News from the Brown Side of Town, 9.28.09

Music, entertainment and chismes in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: September 28, 2009

News from the Brown Side of Town, 9.28.09

The Land of 1000 Dances continues to sizzle right along with the hot temperatures, as the arts, music, sights & sounds of L.A. continues to make the City of Angels THEE place to ride out this current recession‘«™especially if you're Brown and good looking!

No chismes here this month‘«™there's just too much to print! Ha! I could bad mouth the ALMA Awards & LATIN GRAMMY's all day long for ignoring & snubbing the West Coast & Southwest Chicano artists and musicians AGAIN‘«™but that's another story‘«™so I won't!

So, let's get on with the music & entertainment action, watcha:

If it's the stage you crave, there's no shortage here, as the LATC presents Evelina Fernandez's play "SOLITUDE", about a day in the life of a successful but guilt-plagued Latino Man in L.A. Starring Robert Beltran, Evelina Fernandez, Fidel Gomez, Sal Lopez, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez, with Semyon Kobialka on cello, this play keeps you on the edge of your seat with outstanding portrayed drama that a lot of us can relate to on an avant garde level. Much more vivid and closer to the heart than a movie, SOLITUDE is one of many Latino Theater Company ( LATC) productions that brings the art of stage drama to you, for you, and about you.

For more info, log onto www.thelatc.org, and experience a stage play first hand! SOLITUDE runs until October 4th.

The PHAT JAM Concert for the Arts at the famous Whittier Radisson Club 201 & Ballroom on October 11th has the attention and word on the street in L.A. Featuring top notch music performers like Chino Espinosa, Johnny Polanco, The Suave Band, Orquesta Son Mayor, The Hindsight Band, The Lucky 7 Mambo Band, Louie Parra & The Mad Latins Band, the Josie Neglia Dance Company, and eight of the best Club DJ's in Los Angeles courtesy of TIME Sounds & Lighting. Three dance floors, a gourmet food restaurant, four bars, luxury hotel rooms, hosted by award-winning actress Kikey Castillo, with honors going out to ABC Eyewitness News reporter Sid Garcia, some of the best stand up comedians in the country like Gilbert Esquivel, Joey Medina, Ernie "G", CISCO, RC Miller, and Tymon Shipp, FREE secure parking and full security, all in the affordable luxurious ambience that is the Whittier Radisson Hotel in support of the Los Angeles School of Music & Art.

LatinoLA proudly supports & congratulates producers Peter Jaramillo and Isela Sotelo in this most noblest of gestures for the future and our children. Your support and attendance is most graciously requested. For more info: www.jegrp.com or www.lamusart.org. PLEASE HELP US ON THIS ONE, MI GENTE !!

And speaking of word on the street, nobody topped it off this weekend like my camaradas Ruben Molina, Gilbert and Rudy Esquivel, and the fine bands that help make L.A. the Land of 1000 Dances!

Ruben Molina's LEGENDS of CHICANO SOUL Show featuring classic Chicano rockers from East L.A. & Texas was off the chain Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was lucky enough to get into the Friday show at Club Levels in San Pedro, and I gotta say, singers Johnny Hernandez, Rudy "T" Gonzalez, Steve Salas, Greg Esparza, Larry Lange, Ernie Garibay, JoAnna Ramirez, and former the Sunliners band now known as the TRIBUTE Band, joined by L.A. horn legends Bobby Loya and Bobby Navarrete, gave it their all for a screaming, grateful, standing-room only audience.

You could hear the Gente joining in and singing from across the street when Johnny Hernandez hit "Las Nubes" or when Steve Salas hit "Together", as these 2 classic Chicano legends helped make the evening memorable. Johnny was even called back for a second set, and he gave us some nice Oldies but Goodies. You could have heard a mouse pee on cotton when the fabulous Rudy "T" did his classic original "All I could do was cry", and he got a standing ovation when he went to his knees at the end‘«™talk about drama with soul!

Crowd pleasers Greg Esparza and Ernie Garibay showed off their stuff nicely, and Larry Lange (of Lonely Knights Band fame) gave us all a beautiful rendition of "Sometimes I cry when I'm lonely" that got attention from the L.A. homies big time! Opening the show were Rock-a-Billy favorites the Big Manny Band, who impressively made many new fans that night. Word from the LatinoLA road dogs was that Saturday's show at Nick's Taste of Texas in Covina was three times as crowded, and they even ran out of food and beer before midnight.

Ruben Molina arranged to have all performers picked up from their hotels in classic Chicano lowrider "bombs" that made it a true Los Angeles welcome, and a memorable spectacle on the streets of Covina, California. Saturday's show had many extra surprise performers, and the show was one of the best of the year, according to Taste of Texas staff.

Sunday's show in the City of Industry was just as good, although a few disgruntled Tejano fans were upset and had an attitude that Spanish-language ranchera and norte??o music wasn't in the mix for the small cowboy hat crowd that attended‘«™.sorry 'bout that‘«™but EVERYBODY else was happy and satisfied!...that's why it was billed "Chicano Soul "!!

But just in case‘«™the BEST in classic Tejano Music can be found at: www.ChicanoExpress.com with the "Godfather of Tejano Soul", DJ Crazy Chuy Hernandez‘«™.and if you like the classic, romantic, Spanish language Tejano, Bolero, soft mariachi sounds of yesterday, I recently discovered a brother by the name of ANGEL RUVALCABA that I will soon be jamming his music for you.

