News from the Brown Side of Town
Music news & chismes for the big kids in the Land of 1000 Dances
Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
¡Orale, Mi Gente! It's been a minute, pero aqui estoy!
Published on LatinoLA: September 8, 2016
I am remiss for not writing a good piece for awhile ... but the current political atmosphere appears to have motivated and brought out so much propensity for passionate public hate, criticism, racism, friendship/relationship betrayal, unexpected disappointment, name calling, and so much other foolish behavior and statements in so many "adult" others, that it has tested my limits for controlling my propensity for public vitriol and public "cover pulling" challenges in anger ... hence, at the advice of so many trusted sources, I chilled, took a step back, and I'm just going to appreciate the existence of "delete", "unfriend" and "block" options, be thankful for the wisdom gained from years of survival of life which has blessed me with patience and self control, along with the ability to be strategically silent while being able to laugh & ignore dumb shit ... and the satisfaction of knowing that there are some very lucky people at the moment ... who will someday meet Lady Karma when their luck runs out, if they haven't yet!
EVERYBODY gots friends & haters ... nuff said about that! ... I leave it there!
¡Orale! Aside from that...Summer 2016 has been jumpin' and poppin' with music, dancing, good people, and good times in the Land of 1000 Dances that is Southern Califas, Aztlan, that has pushed a lot of discontentment to the sidelines for a lot of us..
A brief moment of grief...the great Juan Gabriel has left us to join the band upstairs in Heaven ... gracias for the music & the memories, Carnal !
Also, our prayers go out to our Brothers & Sisters on the East Coast and Southern Gulf states ... some terrible weather out there!
The biggest music talk on the Brown Side of L.A. this year so far has been the "Battle of the Bands" produced by Ray Carrion and hosted by Internet TV's Thee Mr. Duran at the A MI HACIENDA RESTAURANT in Pico Rivera, California, which I've been honored to serve as House DJ.
Of course, from the start, detractors have had a tough time absorbing the verb "battle" in these instances, which in this case was NEVER intended to infer actual fights or animosity, fueled by negative competition, that would result in multi-million dollar recording contracts and national TV gigs for the "winner", and that there would EVER be a "loser" ... sorry, haters! ... go sniff seats somewhere else!
Band Leader, Musician and Music Show Producer Ray Carrion laughs as he tells LatinoLA: "You know ... I've caught a lot of flak & hate from people who just don't get it. From the start, I've said, along with Thee Mr. Duran, that the real winners are the audience, who get to hear and dance to some of the best dance/party music bands on the West Coast for an affordable price, some for the very first time, at a great venue ... and also the bands, who get to connect with the audience, show their stuff, meet their brother & sister musicians, and hopefully pick up new gigs & contacts without having to worry about promotion or providing a P.A. and sound system or hunting for a venue while they perform their hearts out."
(Author's note: Having been in the Music Biz for a few years myself, I can attest to the hassle of planning a show, searching for a venue, seeking sponsors, lining up talent, dealing with all the different personalities, lining up dependable staff to help to run a show smoothly, promotion, ticket sales, arranging for a sound system & engineer, a couple of "Plan B's" just in case of last minute cancellations, security, making the money to pay everybody, and finally .... dealing with detractors & trouble makers, while still putting on a successful great show that the audience enjoys and believes "was a piece of cake" to put on because of the great talent involved .... Beer & Mylanta time, baby!)
"Social media, Internet & Internet Radio shows, Car Shows, and word of mouth of music fans really helps," Ray continues. "It cost hundreds of dollars to design & print flyers & tickets, and thousands of dollars to put out regular radio commercials, and twice as much for TV commercials .... and good bands are NOT free. For many years, a lot of really good bands and comedians have never made it out of their respective neighborhoods due to nobody ever really hearing about them outside of their hometowns due to minimal promotion, radio airplay, & gig management ...
... and some bands & comedians need to realize that they have to be good enough that people, especially strangers that aren't friends or relatives, will want to pay to hear them...more than once!
"I don't mean that to insult anyone or to disrespect any musician, because I was new once, too! ... and it's a hassle 'hanging in there' when you got bills to pay and a family, not to mention that you've devoted years of your life to practice, learning, gigging, and practicing some more! ... it's for that reason that gigs need to happen regularly, and the artists need to be respected and paid! The Venue doesn't help pay for the entertainment, so the bands get paid from ticket sales ... along with that, you have to realize that it is IMPOSSIBLE for everybody to like, trust, satisfy, and respect everybody ... so mutual respect, a good attitude, and an artist's desire to use their talent to work together with honest promoters and make people happy with good performances is the only way you'll make some bucks and survive in the business...just the way it is."
