January 22, 2009Hippies use side door
Thursday (Jan. 22), Maui Coast Hotel
Friday (Jan. 23), Stella Blue's, Kihei
Saturday (Jan. 24), Charley's, Paia
Imagine barreling, I mean barreling, down I-75 (back when that was something people did), Gainesville-bound, your vehicle packed to the gills with illegal fireworks from South of the Border, the screaming final solo from Hendrix's "Axis Bold as Love" assaulting your vehicle's modest sound system. Part of the appeal of songs with sprawling solos (as long as they're nuanced and inspired) is their ability to complement a landscape, to almost become part of it. (Not that I'm a huge jam band aficionado.) Perhaps that is why makers of this kind of music are drawn to places with phenomenal and inspiring natural scenery, like Hawaii. The David Nelson Band is one such act. This group of phenomenal and seasoned musicians tours the islands every year. Nelson can be heard picking on albums like the Grateful Dead's Aoxomoxoa and American Beauty (both excellent road trip companions). Obviously he's done a lot since. Barry Sless (lead guitar and pedal steel), Mookie Siegel (accordion, keyboard and vocals), Pete Sears (bass and vocals) and John Molo (drums) round out the gang. Admission varies.
Look between the lines
Opens Friday (Jan. 23), 7pm, Steppingstone Playhouse,
Queen Ka'ahumanu Center
Fairy tales and the state of Florida have one major thing in common: both have Disney to thank for their lost meanings. The sprawling Disney World compound has caused the projection of an image of Florida as a sunny, manicured piece of plastic. But the Sunshine State possesses a nuanced, scary and ultimately beautiful story that has nothing to do with Mickey Mouse. Oh, and a totally hot governor. Meanwhile, European folk and fairy tales are more than dewy-eyed damsels, handsome princes and green-faced witches, contrary to what Disney would have you believe. Most originated as teaching tools to instruct young girls on gender and class roles. Many were laden with eerie metaphors and lacking in happy endings. Take Sleeping Beauty. The 1697 Charles Perrault version is considerably more twisted than its Disney counterpart. The spindle on which the princess pierces her finger is meant to be a phallic symbol; the story has more to do with punishing sexual curiosity than living happily ever after. I trust that Professional Arts of the Pacific, the group that's putting on this production, has picked up on the multiple levels on which the story functions. Showtimes are Friday, Jan. 23 & 30, 7pm; Saturday, Jan. 24 & 31, 12, 3 & 7pm; Sunday, Jan. 25 & Feb. 2, 12 & 3 pm.
The way it was
Friday (Jan. 23), 7pm, Kaanapali Beach Hotel
It's difficult to get a solid grasp of the way this island and its people looked prior to Western contact. There are numerous portrayals of Hawaiian life, but few are able to really capture island life in a way that brings you back. Kihei photographer Shane Tegarden has done this by way of Ho'omana'o Na Wa Huliau, a series of images that portray Hawaiian life of centuries ago. While they are realistic portrayals of kanaka maoli involved in everyday tasks like pounding taro, Tegarden's images are at the same time utterly surreal and hint at foreboding (given what has since transpired). Accompanying Tegarden's presentation will be a narrative oral history by Hawaiian scholar and cultural historian Sam Kahai Kaai. There is some irony in this important presentation's taking place at a hotel, but at least this vital information is getting out there. Free.
Friday (Jan. 23), 9pm, Stopwatch Sports Bar, Makawao
For the life of me I could not get Rabbi Carey Jolliffe of Maui band The Flying Sheep Problem to reveal why this ultra-talented jazz/funk outfit is so named. But moniker inspiration aside, what makes them unconventional, especially here, is their instrumental makeup: Bass, drums and saxophone (though they sometimes switch it up with sax-a-ma-phone). Think Morphine, but a bit more jazzed out. Despite their uniqueness, these guys should be able to draw a decent crowd given the multifaceted nature of their sound; they counter their darker tendencies by embracing old standards like "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." $3.
Go funk yourself
Friday (Jan. 23), 10pm, Gian Don's, Kihei
A point I shamelessly belabor in these pages is the need for increased levels of the funk in all arenas of existence. Fortunately, there is a faction on Maui that agrees, and thus will be attending Phuture Phunk this Friday, a monthly celebration of the funk, both old and new school. A number of DJs will be spinning for the event's big debut, including DJ Boomshot, DJ Del Sol and Honolulu's DJ IRA. Attendees are asked to dress funkily—there's a cash prize for the individual who best displays it. Did I mention I want to bring back the funk? $10.
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