of Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Strokes.

Hanni El Khatib
With the Buttertones and the Mulochs, at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24, atthe Chapel. $18-$20; thechapelsf.com