Archive for March, 2011

DJ Compose releases new mixtape

March 30th, 2011

Courtesy Nanea Baird

DJ Compose, center, on the decks with fellow DJs XL, far left, and ESKAE, third from right.

Back in class this week after Spring Break and need something to keep you as excited about education as you were vacation? That office cubicle setup you got going on a little too boring for your taste? Need a little pick-me-up?

Thanks to Hawaii's own DJ Compose, relief is as easy as updating the files on your digital music player. The Nocturnal Sound Krew founding member released "Can't NOC the Hustle 3" today, the latest in his series of mixtapes. Compose keeps it gritty, sticking with solid hip-hop picks from artists like Dr. Dre featuring Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross with Wiz Khalifa, Lloyd Banks and XV featuring Pusha T.

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a track listing available, so you'll just have to download the .mp3 file below and listen to it the whole way through to unearth all the treasures Compose has dropped into this mix; kudos also to fellow NSK member DJ SSSOLUTION for producing the mixtape's cover art. (Click here to stream online without downloading.)

Want to see Compose in action live? Head to Chinatown for this month's First Friday festivities at NextDoor and you'll find him spinning alongside DJ Matt Ratt between sets by The Jumpoffs and Creed Chameleon. The fun starts around pau hana, with music and performances lasting until well after midnight.

DJ Compose — "Can't NOC the Hustle 3" (EXPLICIT)


Jason Genegabus is former HILife Editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua, he now calls Kaimuki home. Contact him via email at

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VIDEO: ‘Aloha for Japan’ raises $1M in donations

March 27th, 2011

Video courtesy Lanai Tabura

Hawaii-based musician Christian Yrizarry of Beach 5 recorded this song to help raise awareness for the "Aloha for Japan" campaign for disaster relief.


The "Aloha for Japan" campaign, a statewide coordinated initiative to help the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, has collected more than $1 million in donations, according to a press release.

Hawaii's largest banks are serving as collection points for donations made payable to "Aloha for Japan." The money is being forwarded to the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii. The latter organization will donate all proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross.

GRP Home Co., a cooperative of local clothing designers HiLife, Butigroove, Fitted Hawaii, In4mation, Aloha Army and Barefoot League, have printed and sold "Aloha for Japan" T-shirts in recent weeks; they recently sent their first donation of $30,000 to the campaign.

"It really is just all about helping Japan," said Fitted Hawaii's Keola Rapozo. "I've been to Japan and have friends there, so I'm directly affected.

"A bunch of us local boys donated 30 thousand, and everyone who bought a T-shirt from us helped with that. And that's just the first check. We're off to a good start. When we hit them off with the next check, and another check, then people will see it's all about aloha for Japan."

Monetary donations can be made at American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Pacific Rim Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

Checks payable to "Aloha for Japan" can be mailed to 2454 S. Beretania St., Suite 201, Honolulu, HI 96826. Checks mailed to this address will be donated to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii.

Donors can give online at, which contains links to donation pages for the American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii. For more info, call 949-5531 or email


Honolulu Pulse Entertainment Editor Jason Genegabus contributed to this report.

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VIDEO: ‘Hard Rock Calling’ Hawaii finals

March 25th, 2011

The Deadbeats on stage at the Hard Rock Waikiki during the "Hard Rock Calling" Hawaii state finals on Thursday, March 24, 2011.


The Deadbeats are the 2011 Hawaii state champions in the Hard Rock Cafe's "Hard Rock Calling" battle of the bands competition.

After being forced to postpone due to the recent tsunami, the band fronted by MC Harumi the Hymn returned to Waikiki to face off against Any Given Chance in the finals on Thursday. With 30 minutes to impress a panel of judges that included Star 101.9's Deejay Maleko and Oahu Concierge Magazine publisher Pam Davis, they got the Hard Rock Cafe crowd jumping with originals like "Neva Know," "China Boppin" and "The Getaway" (see video below).

As part of the contest rules, the Deadbeats were also required to perform a Bon Jovi cover — and did a serviceable job with "Runaway." But their strength was obviously their original material, much like 2010 winners Friends of Adam.

The Deadbeats now advance to one of four regional semifinals, with judges determining the finalists who will compete online for one of four slots at "Hard Rock Calling" in June at London's Hyde Park. Of the four winning bands, the one with the most votes received on the Hard Rock website will get to open on the main stage; the other three bands will perform on the festival's second stage.


Jason Genegabus is former HILife Editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua, he now calls Kaimuki home. Contact him via email at

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BAMP to open new Oahu concert venue

March 25th, 2011

After six years and more than 200 shows, promoter BAMP Project is poised to elevate the local music scene yet again in 2011.

The Republik is the next step for Aubry Boutin, Matty Hazelgrove and Philip Pendleton, who were motivated to open their own place following the disappearance of another popular Honolulu nightspot in February.

