Memorial Day Weekend in Aztlan, 2012

Good times were happening beginning last Wednesday in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend in Aztlan, 2012

Memorial Day weekend started early here in the Land of 1000 Dances, as many of the Gente stepped off and stood local to make it happen in the sunshine of Aztlan, while people back east had nasty weather to deal with.

With gallon of gas prices almost hitting the price of a cold 6-pack of Coronas, and the Federal Government announcing a new program to bring 100,000 foreign high school students to come to work in the U.S. for the summer (BEFORE our U.S. high school students & new college grads ... [i]qu?ģ gacho!) people in the Land of 1000 Dances took it all in stride, as we usually do, and danced to music & art of Aztlan.

Wednesday night, Vanessa Hernandez and the TEASE band took the stage at Steve's Bar-b-que in Whittier, and rocked da house solid, according to the LatinoLA road dogs. A good group with a great sound, TEASE is making it's way around Aztlan and making parties happen. Check them out at: www.teaseband.com.

Thursday night, it was all about art, and the love of it, at TIA CHUCHA'S Bookstore & Centro Cultural in Sylmar, as internationally renowned artist, poet, and writer LUIS RODRIGUEZ and Co. presented the film & book "Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams‘«™How the Arts are Transforming a Community" by John Cant??. A beautifully produced documentary project focusing on the talents and inspirations of young artists in the San Fernando-Pacoima area, this one was very well done and opened a lot of eyes in the standing room only crowd.

For info on this and other projects, check out: www.tiachucha.com ..."where minds meet‘«™for a change‘«™"

Friday night, it was back on the road for some chancla tossing activity at MAGGIE's PUB in Santa Fe Springs, as SATISFACTION took the stage and played their hearts out for a good sized crowd of partying Gente. Always a great band with a powerful sound that gets the party going, check out www.satisfactionband.com for future appearances.

Saturday night, it was happening in East L.A. as LOUIE PARRA and THEE MAD LATINS took the stage at RUDY's BAJA GRILL for a night of great music & dancing, with special guest star, guitarist RAY CARRION. Just before that, a comedy show got us all in the mood during the dinner hour, as a large crowd filled the place celebrating Louie Parra's and other Gente's birthday. Keep your eyes & ears open, as more live shows and great entertainment are coming your way at Rudy's Baja Grill.

‘«™Sunday was the day that almost capped it all, as so many great memorial events were held throughout Los Angeles and around the Country honoring our military Veterans who gave their lives in the service of our great country. Parades, solemn ceremonies, military movies on cable TV, parties, dances, and moments of remembrance reminded us all what it takes to keep a great nation free‘«™as we enjoyed the good times that freedom affords us‘«™ ..and with that, my Lady and I joined a crowd of about 500 good people at Steven's Steakhouse in Commerce/East L.A., as we enjoyed a massive concert and generous buffet dinner put on by promoter Jerry Garcia, featuring some of the hottest entertainment in 10-piece bands happening in the Land of 1000 Dances right now‘«™

Opening up the show was MAINLINE, a fine assemblage of music talent from Compton, featuring the sassy vocals and stage attitude of Stephanie Perales. I was VERY impressed, to say the least, as MAINLINE got the crowd dancing and partying right away with some hard funky soul , R&B, and top 40 tunes. The brass section was tight, as were the harmony of voices as they went through their paces and put on a fine performance that definitely got people's attention. Expect to hear more about MAINLINE and Stephanie Perales.

Next up was the mind blowing soul & funk sounds of the HIP STREET Band, one of the finest Tower of Power tribute bands in the Land of 1000 Dances. The musically inspired tribute dream of saxophonist and bandleader John Burrola, Hip Street takes you back to the days of the 1970's West Coast "ever-so-cool" attitude of shags, flares & bell bottoms, platforms, long hair & "fro's", and of course "East Bay grease & soul" music covered by some bad ass boogaloo.

( ..of course, some of you younger readers may have to ask somebody cool and over 50 what all that was, LOL!).

Lead vocalist Mark Prudeaux definitely has the voice and stage attitude of "The Tower" for sure, as he gave a heartfelt dedication and "thank you" to all Veterans in the crowd, and the band comprised of some polished veteran musicians definitely lit us all up and had us dancing and singing along‘«™their 2 standing ovations and calls for an encore were well deserved!

Check out HIP STREET on Facebook‘«™they some bad dudes !!!

Closing off the show in style was Ray Carrion's EUROPA. Most definitely the finest original CARLOS SANTANA Tribute Band in the country today, Ray was joined by special guests singer ROCKY PADILLA and percussionist PARIS ESCOBEDO. Also performing were former SANTANA Band members Alberto Salas, Walfredo de los Reyes, and Keith Jones, and the sounds were as faithful as it was moving.

Spotted in the crowd were TIERRA's Rudy Salas & his lady JoAnna, "East L.A. Rey" Garza, East L.A. Revue Radio DJ Sugarbear and his lady Marti, GILBERT ESQUIVEL, and throwing some MEAN chancla on the dance floor with the pretty ladies was THEE MIDNITER'S Jimmy Espinosa.

Of course band leader Ray Carrion's guitar playing was impeccable, and as close to perfect as you want to get, as he performed some great solos that would have had Carlos himself saying, "Damn!... he's good!"

After making a dedication to all Veterans, Ray quieted a lot of nay-sayers & critics (always a few fools in the crowd‘«™tu sabes, los celoso chiones that never "made it" in the music biz) in the crowd by proudly announcing, "We're not trying to copy anybody to prove we're better than anybody‘«™we're not trying to rip anybody off for their established fame‘«™what we're doing is showing respect and admiration for the great music artists that came before us, and set a standard for us, the artists you see here on stage today, to follow and admire. As artists and music lovers‘«™we just want to help keep it alive forever, and thank the guys from SANTANA and TOWER of POWER for making the music heard around the world!"

‘«™and the show ended in style and class, with the band getting a standing ovation.

The next day was one for kicking back & relaxing, as more parades and solemn ceremonies were celebrated in cities across the nation, and both Veteran's Military cemeteries in Westwood and Riverside held memorial events, and you could smell mine and other family's bar-b-ques all up and down my street, as the weather was picture perfect.

I received and shared well wishes with brother Veterans and fans, and I thank you all‘«™but this day was for those departed‘«™

‘«™and for the freedom, and this past week of music and entertainment‘«™I thank THEM!

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chiano Soul heard daily on Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com
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