News From the Brown Side of Town

Music & entertainment news from the Land of 1000 Dances, 10.9.08

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: October 9, 2008

News From the Brown Side of Town

Whew! The end of summer came with a kick in the Land of 1000 Dances, verdad?

Despite bad weather, fires, layoffs, and economic problems that spread throughout the country like warm apple butter on a warm ba??uelo, the Gente still got down with the music and laughter, and kept it alive con ganas!

Why should we suffer, right?

Out in Texas, surviving the storms in August, the National Tejano Music Convention drew well over 5,000 people that saw the likes of Crazy Chuy Hernandez, Cheech Marin, Johnny Hernandez, Flaco Jimenez, Augustine Ramirez, Chente Barrera, Sunny Ozuna, Elida Reyna, Jay Perez, and Mr. Johnny Gonzalez, founder of EL ZARAPE records, and many other top notch Tejano artists for a straight out party that people are still talking about.

The City of Pico Rivera's first "Sounds of Whittier Boulevard" concert brought out the East L.A. faithful and many welcome outsiders as EL CHICANO, THEE MIDNITERS, RUFUS, BRENTON WOOD, and TIERRA rocked the house for a couple of lucky thousand at the Pico Rivera Sports Areana, also celebrating L.A. DJ Victor Zaragosa's first year on the airwaves as L.A.'s newest Chicano music star.

TIERRA also released their latest CD, "On the Right Track", staging a CD release party at the Crazy Horse in West Covina that was well attended. I haven't heard it yet, but when I do, you'll be sure to hear it on the East L.A. Revue & Chicano Express radio stations.

The San Fernando Valley now has bragging rights that the legendary group WAR, featuring one of their favorite sons, SAL RODRIGUEZ, have been nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Even though many entertainment venues and casinos are experiencing dwindling numbers due to the economy, places like the WHITTIER RADISSON HOTEL, the NORWALK GUESTHOUSE, the SANTA FE SPRINGS SWAP MEET, and many outdoor venues kept the music playing and the Gente jammin' all summer long, a tribute to all the artists that entertained the masses and kept our minds off our gas tanks for a minute.

Up north in Santa Clara, The Avalon Club hosted such East L.A. stalwarts as EL CHICANO and TIERRA, while hosting tributes to bay area legends like SAPO and AZTECA, with heavy hitters like the KOOL KATZ backing them up and keeping it alive, and PEPE MARQUEZ continues to be a favorite up in the Santa Barbara-Carpinteria area.

Rumors have it Pepe may be joining the legendary CHICO Band soon.

The BLUES STRAIGHT UP Band came out of brief retirement, and the SFV's COMPANY Band released their new CD while making stops in Lompoc, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Santa Paula, Piru, and the Commerce Casino this past summer.

Internet/Cable TV's THEE MR. DURAN Show continues going strong, and the mighty East L.A. Revue and Chicano Express radio stations continue bringing that Brown sound to listeners around the World, playing what YOU want to hear.

Our heartfelt well wishes go out to Mr. Dan Rios of the SANGRIA Band after his recent surgery, and the Tejano Music world still stands on needles & pins hoping for the best for Mr. Joe Jama, who also underwent surgery recently.

Luis Rodriguez's TIA CHUCHA CULTURAL CENTER will be sponsoring a fundraising event for their youth group the YOUNG WARRIORS on November 22nd that will feature a classic car show, and a concert featuring ROCKY PADILLA, PEPE MARQUEZ, The SATISFACTION Band, and other popular music groups to be announced at a near future date. Frankie Firme will be your host & MC, and more details will be announced here on LatinoLA, so stay logged on.

Of course, hard charging L.A. bands like CHICO, BACKTRAXX, THE MAD LATINS, SOUL PURSUIT, TRAFFIC JAM, ACE, SOTO, SUAVE, The L.A. RHYTHM KINGS, and BALANCE haven't gone anywhere and are still out there, available for gigs & parties when you need a top notch party & dance band.

The Chicano music documentary movie "Chicano Rock", co-produced by Ruben Molina, premiers Thursday, October 9th at 6:30pm at the historic Million Dollar Theater on 7th & Broadway streets in downtown L.A. For more info: www.mictlan.com .

THUMP records is now offering digital downloads of EL CHICANO's "Painting the moment" CD (pictured) for your listening pleasure. For more info: chavez@thumprecords.com

After 40 years, the student activists that helped organize the historic East L.A. high school walkouts that was a pre-curser to the Chicano Movimiento in 1968 were recently awarded the prestigious Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Awarad at the annual Inner City Struggle's award dinner held at the Luminarias restaurant in Montery Park. Congratulations to Sal Castro & his "kids" !!

That's about it for now, Mi Gente.

Be well! Live, laugh, and love heartily. Respect yourself and our women, protect and educate our children, and keep a prayer in your hearts for our brave men & women serving in uniform around the World, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And check out LatinoLA's calendar section daily, along with the many wonderful articles from some of Aztlan's finest hearts & minds.

Ay te watcho, from the Land of 1000 Dances!

Frankie Firme

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard on internet radio at www.eastLArevue.com and www.chicanoexpress.com
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