"It has always been a goal for us to open our own concert venue," Hazelgrove explained earlier this week. "With the closure of Pipeline Cafe, we felt it was a good time to fill an obvious void for a mid-sized venue."

Although he didn't disclose specific details or terms, Hazelgrove said CAMP, LLC — a new company formed by the BAMP boys and local entrepreneur Charles "Chip" Jewitt — has signed a multi-year lease with Watamull Properties to open the Republik and operate it as both a concert venue as well as a location for fundraisers, art exhibits and other non-music related gatherings. CAMP also recruited Eggshell Lighting Company, Inc. and Hawaii Pro Sound & Video Rentals as minority partners in exchange for help building out the new room.

"It seemed to be the logical next step for us," said Hazelgrove. "It's going to allow us many more opportunities.

"We don't want it to be where it's the same as every other spot. We're looking at it as a musical revolution. The Republik is going to be a gathering place for anyone and everyone who loves music just as much as we do."

According to multiple sources, the Republik will take over the former location of China House Restaurant on Kapiolani Boulevard; the second floor space was most recently home to the O Lounge (pictured at left), which closed in 2009. While still too early in the process to make any real promises, Hazelgrove did say he hoped to see the Republik host its first event by the end of summer. Once demolition, construction and the installation of sound and lighting systems is finished, the new venue could possibly hold more than twice the number of people than the previous tenant.

"We don't have our capacity figures yet, but we feel it will be able to accommodate the majority of what we're doing," said Hazelgrove. "It's not going to be 100 percent perfect, but we want it to be better than everything else we've seen on Oahu, and we want it to be a great place for other people to bring shows to us.

"A lot of the venues that we work out of, we have to supplement everything so much that it's costly to put on shows. We have a lot of experience, so we know what's worked for us as promoters and what hasn't. We want the Republik to have everything there that we'll need — within reason."

According to BAMP Project, more details about the new venue — including an actual grand opening date — will be announced in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, they'll continue to promote concerts at other venues, including Blaisdell Arena and the wildly successful Kakaako Waterfront Park, a location BAMP brought back into use after being ignored by promoters for years.


Jason Genegabus is former HILife Editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua, he now calls Kaimuki home. Contact him via email at

HARA names lifetime achievement winners

March 16th, 2011

Star-Advertiser File / 2001

Kalapana takes a bow on stage at the Sheraton Waikiki in 2001 after playing their first show on Oahu since 1998. The performance was also the first on Oahu since Mackey Feary's death in 1999.

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts announced Wednesday the recipients for its 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards, the "highest award for excellence in (Hawaii's) recording industry."

This years awardees:

» Kalapana

» Jaqueline “Skylark” Rosetti

» Napua Stevens Poire

» Bill Tapia

» Fred and Ernest Tavares

The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented on Saturday, May 28 at the Hawaii Convention Center, a day before the 34th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards are scheduled to take place at the same location. While the Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner will not be televised, the main awards will be broadcast live on KFVE.

Tickets for the Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner are available now from HARA; call Bryson at 593-9424 for more details, or visit


Jason Genegabus is former HILife Editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua, he now calls Kaimuki home. Contact him via email at

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Daryl Hall visits Kauai

March 16th, 2011

Courtesy photos

Daryl Hall, right, took his popular "Live from Daryl's House" Internet broadcast to Kauai for a luau and jam session with buddy Todd Rundgren, left.

Fans of Hall & Oates were mighty happy to see the '80s pop stars back in Honolulu this month at the Blaisdell Arena, but Daryl Hall had one more surprise up his sleeve before leaving Hawaii.

Along with his official tour stop alongside John Oates, Hall took a flight to Kauai to spend some time with his buddy Todd Rundgren. The two have been friends since they were both young musicians in Philadelphia back in the 1960's, and when Hall came calling for Rundgren to make his second appearance on "Live From Daryl's House," Rundgren welcomed Hall and his crew with open arms.

The resulting jam session is the basis for the Internet-based show's 40th episode — except this one was filmed at Daryl's friend's house on the Garden Isle. Launched in 2007, the "Daryl's House" webcast has attracted millions of viewers and even made the jump back to traditional television when it aired on Chicago superstation WGN last New Year's Eve.

“It’s always great when friends come all the way out here to visit,” Rundgren said in a press release. “It’s even better when they come to play."

Hall added that it was a "blast to get together with Todd on his own turf,” and that "whether we’re in Philadelphia, New York or Hawaii, the camaraderie and food are always good, and the music even better.”

The latest episode of "Live from Daryl's House" went live yesterday and features seven songs and a number of "cultural vignettes" that show Hall and Rundgren learning more about chicken lau lau and kalua pig before joining a traditional prayer circle and taking part in a traditional Hawaiian luau.

