News from the Brown Side of Town, April 21

Happenings in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: April 21, 2009

News from the Brown Side of Town, April 21

New outdoor heat records, Oscar De La Hoya retiring from boxing, the LAUSD laying off teachers, the increase in crime correlating with the increase of unemployment and sales taxes, the Lakers making the playoffs, and the Mayor of the City of Angels making sure his daughter kept her $62,000.00 a year job at City Hall (which she NEVER interviewed or qualified for) with benefits, as he asked workers to take a pay cut while he cut City services: that's the talk of the town at local hangouts around Los Angeles these past couple of weeks.

Everywhere, politicians, corporate executives, and their overpaid staff are starting to look nervous that their "game" may be up‘«™some are even getting busted for stuff that in better times wouldn't have earned a second thought, but now, Jose and Juanita Q. Public want some accountability from the millionaires that fed off the public trough and purse, as they reaped their undeserved riches in the name of "serving" the people.

"And oh! Isn't it just too sweet?" a popular cable TV commentator recently shouted as she read off the names of at least four wealthy former politicians and four wealthy heads of Corporations who have publicly fallen from grace because of getting caught doing what they did to make themselves wealthy (but alas‘«™they remain wealthy despite joining the ranks of the unemployed) .

The air and political atmosphere is starting to get funky‘«™so let's turn our attention to a better kind of mature and tasteful funk for a minute‘«™watcha:

As expected, the San Fernando Valley's BAG OF TRICKS Band gave up one heck of a good performance for a goo- sized crowd of the SFV last Friday, as they came into the SFV Marine Corps League's new home in Reseda loaded for bear, and ready to open up a summer season of live performances and dances‘«™. and blew the roof off the place.

A popular local group made up of six talented musicians & singers, the BAG OF TRICKS Band has joined such heavy hitters as The COMPANY BAND, Comedian GILBERT ESQUIVEL, and WAR's SAL RODRIGUEZ in showcasing talent from another side of Los Angeles, California‘«™ the San Fernando Valley.

"I've always liked them, and I've heard them play before‘«™so I knew I had to have these guys play at one of our functions. Luckily, they were available to play for our opening night", SFV Marine Corps League Commandant Bennie Najar Jr. said. "As I saw first hand people out here dancing and having a good time all night long, I knew we made the right choice!".

Indeed, as the BAG OF TRICKS went through their trademark sets of Top 40, Latin Soul, Disco, R&B, Funk, and Cumbias, the dance floor stood full all night long. Just to make yours truly happy (as if sharing a stage with them wasn't enough!), the band gave up a bun burning version of my favorite Blues song "Stormy Monday"‘«™which only Bobby Blue Bland or Madam Lava Gonzalez of the Blues Straight Up Band could have done any better, as far as I'm concerned. I had been playing their music on the LOST MEMORIES SHOW at www.djchentemrog.com all month long as well, and have been getting some great audience response.

Sitting in the audience, and later on, steppin' on the dance floor, guitarist Chris Reserva of the SATISFACTION Band, probably one of the better axe men in L.A., had nothing but props for the Bag of Tricks. "These guys are good, I mean REALLY good! We are scheduled to play here in June, and these guys just set a nice high standard that every other band is going to have work hard to keep up with, or try to beat." Coming from a man of his talent, those words were definitely heard by yours truly.

BAG OF TRICKS‘«™watch out, mi Gente‘«™here they come! www.botricks.com.

The LOST MEMORIES RADIO SHOW at www.djchentemrog.com is steadily growing in world wide listening audience as DJ's Mr. O.G. , Frankie Firme, George Miller Jr., Lady CeCe, and MC Boulevard continue to play what nobody else plays, 24/7, 365 days a year. If you're looking for that rare Oldie, Soul Oldie, or Doo-Wop, it's probably available at the Lost Memories store, where all the finest Oldies labels, including THUMP Records, are available now.

Bob DeSena continues to rock L.A. as one of L.A.'s premier Latin Jazz/Salsa bands, giving up a sizzling performance at L.A. Millenium Biltmore Hotel last week. Bob continues his Southern California tour of performances along the west coast , so check out his calendar at www.bobdesena.com.

The SOUL PURSUIT Band is coming to your neighborhood soon. May 2nd finds them at the Alhambra American Legion Hall, and then they come out west to the Reseda American Legion Hall on August 21st for a "Friday Night at the Legion " dance hosted by the SFV Marine Corps League. For more info on gigs in between, checkout twww.soulpursuitband.com.

