Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Destination: Day of Silence in the Spring

By
April 25th, 2017



IMG_0037 As we approach spring, all of this busy-ness of work, social life, getting fit for summer, purging and cleaning, and just trying to stay balanced might take its toll on us.

Road-rage incidents in the news or planetary alignment freak-outs could be a result of the compounding stress. I know winter to spring for me used to be a harsh adjustment which was weird because it should be wonderful. It's SPRING!

I would be right there with you guys this year but I just got back from Bali.

Doing research to find more spiritual, internal sort of journeys for my bucket list I came upon the very spiritual Balinese new year celebration called the Nyepi.

While most of southeast Asia is Buddhist or Muslim, the Bali religion remains close to 90% Hindu. It makes for beautiful drives through their video-game-like crazy driving practices where there are no rules and everyone is in an almost-head-on collision. Temples are elaborate and adored with beautiful statues and gargoyles. Offerings are brought three times a day so the streets and businesses are littered with fresh flowers at any part of the day. Town centers erect majestic Hindu gods like Siva, Ganesha and Vishnu that call for a double or triple-take to really take it all in.

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"Can you please slow down? Can you take that round-about again?" -me to my driver through just about every town.

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The best part? Their saka calendar is always changing but when it's over it's time for the Nyepi, or the new year. This celebration begins with each town spending weeks if not months on a huge demon statue to parade to the main town. Made from styrofoam that is painted, they can appear very large and very real. Driving from the airport to my hotel a few days earlier we could see large tarps covering the entrance to an open air garage where their statue was being made. They are called "Ogoh Ogoh" and represent all that is evil. They pay tribute to them with the parade then allow them to take over on the day of silence. Then they burn them and have another year at peace.

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The day of silence is practiced by everyone in Bali. Even visitors are not allowed to leave their hotel or hostel or homestay. The Bali airport is the only airport in the world that closes for a holiday. There is no electricity, entertainment, indulgences, eating, working or traveling allowed at all for the 24 hours of Nyepi. This is the time for self-reflection and forgiveness.

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For my Yogis there is absolutely no doubt that you need to visit here if you haven't already. Bali is the Yogi mecca, and not just for Hindu or Buddhists. Most of the visitors I met at the Yoga Barn had decided to move there and were the happiest and most centered white people I've ever met. The Yoga Barn? This place is the mothership of that culture in Bali. There is a cafe, classrooms, hotel and of course yoga. This is where I experienced my first "Ecstatic Dance." Rules are no talking, no unwanted advances to another human, and just let yourself go to the music. I could have easily enjoyed this except it was really hot up there and I am on 700 neutrophils at the moment. That means no immune system to fight infection, so I had to be very careful. (Spoiler alert! I'm healthy and alive!).

For travelers that want to take this spring journey, the same time as Nyepi is the Bali Spirit Festival, to which I didn't make. I was doing a DreamLab retreat in the jungles of Ubud. I only heard great things about the Spirit Festival and if I had planned my trip better I could have caught at least one of the three days. Looking at the videos and photos it looks like a Wanderlust on steroids.

Everything happens for a reason. My own ventures proved to be much more rewarding. I'll write a separate piece on the retreat when I can get some time carved out. I have to purge my closets first!

Sex Still Sells

By
March 2nd, 2016



MARTI MATULIS

MARTI MATULIS

Just when I am healthy enough to start scrolling through social media I’m immediately turned off. This has got to be the craziest presidential race yet. Like it or not it’s political season. Are you registered to vote? It’s ok if you are not, it’s not too late! Just mail in this form and do not think that there’s nothing you can do. You can do it.

Sometimes you do have to pick your battles. I gave up a long time ago being frustrated about the whole “sex sells” thing. It’s just the way it is. Photos of skin get triple the likes and attention than photos of nature and bottle service girls will always be dressed to sell. That’s (night)life. The beauty and wonder that is the female form will always turn heads. That’s life.

DANIEL SCHERL

DANIEL SCHERL

I had a great chance to discuss this with someone who gets paid to travel and strip tease. Erin Lamont runs The Lalas, an international burlesque troupe that is coming to Hawaii to perform at The Republik on March 26th.

Could it just be that I’m a bit of a square? This troupe has performed on Tosh.0, CSI:NY and the People’s Choice Awards. They’ve been to Ibiza, London, South Africa and all across the mainland USA. As a performing act they’re pros.