The production level here is top-notch, and Hall's fans (as well as Rundgren's) will get a kick out of seeing the two rockers playing tourist for a bit in front of the cameras.

Here are the songs the two perform during the episode:

» "Didn't I"

» "I Saw the Light"

» "Everytime You Go Away"

» "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference"

» "Bang on the Drum"

» "The Last Ride"

» "Beanie G. and the Rose Tattoo"

Click here to watch the Kauai episode online.


Jason Genegabus is former HILife Editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua, he now calls Kaimuki home. Contact him via email at

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Hawaii responds with earthquake fundraisers

March 11th, 2011

Just hours after a devastating earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, a number of Hawaii residents and organizations are already stepping up to help coordinate local relief efforts.

A post on Twitter by the Hawaii Red Cross notes that Manoa DNA will perform at Lulu's Waikiki tonight, just steps from the webcam location that local TV stations used to illustrate sea changes during this morning's tsunami warning. Music starts at 6 p.m. and donations will be accepted at the door.

In addition, mobile cupcakery Fairy Cakes has been posted up at 1637 Kapiolani Blvd. (across from 24 Hour Fitness) since about 2:30 this afteroon, and have promised to donate all of today's proceeds to the Red Cross. Approximately 800 baked goods were prepared for customers today; bring a check payable to the Hawaii Red Cross and your money will go directly to help earthquake relief efforts.

And a hui of local clothing designers called GRP Home Co. — made up of the creative minds behind Fitted Hawaii, In4mation, Butigroove, Barefoot League, Aloha Army and HiLife — got together earlier today to come up with ideas for a benefit T-shirt (pictured at right).

"We're printing right now and all the proceeds are going to go to Japan," said Lanai Tabura, the group's spokesman. "It was really cool to get all the guys together and brainstorm this. They'll be $20 at all the shops and should be ready for purchase by Monday."

Know of any other fundraisers going on this weekend? Please post details in the comments below.

TV: ‘Real World’ back in Hawaii

March 11th, 2011

Now in its 25th season, perennial reality show staple "The Real World" continues to thrive on cable network MTV with its edgy blend of youth, sex and endless interpersonal drama.

This weekend, Hawaii residents will get an opportunity to show producers why they're the type of person who needs to be part of the cast for the 26th season of filming. The casting call marks the first time the show has returned to the islands since filming its eighth season at a house on Diamond Head Road, which aired on MTV in 1999.

Casting directors from Bunim/Murray Productions will hold an open casting call from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Hooters in Aloha Tower Marketplace. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and need to bring a valid ID and recent picture (if available) to complete the registration process.

“We look for characters from real life; people with strong personalities who are unafraid to speak their minds,” said Jonathan Murray, executive producer of “The Real World,” via email. "Past seasons have been populated with cast members from diverse backgrounds, who have shared their daily experiences openly with millions of viewers."

You may remember one of those characters — Ruthie Alcaide (pictured at left) was the hometown cast member on "The Real World: Hawaii" who attracted a lot of attention for her public battle with alcoholism on the show. With the current state of reality TV as it is, who knows what type of kolohe behavior casting directors will be willing to tolerate this time around.

If you can't make it to Aloha Tower this weekend, applications are also being accepted online.

Review: New Found Glory at Aloha Tower

March 10th, 2011

Photos by Melissa Kumano / Courtesy

Pop-punk rockers New Found Glory returned to Hawaii for a concert at Aloha Tower Marketplace on Wednesday, March 9. Click here for more photos.


The next time you hear someone complain about the lack of a rock scene on this rock, ask them one question — "Did you go see New Found Glory at Aloha Tower Marketplace on March 9?"

If they respond with "yes," go ahead and let them speak their mind. They've earned the right to do so by opening up their wallet and supporting promoter BAMP Project's efforts to maintain a healthy concert scene here in Honolulu.

It's people who don't even go to these shows — and then complain about them — who really annoy me. And I just know that there will be more than a few of those types running their mouths in the days and weeks to come, since the crowd that did show up at the Waterfront was hardly the size a band like New Found Glory rightfully deserves.

Maybe it was the rain that had kept things gloomy all day — but didn't affect the concert itself at all — or the fact that this island doesn't have a true rock station worth listening to on the radio anymore. Either way, for a band that really helped usher the pop-punk sound into the mainstream spotlight nearly a decade ago, it was a little disappointing to see less than 2,000 fans in attendance for the show.

Nowhere near the majority of those people were actually inside the venue when Silverstein (pictured above) opened the night. The Canadian rockers were already on stage when I arrived around 7:30 p.m. and only played a few more songs before making way for New Found Glory.

The crowd present at that time of the evening may have been small, but they were loyal — and vocal. "My Heroine" had a core group of about 50 people singing along right in front of the stage, which definitely caught lead singer Shane Told's attention.

