Tag Archives: Downbeat Lounge

These Damned Out-of-Towners

Last night was pretty surprising. I badgered some friends into taking me out to celebrate my five year Army anniversary (wish I could say those flew by…). Being the smooth, culture savvy dudes we are, we made our way down to the always fantastic Downbeat Lounge for beers and bullshit. At the door, we discovered there was actually a show going on. Well, thank my lucky stars. The cover was $10, a rarity for the Lounge. I knew something big was up.

Show Poster

So, what was up? Jesse Wagner of The Aggrolites and Vic Ruggiero of The Slackers were playing! Don’t recognize anything from the previous sentence? Neither did I before last night, but my more ska-oriented friends quickly pushed me into slapping down $10 to find out. It was definitely worth the sum.

Josh86 and the Pressure were opening when we arrived. This is the more reggae/first-wave ska side of the various bands Josh plays in. I had actually never caught this one before last night, but it certainly keeps up with the high standard of awesomeness his other bands have set. Josh also owns the bar and half of the shows these days, so you’re unlikely to hear any negatives out of me.

Jesse Wagner is a guy. A very cool guy who, like Vic, wears a straw hat and knows his way around a guitar. He played a smooth mix of Aggrolites tunes and covers, including a ska version of a Clash song that had the whole crowd ooohing along with him. Speaking of audience participation: Jesse began his set solo on guitar, but each new song seemed to bring another excited fan to the stage to share the backup mic. By the end of his set, there were six drunken belters on the stage and a crowd screaming the words back at them. This is not usually how these out-of-towners do it. Luckily for us, Jesse did.

Vic Ruggiero brought a different show with him. Whereas Jesse is a ska/reggae playing Californian on guitar, Vic is a folksy/bluesy New Yorker with a lovely Long Island accent simultaneously playing guitar, harmonica, drums, and tambourine. Oh, and singing. The kind of coordination this requires for the simplest of songs is beyond me, but these songs were not simple at all. From “Takin’ Care of Business” (No, not the Bachman-Turner Overdrive song; That one has a g) to the Hawaiian-adapted, fifteen minute wildlife screeching story-song “Animals Run the House,” Vic laid down his own beats then danced across his guitar  and waa-waaed his harmonica to them.

Eventually Jesse jumped back on stage for some duo-action. While this seemed fairly impromptu at first, the performance eventually revealed its true nature in the form of a twenty minute medley of nearly every 50’s rock song I can name, all wrapped by a story of one friend warning another of (what else?) a woman. Then, with a twinkle in their eyes, they informed us they would be playing until Josh kicked them out. And, you know what? Like stand-up dudes, they kept their promise.

Want to get your very own Jesse-Vic experience? Well, they’re burning down Breakers as I write this and they will be making a return to Downbeat Lounge tomorrow, Saturday, June 8th, with Black Square. You’d be a sucker to miss it.

As usual, there are plenty of blurry, camera-phone pics at the Flickr (people still use this one, right? There are some still holding out against the Instagram onslaught?). Also, check out the Facebook and Twitter, ’cause, like, whatever. Animals Run the House.

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Kendle Sings Bad Touch and Other Silliness

Hello there! Long time no see. We’re now 3/26 or ~11.5% of the way to our goal I laid out last post, oh so long ago. Not so bad.

Still, since I haven’t posted since January, here’s an embarassing video of my friend and me singing Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang at his going away party:

I think that was punishment enough.

Anyway, on the HEP front, we’ve been working on how we want to structure our online creative presence. While I have been sitting on my lazy ass, L has been blogging up a storm over at From Honolulu to Eternity. Now that I have finally started moving again, I’ve been working on some projects that I think will be great for HEP, but I’ll post more about those when they are a bit more developed.

So, there are some shows going on this weekend that we should talk about:

Downbeat Lounge (who we should be profiling soon) is presenting Drunken Lullabies, an showcase of local bands playing classic and contemporary Irish music. Starts at 9pm tonight and is free, like most Lounge shows.

Friday Night Freak Beat is also happening tonight  at 9 down on Kapiolani at Edge Bar. Blood Cave, Emu Attack, and Birds of Paradise are playing as well as friends Annie, Travis, and Corby DJing vinyl. This show is also free and will be open to 18+ for you youngins’.

Finally for tonight, Kaleidoscope is having a special event named “The Hot 4“. These four are Melaniie and the Mel-Tones, Dischord and Rye, DJ Jet Boy, DJ Ross Jackson. I’m in it for the John Ridgeway. You can find this one at  Thirtyninehotel at 9, though it’s gonna cost you $10. Totes worth it in my opinion.

The big event for us this weekend is Metric at the Republik. BAMP really does bring great music out our way and Metric will be the first time I’ve actually been able to get out to enjoy it. It’s a bit steeper at $35 ($45 for risers), but should prove to be a great time. Make sure to get your tickets at Flavorus. Seek us out in general admission and say hi! I’ll be the one in the tie. Lounge opens at 6pm and show starts at 8.

If you are more interested in a sexy show, tomorrow night will also see the always great Cherry Blossom Cabaret hosting a Mad Hatter’s Hat Party! These lovely ladies host a great Speakeasy every month and the few I’ve been fortunate enough to attend have been the best of times. It all goes down at Mercury Bar at 9pm. $10 at the door, or $8 if you play along and wear a hat.

Let’s end this silliness with a classic: