Archive for March, 2015

Go ‘Crazy’ for the ‘90s in Chinatown

By
March 25th, 2015



It’s cute to me when I hear the new generation comment about how they are children of the ‘90s. While I grew up in the 1990s, these people were born in the ‘90s.

That makes a huge difference in terms of influence from music, television and the Internet. They don’t know how good they have it.

This week, local party princess Marlene Phan reunites with Royce “DJ Shift” Calmaan and Dustin “Du5-10” Tanaka to bring back all those nostalgic feelings from the music of the ‘90s and ‘00s with new Wednesday weekly party Crazy Sexy Cool at Bar 35.

ROYCE CALAMAANThe trio bringing you "CRAZYSEXYCOOL" every Wednesday at Bar35 starting March 25th L-R Dustin Tanaka, Royce Calamaan, Marlene Phan

COURTESY ROYCE CALAMAAN

The trio bringing you Crazy Sexy Cool every Wednesday at Bar 35: Dustin Tanaka, Royce Calamaan and Marlene Phan.

In hopes of an earlier crowd to vibe with the already existing late night hip-hop crowd at Manifest across the street, this could be the Spring Break spark Chinatown needs to lead into summer and get things even more heated in Chinatown during the week.

The UD Family is a crew of 40-plus friends and family who have been active in the scene since 2011. No strangers to rocking the oldies, the group planned out and executed a collective called Audiobahn.

“Audiobahn was a musical escape that brought back late ‘90s/early 2000s trance techno scene.” said Phan. They had a First Friday residency at theVenue (now known as eleven44). Once they took over the Wednesdays at Rakuen Lounge in December 2013, there was a nice bump in traffic to the area for the year leading up to the bar's abrupt closing in 2014.

The group plans to have a lot of fun with this new weekly, offering free cover and utilizing the space at Bar 35 to its fullest potential. With DJs Shift and Du5-10 handling the music in the front, they will also have a playlist of rock and grunge music playing on the back patio, dubbed the Grunge Lounge.

For those who want to go even further back, Bar 35 will also host a “Mad Men” viewing party on April 5 with lots of fun period contests to honor the 1960s, including (of course) best Mad Men-inspired outfits, hairdos and even haikus. Since most people say watching “Mad Men” makes them want to drink, a viewing party in a bar with all of the ‘60s classic cocktails within reach sounds like the perfect plan.

Also of note this weekend, Chinatown hosts a fundraiser for Rotary International. The first-ever Bunny Hop will include Bar 35, eleven44, Manifest, Hank’s, The Dragon Upstairs, Downbeat Diner, O’Tooles Irish Pub, The Fix and Fresh Cafe Downtown. Check in at The Dragon Upstairs at 4 p.m. Saturday; bunny costumes are encouraged. Click here for tickets.

As fun as it is to see all the zombies and Santas running around that area, I’m pretty excited to see a bunch of bunnies with their gift baskets fresh from the bunny beauty bar.

I’m actually just pretty excited to see people, period.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

Hawaii represents at SXSW

By
March 11th, 2015



On Monday night I'll head to Austin, Tex. for the first time in my life. After one of the largest and most successful POW! WOW! Hawaii Festivals in Hawaii to date, a group of us will head out to our first project at South by Southwest in partnership with Austin graffiti hub SprATX.

POW! WOW! artists Tatiana Suarez (USA), Yoskay Yamamoto (Japan), Rone and Meggs (Australia) will be the featured artists working with Austin locals Mouf, Truth and Ana Maria for an Impossible Walls project during the music/film/interactive conference. A group from the POW! WOW! School of Music that includes myself, Andy Song, Nicholas Kaleikini and JP Kennedy will also be there. Style icon and rapper Theophilus Martin’s new clothing brand, Good Posture (G/P), along with Basecamp will also sponsor School of Music alumni Paris Gray.

COURTESY RYAN MIYAMOTORyan Miyamoto is originally from Kuliouou; he moved to Los Angeles to help with the final edit of “Twinsters.”

COURTESY RYAN MIYAMOTO

Ryan Miyamoto is originally from Kuliouou; he moved to Los Angeles to help with the final edit of “Twinsters.”

I was pretty excited to learn our group won’t be the only one flying in from Honolulu to participate this year. On the film side, there are two projects with Hawaii ties. “Hawaii Five-0” star Daniel Dae Kim has a principal role in “Ktown Cowboys” alongside Bobby Choy, Danny Cho and Steve Byrne. The movie is based on the coming-of-age comedy web series of the same name. Kim will be in Austin from Thursday until Sunday.

Also from Hawaii (via Los Angeles) is Ryan Miyamoto, who co-directed the documentary “Twinsters.” The film has built a huge buzz, with major celebrities posting about it online. From start to finish, it's an amazing story.

