The Rearview Review
Judging local music according to a one-year-old wangsta's response
March 01, 2007
"HANA BY THE SEA"
Jack is one. He's short, fat, and sports a receding hairline. His
interests include lactating breasts, oatmeal raisin cookies, various
types of lint, loose change and laptops. He is obsessed with
cellphones, hairbrushes and rap music.
Since becoming his mother, my life has been reduced to strategic
planning on methods to keep him from trying to bludgeon me to death
with plastic hammers. This has not been easy. My arsenal includes a
cupboard full of treats, a taser gun and various CD's to soothe the
Jack is finicky about music. His favorite artist is Snoop Dog.
Whenever Snoop comes on the radio he gets this really serious look on
his face, lifts his chubby hand in the air and does this slightly
lecherous body undulation. If he's in his car seat, he palm slaps the
air while he bobs. If we're at home he freaks his Cabbage Patch doll
So when I was sent home with a bunch of local CD's to review I
decided to try them out on Jack. His response surprised me. I had
assumed that he would go for the upbeat Hawaiian/Reggae styles. In
fact, I was really looking forward to watching him attempt to skank
while strapped into his car seat's five-point harness. I tried three
different CD's with similar rhythms. He wasn't into it. He spent the
whole ride home picking foam from his car seat and then chewing it like
We went back to the radio for a few days. Jack approved.
A few days later (translated: music review deadline date), I decided
to put in the last CD on the ride home from town. I had purposefully
put it off. Sue me, but I just didn't think that my one-year-old
hip-hop fiend would be into Pekelo's Hana By The Sea Hawaiian slack key
I was wrong. As soon as the music started, Jack's little eyebrows
went up. His thumb popped out of his mouth and he started snapping. I
kid you not. By the second song, he was singing along (and by singing I
mean making primitive howling sounds). By the third song he was so
excited he started clapping with his feet. This is something that he
usually reserves for cookies and ice cream. This is big.
Suddenly, Pekelo changed it up and started to croon a soft, slow
song. Jack got this dreamy look in his eye, went back to his thumb and
nodded off in about 45 seconds. By golly, I was sold! Pekelo's Hana By
The Sea isn't just good, it's magic!
Come to find out, Jack's not alone when it comes to loving Pekelo.
In 1993, his first release, Going to Hana, won four Na Hoku Hanohano
nominations and was voted the number one Hawaiian Album of the Year by
KCCN. Pekelo is authentic slack key—he was born and raised in Hana, and
brings a true sense of old-time Maui to his music.
All joking aside, Hana By The Sea is a gem of local music. It's both
soothing and inspiring. Pekelo's range will keep you listening
attentively throughout the whole CD, from his chants to his amazing
The best thing? Hana By The Sea works better than Benadryl when it
comes to soothing a high-strung baby—without the side effects and
consequent visit from the Child Protective Services. —Pekelo Music 2007
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