News from the Brown Side of Town

Chismes & music news for the big kids in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: September 24, 2015

News from the Brown Side of Town

?í?í Orale, mI Gente !!

Been a hot but cool Summer so far, verdad?

We are all still scratching our heads as to why spoiled, arrogant, rich, bigoted, white racist Donald Trump, who made his billions off the backs of working minorities & women but who has no respect for women and minorities, who refused to serve his Country when called more than 5 times, who has no grasp of real international issues, and who refuses to recognize that he is a direct descendant of illegal immigrants who raped & plundered this and other countries is somehow now fit to be a democratically elected President of this rich, culturally diverse, and FREE Country and throw out the original occupants and their decendants....

How can anybody take this Hijo de culo de burro seriously when he thinks he can look at Native Americans & Latinos and say "Go back where you came from" and forgets that the idea of building a wall to separate the U.S. and Mexico was tried in Berlin, Germany, by the former Soviet Union just after WWII...and it failed and eventually went down... just like the Soviet Union !

What's interesting, but almost scary, is that this puto has millions of followers who really believe in him, and is starting to resemble & sound a lot like Adolf Hitler & his Nazis of the early 1930's.... if you are so inclined to review history, should you doubt my comparison.

AND....did you hear the one about the 2 white Republican Senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, who bent over and took it up the rear for an undisclosed amount of money and GAVE AWAY sacred Native American land that wasn't theirs to give away, to an Austrailian-British mining company and NOBODY STOPPED them??

I mean...where is the law of WE THE PEOPLE when shit like this goes down?

Goes back to two things I and others have been ranting about here for over 15 years (although I tend to be a little less subtle than others) :

1) We NEED to vote and have our voices & choices heard!

Bad people are elected by good people who DON'T vote. Boycotting the vote doesn't prove a damn thing except that you're uninformed as to the issues that affect yours & your loved one's well being on the block as well as in the World...and pendejada motivated apathy will always come back to bite you in the ass when you least expect it. Some of our ancestors fought & died for the right to vote...if you don't vote, you have NO reason to complain when the voted law of the land is bending you over after the voting's done, especially if you think your right to vote is minimal & insignificant.

2) Education is the best drug & addiction we can imbue upon ourselves & our children!

Keeping us (so-called "minorities") stupid & illiterate is an investment by the major Military-Industrial-Corporate Complexes of most major industrial nations (i.e. got bucks & political & Military leaders in your pocket?). All countries of the World are run, managed, and exploited by educated graduates of Law & Business schools.

NO police or military forces in the world are headed up & controlled by high school drop outs...so let's face facts, if you don't know shit, and don't want to learn shit, you can't change shit...and CHANGE in the way our Government acts and spends our tax money, and CHANGE in the way higher education is getting so expensive as to put it out of reach of the working class is definitely needed... lest we stay part of the uneducated, uninformed, working class poor masses.

Keeping the masses uneducated, unorganized, and unable/unwilling to vote is the new way to control the masses, and run a Government to make & keep just the few at the top rich & comfortable....or is it really new?...sports bar, anyone?

?íOrale! Now that I got you thinking and hopefully talking to others, let's talk about music in the Land of 1000 Dances.

Despite what the racist pundits & puto political commentaries on Fox News say, the economy HAS improved under President Obama.

WE got less guys & gals in war zones, and we we're currently not bombing any other countries at the moment. Gas is under $4.00 a gallon, and working class Brown & Black people are buying houses again. More people are getting health & mental health care, and the country didn't go broke like Rush Limbaugh & his lame Republican followers said it would. Women have more respect, rights, & juice than they did under Bush. More people are working...at least those who looked....

More rich people & politicians are getting busted for being dirty, and losing their ill gotten treasures & empires...I like that!

Bush & Reagan couldn't come close to accomplishing that one!

More people are stepping out and enjoying live music & dancing, in a celebration of life that reflects our present state of mind that things are getting better, and that there's hope.

Summer 2015 has been one of those celebrations all over the Land of 1000 Dances, with big crowds hitting The City of Industry VFW Hall, Bruce's, Maggie's Pub, and the Swap Meet in Santa Fe Springs, the Guesthouse in Norwalk, Steven's Steakhouse and the Love-Hate Bar in East L.A., The Quiet Cannon in Montebello, The Alpine Village in Torrance, The Whittier Radisson Hotel, the Presidente Restaurant in Northridge, Ports O' Call Village in San Pedro, Original Mike's in Santa Ana, Heritage Park, The Annual Salsa Festival and Pirate's in Oxnard, Zendeja's In San Dimas, Katie Jakes & Tres Vinos in Covina, and other great places where mature, good looking crowds and live music and dancing beats any sports bar hang out as the thing & place to be!

