News From the Brown Side of Town 2.13.13

Chisme's & music news for the big kids in the Land of 1000 dances

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: February 13, 2013

News From the Brown Side of Town 2.13.13

?Ū?ŪOrale, Mi Gente!! He's baaack!!

Simon‘«™been off on a writing sabbatical for a minute after the Holidays (Ha! Computer died, LOL), but I couldn't stay away from Aztlan! (My lady got me a new one! LOL! )

So many great things happened during the Holidays for the Gente in the Land of 1000 Dances‘«™so much music, dancing, and merrymaking‘«™and so much love sent out to our U.S. troops overseas for providing the blanket of security & freedom that we all enjoy so much under. GRACIAS!

Speaking of our troops, my good friend, famed Chicano Comedian GILBERT ESQUIVEL, recently returned from his 2nd trip to the Far East to entertain our U.S. troops in Okinawa, Japan .

He was so enthused when he got back: "Man! Them guys and girls in uniform are great! Many of them not even old enough to buy a beer back home, but are trained and ready to put their lives on the line and die defending our Country‘«™.couldn't be no prouder to be American. They were so glad to have some entertainment from home, as I and a group of comedians spent 5 days traveling Okinawa & Japan letting our guys know they ain't forgotten.

"The happy, grateful look in their eyes made mine water‘«™here I was , away from my Lady and my family for a week, and I was homesick & lonely, and the only thing I had to worry about was losing my luggage‘«™and here were all these young Marines, 1000 miles away from home for at least a year‘«™not knowing if they might lose their lives in our defense !...I am so proud of them".

Gilbert also spoke of the big low rider movement in Japan, too: "Felt like I was back home in the barrio, except for the language," he laughs. "The Japanese are so cool‘«™so smooth‘«™just like Chicanos‘«™nice cars, they enjoy hanging out and listening & dancing to good music‘«™they even got cholas!" he jokes. "About the only sad thing I saw was on my return to the States. Here I was, coming back from visiting our brothers and sisters 1,000 miles away overseas, hanging out with my new Japanese homies como familia‘«™and the first thing I saw in an American airport was a family of 5, each with their own portable device‘«™nobody talking to nobody.

"Looking around, I noticed that every other person was either texting or talking on a cell phone‘«™wow, I thought. This is what technology has made of our people. People need to get out and rub shoulders with people again‘«™start talking again‘«™go out and hear music...live comedy...dance! I'm going to work to bring entertainment and people together again‘«™without cell phones and other portable devices!"

So enthused was he about that point of view that in less than a week after his return from overseas, Gilbert was back on the road, taking it to East L.A. , where he hosted a great show at RUDY'S BAJA GRILL, featuring his boyhood friend's debut to the East L.A. Chicano music scene, Frankie "Fontaine" Martinez, a popular San Fernando Valley singer. With a killer band that included well known veterans like guitarist RAY CARRION and saxophonist JOHNNY BURROLA, along with special guest star, famed Latina vocalist TeCHEETAH LOPEZ, Frankie Fontaine was welcomed to the East Side, where Gilbert and I agreed he will most likely be welcomed back.

Earlier that day, guitarist RJ Rodriguez put on a killer Richie Valens Tribute show at the Santa Fe Springs Swap meet that featured his group INNER FORCE, which included music veterans Ronnie Reyes and the Beach Boy's drummer Bobby Figueroa, guest performers Chan Romero, Ernie Valens, the Silhouettes' Gil Rocha, and East L.A. Chicano Music veteran & pioneer, singer Mark Guerrero. The show finished off in true classic Chicano style‘«™with the legendary 1950's Chicano Doo-Wop group from San Gabriel, the STORYTELLERS, who proved the timeless point of how music is truly a fountain of youth.

Man! The standing ovation they received when they watered everybody's eyes with a heart melting version of "Diamonds & Pearls" was well deserved and worth the day ! I was on the dance floor, and I saw it for myself! Get on wit yo bad selves STORYTELLERS! Love your new CD too !

The NAMM Show happened that past week as well, with a virtual "Who's Who?" of Latino music representing. I missed it , dammit.

I miss the Grammy's every year too‘«™but that don't really matter, does it?
(teehee!)‘«™what I missed was some killer music performances at the NAMM Show that I would have gladly hocked my Grammy ticket & parking permit & complimentary Perrier water for‘«™oh well‘«™next year ?

There was cop killer is on the loose in L.A. and $ million dollar reward out. Hmmm‘«™how come when it's a cop, there's a million dollar reward?‘«™but when it's a Brown or Black kid on the street, or a Brown or Black elderly person who has been harmed & ripped off, they only ask for "the public's help"? My nephew Sergio Dalrymple ripped the LAPD a new booty on Facebook when he asked "Where's all the reward money to help find child molesters and child rapists? L.A.'s hurting for money‘«™but because it's a cop, the money is now being offered?"...and I could only guess that the LAPD friends of disgraced Cardinal Roger Mahoney are starting to crap their pants right about now‘«™especially if they're on "the list"‘«™

Anyways‘«™this past weekend was DA BOMB!...(no terrorist threat intended, lol!)