While I stand my ground that women using their sexuality to be successful are not doing it right, Lamont has opened my eyes to a new take on this stance.

She is basically following her bliss.

“The Lalas is all about respecting women and supporting one another. Whether it be your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter – you name it. We are here to represent women & kick some a**!” she wrote to me in an e-mail.

Lamont, a self-proclaimed workaholic, is my type of girl. This is a woman who graduated with both marketing and dance degrees. She works hard and choreographs each show, which includes comedy as an important piece.

“Yes, the girls are beautiful inside and out, but it isn’t a ‘blue steel’ all sexy show ‘I’m going to furrow my eyebrow and pout my lips for 75 minutes.’ If you aren’t laughing the whole time I have not done my job.”

MARTI MATULIS

MARTI MATULIS

The traveling show attendees are usually about 75% couples, and perfect for a date night Lamont assured me. While bachelorette parties might be more interested in the Aussie husbands coming back in to town, she confirmed this is a great night out for the girls.

It’s hard for me to appreciate female sexuality as any sort of compensation but I am no stranger to respecting hard work and entertainment. These ladies are professionals. Professional what? Professional entertainers. If sell-out crowds are laughing for an hour who am I to judge.

COURTESY ERIN LAMONTThe Lalas performing in Ibiza, Spain.

COURTESY ERIN LAMONT

The Lalas performing in Ibiza, Spain.

Annalog embraces It Girl attitude

By
November 11th, 2015



Before this blog was so rudely interrupted earlier this year, I introduced you to Elora Tahiti and the concept of an It Girl — someone who, as I described Tahiti back in April, is one of those “magnetic and charming ladies who are a rare find amongst the abundance of supermodel hot, perfect 10 women who frequent Honolulu’s nightlife scene.”

COURTESY ANNA DANG DJ Annalog on the decks at the Trump Waikiki in October.

PHOTOS COURTESY ANNA DANG

DJ Annalog on the decks at the Trump Waikiki in October.

Speaking of an It Girl, I'll never forget meeting Anna Dang, aka DJ Annalog. It was a special all-female lineup at Addiction Nightclub. I was spinning and she came into the DJ booth during the middle of a major girl power moment, telling me she was a DJ from New York. I was immediately intimidated and prayed the next transition I made was on point. I remember her texting me later that night, saying, "Great music! I danced all night!"

The thing with girls is the ones who prefer to support and build up rather than tear down are the ones who will truly win at life. Dang is one of those girls. From the night we met a year ago until now, she has been supportive and made a point to come to my gigs. We have similar taste in weird indie music, but she also loves hip-hop and proved at the recent LUX at the Trump Halloween party that she knows how to hold a dancefloor.

I recently spoke with Dang via e-mail and discovered you can't judge a book by its cover. Just because she is a model doesn't mean she can't also be obsessed with music and sports, or be super down to Earth.

HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER: Who are you?

DJ ANNALOG: Full legal name: Anna Nguyen Dang. Known as: DJ Annalog and Dangasian. Website: www.djannalog.com.

SA: Where did you grow up?

DA: I was born in Lancaster, PA and then moved to Orlando, FL when I was seven. I pretty much grew up there until I finished high school. After that I followed a boyfriend to Louisville, KY for my freshman year in College. (I know, Louisville? It was awesome though) After that came and went, I returned to Florida, where I finished my liberal arts studies at USF and Rollins College.

SA: How old are you?

DA: I'm in my dirty thirties, 31 to be exact, my birthday is coming up in April though on the 14. Which means a LA/Coachella birthday extravaganza.

SA: When did music become a big part of your life?

DA: I guess music was always a part of me growing up. I started playing the guitar when I was seven and then took up the alto sax when I was in middle school. The funny thing about that was, in middle school, band was the only elective class that offered a field trip to Busch Gardens every year. To answer the question more specifically though, I'd have to say music was my every living moment when I moved to Louisville and got a radio show on my first day of school. It changed my whole scope of living "the college life."

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SA: Do you have early memories of music?

DA: Man the first live show I went to was when I was in eighth grade, I had just gotten into ska music and there was a spot in Orlando called DIY records. It was this hole in the wall space that sold punk 7-inches, cassettes and CDs.

