Social Lite

Brendan Bradley and James Stone, igniting the switch.
Image: Christa Wittmier

My face still hurts from smiling all night last week watching Pro, K-LUV and Big Mox on the stage. Usually, at a show the ratio between watching people walk in the door, watching people dance and watching what’s happening on the stage for me is about 60-20-20. When Mox is on the mic that changes to like 10-0-90. He’s gripping. I actually found my face in physical pain after the show from grinning ear to ear.

When I first heard James Stone playing music at an event, it was the kind of moment that literally had me stopped dead in my tracks. During EuroCinema Hawaii at the Moana Surfrider, everyone was in black tie and European royalty was there rubbing elbows with people like Kelly Hu, Terry O’Quinn and some of the wealthiest people who live on Oahu, but amidst all the fancy, the only thing I could concentrate on was the fact that the DJ was seriously the best I’d heard in a long time. His track selection was so good that it was almost like he was making fun of us. “European cinema? Ha. How about some French House!” he seemed to be saying. As weird as it might sound, there are just not that many places a person can go to hear Nu-Disco and French House, and I never would have thought in a million years I would be hearing it at a party like this. I had to get his card. It turns out he wasn’t really a DJ per se, but the guy behind The Ignition Switch, a brilliantly thorough music blog that specializes only in dance music categories like Nu-Disco and French House. With regular posts, monthly mixtapes, interviews, compilations, contests and exclusives, I was finding it very hard to believe that this machine was the baby of a surfer kid from Kailua–and he isn’t even 21 yet! In addition to his managing editor, Brendan Bradley, he’s brought on a European contributor who lives in Paris and even started playing music around town. You can catch him opening up for Soundsex at Russell Tanoue’s new global experience party at Pearl Ultralounge during the new weekly Friday event called ZERO11, launching Jan. 13. There’s nothing better than a website coming to life.

Speaking of websites come to life, Sweet Lychee blogger Kristen Oshiro and photographer RianaStellburg have their big 808Speakerbox hip-hop event this coming weekend. A fundraiser for Hawaii’s Hardest Working Man in Show Business Justin “Bone” Kaneshiro of KTUH’s Got Rice Show that is expected to be the biggest culmination of hip hop performances the state’s seen in a very long time. Bone is one of the guys who walks away from a show having broke even and considers it a success, sometimes even if he’s in the red, but he keeps going. These guys are working so hard they need to start getting support for what they bring to the community, because what they’re doing is a very positive thing. Many mahalos to Kristen and Riana for coming up with this idea. Looking at the lineup of pretty much every producer, MC, DJ and artist from our thriving local hip hop scene, both thirtyninehotel and Nextdoor will be rocking come Saturday night. Yeah, Saturday! I can’t wait.