"You guys are loud," he told the group. "This rules, man!"

Along with covering Kid Dynamite's "Lover" and American Nightmare's "Hearts," Silverstein shared a few new songs off their upcoming album, "Rescue," due out April 25. First up was "The Artist," followed by "Broken Stars" to close out their set.

SOME 45 minutes later, Jordan Pundik and the rest of New Found Glory came out as "Chariots of Fire" played — and promptly got to making the Aloha Tower crowd's ears bleed with "Understatement," "All Downhill From Here" and "Tip of the Iceberg." The show was definitely for longtime fans, with the band playing a nice variety of songs off both their older and newer albums.

Wednesday night's concert was the final date on a tour that took the band through southeast Asia and Australia before bringing them to Hawaii while on the way back to the continental U.S. — and all the prior shows had definitely taken their toll. After just two songs, Pundik warned the Aloha Tower crowd that he was battling bronchitis and might not be able to hit all his notes.

That didn't mean he didn't try — and the rest of the band tried, too, to give their Hawaii fans a set they'd talk about for a long time to come. You could tell they were tired and ready to go home but still wanted to play the best show possible.

After "Failure's Not Flattering," for example, Pundik jumped from the stage to high-five a few fans in the front row at the Waterfront. As he returned, he told guitarist Chad Gilbert that it felt "really good" to be back in front of an audience on Oahu. A few minutes later, Gilbert gave a shout out to Big Island mixed martial arts fighter BJ Penn, telling the crowd how much of an honor it was to have the former UFC champion in attendance.

It's too bad Gilbert couldn't get his girlfriend out on stage, however. One of the night's worst-kept secrets was that Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams was in the house, and while she did in fact hang out just off stage during New Found Glory's set, you wouldn't have known she was there if you weren't paying attention to the promoter's social media feeds or the ongoing Twitter commentary taking place during the show.

Before wrapping up the night with an encore that featured "My Friend's Over You," the band made sure to inform their fans they were getting ready to head back into the studio in April to kick off work on a new album.

Unfortunately, that reminder only served to underscore my personal belief that it's been a while since New Found Glory has put out any new material worth listening to. Wednesday's concert reminded me that I'm not a fan of the songs on 2006's "Coming Home" or 2009's "Not Without a Fight."

Hopefully, that new album will be more like "Sticks and Stones," the band's major label debut released in 2003. Hopefully, New Found Glory won't keep their Hawaii fans waiting too long before returning to our islands to share that new material with us live in concert.

And, hopefully, we'll have a radio station on this island by then that plays their style of rock so their next concert gets a little more support from local residents.

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PICS: New Found Glory at Aloha Tower Marketplace

Kolohe Kai departing for New Zealand

March 10th, 2011

Who needs "Bieber Fever" when you've got "Kolohe Kraziness" taking over the world?

That's what the local island contemporary band Kolohe Kai's manager, Brett Ortone, thinks — and he's so sure, he's booked six shows in five days throughout New Zealand starting on March 20.

"They're a whole band of Justin Biebers," Ortone raved last week. "The parents might not know who they are, but just ask their teenage kids."

Led by 2010 Castle High School graduate Roman De Peralta, Kolohe Kai debuted in 2009 with "This is the Life." The album's title track and the singles "Ehu Girl" and "Cool Down" got plenty of local radio play and steady touring throughout the state and elsewhere helped build the group's visibility. Kolohe Kai's sophomore effort, "Love Town," was released on Tuesday.

"I started writing these songs when I was 16 years old (and) this second set took about three years," said De Peralta last Saturday before band practice. "A lot of the songs have a lot deeper and mature roots from the first album. I pulled in a couple songs that I wrote when I was younger, and then the majority of songs were written after we graduated from high school."

Along with the new album, Kolohe Kai also has two new members who will make the journey to New Zealand this month. Following the departure of original member Ryan Eastham, Luke Dadderio and Ko Wilson-Ku now join De Peralta and fellow group members Noah Cronin, Jordan Agustin, Jasmine Mo'ikeha and Warren Estencion on stage at gigs.

"I write the songs and sing the songs, but I have a wonderful band who helps me perform," said De Peralta. "We're working right now trying to learn the second album and learn some dance moves."

In addition to helping raise spirits in New Zealand after the recent earthquake, the opportunity to leave the United States and perform in front of international fans is something the entire group is looking forward to, he added.

"I think it's the funnest experience. Our audiences are so easy going and just have fun, so it makes it really easy for us to work the crowd.

Here's a couple of samples off "Love Town" — the title track, plus the songs "Typical Heartbreaker" and "The Man I Am."

» Kolohe Kai - "Love Town"

» Kolohe Kai - "Typical Heartbreaker"

» Kolohe Kai - "The Man I Am"

"Love Town" is available now on iTunes and at traditional retail outlets. Visit for more about the band.

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