I’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN: Blogging–with its raw, unchecked content–makes evident how much my editor Jacob Shafer has to do to make me appear as if I have a brain. Wherever it appears that I might have any brains at all, blogging shines a hot halogen light on the illusion.
Case in point: The Year in Music, High notes from our extensive coverage of the local scene, due out this Thursday (12/24/09) is “my” recap of MauiTime’s 2009 Music Scene. It most assuredly is not. My poor, poor editor took my “diarrhea of the mouth” (as our General Manager, Jen Russo likes to say) and distilled it into something intelligible for print.
The problem is that I’ve done this before. Lots. I just can’t figure out how not to. Yet. Someday, I pray, I’ll have some concept of restraint or structure.
Until then, I’ll subject the Internet to my first draft. Should anyone, anywhere find any morsel worth savoring (without drowning), I’ll be content enough to quit being sick with embarrassment. Because–as both in this blog edtion and the version that hits stands on Thursday–I have plenty enough to be embarrassed about.
MUSICAL ALPHABET SOUP: A to G Z spoonfuls from MT’s 2009 Music Scene
A is for The Alliez, the Maui band that gave contributor Ynez Tongson flashbacks of WWII history lessons. “Whenever someone mentions the word “allies,” I usually think of the Big Three,” wrote Tongson. While the Allies spent January 1, 1942 signing the Declaration of the United Nations, The Alliez spent their 01/01 of ‘09 snagging the ink of MauiTime’s first Music Scene article of the year.
As suspicious were the Allies of the Axis powers, Tongson admitted being “usually suspicious of a band that intentionally misspells its name as well as song titles, but in the Alliez’s case [will] make an exception.” Why? Because “[w]hile the USSR has collapsed, good music never dies,” and The Alliez are “not just any old reggae band… [t]heir sound ranges from classic rock to Latin jazz to hip hop, all of it infused with a reggae flavor.”
And then, there was AnDen. In the second review of 2009, former Staff Writer Kate Bradshaw took us around the world in search of the meaning behind this local band’s name. Could it be found in Peruvian “terraces carved into Andes mountainsides,” or on a “train platform” in Spain? Perhaps, Switzerland held the key, where “anden translates as “spirit,” though its alternate meaning is “duck.””
No, none of these. Instead, the answer is found in Hawaii’s pidgin roots, according to Damien Awai, AnDen’s singer, songwriter and ukulele player. As Bradshaw reported, not only does it mean that “people are always looking for the next thing,” but “also refers to looking forward, to examining possibilities and embracing hope.”
AnDen, then, is an appropriate name for a band that writes socially conscious songs such as “Nation in a Nation, ” which “laments the displacement of Hawaiians in the wake of upscale developments that drive up property values as well as the cost of living.” However, as hyper-local as this all might sound, “their [musical] influences are far-reaching.” Bradshaw described tunes off their debut album, HouseKatchaFaya, that “spout unmistakably reggae-esque upstrokes,” yet could still “detect a little Zeppelin in their heavier tunes (including their cover of Bob Marley’s “Exodus”), and some bossa nova during the band’s forays into the realm of mellow.”
In June, Bradshaw eloquently described the slack-key guitar of Henry Kaleialoha Allen, as “the musical equivalent of sea glass, a sound drenched in Malibu rum and day-old sunshine,” but had earlier dived further into mellow musical waters, when she brought us news of the songstress Anuhea’s late-March appearances at the South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW). Though Anuhea had already achieved local fame by opening for the likes of Jack Johnson and Matt Costa, of her Austin experience, she said it “legitimizes us.”
Hitting stands mere weeks before the release of Anuhea’s self-titled, debut full-length album, in this Music Scene article, Bradshaw described the effort as “a sound that seamlessly folds her influences—reggae, Hawaiian, acoustic folk—into one cohesive, velvety ribbon.” But, while “it’s an exponentially amiable sound, [it] by the same token [is] a sound that doesn’t take many risks.”
Risk or no risk, Anuhea’s popularity has continued to gain ground, and she’s continued to gig; even to lands as far away as Japan.
Additionally rocking Austin’s SXSW—were the members of A Kettle Prime, who first banded together “in a small pavilion outside the Kihei VFW.” However, the their “dynamic (and trippy) sound” came to an end in September, with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Lake McClain, having moved to the mainland. Thus, seeing in-person their “original tunes [that] marry jam band grooves with a darker, I might even say almost metal-inspired, sensibility,” as Bradshaw wrote in February, must remain a fond reflection of 2009.