As part of East L.A. Revue/LatinoLA's "Fearsome Foursome" road dog-music review crew, I was mighty pleased with the wide array of music available and happening in The Land of 1000 Dances this past weekend.

Starting off on Friday, our good friends SOUL PURSUIT hit the stage at Nick's Taste of Texas for a packed house concert & dance. Fred & the guys were ON IT! Playing that fine Chicano Rock~Cumbia~Oldies~Top 40~Disco~R & B combination they are well known for, the night was good & hot, and I got my boogie on! SOUL PURSUIT does some serious justice to soul classics like "You're still a young man". Nick's also has some killer food at reasonable prices, the beer is always ice cold, and the security guards don't hassle you. We'll be back!

Later on that same night, we traveled down to Santa Fe Springs to MAGGIE'S PUB, where we caught a couple of sets from the powerful SOTO Band. The packed dance floor and standing room only crowd told us we were in the right spot. Ran into a couple of friends and enjoyed some very cold 32 oz Dos XX on tap! As expected, Los carnales SOTO & company brought in a good sized crowd, and everybody partied hard till the last song. SOTO remains one of L.A.'s "Top Dawgs" of live music, and have also been recognized & honored for entertaining our U.S. troops in a war zone.

As usual, ended a good night in the fair city of Bassett, at Winchell's Donuts‘«™one of the last open-all-night donut shops & coffee houses that doesn't have armed security guards and bullet proof counters, and the donut making guy speaks English

The next night, we jumped on the road and headed for Downey, for a fundraiser for the East L.A. Divas Dance Group at the Palms Restaurant.

Entertainment was superb!

Starting off with L.A.'s top vinyl spinning Oldies DJ's Ruben Molina & Soulera, aka The SOUTHERN SOUL SPINNERS, live performances by LOUIE PARRA & THEE MAD LATINS, MESTIZO, and The IMPULSE Band made the night happening, fun, and very entertaining. The small dance floor was too crowded, and the Palms is not the kind of place I would recommend or return to. For some reason, they decided to put 3 tables in the middle of the dance floor just after the show started‘«™. Food is pretty good, but you get gouged by high price of drinks : $9.00 for a watered down mixed drink in a small 6oz plastic cup, $8.50 for a half glass of wine, and $13.00 for a shot of Chivas Regal in a cheap plastic cup‘«™WTF?

‘«™I don't know‘«™if the RAZA's rich enough to allow themselves to be ripped off like that and treated so poorly, so be it‘«™.I just don't know a lot of them ‘«™for that price plus the tip, we could have gotten 2 steak dinners and a couple of ice cold Tecate's at the REAL Palms Restaurant in Carpinteria, and enjoyed a live show by somebody like PEPE MARQUEZ‘«™now THAT'S getting your money's worth!...and it's by the beach ! VAMANOS !

‘«™oh well‘«™anyways, the Downey show was for a good cause, the bands were "Top Dawgs" and performed ever so well, I was in good company‘«™so it wasn't a totally wasted night‘«™

Tried to make it to the San Fernando Moose Lodge to catch BECKY CORDOVA & The BROTHERHOOD BAND, with guest DJ GIBBY, later on that same night, but due to a misunderstanding with the SF Moose Lodge's current management and the real world, we were tuned away‘«™


‘«™we were more than warmly welcomed at the Northridge PRESIDENTE Restaurant, where FUEGO-FUEGO, a very good up & coming R&B/Soul music group, put in some work where we partied and danced till past Midnite‘«™so I still had a good time.

The next day, it was all about celebrating the fair weather in Califas with the Gente & good music, as BUMPTOWN hit the stage at the Santa Fe Springs Swap meet.

My homie lead singer ANDY ROJO was on it, coming off the stage & milling in the crowd as the Gente danced. If you haven't been to the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet lately, I highly recommend you check it out with a BROWN attitude. Food & shopping are good, the Gente is cool, and when there's good music, like what BUMPTOWN put out this past Sunday, you see the celebration of life our RAZA is known for.

Young, old, and in between, Gente YOU KNOW are from "different tribes", and we're ALL out there...smilin', dancin', and enjoying the celebration of life with OUR PEOPLE...it's such a cultural feeling that nobody feels threatened, nobody wants to fight, everybody's eating & drinking & dancing like we were in our own backyard party...to bad such good feelings have to end...

Unfortunately, this flu season is knocking our Gente down as well...and some gigs have been cancelled in the past couple of months. The latest cancellation is the Valentine's Day dance & concert at the Whittier Radisson Hotel. At the time of this writing, replacements just couldn't be found 3 days before showtime, and we regret any inconveniences..BUT..the show WILL go on at a later date by popular request....stay tuned to LatinoLA.com for the 411.

More good news coming up in the Land of 1000 Dances‘«™check out our Calendario page, and check out the best music on the World wide web at EastLArevue.com

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is heard daily on world wide Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com
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