Uncle Willie K is the Wonka of on-isle ear candy. His operatic pipes and six-string samurai skills never fail to both bring down the house and its patrons to their feet. Whether solo or with his band, he’s a magic man when it comes to Maui music and is the only person on Earth who’ll make you want to hear “O Holy Night” any time of year. Plus, he proved his acting chops are worth his weight in gold (which, for such an imposing man, is saying something) with his starring role in the local flick Get A Job–so it’s no wonder he’s the perennial pick for Best Male Musician.
This femme fatal–the frontwoman for The Throwdowns foursome–seems to get feistier as the weeks fly by. Erin Smith’s always got her cherub’s nose to the go-getter grind; hard work that’s paid off by catapulting her and her pop comrades into the limelight. Though a Canadian cutie, she quickly became the Maui scene’s darling of wahine rockers, and time and again readers have voted her as their far-and-away fave. There’s something gloriously–yet girlishly–guttural in the way she belts her beautiful tunes, and MauiTime toasts her success.
505 Front St., Lahaina; 808-661-9873;
Long ago, our associate editor vowed to never again ink the word “swank” (ugh… so overused!)–unless, of course, it’s in reference to Timba. Located upstairs at the shops at 505–and open only on Thursday through Saturday nights–there’s nowhere else on-isle with a vibe so perfectly plush. From theme parties to internationally renowned DJs to mainstays like DJ Calcul8 and Ross Q, Timba brings the beats to get your booty on the dance floor. Oh, and the view’s to die for. Even from the balcony view, the ocean’s so close you can lick it–but you won’t because you’re too busy making out with your libations and the hottie you’re nuzzling. However you’re making out, just make sure you arrive early. Like any good nightclub there’s usually a line–though it’s one worth waiting. in.
This BOM award comes on the eve of the band’s first full-length album release (Legs Of Our Own), and true to their debut EP’s title, it doesn’t look like these peppy rockers will be ‘slowing down’ any time soon. Drummer Ian Hollingsworth is a proverbial animal, Ola Shaw’s a madman both behind the mixing-and fret boards, Kimo Clark’s got an impressive vertical equal and opposite to his bass lines and Erin Smith’s a guitar-wielding, high-heeling wahine who’s go the “Best Female Musician” award locked down year after year. Mix ‘em all together and you’ve got a recipe for sound-success.
http://www.twitter.com/tarynal on Twitter
Many might know Taryn Alessandro from her “live painting” performances at some of the hottest festivals and late night jubilees. Her landscapes are proof positive she’s a funambalist of the fine line of mastering light and shadow, and her provocative “intimate” portraits will both make you blush and edge-in for a closer look. “I refuse to get bored or become mechanical in painting,” says Alessandro. “Using a variety of materials opens up my imagination into a whole new playground of possibilities…. and provides both a visual and tactile experience.”
Erica Kanakaoli… er, um, County Council Meetings
333 Dairy Rd., Kahului
A bunch of y’all voted for someone named Erica Kanakaoli. But apparently, Akaku puts the “public” in “public access” so much that even Akaku programmers are too elitist to know who she is. WTF, dear readers? Are we missing something? Or are you? (We even went so far as to venture “His Majesty” of the moustache Eric Kanakaole, or perhaps the fact that the Miss Aloha Hula competition is held at the Edith Kanakaole Stadium. But since no one voted for “the king” or the more obvious Miss Aloha Hula, we must digress…) Next time, help us out a little by picking something that’s actually on Akaku. Please? Otherwise we’ll have to again revert to the runner’s up–and BOM’s perennially winning “show”–the Maui County Council meetings. Not that those meetings can’t be entertaining as hell, but sometimes they’re just hell on Earth. Not to mention it’s all paid for by the County (which is good for Akaku and thus good for all of us), but it’s not exactly a feat of independent video, is it? (P.S. Mahalo Shawn Michael!)
@anuheajams on Twitter
MauiTime’s associate editor Anu Yagi doesn’t mind sharing such a cool name with Anuhea Jenkins (after all, “Anu” literally means “cool”), mostly because it’s been awhile since she’s gotten an email that reads “Hey, great show the other night. BTW, can you update The Grid…” But, she is a little perturbed that on Jenkins’s BOM-winning website you can opt-in to joining the Anu Nation. WTF?! Our Anu shortened her byline (in part) to mitigate confusion with the SXSW singer–though she’d like to note she’s a full six-months older than Jenkins–and yet Ms. Big Deal wants to co-opt “Anu,” too. But we digress. Kudos to Anuhea for being awesome. Cheers to a long and prosperous future ahead. Hurray for a sleek website that MauiTime readers love so much… And we promise we’re not gritting our teeth (um, at least not that much) when we say that.