At The Radisson Hotel in Whittier, besides the World famous "Salsa by the Pool" events, Peter Jaramillo continues to host his now famous monthly "Open Musician's Jam", which has attracted some of finest musical talent in L.A. Free parking, free admission, drink specials and air conditioned comfort, the next one is scheduled for Sunday, October 4th, from 2 to 7PM. All musicians are welcome!

This Summer was so cool, as I was fortunate to kick it off with my 60th birthday with family & friends, with music & dancing in the cards.

Myself and brother East L.A. Revue Internet Radio DJ Richard "Sugarbear" Navarro and our Ladies continue our trek thru Aztlan as the "Fearsome Foursome", meeting a lot of good people along the way.

Not former L.A. Rams football players, but four retired & semi-retired Latino-American grandparents who prove that age is just a number, as we fearlessly travel to any town & neighborhood to enjoy & share the magic & celebration of Chicano flavored music tastes, while promoting & supporting the Latino music artists that make the music...be it Rock & Roll, Blues, Salsa, Latin Jazz, Latin Rock,Funk, Soul, Motown, Cumbias, Tejano & Tex-Mex, Rancheras, and of course our beloved Oldies but Goodies.

We let the World know that being over 45 doesn't hurt, and being over 60 means you don't have a babysitting problem anymore to stop you from stepping out and living life...and being BROWN and older is really cool!

From San Diego to San Francisco, we have done or attended music events & parties where RAZA from all over Aztlan have welcomed us with open arms, food, and drink, and never that "Where you from?" challenge...our mutual respect, and love of music & our cultura has been our "Carte Blanche" that I will take to the grave.

..we sincerely thank all the good Gente and music artists we have met along our way, and will continue to support the artists & music of our people and reporting it here on LatinoLA, keeping it alive as an art form.

...hope that answers the many question of "who & why the Fearsome Foursome?"

An initial celebration started the month of August with a 2-day party in Santa Barbara as the guests of recording artist Pepe Marquez & his Lady, that included lots of great food and music for the Annual Fiesta de Santa Barbara. For 4 days, the City of Santa turns itself into one big, international party of food, drink, cultura, art, entertainment, and a respect for the Latino Culture and heritage that lasts all day long and into the night...we enjoyed 2 of them!

Pepe Marquez & The Grooveline Band, featuring master keyboardist Ray Cordova, packed the El Paseo Restaurant & Cantina in downtown Santa Barbara for 2 straight nights, as we boogied the night away to performances dedicated to former lead singer Becky Cordova, who passed away the previous month.

The 3rd night that weekend found us back in L.A. for a concert dance at Steven's Steak House on August 9th celebrating my birthday with the Inland Empire's powerful BB WOLF Band, who showed folks "what's up" with their fine repertoire of Chicano Rock, Ranchera, rocka-billy, Cumbia, Funk, and Oldies but Goodies while wishing me a Happy Birthday...thanks, Guys!

The following week I was again fortunate to dance & party to the great sounds of Pepe, Ray, & The Grooveline Band, which included special guests the KOOL KATZ Art & Kelly Galvan, singer Monibee Henley, percussionist Lorenzo Hernandez, and SFV horn men Cesar Garcia and Dennis Krummel, and the performance was off the chain!

I was blessed with another birthday party given by my lady, which was attended by my family, close friends, and many musical artists. Thank you everybody that came to one of the better parties of my life ...thanks again to my Lady Josie!

I got to dance with my lady, my daughter, all 4 of my grand daughters, and my sisters all on the same day! That was a birthday present in itself! Thanks again to all that attended.

The next weekend I was fortunate to serve as House DJ for Thee Mr. Duran's sold out, standing room only Disco-Retro Party at the City Of Industry VFW Hall on August 22nd, which included the ever popular TEASE Band featuring Vanessa Salas, The GROOVE Band, and L.A.'s powerful Ray Carrion and his LATIN ALL STAR Band featuring Steve Salas, Rocky Padilla, Hank Castro, and Gilbert Stokes, among others.

The mood was 1970's Disco, and about half the audience dressed the part, platform shoes & all, dancing & partying to some of the best music performers in the business, who displayed their talents at 1970's disco & funk. Hosted by Thee Mr. Duran, comedians Gilbert Esquivel, The Burrito Lady, and Jay Lamont were also on hand to tickle the funny bones to make it a complete package of great live dance music, food, drink and good times...our apologies to those folks turned away at the door who were unable to get tickets to his great sold out show.

