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: February 28, 2017

News from the Brown Side of Town

¡Orale,Mi Gente!

Here we are in the second month of 2017, and things are long way from chillin' despite the recent heavy rains here in the Land of 1000 Dances ... at least the drought's over!

Of course, there's still plenty of political vitriol being passed around, especially on Facebook, where "them, those, and us" continue to voice displeasure, discontent, and disagreement amongst ourselves about the chain of events that have followed the recent Presidential Inauguration and the apparent unbalanced and uncomfortable direction in which our country seems to be heading ... ¡a la madre!

Hate, racial discrimination, political misinformation/propaganda, and political injustice are nothing new in America ... it's just raising its ugly head again for a new generation to take notice and deal with ... like the generations before them.

My generation for the most part is reaching retirement and social security age ... and our hopes, besides financially surviving if we haven't won the lottery yet, is that those coming after us will study, take notice, and learn from history ... and respect the Veteranos & Veteranas that struggled and were there before them, who can serve as valuable mentors ... before they invest and partake in an endeavor & struggle to re-invent the wheel and the taco.

Fortunately ... and I mean this with A LOT OF HEART ... in my time of 62 years on this Earth among the living, I have gone from a radical, street fight-ready gangster, chingasos first, "fuck the gabachos, police, mayates, and anybody else who sees me in a negative light," bitter U.S. Military Veteran CHICANO que vale madre ... to a VERY fortunate, insightful, mature, grateful, educated, and more understanding AMERICAN CHICANO/LATINO survivor who appreciates the value of the talents, art, music, friendships, loyalty, histories, and support from those of ALL other Razas and orientations whom I value, and who have contributed to my positive social growth & maturity ... while many of my former peers are either dead, dying, in prison, or living a less than desirable (in my humble opinion) lifestyle that has now become regrettable in their later years....

...and in contrast, a number have attained a positive level of success because of choices they made ... and that is quite admirable, I have to say!

I'm hoping the younger set gets my message here!

By that I mean that arguing with & discrediting a messenger does nothing to diminish or devalue the significance and value of the message that working hard to improve your life, and thus the lives of others around you, is nothing to be ashamed of ... I been poor, and I didn't like it, so I made a move, and I ain't poor no more ... But I never forget where I came from, and I respect those who continue the same struggle for a better life.

Also ... Simply because I have friends of different proud RAZA Latino & Indio tribes, along with good friends of other Razas (Whites, Blacks, Muslims, Armenians, Asians, Polynesians, etc) doesn't make me any LESS of a Chicano ... and that in itself has helped make me a better human being AND a better Chicano!

(Besides...arguing with fools and assholes just means they have company and an audience!)

¡Orale! Enough of that! ... on with the [i]musica & the Gente:

I have to say that I was recently touched and impressed by the unselfish offers of support on FaceBook for the victims of recent storms in San Jose, California, BY the good Gente de San Jose.


Also, simply because he's Chicano from East L.A. recently graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice (NO EASY TASK), and probably because he was raised right in a tuff 'hood, a young Carnal by the name of Pedro Perez stood up during these killer storms and offered on Facebook anybody in East L.A. in need a food basket. He would even deliver!

THAT TAKES HEART! Gracias for standing up & making the Raza proud, Pedro!
May you succeed well in life!

And lastly, I have got to give a big THANK YOU to Chicano Warrior Attorneys Ruben Salazar and Humberto Guizar. These twp lawyers have been fighting for RAZA rights since the Movimiento, and now with the recent upsurge in ICE "Migra" raids and threats of deportations (like back in 1927 and 1954 when the Government needed a political issue to remind "us" who's in charge of America) these guys are ready & willing to stand up & fight for the Gente, and have some VERY powerful accomplishments too numerous to list in this piece.

These two Carnales have also been steadfast supporters of Chicano Music for many years, and I am privileged to call them friends. Ruben is also an honorably discharged U.S. Marine.

(Look them up on Facebook, and tell 'em you heard it from LatinoLA!)