Before we endeavor toward the “B’s,” also in “A’s” are the Assault Squad Riderz—the King Kekaulike High School alumni and hip-hop trio who’ve been “attacking the music scene” together for over ten years, and gigging on-isle for half that. Their name was devised not to scare people, but as a metaphor “that best described us as being strong and to push forward instead of being pushed around.”
To the contrary, Bad Kitty’s sly moniker—though unintentional—seems to be a subconscious slip from those band members who diverge from their regular engagement with Jimmy Mac & The Kool Kats. ‘Bad’ as they may be, they rockers are clearly having a good time. “You can definitely tell the band is playing for the sheer enjoyment of it,” wrote Tongson in her early-October story.
Speaking of stories, in September, Seattle’s Blue Scholars were keen on telling theirs. “First and foremost I do have a story to tell. It’s my own story, my individual story, but it’s not so individual that no one can relate to it,” George Quibuyen (aka MC Geologic) told me during our interview. Part of what makes Quibuyen’s story unique is his Filipino background and Oahu upbringing that lent strong influences to the group’s latest EP, Oof! Quibuyen, along with Saba Mohjerjasbi (aka DJ Sabzi) comprise the Seattle-based hip-hop duo who have been stirring up strong international buzz, earning them top spots on lists ahead of super stars like Jay-Z and Shakira.
Benoit JazzWorks may be bound to the “B’s” stirred up in this alphabet soup revue, but they are nothing short of A-listers in their own right. David Benoit has garnered 5 Grammy nominations and “is considered one of contemporary jazz’s most accomplished musicians, most people hav[ing] heard his music whether they know it or not, either through his Peanuts concertos, on The Weather Channel’s Weather on the Eights, or from one of his 23 solo recordings.” The other element of the brothers Benoit, is Phil. He not only brings to the group stand up bassist extraordinaire Marcus Johnson (from his days with Gypsy Pacific), but to vocals, Angela, a Maui girl and his wife of 21 years.
They group creates “[a] warm, sophisticated and easygoing sound,” reported Bradshaw, “with sets that rely on originals, newer covers and old standards. Angela’s vocals are incredibly smooth and embrace the bittersweet sound that rests somewhere between high alto and low mezzo-soprano.”
To avoid any of the “trouble” warned of in a January article, I’ll complete the “B’s,” by saying but this: Bradshaw went bowling with Maui-based three-piece, Byron Brown and the Derelicts.
Tongson had a bit of trouble herself when, while conducting an interview for an article earlier this month, Fran Cosmo—former lead vocalist for Boston’s 1994 album Walk On—made fun of her voice. The day of the interview, I learned via Tweet of the rocker’s slight to Tongson; though she softened it in the story by saying, “It figures that when I get to interview someone as famous as Fran Cosmo, I’d have a cold. It’s tough to sound charming and elegant when you can only speak in vowels.”
I’m of the opinion that she should have retaliated by making fun of his itty bitty Wiki page. Ok. So maybe that’s just me being protective of a rockin’ writer who despite her cold, came through for me (time and time again) while I was away dealing with another “C” word illness. But if Mr. Cosmo (who, really, I’m sure is very nice) was indeed the slightest bit disrespectful, I’ll gladly bloody him up.
Besides, I prefer the local legendary status of Cecilo and Kapono, often refered to as “C & K.” The pleasure of interviewing the “K” component, Henry Kapono, “The Wild Hawaiian”, was also Tongson’s. In last month’s story, Kapono was quoted saying, “[w]hether it’s finding love, losing love, unrequited…any form of love is the message we’re trying to convey.” It’s hard not to love a message like that. It’s a message that, after 36 years—as their classic song “Goodtimes Together” croons—fans “a long time together,” can still take pleasure in the fact that “the best is yet to come.”
Something quite the same could be said for the “ all under 20 years of age” members of The Cities Love You, who have their whole lives yet to come, but wasted no time in waiting for the County of Maui to love them enough to play booze-selling venues. So, they scheduled to ship themselves off to California later this summer, not long after their Music Scene feature in MT.
The city move was also conceived to employ the energy behind, as Bradshaw reported, “their enigmatic name… from what [Jon Belen, lead singer and guitarist] has experienced while traveling in large cities. They seemed welcoming, and more likely to appreciate the sounds he and his band want to generate.”