During these times, great groups like LOUIE PARRA & THEE MAD LATINS lit up Steven's Steak House, DW3 packed them in at Bruce's, and TIERRA packed the Oracle Arena in Oakland, and SOTO tore it up at Katie Jake's & Bruce's.

On September 6th, Ray Carrion and his Latin All Star Band came back full force and sold out Steven's Steak House with a Motown Tribute Show that featured "King" James Brown, The 5 Tempting Men-TEMPTATIONS/MOTOWN Revue, MELLOW, and comedian Jay Lamont for a great Labor Day weekend show that also included Steven Steakhouse's famed bottomless dinner buffet. Ray Carrion sends his apologies to the many people that had to be turned away at the door of another great sold out show.

The post Labor Day weekend week found Laughlin, Nevada virtually empty & void of heavy crowds, so there went the Fearsome Foursome for a short 3 day vacation , chillin' on the banks of the cool Colorado river beach at Harrah's, enjoying dips in the river, & cool drinks in the 105 degree heat, before chillin' in the air conditioned casinos, and grubbing down like royalty at the buffets while even getting a little lucky and coming up a couple bucks. LOTS of RAZA in the house, and that was comforting to see.

Coming home that weekend, it seems almost all our friends were having house parties and bar-b-ques, so off we went on the road to private gigs in Baldwin Park, East L.A., and Gardena, ending up at a private party in honor of Legendary Soul Singer Archie Bell at the home of music collector & DJ Shorty Sanchez.

Honored guests included singers Brenda Holloway, Rich Garcia of The Midnite Cruzzers, & Norman Carter of the Delfonics. After some great food and birthday cake, we were treated to live performances by The Dukes of DooWop, The DooWop Kid, Catfish Mares and the Howling Blues Boogie Band. Archie Bell himself got up and gave us a beautiful song titled "Never Had It So Good" as we all enjoyed a fine Califas sunset together to end a perfect day. Thanks, Shorty! You & your Mom throw the best parties!

This past weekend was the very first Chicano Woodstock celebration, taking place in Colton, California. An all day event, lot's of entertainment & vendors, local politicians, and LOT'S of RAZA. FREE admission. Initial reports estimate around 400 people for this first time event organized in short time...events like these just get better every year if done right, como Chicano Park...see y'all next year.

This weekend we were up north in the Central California wine country vicinity of Fresno & Madera for a couple of great events that were quite pleasant & memorable.

Fresno's Aztlan Expressions Art Gallery owner Rick Garcia hosted the 7th Annual Fresno Latino Art & Wine Show at the Nonini Winery where I was honored to serve as MC & DJ.

The shady grounds of the Nonini Winery, established in 1934, served as a comfortable venue for a good sized crowd where some very fine California Latino Art was on display, some great Bar-b-que & Mexican food was offered, and some World class California wine was available for tasting and drinking all day long, while I played the sweet musica our Gente love.

Actor Danny De LaPaz was on hand to sign autographs, take pictures and offer videos and children of the Ni??os Aztecas Dance Troupe of Fresno gave up a nice performance of classic Folklorio. It was like a big, classy,catered Chicano backyard family party where we were all made to feel welcome & comfortable like familia...thanks, Rick & Nonini Winery Staff !

After we all got fed & mellow, and the California sunset of Fresno put a magic glow upon us, the Blues Avenue Band came on stage and gave up 3 sets of great dance music that brought us all together in harmony as we danced under the stars till past midnight. Keyboardist Ray Cordova, sitting the audience with us during the event, was having such a good time, he jumped up on stage and joined the band for a hot rendition of "Pride & Joy", and the band easily welcomed him!...everybody had a great time. See you next year, Fresno!

The following morning, we were treated to menudo breakfast and live Mariachi entertainment courtesy of Rick Garcia, at one of Fresno's favorite Mexican Restaurants, El Michoacano just outside of downtown Fresno. Great looking place, good food & service, good Mariachis, our day was definitely starting out right!

Just when it couldn't get no better, recording artist Art Galvan of San Jose's famed Kool Katz Band walks in and invites us as his guests to the Latin Summer Heat outdoor concert at the ApCal Winery in Modero, where the KOOL KATZ would be performing, about 15 minutes north of Fresno, that was happening in a couple hours...

