News from the Brown Side of Town.

News & chismes for the big kids in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: December 3, 2013

News from the Brown Side of Town.

?ŪOrale, Mi Gente!!

Less than 3 weeks before Christmas, and less than a month before we say goodbye to 2013‘«™..where has the time gone?...I was barely getting used to wishing 2012 was a little longer and accepting the fact that it was gone, and now THIS?

Oh well‘«™se vale, que no? It's been a good year despite some terrible losses and things gone wrong.

I lost my beloved big brother Sammy, and my lifelong best friend & compadre Spunky this year. Wasn't ready to let them go, but sometimes GOD has other plans‘«™

Ain't gonna dwell on the bad stuff 'cause that's not what they would have wanted, and the good stuff was just too cool for me and the rest of the "Fearsome Foursome" to frown about.

This year was one of meeting many gifted & talented artists, writers, and performers and being privy & blessed to catch some great live performances.

One of my high points of 2013 was that after more than 10 years in the cyber 'hood, I finally met Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez face to face, when he came to the City of Angels for a concert on the East Side of the L.A. River to Montebello, where some of L.A.'s best Latino music artists welcomed him warmly‘«™his good reputation & respect for years of supporting Chicano Art & Music preceded him well.

For me, this was tantamount to my meeting Dr. Rudy Acuna, Abelardo de la Pe??a Jr., Frank Del Olmo, Dr. Armando Morales, Moctezuma Esparza, Edward James Olmos, Educator Sal Castro, and Brown Beret Founder David Sanchez in my lifetime as influential Chicanos in California, whose opinions, writings, and artistic contributions to the Chicano Culture of Aztlan I respect & admire greatly.

After so many years of hearing about them, I finally met the talented artists from the Inland Empire's powerful ORIGINAL SACRIFICE and BB WOLF Bands, and the pleasure of meeting Lady Monibee Henley.

‘«™what a rush! Their "Funk Cancer" Benefit concert brought out the IE's finest talent & Gente, and a memorable party it was! Thanks for allowing me to be Master of Ceremonies at that one!

I also traveled to Orange County this summer and joined a couple thousand people in witnessing and enjoying probably one of the best concert performances by the great BARELA Band I've ever seen in over 10 years.

Not a couple months earlier BARELA, DOWN WITH 3 , and SOTO put on a powerful , sold out performance concert labeled "Band of Brothers" in San Bernardino that was one of this year's best.

Of course, Rudy & JoAnna Salas's fundraiser concert for TIERRA drummer AARON BALLESTEROS at Nick's Taste of Texas in Covina this summer has to rank up there as one of this year's best, showcasing such heavy & powerful talent as TIERRA,Thee Midniters, Tease, Cannibal & The Headhunters, Cold Duck, Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, BB Wolf, Rocky Padilla, Comedians Gilbert Esquivel & Rudy Moreno all under one roof, and I was privileged to share MC duties with Thee Angel Baby, Thee Mr. Duran, Damon Knight, and even the legendary Rick Dees made a special appearance .

I was also privy to attend some fine stage performances of live theater at the CASA 0101 Theatrical playhouse in Boyle Heights, East L.A. this year.

The Art of Theater is not dead by any means as some of the performances were enough to even draw some tears out of yours truly‘«™THAT'S how good the plays are.

Also doubling as a gallery for some fine contemporary art & original paintings by some of Aztlan's best artists, Broadway in New York ain't got nothing on us over here on the East Side at CASA 0101. For more info, we highly recommend www.CASA0101.org.

After another fantastic & successful Salsa season, the famed Whittier Radisson Hotel has brought back live bands and dancing at the newly renamed Lounge Ultra Bar for your Holiday dancing pleasure. For more info : 562-945-8511 or check out my Brutha PETER JARAMILLO on Facebook.

I met Grammy award winning percussionist & L.A. Music Lifetime Achievement winner Victor Orlando this year, as he joined "Mr. Magic" RAY CARRION and the East L.A. Latin All Stars for some great concert performances at Gringo's Cantina in Montebello and other locations, culminating in a sold out, all-star extravaganza concert last month that included some L.A.'s biggest names in Chicano Music, hosted by Cable/Internet TV'sThee Mr. Duran & the lovely "Lady V", Veronica Montoya.