As far as my earliest memories of music, I remember listening to a lot of Mozart and Pavarotti at the dinner table with my family. My parents went through a phase were they insisted on listening to classics and "enriching music." My mom was a singer and my dad played the guitar. They had a band together with some of their Vietnamese friends from church. On Sundays after church we would go to their friends house in their basement and listen to them jam on a stage with streamers and all the kids would play hide an go seek while our parents played music and partied. It was pretty epic.

SA: Can you tell me about the first show you ever played?

DA: First show I ever did was back in 2006? I think? It was opening for Ghostface Killer at (Cal State-Fullerton). It was intense. I got the call to perform about an hour before the how started. I was sitting on a trampoline with another promoter who got the call looking for me. He turned to me and said, "You mean, Annalog? She's right in front of me..."

Next thing I know, I'm driving back to my crib to pick out some records and speeding down the toll roads to the college campus to perform. I roll up and call the PA and stage manager of the tour to meet us and we get walked in through the back entrance where they had a stage set up in the common area. There were probably 3,000 students there jamming out to Witch Doctor, who was the supporting act on tour with Ghostface. The whole production was sponsored by Cornerstone and Adult Swim. I had maybe 15 minutes to prepare backstage before I had to perform. I didn't get to sound check or anything but I felt semi-anxious to get out there and wow the crowd.

I wore a blue zip Sector Nine hoodie, with a yellow and red racer back American Apparel tank top underneath. Stretching my legs, I took a deep breath and strided casually in my plaid Vans high tops and Obey dark denim jeans. I had my hood up over my head and looked down at my feet. Looking up into the crowd I put my record crate on this wonky foldout table that had a wobble to it and picked my first record. I took my hoodie off and everyone in the crowd was like, "it's a girl!" I got on the mic and introduced myself and within seconds I could feel even more anxious as I realized how imbalanced the table was.

Nervously I spoke into the mic and said,"You know what, this first song will explain everything and exactly how I'm feeling right now." I put the needle on the record and let A Tribe Called Quest's "Stressed Out" play through the airwaves. In that moment I felt the stress in my body just melt away. Song after song though I felt like I was diffusing a bomb on stage because of how wobbly the stage an tables were. It was so bobo. But I made the most of the experience and played my gems.

The show ended and I had made lifetime fans who asked for my autograph and where I'll be next. Then and there started this snowball of club, festival and house parties... I will always remember that day.

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SA: When did you start producing?

DA: I started seriously producing music when approaching the Major Lazer remix contest in 2008-ish. I had fiddled around with a Roland 808 and reason when I was in college but DJing stuck to me more than producing had at that point. The first full track I ever made was a minimal electronic remix of "Pon de Floor."

SA: Did you have a mentor or were you self-taught?

DA: As far as production goes, when I first started, I had a co producer show me how to use the program, Ableton 8 Live, in its simplicity but not in depth as I had grown to learn on my own as I began to get a real feel for it. If you know anything about producing music, Ableton almost feels like working in DOS sometimes. There are way simpler programs out there that are user friendly, like Fruity Loops, but if you sample or mix down multiple pre recorded tracks, Ableton is the way to go. You can see the wave forms in the immediate skin vs clicking a couple of drop downs to get to the wave.

SA: What is the greatest reward from DJing?

The greatest reward is seeing a crowd of people dance and move to what you're spinning. Their expressions in dance and in their faces alone are the feelings that drive you to DJ more and more.

SA: Do you have any issues with your gender/looks?

DA: I had one totally skeezer slide a sneaky hand onto my butt and I turned around and decked him. The booth and music stopped and everyone was staring up at us. I was at Don Hills in NYC. He pushed me back into the tables and two of my friends straight jumped him. We got bear hugged by security and brought outside.

As were getting pulled out of the club my friends knocked over beer bottles and kicked the guy in the gut. It was nuts.

SA: How was it living in New York?

DA: Living in New York as a model/DJ was an eventful combination. By day my life was skating (skateboarding) the city from model casting to casting. There would be days where I'd kill time baking in the sun in Sheeps Meadow and then times where I'd be squeezing my legs into size 0-2 resort pants and couture dresses.

Some people would say I've been blessed with good looks and good brains, which may sound arrogant now when I think about it aloud, but whatever. I'm so thankful my parents were good looking babes. By night I'd work on music, go to the Bryant Park Library and eat loads of Chipotle before heading into DJ an event or socialize with my model friends at promoter dinners and civic events. Life was good in NYC. It's my second home, behind here in Hawaii.

SA: How often did you play?

