4 local bands I'm currently stoked about

I live in Honolulu. If we share similar interests, then going out at night here usually consists of seeing bands play in Chinatown followed by all-you-can-eat pancakes at Wailana Coffee House. ("Punk & Pancakes." Go ahead. Make the zine. I'll probably like it.) It's a really small scene which means that for the most part everyone knows each other, everyone supports each other, and when an ukulele appears in a song it's never a cutesy afterthought that fazes anyone because, um, people grew up hearing that instrument here. Anyway, of all the acts I've seen recently, these are the ones that stick.


These guys are pretty new. The first (and only) time I saw them was at Mercury about a month ago. I think it was the first time for a lot of us there because I heard a lot of These-guys-are-really-good-s dawning on the crowd during my trek to the bathroom. Words that come to mind regarding their sound: Stripped? Woodsy? Tribal? I don't know, I was peeing at this point and what you're reading isn't exactly Pitchfork, but I'll say I'm excited to see them again soon.


I first saw Narwhal a little over a year ago at Asterisk. They were playing these hyperkinetic songs that lasted about 45 seconds which can sound like perfection when done in the right way, you know? It was only their second show and they were calling themselves Monocle then, which they changed to Narwhal soon after. They also added another member, but never lost that just-scrawled-these-lyrics-on-a-notebook sound/detached seriousness about them. Like that kid in high school who you considered a rebel, but also did really good in school? They remind me of that kid. Everyone likes that kid.


The first time I saw Stephen was about a year and half ago at Here Today. He was playing these 7 minute songs and it felt like I was walking on the moon because you're standing there, obliterated by all this reverb and his voice intermittently poking through like a satellite trying to pull you in or something. Since then, he's formed a band and they're all really sincere dudes which makes it that much easier to root for them. Yay, Stephen!


This group has been around for a while I think, but I hadn't seen them until ~6 months ago at Nextdoor. They do Once-a-Month-Punk at Sandbox pretty often, but the last time I was within a 25 ft radius of that place, two guys got in a fight and one died. When my bulletproof vest comes in the mail, I'll catch these guys again?


My personal day of Independence

Yesterday, in honor of the holiday weekend, I took myself out on a Jennifer Aniston.

That's a code I made up for taking yourself out on a date that concludes with you crying into an $18 salad at a Neiman Marcus cafe. I heard she's dating Justin Theroux now, but this term is still relevant because tabloids have somehow carved her out to be the archetype of Single White Woman Who Can Never Be Considered Happy By The Media Unless She Has a Dude. I feel like while I'm not a woman this is obviously dumb. I feel like as a guy who respects what women have to put up with on the daily this is obviously dumb. I feel like I know a lot about Jennifer Aniston without seeking out information on her and this is also obviously dumb. God Bless America. Let freedumb ring.

Now that this has been clarified, let me get back to my Jennifer Aniston and the things I did alone yesterday:

I went to a movie by myself. Have you ever done this? It's liberating. I saw Beginners, the new Mike Mills movie.

It's about a lonely guy who's navigating the terrain of having a newly-out father whose just been diagnosed with cancer. He also starts dating a lonely girl and they try to be less lonely together. As I sunk into my chair, licking the butter off the empty bag of my popcorn in the dark of the theatre, I thought, "Sweet, art imitating life." I really liked this movie.

I went to the beach by myself. I smiled at the concierge as I walked through the lobby of a four star hotel pretending like I was a paying guest so I could lounge on their private beach. For some reason I had a Greek accent the entire time I was there? Check me into rehab I'm psychiatrically insane! Shoreside, I massaged both my right and left brain with copies of GQ and The Believer. I got tan and listened to Robert Palmer on my iPod exclusively.

I decided to buy a huge fucking acai bowl for myself. On the drive to the juice bar, Lil Wayne's "How to Love" came on the radio and for those four minutes I allowed it to be my summer jam. This is the magic of Jennifer Anistoning – Top 40 speaks to you in a strange desperate way or something. When I got my acai, I lovingly fed myself spoonfuls of it while making forced witty remarks and fluttering my eyelashes at my warped reflection in the spoon. I wrote my digits on a napkin and hey, might even call myself back someday!

Trying to break me from my spell, I got a text from a friend that read: "fireworks tonight?" I texted back: "I'm on a date". I got a text back that read: "Bring your date". I texted back: "K".

I met up with my friend in downtown and snuck onto the roof of another friend's office building. We ate pepperoni pizza while discussing Kim Kardashian's butt x-ray. So American! The fireworks went off on the Aloha Tower pier.

During the show, my phone lit up with a text message from a number I didn't recognize saying: "watching the fireworks. makes me miss you. :-)" I never wrote back to find out who it was. I just smiled inside.

**~**~*Happy 4th of July!*~**~**