The Beaman abides

Beaman: punk on the half shell

Beaman. How does one humble themselves when an entire band, their music, ideals and band name all are created to honor you? Such is the case with Oahu’s newest punk band “Beaman.

Adam Funari, formerly of “Narwhal,” provides the beats while Ray Farias, formerly of PIMPBOT and from False Crack and Subsitoots, Kevin Titty make up the rest of this old school punk band. They got together in January of this year in which Funari calls “a beautiful 16 lbs. 40 oz. three-headed organic stepchild of the Filthy Mongrel himself aimed to bring back the party to those unknowing of the force around us called, ‘The Buck Wild.’

The band has a friend named “Beaman,” who sounds a bit prolific of life experiences that the group formed their music around this one guy. He’s sort of like…The Dude.

“When we first started this band he was the inspiration.” Funari adds, “Most of the songs were written about something he has said or done.”

Their new stuff has moved away from that but they claim him as the band’s mascot and he is still the “driving force” behind the band.

Their first show was April of this year at Mercury Bar for the No Suck Fest Fundraiser. A punk rock festival put together by their bassist Kevin and a few other local musicians. The money was used to bring over Night Birds and Toys That Kill to Hawaii for NSF.

They have a 7” coming out by August which will also be available by digital download and a new EP coming out by years end with the help of Joey Green of “Siblings” and “Die Slow.”

The band also plans to record some songs written by their friend Beaman as a side project, which is tentatively called “Will Bill Brown and the Buck Wild.”

Upcoming gigs include Kaleidoscope on Friday the 13th; they share the venue with Pink Mist. They are doing a benefit called “Defend Otto” at Anna’s on July 20th. This show is helping local business owner Otto of “Otto Cake” get security cameras to help stop drug dealing around his store.

“The Defend Otto Show is pretty important,” Funari said. “The criminals have made physical attacks on Otto and have also made threats to him and his employees.”

They will of course be playing “NoSuckFest” July 27th through the 29th.


Honolulu punk style

GRLFRNDS. Talk about a band that just happened out of sheer willpower. 'GRLFRNDS,' after many incarnations, was just that. In 2009 the group decided to get together for the Battle of the Bands, which led to a hastily six-song original set that placed them on stage to open for Modest Mouse. The band took off from there and never looked back.

The band is led by Alex Kaiser, who has had the core group made up of Jake Achitoff, Eric Pecoraro, Nick Nickaros and Nick McCurdy. Each member has their own side projects but Kaiser has been focusing all of his attention on GRLFRNDS. 

They’ve had a long road in making their debut album Blank Pink Thrillwhich is available now on their bandcamp website. They’ve traveled back and forth to and from Los Angeles to get the album finished working with Manny Nieto (who produced HEALTH and The Breeders), and now after the release party they’ve been both selling and giving away the CD. It’s available as a digital album or CD format.

GRLFRNDS is an eclectic nervous mash of punk, new wave and pop. They take the influence to their sound from the likes of DEVO, the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs, Joy Division and LCD Soundsystem. The band is currently writing out songs for their second album and they hope to be in the recording studio sometime this summer.

Because of their rabid approach to creating and playing music, they’ve carved a deep niche for themselves among the Honolulu downtown music scene.


Painted Highways

A labor of love

Painted Highways. The tightly knit community of musicians on the island of Oahu consist of so many artists that have moved from the continental United States to find a home in paradise. Painted Highways is no different.

A band that began playing together for the love of creating original music and grew from there. Using influences like the Cure, RadioHead, The Pixies, Neil Young and Modest Mouse to splash your auditory hunger for something soothing and  groovy. The’ve got that indie 90s sound down pat and their song “Razorblade” reminds me of newer alternative from the likes of Bon Ives mixed with The Replacements.

Painted Highways is made up of Mark Howard (guitar/Vocals/Piano), Mike Pooley (Guitar/Vocals), Kai Salus (Bass/Keys) and Jack Tawil (Drums). These boys have been together since 2009 and opened for such bands as The Vivian Girls, Blitzen, Trapper and Toro y Moi.

A lightly psychedelic mishmash of alternative generations between the 80’s and the 90’s, the original tunes written by all the band members can be found on their Digital Self Titled album, and downloaded for free, but help support a great band by donating what you can. The reason they’re able to offer their Digital EP for free? Because they created it for free.

With the help of their friend Lock Lynch at Mele Studio at Honolulu Community College recording some of the tracks for free and borrowing equipment and studio space from Mountain Apple Company they finished recording.  With connections in the right spot, they were able to finish mixing at Soul Sound Studio for free and had it mastered.

As mentioned before, the Honolulu musician crowd is tightly knit, each helping one another out through networking and offering a spot on the venue. Painted Highways is definitely a band you want to support.

Magaphone - 'Delorean'

Adorable, nerdy anti-folk: yes, please.

Painted Highways - 'Hurricane'

Painted Highways display a broad range of rock timbre on their self-titled EP, but I like them best when they're at their darkest. Slow arrangements underscore mournful, layered vocals on a track that lands somewhere between Mogwai and TV on the Radio.

