Tag Archives: Narwhal

Music Scene Updates!

So, there has been some news since we put together our last post on Gnarwhal’s Record Release party. Let’s get to it:

1. Coral Stabz is more or less through. I spoke with Travis about why the band was breaking up and he said that it was simply because they feel they had explored all they could with the style. When asked if this was the last we’d seen of Coral Stabz, he responded that it was likely they would play their songs again since the two of them are starting two other bands together. I think this is something we can all pin our hopes on.

2. As if the news above wasn’t bad enough, Gnarwhal has declared they only have four more shows remaining. It appears that Erica is planning on moving back to San Francisco, ending the run of this band at its peak. I’ve yet to catch up with Adam and Nick and see what their plans are.

3. New bands! During our four month Chi-To hiatus, it appears that the scene has grown with the addition of many new bands. With titans like Red Rocket, Coral Stabz, and Gnarwhal on the out, it will be interesting to see which of these bands will step up to replace them. And, of course, we’ll be there to report when they do.

With the news out of the way, let’s talk about upcoming shows.

Friday, May 11th at Coffee Talk with Gnarwhal, Shopping List, Mano Cane, Broke Aesthetic, and The Italian Brains. This is an all ages show. Doors open at 7:30 PM and the cover is $7.

Friday, May 11th at ThirtyNineHotel: Kaleidoscope with Gnarwhal and DJs Ross Jackson And Davey Shinding. Yes, this is Gnarwhal’s second show tonight. Starts at 9 PM.

Monday, May 17th at SOHO with Men and Gnarwhal. Gnarwhal’s second to last show! Don’t have any more info, so why don’t you bug Gnarwhal on their Facebook?

Monday, May 17th at Manifest with I Tramonti, Harshist, Illectrix, Siblings, and Pharaohs. I’ve heard great things about Harshist and Siblings are always a good ride. Starts at 7 PM, cover unlikely.

Saturday, May 19th at Mercury: Morrissy After Party with Dead Dead Millies, Travis D Wiggins & The Second Hand Emotions, Stephen Augustin & The Fourth Wall, and DJs Papi Chulo and Haircuts for Men. Travis has this to say about the show: “TIP YR FUCKING BARTENDER AND DON’T CALL HER “BABY” UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET STABBED IN THE FUCKING NECK.” Starts at 9 PM.

Thursday, May 24th at Mercury: Gnarwhal’s last show with Dead Dead Millies, Harshist, Gnarwhal, and DJ Jet Boy/Jet Girl. I wouldn’t miss this one for the world. Doors at 10 PM, but get there early to shower them with goodbye gifts.

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Gnarwhal Record Release Party!

So, we’ve been gone from the scene for a while. Luckily enough for us, we made our comeback at Gnarwhal’s excellent record release party at Mercury on Saturday.

Siblings opened us up. I was sad to see that Jacoby Young is not longer on bass for the four man punk band, but Erik Oseto seems to have picked up the part well.

Next up was new band Brainplane with Alex Nagata on drums and mohawked Miller Royer on guitar. They played an interesting smooth, chilled out sound that was easy to groove to. I’m not sure about having them behind Siblings, however, as I was so pumped that it was hard to click into the groove.

Oldies style surf punk band Coral Stabz went on third and quickly made the announcement that this was their second to last show. This gave me a sad face, but the frown was turned upside down by their always excellent dirty rock.

Finally, Gnarwhal was up. As we said in our Year End Lists, this band is rocketing  to the top of the China Town scene. That this was their record release show only supports that idea. The band rocked and rolled through what seemed to be every song they had on tap, their levels being micromanaged by one of the Mercury staff. They’ve never sounded better. They played new songs, old ones, and a pit opened up, engulfing the greater portion of the bar. Crowd surfing was all around. After well over an hour of glorious rock, everyone was tired, sweaty, and jovial, having experienced what might have been Gnarwhal’s best show yet.

