News from the Brown Side of Town, 12.8.09

Happenings & Chismes in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: December 8, 2009

News from the Brown Side of Town, 12.8.09

Happy, happy, Holiday season from your amigos here at LatinoLA.com, on the Brown side of Town!

Hoping that you & your families are thinking and feeling positive as the month of December 2009 rolls in, and starts the end of a year that saw so many unexpected changes from last year.

So, you didn't get that new car‘«™you didn't get that raise you were hoping for‘«™your kids are going to have to do with last year's cell phone and iPod‘«™and like me, you didn't lose that 25 pounds, and you didn't win the lotto either, all year long‘«™but, hey!...

‘«™despite a BAD economy and two wars going on at the same time, WE'RE STILL HERE!! We continue to survive and thrive on the Brown side of town.

I saw plenty of neighbor's cars and SUV's rolling down the street on the back of a repo tow truck, and a lot of "for sale" and "foreclosed" signs on a lot of houses this year‘«™but we, as a Gente, never turned on each other, never gave up on each other, and some beautiful moments were had in the Land of 1000 Dances.

The San Fernando Valley's MARINE CORPS LEAGUE Detachment 1277 made it a rockin' summer and early fall 2009 at the Reseda American Legion Hall with their "Black Tie Valentine's Day Dance" and "Friday Night at the Legion" dance shows, which featured some of the West Coast's finest Chicano rock talent like The KOOL KATz Band, PEPE MARQUEZ, The BAG of TRICKS Band, the BACKTRAXX Band, The COMPANY Band, The SATISFACTION Band, The ANTHONY PRIETO Band, LOUIE PARRA & The MAD LATINS Band, and the SOUL PURSUIT Band. They were deeply involved with the San Fernando Valley's 1st pre-Veteran's Day Concert & Car Show at Richie Valens Park, and the 6th Annual San Fernando Valley Veteran's Day Parade. They also had their first Marine Corps Birthday Ball which was an honorable, catered, and ceremonial success. They continue serving the San Fernando Valley with their support of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, the Wounded Warrior Program, the American Legion, and welcome all former, active retired, and reserve U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy FMF Corpsmen to join them . For more info: USMCsgt7@aol.com or fred.flores29@gmail.com ~ SEMPER FI !

All year long, the music played 24/7 on eastLArevue.com, ChicanoExpress.com, text, and djchentemrog.com and QVORadio.com ...and we're all better off because of it! May they continue to play...

We lost some wonderful brothers in music this year, most notably Mr. Issac Avila from the San Fernando Valley, and Mr. Pete Perez of East Los, not to mention the King of Pop himself, Mr. Michael Jackson‘«™but despite our losses and mourning‘«™some beautiful and respectful tributes brought out some of the finest talent of our times to show the Gente that life is still worth living, and the art of music lives on forever.

Despite a hard economy, fundraiser events like the L.A. Phat Jam for the Arts of Los Angeles, held at the renown Whittier Radisson Hotel with some great donated talent time, raised awareness and money for the threatened youth Art Programs and schools of Los Angeles this summer‘«™and our children benefited! www.jegrp.com.

Despite a horrible and embarrassing history of slavery, and a ton of hate behind the scenes, we, as a Country, still managed to survive our first year of having elected our first U.S. President of color, and an appointed FEMALE Supreme Court Justice of color‘«™and NO assassination attempts!...even the bad economy is slowly starting to reverse itself, so there's hope yet!

Even though we embarrassed ourselves with the folly of the Latin Grammys, we all still managed to pull together nationally, and help apply pressure to a media giant to help rid the airwaves of an annoying, self-centered, evil racist who spewed the poison of hate through eloquence we all saw through‘«™and Lou Dobbs will NOT be invited to any Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the near future, we're glad to announce!

All the accomplishments we enjoy today are a direct result of education. More Latinos are graduating from high school and attending college because of strong outreach and support programs. Because of this, more Latinos hold leadership positions in politics, business, and the police/military systems‘«™but we still have a way to go.

Here on LatinoLA for example, contributing writers like Al Carlos Hernandez, Andy Porras, Edie J. Adler, Roberto Rodriguez, Roberto Lovato, Alberto Marrero Salas, Dr. Rudolfo Acu??a, Maria Reyna, Alvaro Huerta, and yours truly, among MANY others, have poured out our heart and souls from years of research and experience to help educate, inform, entertain, and enlighten the Gente Brown with history, culture, news, and pertinent social information for Latinos on a scale unheard of just 10 short years ago‘«™all thanks to our very own EL EDITOR, Mr. Abelardo De La Pena Jr, who saw the need to help educate & inform our people through the virtual college of life that is the World Wide Internet Web. THANK YOU, Brother! [El Editor's Note: Thanks, Frankie!].

And with that, we wish you a Happy Holiday season, and now bring you some firme music news from the Land of 1000 Dances, watcha:

The end of November and the start of December was ushered in by some very fine live music performances at BRUCE'S in Santa Fe Springs by BECKY CORDOVA & The COMPANY Band. Along with the multi-talented of keyboardmen extraordinaire Eddie Garcia and Ray Cordova, master guitarist Ray Carrion and newly added vocalist Mike Jiminez join Madame Becky for a pleasurable music experience. I was once again fortunate to catch their act (and cop a seat) at a packed performance at Bruce's, where they didn't have to turn on the heater as the hot music and dance action kept the temperature just right! For more info on future performances: www.thecompanyband-tcb.com.

Celebrating his lovely wife Diana's birthday, and welcoming back the old crowd to Montebello's Whittier Boulevard at the PALOMA ROOM, Cory Silva's MIDNIGHT PRODUCTIONS brought it on with a killer performance by DOWN w/3, who were joined by singers SARINA, DAVID LUNA, and CORY "Mr. Dreaming Casually" SILVA himself for a full house evening of dancing and romancing. Things are picking up at the Paloma Room (formerly the Montebello Inn) , where Cory and some of the best Chicano talent on the East Side can be found every Friday. For info on future events 626-409-1919.