The Behaviorists - 'Running in Circles'

I'm almost positive that's a 1980s Casio keyboard on the "flute" setting going on throughout this song, which makes me happy because I have two 1980s Casios and they're among my favorite things to play. Good instruments for psychedelic bedroom pop, to be sure.

Welwing - 'Dimension'

Since we last checked in on him, Honolulu producer Matthew McVickar changed the name of his solo recording project from Lapwing to Welwing and also emerged as the victor of a local beat battle called Beatroot. He put his full set up on Soundcloud to download or stream for free. I'm really into the developing personality of his newer work; it's dense and glitchy while still retaining that playful edge that made his debut EP so enjoyable.

Dimension by Welwing



Jack Johnson: Man of Many Hats and Talents

Hawaii's Native Son Gives Back

Son of famous surfer Jeff Johnson, Jack learned to surf at the age of 5 living on the North Shore of Oahu. At 14 he learned to play guitar with the songs “One” by Metallica and “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. He was the youngest surfer to be in the Pipeline Invitational Surfing Competition but got a career ending injury at 17 which caused him to lose some of his teeth and several stitches in his face.

He pursued an education in filmmaking at the University of California Santa Barbara and began making surfing films while also playing rhythm guitar for a band called “Soil”.

His films include “Thicker Than Water” and “The September Sessions” which he also produced the soundtracks on; He also starred in the surf film “A Brokedown Melody”. Jack Johnson also produced the soundtrack for the animated film “Curious George” titled “Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies” in 2006.

He got his big break in the music industry when he provided backing vocals for the band G. Love and Special Sauce in their song which he helped write “Rodeo Clowns” in 1999.

Thanks to his surfing peers circulating his original music, he was soon known in circles around the world including France, Australia and South Africa.

Ben Harper introduced Johnson to his producer J.P. Plunier who helped him release a 4 track demo and eventually his debut album “Brushfire Fairytales” in 2001 with Harper playing steel guitar. He eventually started his own recording studio called Mango Tree Studio and recorded his full length album “On and On” in 2003. It was this year that Johnson also formed his own band with studio musicians Adam Topol on drums, Merlo Podlewski on bass and Zach Gill on piano, percussion and background vocals.

Jack found commercial success with the release of “In Between Dreams” which featured chart makers “Better Together”, “Banana Pancakes”, “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”.

“Sleep Through the Static” was released after the success of his “Curious George” soundtrack in 2008. Johnson, being an advocate for a greener earth, recorded the album with 100% solar energy in Los Angeles. He followed up this album with a world tour which in turn spawned the DVD “En Tour” released in 2009.

Jack spent the majority of 2009 into 2010 on his many charitable causes. He is a strong advocate for a cleaner greener earth, animal rights and Amnesty International. During his 2010 World Tour he donated 100% of his profits to charity. One of the charities he and his family started is called “The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation” which he and his wife formed after the release of his third album. From 2009 to 2010 they raised over $750,000 which they gave away.

Johnson has managed to stay a family man with his wife and kids, despite being a touring musician, a filmmaker and activist which to most critics is a hard thing to do.

He has also donated $50,000 of profits from his latest album “To The Sea” which was dedicated to his father, to the Japan Tsunami Fund. He and his wife were staying at a hotel in Osaka when the Tsunami hit.







Virgin Mary Taking The Island By Storm

local alternative (don't ever call it a girl) group

A fairly new group, the members of Virgin Mary are no stranger to music. They’ve been together since 2010 and since playing that first gig at The Pipeline, they’ve opened for Owl City and Everclear and have now finished recording their debut album “Ecstacy”.




Fronted by Denver native Marc Holyoak, he is backed by five very HOT and very talented women. They are local girl Alyssa Onaga on the drums, Brit Haynes on the guitar, Cassie Fillhart on the keyboards and vocals, and another local girl Daphne Morlan on the bass.

Marc describes their sound as “Weezer meets Psychedelic Beatles”. Everywhere this band has played they’ve gained momentum with a growing fan base.

Their songs are catchy and you’ll find yourself humming and singing their songs well after listening to their album or seeing their show.

One of their most popular songs is “Black Pearl” but I’m going to have to say I love, love, love “Favorite Songs”. It is very Beatlesque/Oasis and find myself singing this one. Already playing my guitar to it.


The band is currently working on new songs and a new album for release in 2012 and they also look forwards to touring in the next year. They’ve got a few gigs to finish out the year on December 23rd at 7pm at Hawaiian Brian’s and it’s an all age show; December 27th at 8:30pm they are playing an acoustic set at The Apartm3nt and that show is 21+. They finish up the year back at Hawaiian Brian’s on the 30th at 8pm and it is an all age show.

Spaceship Aloha - 'XENON'

I have no idea who or what Spaceship Aloha is, except that it's a whole lot of fun. Trippy, bouncy electronica powered by sci-fi bleeps, vocoder yelps, and handclaps off a record that will drop next April.