February 7th, 2011 | Live reviews

L.A. RECORD cover boy Hanni El Khatib plays with the veracity of a kid in his first garage band but with the skill and charisma that clearly comes after years of experience. It’s just him on guitar and singing, with Nick Fleming-Yaryan on drums—raw, but it goes down easy, like aural Jameson. Whereas recorded songs like “Dead Wrong” sound like unearthed Stax classics, live they’re given a more electric presentation, given the band’s pared-down setup. At times that can threaten to bury the music’s distinctive quality, as “You Rascal You” sounds more White Stripes live than its swampy “True Blood”-esque recorded counterpart, but the set-up mostly works for him and gives ample room for Khatib to basically be a badass and slay. White Arrows’ sound seems to have developed further every time I see them. Either the reverb was jacked up or else the sound was ping ponging off the walls of the close-quartered upstairs of Mountain Bar, but either way it lent the vocals a warm, ghostly quality that meshed remarkably well with the band’s wiry funk. Oddly, a band member playing keytar kind of sternly while wearing Cyclops glasses made sense and kept things together as the band moved from psychedelic pop gems like “Coming or Going” to lo-fi country or Paul-Simon-in-space party anthems. ALSO: Ticket proceeds from the show went to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. To find out more about the awesomely titled Boobs4Food organization, which fights hunger in part through events like this, or to volunteer, visit

—Billy Gil