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Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (10.12.11)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

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 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Na Ka Pueo (Joe Keawe’s recording on the album Hawaii’s Falsetto Returns)

I love this song. And I love the amazing voice of Uncle Joe Keawe.  And I love this whole album.  Yup.  It’s a triple love.

The song is classic, upbeat Hawaiian tune that is one of the most-requested songs when I have the chance to strum/sing for hula dancers.  (And I LOVE it when they dance it with an ipu, a Hawaiian percussive instrument made from a gourd.)

It’s also a great song for leo kiʻekiʻe, Hawaiian falsetto, singing.  Rock on, Uncle Joe!  What an amazing voice had.

Interesting to note that he sings the lyrics as “Na ka Pueokahi” which means “Love from the Pueokahi” instead of “No ka Pueokahi” which means “Love for the Pueokahi.”  If you listen to a lot of Hawaiian music, you’ll hear both of these versions–it depends on the artist.  Interesting, right?

2. Pua Lilia (Nathan Aweau’s recording on the album E Apo Mai )

Nathan Aweau has one of the smoothest voices I’ve ever heard.

And when he presents the songs on this album (and some of his others, too!) he puts a very contemporary spin on some very traditional Hawaiian songs.  I’ve seen kūpuna, elders, roll their eyes when they hear his recordings.  And I can understand them–he takes a classic in a very new direction.

And most of the time, I might be tempted to agree with them.  Why “fix” something that isn’t broken, right?

But Nathan is a musician of the highest caliber.  He presents these classic songs in a new light.  He totally respects the original composition.  When I listen to him, I don’t hear anything that smacks of “arrogance.”  In fact, it’s like he’s paying homage to the songs’ original composers by bringing them into the contemporary spotlight.

The more I listen to it, the more I love it.  I love the fusion factor–all of the instruments (is that a marimba?!) and percussion he uses in this song.  I’m blown away.

New directions for classic/traditional paths.  Interesting to explore, for sure.

*Please click HERE to visit Nathan Aweau’s website.

3. Anahaki (Amy Hānaialiʻi’s recording on the album Generation Hawaiʻi)

Another upbeat, uptempo song that has been rocking my little corner of the world this week!

This song, written by Amy Hānaialiʻi (with the Hawaiian translation by Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole!) makes me smile.

I don’t want to reveal too much–buy the album and read the liner notes!–but the song details a love affair and references the famous ʻiwa bird that resides on Molokai.

It’s a contemporary song that feels like a classic hula written a long time ago.  Amy, as always, delivers.  Love it!

*Please click HERE to visit Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom’s website.

4. Waikaloa (Peter Ahia’s recording on the album Peter Sings)

I love this hula classic!  I have so many recordings of it.  And this week, it’s Peter Ahia’s version that has won me over.

I love the sweet quality in his voice.  I love his enthusiasm.  And I love his interpretation of this mele.  (And according to the album’s liner notes, Aunty Genoa Keawe loved his singing, too!)

It makes me smile when I hear it.  (And it makes me think of my good buddy, Ms. Marian, who loves this song.)

5. Pua Sadinia (Ray Kāne’s recording on the album Punahele)

I love kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) music.

And this song, handled so deftly in Uncle Raymond’s masterful hands, is a true treasure.  Wow…

NYC has a way of beating a person up at times–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  And when that happens, I turn to recordings like this.  A gentle salve for the wounds.  And it helps to recharge the battery, too.

Uncle Raymond Kāne’s recordings are to be listened to–and enjoyed–over and over, again.

*Please click HERE to read the album’s liner notes.

What are YOU listening to?  Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!

off

The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (10.13.10)

Wednesday, October 13, 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. Kīpū Kai (Bill Kaiwa’s recording on the album NāMele Paniolo: Songs of Hawaiian Cowboys)

I love this song. And I think I only have 2 recordings of it in my collection. This is one of my all-time favorites because it’s done by a man very familiar with the Kīpū Kai ranch, Mr. Bill Kaiwa.

There’s something that’s so very genuine in his delivery… simple with just an ʻukulele to accompany him. I can’t stop listening to it.

The lyrics, written by Mary Kawena Pukui, describe the beauty of the ranch, the proud peacocks that strut around the property (a veiled reference to the cowboys themselves, perhaps?) and the warm hospitality of Mr. John (Jack) Waterhouse, the owner of the ranch. And the melody, composed by Maddy Lam, is one of those that will stick with you long after the song has ended.

The Hawaiian mele (song) class has been learning it here in NYC. I’ve had lots of opportunities to strum it and sing it lately. And every time we sing it, I fall in love with the song more and more.

2. Niʻihau (Nā Palapalai’s recording on the album Nanea)

This song, as with all of Nā Palapalai’s songs, makes me feel like I’ve been instantly transported to the islands. (And by islands, I mean the Hawaiian islands, of course!) Done in their signature style with soaring falsetto and lush harmonies, the song surrounds me and makes me feel warm–even in the autumnal chill that we’re having here in NYC. I love ‘em. Plain and simple.

