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Image: Paper Diamond

The countdown to Hawaii International Film Festival has started! It’s in merely weeks! Get excited! It’s exciting! There’s huge anticipation for this year, and not just from me! The Descendants is the closing night film! Academy Award Winning director Alexander Payne will be in Hawaii, and (spoiler alert) he will be receiving the Vision in Film Award presented by the City and County of Honolulu! Based on local writer Kaui Hart Hemmings’s novel, the film already has the word “Oscar” being thrown around at the other festivals! I mean, you had me at “Alexander Payne.” Throw in “George Clooney” and “Matthew Lillard” and I just don’t know how it can be better! I highly recommend downloading the Kindle version of her book from Amazon for $12–you’ll read it in two days!

In keeping with HIFF’s exceptional Sound x Vision standards, music industry enthusiasts get a panel discussion event with industry heavy hitters including Patrick“9th Wonder” Douthit and Lost composer Michael Giacchino, who will probably be talking about what it’s like to win an Oscar. With all these people coming to Hawaii to share their knowledge and passion with us, I’m definitely going to jot questions down before the event for them, to avoid that whole deer in headlights moment when they inevitably say, “Are there any questions?”

This rest of this month is pretty much going to fly by, I’m clinging to each day as it happens. The end of the month we’re going to see what was once a four hour block party turn in to a four day music & arts festival: Hallowbaloo! The best part about watching these events become established is to see them grow. Mark Tarone is taking a lot of risks to expand the event and he’s also going to bat for the sort of artists we would never otherwise get to see here. Making waves on the festival circuit is Pretty Lights protégé Paper Diamond. This DJ/producer is standing tall alongside artists like Thievery Corporation, Common, Little Dragon and Major Lazer as one of the top nine must-see artists at Chicago’s North Coast Festival. That’s huge. It’s huge enough to make me download his Levitate EP to hear for myself. It’s pretty interesting; I can really hear his affection for hip-hop and bass in the music but love how he still focuses on his melodies. I can’t wait to see what he does live.

Happy birthday to Matt Kee this week; he’s having a big party Thursday at Nextdoor. Faust & Shortee (Urban Assault) are turntable masters, and even though I’m more excited to see our own Packo vs. Techmarcher the anticipation is high to see what a real female turntablist (Shortee) can do. Kee’s own triple tag team with Miko Franconi and Miki Mayhem is rounding up what will be a pretty comprehensive music event. Thanks for celebrating everyone else on your own birthday, Matt. I love it when people do that.