Archive for December, 2011

Looking back at 2011

December 31st, 2011

Nas, foreground, and Damian Marley perform at Kakaako Waterfront Park in February. (Star-Advertiser File)

Covering entertainment in Honolulu never gets old. There's always something new going on, and even the more established players on the scene keep finding different ways to keep things fresh.

Club kids saw a longtime fixture for live music and parties fade away when Pipeline Cafe closed for good in February, but as is typically the case, a number of other bars and clubs — the new Hard Rock Cafe, the Villa, Addiction Nightclub and the Standard among the year's more notable examples — sprang up to provide new options.

Local promoters kept the concert scene going strong, with a steady mix of local and mainland talent rocking stages all over Honolulu throughout the year. And if 2010 was the Year of the Food Truck, then this year belonged to the pop-up restaurant concept that finally made its way to Oahu's shores.

On this final day of 2011, take a trip down memory lane with me and relive some of my favorite Pulse posts from the past year. It's no "best of" list, to be sure. Instead, let's call this recap a celebration of just a few of the things that make us so lucky to live and play in Hawaii.

» Distant Relatives at Kakaako Waterfront Park: As I wrote in my review of the Nas and Damian Marley concert back in February, it was pretty obvious this show was going to be at the top of most people's year-end lists. Sure, the pair had been on tour for more than a year in support of their collaboration album, but that experience showed as they turned in one of the best-executed sets (that lasted nearly two hours, by the way) of the year.

» New Found Glory at Aloha Tower: While Nas and Damian Marley delivered exactly what I expected, New Found Glory's performance at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace in March reminded me of how fickle local concertgoers can be. Less than 2,000 people showed up for this concert, but that didn't stop opening act Silverstein from rocking out like they were playing a stadium show, and Jordan Pundik showed he was a true professional by powering through NFG's set despite admitting he was battling bronchitis at the time.

Manny Hinojosa. (Star-Advertiser File)

» Talking Story with Hip-Hop Royalty: There aren't many people who make me nervous when prepping for an interview, but Darryl "DMC" McDaniels was one of them. The founding member of hip-hop supergroup Run DMC was on his way to Honolulu in September to help Hawaii-raised artist Slick celebrate his clothing line, Dissizit, celebrate its eighth anniversary at SoHo Mixed Media Bar, and I got an opportunity to speak with him about a wide range of topics. While some artists view the press as a necessary evil that comes with the territory in the music industry, McDaniels seemed genuinely excited to share his thoughts. It was truly an honor to interview someone who helped pave the way for hip-hop in America and around the world.

» Pimpbot Celebrates 10 Years: The guys from Pimpbot always remind me of where I came from. January 2012 will mark 12 years in the newspaper game for me, and I can remember writing about Pimpbot when the band first got together in 2001. I've continued to cover them over the decade that followed, and was proud to be on hand in Chinatown when they celebrated 10 years of making music with a listening party in July.

» Dinner with Manny Hinojosa: 2011 got off to a great start when I was invited to a private dinner with mixologist Manny Hinojosa. The frequent Hawaii visitor was on his way to a celebrity chef event on the Big Island, but stopped off on Oahu to cook a few of his favorite Mexican dishes and make a few cocktails. It was one of the best, if not the best, dinner parties I've been to all year.

Dave Cruz prepares his version of the popular McDonald's McRib sandwich. (Star-Advertiser File)

IF YOU'RE a regular reader of the Pulse, you probably know that I not only write "In the Mix," but also cover the local food scene with "Grind Time" and shoot quite a bit of video for the site. Here are some of my favorite food and drink posts, plus links to my favorite video content from 2011.

Grind Time:

» Dave Cruz Answers the McRib Challenge

» 'Eat the Street' Debuts

» Downbeat Diner Opens in Chinatown

» 'Farm Fresh' with Peter Merrimann

» Plancha Pops Up in Manoa

» Prima is Ready to Change the Game

» Prima Keeps it Simple for Sunday Brunch


» 'Hard Rock Calling' Finals with the Deadbeats

» Sully Erna Visits Hawaii Public Radio

» Disney's Aulani Resort Opens

» Cat Cora Talks About 'Iron Chef America'

» Iron Chef Michael Symon in Hawaii

» Catching Up with Iron Chef Morimoto

» Go Ice Skating Without the Ice in Kakaako


Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at

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