...wow! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

OK...so we pack it up and head up north for the fabled burg of Madera, California, where we arrive to the ApCal Winery, home of the Solitary Cellars and more World class California wine.

Just like Fresno, the RAZA of Madera were warm & welcoming, giving us comfortable seats under a tree right up front in front of the stage, and generously offering us glasses of wine. One lady even gave us a small sack of home made burritos seeing that we hadn't brought tables & set up private little feasts like some of the other people, who are obviously regulars at parties here.

As we settled in with our new friends, which included the owner of the winery and other local business owners, the concert opened up full force.

The NEW MONSANTO Band, a popular and powerful sounding group out of the Fresno-Madera area came on strong, with a respectable Malo-Tower of Power influence evident in their well rehearsed numbers. Sporting a good female co-lead singer and a four piece brass section, the New Monsanto Band displayed their versatility going from Latin Soul to Rancheras to Funk to Cumbias and back, that got people dancing. Band Manager Frank Galvan told me the band is reorganized with new members (hence the "new" in their name) and are ready to start hitting the club scene con ganas.

Next, The AUGUST Band, a group out of the Central San Joaquin Valley town of Visalia came on stage and "wowed" the crowd with some sassy numbers, displaying a good Ranchera-Tex-Mex influence peppered with a little funk and Top 40. With a good 3-piece brass section, and a young sassy female lead singer (who needs to leave her cell phone off stage) the AUGUST Band sounded pretty good, and shows some genuine potential.

As the dancing got good, the sun set, and the evening party lights of the ApCal
Winery lit up, the much anticipated KOOL KATZ Band took the stage with their trademark hot brass, & well rehearsed powerful sound with soft choreography. The whole band appeared to be in step as lead singer, the ever popular Kelly "La Gata" Galvan, lead the band in hot & heavy funk moves and hard driving music in their opening number that got everybody dancing all around the winery.

This veteran band from the San Jose-San Francisco Bay area is well known in both northern & southern California, and now here they were, tearing it up in Central California, making some noise!. Lead singer Kelly Galvan is definitely in a class by herself, singing, dancing, leading the band, and engaging the audience simultaneously, she is definitely something to see in action as she is the spark that makes the band's performance that much exciting.

She and her husband, band leader & lead guitarist Art Galvan have produced & recorded some great original material, but are also well known for rearranging cover songs, and making them their own in a most outstanding manner.

Typical was their version of Archie Bell's timeless "Tighten Up", which the Kool Katz seem to have a new song out of it...which closed the show in class!...I would LOVE a recording of that for my radio show!!

All the talk in Central California this weekend was about L.A.'s Ray Carrion & The L.A. Latin All Star Band, and the Rocky Padilla Band coming to Fresno next week....

...watch out Fresno! They bringtin' the Brown Sound of L.A. with them !

Next shows coming up: (subject to change & additions)

October 17TH - Cancer Fundraiser for Lorraine Esquivel featuring:
Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantes
Rebellious Blues Dogs
DJ/MC Frankie Firme
BACKYARD TIKI BAR~La Puente, CA ~ admission &10.00
tickets: 714-930-5971

October 18th - American Vets & Volunteers/Eastside Primetime Internet TV
"A night of fine entertainment" featuring:
Ray Carrion-TeCheetah Lopez-Jimmy Espinosa-Gilbert Stokes
Monibee Henley-2nd Dimention-Robert Colvin
Los Rock Angels
DJ Frankie Firme
Steven's Steak House, East L.A. ~ dinner buffet included
tickets & info: 562-479-1214

November 8TH - Children's Cancer Research Fundraiser & Car Show
Original Sacrifice Band
BB Wolf Band
Connection Band
DJ/MC Frankie Firme
S Bar & Grill ~ Moreno Valley, CA
tickets & info: 951-534-2602

November 20th & 21st - Thee Midniter's 50th Anniversary Concerts
Ray Carrion & The L.A. Latin All Star Band
Comedy by Rudy Moreno
MC ~ Mr. Duran
DJ ~Frankie Firme
City of Industry VFW Post 1944 Hall
Tickets: (Advance tickets HIGHLY recommended!)
323-895-2863 / 323-474-7579

TIERRA live on stage
The Grooveline Band featuring Pepe Marquez
Monibee Henley
DJ/MC Frankie Firme
MC Thee Angel Baby
El Paseo Restaurant ~ Santa Barbara, CA
Tickets & info: 951-880-4758

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on world wide Internet Radio station www.eastLArevue.com and is a regular contributor to this web magazine
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