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Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii Five-0’

Aloha, gang!

Still hard at work on Project Natalie.  But I had to take a break and share a little holiday cheer with you.

As you may remember, we have a tradition in our little home: I purchase a new Hawaiian holiday music CD at the start of every Christmas season.

Not necessarily a new CD, but one that’s new to my ever-expanding collection of awesome Hawaiian music. This year, I didn’t labor over the decision of which CD to buy.

One of my favorite Hawaiian musicians, Kuana Torres Kahele (part of the group Nā Palapalai) had released his first Christmas album, HILO FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  

kuana torres kahele, hilo for the holidays, jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, hawaiian music, molokai, halawa valley,

Here’s a photo I took of the album’s cover. Note: My camera doesn’t really do it justice.

One word to describe it: AWESOME

One facial gesture to describe it: BEAMING SMILE 

Yup!  I can recommend it without any hesitation.

I’m… well… I’m kind of addicted to it.  In fact, it’s playing right now while I type this post.

It’s too hard to say which track is my favorite. Why?  Well, it changes.  Each listening brings something I hadn’t heard before… And a new favorite emerges.

Today, the favorite is his recording of the Christmas classic, Silver Bells.  Growing up along the East Coast of the continental United States, we had really “traditional” Christmases (at least, “traditional” in the Hollywood movie/Norman Rockwell sense)–most of ‘em complete with snow on the ground!  And this song makes a lot of sense if this imagery is familiar to you.  Knowing what the holiday season looks like/smells like/feels like living in NYC, it’s really familiar.  (I recently read the story about how this song came to be written by it’s composers Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.  Wanna read it, too?  Check out the  book SONGWRITERS ON SONGWRITING.  Fascinating!)  It’s been a favorite song of mine for as long as I can remember.

Hearing Kuana sing it–even though there’s nothing “tropical” or Hawaiian, per se, about his delivery–the song still imparts a Hawaiian vibe.  I can’t explain it.  It no longer feels like a New York Christmas carol.  It’s more universal.

(And yes… I’ll admit it: I got a little choked up when I listened to it earlier this morning.)

Another favorite: ʻEKOLU MEA NUI/HALELŪ.   The first song in this medley is near and dear to my heart.  It’s one of Pops’ favorites.  We sing it all the time in Hālawa Valley.  He says the message is really important to living a balanced life.  And the addition of HALELŪ (penned by Kahele, himself, I think!) is awesome.  A perfect compliment to a Hawaiian favorite.

And another favorite: HALELUIA.  It’s the Leonard Cohen classic melody (Hallelujah) that you know and love–with new lyrics composed by Kuana.  I know… I know… I get goosebumps, too.  Wow!!!

(See?  I told you that I can’t pick a favorite track!  Each one is special in its own way.)

By the way, I heard thru the grapevine that the song HERE COMES SANTA IN A RED CANOE will be heard in an upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0!

*Super Bonus: The CD comes with fantastic liner notes–including the songs’ lyrics.  I don’t know about you, but I love good liner notes.  And I really appreciate having the lyrics–especially when it’s a recording that I’m not familiar with.  So helpful!

So that’s the newest Hawaiian holiday music CD in the collection. (Although I can pretty much guarantee there will be others added this year, too… There are so many good albums to choose from!)

What are YOU listening to this holiday season?  Is there a musical tradition that YOU have with your family?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you!

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Hawaii Five-0 & My Grandmother

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sounds like a wild combination, right?

But Hawaii Five-0 and my grandmother go together beautifully. At least in my mind.

You see…

The very first time I remember seeing the show, it was at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid.

I can remember hearing the awesome theme song and being hooked instantly–watching reruns on their television. The only color I remember is BLUE. (Was it because of the colors or Hawaiʻi or the color mix on their television set?)

I don’t remember understanding the plot. In truth, I don’t really remember much about it.

However…

When the classic show was released on DVD, I started at the very beginning.

Starting with Season 1 I was hooked immediately–although THIS time I was hooked on the show and not just the theme song and the color blue. (Come to think of it, the show really DOES feature the color blue a lot. Especially Season 1. Check it out!)Yes, the acting is dated. Yes, the plots are kind of silly. But it’s kitschy and fun (and a fantastic visual time capsule of Oʻahu during those years!) and it makes for a great evening of classic television viewing! Throw in a pizza and some friends and you’ve got the makings of party.

So…

In my mind, the television show and my grandmother are inextricably linked.

The other day, I was talking with my grandmother on the phone. And she wanted to know what I thought of this new version of the show.

SHOCKING UPDATE: I haven’t seen it yet!

I know… I’m embarrassed. It’s terrible for a Hawaiʻi-phile like me to not have seen a new network show about it. Especially because I loved the original series–at least when I watched it again on DVD.

I think my grandmother was both shocked and horrified that I hadn’t seen it. She thought I would have not only VIEWED it, but also ANALYZED it.

But it gave us an opportunity to do some talking.

And you know, my grandmother is one smart lady.

Her thoughts: even if the show is not a commercial success, it will be a good thing. It will bring Hawaiʻi to the forefront of pop culture, again. Just like the original television series did. It will make people AWARE of it–and that has the potential of being a great thing. Because when people are aware of something, it’s harder to ignore it.

I mentioned that I had my doubts the show could really convey what Hawaiʻi is all about–that it was still a cop show that was FILMED in Hawaiʻi, but not really about Hawaiʻi or her people.

My grandmother thinks that it’s still GOOD for the islands. It will raise awareness.

So smart, right? Go, Grandma! (I love having a hip tūtū!)

So…

I’ve got a few episodes recorded on my DVR and ready to go. I heard they even mentioned Molokai in a recent episode! How cool is that?!

I’m curious to hear what YOU all think about this new show. Do you like it? Do you hate it? What kind of effect do you think it will have on the islands–positive or negative?

**Fun Crooner Factoid: I have had the Hawaii Five-0 theme song as my ringtone on my phone for years. I totally LOVE it. Iconic.

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