However, Rob Parson reported in April, “Olympia, Washington pianist extraordinaire” Scott Cossu, did not fare so well in the Golden State, as, while “[c]rossing Wilshire Boulevard in Beverley Hills, Cossu was struck by a Mercedes-Benz and spent the next month in a coma with multiple injuries. Cossu endured an extensive rehabilitation, including four surgeries. He had to relearn every song he’d ever written.”
Now delving into the “D’s,” reggae rocker Desmond “Dezman” Yap, like the above-referenced, citified youngins’, was also of a tender age when he wrote his first tunes; and thus has been on my music radar much longer I’ve been lucky enough to be with MT. Those roots (pun kinda intended) extend to my own middle school days—myself having been (with a mixture of pride and embarrassment), one of those “students of Kalama Intermediate,” who learned and performed the popular “Waiting for your Love,” which Dezman penned as an eighth grader.
In her article February article, Bradshaw pegged it smartly, saying, “reggae’s popularity in the isles rests in the open wounds still gushing in colonialism’s wake. While much of it focuses on love and island life, reggae music is music of struggle, of raging against hegemony and loss of cultural identity. At the same time, it’s also full of optimism and calls for unity.”
With Dezman’s “lyrics are loaded with political and social commentary,” Bradshaw congratulated him on “avoiding clichés while maintaining accessibility.”
Much, much more embarrassing than my own aforementioned middle school musical exploits, was my choice of words for introducing myself to the MT Music Scene, in my very first Arts & Entertainment article. Featuring world-renowned DJ Diplo— who had just disembarked from a plane returning from Japan’s Fuji Rock Fest and is the former beau of M.I.A. and producer of her Grammy-nominated song, “Paper Planes,”—I wrote that he had, “unbeknownst to him, popp[ed] my Music Scene interview cherry.”
It went unrecognized by me, until the issue went to press, that my ‘ohana would henceforth be reading what I write. Add to that a too-quick FB post of a link to the candy-colored, sorta-clothed ‘porno’ that is the music video for the track “Pon de Floor” (directed by Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), and my mortification was complete.
My only redemption comes in the fact that Diplo’s popularity is growing faster than even his ego (as evidenced by his Tweets) can keep up with—as his dress suit-wearing partnership with DJ Switch in creating the beat commando persona, Major Lazer—their “visual styl[ing] evoking that of Funkadelic’s Hardcore Jollies (1976) meets the cult classic flick Heavy Metal (1981)”—can be heard everywhere from BBC’s Essential Mix to cell phone commercials.
While I spoke with Diplo in August about his shopping in Japan (there are a couple labels he prefers, like Visvim and Comme des Garçons), in September I spoke with the Material Girl’s long-time dancer and back-up vocalist, Donna DeLory, about her spirituality while in Japan. Though, that part of our interview did not make the story, DeLory shared with me the serene allure Japan holds over her, those feelings adopted while performing there during her 20-plus year career with Madonna.
Of her overall experience with “Madge,” DeLory related, “It was always a very interesting experience to observe myself growing, still being ‘in’ that and being grateful to be there—but [also] feeling there’s something different growing inside myself. I was kind of joyfully and blissfully wrapped up in that world—[it was] where I had to be at that time. Which was a beautiful experience, it was amazing. But then I feel like I really outgrew it. I really woke up to something deeper inside myself, a deeper kind of music, things I wanted to talk about, the way I wanted to feel.”
It speaks volumes of DeLory that she could so solidly find herself, while in the shadow(s) and wardrobe of Madonna’s multiple images.
As for Fish Tank—“a new band full of familiar faces”—who Bradshaw covered in April, guitarist Pete Sebastian joked, “[w]e kind of have an identity crisis.” Bradshaw wrote that he “point[ed] out that most of the band members are reggae musicians who are influenced by a sweeping gamut of styles,” continuing then to quote Sebastian as saying, “I’m not looking to write in any vein or genre.”
Barry Flanagan, on the other hand, did not express reservation about incorporating new elements into his genre, during his June interview with Bradshaw. He shared his having found inspiration even in holiday-related revelry, saying, “I heard a CD called A Gaelic Christmas. I heard “Greensleeves” being done by a group with Ilian pipe, which is an Irish instrument, and thought, oh, I’d love to put slack key and Ilian together. And it worked perfectly on a song I composed called “Aloha Namahana,” which is on the Namahana release. I’m using that as an example, but even an Irish bagpipe, an Ilian pipe, fit perfectly with slack key.”