A quick trip to the merch area (something I’m exceedingly pleased to see becoming a norm at these shows) and we netted the record, every color possible of their new buttons, and an awesome cassette sticker. While we were there, we also picked up some Siblings stickers and buttons. Now, if only I can ever remember to wear these things…

To see more pictures of the event, check out the Flickr. And, as always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Years End List! (Part 5: The End of the End)

Okay, here it is: the last vestiges of 2011. I hope you’ve enjoyed our run down of the year Spin Magazine called the Great Big No. Here’s to a better 2012!

Top Five Honolulu Shows I Attended

5. Ramblin’ for Raegan: This show was amazing. While we didn’t cover it here at HEP, L did at her own blog. The event was for the charity of Raegan, a five year old girl who tragically lost her father a month prior. Narwhal rocked the house and it was the first time we saw Discord & Rye doing their sexy thing. Ong King is a great space for a show and the art that was up was an excellent time filler between bands.

4. At Sea Returns: At Sea, a post-rock band that had been on hiatus for four years, returned in a big way in July. Supported by the equally awesome “space rock” band Clones of the Queen, they packed thirtyninehotel fuller than any show I’d seen before or have seen since. This was certainly a special performance that I’d have been loathe to miss.

3. Young Fangs Anna’s Show: This show was actually a surprise. We hadn’t seen Narwhal for almost a month and went to hit up their first show back. That show happened to also be the final one in a mini-tour for the Alaskan Indie band Young Fangs. Add Siblings and campfire to the bill and you have yourself an excellent evening.

2. Black Square CD Release Party: If you’ve been keeping up with these lists, then you’d know that I listed Black Square as the fourth best band I heard this year. This show was where that all began. The epic four hour show included sets by Upstanding Youth, Raised By Wolves, Narwhal, and, of course, the China Town powerhouses. It had everything you want in a release party: crazy performances, merch of every variety, dancing, and alcohol. Much alcohol. I think my body was running on beer alone since I sweated all the water out in the mosh pit that opened up.

1. Halloween Party at White Tiger Lounge/Orphanage/Dollhouse: Before October 30, 2011, I thought I knew what a house show was. On that night, however, everything I had ever attended before began to look like Uncle Fred with a guitar at the family reunion. Siblings and Narwhal turned a quaint living room into a battleground full of screaming, jumping, moshing characters in various stages of costume. The brightest moment for me was actually captured on tape by Travis. “Tell Me” is, bar none, my favorite song to hear live. We did it harder and crazier than we ever will again. Having this much fun should be illegal.

 

Well, that’s it folks. Thank you for a wonderful 2011. Let’s all hope the world doesn’t end before we can do more of these lists next year!

Year End List! (Part 2)

Congratulations, it’s January 2nd, 2012! Here’s another list:

Top Five Bands Kendle Listened to For the First Time

5. Black Lips: I first heard this Atlanta, GA based garage rock band on the Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World soundtrack. Little did I know that “O Katrina!“, despite it’s snappy buzz, was fairly tame as compared to the drug-fueled decadence that was the rest of 500 Million Thousand. And I loved every minute of it. Good, Bad, Not Evil, their previous, more critically acclaimed album, was fueled by more of surf rock sound, though still tinged with the dirty, DIY, sound that made them authorities on the garage rock scene in “New Garage Explosion!“.

4. Black SquareJosh86 is a pillar in Chi-To culture, and his band Black Square is one of the scene’s best bands. Their solid ska-punk sound is always exciting and their wonderful stage presence makes sitting on the sidelines near impossible. Every show, they rock out like they’re playing their biggest, whether to ten people or a hundred, and that energy is damned infectious. We’ve blogged about Black Square on a few occasions, but no amount of praise can overstate their quality as musicians and performers. And, after ten mainland tours, two compilations, and four albums, that quality can only continue to bring them more well-deserved success.

3. The Black Keys: Even before their 2010 release of  Brothers, this Akron, OH band was everywhere. Movies, commercials, and radio stations of every stripe have all bought into the blues rock duo. Normally, the hipster in me would want to eschew them for this rampant commercialization but, honestly, their music is just too f’in good. I picked up the aforementioned Brothers a few months ago and am constantly impressed by how pop-catchy they can make songs that are best suited for a dingy, smoke-filled bar where real men shoot whiskey and the mob has a stake. To get a taste, check out “Tighten Up” and “Next Girl“.