This piece, written by Peter Kai Davis and John Kameaaloha Almeida, describes the beauty of the island of Niʻihau. Because Niʻihau is essentially a private island, getting to visit it is a rare treat, indeed. Something I hope to be able to do someday. (sigh)

I love this song. I know you will, too.

3. (For You) I’d Chase A Rainbow (Kalapana’s recording on the album Kalapana II)

Ok… those of you who have been reading this blog know I have a soft spot in my heart for the sounds of the ’70s. I can’t get enough of ‘em! And THIS SONG (which opens with the sounds of saxophone!) is so awesome! It’s moody with great chord changes and brilliant moments of both bright and dark. Hard to understand what I’m talking about? Listen to the song! It’ll make sense! I promise!

I love the group Kalapana. Their music will always be in constant rotation in my world… Their sounds make me want to ride around in a van. What?! Ha!

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

**Crooner Update: I just re-checked my iTunes and I have 3 different recordings of Kīpū Kai. And all 3 of ‘em spell the title a little differently: Kīpū Kai, Kipu Kai and Kipukai. Gotta love it!

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Hawaiian Music at the Gym? (Part 2)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last month I posted about searching for the ULTIMATE PLAYLIST to listen to while I run on the treadmill at the gym.

I can’t stand the “cardio-pumping” mixes that have been produced specifically for the treadmill. They just weren’t what I was looking for.

Well…

I’ve been listening to tons of Hawaiian music while running and I’ve been LOVING it!

At first, I tried making my own mixes of tunes. And they were ok–but they weren’t great. It was like I was still stuck on trying to hit the ULTIMATE mix that would keep me going. What was the problem?

Finally, I asked myself “What are you looking for?”

I want to listen to a mix that might play on a Hawaiian radio station.

The songs don’t all have to be my favorites. They don’t even have to all be familiar! (Sometimes it’s even BETTER if I don’t know the song–it helps me learn it!)

So I built a playlist on iTunes using the “Genius” feature. I don’t know ANYTHING about computers or technology. But this was cool. I picked Gabby Pahinui’s song MOONLIGHT LADY and the computer picked 99 other songs from my collection that went with it.

The Verdict?

I listened to the mix today while I ran. I set the timer on the treadmill for the maximum amount of time (6o minutes at this gym) and pressed PLAY on the iPod.

One hour later, I was finished with a killer workout. And I was smiling from ear to ear. The mix was fantastic! It was like being able to stream Hawaiian 105 KINE on my iPod! (Maybe someday we’ll be able to do that. Until then, this is a good substitute!)

So I’m publishing it here for you with links to the albums!!

Here are the 16 songs that played over the course of the hour and the cool-down:

1. Moonlight Lady (Gabby Pahinui’s recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

2 Hanakeoki (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

3. Sun Lite, Moon Lite (Country Comfort’s recording on the album, We Are The Children)

4. Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu (Olomana’s recording on the album, Like A Seabird in the Wind)

5. Kāwika (The Sunday Manoa’s recording on the album, Guava Jam)

6. Waika (The Brothers Cazimero’s recording on the album, The Best of the Brothers Cazimero)

7. Wai Paheʻe (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi’s recording on the album, Eddie Kamae: Sons of Hawaiʻi)

8. All Hawaiʻi Stand Together (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album, All Hawaiʻi Stand Together)

9. Pua Maeʻole (Raiatea Helm’s recording ont he album, Sweet and Lovely)

10. Kona Daze (Kalapana’s recording on the album, Best of Kalapana Vol. 2 )

11. Lei Nani (Gabby Pahinui’s recording ont he album, The Panini Collection)

12. Seabreeze (Keola and Kapono Beamer’s recording on the album, Honolulu City Lights)

13. Hale Aliʻi O Waimaka (Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom & Willie K.’s recording on the album, Hawaiian Tradition)

14. Good Morning (Willie K.’s recording on the album, The Uncle In Me)

15. Kananaka (ʻAleʻa’s recording on the album, Take Me Home)

16. Jealous Guy (The Pahinui Brothers’ recording on the album, The Panini Collection)

So I think I’ll have some fun with this “Genius” playlist for a while. I’ve got 83 more songs to go before it repeats! Cool!

What do YOU listen to when you exercise?

**Crooner Note: PLEASE SUPPORT HAWAIIAN ARTISTS AND BUY HAWAIIAN MUSIC!! (Mahalo!)

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The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (9.1.10)

Wednesday, September 1, 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. Maka ʻĀlohilohi (Kawai Cockett’s recording on the album Hula! Hula! Hula!)

In researching this hapa-haole song, I read that it was written for the composer’s daughter. Maka ʻālohilohi is her name and it means “twinkling eyes.”

There’s something so special about a name song. What a treasured gift! And to think that it was composed by a father for his daughter… wow. I can only imagine!

And its simplicity makes it a perfect song that begs for a hula!

