News from the Brown side of Town - 10.14.06

Action from the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: October 14, 2006

News from the Brown side of Town - 10.14.06

Orale, Mi Gente!! No te precupes...glad to report that simply because the weather is beginning to chill here in Southside Kali doesn't mean that the action for that good looking, mature, sexy, bi-lingual, funk-loving, rock & rolling, Chicano crowd de Azltan is anywhere near cold...

...although we are well known for being "cool"...know what I mean?

I mean, no ay pedo, tu sabe...but I just can't see myself in a cowboy hat and 1970s disco suit, listening to blaring Norteno or Banda music that just isn't native to my part of the planet...or shaving my head, wearing oversized clothes to hide my pansa and show off my chonies, looking like a target, and trippin' on loud , 3 beat bass & percussion while somebody rhymes (I didn't say SINGS) in a threatening tone about how unsafe my beloved Land of 1000 Dances is with violence, drugs, and promiscuous females who deserve NO respect...

...and convince you my Gente & I had a good time...know what I mean?

Orale! Glad you're still with me on this one!

"1 Chicano, 2 Chicanos, 3 Chicanos, 4! We get together and party down, and we always come back for more!" (...quote me, ese!...)

This past week has been jammin' for that crowd that has a job, respects their significant others and themselves, loves to dance, and don't need to snort or smoke anything foreign to enjoy Azlan and be that way.

As always, the finest Chicano music can be heard coast to coast, and around the World on KCLA FM and Chicano Express Radio. For more info: www.frankiefirme.50megs.com, where it's always a Brown thing, baby!

And now a new addition to my Chicano music family: The 2nd Time Around Show with Frankie Firme, and the famed "Eastside Sound" of World renown RAMPART RECORDS have joined forces in a brainchild product of Steven Chavez that archives classic Chicano music for you 24/7 on www.frankiefirme.50megs.com.

3:00 in the morning and can't sleep? (...or got company and don't want to?) then click on Steven Chavez's radio page" www.eastLArevue.com...you may be pleasantly surprised...for more info, email: stevenchavez68@hotmail.com.

Lot's of talk still of L.A.'s newest Chicana singing sensation Melinda Del Toro. Word on the block is that a couple of L.A.'s hottest bands are looking to arrange some auditions with this gorgeous Lady of Brown sound soon. For more info, check out www.melindadeltoro.com...(of course we'l get you the 411 here first!)

If that's not enough of good stuff, we're getting some in-coming news about another young Chicana diva coming up the pipe, Ms. Claudia Gonzalez. Spotlighting for her new group, CAVA, I haven't yet the pleasure of catching her act, but enough positive e-mails have come in from the Land of 1000 Dances to give her some mention. (You go, girl! Get a hold of us!)

Last Friday, the W.A.V.E. fundraiser Dance~Concert in Mission Hills, Califas, went off like a bursting geyser that sprinkled everyone in attendance with love and good feelings.

Through ticket-dinner sales, raffles, and in house auctions, (not to mention some serious contributions from strong community members and organizations) the event raised well needed funds to keep the organization afloat and continuing on its well acclaimed mission of improving the lives of victims of domestic violence.

Set in the luxurious atmosphere of the Ararat Grand Ballroom, on a beautiful starlit Southern Califas evening, Comedian Rudy Moreno hosted the fist part of the show, giving up a side splitting routine during dinner, before introducing the East L.A. Revue All Star Band, who took over from there. With special invited guest, Chicano singing sensation Pepe Marquez, they rocked and rolled, and Gente in their formal best worked up a well deserved sweat, with lots of smiles on the side.