In February 2013, South Korean actress Samantha Futerman received a message from a French girl named Anaïs Bordier on Facebook, admitting she had been stalking her. The two looked a lot alike, like a LOT. After realizing they were both adopted, with the same birthday and birthplace, and could be twins, Futerman, an accomplished actress and director, decided to create a documentary surrounding their first meeting in person after numerous social media messages and Skype calls.

A few years earlier, Futerman worked with Hawaii’s Yamato Cibulka, who produced “Man Up,” a film directed by and starring Justin Chon that is scheduled to be released sometime this year. Futerman was an actress in the film and became good friends with Cibulka.

COURTESY SMALL PACKAGE FILMS“Twinsters” follows the story of twin sisters reunited after growing up in separate families.

COURTESY SMALL PACKAGE FILMS

“Twinsters” follows the story of twin sisters reunited after growing up in separate families.

In 2013, Futerman funded her documentary project using Kickstarter and raised $43,838 — more than $13,000 more than her goal. She successfully funded another $85,244 for post-production in 2014. Her film will be one of 24 Kickstarter-funded projects screening at SXSW this year.

“It’s one of the greatest stories I have ever come across,” said Miyamoto via email. “At first I thought it would just be filming the first meeting of Sam and Anais in London, and the weeks preceding. However, after coming back from London, Samantha and I knew that there was much more to be discovered in the story. We needed to go to Korea.

“So what I thought would be a few weeks of filming turned into and on-and-off, two-year project.”

This will be Miyamoto's first time in Austin, but he is no stranger to film festivals, having attended the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Maui Film Festival and the Center for Asian American Media. Miyamoto has since moved to Los Angeles to help edit the rough cut for “Twinsters” but definitely misses home.

“I miss my friends, family, and the surf in Hawaii, but I knew coming to LA would be the only way I could co-direct and supervise the edit of ‘Twinsters,’” he said.

“Twinsters” screens on Sunday, Monday and March 19 in Austin.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

Protect your ears

By
March 4th, 2015



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2010The Devil Wears Prada performs at the old 4Play Nightclub in Aiea in 2010. The band returns to Honolulu this week.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2010

The Devil Wears Prada performs at the old 4Play Nightclub in Aiea in 2010. The band returns to Honolulu this week.

I want to publicly apologize to those of you who viewed my Snapchat story last week while I got a sneak peek of Electron, the new audio listening room at Hawaiian Brian’s.

I was shrieking and running around, yelling how much I loved it over the incredibly loud, deep bass that owner Lee Anderson was pumping to test the sound system. I know if you had your phone's sound on, or worse yet, were wearing headphones, it might have caused a bit of discomfort to your ears.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

Presented by Underworld Events

» Where: Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian's, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.

» When: 6 p.m. Thursday

» Cost: $29.07; all ages

» Info: http://underworldevents.com

Sorry, but I couldn’t help it! I was so excited. The new space is so sick! More on that later, but as a venue overall I really love Hawaiian Brian’s. The smaller Studio venue is the perfect size for a less intimidating experience and the Crossroads concert space is remaining steady as a great place to catch live music

“It’s got a small club feel to it with a nice big stage and PA system,” said local concert promoter Jack Doom from Underworld Events. “It’s not too big and not too small.”

One of the regular promoters at Brian’s, Doom has some great momentum going into 2015 with metal and punk shows on the books each month, including this week's concert by The Devil Wears Prada. Underworld Events has been a very consistent and longtime provider for the alternative genres of hardcore noise.

Going to high school with many of the pioneers of the Nardcore scene in Oxnard, Calif., Doom learned how to play guitar during his freshman year. He was deeply inspired by bands that played in their quad at lunch and seeing how their music annoyed most people had him hooked.

COURTESY JACK DOOMJack Doom.

COURTESY JACK DOOM

Jack Doom.

Ten years ago when his band, Corrupt Absolute, wasn’t getting enough shows in between tours, he and his bass player started booking shows for bands similar to their thrash metal sound.

“It’s true when you do something you enjoy, it’s like you’re not even working,” he said, adding the most difficult part of bringing out national acts to Hawaii is dealing with the finances.

“It’s difficult to learn how much a show will make and how much it costs to do,” he said. “It is very easy to lose a lot of money very quickly if you are wrong.”

So why take that risk, over and over again?

“It's very satisfying, taking something as cool as a concert from cradle to grave and knowing it wouldn't have happened if you didn't do it.” he said. “When people come up to me after a show and thank me for bringing bands out, it's a great feeling.

“Promoters are often vilified for being greedy bottom feeders that take advantage of everyone. It didn't take me long to figure out that the promoters are the ones that risk all the money, yet are the last ones in the food chain to get paid if money is made. So when someone acknowledges that, I appreciate it.”

“Most people are still surprised to see how many shows we’ve done and the quality of our shows and our venue,” said Anderson, who works tirelessly with his dad, Glen Anderson, to constantly improve the space. The new Electron room will be open for business this weekend.

Protect your ears, it’s going to be a loud spring and summer.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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