January 08, 2009Robo-trippin'
Thursday (Jan. 8), 10pm, Charley's, Paia
Electronic music is often a tough thing for rock and rollers such as myself to get into. For me it's just a matter of taste, as it's just as valid a musical form as those to which I am addicted. It may or may not be too big of a surprise that Jason Hann and Michael Travis, former members of beloved jam band The String Cheese Incident (or, as many of my high school classmates called them, "Dude: String Cheese"), have been embracing the form under the name Eoto. I can see potential overlaps between the two sounds: long, spaced-out jams, colorful melodies, a slight tribal feel. Plus there's the positive vibe thing and a spectrum of mind-altering substances that are elemental in both scenes. Eoto sometimes even incorporates live mandolin and fiddle into their sets. They will not only play Charley's Thursday night with support from Lynx, Jamie Janover and E.L.F., but will also headline a super-awesome party at a super-secret spot Friday night (e-mail or text firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where it is.) $10 Thursday/$15 Friday.
Vegetables: A laughing matter
Thursday (Jan. 8), 7pm, Cameron Center, Wailuku
A common misconception about vegetarians and vegans is that we're a humorless lot; that we can't laugh at ourselves as we live our cause. This is not the case. We seem stone faced much of the time, yes, but that's only because we've heard the same five jokes since day one, which all have something to do with how good steak sounds right now, or some variation thereof. (Although "Do you eat animal crackers?" was briefly funny about 10 years ago.) Cartoonist Dan Piraro, a vegan activist best known for the comic strip "Bizarro," will deliver fresh jokes on the topic as part of a lecture on the advantages of ditching animal products. In addition to his internationally syndicated comic strip, Piraro has done standup, published more than a dozen books and served as an environmental and animal rights activist. Free.
Saturday (Jan. 10), 3pm, Lahaina Civic Center
As much as I would like to get all fancy or anecdotal or what-have-you, I should put it simply: this show is a must. First off, before I even get into the sweet lineup, you need to know the cause it benefits: Save Makena (through Maui Tomorrow). This nonprofit is a key force for conservation measures in South Maui, and has fought a number of developments. Most recently they rallied a huge number of people for the Makena Resort expansion hearings. Save Makena fights to ensure that the green, or at least not-pro-development, side of an argument is heard at every step of the county's rubber-stamping process. Going to this show is kind of like an investment in Maui's future. Oh, then there's the music: Washington, D.C.-based roots/reggae band S.O.J.A. (Soldiers of Jah Army), which has earned tons of acclaim and toured the globe. The show also includes performances by Gentleman, Ooklah the Moc, Inna Vision, Super Dub 5, DJ Boomshot and more. Tickets are available at Hawaiian Holy Smokes (Kihei), Hana Hwy. Surf (Paia), Requests (Wailuku), Westside Vibes (Lahaina) or at inticketing.com. $30/$35 door/$60 VIP. Bonus: Ooklah the Moc and Super Dub 5 play an after party at The Cellar 744 at 744 Front St. in Lahaina.
Delivering the rock
Saturday (Jan. 10), 10pm, Hard Rock Café, Lahaina
It was the stuff of nightmares, that tune. I was 13 when it exploded. "Possum Kingdom." The song's lyrics were extremely creepy and almost impressionistic. You couldn't make out exactly what the narrator was planning to do to his subject, but it sounded grotesquely sinister and probably set to take place at or near Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. Band members have apparently been ambiguous about the song's meaning, but according to one interview the song stoked the band's vampire following in Florida (surprise, surprise). The Toadies continue to crank out the hard-hitting rock that got them the fame that reaches well beyond their Fort Worth origin. They're currently touring on the heels of their latest release, No Deliverance. Their lineup has changed slightly but the record maintains the Toadies' sound: heavy, distortion-soaked rock (please don't make me say post-grunge). Lyrically, they continue to be darkly enigmatic and abstract, which is a huge part of the band's appeal, at least to me. $30.
Saturday (Jan. 10), 10pm, Haui's Life's A Beach, Kihei
Regardless of what anyone says, Maui does have a somewhat diverse music scene. And, yes, there is rock and roll here. Case in point: A Kettle Prime. They've been around since 2007 and play periodically (though probably not enough) on-island. They've got a pretty solid, uncommonly psychedelic rock sound. Singer Lake McClain's vocals sound like a cross between Jim Morrison and David Byrne. Kettle's tunes often consist of simple chord progressions overlaid with trippy wawa peddle guitar leads. The band's lyrics are laden with metaphors that add to their surreal sound. I have no clue what their name refers to, but I'm sure it was inspired by the same psychedelic stripe that is responsible for their sound.
Everybody loves bubbles
Wednesday (Jan. 14), 7pm, Café Marc Aurel, Wailuku
So, Café Marc Aurel has been doing this wine tasting thing monthly for some time now. I dropped the ball on giving a nod to their pinot noir session a few months back, something I deeply regret. So here's my chance at redemption: sparkling. I endured a few occasions this season for which bubbly was essential (the ever-important Christmas morning mimosas; my brother's wedding, where I should have had only one glass and gone back to beer; and, of course, New Year's Eve). The time might be right for a lesson in sparkliness. I'm guessing that Alan Jahns, wine educator and host of these monthly installments, slated the bubbly for January in honor of the New Year. He's featuring quality stuff from France, Tasmania, Spain and Italy and will discuss the differences between each wine's bubbles as well as the history of the celebratory sippable. I wonder which from his selection would be best for POG mimosas. $35 ($10 from each ticket benefits Pomaikai School). MTW
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