2. Mumford & Sons: The first band on this list not of a ‘black’ variety is also the best Americana band that isn’t American. Following their 2010 success of Sigh No More, this four person British group led by the titular Marcus Mumford were 2011’s counterpoint to the electronic domination of dubstep, making sometimes rambunctious, and always lovely, music involving accordions, mandolins, and dobros. Their songs are deep, meaningful, and, really, honest, capturing the everyman’s sense of love and pain. My personal favorite is certainly “Winter Winds

1. (G)NARWHAL: 2011, above all else, was the year I went from a hapless young soldier wandering around Waikiki to blogging about Honolulu happenings. The catalyst? A band named Narwhal. The three-piece’s crazy shows put me on a scavenger hunt around China Town and the greater Honolulu area, introduced me to many wonderful people I now count as friends, and, most obviously, gave me something to do on almost every night of the week (Sunday’s a total wash, though).

With an original sound that has elements of surf, punk, and old school rock and roll, (G)Narwhal (I think they’re in the process of picking up the ‘G’) has had great year. They celebrated their banniversary in May, recorded and released their second EP, Phases, in November, and had a successful mini-tour in San Francisco that same month. Their performances have consistently one-upped themselves, from the original “Lies” to “Tell Me” list with a handful of us bobbing in the front to the raging moshes that now erupt on the first song of their sets. Erica has improved as a vocalist, now utilizing much more of her range, as well as her stage presence. Nick has refined his guitar work into the now recognizable ‘Nick Ayakawa‘ style, proving that he is one of the scene’s best guitarists. And Adam, a drummer who’s speed and endurance were already a thing to admire, has provided a vivid backdrop in all of their new songs for his comrades to enliven with melody.

Besides their improvements as individuals, (G)Narwhal has really come together as a band. Instead of sitting on their hands and being content to play the same Cow Belly songs every other week or so, they spent much of 2011 writing new material, practicing, and playing shows often. Their chemistry has never been better and they are truly on the up.

So, here’s to you, (G)Narwhal. You were my favorite new band of the year 2011. Let’s all hope that 2012 can see you continue your rise to the top.

TONITE

As we scarfed down our chicken alfredo and readied ourselves for this evening’s adventures, Kendle and I realized that we somehow both forgot to post about the happenings tonight.  Though most of you already know from the facebook, we’ll repeat it here.  There will be an epic performance of Gnarwhal this evening at Mercury Bar to raise money for beer/bail in San Fran.  The festivities will include appearances by Substitoots and HEP fave: Coral Stabz.

If we haven’t said it enough or already, we are so psyched for you, Gnarwhal!  Go show those San Franciscans what you’re made of!  We’ll miss you all the way.  But I guess if we get our butts moving soon, we’ll get to tell you in person tonight.

See you there!

HEPpy Halloween!

Okay, okay, so it’s not Halloween anymore, but it was a crazy weekend for us here at HEP. Hope you all had fun with your costumes and candy.

On Saturday night, we took the plunge into Hallowbaloo, the three-day Honolulu music festival. In short, it was barely controlled insanity. Three or four blocks of Chi-To were gated off, numerous stages erected, several food trucks parked, and thousands of costumed partiers were beer’d. The costumes ranged from several hula lamps and Hunter S. Thompsons to two Deviled Eggs (literally two fried eggs made of cardboard worn by horned red-people). Sadly, us HEPsters were a little late to enjoy any of the live entertainment (including a reportedly amazing performance from Cherry Blossom Cabaret), but we did manage to scoot into 39Hotel for some PBR’s and, eventually, spill into The Venue for a show by Black Square and Kings of Spade! Overall, Hallowbaloo was pretty fun, though the crowd was more of a crush than a background and the lines were quite long for everything (we didn’t even get into Bar35 due to the thirty minute to one hour wait).

