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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (6.23.10)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Iā ʻOe E Ka Lā E ʻĀlohi Nei (Holunape’s recording on the album He ʻOlu)

A brilliant song that describes the voyages of King David Kalākaua and his voyages. Holunape’s recording opens with sounds that call to mind the opening of so many of Aunty Genoa’s hula recordings… I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking: This as a GOOD SIGN!

And, as usual, the guys in Holunape never fail to delight with their amazing delivery. The arrangement, done in a perfect hula tempo, includes verses sung in leo kiʻekiʻe–Hawaiian falsetto–and that makes it a standout.

Every song I’ve ever heard Holunape do is fantastic. I feel lucky to have both of their albums–they’re always a favorite!

2. Lei Mānoa (Hapa’s recording on the album Māui)

Do you guys have a song that makes you get teary-eyed–every time you hear it?? Well, this song has that effect me. I can’t get enough of it. (Which means I look like a cry baby all the time! Ha!)

Written by Barry Flanagan and sung by Nathan Aweau, this song showcases the team’s musical talents beautifully. The melody is haunting. And Nathan’s voice… AUĒ!

I DARE YOU to listen to it without getting choked up. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics–written in both Hawaiian and Tahitian–you’ll get it. I promise. Yup. It’s THAT good.

3. No Tūtū (Kawai Cockett’s recording on the album Hula! Hula! Hula!)

This song, written by Aunty Alice K. Namakelua, is a gem. I’ve read that she wrote it for young children–a song about stringing a lei for one’s grandmother. But… hearing a gentleman’s voice sing of the love of his grandmother…it’s really, really great.

Tender. Simple. Honest. Perfect.

And it makes me want to string a lei for MY grandmother.

What have YOU been listening to this week? Drop me a line and let me know!

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