Saturday night also saw Gilbert Esquivels' East Side Comedy & Zoot Suit Boogie Show pack 'em in back in San Pedro at the Crown Plaza Hotel by the sea. Featuring killer veteran comedians Gilbert Esquivel and Rudy Moreno at their best, the side splitting was enhanced by newcomer DJ Cooch, whom Gilbert called "a pleasure and privilege to have discovered this vato"‘«™and DJ Cooch pleased the crowd and made many new fans. Not an easy or enviable task when you have to follow guys like Gilbert or Rudy. My Lady and I were privileged to join the crowd, all dressed up and pachuco'd out, and danced the night away to the Oldies‘«™and some memories were made. GNR Entetainment plans to expand and repeat the success of combining Zoot Suits, beautiful Latinas, good veterano gente, Oldies but Goodies music and dancing, and of course, the best in stand up comedy for your laughing, dancing, and entertainment pleasure‘«™stay tuned for updates!

Last weekend also saw the return of SATISFACTION Band's original singer (pre-Eileen Benavides) at the Norwalk Guesthouse for a pleasantly surprised large audience that was in for a treat two weeks in a row, as prior, top notch vocalists come back and wowed the crowd while re-joining the powerful SATISFACTION Band for the evening, who always make the night a party! Check them out at: http://satisfactionband.com/.

The SOTO Band also jammed in the crowds at Zendeja's Restaurant in San Dimas, then zoomed across town to entertain the masses at Original Mike's in Santa Ana. Both shows were attention getters. LatinoLA also wishes a happy birthday to bassist Artie Soto. Word is that they will soon be departing to entertain our troops overseas again soon. Check them out at: www.sotoband.com. Always a crowd pleaser !

The BLUES STRAIGHT UP Band, the finest Chicano Blues band on the Planet, gets back in the mix with appearances at Nick's Taste of Texas Restaurant in Covina on October 3rd & 10th. Always a crowd pleaser, featuring hard core blues vocals Lady Lava Gonzalez and Dave "Harpdog" Pierce, good home style Texas cooking and Chicano blues music make for an enjoyable evening. For tickets & info: (626) 331-2824, or log onto www.bluesstraightup.com, and tell 'em you heard it from Frankie Firme.

Keeping it Brown & proud, Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural keeps Hispanic Heritage Month alive and kicking by offering a Fall 2009, 10 week program of FREE dance and music classes ~ featuring ancestral Mexican Aztec, Afro-Cuban, Veracruz guitar, and Afro-Puerto Rican styles ~ instruments provided . For more info: www.tiachucha.com.

Coming back after good contract negotiations, Frankie Firme has returned to 2 out of four previous radio stations, www.EastLARevue.com and www.djchentemrog.com, bringing you the finest Cruising Chicano Oldies but Goodies in the World, with shows expected on www.ChicanoExpress.com and www.QVOradio.com in the near future. With classic cruising Oldies but Goodies music and the Lowrider Culture expanding across the Country and now in parts of Japan and Europe, the music will never die. With celebrity DJ's like Chico Manqueros, Mr. O.G. (who has a killer swing show playing right now on djchentemrog.com), Crazy Chuy Hernandez, El Betoman, El Chino, La Sk8er, Dona Pancha, El Sapo, Ray & Josie Ramos, and newcomer Saul Barbosa, I'm in real good company and can enjoy a wide variety, and a cacophony of popular sounds and music, that would probably take an individual a lifetime to discover, collect, and enjoy.

Louie Parra & The Mad Latins Band continue making friends and parties wherever they go, and were recently added to the LA Music & Art School's PHAT JAM for the ARTS Show on October 11th. Check them out at: www.theemadlatinsband.com.

El "Mero-Mero" , famed Mexican singer extraordinaire, Se??or Vicente Fernandez, returns to Califas in concert at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles on November 6th, 7th,8th,14h,and 15th by popular demand. This guy ALWAYS sells out ! For tickets & info: www.ticketmaster.com/artist/754927.

L.A.'s top Latin Jazz group, Bob de Sena and his band, return to the Los Angeles coast with a FREE outdoor concert at Marina Del Rey this Saturday, October 3rd. For more info: www.bobdesena.com.

The Pepe Marquez Band and the Anthony Prieto Band are some of the featured performers this weekend at the 2009 Avocado Festival in Carpinteria, California. The 3 day festival starts Friday October 2nd and concludes Sunday October 4th. Admission is FREE, for more info: www.avofest.com.

The Company Band is taking a well needed & well deserved rest, but come back with a bang on October 16th & 17th at Bruce's Nightclub in Norwalk, Don Cuco's in Canyon Country on October 24th, then headline a Halloween Party at the Guest House Inn in Mission Hills on October 31st. For info: www.companyband-tcb.com.

Getting plenty of contacts and good palabra from the LatinoLA road dogs about a band called SIDETRACS that has been rocking Monty's Steakhouse in Woodland Hills every Friday for the past year. Rik Cantu, an L.A. veterano who has jammed with some of the big boys, leads these guys in some rightous sets of Rock, R&B, Latin, and Blues dance music. Check them out at: www.sidetracs.com.

All this L.A. Chicano talent, a large L.A. Chicano market (i.e. bucks!), definite L.A. Chicano tastes‘«™and yet, Telemundo, Univision, the ALMA Awards, and the LATIN GRAMMYS have to go to Mexico, Central and South America, Cuba, and Puerto Rico to find talent for their Los Angeles Latino TV Shows‘«™and here I thought it was Hispanic Heritage month‘«™.orale!

?ŪAy te watcho, from the Land of 1000 Dances!

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