The “Maui jazz-funk-rock operation called The Flying Sheep Problem,” gets even wilder with their music amalgamations. “Take Tool. Add Herbie Hancock. Mix in some Morphine and top it off with Coltrane. To the uninitiated, this mix may seem somewhat discordant. But with the right combination of musicians wielding the right kind of vision, it could actually work. It does for these guys,” wrote Bradshaw, in March.
Bradshaw further explored genre-bending with the “mysterious” Maui troupe Guerrilla Jazz, who “has no regard for genre.” For example, the band goes guitar-less, and instead “rel[ies] heavily” on Chef Strum who wows the crowd (when the “band plays outEdit periodically”) by working the uke and “utilize[ing] effects peddles like the wa.”
If the irregularity of Guerilla Jazz’s live gigs has you frustrated, the nearly equally infrequent appearances of the “extremely raw and musically simple brand of hard rock infused with punk rock momentum” that is Highly Unlikely, will unlikely provide you reprieve. Reviewed by Bradshaw in June, for dudes who “don dress shirts (not the Chaz popped-collar variety) and vests, the whole bit,” it’s probably just too hot to play out too often.
Besides, it also must be tough for self-accused male models who fear “they get pigeonholed; that people often think they’re playing to the Twilight crowd when in fact they’d probably appeal more to fans of Alien vs. Predator”—especially after all the Highly Unlikely vs. The Throwdowns hubbub after 2008’s 92.5 FM Battle of the Bands.
If I’m going to partake in any band brawl, I’m siding with The Isle of Maui Pipe Ban Why? Because at the time of Jacob Shafer’s March review, “the band consists of 14 pipers and seven drummers (“when marching at full strength”), ranging in age from 13 to 67.” Scots are notoriously tough too, even (or especially) with the tartan, and this Celtic crew “tout themselves as the “only pipe band in the world to wear the Hawaiian tartan,” a blue-and green-heavy plaid with a touch of red designed in 1997 by Douglas Herring of Oahu.”
Traveling now to the Big Island, Tongson visited via phone with slack key master John Keawe, from his Hawi, North Kohala home, in the week prior to his Maui performance for the 7th Annual Hana Film Festival. “Though Keawe has won numerous awards—including a 2005 Grammy for his work with other artists on Slack Key Guitar Volume 2,” Tongson discovered of the awards ceremonies that, “he didn’t even get to go, but was very proud to be a contributing artist to an album that has gained so much esteem. “It was an honor to represent the root music of Hawaii,” he says.”
The ukulele is as core to modern Hawaiian music as slack key is, and as Bradshaw reported, the boys of Kanekoa rock it with “both a lead and a rhythm uke player (uketarian? eucharist?)” Their name sake is none other than their rhythm man, Kaulana Kanekoa (lead four-string ripper Vince Esquire already has group named for his six-string accomplishments), who explains that “his last name means “the wares of man”” in Hawaiian.
Indeed, “it’s hard to imagine Kanekoa completely disappearing from the map” when featuring “Esquire [who] was about 11 when he started gigging with the other guys who constitute the band… who weren’t much older,” and who “[w]hile gigging in Hollywood they caught the eye of a film director and wound up cast in the Farrelly brothers’ 2007 film The Heartbreak Kid,” with their tune titled “Way Down.”
But, so few and far between were their performances that Bradshaw felt compelled to write in efforts to “grab the attention of all potentially interested parties [and in] doing so hope to increase demand.”
That said, even Esquire, in the March story, was quoted saying, “[w]e’re the most well-known band on Maui, and no one knows who we are.”
The following month, Bradshaw discovered the “intangible, otherworldly element to what Karen B does,” and noted, “[a] favorite refrain of mine from her poolside performance was the repetition of the words “nobody knows my name.””
Continuing how “[t]o those not musically savvy enough to be totally floored by the way she assembles songs, the most appealing thing may be her vocal style. Rhythm and blues are a clear and heavy influence. Her pipes are extremely easy on the ears with their velvety soul inclinatio; she’s a dyed-in-the-wool alto and doesn’t try to stab at soprano—but she’ll hit a high note if she needs to.”
As for the Kottonmouth Kings (KMK), what high note they needed came via Maui Wowie. I spoke with “Brad “Daddy X” Xavier, frontman of Southern California’s [KMK]—a 6-man act of proud, pro-herb proponents whose name alone (mis)spells marijuana-supporter synonymy,” on the very day that “the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) [wrapped] its 38th annual convention, held in downtown San Francisco’s Union Square.
