News from the Brown Side of Town

Chismes & music news for the big kids in the Land of 1000 Dances, May 27, 2017

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: May 27, 2017

News from the Brown Side of Town

¡Orale, Mi Gente!

Here we are in the merry month of May, heading into June and the halfway mark of 2017, and less than 6 months till Christmas! Man!....The Land of 1000 Dances be jumpin' with good weather, good music, good happenings, and good people under the beautiful West Coast sunshine.

Hoping you all had a great month of April, and a bumpin' Cinco de Mayo, remembering that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day, or a reason to get all pedo and into trouble with your possibly last "good" income tax return...

Our American home political situation continues in turmoil, if not frustrating & laughable, just in case you're keeping tabs ... but I will keep my word to my Lady, El Editor, and other significant Gente that I will keep my political opinions & perspectives on Facebook and in small personal circles instead of here on LatinoLA, as the endless drama & arguments between my side, your side, their side, and the "other side" continues to give conflicting "truths" that provoke and divide ... and I would rather write about people, music, and good times ...

... but I will say that I appreciate former President of Mexico Vicente Fox making efforts to advise Donald Trump on how to be a President for the people ... 'nuff said about that!

But before good times, some sad times prevail ... LatinoLA and I share the grief of the recent loss of talented California Chicana singer Stephanie Alvarado Elizarraraz (1983-2017). Such a sweet soul, loving mother & friend, and one very talented & blessed performing singer!

The Chicano Music World mourns the loss ... but has welcomed another great talent to band in Heaven.

R.I.P. Stephanie! ... thanks for the music memories, ma Sista!

¡Orale! Onward con otra cosas ... Watcha:

The month of April ended with a great finale of music as Ray Carrion's 4th production of Battle of The Bands featuring BALANCE, SANGRIA, and Thee MIDNITE CRUZZERS at the A MI HACIENDA Restaurant & Ballroom in Pico Rivera, April 15th was a sold out success, with all three bands putting out powerful, exciting, and dance floor-filling performances. I was honored to be House DJ and co-host to the packed house. Comedian Scott Shimamoto, the coolest Japanese Chicano in L.A. since Tex Nakamura, was in the house!

"The biggest winners here are the audience & fans," Ray Carrion said afterwards. "Where else can you hear 3 of the best party-dance bands in L.A. live in concert, at a great & safe venue with good food & drink, a good crowd, and plenty of dancing space in air conditioned comfort...and even THINK that anybody's losing anything? I don't think so! "

...and what a great party that was !

Afterwards the MIDNITE CRUZZERS announced the release of their new CD "Midnite Cruzzers Vol 1"...and YOU KNOW it's gonna be all good!

April 29th saw us down by the beautiful West Coast Southern California sea in San Pedro as Christina Mirasol's SoCal Event Videos brought us "Salute to the Doo Wops" with the original MEDALLIONS, The DUKES of DOOWOP, and the OTISETTES backed up by the KG VETERANS band in concert at the Harbor Marina Restaurant Ballroom, which was a sold out success.

I was honored to serve as Host & MC, and along with guest DJ SOULERA 5150 spinning vinyl Oldies but Goodies, and we all had a great time taking a musical nostalgic trip back in time where music was classically mellow, everybody dressed up nice & classy, and a memorable good time was had by all....dancing slow and smootching by the L.A. Harbor, lol!

The following week, Cinco de Mayo saw us back up in East L.A. where DJ Soulera 5150 and I teamed up again for another great Ray Carrion music production, this time at Steven' Steakhouse featuring Ray Carrion and Thee L.A.Latin All Stars with Steve Salas, Hank Castro, CuiCui Rangel, Gilbert Stokes, Lulu Cardona, and Sarah Morgan, with L.A.'s coolest Japanese Chicano Comedian Scott Shimamoto giving us lots of laughs with his stand up comedy routines. Steven's Steakhouse provided guests with their popular buffet dinner and it was on! Another full house and evening of dancing and merrymaking in the Land of 1000 Dances.

Two days later, we were back at A MI HACIENDA Restaurant & Ballroom in Pico Rivera for another great music & dance show, billed as the "Siete de Mayo Latin & Soul Legends Show," this time featuring Ray Carrion's great Santana tribute band EUROPA with special guest former Santana lead vocalist GREG WALKER, the ever popular TEASE band featuring Ms VANESSA SALAS , and the World renown MALO...and the party was on as Vanessa & TEASE set the tone of the afternoon with a killer opening set, followed by EUROPA, with Ray Carrion proving once again why he's one of L.A.'s best guitarists, performing classic Santana tribute solos that would have the great Carlos Santana himself going "damn!" closing off the set by calling up vocalists LULU CARDONA & VANESSA SALAS for a great finale before comedian Jay Lamont came up and gave us all some bumps & laughs.