DA: At times I would play weekly when I'd organize my own nights revolving around the NY skateboard scene. I threw parties with pizza and skate products.

SA: What clubs/bars were your favorite haunts over there?

DA: My favorite places to kick it could be ranked from bourgeois to divey spots. I ran with different crowds that enjoyed all kinda of scenes. Most of my model/skater friends and I would party at places like Provocateur, Avenue, Up and Down and PHD at the Dream, which are places known for charging upwards of $3,000 for a table to Brooklyn spots like The Flat that would cost maybe $5 to get in when there were live bands or Epsteins which plays skate videos and has cheap wings.

SA: What genres do you like to play?

DA: I like to play a blend of moombahton, trap, tropical bass and classic hip-hop.

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SA: What do you like to produce?

DA: I like producing Miami bass and bMore sounding tracks that use a mix of familiar sounds, samples and bites with accents of original sound creations.

Once upon a time, I had also made an EP called "Neon Sea Wallz" in hopes of touring with a live band and Lazer light show. The dream was to do an aquarium and planetarium tour with that album. You can hear it on http://djannalog.bandcamp.com.

SA: Can you talk about skateboarding?

DA: I started skateboarding at the age of 5 in Pennsylvania with my older brother and sister. My dad had bought a board when he first moved to the (United States) and we'd cruise and row each other behind my dad's bike with a tow rope growing up in a very suburbany rural neighborhood. It was awesome. We always had a skateboard around. Whether it was the OG deck my dad had bought, a nash or new school pro model deck we were a family that skated.

My brother and I progressed with the times and changes of the sport as we grew older and learned flat land tricks in front of our house in Florida. We'd try ollying over recycling bins, trash cans and then eventually built rails out of PVC pipes and 2x4s. We were the neighborhood skatespot for a while, then blueprints for mini ramps came about in the CCS skate catalogs and we learned to build in our friends backyards who's parents would allow it. Nowadays, I like to skate flow courses at concrete and wood skateparks. I cruise and throw an occasional trick here and there.

SA: What other sports are you in to?

DA: I'm really into all board sports really. All the cute boys in Florida either surfed, skated or wakeboarded when I was growing up. It helped having attractive and active guy friends that were into the same sports.

SA: Were you always active?

DA: Yeah, I was always outdoors as a kid and still am now. I never wanted to be cooped up for too long. If so, I'd end up painting things or designing new inventions or ideas.

SA: Do you have brothers and sisters?

DA: I have and older brother and older sister. They are funny and charismatic people.

SA: Can you share your thoughts on Honolulu’s bar/nightlife scene?

DA: So far, Honlulu's bar/nightlife scene feels like home already. It helps having good friends and welcoming (locals) to the scene guide me through. If I was completely alone and anti-social, it'd be a different feeling. Luckily, I'm pretty easy going and love to dance. The DJs are definitely up to par with the current musical trends and you can see a good blend of visitors and locals on the dance floor, too.

SA: Why did you move to Hawaii?

DA: I moved out here to get back to a more organic way of living. Having grown up in Florida, New York winters equal slow death. You could say I'm a snowbird living in Hawaii.

I also wanted a challenge and a new experience. So far, Hawaii is a lot like how I grew up in Florida, but turned up to 1,000 with mountains, waves and beautiful lookout points.

SA: What do you do in your spare time?

DA: In my spare time I like to play pool, darts, hike, skateboard, go on bike rides, do yoga, camp, and anything outdoors, really. I also watch a lot of Netflix, try to cook quasi-gourmet food and take Instagram worthy pictures.

SA: What is your day job?

DA: I just moved here so I'm looking for a possible day job.

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Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii, plays music as DJ SuperCW, is a tech columnist for Metro Honolulu and co-produces the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

Take a Snapchat, it'll last longer

By
November 4th, 2015



Well hello there! Did you miss me? I wonder if you even knew I was gone? Just kidding!

It's actually kind of serious, my hiatus. In May I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Stage 4 with metastasis to my lungs. It was also in my brain but we didn't find that out until much later. So weird how the world works. I never had cancer in my family and with the exception of Daniel Gray, I've never been touched by the disease at all.

cwstrong flyer

#GIRLGANG

Presented by #CWSTRONG

» Where: Nextdoor, 43 N. Hotel St.

