Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2003

Cadillac's 'Punk Show!' deserves a crowd

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Slam dancers take the floor at a Pink Cadillac "Punk Show!" Below, Nicholas Martin of Kalihi praises local punk band The Quintessentials, whose lead guitarist/vocalist Les Hernandez organizes the weekly punk venue. Finding a range of punk bands for each show is a continuing challenge, Hernandez says.

Photos by Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Cavan Nohara of The Tanner Boyle Quartet tunes up for the band's set.
A larger turnout for "Punk Show!" bands to really vibe off of wouldn't have been a bad thing. But I still left Pink Cadillac's weekly three-chord showcase more than satisfied with the energetic trio of young, stripped-down and fully-charged local punk bands enjoying some stage time.

"We want to thank everyone here," said the lead guitarist for Geronimo, the first band up, before its set, oozing sarcasm. "All three of you."

To its credit, the three-member band didn't let the Caddy's smallish numbers destroy its mojo. Geronimo bit hard into an amped-up, guitar-driven instrumental opener. A style the guitarist described as "punkabilly," the sound reminded me of an up-with-caffeine version 2.0 of country-folkish '80s rockers The Rave-Ups. Whatever it was, the song was a sweet listen.

Geronimo tore through the rest of its six-song set of originals and covers like buffet regulars at Todai down the street. The best of these was an excitable original called "Something To Prove," and a couple of Bouncing Souls covers that included the Ramones-reminiscent "True Believer."

The Caddy's punk shows are organized by Les Hernandez, who also handles promotion for the club. Hernandez knows a thing or two about the music — he's the lead guitarist and vocalist for The Quintessentials, an excellent local punk band in its own right. But what Hernandez (and event founder Jason Miller) really deserves props for is maintaining a regular venue where punk bands of all varieties (hardcore, pop, surf, garage, etc.) can play live.

It hasn't been easy.

Hernandez said his biggest challenge has been finding enough bands to ensure a continuously changing line-up each week. A band scheduled for the night I visited simply didn't show. And as with other regular or less-than-regular live indie events around town, the size of the crowd that shows up depends largely on the bands' fan base or how many friends each was able to tell. Hernandez said the turnout on this night was much lower than usual.

Second band up next2nothing played an all-originals set of exuberant speed punk that set off a party of eager-to-beat-each-other slam dancers. A trio of solid punk players, the rambunctious band was as motivated on its cramped stage confines as the slammers below. Songs such as "Emu," "Idiot" and "Why Do I Hate White People?" were full of alternately irreverent and aggressive rage.

I was about to leave when the four-member Tweet's admirably snide lead vocalist — who already had cracked wise about the dwindled crowd when the band took the stage — announced deadpan, "This is a song called 'El Pollo Negro.'" Pause. "That means 'The Black Rooster.'"

I fished $5 from my wallet for another Guinness and stuck around.

Got a night spot or club event we should check out? Reach Derek Paiva at dpaiva@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8005.

• • •

What: "Punk Show!"

Where: Pink Cadillac, 478 'Ena Road, 272-1858.

When: 6 p.m.-9:15 p.m. Saturdays (sometimes Fridays).

Cover: $5.

Younger than 21 OK? Yes.

Age of crowd: Teens-20s.

Dress code: None.

Attire we saw: Mostly casual, mostly black. On men: print and solid T-shirts, solid black dress shirts, sports jerseys, studded jackets, jeans, cargo shorts, sneaks. On women: print and solid T-shirts, polos, pullovers, jeans, hooded jackets.

Our arrival/departure: 7 p.m./9:30 p.m.

What we drank: Absolut cranberry ($4.25); Guinness Extra Stout ($5).

Peak crowd while there: 30.

Queue?: No.

Dancing?: Yes.

Wanna play?: Call Les Hernandez at 272-1858.

• • •

Night notes ...

Expect a sweet turnout for Saturday's Feng Shui Lounge at the Hyatt Waikiki's Ciao Mein restaurant. Elegant setting, three rooms of varied grooves (funk, deep house, old school, '80s, hip-hop, R&B, soul), and complimentary apps until 11:30 p.m. Opens at 9:30 p.m.; $10 cover until 10:30 p.m., $15 thereafter. 21 and older.

It's always interesting when Komo Low and W Honolulu spice up their Friday Wonderlounge parties with out-of-town talent. This month's guests are Naked Music recording artists Miguel Migs and Lisa Shaw. Tonight at Diamond Head Grill. $20; doors open at 9 p.m. 21 and older.

Rebel Girl Underground's monthly mix of DJs, MCs, dance and art returns to Chuck's Cellar Saturday. Spinning house, hip-hop, funk and breaks will be Zita, Marloca and Primitive; Katana and Rebel Girl take the mike. Photographer Kim Kinard and slide artist Elea provide visual food for the mind. 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; $5. At the Outrigger East Hotel, 150 Ka'iulani Ave. 21 and older.