The ANTHONY PRIETO BAND continues to rock the central west coast well, coming off killer performances in Santa Barbara-Carpinteria area, the Anthony Prieto band will be performing April 24th & 25th at the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo held at the Earl Warren Showgrounds , then they come down south to the Inland Empire where they will be performing at Ray's Downtown Deli in San Bernardino July 11th . July 17th finds them in the heart of the San Fernando Valley as the SFV Marine Corps League continues their "Friday night at the Legion" concert/dance series. For more info, e-mail: rayyb@charter.net or call 818-621-3920.

As always, the Whittier Radisson Hotel has been hosting some outstanding dances & concerts, with DOWN WITH 3 and the IMPACT Band recently rocking the house. Due to popular request & demand, live bands are again back in season for Saturday nights, as well as Friday nights. In a show of love, well over 1,000 people attended a benefit support concert for the CHICO Band's veteran guitarist DANNY DIAZ last Sunday in the Grand Ballroom. " It was just a great evening of love & support for one of our own", Peter Jaramillo proudly states, "All the bands played their hearts out, and the large crowd included many popular veteran L.A. Chicano Music artists like Steve Salas & Bobby Rodriguez. Everybody had a great time for a great cause". For info on future gigs, including the return of SUSIE HANSEN and the Radisson's Salsa season, go to www.jegrp.com.

Speaking of Salsa, the Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival is coming up at the "Barrio by the Sea", Oxnard, California, on July 25th & 26th . What started out as a local celebration of love, music, and all things salsa 16 years ago has now become a world class event, drawing people from all parts of the globe to enjoy the culturally rich music , people, dance, art, and beautiful weather that epitomizes summer on the West Coast, in the Land of 1,000 Dances. A FREE event, just one hour's drive from downtown L.A., this year's talent list of heavy hitters includes: NUESTRO, the LOUIE CRUZ BELTRAN Band, ANGEL LEBRON, ORQUESTA CHARANGOA, OPA-OPA!, and the beautiful & multi-talented LESLIE PAULA, the West Coast Queen of Salsa, along with her LATIN SOUL Band. Over 100,000 people can't be wrong!
For more info: www.oxnardsalsafestival.com.

Coming off a steady success of killer shows in the San Fernando Valley, Comedian GILBERT ESQUIVEL now takes his renown EASTSIDE COMEDY & OLD SCHOOL DANCE show to the shores of one of L.A.'s finest beach towns, as May 29th finds him at the Crown Plaza Hotel in San Pedro, California. For tickets & info: 310-518-2229 or 818-932-8929.

Coming up on May 15th, the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League continues their "Friday Night at the Legion" concert/dance series, as L.A.'s popular heavy hitters The BACKTRAXX Band, featuring NICK CHICO, comes into town for a party in support of an honored U.S. Veteran's group, and the good Gente of the SFV. Hosted by Internet radio's FRANKIE FIRME, free parking, full service bar, food, and a great time on a large dance floor, all in an air conditioned, friendly, & newly remodeled atmosphere is what the SFV Marines offer any and all visitors to their home at the Reseda American Legion Hall. For tickets & info, call: 818-621-3920 or 818-599-2719, or e-mail: USMCsgt7@aol.com or Castrellon5@yahoo.com.

Last Saturday saw Covina's NICK's TASTE OF TEXAS restaurant celebrate their 22nd year in business in the L.A.'s San Gabriel Valley by hosting an all day Texas style bar-b-que and live Blues show. Featuring some of the best food in the SGV, the talent line up included: LOOKIN' 4 TROUBLE, the 44's (featuring Tex Nakamura), BLUES STRAIGHT UP , RICK'S JAMNESIA, BLUE DICE, BOURBON, and the DALE PETERSON Band. For almost 11 hours, the party was on all day for the many lucky Gente who spent the day at Nick's Taste of Texas, and the party was "da bomb!". For info on future live blues shows: jamesbrosprod@yahoo.com.

To help ease the pinch of the current economic crisis while encouraging people to step out & live, the WISEGUYS, L.A.'s current big band champions of classic 1940's-50's music, are offering a FREE concert to the public at the Anaheim House of Blues in Downtown Disney on Sunday , May 3rd, starting at 7pm. For FREE tickets, e-mail: aceospade@aol.com, and tell 'em you heard it from Frankie Firme & LatinoLA.com !

Orale! That's it for now, as the LatinoLA road dogs take a little break before the summer season starts up, we ask you to check out the calendar page here on LatinoLA, where we reach more hip, good looking, and educated Latinos on the move than any other Latino Web magazine on the west coast. To find out how you can join the LatinoLA road dogs, drop us an e-mail at: Aztlan2009@gmail.com.

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 and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul " heard daily on Internet Radio station www.djchentemrog.com
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