Archive for April, 2011

Island singers come together for 'A Song for Japan'

April 9th, 2011

Led by award-winning singers-composers Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and Henry Kapono,
a group of Island entertainers have come together to record an anthem, “Together Again: A Song for Japan” to benefit the Japanese tsunami-earthquake relief efforts.
“Japan and her people have been so supportive of my career and music,” Hanaiali'i Gilliom said in a statement. “When this tragedy took place, I knew I had to give back in some way. I know a song will not build a home, or bring back a loved one, but I hope it calms their souls and to remind them that their brothers and sisters in Hawaii are always here to help.”
Said Kapono: “Japan continues to be in our thoughts and we hope we can send them positive vibes, prayers and our mana (Hawaiian for spiritual strength) – we have placed all of this into our song and we hope they feel our aloha.”
The “We Are the World”-type spirit-lifter, advocating oneness and deep roots and aloha, is available for purchase. There was no immediate word if it would be performed as part of Sunday’s (April 10) mammoth “Kokua For Japan” benefit from noon to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
With cooperation and participation by Hawaii’s music community, the project was completed within a week. Among those involved: singer Raiatea Helm, the musical trio Manoa DNA featuring dad Lloyd Kawakami and sons Alex and Nick Kawakami, bassist Steve Jones, singer Robi Kahakalau, Kapono’s niece Hilo Ka’aihue, singer Mailani, singer Danny Kennedy, and musicians Steve Jones, Chino Montero and Sean Na’auao. A spoken dedication is performed by slam poet Kealoha.
Paliku Theatre at Windward Community College provided recording space, with award-winning producers Milan Bertosa and Shawn Pimental contributing their expertise. OC-16 documented the session with a music video shoot.
The tune may be purchased and downloaded for 99 cents; the companion music video is $1.99. To preview and purchase (the audio has been posted, the video should be online soon), go to
All proceeds will be donated to Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross, Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.

Hawaiian Grammy is pau but are the rants over?

April 6th, 2011

The Hawaiian Grammy is no more.
Which means no more bickering about who won, who should’ve won; no more allegations of favoritism or residency issues.
Rants about Tia Carrere taking home the trophy, not once but twice, or slack key guitar dominating the votes in most years, are pau. Or not.
In a major fine-tuning effort, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has slimmed down its awards tally, slashing the category count in next February’s Grammy Awards to 78, from 109.
One of the victims in overhaul is the Hawaiian Grammy, which has been a stand-alone category from 2005 to 2010. In four of the six seasons of Hawaiian competition, ki ho’alu compilations overpowered more traditional Hawaiian vocal albums, with dissenters contending that eligible voters simply weren’t listening to the nominees.
All that naysaying is over. Or is it?
Here’s the deal: The recording academy is blenderizing Hawaiian music with Native American sounds, in new category called regional roots music, joined by two other regional categories: Zydeco and Cajun. If it was tough, till now, for an Amy Hanaiali’i to win attention, it’s going to be even more challenging in the future.
The academy has arbitrarily created a conceptual stew that will leave all camps fuming.
“Hawaiian music deserves to be acknowledged as a category in its own right, not only for reasons of language but for cultural and historical reasons as well,” said Mountain Apple Company, the local label that also produces, distributes and licenses a variety of Island music to a global audience.
“It is regrettable that, at a time when Hawaiian music as a genre is experiencing greater popularity and gaining traction with new audiences, the music industry will lose an international platform for recognizing gifted artists,” Mouentain Apple said in a statement.
Since only 10 major categories are spotlighted in the Grammys’ three-hour TV broadcast, the cutbacks particularly impact the smaller categories, like Hawaiian, which have been bestowed in pre-show ceremonies broadcast only on the Internet. Even the “crawl” of non-televised pre-show winners’ names is history.
Audy Kimura, an award-winning local singer, composer, musician and engineer, had been a Grammy voter but let his membership lapse in recent years, over dissatisfaction with the Hawaiian music situation.
“My warning way back when everyone was so hot to have Hawaiian music as a category was ‘this will allow anyone around the world to have an equal say as ours about Hawaiian music regardless of their expertise, or lack thereof.”
With more voters outside of Hawaii than here, the track record to date favors slack key as the definitive Hawaiian sound. Lobbyists had hope to subdivide Hawaiian into more defining instrumental vs. vocal categories — a moot point now.
So what’s the moral, of his artistic tragedy? Be careful of what you wish for?

Hawaiian Grammy list:
Who won what and when

• 2005 — “Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters Collection, Volume II,” Charles Michael Brotman, producer.
• 2006 — “Masters Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1,” Daniel Ho Creations, producer.
• 2007 — “Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Live From Maui,” Daniel Ho Creations, producer.
• 2008 — “Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar,” Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku, Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong, producers.
• 2009 — “Ikena” featuring Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho, Daniel Ho Creations, producer
• 2010 — “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2,” Daniel Ho Creations, producer.

Global dilemmas stifle Frank DeLima’s parodies

April 3rd, 2011

Time was when comedian Frank DeLima, a master of musical parody, was a quick-draw
artist whenever something tragic, infuriating or emotion-evoking happened.
He put smile of the faces of folks, turning frowns upside down, with his parodies of current events.
Remember “Furlough Friday,” the ditty that responded to the oh-too-many Friday day- offs sanctioned by then Gov. Linda Lingle, who was trying to reduce budget shortfalls by eliminating public school teacher payrolls on selected Fridays?
Remember “Bad Day,” also known as “The Great Hawaiian Earthquake,” which reacted to the inconvenience and tribulations for the tsunami that never materialized in 2006?
“Signs, Signs, Signs” — which lamented the tsunami of political signs in the last fall’s election — was the last time we heard one of his clever ditties, co-authored by his partner in parody, Patrick Downes.
“Yes. It is time,” DeLima said, when questioned about his peculiar silence, considering the dire moments of the Japan earthquake and resultant tsunami and impact there and here, along with the nuclear shimpai (worries) in Sendai and widening environs.
And the riots in Egypt, the Moammar Gadhafi incidents in Libya, the soaring price of gasoline, the torching of shark tour boats, the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others were obvious topics for the DeLima parody treatment: tension-busters via his humor-laced lessons of coping, surviving, getting on in life despite challenges big and small.
Turns out the Nippon triple bomb — the quake, tsunami and crisis with the nuclear plant — put a freeze his creative juices.
In his words: “Nothing came to me because the events are so horrible in Japan ... and the Middle East.”
But DeLima hopes to get going with some inspirational creation; after all, he long has served as the vox populi (voice of the people) in moments of emotional duress. And he needs some new material for an upcoming comedy tour.
“I already am meeting with Patrick on new stuff for my upcoming shows with Augie T,” he said of an upcoming tour dubbed “Da Babooze Brothers Tour,” beginning April 15 at the Maui Beach Hotel— and extending through the summer with Mainland dates in August.”
Perhaps you have a suggestion of a topic or incident to inspire DeLima to concoct a parody?

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