Friday, August 7, 2015

Scrivener's Friday 5 - La La La La La - Music

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog:
"Long-time (and even short-time) participants in the Friday 5 pretty much know that my two favorite topics to ask questions about are food and music. And I’ve had a pretty good music-filled week, so here are five questions inspired by that."

1.What’s your favorite song about a specific city?

Gosh there are plenty of city songs that i like. Here are 10 of them.

1. Honolulu City Lights - Keola and Kapono Beamer + the remake by The Carpenters. The song captures the essence of wanting to go back home to Honolulu.

2. City of the Angels - This song by Journey is my favorite for LAX.

3. The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace - always loved this fictional account of gangsters and Al Capone. The record went to #1 in 1974. The song could also fit in question #2.

4. Honey's Tune (Hilo's Such A Rainy Old Town) - by Olomana - This song just feels "so Hilo" especially about the rain. You got to have lived there or been on the Big Island of Hawaii to know what I mean.

5. El Paso - Marty Robbins - one of the best story songs ever, this is like an audio movie rolled into 5 minutes. From back in the days of real country music.

6. Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John - a great, uptempo dance song about a tennis team from Philly. Great arrangement and orchestration. #1 in 1975.

7. Echo Valley 2-6809 - The Partridge Family - One of the best songs on PF's Sound Magazine.

8. San Francisco - Scott McKenzie  - hippie song from 1967. "Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair".

9. London's Calling - The Clash for when you're angry.

10. Summer Night City - A Euro-pop song by ABBA from 1979. Location is probably fictitious or wherever there is a hot disco.

2. What’s your favorite song about a real, historical figure?

1. Candle in the Wind by Elton John (1973 - Marilyn Monroe) - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - 1973 Live in Australia - 1987
2. James K. Polk - They Might Be Giants (1990 on Istanbul Not Constantinople CD single)
3. Hey Jude - The Beatles (Julian Lennon, 1968 - he's not historical but he is part of Beatles history)
4. I'm Henry the 8th I Am - Herman's Hermits (1965) - Fun from when I was a kid.

3. What are your favorite song and favorite group (or solo artist) from the classic Motown era?

Way to much to list just one.

1. My Girl - The Temptations (1965)
2. Superstition - Stevie Wonder (1972)
3. Love Child - Diana Ross & the Supremes (1968)
4. Get Ready - Rare Earth (1970)
5. I Heard it Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye (1968)
6. Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder (1974)
7. Reach Out (I'll Be There) - The Four Tops (1966)
8. Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (1969)
9. Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (1970)
10. War - Edwin Starr (1970)

I would like to include "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips but this was released in 1973 on Buddah Records after they left Motown.

Favorite artist - Stevie Wonder (especially after he took creative control of his music in 1970).

Favorite group - Rare Earth (they were on a Motown imprint from 1969 to 1974)

Today Motown is just part of Universal Music and not its own label anymore.

4. What’s your favorite song by a musician (or band) you really dislike?

"The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem - definitely not a fan, but the song is ok.

5. What’s your favorite song with the word “song” in its title?

1. Song on the Radio - Al Stewart (1978) from Time Passages
2. Look What They've Done to My Song Ma - Melaine or The New Seekers (early 1970s)
3. Songs From the Wood - Jethro Tull (1978)
4. This Song - George Harrison (1976) - about being sued for My Sweet Lord.
5. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole "chestnuts roasting on an open fire...."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nohelani's First Album to Be Re-released

From the Aloha Got Soul record label comes this in my email:

"Five years ago I launched this niche music blog simply because I wanted to document some of the cool music that came out of Hawaii during the 1970s. 

Nohelani Cypriano's 1979 debut is one shining example of such music.

It's 2015 and Aloha Got Soul is working with Be With Records to reissue Nohelani's debut for the first time ever on vinyl, available August 7th.

Be With founder Rob Butler and Aloha Got Soul ambassador Cedric Bardawil are hosting a release party at Brilliant Corners in London—and you're invited.

Join us as we celebrate on Friday, August 7th for a night of amazing tunes including Hawaiian grooves, summertime sounds and island jams.

Nohelani Cypriano Release Party

Brilliant Corners
470 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE 

Friday, August 7th

7:00pm - 1:30am
Free entry

First off I definitely remember this album being released on vinyl in 1978 or 79 about a year after Nohelani Cypriano hit it big in Hawaii with her Homegrown II  hit, "Lihue".

