News from the Brown Side of Town

Happenings in the Land of 1000 Dances, 12.2.08

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: December 2, 2008

News from the Brown Side of Town

Orale, Mi Gente!

Here's hoping that your Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day went well in the month of November, and your lives are starting to get back on track as the price of gasoline which signaled the start of a lot of problems over eight months ago) and other stuff starts to go back down to human levels, and we enter into the last couple of weeks of 2008.

One can NEVER have enough turkey, ham, tamales, and love, know what I mean?

We of course congratulate President-elect Barak Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, and pray that life will get better under their leadership‘«™and that our brave troops will come home soon.

‘«™regardless of your political or personal orientation, we all need to remember that our guys and gals putting their lives on the line everyday they put on that United States Armed Forces uniform, like the gallant firefighters and police that distinguished themselves in the recent fires throughout California, deserve our appreciation for being who and where they are.

‘«™thanks, you guys! There just aren't enough words to convey the love!

?ŪOrale! On with Brown side news, watcha:

As I reported last month, L.A.'s reigning kings of Chicano Rock & Roll and R&B, TIERRA, have come out with another jewel from the treasure of talent with the release of their newest CD, "On the Right Track", a fine collection of original and cover tunes that spotlight the superb vocal talents of Rudy Salas, Steve Salas, Billy Mondragon, and Victor Cisneros, with some impressive music arrangements by one of the better bands in the business, not to mention some fine guest appearances by WAR's Sal Rodriguez and members of MALO and the NEIL DIAMOND band.

A great effort from a tradition of great efforts, TIERRA's latest masterpiece proves once again why their timeless and distinctive sound continues to attract a large fan base from those who appreciate the art of music, Chicano style, across the country. Crooning ballads, some heartbreaking, some romantic, along with some cumbia, Latin soul, a surprisingly ripping tribute to James Brown, a taste of today's R&B, and of course, the hard hitting brass and bilingual Chicano rock sound that is unmistakenly TIERRA, will make this a welcome addition to your music collection. Texas's Crazy Chuy Hernandez & Chicano Express Radio were honored to debut the CD first on world wide Internet Radio. For more info: www.tierramusic.com

Rumors are that a new Rudy & Steve Salas project is in the works, scheduled for release in early spring 2009. You will hear about it first here on LatinoLA.com.

As expected, the word about the recent return of singer EILEEN BENAVIDES to L.A.'s powerful SATISFACTION Band has gotten around quickly, as evidenced by a full, packed house this past Saturday at the Norwalk Guest Inn, as the Gente danced off them well-earned Thanksgiving Day pounds with ease all night long. It felt good to be dancing in a packed club again, the SATISFACTION Band couldn't have thanked the fans enough, and my Lady and I couldn't have been in better company, as THEE MIDNITERS legend George Salazar and his lady joined us for a night of true partying. Truly satisfying, for more info: www.satisfactionband.com , and make your holiday plans early!

Word has it that SATISFACTION's popular saxophonist brother Jimmy Silva will be down for a short while due to surgery, and well wishes are welcome at: chris@satisfactionband.com. Get well, brother Jimmy!

The Chicano music world suffered a loss as Chicano crooner DIMAS GARZA passed away last month in San Antonio, Texas. Tribute shows were played on the East L.A. Revue, Lost Memories, and the Chicano Express internet radio stations for the World to hear.

Out in the Inland Empire, 99.1 FM KGGI Chicano DJ Angel "Baby" Rodriguez's TURKEY JAM 5 was an excellent success, providing a superb Thanksgiving Day dinner for hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn't have had a good family meal due to hard times. A big thanks goes out to Angel Baby and all the great volunteers who donated their food, time, and love‘«™making it special for a lot of Gente‘«™especially the young children, who experienced the love of strangers. For more info, e-mail Angel at: theeangelbaby@gmail.com. Angel's "Old School" show can be heard every Sunday at 3pm on KGGI FM, Riverside.

Keeping the Gente happy on Thanksgiving weekend was the happening thing as THE MAD LATINS Band kicked up the chancla at SCHOONER's in Colton to a lively crowd, and L.A.'s "Conga Ray" Ybarra hooked up with Mr. PEPE MARQUEZ and the Latin Soul Revue Band as they packed 'em in at THE PALMS in Carpinteria. Never said to disappoint the crowds, the Mad Latins can be contacted at: THEMADLATINSBAND@msn.com, and Pepe Marquez invites you to his website at www.pepemarquez.comt.