2. Kuʻu Hoaloha (Weldon Kekauoha’s recording on the album Ka Lehua ʻUla)

This song, composed by Victor Kala, was written to honor the home of Mrs. Helen Tam. It sounds like it was a wonderful home to visit! The lyrics sing of the great hospitality offered to guests as well as the beauty of the home and land, itself. Incredible.

There are a lot of great versions of this song that have been recorded, but Weldon’s is the one that I’m hooked on this week. His gentle, smooth and rich tones are fantastic. I’m instantly transported away from the concrete island of Manhattan when I listen to his voice.

3. Summer Lady (Cecilio & Kepono’s recording on the album Elua)

Ok. It’s September. The kids are heading back to school. Yellow school busses will be on the road soon. Summer Lady = I HAD pick this song!

This C & K classic is so cool with its ultra ’70s vibe and sound. It makes me feel like I’m driving along the coast looking at a clear blue sea. It embodies the sounds of summer–which will soon be a memory here in NYC once the leaves start to change.

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

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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. Kīkaha Mālie (Chris Yeaton’s recording on the album Kīkaha Mālie)

This is one of my favorite pieces that my good friend and gifted guitarist, Chris Yeaton, has recorded. A stunning guitar solo.

He is such a talented musician! A student of John Keawe and Keola Beamer, his music prowess never ceases to amaze me. This song, the title track from his 2003 album, is a killer! It sets the tone of the album and succeeds in painting pictures with sounds… like a seabird gliding along peacefully.

Today is Chris’ birthday. Please join me in wishing this excellent musician HAUʻOLI LĀ HĀNAU!

And please check out his page at Woodsong Acoustics Group.

**Crooner Update: Chris’ album IS available on Woodsong Acoustics Group website!

2. Wahine Uʻi (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders’ recording on the album, The Wandering Troubadours)

I love this song! And I can’t get enough of Andy Cummings’ version. Pure delight. I think his falsetto and lyrical voice are both fantastic. And the way that this song bounces along, well, it makes me grin. I can picture a dancer helping to illustrate the song’s lyrics about a woman’s beauty with her hands, body and face. Makes me want to be in Waikīkī right now.

In the research I did, I found discrepancies, of course! It’s credited to two different people: John Kameaaloha Almeida and Johnny Noble. Let’s face it–studying Hawaiian music is a lesson in learning to say “Okay…” as you hear different versions of each story. To this listener, it’s not as important WHO wrote it. I’m just glad SOMEONE did!

3. In A Little Hula Heaven (Darlene Ahuna’s recording on the album Bridge Between Generations)

This crooner classic, written for the 1937 film Waikiki Wedding, is such a gem! And Darlene Ahuna’s version of it is perfect–simple and bright and lively and light. You can’t ask for better than that.

I’m kind of “hooked” on this song. I’ve been singing it all over the place as I make my way around NYC. I wonder what the people on the street think as I’m walking around singing it. Ah… who cares?! It makes me smile!

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

off

The Crooner’s “TOP 3″ (8.18.10)

Wednesday, August 18, 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.  Maunaleo (Kealiʻi Reichel’s recording on the album Melelana)

Because today is my mother’s birthday, this song is on my mind. I think it is her FAVORITE Hawaiian song. Ever. When she and my dad visited Kauaʻi for the first time a few years ago, they listened to a mix that featured this song. It will be forever linked to those happy memories.

The song is one of his most beautiful. It’s pretty perfect in every way. The song’s structure is incredible. It’s haunting. The lyrics, written by Reichel and Puakea Nogelmeier, are amazing. (I won’t butcher them in a paraphrase here.) Buy the album. Kealiʻi Reichel graciously provides the lyrics, his translation and his thoughts that inspired the pieces. What a gift he’s given the listener!

And he dedicates it to his mother, Lei Reichel. And I dedicate the song to MY mom. Happy Birthday, Mom. Hauʻoli Lā Hānau!

2.  Kiss Me Love ( The Mākaha Sons of Niʻihau’s recording on the album Nā Mele Hoʻoheno Vol. 2)

This John Kameaaloha Almeida tune is a crooner classic and I love the way the Mākaha Sons of Niʻihau perform it! Their harmonies remind me of the iconic vocals in the tune, Mr. Sandman, where each voice takes a different note in the chord and they stack ‘em up like stairs. Delicious. The lyrics are sweet and evoke the era of the song’s composition.

It’s great to hear those young voices singing a classic Hawaiian tune. Ah… those were the days!

3.  Juliette (Kalapana’s recording on the album Kalapana II)

There’s nothing quite like a moody/jazzy/ono-licious Kalapana tune. Their sound captures the perfect 1970s vibe. And this song, which features a piano AND a jazz flute (so cool!) is no exception to that rule. I love it! It makes me think of hanging out in a nightclub in Waikīkī in the 70s. I’m sure it was an incredible scene.

Kalapana remains on the top of my MUST LISTEN TO list. They rock.

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

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