Of course the house stayed full when MALO took the stage, with the dance floor being packed by as many people snapping pictures and video taping as there was dancing. My man Arcelio still got them moves! Another good time lost to network television, indeed!

The next weekend was Mother's Day weekend, with parties, bar-b-que's, concerts, and dances that seemed to explode all over the Land of 1000 Dances!

On Saturday, May 13th, it was out to the gleaming Inland Empire burg of Colton, California, for Jimmy Sterling's SALUTE TO MOTOWN Show, featuring the Jimmy Sterling Experience & The 100 % Sterling Band, who gave up some memorable and nostalgic Motown hit performances. Also performing were the marvelous 3 DIAMONDS, who are one of the best original SUPREMES Tribute groups I've seen in many years. This was another sold out show at the Colton American Legion Hall.

The next day, Mother's Day, was a beautiful Southern California afternoon as The COMPANY Band started the noon hour off performing at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet for about 500 close friends, while the "big one" went down at The Quiet Cannon Ballroom in Montebello where The TRIO LOS DADOS, Thee Midniter's Legend LIL' WILLIE G, and the one and only INTRUDERS put on a memorable concert dance-show that had all the Mamas in the house dancing and dining away in comfort.

Hosted by Internet TV's Thee MR. DURAN and House DJ by yours truly, it was really a good show & crowd....hope your Mother's Day was good & memorable!

In the meantime, Mr. PEPE MARQUEZ, The "Soul Man of Santa Barbara" has just released his latest music video "Float On", bringing back that unforgettable 1979 romantic tune featuring STEVE SALAS (of TIERRA & EL CHICANO fame), MIKE JIMINEZ (of TIERRA & Nation of Aztlan fame) and GILBERT STOKES (of EL CHICANO fame),along with Pepe of course, making up a unique quartet of West Coast Chicano singing talent that does the classic soul song justice. Check it out on YouTube ... it's not bad !

Pepe also announces he will be releasing another new CD in the near future. Judging from the sneak preview of songs I was privileged to hear, this is one of Pepe's best offerings yet, with some great cover music arranged, produced, and mastered by the powerful team of Carlos Guillen, Ray Cordova, and Jeff Lewis...you gonna want to pick THIS one up!

Other new music I have been fortunate to find in my mailbox recently and soon to be heard on Internet Radio Station EastLARevue.com :

~ MANTRAP - Miami, Florida
~ THEE MIDNITE CRUZZERS - Los Angeles, California
~ ROLANDO SANCHEZ - Honolulu, Hawaii
~ The KATE LUSH Band - Sydney, Australia

The Art of music from around the Country and the World remains endless and beautiful!

Speaking of Art, the Art of live, standup comedy entertainment has taken a new step forward as popular L.A. Veteran Chicano Comedians GILBERT ESQUIVEL and RUDY MORENO have taken to hosting "Comedian School," with Gilbert going behind bars to help incarcerated ladies find another way out, and Rudy giving young people off the street a chance to hone their entertainment skills while reflecting on life in a manner that shares life's experiences common to us all.

...Gilbert once told me many years ago "If you can't laugh at yourself and life...you ain't living..."

For more info on upcoming shows, look up Gilbert Esquivel & Rudy Moreno on Facebook and RudyMoreno.com

Internet Radio has sure grown & sophisticated since its birth in 1999, with literally thousands of stations and computer radio apps available around the World 24/7, free of Government & corporate censorship and control...for now...

That being said, I once again refer good folks to www.eastLArevue.com and the Internet Radio Jukebox, where CEO and Station owner Steven Chavez states "We haven't missed a minute of broadcast music in 11 years".

Catering to the popular English/Spanish language music tastes of Classic Rock & Roll, original R &B, Salsa, Blues, Doo Wop, Soul, Latin Soul, Tejano, Funk, and American contemporary music sweeping across a wide cultural audience that appreciates the music from not so long ago, the East L.A. Revue recently welcomed DJ TRIPP , formerly of radio station KUCR FM in Riverside, California, and his "Barrio Blues Show".

Check it out, man!...a full musical buffet, playing all you can hear, 24/7, rain or shine!

This Memorial Day weekend:

[b]Bobby Martinez and THE BROTHERHOOD Band, with special guest RAY CORDOVA Saturday May 27th at The Presidente Restaurant in Northridge. No cover.