Coming back to L.A. , San Fernando's THE COMPANY Band, featuring the delightful Lady BECKY CORDOVA, recently sold out houses at The Commerce Casino and The Norwalk Guest House, proving that "The Valley" can hold their own musically in the Land of 1000 Dances, and that the Gente will not suffer without music, dancing, and the love of life if they can help it. Keyboard player and bandleader EDIIE GARCIA recently joined up with other SFV musicians and SOL TROPICAL as they headlined a benefit concert for the victims of the recent Sylmar fires at the San Fernando Moose Lodge. The COMPANY band will be performing in the Valley in the month of December at the 60/25 Club in Tarzana, and DON CUCO's in Santa Clarita, along with their annual New Year's Eve party at the Fairways Country Club in Pacoima. For show times & dates, go to: www.thecompanyband-tcb.com .

Still the Chicano king of Internet TV, THEE MR. DURAN continues to spotlight some of the best Chicano music talent in Aztlan at: www.mrduran.com, live, every Wednesday.

Not to be left out of the mix of catering to the Gente during hard times, Peter Jaramillo & the WHITTIER RADISSON HOTEL and Lounge Clubs have also kept things interesting (as well as affordable) and are welcoming back the heavy crowds that can again afford to leave their block to drive out to party! This past weekend, their Disco Night party and DOWN WITH 3 concert/dance were sold out, standing room only events. Besides the usual, crowd attracting fare, Peter invites all to his New Year's Eve bash where all 3 clubs/ballrooms will be popping with Disco, Salsa, Latin Soul, R&B and Rock & Roll themes for everybody's dancing pleasure to bring in the New Year with an improved sound system, discount rooms & drinks, and where the ladies ALWAYS get in free before 9pm. For more info: www.jegrp.com.

Frankie Firme's new book "When Vatos Locos ruled the World" is set to go to press and will published and available in the spring of 2009. A compilation of short stories reflecting Brown life of a generation in L.A. during the 1960's to the mid 1980's , the release date will be announced exclusively here on LatinoLA.com.

Not surprisingly, "El Mero-Mero", Mexico's Vicente Fernandez, sold out all three appearances of his annual Los Angeles Concert last month. I've only seen him perform once about nine years ago, but it was just a great experience that I will always remember, and I still jam his music from time to time.

The MELA Counseling Service Center, which serves women and children at risk of domestic violence & poverty in the greater Los Angeles area, will be hosting their annual Christmas Gala Fundraiser Reception at the LUMINARIA's Restaurant Salon Room in Monterey Park on Thursday, December 11th, to which the Community is invited. For tickets, reservations, and information, please call: (323) 728-0100.

Also at LUMINARIA's, BOBBY & the BLACKOUTS will be performing on December 19th , at a 1950's Rock & Roll themed , pre-Christmas bash where 1950's attire is heavily recommended. Puff up that hair, break out the tres flores & high school varsity jacket, bring plenty of chewing gum, and bring out the bobby-socker and pachuco-suave dancer in you as Bobby & the Blackouts will rock & roll you back into the 'Good old days'. For tickets & information : (323) 268-4177. Brought to you by Rick Ortiz Productions.

As always the best music is heard on www.eastLArevue.com, www.chicanoexpress.com, and www.djchentemrog.com/RADIOSHOW.htm. Three times the music and variety, less commercials, and less re-runs, heard coast to coast, and around the World. My new shows will feature some rare & classic Oldies but Goodies as well as new music from TIERRA, the SUENOS Band, the BACKTRAXX Band, the KOOL KATZ, Big FRANK GOMEZ, the L.A. CARPOOL, QUINTO SOL, the TORTILLA FACTORY,and VEL OMARR and the PIZAZZ Band.

As always, the word of Aztlan is heard here, on LatinoLA.com, where we invite you to visit our Calendar page, as well as all the other colorful & informative pages, to truly get a taste of the "Brown experience" here in the Land of 1000 Dances.

Your contributed writings and listing of events are welcome, and FREE to post, reaching thousands of Latinos across the Country!

Thanks to all our readers and contributors for another great year of music, news, stories, poems, art, entertainment and culture from the City of Angels and beyond‘«™.

‘«™2008 wasn't that bad, after all.

Happy Holidays y 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 daily on Internert Radio
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