Ahead of KMK’s Maui gig, we discussed the obvious. His opinions were not earth-shattering or unheard of, simply saying, “It’s pretty simple. It’s really a human being’s choice whether they want to act or interact with that plant. If the people’s will is to enjoy the plant, then let it grow free. Of course, if you abuse anything, it will abuse you.”
But what was new news in the Pakalolo Wireless was that their forthcoming album—to be titled Long Life the Kottonmouth Kings—may in fact be their last. “We’re going to release it on April 20 of 2010,” said Xavier, “and we’re pretty much looking at it like this is the last record we want to make—so we’re pulling out all the stops for it.”
Back at home and not stopping anytime soon are the “old crew” members of Maui Kila Kila, who’ve made been making music on Maui since “circa 1973.” While that’s not that long ago, in February, Bradshaw wrote of members reminiscing about how “[d]uring a gig at the Rodeo Club (what is now Casanova), one of [Mary] Lee’s former bands caused a big enough sensation Upcountry, she said, that a couple of guys rode into the bar on horses.”
On the topic of bar stories, I talked to Mick Fleetwood—of, yes, Fleetwood Mac fame—about his balls. Well, his wooden balls, which “are very, very old,” Fleetwood told me in September. “I won’t say they’re as old as me,” he continued, “[b]ut—it starts getting into X-rated commentary here—my balls are quite old.”
“Fleetwood confirm[ed] that the original pair were “lavatory chains,” and “[t]hough we’re conversing over the phone, I imagine[d] him pantomiming the vandalism as he narrate[d]: “I came out—and I must admit I had a couple of glasses of English ale—and came out of the toilet with these, I ripped them off the—you know, I was very destructive—I ripped them off the toilet and had them hanging down between my legs.”
As, um, interesting as Fleetwoods balls (and blues music) might have been, I’m a dork whose foremost curiosity had settled around learning more about his guest-appearance as an “Antedean” alien on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Fleetwood told me of fun he had gobbling the gooey “vermicula,” and I too was satiated.
But not so satisfied are the Mauians of Mojomana, whose drummer Dan Minichiello asserts, “I aim for infamy.” The band is forever reaching to boldly go where no band has gone before, and in February, Bradshaw wrote that they “invoke various types of scenery, some nameless force that pushes the music into another dimension.” Her band-comparisons to illustrate their sound are aptly “The Velvet Underground plus The B52s, four hours into an acid bender in the desert.”
If that’s still not conjuring adequate imagery, step through to the world of P.O.R.T.A.L. (“an acronym for People of Revolutionary Thought and Living”), whose “song “Geppeto’s Dream,” [is] a tune that starts out with a strange melody invocative of sunken ships and broken dolls in hurricane-torn attics.”
From there, using just a little more open mindedness, you can journey all the way through to the other end of the spectrum, where Pac Vibe awaits with their “heavily R&B-influenced reggae.”
“Pac Vibe seems to enjoy putting their own stamp on even the most well-worn standards,” wrote Bradshaw in May, who additionally gives props to the band members’ chops.
As for chops in the variety of Mewati Gharana of Hindustani music, Bradshaw also reported—when Pandit Jasraj & Pandita Tripti Mukherjee came to play—that “[to] be a credible purveyor of the form – an exponent – you have to live and breathe it for years. You have to study with a guru who him or herself is an exponent of the mode. It is only after years of sadhana – devoted study – are you authorized to employ your prana (breath of life) within this form, as is the case with any true form of raga.”
In the Indian musical tradition, “raga” is (according to Wikipedia), “a series of five or more musical notes which a melody is made,” and has nothing to do with the considers-Sublime-divine, reggae-rock of Rock Fever Remedy, who formed this year thanks to the connections that can arise from Craigslist, nor does it have anything to do with Indio’s new six-member outfit, Soul Concepts, whose R&B rustlings aim for “old school, innovative, dirty.”
Both are 2009 upstarts with the kind of grit that we’d like to see continue into 2010 and beyond, but—as we near the end of our A B C’s—you must excuse me if my attempts at connective transitions as disappointingly weak as a store-bought, powdered chai tea. Hell, if you’re still reading at this point, I ought to buy you a good Fireside Chai from our friends at Marc Aurel’s.