[b]The KG Veterans Band featuring guest vocalist Donald Bell. R&B, Funk,Old School.
Memorial Day Festival, USS IOWA- many other bands all day long! Ports O'Call Village,
San Pedro. No cover.

Ray Carrion & Rocky Padilla join forces to put on another good music show at Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A., on Sunday, May 28th, featuring many surprise guest artists for dancing and a good time, including Steven's popular buffet dinner included with admission. For tickets & info: 323-895-2863.

The West Coast Chicano Music World needs to your help & support on June 4th at Steven's Steakhouse in East L.A. for a fundraiser concert in honor of Norma Escovedo, wife of the legendary percussionist Coke Escovedo and mother of famed latin percussionist Paris Escovedo. Featured performers include Paris Escovedo, Ray Carrion,Pete Escovedo,TeCheetah Lopez,Howard Johnson,Tony Exum Jr., Kimball Hooker, Jay Lamont, Ariella Azmarellda and many others. Show starts at 3:30 PM. For tickets, call 323-833-5105...gracias !

July 1st, we gonna go PACHUCO a la brava y mas suave at the IV Lounge in Norwalk as the hard hitting and exciting HARBOR GROOVE Band, featuring the sensational Lady LULU CARDONA at lead vocals teams up with DJ Frankie Firme, and we gonna roll it slow & low with Chicano class and a touch of mas caliente with the Gente! Get that Zoot Suit & Tango out the closet, get them hairdo's and y tacones mas sexy ready...cruise on down to Norwalk, and let's do this! FREE PARKING~NO COVER !!

Dress to impress, and bring your cameras & video recorders! The Guesthouse Hotel will be offering special luxury room discounts for Pachuco Night...deadline for discount reservations is June 5th. Give our girl Christina a call at 562-868-0991 and tell her you heard it from LatinoLA!

After a positive managerial and band member change over the past year,one of the hottest dance-party bands on LatinoLA's "most improved & rockin' hard" list is L.A.'s very own IMPULSE Band. I've known Dennis Ulibarri and the guys for a couple of years, and they've always been a pretty good band to party and dance to, but I was privvy to catch them in action a couple of weeks ago in my San Fernando Valley 'hood at the Presidente Restaurant in Northridge, and these guys and a gal were off the hook! VERY MUCH improved, hittin' all the corners of Funk, Old School, Cumbias,Top 40 and Oldies while packing the dance floor.

These guys have been tearing it up from the Inland Empire to the San Fernando Valley, to the Casino circuit to the San Gabriel Valley and back con ganas!

I've been lucky to be booked as MC/House DJ with The IMPULSE Band, TEASE Band, CHAMPAGNE Band, and the new LATIN CLASSICS Band on July 9th at the A MI HACIENDA Restaurant and Ballroom. This one's gonna rock your chanclas!
For tickets and info on this and other great upcoming shows featuring IMPULSE, give Manager Sally Armendarez a call at 661-468-0972, and tell her you heard it from LatinoLA!

July 29th finds us up in Fresno or another great gig....more info coming....

August 5th finds us in Banning, California, for another great SALUTE TO MOTOWN Show, featuring the electrifying JIMMY STERLING EXPERIENCE, The 100 % Sterling Band and The 3 DIAMONDS Supremes Tribute singing group. Like the last 2 shows, this one is expected to sell out! Frankie Firme will be your Host & MC. The Farmhouse Restaurant in Banning. For tickets & info: 951-845-4400.
See you there!.... BANNING, HERE WE COME!!

August 20th, the Ventura County Chapter of The PACHUCO CAR CLUB will be hosting there annual Custom Chingon Car Show de Califas in Oxnard, California, with special featured performing music greats Ray Carrion and THEE LATIN LEGENDS featuring STEVE SALAS and other guests expected. Frankie Firme will be your Host & MC. For more info, contact El Mero-Mero Bobbo de Pachuco Car Club/Ventura County at 805-754-5270, and don't forget to mention LatinoLA. ALL CAR CLUBS cordially invited! Bring the familia!

On a final note, I gotta give props to ma Bruthas Bruce & Artie Soto, aka The SOTO Band for a simply outstanding musical performance for about 1000 of their closest friends & fans at the Santa Fe Springs Swapmeet this past weekend.

Fans from age 7 to 70 come together and dance the celebration of life whenever SOTO's gets up on stage!...it got THAT good!

Happy Memorial Day weekend...remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our Country & flag so that WE can enjoy these times & freedoms of our lives!

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 heard daily on World wide Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com and a regular contributor to this great web magazine since 2001
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