Social Lite

Wise grass hip-hoppers.
Image: Christa Wittmier

not 2 kool 4 skool

I was rocked to my classical foundations last weekend by the amazing show the new Hawaii Symphony Orchestra put on for their opening concert. That’s right. Listening to music that intricate performed live can’t really be compared to anything else, with the exception maybe of electronic music, if only for its length and complexity. Here’s the thing: In a past life, this music was my entire world. From grade school all the way to college, every weekend was spent at rehearsal. While the cool kids were partying, I was playing Ravel’s “Bolero” with my fingertips on a snare drum because if I used sticks it would be too loud during for the pianissimo opening measures. My summers were spent in intensive training camp where we developed our rudimentary skills, sight-read major symphonies, and learned about chamber music and theory. Watching someone else play my tympani part during the fiery Beethoven’s Fifth, all I could think about was the Red Bull Music Academy. Just the words reminded me of something I would have had to attend instead of some fun party as a kid, but what it represents and brought to Hawaii this past weekend is more opportunity to develop growth in our musical future, which I have to admit needs attention. Judging by the average age at the Symphony’s big opening concert, we need creative thinking like this to keep music training at top of mind with our youth. We gotta keep it cool. Enter Red Bull, with an intimate event for select VIPs and musicians including Big Mox, Ted DiOlivera, The Jump Offs, Brandon Udani, Doug Upp and many others. In a discussion moderated by David Goldberg, our local talent was introduced to the visiting heavy hitters such as DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies, in town for the Do-Over party. They discussed what it takes to make a career in music. They also encouraged everyone to apply for the academy, which is a world-traveling series of workshops, recording sessions, lectures and live performances. From Tony Visconti explaining how to use a harmonizer to Erykah Badu recounting sampling sessions with J Dilla, participants get to learn and grow with the best. Whether it’s classical training or this, hey, I’m just glad it exists!

Speaking of music standing the test of time, how about that Nocturnal Sound Krew?! All we ever do is introduce them as world champions, but that was years ago now. How they have individually managed to stay up and stay relevant while keeping their cohesiveness has my head spinning. Tony Balbuena, aka Dj Deception made his first trip back to Hawaii in five years after taking third in the US Red Bull 3Style championships and packed the house at The Standard Saturday night. Meanwhile his partner Compose is preparing his set for the LA finals as well as holding it down as the music director for The Modern. Baby Jami is about to tour Japan (again) with Deception and the Goodlife guys. The crew also continues to kill it with their weekly Get Right and monthly SHAKE+POP parties that are definitely a few steps left 0f the normal club bangers. They also know how (and when) to play. Easily the best parties going on in town. Still.

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