Normally Big Island Music Magazine would publish its Top Weekend Picks list on Friday. But venues are closed and Gov. David Ige announced Monday that the entire state is under a stay-at-home order beginning at 12:01 a.m. March 25, extended through April 30 due to concerns around the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. During this isolation period, I’ve reached out to the Big Island musician community for new music they’ve created and want to share in this column. With your input, it will turn into a weekly article as well as a challenge to create one new song per week while we’re all at home.
Entertainment Venue Closures
As of this writing, all Big Island music venues are temporarily closed and have complied with Governor Ige’s request for a 15-day closure of all bars and clubs, theaters, entertainment venues. Some theatres like Waimea’s Kahilu have postponed scheduled events for the next 30 days and rescheduled them in the next season. “We’re very grateful for everyone’s patience and perceiving this as a way to support each other in our daily activities, and we’re doing everything we can to keep the arts alive,” Deb Goodwin, the Kahilu’s executive director said in an article for West Hawaii Today. The westside’s Aloha Theatre has also closed through the end of April and suspended all productions.
Big Island Musicians Share Their Performances
With the public ordered to shelter in place during the coronavirus crisis, all kinds of musicians have turned to social media to find a stage for their performances. Singer-songwriter Lani Park announced her new song “Island Livin’” on Facebook. “It is dedicated to all da wonderful kanaka maoli & locals & native & ‘aina-loving peaceful peoples of all islands all over da world for living a simple, pure, natural life, growing fruit, building hales. You are my true heroes of da heart & spirit,” said Park in a Facebook post. To get the free song, go to Park’s website: https://www.kehaulanimusic.com/music
Punk Rockers El Sancho has a new track called “Nuclear Dudes.” You can hear or buy ($1) the digital song here. Singer/guitarist Alan Kasameyer comments, “[It’s] written as a love letter to my friends who helped me spend a couple of unproductive years of life doing not much else besides playing board games. Recorded while socially distancing ourselves from the rest of the population.” All proceeds from this track, and any other El Sancho Bandcamp purchases in the month of March, will be matched 100% and donated to Hawaii Food Basket, a non-profit food bank that provides relief to those in need on the Big Island.
Pahoa’s Robert Savery has taken to YouTube with two fellow musicians on a song called “Hello Microphone.” Savery also has several new songs like “Staycation” and “Can’t Drink That Water,” which were uploaded a few days ago. You can find them and more on his YouTube channel.
Guitarist Lauren Elle Broido does an acoustic cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” on SoundCloud. Broido has offered her amazing talents to shows like ShakaStock and the tribute to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Kona’s 1201 also sent us a new SoundCloud track called “Southbound.”
Singer-songwriter Hannah Kaplon has a new music video for her song “YOU.” It was recorded at Hilo’s Kukuau Studio and features Kaplon recording the track as well as glimpses of downtown Hilo.
Mahalo for supporting our Big Island musicians. Be sure to follow them on social media and subscribe to their channels.
If you have a new track or video that’s been produced during this self-quarantine period, please send us a link via our contact page, and tell us a little bit about the song and yourself. Mahalo, and stay well.
Steve Roby, Editor
Photo: Nick Karvounis