LatinoLA wishes to extend congratulations to the Center Theater Group for being able to extend their production of Luis Valdez's historic Chicano play "Zoot Suit" at the Mark Taper Forum due to increased ticket sales. The play runs till April 2 ... catch a little bit of L.A. Chicano history.

Valentine's Day went off pretty good despite it falling on a weekday. Lots of good music shows and dances in and around L.A. the weekend prior.

Probably one of the best and most talked about music gigs for Valentine's Day was the sold-out show hosted by Thee Angel Baby at the Sage Restaurant & Cantina in uptown Whittier featuring Brenton Wood, Steve Salas, Ray Carrion, Rocky Padilla, and others, including special guest Eric Reed, son of Patty Drew. The DJ Crew of Southern Soul Spinners was on hand to jam in between the cuts. Word is, the show was"Da Bomb!"

Three days later, Steve, Brenton, and company braved one of the worst storms of the year and traveled up to Bakersfield, where they put on an equally sold out show at the Tremblor Brewing Company, billed as "A Love Affair to Remember" ... lot of compliments about that one, too!

Not one to slow down when the music gets good, East Los Angeles's Steve Salas, known best as "The Original Voice of TIERRA", will be joining RAY CARRION and the L.A. Latin Legends on Sunday, March 19th at Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A. for another great Old School Music & Comedy Jam that will also be celebrating Ray's birthday.

Live stand up comedy by Rudy Moreno, Gilbert Esquivel, and Jay LaMont.

Celebrity music performers include:
Steve Salas- LiL' Ray Jiminez
Pete Escovedo- Bobby Navarette
Tex Nakamura - Rocky Padilla
Francesca Capasso - Bob DeSena
Jimmy Espinosa - Adrian Monge
Gilbert Orlando - Tony Hernandez
Bobby Loya- John Burrolla
Sal Rodriguez- Gilberto Torres
Hank Castro- Rick Reyes
Steve Campos- Lulu Cardona
Victor Orlando- Gilbert Stokes
Steve Gutierrez - Monibee Henley
Matt Legaspi

DJ Frankie Firme ~ Hosted by Rudy Moreno

FREE PARKING ~ admission price also includes Steven's famous lunch buffet.
VIP and general admission ~ doors open at 2:00 PM- show starts at 3:00 PM
Call for tickets: 323-895-2863.

March 4th: Tony "Congas" Hernandez and The Brothers of Latin Soul Band are performing for the annual "Soy Por Mi Educación" Fundraiser event at the Elements Venue in Bakersfield, California, raising money to buy disadvantaged children in Mexico needed school supplies. A noble cause indeed! For tickets & info: 661-477-7292. ask for Roxy.

March 11th- Gangster Molls Birthday Bash for Bruce Soto
Founder of one of L.A.'s most popular Club/Party Bands SOTO, Bruce Soto invites everyone to his birthday party at the I.V. Lounge in Norwalk. 1930's-40's gangster attire requested.

...did somebody say "Zoot Suit"?...see you there! Wear your best!
Book your reserved seating at: 888-805-1117.

March 18th: The BALANCE Band, one of Southern California's best, takes the stage at Original Mike's in Santa Ana. Show starts at :00 PM. For tickets & info: 714-550-7764.

March 24th: A Night with DW3 and Friends. La Casa Ortega Restaurant & Bar, Riverside, California.
Also featuring: Rich Harmony, Thee Champagne Band, and DJ Dizzo.
Call Vincent Diaz for tickets & table reservations at 951-553-9622.

