Why don’t more indie bands come here? Feeling welcome might help. “Indie bands just aren’t hitting or selling in Hawaii,” says Philip Pendelton, a partner in BAMP, a concert organization and promotion company. “A band like Spoon can sell 3,000 tickets on the Mainland, but we would be lucky to sell 300 here. Not sure if it’s a lack of knowledge or just apathy.”
The good news: We have our own talented indie bands, who are constantly overlooked, underbooked and/or under-promoted. Many of the acts I wanted to get some show dates for still didn’t have anything locked in by press time.
We’re lucky to catch these kinds of bands Tuesdays at The Mercury Bar, or Thursdays at Ross Jackson’s musical Kaleidoscope. The Manifest is also an option to catch local indie acts, as well as the Top 4 shows that Nextdoor puts on. We’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, here’s our must-see list:
The first person to recognize Future Islands when I said they were coming to Honolulu was my friend who worked at American Apparel. Apparently there’s a store mix the mothership always plays that the staff can’t help but memorize, and Future Islands was in it. A darker, heavier vocal makes the light electro-pop band sound like something from the 90s, if grunge was infused with champagne. If you listen to bands such as Youth Lagoon or Active Child, this is the show to see. The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 30, Sun., 9/23, 7pm, all ages, $20, [jointherepublik.com]
Kill the Noise
This music project by talented, almost ADD-like LA producer, Jake Stanczak was heavily influenced by Trent Reznor and Diplo. The past few years, electronic music is sectoring off into more categories, with a new aggressive dance that’s rocking the crap out of live shows. Dillon Francis, Kill the Noise and Knife Party are starting to take over the world with their video game-sounding music just in time for me to get to the age where I’m observing more than participating. Steve Aoki and Felix Cartal are also on the bill for the Electronic Palms Music Festival–unmissable if you’re into electronic dance music of any kind (see Hotpicks).
Local favorite Pink Mist is taking September off to write new songs, but coming from these guys that only means more feel-good rock. Painted Highways front man and current singer/guitarist for Pink Mist, Mike Pooley, says their sound has been described as The Cure meets Dinosaur Jr., but all I can relate it to is its sway-worthy happiness. The Manifest, 34 N. Hotel St., Thu., 10/4, 21+, free, [soundcloud.com]
Just when you’re like oh, another death metal band, the piano and glass-like vocals float in and you’re like oh, this is some experimental sort of thing. Iwrestledabearonce is not messing around with their aggressively graaaaaaah screaming rock style but have definitely brought it to a new level with their metal-electro experimentation. Showroom Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd., Sat., 11/17, $15, [hawaiianbrians.com]