Friday, September 21, 2012

It's My Party...

Aloha Kakou!!

    First of all, a huge mahalo to everyone who sent me birthday greeting, message, emails, songs, poems and gratuities. (Okay, no one sent a song) It was spent doing exactly what I like on my birthdays...nothing! Well, we did pack a little, have some sushi, a glass of wine or two and just relaxed. This of course is in direct contracst to how these things used to be celebrated. It got me to thinking how cyclical the whole birthday celebration thing is. When you are young, it usually looks like this:

    I think we all had one like this...then there is the next party, when you hit your early teens...

   Heck, I had pizza parties too...fabulous Greek pizza from Newton Highlands, made from only the best Land 'O Lakes cheese...but that's an inside joke...then things seem to get serious when you get into your late teens and college...a party usually ENDS looking like this:

    I see you all nodding your heads...we've ALL been there...some of us not even looking this good...then we figure out that birthdays are meant to be remembered and we may have a party that looks like this...


   Yes, this is where we are at now...and I like it. Friends, laughter, good food, presents...and always someone trying to prove they are haveing TOO much fun...(lady at the back left of the table, I'm talking to you!!)...and then as I said, it all cycles back to:

    So, in my near future, I imagine I will once again don a pointy party hat, blow out my towering inferno of candles and try to funnel some Ensure. At least that's what I am hoping for. Then again, it all may end up like this:

 Come to think of it, not a bad way to do it...

    So this will be a short one today, as we have to hit the road in a few hours and there is still much packing to do. But I want to leave you with a few things that I would like you to listen to. Many people come on the ship and they have a pre-conceived idea of Hawaii music. It usually begins with Don Ho, and ends with Iz. Now, I happen to love both of these artists, but I see one of my jobs as trying to get people to listen to some things that they may not find on their own. I certainly am no expert, but I know what I like, and I think you may like these songs/artists too. In no particular order:

These are the Brothers Cazimero, and they are legendary here in the islands, and in many other places. They have the cohesiveness that sometimes only family groups have. This is in a very casual setting:

Next up is a twofer...the singer is a young woman named Raiatea Helm and the gentleman on ukulele is my favorite local player Bryan Tolentino:


    You all know how I feel about steel guitar, so here are a few clips I think you might like...these are a few of the great steel guitarists from Hawai'i...Casey Olsen, Greg Sardinha and my kumu Alan Akaka:

    Just a note on this last one. It is a song called Whispering Lullaby, and those delicate chime like notes you hear are called harmonics. They are one of the hallmarks of Hawaiian style steel guitar, and I can tell you from experience that playing them as cleanly and as lovely as Alan does here is extremely difficult.

    And lastly, I want to throw in a hapa haole number that was the theme song for the old Hawai'i Calls radio show. This is a version featuring Casey Olsen on steel guitar, but most importantly is the vocalist, who is named Nina Keali'iwahamana. She was a featured vocalist on Hawai'i Calls,and here she brings you the of my favorites:


    I suggest that you all take a few trips around YouTube and online and just see where it takes may discover an artist or a song you never knew but that was waiting for you all this time.

A Hui Hou,

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