March 31st: Steve Salas and Brenton "Mr. Oogum Boogum" Wood are back on the road, this time to the Coachella Valley, where Brenda Holloway, Ray Carrion, Rocky Padilla, Bobby Navarette, and others join them for another great Old School music show at the Sol Sport Restaurant in Coachella, California. For tickets & info: www.EventBrite.com - (search Brenton Wood Indio)

March 31st: The L.A. BLUE Band and DJ CAIN ~ Friday night party in East L.A.
The Love/Hate Bar on Pomona Blvd. $5.00 cover all night long. 323-722-7992

[b]April 15th : Ray Carrion Productions presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS, Part V :
3 of L.A.'s best return and take the stage at Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A.[/b] for another great Music & Comedy show and dance featuring:

Comedy by Monique Marvez & Retha Jones
DJ Frankie Firme
Steven's famous dinner buffet included with admission price.
Hosted by MC Pancho
This is NOT a fight, and there ARE NO LOSERS...ONLY WINNERS!
("The BIGGEST winners are the audience!"~ says Ray Carrion)
Doors open at 6:00 PM, show starts at 7:30PM
VIP reserved seating & general admission tickets: 323-895-2863

April 29th: I am more than proud & honored to Host/MC SoCal Event Video's production of TRIBUTE TO THE DECADES DOO~WOP~ OLDIEs Show
featuring live on stage:
~ The Original MEDALLIONS
~ The OTISETTES (of the Johnny Otis Show)
Ports O' Call Village
Marina Seafood Restaurant
1050 Nagoya Way
San Pedro, California
Doors open at 8:00 PM
For Tickets: 310-883-8933 & 669-206-7526
Guys: Put on your Zoot Suits & tongos,
Ladies: break out them 6 inch heels, flowing dresses & skirts, & sexy hairdo's

Mother's Day weekend, Jimmy Sterling brings his "Forever Motown" Tribute Show back to the Colton American Legion Hall, featuring Lady T.Q.'s Tribute to Mary Wells, and more to be announced. More info to come...but if you can't wait, get your advance tickets by calling 909-648-7754. Last show was a sold out success...this one is supposed to be better, Jimmy says.
See y'all there!

I continue to encourage EVERYBODY to step out and live, while enjoying the music of your life...and may the music live forever !
Live, laugh, love, and dance your way out of any depression, and make some good memories while sharing the love!

Speaking of memories... my most most recent memorable account happened just last weekend at [/b]Bruce's in Santa Fe Springs where LULU CARDONA, CHRIS RESERVA, and The Harbor Groove Band[/b] took the stage, celebrating singer/songwriter Miroslava "Lava" Gonzalez's birthday with a great performance that kept us all dancing till after midnight.

I have known Chris Reserva for many years, and I must say, besides being a good friend, he remains one of L.A.'s best "axe men" and "hired gun" guitarists, in league with such talented guys as L.A.'s Ronnie Reyes, Ray Carrion, and George "Dez" Fernandez, or San Jose's Art Galvan ... guys who can sit in with any good band, jam in any genre, and make it look like they been there for years! His home base as lead guitarist for the popular SATISFACTION Band has earned him accolades from fans & other musicians over the years, and most deservedly so!

Singer Lulu Cardona is another good friend my Lady & I have known for years, and have enjoyed her friendship and talent immensely. Her warm sense of humor, impressive stage presence, and angelic yet powerful voice has earned her guest spots with many popular bands during her tenure with Louie Parra & The Mad Latins and now the Harbor Groove Band over the years. ... And like fine wine, she continues to improve, while polishing her act to a most delectable level ... and in TWO languages !

These two have brought some serious attention to the Harbor Groove Band, and deservedly so!

"Look for some pleasant surprises from this girl coming up soon!" Lava Gonzales told me during the night during Lulu's killer performance...I WILL be looking!

¡Orale! That's it for now. My apologies if I left out any of the great bands & singers that continue to bring the music to the people ... I can't be everywhere, and like a lot of Gente, I failed mind-reading in college, so help me .... let us KNOW about your events and gigs!

You can post them here in our Calendario section, or on our Facebook page:
~ on our Facebook page: LAND OF 1000 DANCES ~

Listen to the best music on the World wide web airwaves 24/7 on www.eastLArevue.com, and come say hello to me at the next gig.

You can also find me on Facebook, gracias. NO HATERS, please!
(Find someplace else to be miserable, thank you!)

Until next time ... ay te watcho from the Land of 1000 Dances!

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 a regular contributor to this fine web magazine since 2002
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