News From the Brown Side of Town, 8.18.08

Happenings in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: August 18, 2008

News From the Brown Side of Town, 8.18.08

Whew! Summer's almost over, but it's still hot in the Land of 1000 Dances, where we hope you've had some good memories.

There's still time to make some before the kids go back to school, so get out there!!

As always, we wish love and safekeeping to our brave men & women serving overseas in Iraq & Afghanistan, and even though most of America's attention is focused on the Olympics...we wish to point out the TRUE heroes of America, who don't need gold medals to make us proud of them!

Orale! On with the news, watcha:

As expected, the Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival was a huge success, bigger and better than ever! With an estimated crowd of 70,000 on Saturday, and over 90,000 on Sunday, it was just a straight out party with Gente dancing, dining, and drinking to their heart's content in the sea breeze kissed metropolis that is Oxnard, Califas, from noon to sundown on both days.

Welcoming back the festivals' favorite sons, NUESTRO, beautiful weather and great dancing music set the tone as top salsa talent such as the fabulous LESLIE PAULA, ORQUESTA CHARANGOA, OPA OPA, SUSIE HANSEN, ANGEL LEBRON, and making his first Oxnard appearance, Mr. CHINO ESPINOSA, made it all worth the trip, as we all celebrated host Mr. Pablo Ortiz's birthday. Spotted in the crowd was singer PEPE MARQUEZ, and the folks from the Salesian Rock & Roll Show committee, having a ball, and getting their salsa on.

See you all in Oxnard next year in July for another great party!!

Mixing the best of L.A. with the north & south of the West Coast in some sizzling summer action, East L.A.'s TIERRA hooked up with Santa Ana's BARELA in San Juan Capistrano while L.A.'s Sal Rodriguez & WAR shared a stage with Oakland's Emilio Castillo and the TOWER OF POWER at the Ventura County Fair for a killer California weekend that drew large crowds, and also saw yours truly adding another notch to the old age belt.

Thank you all for the great birthday wishes and e-mails, and thank you, Crazy Chuy Hernandez & the staff of Chicano Express Radio, for the great show dedication.

Thanks also goes out to Peter Jaramillo and the staff of the Whittier Radisson Hotel, and Steve Perez and the staff of Steve's Bar-B-Que & Blues Restaurant in Whittier for all their hospitality and continued good times, keeping locals and visitors alike happy with great music, great food, and great times! Staying local never hurt better.

The Norwalk Guesthouse (formerly the Norwalk Saddleback Inn) is making a comeback as far as live bands and great parties go, featuring such heavy hitters as SOTO, SATISFACTION, SANGRIA, and THE COMPANY BAND, among others to bring the crowds back out. Friday nights seem to have taken a good turn on Firestone Blvd. lately, so keep your eyes here on LatinoLA for more 411, and we will bring it to you!

BRUCE's in Norwalk was the scene for a great party this past weekend as cable TV's "East L.A. Rey" Garza celebrated another birthday, with TRAFFIC JAM providing some great dance and party music for a full house of lively, good looking Gente. The party and the music was all the way live, and if you haven't heard TRAFFIC JAM lately...you most definitely should! They put on a pretty good show with guest star drummer Ralph Orozco of the SATISFACTION Band that had me on the dance floor for most of the night.

Happy Birthday, Rey! Hope you had a good one! (Home~boy could be the poster child for the Geritol crowd, as he was out there on the dance floor all night long, surrounded by pretty ladies till closing!)

Sadly, the Lakewood Hop has followed the fate of its sister club, the Puente Hills Hop, and has had stopped having live bands and dancing for that good-looking, hip, and over-40 Chicano party crowd as the Lakewood Hop's popular promoter Steve Caudillo steps lightly off to bigger and better things. Thanks for the memories, Steve, you threw many a good party in the City of Lakewood, and I had many a good time there as your guest.

On another note, the Annual Salesian Rock and Roll show went off like clockwork as CHICO, DOWN WITH 3, and BALANCE had the Gente rockin' & rollin' at this annual party event celebrating art, music, and Chicano commitment to excellence. As many people know, the "East Side Sound" originated from Salesian High School music teacher Bill Taggert's interest in young Chicanos in the early 1960's.

The City of Pico Rivera, long known as "The city down by the river" in L.A.'s classic and romantic San Gabriel Valley (also known as the "Valley of Brown Lovers") celebrates 50 years as an incorporated city this Saturday at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena as TIERRA, BRENTON WOOD, EL CHICANO, RUFUS, and THEE MIDNITERS featuring Greg Esparza take the stage live. For more info, go here. The occasion also celebrates 92.3 FM's Victor Zaragoza's first year as an L.A. radio broadcaster, serving the Gente that "Brown sound" of L.A. just the way we like it!

As we all know, finest music in the land is found at www.eastLArevue.com and www.ChicanoExpress.com. We also wish to thank Randy Tivens and his staff from www.rockinradio.com for giving me the chance to guest DJ on his show, airing a little historical East L.A. music and 411 for the month of July. Rockin Radio still plays the "finest Oldies you never heard" so we invite you to check him out.

For all the info on what's happening in L.A., click to our Calendar page, where all the happenings are listed. Posting them is FREE and EASY! Just click here, fill out the form and the 411 reaches more Latinos than a chismosa after three cups of Starbucks!

Keep informed, get educated, support our troops overseas, protect and respect our women and childrenand share sunshine and the love of our people every chance you get!

Ay te watcho, from the Land of 1000 Dances

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone, and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul.
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