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Image: Christa Wittmier

If something seems too good to be true, why can’t we let it be true? I remember getting a call early this year from The Jump Offs frontman Landon Tom. He wanted to know if I knew any lawyers and he sounded pretty nervous. Yikes. Don’t scare me kid. It turns out he was worried because he met Manny Nieto, a record producer from Los Angeles who was in town to scout for new projects. Nieto was telling him all kinds of awesome things and dropping all kinds of awesome names. I told Landon I didn’t know many lawyers but I did know Christopher Guanlao, the drummer for Silversun Pickups, one of the bands Manny had named-dropped to Landon. Later that day I got a message from Chris: “Oh yeah, Manny! He’s amazing. We haven’t worked with him but a lot of our friends have. He wants to work with The Jump Offs? That’s great! We really love that band.” Well then. It seems that name-dropping isn’t always a bad thing. Skip ahead to now. The Jump Offs found the money to work with Manny. They went to Los Angeles and spent a month eating ramen and recording their album. It’s finished and ready for mixing and it’s going to be released in January 2011. According to Manny, it’s going to blow minds. Not just here in Hawaii. Everywhere.

Now rising rock stars GRLFRNDS are on their way to his studio, and they’re asking their fans to put their money where their mouths are by supporting their mission with the help of [Kickstarter.com]. You may or may not remember when singer/songwriter Sabrina Velazquez raised the money for her debut solo EP The Anomaly through this website. It’s a beautiful thing really; it allows anyone to chip in $1, $10, $20, or even $200 to support the cause. One of my favorite bands The Clones of the Queen are on there too. Their studio sessions will be in our own backyard if you will, in Kailua, where Manny is on a working vacation to record them before heading back to LA. As I’m writing this, they already have 30 backers to help them reach their goal of $2,500. They’re about halfway there with 28 days to go. When you think about it, $2,500 it’s not that much when everyone chips in. I think about it like this: For every time I’ve seen them live without paying a cover, I should give them $20, since that’s what paying a cover charge is supposed to go to. Too often people expect to see something like live music for free. Then where do you expect the live music to go?

Talking to Manny and seeing how hyped he is on our music scene was one of the most refreshing things to happen all week. This guy lives and works in one of the biggest entertainment hubs in the world, and he thinks our music is world class. He said he is honored to be recording so many great bands, all from one city, and such a beautiful city at that. The best part? Mind-numbingly good Painted Highways also will be recording with him this month. He has officially found just about every band that I love and is going to totally make them famous. This is not too good to be true, it’s just too good.

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