Truth be told, I gotta agree with that. After a couple of missed opportunities & invitations, I finally got to hear the L.A. BLUE Band, and The SMOOTH TOUCH Band at the Battle of the Bands #2 & #3 ... and I was very impressed!
( ...not to mention remiss that I had missed them before! They are really good! I would pay to see them again!)
So far, many of these bands participating in the "Battles" have spread their names, picked up gigs at Casinos, private parties, and other venues as a result of their exposure at the "Battles" ... so they will continue, and other bands are still being sought for future gigs, Ray tells LatinoLA.
So far, this is our growing "music family" : There were NO losers, and EVERYBODY WON !!!
(Hosted by Thee Mr. Duran and House DJ by Frankie Firme)
Battle #1 - April 17th, 2016
~ THE MIDNITE CRUZZERS
Battle #2 - May 29, 2016
~ L.A. BLUE
~ THEE MAD LATINS
~ THE BACKSTREET BAND
Battle #3 - July 24th, 2016
~ COLD DUCK
~ THE COMPANY BAND
~ SMOOTH TOUCH
Interspaced between these great "Battle" shows, Ray Carrion & Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A. produced a couple of shows featuring THEE MIDNITERS, Comedian RUDY MORENO & Friends, THEE LATIN ALL STARS, TEASE, Inland Empire's ORIGINAL SACRIFICE BAND featuring MONIBEE HENLEY, and the heavy duty Tower of Power tribute band led by John Burrola: HIP STREET, featuring multi-talented lead vocalist MARK PRUDEAUX .... talk about some KILLER parties!
Along with these great musician performances, comedians Rudy Moreno, Scott Shimamoto, Jay Lamont , and Monique Marvez have helped carry the billings to some great entertainment heights.
Also during these times, Santa Barbara's PEPE MARQUEZ & The GROOVELINE Band, DJ Frankie Firme, The MIDNITE CRUZZERS and Dale Villavicencio's BONGOFUNK Band dropped in and made appearances at San Bernardino's LAS CONCHITA'S Restaurant & Nightclub, San Bernardino's newest happening hot spot in the Inland Empire.
(Check them out on FB, or call 909-387-0906)
SOTO and other good dance bands like The SATISFACTION Band, ACE, SUAVE, STEELROD, and POWERHOUSE continue keeping places like BRUCE's Prime Rib & Spirits in Norwalk, MAGGIE'S PUB in Santa Fe Springs, The RADISSON HOTEL in Whittier and KATIE JAKE'S BAR & GRILL in Covina busy while East L.A.'s TIERRA Band continues to pack houses from California to Texas.
It's all about that adult Chicano music mixture of Classic Funk, R&B, Classic Soul w/Rock & Roll, Latin Soul, Oldies & Cumbias that is almost lost on the current generation of Rappers & Rock/Punk screamers that you hear on commercial radio today....
Salsa by the Pool and Musician Open Jams continue at the Whittier Radisson Hotel. For more info, look up Peter Jaramillo on FB.
Best music on the 'Net is heard on www.eastLArevue.com, and if you're in a Tejano music type of mood, check out www.ChicanoExpress.com. 24/7, rain or shine, heard coast to coast, and around the World!
A couple of weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised, along with Mr. Fernando Carrasco of San Fernando, to celebrate our 61st birthdays together as an all star band consisting of RAY CORDOVA, CHRIS RESERVA, PEPE MARQUEZ, RENE FLORES, LAVA GONZALEZ, The KOOL KATZ, JESSE VASQUEZ, DAVID CARRANZA, FREDDY GUSMAN, FRANCESCA CAPASSO, and all the way from Texas, Vudu CaFe's JESSE FLORES, put on a great show under the stars at a private party in Sylmar that had us all dancing & celebrating life well past midnight ... THANK YOU, my friends !!
Last Sunday, our L.A. musical sister singer STEPHANIE ALVARADO was honored and supported in her battle against "that cabrona" cancer with an all star music fundraiser show at the San Gabriel Elks Club hosted by DJ Tony Shout that included DJ Sweet Baby and DJ Asylum. Performing artists included The SoulPack Just 4 U Band featuring RITA MELENDREZ, The ROCKY PADILLA Band,The REEL Band, TEASE, The STEELROD Band, and the ADELAIDE Band. Comedy & magic show was provided by OMAR THE GREAT...best wishes & love, Stephanie ! Show was packed and off the chain!
Later on that night, The incomparable BALANCE Band featuring SAMMY MEDINA brought it home to more than a couple thousand fans at the Annual San Gabriel Mission Fiesta, while TEASE tore it up at Steve's Bar-B-Que in Whittier till past midnight.
...what great performances under the stars by some great music stars in the Land of 1000 Dances ! Sometimes, you just don't want some nights to end, know what I mean?
So what's next ?....Orale! Thought you were NEVER gonna ask!