Bringing it back for the 18th consecutive year, comedian Rudy Moreno and his wife Arlene of ARLO Entertainment present the KOMICS FOR KIDS toy drive and show, December 23rd, at the Commerce Casino Lounge. Featuring comedians GABRIEL INGLESIAS, NOE GONZALEZ, MARTIN MORENO, and of course the Prince of Puns himself, Mr. RUDY MORENO. Admission is an unwrapped toy valued at $20.00 or $20.00 at the door. ALL proceeds will benefit the underprivileged children of East Los Angeles. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm sharp. Come out and join Rudy & friends for this most nobel gesture of giving to our young and disadvantaged. For more info: www.commercecasino.com.

Celebrating San Fernando's MATT NEVAREZ getting chosen to the Houston Astro's 40-man major league roster, uncle BIFAS NEVAREZ and the BAG OF TRICKS Band, along with popular SFV DJ cousin "Ill-Phil" Fajardo , put on a major party at the San Fernando Moose Club last Friday that brought out San Fernando's finest. The party was on, and Bag of Tricks & Ill-Phil made it memorable. For more info on future gigs: www.BOTricks.com or call 818-398-0583 ~ book your holiday party now!

Also celebrating a birthday was the SATISFACTION Band's drummer, Mr. Ralph Orozco III . Ralph's family and the cool veterano crowd from Compton all converged on the Norwalk VFW Hall for a surprise party that saw SATISFACTION rockin' steady, and yours truly at DJ, spinning the Oldies, Funk, and old school Rock & Roll , make it a righteous, old fashioned Chicano dance party‘«™I was working, but my lady and I still managed to throw some chancla out there and have a good time! Happy Birthday, Ralph! For info on future gigs: www.satisfactionband.com.

Things are ALWAYS happening at the Whittier Radisson's Club 201 in uptown Whittier. December 12th sees the "Cruising Gentlemen of San Fernando", the famed PACHUCO Car Club, join forces with TIERRA's Rudy and Steve Salas, and Billy Mondragon, as they present the 1st Annual Classic Car Club Christmas Bash with East Side Soul at the Whittier Radisson Hotel, Lounge, and Ballroom. Also featuring DJ "Taking you back in Time", the party starts at 8pm, and ALL southern California Car Clubs are welcome to join up in brotherhood, love, and respect. For tickets and info: Lupe at 818-808-5631, or Jason at 818-581-7552, or Jose at 310-779-4225. Or you can log onto: www.jegrp.com and check out what else is happening at L.A.'s hottest adult spot for music and dancing.

LOUIE PARRA & THE MAD LATINS kicked in and gave up a great performance of Oldies, Funk, and Rock and Roll last weekend at the Colton American Legion Post's Annual Christmas Toy Drive, Car and Bike Show benefit. Always in demand for a great party, for more info: www.theemadlatinsband.com.

Coming back home to the SGV after a great tour through L.A. and beyond, the powerful and soulful SOUL PURSUIT BAND comes home to West Covina's CRAZY HORSE nightclub and restaurant on Friday, December 18th, from 7pm to 9:30pm. Always a great band with a great sound, SOUL PURSUIT makes for a great evening of music and dancing. For more info: www.soulpursuitband.com.

Not one to be sitting at home playing his old 8-tracks & kicking back, my good friend Ruben Molina announces he's bringing back another kick~ass Chicano Soul Music Show after the holidays on February 20th, when he has THEE Mr. DURAN hosting his "Rocking the Barrio" dance and show, featuring PACHUCO JOSE Y LOS DIAMONTES, VICKY TAFOYA & The BIG BEAT, THEE MONTCLAIRES, singers DAVID LUNA & RAY JUAREZ of the CHESSMEN, and the soulful voice of singer GREG ESPARZA at Nick's Taste of Texas. For more info: www.ChicanoSoul.com.

A very disturbing rumor came across my desk this morning that I hope IS NOT true: For the past 10 years or so, the annual LATIN LEGENDS Concert, featuring TIERRA, EL CHICANO, MALO, THEE MIDNITERS, and recently added in the past couple of years WAR, at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles has become known as the "West Coast Chicano Woodstock". Always a sold-out event, which now needs two nights to satisfy the growing legion of old and new fans from around the World for this annual event.

The sad rumor is that certain (non-Latino) powers behind the scene are greedily politicizing the economy of the veteran Chicano concert culture in Los Angeles, and attempting to cancel or cut down on the talent at this event, making it a WAR only event, possibly adding the TOWER OF POWER at the last minute if ticket pre-sales lag‘«™virtually joining the tapados from the Latin Grammys clique in attempting to minimize and disrespect the famed L.A. West Coast Chicano music legends that started this tradition and established the great fan base that others now want to steal and manipulate for their pathetic greed.

‘«™I hope this isn't true. WAR and TOWER OF POWER are some great groups, in fact, a couple of my all time favorites, and drummer/singer Sal Rodriguez is even a friend of mine from the SFV‘«™but I don't think eliminating the original heavy hitters is going to make for a better show or a happier crowd‘«™hope it's just another sad rumor‘«™let's keep an eye on this one !

As always, we invite you to check out the calendar page here on LatinoLA, for the best in entertainment, cultural, and educational events. List YOURS for free here now!

And also as always, we take this moment to give prayers & thanks to our brave men and women serving in uniform overseas in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other spots around the globe, in harm's way, and to all our veterans that came before them.

YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN‘«™and thanks for the freedom!

Merry Christmas, play it safe & don't drink & drive‘«™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
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