But even the junkest stuff gives you that shot of oh-so-needed caffeine—said psychoactive stimulant my own personal addition—and that happy, jittery feeling being something similar to that of seeing Mojo Slim (I’m guessing), pictured in a write-up done this month by Tongson, about Sounds of Addiction. If Slim is the really a man named Zach, then he’s an inspired, understated guitarist who lends a little genius to every jam or band he’s within a mile radius of. Pau holidays, Tongson and I will have to go check ‘em out in person to find out for sure.
What is certain is that Derick Sebastian has a heart of gold and super fast fingers that make the best case for naming of the ukulele just that, it’s meaning loosely translated as “jumping flea.” Truly a virtuoso, in my August story on Sebastian, I early made the assertion that his is one that will stick and one day soon be regarded “along with local legends the likes of Pahinui, Ho’opi’i, Kamakawio’ole, Cazimero and Beamer.”
Also certain is that The Throwdowns know how to create a buzz. They may be buried here, near the bottom of our alphabetized soup bowl—but with as busy as they’ve been making hospital visits, touring Oahu (scoring bigger features than The Fray and Panic at the Disco in the Gathering Isle’s papers of record) and w-ay up north in Canada, I’m sure they’re more than willing to have a teensie break from the limelight.
Not to mention that last time MT talked about The Throwdowns (in August, with a cyan-colored cover story designed by MT Art Director Chris Skiles, and ‘words’ muddled through by yours truly), ignited a shit-storm of Internet feedback nearly bigger than this Blizzard 2009 we Hawaiians keep hearing about (and West Siders got hail-sized taste of this weekend). Granted, there was a lot of love sprinkled throughout the onslaught, but much of the animosity was so barbed, I doubt our non-sentient website will ever regain its self esteem.
That The Throwdowns seem to be made stronger by all the hubbub is the truest testament to their super-sweet style and relentless pursuit of musical stardom. The group bubbles with a pureness so refreshing, I think—whether you like the music or not—you cannot help but want to wholeheartedly cheer on their successes as they endeavor up. Their first EP highly successful here and (literally) abroad, I’m placing firm bet that we’ll be seeing quite a bit more of this buoyant foursome in years to come.
While some acts, like The Throwdowns, elicit highly emotional responses from each end extreme of the spectrum, some artists—like Uluwehi Guerrero—seem to garner just the good stuff. I received emails of commendation from places as far away as Idaho and Ohio, from who I’m guessing are displaced “hula people,” eager to read about a beloved teacher whose contributions to the art and culture of hula and Hawaiian music is little rivaled.
Another unpublished morsel to be found (a little soggy) at the bottom of this dish is that Guerrero—amidst his overwhelming schedule with his many-faceted halau, as well as his thriving musical career—is learning how to play the cello. He told me it is the instrument closest-sounding to the human voice, Guerrero also divulged that he is the oldest student in his group, the others all being school children.
In her description of Leo Waiau’s voice, Tongson tugged at my heartstrings this month, when she wrote, “He’s got a voice like heartbreak and lyrics like a punch to the stomach.” Waiau, a philosophy major ,“when he’s not playing music, can be found surfing, dabbling in photography and reading.”
Finally, Z is for Ziggy—the reggae royalty for whom I need to get a Rosetta Stone program so as to learn his “soulful Jamaican lilt.” I will here admit that I had often had great difficulty understanding the Son of Bob, and resigned to nervous laughter while quickly moving on to the next question when we chatted on the phone. Later, my nervousness only compounded backstage, after his much-anticipated concert where, when he exited after what felt like a mini-concert hana hou and proceeded to buddy-up with Woody Harrelson for some megastar chitchat, I lost my nerve to introduce myself as the babbling journalist who softly asked the silliest questions and regrettably pried nothing into his thoughts on riders, marijuana or dad.
But Ziggy’s perpetual message is a simple one, after all. “Good vibes, you know. Love and good things. Positive things.”
Even after a lengthy review of 2009’s MT Music Scene, the Ziggy ideology still proves to be applicably spot-on sentiments for our A-Z review revue. Between the talents that Maui draws to its shore and the talent that springs from it, there are a lot of good vibes and good things. And while so many complain about our supposed oxymoronic shortcomings—under to-tight a tourniquet of reggae or too many tired, lobby-lust cover tunes, and that artists are too stale or contrary-wise, too unskilled and naïve—Mauians sometimes forget we have a lot to be proud of, a lot to nurture and everything to enjoy.