Certainly, the album has been out of print for a while. It is good to know that it is being re-released again on vinyl. The album has long been available on CD and digital formats.

Kind of odd that the record release party is in London, UK. I guess Nohelani is popular there or perhaps there are more vinyl fans in the British Isles. Regardless I am sure this record will be also available in Hawaii.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Music Videos That Are Fun to Watch

Three Music Videos

This blog has been an absolute failure in recent weeks with no posts since May 27. Oh well, hopefully things will change as I have now decided to post some interesting, hopefully new YouTube videos that I have recently found.

To kick this off, I offer 3 new music videos from YouTube that I have found for your viewing and listening pleasure. In no particular order here they are:

"I Want You - I Want You Now"
 by Kevin McKnelly

Kevin McKnelly is probably best known for his song that was included on the Once Bitten movie soundtrack, "You're On My Mind" which came out in 1985.

In what is billed as his first music video McKnelly is back as "the world's oldest rapper" with " I Want You - I Want You Now". The track prominently features his 91-year-old father in a walker surrounded by 4 young dancing women. McKnelly also appears on the dance oriented track rapping about Imelda Marcos, shoes, happiness and consumerism. The song is lighthearted fun.

"Dumb" by The Heydaze

I know nothing about The Heydaze, but apparently they are relatively new and more than likely fit into the often maligned "boy band" mold. However they are not a vocal group and by the looks of this video, they actually play instruments.

"Dumb" is a catchy tune that could use more airplay to become a bonafide top 40 hit. The video is interesting enough to keep me watching as the group members get pelted with a variety of substances by an attractive young woman. Not exactly groundbreaking but like the previous video, "fun"!

"Nippon Manju" by Ladybaby

Speaking of fun, the new video by Ladybaby actually made me laugh the first time I saw it. This track was released last week and it already has close to a million hits if not so already. The song has elements of sugar-sweet J-Pop mixed with growling heavy metal.

The unlikely mix of music styles is attributed to Australian heavy metal singer and pro wrestler Richard Magarey who goes by the persona "Ladybeard". He's immediately identifiable by wearing a dress like his two teenaged counterparts Rie Kaneko​ and Rei Kuromiya​ who provide the sweet female voices opposite of his grungy guitar backed growls.

As unlikely as the music mix is, the video is quite a novel fun romp promoting Japanese consumerism. It is also the first video that I noticed that makes extensive use of cameras mounted on selfie sticks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Another Man" is This Week's #1 Song

"Itch" is the name singer Jonny "Itch" Fox goes by these days. He is a British music artist who was once the lead singer in a ukelele punk band called The King Blues. He went solo in 2012 and released his first album in 2014 called The Deep End. His most well known song is "Another Man" featuring Megan Joy on vocals. The track has yet to chart in America and was featured as a free iTunes track in April 2015. "Another Man" did chart twice in Australia in 2014.

The song is a throwback to the late 50s/early 60s do-wop style. The video is a features a brilliant use of color and black and white computer generation to illustrate the song's point. Megan Joy's vocals are a little overpowering but definitely delivers the charm to this song.

The song is the current #1 track on Mel's Weekly Top 20 Chart which makes a comeback to this blog page as of this posting.

The Weekly Top 20 Chart now shows up on its own page within this blog (with a later update planned for the original chart page) using Google Docs as the database back end. The chart has not been regularly published since September 2014 as other obligations by the publisher was more pressing.

However chart data has been kept in an offline database on a weekly basis.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Honokaa Jazz Band at Ala Moana Centerstage

Honokaa Jazz Band

The Honokaa Jazz Band made its debut public performance at the recently renovated Ala Moana Centerstage venue yesterday (April 16) to a crowd that was treated to a variety of jazz, blues and R&B standards. The band with more than 30 members are currently touring Oahu and playing at a number of venues this weekend. The Ala Moana Shopping Center concert was the first of several.

The band has a long established reputation of creating memorable performances with a wide range of musical styles, mostly focused on the jazz genre. The band is led by Mr. Gary Washburn who has been a music instructor at Honokaa High and Intermediate School for many years. The Honokaa Jazz Band won a special Grammy Award in 2011 for “its unique and outstanding band program.”

Honokaa Jazz Band will be performing in Waikiki tomorrow starting at 5:00 pm at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

More Photos at