News from the Brown Side of Town
Happenings in the Land of 1000 Dances, 1.1.08
Orale, Mi Gente, and welcome to 2008!
Published on LatinoLA: December 30, 2007
As expected, the West Coast of Aztlan rocked & rolled, there was dance and romance, lots of food for every babe & dude, as we all said goodbye and thanked heaven, for the end of 2007...while the music played on.
All during the holiday season, the East L.A. Revue and Chicano Express Internet Radio stations gave up some of the sweetest Chicano music you ever heard, and we thank executive producers Steven Chavez & Crazy Chuy Hernandez for their efforts out of love for our people & our music! The most talked about book lately, and a great gift, is Juan Felipe Herrera's "187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border," a manifesto if ever there was one for the new day dawning.
The Land of 1000 Dances was alive with music, dancing & entertainment, and I hope that everyone that came out from different parts of the Country & the World (post fires, post political & celebrity scandals, post housing crisis, post Hollywood writers strike publicity) had as good a time as us locals.
First & foremost, we give a righteous THANK YOU to our brave men & women serving in uniform around the World for your selfless devotion to promoting freedom & democracy so we can enjoy the fruits of your labor...the freedom & safety to party with friends, family, and strangers...and not even one suicide bomber in the mix to blow it for anybody...
...and LA FAVORITA on Brannick Street in East L.A. is still the best place on earth to get your tamales!!!!
A recent news article quoted a person in the Middle East complaining that there are suicide bombers, random bomb explosions, snipers, kidnappings, executions, and rocket attacks all over Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Africa...why not in America?
...DUUHH!! We know how to act, we have the finest military on earth, and we'd rather party, dance, and love our children than blow ourselves up...don't you get it? Orale!
Starting off the weekend leading up to New Year's, I was honored & privileged to Host/MC/House DJ for the San Fernando Valley's PACHUCO Car Club as they welcomed L.A.'s formidable SATISFACTION Band back to the Valley for their 2nd Annual Holiday Party & Dance Concert.
With a well dressed and good looking party crowd, plenty of food & drink, and love & carnalismo in the air, the SATISFACTION Band, featuring the much heralded return of vocalist Natali Renee, satisfied to no end, packing the dance floor after only 2 songs and keeping it that way the rest of he night. The PACHUCOS and their ladies were looking good, and it was a classy affair indeed! East L.A. Revue Radio's Steven & Janie Chavez, and members of the original THEE MIDNITERS/MIDNITE's MOON bands George Salazar and Benny Lopez were among the crowd, and George Salazar was invited on stage to join lead singer Robert Benavides in a truly memorable rendition of the Midniter classic grinder "That's All".
The next night, all eyes & ears of L.A. were turned south to Orange County as the City of Angel's youngest musical warriors de Aztlan, the WISEGUYS big band machine, performed to an over capacity packed house crowd at the Disney Anaheim House of Blues. With sexy opening dance numbers by the Paso de Oro Dance Troupe of Montebello, and then, a serious East L.A. style butt kicking Rock-a-billy performance by the RHYTHM ROCKETS that brought standing ovations, the WISEGUYS and their classic big band style peformance made for one of the better musical evenings I've had all year, as promoter Rick Ortiz pulled out all the stops for the 1000-plus crowd members in attendance. The WISEGUYS, 18 members strong, were simply flawless, and got more than a couple of standing ovations. Singers Rudy Salas of TIERRA, and Pepe Marquez of Santa Barbara were spotted rocking out in the crowd. The only sad part about this one was the couple of hundred people standing outside the House of Blues that didn't get in.
The next night was New Year's Eve, and man, Aztlan was jumping!
In San Bernardino, KGGI FM's ANGEL BABY and the 10 EAST Band got things going at Ray's Downtown Deli with Old School dancing & romancing.
In East L.A., Mr. Duran hosted TIERRA, JOE BATAAN, and BALANCE, as they brought in the New Year at Steven's Steakhouse with a good looking veterano crowd that just wouldn't stop dancing.
In Carpinteria, Pepe Marquez and his new Latin Soul Review Band packed 'em in at the Palms Restaurant by the Sea for the end of 2007.
Further up north, Tejano singing star Johnny Hernandez joined the KOOL KATZ Band for some cool partying, dancing, and merrymaking under the stars in Santa Clara.
In Orange County, the SATISFACTION Band rang in the new year at Original Mike's in Santa Ana, with a packed house, dance floor, and lots of pretty ladies. Word has it that guitarist Chris Reserva & singer Robert Benavides were in "da zone". (Nothing new!)
In Whittier, at the world renown Raddisson Hotel Grand Ballroom, SUAVE, the G-SPOTS, and the mixing of DJ TIME, packed the crowd & dance floor for heavy duty boogying and merry making.
And the big one....yours truly, FRANKIE FIRME, hosting the premier sights & sounds of the San Fernando Valley's finest, THE COMPANY Band, featuring the "Diamond of the Valley", Ms BECKY CORDOVA, along with the magnificent DJ mixes of SFV club legend Flacomania, made this one of L.A.'s finest nights. Generous gourmet dining, endless drinks, non-stop dancing, beautiful people, champagne, door prizes, and all the party favors, all in an elegant setting at the luxurious Fairways Tavern & Golf Course Country Club in Pacoima.
Due to a last minute talent change, the COMPANY Band happily introduced their new singing sensation, the "Pearl of San Fernando", the lovely Ms. Anita Salazar, as a perfect compliment to the gorgeous Becky Cordova, thus, the lucky crowd was treated to beautiful "Diamond & Pearl" vocals all night long. These 2 ladies sang & danced their way into everybody's heart, as the New Year and the COMPANY's new CD were introduced at the stroke of midnight. Like everybody else in the house, my Lady and I danced, laughed, ate, drank, and kissed like teenagers...it was just that good of a night for all of us sexy grandparents!!
It may have been a not so good year for some of us, but the year's end was simply marvelous! All events listed boasted generous amounts of food, drink, dancing, smiles, love, carnalismo, and real good feelings shared. Stepping out was just good tonic for everyone!
Not an idiot or pendejo in the carload, and it seemed that everywhere I went, and everybody I talked to, people were interested in just having a good time, putting old pedo and hard feelings aside, and sharing the love and respect that is Aztlan for the Holiday season.
...and for that, I stand grateful...and proud to be BROWN!
2008 has lots of new things, more shows, and more dancing in our future, so be prepared to live life...because sitting on the porch munching nachos just ain't gonna get it!!
Pray for our troops, respect our women, protect our children, step out more often, help fight the scourge that is gang violence & drug abuse in our neighborhoods, and remember...love & education is the greatest gift we can give our children & each other!
Ay te watcho, from the Land of 1000 Dances!
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul, heard on www.eastLArevue.com and www.ChicanoExpress.com