“White Sandy Beach” – IZ (1993)

Aug 5
Posted by Kala Filed in Hawaiian

I’m back with another “Home” post.  I had originally planned on musing on about growing up a metal head and closet punk after Dave’s “Punk Goes Metal” post the other day.  But after talking to my brother last night I decided to save that one for another day.

When my brother first let me post here it was right after they left our island after a holiday season visit.  I wrote about “Home” and how the definition of “Home” changes as life goes on.  Seattle was my home for the majority of my lifetime till I decided to make the ancestral home of my maternal grandfather my home.  Most of my immediate family was still in Seattle which made holidays in Hawai’i a little hollow.  My family of 5 love it here and can’t imagine living anywhere else, ( maybe Trieste, Auckland, Marseilles, Verona,…? ),  but without the rest of the ‘ohana, there was still something missing. That has just changed.  As most of you know, who know us, Dave, Trudy and the pooches have packed up, sold, given away and trashed most of their worldly possessions to prepare for a move across the ocean.  On the day of the move my kids asked several times, “where are Aunty & Uncle now”, keeping tabs on their progress towards their new home.  We are all stoked that they decided to come here and that they made it home safe and sound.  They are still a plane ride away as we are on different islands but that plane ride is 40 minutes instead of 5+ hours and there is a possibility that we all may end up on the same island after Dave finishes grad school.

Last night Dave was telling me about the slow progress in finding a long term rental, he said he may be homeless and living in his car in the K-Mart parking lot.  As a wise man once said; “I’m not homeless, I’m just houseless”; ( Bu La’ia ).  And I’m pretty sure there is no better place to be houseless than Hawai’i.  I’m sure their housing situation will resolve itself soon, hopefully before my family descends upon them for the UH vs UW football game at Aloha Stadium later this month.  Dave still hasn’t said if he’s gonna were the purple of his undergrad years or the green of his new school.  Either way tailgating action is about to commence.

Welcome Home ‘Ohana Alefaio, we’re glad your here!

na Kala

” Aloha Friday”

Apr 27
Posted by Kala Filed in Hawaiian, Uncategorized

TGIF, Hawaiian Style!

na Kala

Kawika by The Sunday Manoa (1969)

Apr 9
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

Here in Hilo we just concluded another successful Merrie Monarch week, this being the 50th anniversary. Merrie Monarch is named in honor of King David Kalakaua our last ruling king, who brought hula back to Hawai’i’s people after the missionaries try to squash it as being un-christian or too sexy. For one week every spring the population of Hilo doubles as dancers, musicians, fans, food & craft vendors and the media, descend on our sleepy little town for the largest and most prestigious hula competition on the planet. During this time every venue that can hold a few tables is turned into a craft fair, where all goods must be made in the state of Hawai’i. We also have our largest parade of the year, this year included 158 floats, as well as the usual marching bands, hot rods, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys), and such. The week starts out with opening ceremonies, that include speeches, music and dance, and I’m proud to say that my two oldest took part, one of them chanting & dancing, and the other singing. The week ends with 3 days of hula competiton, the solo Miss Aloha Hula, group Hula Kahioko (ancient style), and group Hula Auana (modern style), with the Hula Kahiko being the most popular for it’s chicken skin (goosebump) inducing moments. This year’s was the biggest and best yet, I can’t wait till next year.

Here’s one for the Merrie Monarch himself, King David (Kawika) Kalakaua.

na Kala

“About You” by Cecilio & Kapono (1975), “Hilo Hanakahi” by The Wild Hawaiian aka Henry Kapono (2010)

Mar 21
Posted by Kala Filed in Hawaiian, Rock Bands

I first heard Henry Kapono Back in the 70’s. I was a kid, and we were visiting friends and relatives in Honolulu. At the time Henry Kapono was part of a duo called Cecilio & Kapono, (yes he’s been around a long time). They had great success with many local hits and a couple that made it off island. Since then Cecilio Rodriguez has not faired so well, legal troubles and jail time followed him. Henry Kapono on the other hand has done quite well for himself. He’s made it onto a few Hollywood movies and as of late he put out his own brand of Hawaiian/Rock.

