Look, there’s seriously something wrong with anybody that isn’t a fan of music. We all can agree on this, right? If music doesn’t lift up your soul, if it doesn’t make you grateful that you’re alive, then you probably aren’t alive. The following are a few selections that just might help those seeking melody-minded gifts this holiday season.
Jelly’s — The Original
Looking for a copy of the Beamer Brother’s Honolulu City Lights for Uncle Kimo? Jelly’s has it on CD, tape and vinyl. Need a gag gift? Get a signed copy of Frank Delima’s Don’t Sneeze When You Eat Saimin or the Society of Seven’s Applause album made out to someone else. Know someone that was in Washington Intermediate School’s 1977 or 1978 spring concert? Jelly’s has them on vinyl–still sealed in plastic. What we’re really saying is, Jelly’s got a wide selection of old music that isn’t available anywhere else. For the vintage music collector, check out Jelly’s for that one album they’re going to love. Prices vary.
Harbor Center Shopping Plaza, 98-023 Hekaha St., 484-4413
The folks at [Mele.com] are trying to do the same thing for Hawaiian music that [Amazon.com] did for books, DVDs, CDs, apparel, food, well, just about anything. Mele wants to bring the music of Bradduh Iz, Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii and many others to the entire world. This holiday season features new X-Mas-themed releases, from Keali’i Reichel’s Maluhi ($15.98) to the Brothers Cazimero’s Caz Christmas ($15.98), as well as the concert DVD, Makaha Sons Live at the Hawai’i Theatre ($29.99).
If it ain’t brokeÃƒâ€“
Yeah, Chris and Emmett Malloy’s A Brokedown Melody was released a while back–and by a while back, we mean two years–but the soundtrack is just hitting store shelves. Was it worth the wait? You bet. Featuring an alternative version of Jack Johnson’s rock radio hit ‘Breakdown,’ a solo contribution from fellow surfer Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and a track from Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch, on which the worship-worthy guitarist trades in the electric six-string theatrics for some down-home, slip-and-slide blues, the disc, available at Hungry Ear Records and Tapes ($15.99), also includes contributions from the Beta Band, Kings of Convenience and Culver City Dub Collective.
Hungry Ear Records & Tapes, 418 Ku’ulei Rd., Kailua, 262-2175
Strum’s the word
Although it may seem like Jake Shimabukuro was born with a ‘ukulele in his hand, we know there’s no way that’s the case. Gestation doesn’t work like that. Granted he might have been born with all the right tools to become perhaps the finest ‘uke player on the planet, but he had to start somewhere. He had to learn the basics first. If you have the feeling that your child–heck, anybody in your family for that matter–has what it takes to give Jake a run for his money somewhere down the line, then you may want to swing by Hawaii Music Supply to pick up a copy of Jumping Jim’s Ukulele Gems, Jumping Jim’s Ukulele Beach Party, Jumping Jim’s Ukulele ($14.95) and more in the Jumping Jim’s instructional book series to get them started.
Hawaii Music Supply, 45-558 Kamehameha Hwy., 236-1064
Pick and grin
For the beginning guitarist, Island Guitars is a good place to start. They have a mountain of cheap acoustic and electric starter kits ($295). Throw in a Jack Johnson Strum and Sing book ($10.95) or Hello Kitty gig bag ($69) and you’ve got the perfect gift for your wannabe starving artist. Or for the hard-to-get-for aficionado who’s got it all, how about spending the big bucks on the custom-made Martin D-50 acoustic guitar complete with mother of pearl inlay, sapphire endpins and hard case with built-in thermometer? It’s only $50 grand.
Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., Second Floor, 591-2910, [www.islandguitars.com]
So you think that a Wii is something that babies do in their diapers? Well, it’s not. It’s the latest video game console from Nintendo. Every game boy and geek girl knows that. And chances are they just might be interested in some of the gifts below.
The games people play
Pirates, Duel Masters and Yu-gi-oh, my,my. Card games are all the rage these days, and Other Realms can help your young (or 40-something) geek at heart with their table-top, role-playing and other gaming needs. Wondering where you can get everything Star Wars? Other Realms has Star Wars Miniatures (starter kit, $25), Monopoly ($49.95) and Risk ($35) along with the popular, but un-commercialized War Machine miniatures and the old faithful Dungeons and Dragons RPG.
Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., 2nd Floor, 596-8236, [www.other-realms.biz]
Get a gift certificate at Collector’s Maniacs for the anime otaku or otome (guys and girls that really love anime) in the house that doesn’t have the cash to buy the series that they love. Collector’s has a great selection of anime for rent. Not only will they be able to get Adult Swim favorites like Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach, but Fighting Spirit, Gantz, Kyokaramaoh and Samurai 7, too.