» When: 8 p.m. Nov. 27

» Cost: $20, includes one specialty cocktail created by the Hawaii chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild

» Info: facebook.com

To say I was shocked to learn this is a huge understatement. I never really accepted or believed it, even now.

I've spent the past few months working hard to take control of my health and can happily share that all of the cancer has been completely resolved. I still have a few surgeries to deal with, but the hard part is over.

They said once you reach stage 4, you can't be cured. That it will never truly be gone... but I want to be the person that proves this wrong.

I spent a lot of time looking inward and for the first time in my life I taught myself how to meditate. It made a huge difference in my frame of mind, with my intuition and deciding which path to take. My Snapchat stories became very popular as more and more of my network learned about my diagnosis. I didn't hold back and shared everything, becoming more motivated to do so after many told me I inspired them. It became a part of my normal routine to share the entire fight. The more people I saw looking, the more I wanted to post. It kept me motivated.

I saved all my Snapchat stories and made the video above to share my journey with as many people as possible. It's very scary during those first few days and weeks after you're told you're basically going to die. I pray for every woman facing this now and am here to tell you that you can beat it. It's possible.

COURTESY GRACE LIMThis is the face of someone who just beat stage 4 cancer. The closest thing the author can compare it to is a snake that's shed its skin.

COURTESY GRACE LIM

This is the face of someone who just beat stage 4 cancer. The closest thing the author can compare it to is a snake that's shed its skin.

My fundraiser is set for Nov. 27 at Nextdoor. #CWSTRONG presents the #GIRLGANG. It makes me happy to be able to do this event at Nextdoor, which is Daniel Gray's bar.

All of the ticket, raffle and auction sales will go towards the next two years of maintenance I need, but Gray — who continues his fight against cancer — will keep the proceeds from drink sales. So make sure you secure a designated driver in advance and come with some extra cash for him and his bar staff.

I have collected a ton of my favorite things to share with everyone that night, with a special all-female DJ lineup and many surprises. If you know me, I would love to include your participation in this event, as it was very much our fight. Please email me any videos or photos you might want to share — we are compiling everything to show on the big screen at Nextdoor.

If you have no connection to me, come to learn more about cancer and how to attack it. I will share what I did and my entire two-and-a-half-hour Snapchat story. If anything, I want everyone to walk away feeling inspired.

Cancer is an ugly, ugly disease that can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter how healthy you are or how careful you are, but I am here to prove that it can be beaten!

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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.

It Girls provide inspiration

By
April 29th, 2015



As a working woman in a man’s world, it’s only natural I gravitate to women I see kicking butt. I’ve affectionately dubbed them It Girls — magnetic and charming ladies who are a rare find amongst the abundance of supermodel hot, perfect 10 women who frequent Honolulu's nightlife scene.

COURTESY ELORA Elora Tahiti, 25, is a positive force in the Honolulu nightlife scene.

COURTESY ELORA KIM MURGER

Elora Tahiti, 25, is a positive force in the Honolulu nightlife scene.

Yes, they are beautiful and have an effortless fashion sense, but there is something even more special about It Girls that sets them apart. It's their attitude.

It Girls are friendly. They have nothing to gain and everything to give. It Girls are confident, hard-working and independent, but still approachable.

While there is nothing wrong with remaining guarded after countless, repeated attempts to date, touch, or do something even worse to a breathtakingly beautiful woman, it still pains me to see how many of them go out looking so angry at the world. It makes me never want to see them, let alone step in a working environment where I know they will be.

In nightlife, sex sells. You can’t get away from it. You can treat women with respect, but at the end of the day they are utilizing their own sexuality to sell something. It’s disgusting. It’s life. How I manage to stay sane and not get caught up in this is to celebrate the good. They are few and far between, but they are definitely out there. I plan to blog about one every month so I can share these brilliant, amazing women with everyone.

I was blown by an event I was asked to play at The Fix last weekend. The girl who booked me, Elora Kim Murger (aka Elora Tahiti), was someone I had gotten very used to seeing around; she is a very sweet, always smiling Tahitian who loves to dance.

Most of the time we have spent together has been on the dance floor, which is a very special and rare thing. Her 50 Shades of Lust party was full of equally beautiful and friendly women I had never seen before. There is a whole community of them! It was wonderful and I had to know more.

JOAH BULEY / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERElora Tahiti, second from left, at her first party at The Fix, 50 Shades of Lust.

JOAH BULEY / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

Elora Tahiti, second from left, at her first party at The Fix, 50 Shades of Lust.

HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER: How old are you?

ELORA TAHITI: 25 years old.

SA: Where did you go to school?

ET: In the beautiful French Riviera, South of France, at Skema Business School Sophia Antipolis. I received my Bachelor’s degree there, which tool me to Hawaii Pacific University as an exchange student. After falling in love with our beautiful little paradise, I came back for a Master’s degree, still at HPU.

SA:When did you move to Hawaii?

ET: My first move was august 2011 for 7 months. I hopped around the world to visit my dad in Tahiti, for a summer in Cannes (France), and for an internship in Morocco, before returning in January 2013.

SA: What inspired you to produce 50 Shades of Lust?

ET: I’ve always been drawn to event planning, but was never really sure how passionate I was about it until I produced my own event.

What inspired me is the network of talented people I have around me. I see my friends left and right, organizing different nights, reaching out to me and accepting my help, but mostly teaching me a lot about the industry!

SA: What were some of the lessons learned hosting this event?

ET: I would say that the toughest part was communication, and coming from a master’s student of communication, it’s tough to admit! By not communicating enough in the beginning, I felt so overwhelmed I thought I couldn’t do it. But it is ok to ask for help! I had a vision, and not everybody could see the party going off in my head until I invited them!

Lessons learned: be very organized, every detail counts, communicate your ideas, write everything down and never think you can’t do it, because if you already see it, it is happening!

SA: What inspired the theme?

ET: My experience in the South of France, hands down! Events in the South of France have the elegance I crave out here. They are out of this world, everything is sexy and over the top!

On a night out in Cannes, you will see tigers in cages as you wait in line to get in. You will see beautiful women, carried through the room on thrones, holding the biggest bottle of champagne you have ever seen. If you’re lucky, the millionaire next to you is having so much fun that he orders 500 bottles of Cristal Roederer for the whole club!

Every night is a surprise, every night is a chill, and you always find yourself out of breath! “Fifty Shades of Grey” definitely had a similar effect around the world, connecting to the outrageous uniqueness of those events.

SA: Can you list any past events that left a lasting impression on you?

ET: Yes, one in particular, the Mental Rager Floating Island, put together by Jamie Spann. He managed to build an ocean dancefloor and surround it with boats, rafts and a double decker barge holding a bar and the DJs! I have seen boat parties, but the concept of this one could start a whole new trend of ocean venues.

SA: Where are some of your favorite places to go out?

ET: I love Chinatown, it’s ... full of different events and each venue has its own charm!

SA: What is your opinion on Honolulu nightlife?

ET: It’s very diverse. It’s almost as if there were different (cliques). There are multiple communities, (and) the key is to find what is appealing to all these different crowds to bring them all together!

Honolulu needs innovation and more excitement to kick it up a notch and give some life to the night!

SA: What does the phrase "It Girl" mean to you?

ET: I am still not sure if I really understand that category, as I believe that anybody has IT, as long as they embrace IT.

SA: You are a positive person who would rather share a spotlight than hog it all to yourself and is also beautiful. That is what makes you special.

ET: I am not sure about the categorizing of an It Girl. I would probably rather use the (term) social butterfly. I am always carrying a positive attitude, and the people around me make me who I am.

When I smile, they smile back, and that’s how the good energy is created. I listen, observe and genuinely care about building strong relationships. Everybody around me is IT, as long as we always strive to be the best of ourselves. We each have a talent, and if we unite, we can create beautiful things!

SA: Do you feel like it is harder to execute an event because you are a woman?

ET: It was easier in (the) way people were more open to consider my ideas, but harder in (the) sense that a few were not listening and had their own ideas.

SA: Who are some of your mentors?

ET: My parents ... have made me who I am. My dad is a genius and my mom is a social butterfly. Both have taught me we are all capable of learning and executing anything we would want, as long as we do it with a smile, passionately and strategically.

SA: Where do you see yourself in the next three years?

ET: From Tahiti to Ohio, to France, to Morocco (and back) to Hawaii. I am really not sure where the next flight will take me!

SA: Five years?

ET: In five years I will be 30 years old. I don’t even want to talk about it!

———

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.

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.

Celebrating summer milestones

By
July 2nd, 2014



I really don’t understand how time is just zooming by this year.

Is it like that for everyone? Or just us 30-somethings? This is crazy. It was just March!