About you is a classic, “local style”, love song from the ’70’s that could just as easily come from Seals & Croft. If you mention this song to anyone over 50, that grew up here, you will see a little mushy fondness well up in them as they tell you about their prom/graduation, making out with honey girl at the boat ramp, or their first dance at their wedding. Hilo Hanakahi is Henry Kapono solo, doing his Hawaiian/Rock interpretation of a song that takes you on a tour around Hawai’i Island’s districts and some of their most distinguishing features.

Hilo, Hanakahi (Hilo, Hanakahi)
i ka ua Kanilehua (the rain rustling lehua)

Puna, paia ‘ala (Puna, fragant bowers)
i ka paia ‘ala i ka hala (bowers fargrant with hala)

Ka’u, i ka makani (Ka’u, the wind)
i ka makani kuehu lepo (the dirt scattering wind)

Kona, i ke kai (Kona, the sea)
i ke kai ma’oki’oki (the streaked sea)

Kawaihae, i ke kai (Kawaihae, the sea)
i ke kai hawanwana (the whispering sea)

Waimea, i ka ua (Waimea, the rain)
i ka ua Kipu’upu’u (the Kipu’upu’u rain)

Kohala, i ka makani (Kohala, the wind)
i ka makani ‘Apa’apa’a (the ‘Apa’apa’a wind)

Hamakua, i ka pali (Hamakua, the cliff)
i ka pali lele koa’e (the cliff of flying tropic birds)

Ha’inaka puana, (Tell the refrain)
i ka ua Kanilehua (the rain rustling lehua)

a hui hou (till we meet again),
na Kala

“Pineapple & Coconut” by Pirates of Liloa, 2011

Mar 10
Posted by Kala Filed in Hawaiian, Reggae

I was driving to work today thinking of what thought provoking, big message song, I might post today and I heard this one on the radio. It was a beautiful sunny day and contrary to popular belief everyday in Hawai’i is not bright and sunny. It’s winter here which means flood warnings near the coast and 40-50 degree temps, at my house on the mountain, at night. We call this style Jawaiian, for it’s mix of reggae beats with Hawaiian themes. A lot of Jawaiian is crap with cheesy lyrics that could have been written by a middle schooler, but this one I like. Especially today with a sunny break in our rainy, cold winter.


“Liliuo Free” by Big Every Time

Jan 30
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian, Hip Hop

All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

In 1893 The Kingdom of Hawai’i lost this right.

“Kaua’i Beauty” – Gabby Pahinui (1973)

Nov 27
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

I went to the new movie, The Descendants last night and loved it. For starters, I’m a huge George Clooney fan and basically think that he has never made a bad movie. The movie is a family drama set in Hawaii with two major story lines being that: George’s character’s (Matt King) wife has just suffered a traumatic brain injury in a boating accident; and that King is the trustee for a family trust that is about to enjoy a massive pay day as a result of the sale of a huge parcel of pristine land that has been in King’s family for over one hundred years. That’s all I’ll say about the plot as I hate reading much more than what I’ve wrote before seeing a movie, and hopefully some of you who haven’t seen it will check it out soon.

What I will say is that the movie did a good job of portraying present day Hawaii through the places that it showed (undisturbed, green, lush nature; suburbs, squatter’s shacks, golf courses, Hanalei Bay), the diverse mix of people, and sensitivity towards issues that have adversely effected native Hawaiians. The family drama that uneasily unfolds concerning the comatose matriarch of the King family was perfectly played out mostly because of all of the imperfections. The conversations tended towards herky jerky and labored in the kind of way that you would expect from the dysfunctional family that the viewer can quickly ascertain the Kings to be. There never seemed to be a cliche or a moment of eloquence to save Matt King, his daughters, or his in-laws from possibly offending or upsetting each other. In other words, it played out the way that real life difficult conversations happen between normal, everyday people. George Clooney and Hawaii are the selling points to get people to buy a ticket for this movie but when the lights go down, and the show starts, the two stars ditch a lot of the charm and panoramic postcard shots and dive into the real life difficulties that exist behind the veil of even the prettiest of faces and places.