KPOA 93.5 FM
311 Ano St., Kahului
@KPOA935FM on Twitter
No, silly. Not the Kansas Peace Officers Association-kine KPOA! We mean the call letters of KPOA 93.5FM, of course! MauiTime readers concur that electromagnetic radiation never sounded so good. From the station’s transmitter, tunes travel oscillating fields through the vacuum of space to bring contemporary Hawaiian stylings into your eager ear canals. And if you prefer, KPOA streams online, too (that’s for you guys, Kansas). Whether you spend your mornings with “Best Local Radio DJ” Alaka’i Paleka, or you days and eves with Paukukalo’s own Damien Awai, or Sistah Val or any and all of da peeps at KPOA, know you’re in capable hands worthy of being named “Best of Maui.”
Alaka’i Paleka “The Morning Goddess”
311 Ano St., Kahului
@KPOA935FM on Twitter
All hail Maui’s “Morning Goddess,” a true Hawaiian with a heart of gold who’s again nabbed the title of “Best Local Radio DJ.” The station’s programming director, she’s been a morning mainstay for decades, urging everyone to “get up, brush teeth, wash face and comb your hair” — and all with the interlude of her hallmark, twinkling tune by Peter Moon. (‘Hala,’ yo!)
When Peter Moon sang his cane fire warning back in da day, we’re betting he didn’t know he was prophesying that in 2011, a Maui band named Cane Fire would take Facebook by firestorm. They’ve dubbed their sound “island fusion,” and are hitting the scene in full force, playing everything from bars to baby luaus, and graduations to casual get-togethers. The folks of Cane Fire–Daniel Querubin, Jordan Tolentino, Joseph Marsh, James Somera, Gordon Samuelson, Ryan Duffy, Aaron Fulton and Kahala Greig–may only have 365 “likes” as of this writing, but many of them are, apparently, enthusiastic MauiTime readers. For that we–and Cane Fire–thank you.
Brendan Smith (@ReqB) is going to have to change his Twitter bio. Since last year’s BOM he’s playfully broadcast that he’s “Maui’s 2nd Best Twitter Feed™”–and now he’s the big winner. Even if you don’t have Twitter–hell, even if you don’t have a computer–it’s worth logging on just to tune into Brendan Smith’s (@ReqB) tweets. We’re not quite sure how he manages to be such a witty wordsmith–all in 140 characters or less–but do it he does. From the latest report on da lolos in Wailuku to Vice-esque do’s and don’ts, Smith’s got a say on everything–and voters know he’s worth reading.
A Maui Blog
amauiblog.com is led by Maui mama and blogger Liza Pierce. It provides a slice of our Pacific sunshine on the Internet. Follow her at @amauiblog to get her latest micro-blogged updates. She posts regularly about community events and the beauty of Maui and you’re welcome to chime in and comment. Her latest craze is sharing through Instagram, but you will find Peirce is always sharing something on social platforms, where ever they may be.
DJ Del Sol
@djdelsol on Twitter
Who loves house? DJ Del Sol loves house (e.g. his biz is called LoveHouse). And who loves DJ Del Sol? Maui loves DJ Del Sol. That’s why MauiTime readers voted him their favorite wax alchemist. If there’s house music happening anywhere in the shadow of the House of the Sun, DJ Del Sol is sure to be its instigator.
Hau’i’s Life’s A Beach
1913 S. Kihei Rd.
Hey, we can’t all be American Idols, but at the LAB every one’s a star (sort of). You can check out who’s singing to the screen every Sunday and Monday night, and with a little liquid courage (LAB’s deals make it easy) you could end up there, too.
Hard Rock Cafe
900 Front St., Lahaina
@hardrockmaui on Twitter
Even if your audience thus far only includes your dashboard (hey, we play a mean steering wheel drum kit, too), you can say you “played the Hard Rock” by manning-up at their open mic nights. Grammy-winners Garrett Probst and Peter De Aquino host, and there are prizes from local stores to boot (add that to your resume). Sign-ups start at 8:45pm, with the show commencing at 9pm.
Stella Blues Cafe’s Supper Club
1279 S. Kihei Rd.
Since its inception not two years ago, Stella Blues Cafe’s Supper Clubs dinner shows have done much to inform the audible aesthetic of the isle. Their warm wooden walls and elite sound system make for divine acoustics, and their acclaimed dinner ain’t bad to boot. Shows like Paula Fuga with Mike Love and Sam Ites are regularly sell out to standing-room only (which is just as well, seeing as your on your feet cheering anyhow) and one-off gems like The Waitiki 7 will have you begging for a hana hou. It’s intimate, engaging and with a four-course dinner costs just $60.