News From the Brown Side of Town

Chisme & music news for the big kids in the Land of 1000 Dances

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: March 17, 2015

News From the Brown Side of Town

?íOrale, Mi Gente!

While some people are still shoveling snow and freezing their nalgas off back east, we on the West Coast are already enjoying 80 & 90 degree plus weather.

I'm still in shock that Republican Congressmen & Senators would openly and brazenly punk out on our President, dropping their pants and bending over in front of Iran and the World, openly telling Iran they aren't backing our Commander in Chief in case Iran wants to change their mind about making nuclear weapons.

Like spoiled bully racist redneck kids on the playground, or ghetto in-laws, our Republican controlled Congress & Senate (you know, the rich guys controlled by corporations that pass laws & declare wars and shit) have openly revealed to the World their racism, spite, & resentment against our very first Black President, and their willingness to challenge our Constitution and begin to dismantle a form of government that has produced the most powerful & richest country in the World in less than 300 years by revealing that they won't cooperate and work this "government for the people" thing out with our elected President until a white guy of their choosing gets into office after Obama leaves.

Let's hope this mentality doesn't spill over to our Military, which control the most deadliest weapons on Earth ... or our Police forces, who carry guns, tear gas, tasers, and control all the jails ... or our Courts, which control our people & money with laws...

OK ... I'm getting that look again from others, so I'll chill on dictating political commentary to a stenographer for now, and just type this piece myself .... Politics & Religion are some of the most time consuming dialogue debates to engage ,so I'll avoid it and end it by saying

"I swear to GOD I'm glad I'm CHICANO and not a Republican".

Now, on with the music news in the Land of 1000 Dances, watcha:

Bringing back more than 45 years of Chicano Classic Doo-Wop memories, East LA Revue Radio is now playing the newly released Heartbreaker's CD "Greetings from East L.A." in it's entirety, commercial free. Check it out now on www.eastLArevue.com. CD is also available for sale.

Speaking of new CD's, The Company Band's 3rd offering "In Good Company" has just been released. The CD boasts special guests Rocky Padilla, Jeff Lewis, Matt Dearo, Johnny Burrolla, Edgar Salas & Vanessa Salas, among other band members & guests musicians. CD release party is scheduled for April 4th with many guest artists, The Tease Band, and DJ Flacomania at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Canoga Park. For tickets & info: 818-389-9214.

Legendary East L.A. Chicano Music promoter/producer Billy Cardenas is back on the scene with a new record label and a new band. Billy produced such classic music shows in L.A. in the 1960's that included Sonny & Cher, Thee Midniters, Cannibal & The Headhunters, The Premiers.The Blendells, The Romancers, The Heartbreakers, Mark & The Escorts, and others.

"I took some time off to recover from a stroke, but now I'm back, still loving & pushing music," Billy tells LatinoLA. "I got to learn new things like the Internet, smart phones, and social media because things have changed so much," he laughs, "But good music and people's love of good music will never change, I have some solid people working with me, so I'm still here."

I was privy to attend an exclusive rehearsal of Billy's new band a couple of weeks ago, and I was pretty impressed. Featuring classic East L.A. Chicano Music veteran guitarists Andy Tesso and Danny Diaz (with Danny flexing his vocal chords on some good notes), guitarist Gilbert Melendrez, bassist Raymond Beltran, drummer Rene Flores and newcomer singer Vinny Armenta, these guys put out some exciting vibes. Vinny is an impressive singer & stage performer that will seriously impress crowds who love that original rock & roll sound. He drew some impressive "wows" at the recent Rick Rosas Tribute Concert at the Whittier Radisson Hotel last month. Their first gig is scheduled for April 28th at Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A. For more info: justice4valderama@gmail.com

Last Thursday was another great Oldies but Goodies Happy Hour party at the EL 7 Mares Seafood Restaurant in San Fernando. A small but happy crowd enjoyed good music, good food, 2 for 1 drinks, and good times as tickets for the May 30th show in Panorama City featuring Rocky Padilla & Barela went on sale, along with Ray Carrion's Latin Legend Shows on March 20th & 21st in the City of Industry.

DJ's Frankie Firme, Sugarbear, and Mike "Timebomb" Castanon spun the labels from the tables and we partied till the midnight hour. Something about the Oldies but Goodies & Old School Soul music crowd that makes the night so mellow and comfortable, know what I mean?