The soundtrack is composed entirely of Hawaiian music with several of the players being legends of the Hawaiian and steel or slack key guitar genre. I got a nice surprise whenI realized tonight in reading the song lists that the final song (Ka Mele Oku U Pu Uwai) was an original song by my late uncle Sol Hoopii who originally reccorded it in 1930. Gabby Pahinui was a Hawaiian steel guitar legend who died more that 30 years ago. Kaua’i is intoxicating in its beauty and simplicity. If you’re looking for a movie this weekend set in a lush, green environment – no, I’m not talking Forks, Washington – give The Descendants a try.


“Marionettes” – Kore Ionz – “World War Free” (2011)

Aug 29
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian, Pacific Northwest

Bumbershoot’s less than a week away. The Kore Ionz set will be a good one to get the day going. This Pacific Northwest based reggae collective just turned out their first full length album. They’re led by Daniel Pak, a transplant from Hawaii, and you can feel that Pacific Island flavor throughout the album, especially on “Morning Son.” If you’re up and ready for a fun, long day of music, head over to the Fisher Green Stage, just to the southwest of the Space Needle for Kore Ionz on Sunday morning. And just a reminder, if you like what you hear, the best way to get money directly into their pockets is to buy a CD from the merch table.

Marionettes by Kore Ionz


“Good People” – Jack Johnson – “In Between Dreams” (2005)

Oct 22
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

I’m not really sure what there is to be gained by Nathan Followill of the Kings of Leon as a result of his thinly veiled criticism of Arcade Fire. In an interview in the current edition of Spin, drummer Followill aimed this thinly veiled attack at Arcade Fired:

“Now it’s cool to have 14 people in your band doing everything but contributing musically, running around with a helmet on your head, hitting it with a drumstick,” said Followill, who seems to be pointing out Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry (see photo above). “You gotta look at what you’re in this for: the love of music? The fame? You can have all that if you’re smart and play your cards right and don’t become a dick.”

So to repeat the question, what does that accomplish from a KOL point of view? If he really does dislike Arcade Fire that much, and considering that he’s a member of one of the biggest bands in the world, his comments will probably drive a few readers to listen to some Arcade Fire songs to see if they agree with him. Using the any “publicity is good publicity” dogma, that I’m assuming most rock bands subscribe to, Followill’s remarks are not going to do anything to kill Arcade Fire’s buzz.

I don’t have a copy of the magazine, and interview (my copy hasn’t shown up in the mail yet) so I don’t know what the context was. Apparently, Followill tweeted today that his comments were misinterpreted and that he is a big fan. Hmm? I’ve usually found that when someone calls someone else a “dick” that it’s usually not met as a compliment.

Anyways, I picked Jack Johnson today mostly on the belief that I can’t imagine the North Shore native ever getting in a pissing match with another band or artist… Come on people, be nice. I like KOL, love Arcade Fire, and I think that they should both be able to coexist without trying to to douse each other.


One Paddle Two Paddle – Kui Lee (1966)

Aug 24
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

Numerous times during our time in the car on our recently completed spontaneous trip to Kauai, I broke out this classic Hawaiian ditty. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re apparently not the only one, as I was positive that my wife knew it but apparently not.

Being part Hawaiian, although not growing up in Hawaii, I’ve heard this song a million times. It’s mainland equivalent would probably be “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as it is kind of a kid’s song although it gained more widespread fame via the Don Ho rendition that he did most nights at his famous and long standing luau gig at the Waikiki Beachcomber.

I won’t torture you with details of our two person car version, mostly for the sake of my physical well being.