After a few hangover remedies, we were back in Honolulu Sunday night for a show and party at Orphanage. This old mansion (formally known as the Dollhouse) is an amazing treasure hidden in the northern hills of Honolulu and occupied by a 90’s sitcom worth of characters. The venue for the night was actually the living room (or “White Tiger Lounge” as they call it) which we managed to pack forty or so screaming, costumed people into. Coral Stabz started out the night in celebration of their new album release (stealin’ pakalolo), though we were late due to the horrendous H1 traffic and missed what I was told was an epic performance. Haven’t had a chance to listen to the tape yet, but I’m sure it’s amazing as well.

We did arrive in time to rock out to Siblings, who were all dressed up as bicycle missionaries from the Church of Siblings of Radder-Day Saints. The mosh basically spilled into the band at this point and, more than once, Joey Green found himself at the back of the crowd, his microphone cord wrapped around his neck like a whip, drawing him back to the front. As the songs raged on and the band/crowd mixture shook the room, the temperature spiked, cooking us until the floor was slick with sweat. It is at this point I will remind you this took place in a living room.

After a booze, water, smoke, and air break (in that order), (G)Narwhal fired up their set. This was now three hours into the drinking and over an hour into the concert and where there was moshing for the punk of Siblings, there is pure insanity for Narwhal. People are attempting to crowd surf, only to smash their heads into the ceiling and fall onto the couch, wrapped up like a mummy in the overhead decorations. Travis of Coral Stabz has covered himself in fake blood and is using it to zombify everyone around him. Someone has taken Adam’s extra drumstick and is smashing additional cymbals to his beat. Not one, not two, not three, but four “last songs” are played. The actual last “last song,” my personal favorite “Tell Me,” is sung mostly by the crowd as Erica’s microphone cord has been disconnected by several feet and she is frantically chasing the end around, ensnaring it just in time to belt the chorus and then lose it again. This is the best show of their’s that I have ever seen.

Sadly, we had to leave shortly after this. We did score a few amazing cupcakes, a copy of the new Coral Stabz tape, and many promises that Adam would get us our fancy new GNARWHAL pins. If the Facebook photos are any evidence, the party lost no steam without us. Thanks for a great night, you crazy, costumed party animals.

P.S.: It appears L has grown impatient with this long post and already posted about our November adventure in NaNoWriMo. I assure you we will not ignore HEP, though we expect to spend more nights in, replacing the crush of the bar with the comfort of a couch while we write. Expect to continue seeing updates about upcoming events, however. We wouldn’t abandon you…

P.P.S: There are a few photos up on the Flickr, but the majority of the weekend was shot using good old fashioned disposable cameras! That said, we should be rolling out those photos next week. For now, content yourself with some amazing shots over at everyday is a wishing well.

Too Busy to Count

As stated in previous posts, we’ve been slacking a bit here at HEP. We do have piles of excuses, however!

The biggest excuse for my not blogging is simply a lack of headspace. What’s been consuming my noodle? My betrothal to the better half of this blog on Friday, September 30th, of course. Thankfully, many of you who will read this were actually in attendance at the Sibling’s Fundraising event that they were nice enough to let me steal some thunder from. Michael Keany snapped some expert photos when I ambushed L at the end of Narwhal’s set. I’ve heard rumors the whole thing was also taped by Joey Gonz. Thanks Narwhal, Siblings, Michael, Joey, and everyone who could share in the event with us.

Another reason for the languishing post count is that we just haven’t been to much lately. We did rock out with some very fun Aussies during the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final at the excellent Varsity (expect a post about this one soon). But, that’s really it.

Last weekend was pretty jam packed with shows, but, sadly, we were too busy getting married to attend! That’s right, L and I were legally married on October 7th, exactly one year since of her fateful trip to visit an old college friend who would become so much more. For photos of the event, please visit Ben (aka Toasterlizard)’s Flickr gallery of the event.  We’ll be doing the larger family and friends ceremony a year from now back in Oregon.

Well, with all of that epic news out of the way, I’ll simply close this post out with the only show I know of for this weekend: A free show featuring Big Island punk band Old Habits Die Hard and local awesomeness campfire and Discord & Rye.Show starts at 9pm (ish) on Friday at the ever wonderful Anna’s.

As always, if you have a show going down, let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Email and we’ll post about it here.