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013M NIGHTCLUB CELEBRATES ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY ON THURSDAY.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013

M NIGHTCLUB CELEBRATES ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY ON THURSDAY.

Speaking of crazy, this week is already off to a wild start — I'm writing this post while on a quick business trip to California — but the long Fourth of July weekend already marks the unofficial halfway point of summer (even though it was just Memorial Day!).

In addition to all the regular Independence Day activities, there are two big milestones being celebrated this week.

Kakaako nightlife mothership M Nightclub celebrates its second anniversary on Thursday. It's been a longer journey for the club's partners, but as M they have a solid two years under their belts and are easily sitting atop the Honolulu club scene with their massive space at Waterfront Plaza.

M is the kind of club you can immediately see the investment when you walk in. Whether it’s new lighting, an updated sound system, crisp staff uniforms or new security barriers, you can just tell this is a club that is always focused on improvement.

Add frequent special guests and headliners, plus mega-O.G. graffiti artist Slick of Dissizit driving the ship’s branding, and it’s truly a gift to all of us that M is alive and kicking after two years. It definitely went by fast.

General admission to the anniversary party is $20 at the door; click here to purchase tickets online. Guests who book a VIP table to celebrate on Thursday will be treated to an array of limited edition M-branded items designed by the team at Dissizit.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014 PARTY PEOPLE PACK THE DANCE FLOOR AT M NIGHTCLUB.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

PARTY PEOPLE PACK THE DANCE FLOOR AT M NIGHTCLUB.

The night will also feature guest headliner The Cataracs. Originally a trio that downsized to a duo, it's now just one producer (Niles “Cyranizzy” Hollowell-Dhar) representing the SKAM Artist DJs this week. The Cataracs have worked with many of the industry’s top talent, including Kaskade, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, 50 Cent, Robin Thicke, Schwayze, Krewella and even Beyonce. This translates to stardom, even if it’s with a name most of us in Honolulu don’t hear often.

It’s always fun to see a special guest's take on what a party really is, especially coming from someone so well-versed in all aspects of popular music. It’s perfect for the M's anniversary!

ANOTHER MILESTONE comes from monthly girl-party Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, celebrating their first anniversary at The Safehouse inside The Republik on Thursday.

The promoters behind this one started it as a lesbians-only event, but it quickly exploded in to the “other” type of night out — one where the entire LGBT community can feel comfortable attending. The positive vibe has garnered the team quite a few straight fans as well, myself included. These days, they routinely pack the entire Safehouse and spill over into The Republik.

“We are so excited for the next phase of (our party),” promoter Erin “Roxy on the Mic” Bunda said via text message on Tuesday. “This one-year anniversary commences our ChittyBang Expansion Project: additional venues, more diverse events, concerts, field-day fun days, and … a bigger team!”

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013MONTHLY PARTY CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY ON THURSDAY AT THE SAFEHOUSE INSIDE THE REPUBLIK.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013

MONTHLY PARTY CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY ON THURSDAY AT THE SAFEHOUSE INSIDE THE REPUBLIK.

Starting out with three promoters — Bunda, Yooey Kim and Candy Ho — they are now seven members strong, plus three resident DJs. I’m really looking forward to what is coming up with this group. Known for tons of visual stimulation in forms of underwear models, go-go dancers, prize giveaways and always-fun birthday celebrations, this party is usually the best way to kick off a new month before heading to First Friday the following night.

COMING UP next week, Courtyard Cinema at Ward Village returns. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen pop up in Kakaako since Honolulu Night Market. It's totally family-friendly and free.

Park at the massive TJ Maxx store and walk across the street to the old IBM Building parking lot that’s been renovated into a beautiful modern courtyard, complete with water features and palm trees. Chairs can be brought in, dinner can be bought from the food trucks outside and drinks can be purchased from a full bar.

The Howard Hughes Corporation partnered with the Hawaii International Film Festival to host the elevated film program. This month's featured flick is the hilarious “Ping Pong Summer,” which was very well received at Sundance this year and may have slipped under a lot of people’s radars.

Set in 1985 with all the right music, fashion and comedy, it’s definitely one not to miss. There will also be an '80s Costume Contest for those brave enough. Tickets for Courtyard Cinema are sold out, but the standby line doesn’t sound like such a bad idea with The Pig & The Lady, Aloha Pops and Beyond Burgers serving up goodies from food trucks outside the entrance.

———

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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