The second half host duties went to yours truly, as I rocked the house in between sets as house DJ, and set the tone for a young man who proposed to his wife to be on this magic night with the unanimous blessing of the audience. Great nights contain great memories , and this evening had no shortage. For more info on the W.A.V.E. (Women Empowering the Valley thru Education, Economics, and Empowerment) call (818) 362-9115

As expected, the SATISFACTION Band simply rocked the house till closing at the Lakewood Hop and the newly renamed-remodeled Crown Plaza L.A. Harbor Hotel (formerly the Sheraton).Still one of L.A.'s best and most sought after dance music groups in the "burrito circuit", SATISFACTON finished off a successful Summer tour with private gigs at political functions & aboard cruise ships. Always ready, they also made one of the many generous sponsors to the SFVs "COGNAC ATTACK" dodgeball team in the recent dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas. For more info: www.satisfactionband.com

Making his well anticipated return to the San Fernando Valley, Louie Cruz Beltran and his group packed the house at the legendary Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City this weekend, keeping lots of L.A. salseros happy and in the groove, while the L.A. Rhythm Kings took it down south for a minute, bustin' it wide open at Original Mike's in Orange County with a taste of L.A. Old School, funk, & RB.

Drummer Aaron Ballesteros (TIERRA, THEE MIDNITERS, EL CHICANO fame) and his new group APB, who's CD "Be on the lookout" has been nominated for a Grammy Award, have got the nod to headline this year's Tamale Festival in Riverside. For more info: www.apbmusic.org

When competition, gig dates, inter-band politics, and the ever changing minds of club owners & audiences make more & more demands, some bands collapse, lose steam, or simply fade off into pleasant memories-ville. The NightFlight2 Band had one hell of a run for a year, enthralling audiences around Southside Kali before succumbing to real world responsibilities and show biz pressure.

We at LatinoLA wish all the former members well in their retirement, and thank them for some great gigs. The good news is that the former manager and drummer, Mr. Peter Jaramillo, was one of the few members that happens to be sitting at good spot in life right now. Not one to be bitter, he has established the J.E.G. (Jaramillo Entertainment Group), which like a phoenix, has risen from the ashes to answer the Gente's request and thirst for Chicano Blues music. Peter has a new location which will spotlight some of L.A.'s best, like Blues Bettie featuring Shari Puorto, Thee Rhythm Kings featuring Jumpin'Jack Benny, Reno Jones, and rumor has it he may even present the finest Chicano Blues band on the planet, the legendary Blues Straight Up Band, featuring Lava Gonzalez. (OOOOOOOH!...I just gave myself a chill!) for more info, give Peter a call at (626) 859-7668.

One of East L.A.'s biggest promoters of East L.A. and the Eastside Sound, RAMPART RECORDS & EAST L.A. REVUE President Steven Chavez wants to remind everybody that Belmont High School (Alma Mater of his beloved Lady Juanita) classes of 1968,69, 70, 71, and 72, where reportedly some of the most talented and good looking Gente came from, are having a grand re-union at the Pala Indian Casino and Resort in San Diego on Saturday, October 1st.For tickets info: gonzalezchris@hotmail.com, or stevenchavez68@hotmail.com ~ a night of wining, dining, an dancing like Kings & Queens is expected. Show us what you (still) got!

As far as solo Chicano Rock & Roll, Funk, and Classic R & B artists (actual singers, kids...) on the CD hot list, a compilation of votes from Chicano Express Radio, KCLA FM, and LatinoLA show Santa Barbara's Pepe Marquez ("Dance mamacita") leading East L.A.'s Steve Salas ("Relections") by a slight margin for most requested new CD on internet radio. At the time of this writing, live 65's "Maloman's Hot Party Mix" radio station's votes had not come in yet, but Pepe is heard pretty regularly on that station as well. For more info on both these guys: www.pepemarquez.com and www.stevesalastierra.com ~ and tell 'em you heard it from Frankie Firme!

In closing, I must respond to numerous inquiries as to where myself, and friends like Crazy Chuy Hernandez, Steven Chavez, Ruben Molina, and Abelardo de la Pe?a of LatinoLA.com stand as far as the upcoming elections and the on going war in Iraq & Afghanstan.....

...respecting these men enough not to take liberty in speaking for them, I say that I always, always, aways, support & pray for our troops. Too many brave men & women, BROWN men & women, have put on the uniform for me to ever disrespect their commitment....I know because I made that commitment twice!

...my politics, and the politics of my friends, are private choices that we must all respect after a true review of facts for our own perspectives and satisfaction...

...and (thankfully), NONE of us are politicians....that's why we remain friends!

Ay te wacho, from the land of 1000 Dances!~!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme's website:www.frankiefirme.50megs.com
e-mail: frankiefirme@migente.com or

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