Pachuco Car Club of Ventura County presents a major Car Show and Concert honoring U.S. Military Veterans & in remembrance of 9/11, featuring ROCKY PADILLA, HANK CASTRO, FREDDY FENDER Jr, The PERSUASIAN Band, 7 exciting top DJ's and hosted by Internet Radio's FRANKIE FIRME.
10:00AM~ 5:oo PM.
$7.00 admission, FREE to Veterans & Active military with I.D.
Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, Califas.
For info & directions: 805-754-5270 or 805-798-7796.
The 8th Annual Art & Wine Event at the NONINI WINERY, in Fresno,California.
Wine tasting, winery tour, Art show, Folklorico dancers, food, live music by the BLUES AVENUE BAND, and Hosted/DJ by Internet Radio's FRANKIE FIRME.
Starts at sunset ~ 5:oo PM-10:00 PM
For info, tickets, directions, and motel accommodations: Rick: 559-473-8293
Rudy Moreno's Comedy & Music Throwdown #2
Steven's Steakhouse, East L.A.
Hosted by The Godfather of Chicano Comedy Mr. Rudy Moreno
Miguel Chueco Lugo; Jose Raymond: Carlos Oscar; Monique Marvez;and Jesus Sepulveda.
Full Dinner(included) served from 2:3o~3:3o PM- Show starts at 4:oo PM
Live music for dancing & romancing provided by : DW3
For tickets & info: 323-723-9856 or go to RUDY@RUDYMORENO.com
CANCER AWARENESS FUNDRAISER Car & Bike Show/Concert ~ Inland Empire
Dino's Burgers, 23750 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley
MC/DJ Internet Radio's FRANKIE FIRME 5:oo PM~ 10:oo PM
Live performances by: The BB WOLF Band, THEE MADLATINS Band
Special music guests: Mr. BOBBY NAVARRETTE and Mr. GILBERT STOKES
For tickets & info: Deborah 951-665-9916
OCTOBER 15TH: Angel Baby's "Dedicated to you" OLDIES CONCERT
Live on stage:
~ Brenton Wood
~ The Younghearts
~ Steve Salas
~ Cannibal & The Headhunters
~ LiL Willie G
~ Tex Nakamura
~ Howard Scott
~ Ralph Nirvus
~ DJ Manny
Hosted by THEE ANGEL BABY~ Doors open at 6 PM
CPEC, 11255 Central Avenue,Ontario, Califas 91762
For tickets & info: Round 2 Entertainment: 951-880-4758
OCTOBER 3oTH: THE BIG ONE !!
BATTLE OF THE BANDS Round IV~Halloween Costume Party
Hosted by Thee Mr.Duran, House DJ Internet Radio's FRANKIE FIRME
~ BONGOFUNK (One of L.A.'s best!)
~ BB WOLF (Inland Empire)
~ The KOOL KATZ (San Jose)
~ PEPE MARQUEZ & THE GROOVELINE (Santa Barbara)
A MI HACIENDA Restaurant & Ballroom on Whittier Blvd,Pico Rivera, Califas
Cash prizes for best costume~ FREE Oldies CD for 1st 25 people in the door
Doors open at 2PM- show stars at 3PM
For tickets & Info: 323-895-2863 and 323-807-8054
NOVEMBER 5th: KOOL KATZ BAND 2oth Anniversary Party & Dance
~ The Original K00L KATZ Band
~ Internet Radio's DJ FRANKIE FIRME
~ Hosted by Mr. TONY SANDOVAL of 88.1FM The Breeze, San Jose
The Drying Shed~ 402 Toyon Ave, San Jose CA 95127
Doors open at 7PM show starts at 8PM
For tickets & info: 408-849-1180 and 408-461-1725
**** NEW YEAR'S EVE 2016~2017 ****
~ The BALANCE Band
~ LOUIE PARRA & THEE MADLATINS Band
~ Internet Radio's DJ FRANKIE FIRME
~ DJ VINCE of Norwalk Records
2 rooms/2 Bands/2DJ's/ 1 BIG PARTY !!
This is THE ONE for New Year's Eve!! Doors open at 6PM~get your room early!!
VIP Package includes:
~ Entry to BOTH rooms/parties all night long
~ Luxury Motel room
~ Full course, 3 entree dinner w/ beverages & desserts
~ Full American breakfast buffet in the morning w/beverage
~> Including fresh, hot MENUDO y TORTILLAS !!!
THE GUESTHOUSE HOTEL~> "Where it all happens!"
12500 Firestone Blvd
Norwalk, CA 90650 ~ 562-868-0991 ~ www.GHHOTEL.com
Orale! That's it for now, Mi Gente! Don't forget to check out our latest page on Facebook: Land of 1000 Dances.
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. He is a regular contributor to this fine web magazine.
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