Collector’s Maniacs, 3571 Wai’alae Ave., Ste. 102A, 739-3912
In your hands
The Wii may be on backorder ($399.95, plus two games), but for hand-held fanatics how about the new DS Lite ($129.95) or the PSP at $249.95 (now in pink and metallic blue). Virtual pet? The new IDog ($34.95) is in stock, or for the ones that remember–the Tamagotchi ($14.95). They’re back, now with wireless technology. Let your Tamagotchis interact with one another when you put them side-by-side. Or for the Korean drama lover, get an all-region DVD player.
Toys N’ Joys, 3632 Wai’alae Ave., 735-4546, [www.toysnjoys.com]
Burning for you
Let this family-owned business allow your mom to preserve family videos. 808 Burners brings analog memories into the digital era. Have your old 8mm film, VHS, cassette tapes and records switched over to DVD and CD format. Grandma hasn’t seen her own wedding footage for 50 years because it’s on reel-to-reel? Let grandma relive one of her most cherished memories once again this Christmas. Can’t get your hands on the media that you want switched over? Don’t worry, 808 Burners has clever CD-shaped gift certificates in whatever amount you’d like.
808 Burners, 98-064 Kamehameha Hwy., ‘Aiea, 487-DISK, [www.808burners.com]
Dress to impress
T-Shirts are billboards for your soul. They let wearers express what they think and feel in a way that something like an Aloha shirt or a blouse can’t. And perhaps no T-Shirts are more expressive than the ones at [Threadless.com]. Quirky, cute, downright cool, the shirts at Threadless are all buyer submitted designs, and they’re all limited editions. Want a shirt of Spider-Man hanging his laundry? Want to see Darth Vader in his off time working in the garden? Threadless is the place. Gift certificates are available at $25, $50 and $100.
Who can resist a good gag gift–you know, aside from people with no sense of humor? The Universal Bullshit Detector Watch ($49.95, plus $9.95 shipping and handling), from noted media satirist Joey Skaggs of the Garden Isle and the Big Apple, just might be the best out there this year. Although the watch doesn’t necessarily ‘detect’ whenever someone is spouting off BS, at let’s say a City Council meeting or a White House press conference, the watch does allow you to let everybody know what you think of the situation–all with a push of the button. When it comes to novelty products, this one is a gas.
Expand your mind
That old saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well, it’s rubbish. Learning doesn’t stop when you hit the end of K-12. It’s a life-long endeavor. And with the suggestions below, you don’t have to pick up a book to learn a thing or two.
Up, up and away
Remember how back in small-kid time you would tie a towel around your neck and jump off the sofa, the Lazy-Boy, the kitchen table? But try as you might, you couldn’t fly. You weren’t Superman. Some of us still dream of flying. If you know somebody who does, you might want to buy an introductory flying lesson from the folks at Flight School Hawaii ($59).
Flight School Hawaii, Inc., 134 Nakolo Place, Honolulu, 837-7767, [www.flightschoolhawaii.com]
Digging in the dirt
For the recycle-savvy person in the family, get him or her a bucket o’ worms. Let Mindy Jaffe teach your loved one how to compost in an economical way that won’t smell up the house. Don’t want to deal with the hassle of figuring out how to wrap the crawly critters? Don’t worry, Waikiki Worm’s got gift certificates. It’s $30 for a class, starter bin and manual.
Trying to find a way to put some green back into Christmas? On Dec. 2 and 9, the Green House can teach you how to give back to the Earth this holiday season. Learn how to make your own wrapping paper and bags to put a personal touch into your gift. Make a wildlife habitat for a friend’s yard, or dehydrate your own fruit in a solar oven to give away at Christmas time. Don’t have the time to take classes yourself? The Green House will be offering classes for kids and adults in the New Year on soap making, candle making, biodiesel, photovoltaic energy, water catchments and more. Classes range in price from $10-$25.
For more information, call 524-8427 or email [email: thehawaiigreenhouse].
In this day and age when Jenna Jameson has a bestseller and Ron Jeremy is a household name, it’s hard to imagine that I Dream of Jeannie was once controversial for Barbara Eden’s scandalous outfit, you know the one that almost showed her belly button. How quaint. Speaking of bellies and Mediterranean and Middle Eastern attire, belly dancing is becoming something of a fun way for women to both get in a little exercise and express their sexuality in a positive and empowering way. If you think there’s a special lady in your life who might be interested, then contact the folks at Ong King. The art studio/learning center currently offers belly dancing classes at $12 per class and six for $60.
Ong King Arts Center, 184 N. King St., Honolulu, 837-7767, [www.ongking.com]
A year at the museum
Whether it’s learning about the stars, local sports, volcanoes or native Hawaiian history, the Bishop Museum is a veritable treasure trove of information. A one-day visit just isn’t enough. Heck, a two-day visit isn’t enough. Fortunately, the museum offers a basic annual membership ($35), which gives you year-round access to the museum and the planetarium, plus a host of other benefits.
Bishop Museum, 848-4187, 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, [www.bishopmuseum.org]