The next night, Bobby Martinez & The Brotherhood Band, featuring Becky Cordova, rocked the Presidente Restaurant on Friday night to a good sized crowd in Northridge, while Adelaide Benavides, Rocky Padilla & ELE Band took care of the San Gabriel Valley crowd at 3 Vinos Club in Covina

TIERRA easily drew over 1,000 fans to the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet Saturday afternoon, while Louie Parra & Thee Mad Latins took care of the crowd at VFW Post 144 in the City of Industry Saturday night.

Still buzzing from the "Funk Cancer" Benefit Concert for percussionist Danny Padilla in West L.A. last week, this past Sunday another great "Funk Cancer" Benefit Concert was held in Riverside, California, this time for Bakersfield percussionist Samy Luna,who is fighting spinal chord cancer.

Monibee Productions & Round 2 Entertainment got together and put on a great fundraiser event at the Capital Punishment Gym in Riverside that featured such heavy hitter music artists as Pepe Marquez, Monibee Henley, Ray Carrion, Becky Cordova, Andy Rojo, John Chacon, Ray Corrales, Jay Pacheco, Native American Medicine Man Mario Sanchez ,along with Sol Rodriguez and the Slow Sunrise Band.

(Forgive me if I left anybody out)

I was honored to serve as Host,MC & House DJ, along with great sound provided by Ricardo "Funk Cancer" Ruiz & DJ Noise, as we rocked the Inland Empire till after sunset. Joining us in the audience were DJ Sugarbear & his Lady, Freddy Fender Jr., and "L.A.'s favorite Pachuco dance couple" Carmen & Chuy Castillo.

Besides the dazzling show put on by the veteran artists, newcomer Sol Rodriguez drew some impressive "wows" from the crowd as he & The Slow Sunrise Band hit a nerve as Sol performed his heart out after dedicating his performance to his late wife, who passed away from cancer last year.

Samy himself was so moved that he later joined the band on stage for a couple of numbers, and Sol joined the others musicians in a finale set that included a duet with Andy Rojo doing "Black Magic Woman."

A lot of things are gonna be happening in the Land of 1000 Dances, here's just a couple:

March 20th & 21st - Ray Carrion's popular Latin Legends Music Show welcomes comedians Gilbert Esquivel & Rudy Moreno, Host Thee Mr. Duran, and DJ Frankie Firme for a great night of food, music, comedy and dancing to the finest music in the Land of 1000 Dances at the VFW Post 144 in the City of Industry. For tickets call 323-895-2863. LatinoLA Calendar info: http://latinola.com/event.php?event=23767

March 28th - The TEMPTATIONS Revue and the Platters, live on stage at the Hemet Historical Theater brought to you by East L.A. Revue radio. Host & DJ Frankie Firme. For tickets & info:951-742-2524.

April 10th - "Nothin' but Funk by the Sea" is a live music dance show hosted & DJ by Frankie Firme featuring Rick's Jamnesia, The Midnite Cruzzers, Funkalicious, and Soul Shot. Ports O' Call in San Pedro. For tickets & info: 310-883-8933. Advance ticket discount available, gonna be a hot party.

April 19th - PACHUCO II Dance & Concert featuring Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantes, Freddy G & Smooth Response, with special guest Louie Parra of Thee Mad Latins. 40's attire is suggested, there will be prizes for best dressed, and dinner included with admission. Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A.

L.A.'s large Old School and Oldies but Goodies listening & partying audience is still mourning the loss of this format from the last station (92.3 FM) in L.A. to feature it. At last count, there are 7 Spanish language music radio stations in L.A. on the FM dial, 4 hip-hop, 2 jazz, 2 Country, 1 classical, and 1 pop music stations, along with 5 or more talk radio stations, and other language stations on both the AM & FM dials....but NO Oldies, Old School, or Classic Soul & R&B music to be found.

Efforts are being made to find a new station and sponsors to broadcast this format again, and you'll hear about it first on LatinoLA.

Until then, those lucky enough to have a computer or smart phone will have to catch the classic cruising sounds on eastLArevue.com and other Internet Radio stations.

That's it for now...ay te watcho from the Land of 1000 Dances.

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul hear regularly on Internet Radio station www.eastLArevue.com and found easily on Facebook. He is a regular contributor to LatinoLA
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