Ray Carrion (of Azteca, El Chicano & Europa fame) also brought some of the East Los All Star Band's talent to the San Fernando Valley for a debut party appearance for Halloween at The San Fernando Moose Hall that included Thee Midniter's Jimmy Espinosa, TIERRA's Bobby Navarette, El Chicano's Ray Cordova, WAR's Tex Nakamura, Tierra's Danny Santillan, singer Becky Cordova, singer TeCheetah Lopez, and special guest appearance Art & Kelly Galvan of San Jose's Kool Katz Band. Place sold out, everybody wore costumes and had a ball, and the East Los All Stars made a lot of new fans !

Thanksgiving weekend was one of food, family, football, and more food!

Seems like only in Aztlan is the turkey & ham given competition by tamales & roasts, along with the mashed papas, gravy and 20 different kinds of desserts & salads!

Saturday night saw the Fearsome Foursome taking a break from all the munchies by joining a good sized crowd at Northridge's El Presidente Restaurant for some dancing & merrymaking to the live sounds of Bobby Martinez & the (much improved) Brotherhood Band, featuring singer Becky Cordova.

Being a FOUR TIME cancer survivor while continuing to perform on stage for her fans & friends has really endeared the "Diamond of the Valley" Becky Cordova to a growing legion of admirers, as she shows NO signs of giving up, and can still punch out a hot dance tune, or melt your heart with her sultry version of " At last". She has become an inspiration, and my respect for her grows EVERY time I see her perform, and she gives me that famous warm smile of hers like NOTHING's wrong!... Git on wit yo bad self, girl!

Adding to the Brotherhood's rising popularity, guitarist Fabian Fernandez, a Latino brother straight out of London, England (hell, YOU ask him, LoL!) has joined keyboardist Ray Cordova in adding some hot "oompa" ( for lack of a better term) to the band's increasing repertoire of Latin Soul, Oldies, Funk, R&B, Cumbias , and Blues.

This Friday, singer CORY SILVA will be joining the fantabulous LOUIE PARRA &The Mad Latins, featuring the tantalizing vocals of Lady Lulu Cardona at Gringo's Cantina in Montebello.

Cory has been a popular Chicano singer & performer in the East L.A. area for many years, and representing the Inland Empire, Louie Parra & his Mad Latins have established a good foothold in the L.A. Chicano music scene over the past couple years with the increased stage performance of L0ady Lulu, developing a good fan base. Should be a great show with lot's of dancing. I've been honored to be MC for the evening, so come out and let's get our party on together!

Also putting in double duty as head chef, Cory's kitchen now offers patrons a fine array of quality foods, including ribeye steaks!...so come on out & let's eat!

Saturday morning, starting at 9am, the 46th ANNUAL PACOIMA HOLIDAY PARADE will take place. This year, the theme will be honoring the WW II Veterans & the memory of Pearl Harbor. The Parade route starts at Pacoima City Hall on Van Nuys Blvd and Oneida Street and will travel down Van Nuys Blvd to David Gonzalez Park, where a community Holiday Festival will take place , along with a toy drive for needy children that the LAPD Foothill Division will be joining in on helping.

The Young Champions Gym of San Fernando will also be hosting a holiday toy drive for needy children at the gym located at 1035 N. Maclay Drive in San Fernando on December 15th. Known for their outstanding youth and girl's boxing programs , the Young Champion's Gym has garnered much attention & support from the Community, but help & donations are always welcome, 'cause there's just NEVER enough when it comes to needy children. For more info, please call 818-809-9162.

All sorts of Christmas & New Year's parties & shows are in the works & being planned‘«™I highly recommend you check our calendar page & other sources such as Facebook, 'cause there's just too much good stuff happening this holiday season for anybody to just sit home & watch TV.

December 14th, East L.A. Revue Radio's Chico Manqueros hosts "Christmas in the Barrio" at Nick's Taste of Texas Restaurant in Covina. A musical dance show featuring Mariachi Voz de America, Los Rock Angels, Thee Recessions, and comedian Gilbert Esquivel. For tickets & info:562-322-2459 or 323 434-3429.

Great Holiday musia coming up on eastLArevue.com and ChicanoExpress.com...24/7, Mi Gente!

MERRY CHRISTMAS from LatinoLA, East L.A. Revue Radio, and of course‘«™the "Fearsome Foursome"!

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme takes pleasure in wishing all the Gente de Aztlan a very warm, safe, and Happy Holiday Season!
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