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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 23, 2007

From DeLima, more timely and sparkling comedy

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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"Hawaii, I Love It" by Frank DeLima; Pocholinga Productions

  • Genre: Comedy; spoken and sung.

  • Distinguishing notes: Comedian Frank DeLima long has been the mirror and sort of vox populi when it comes to community issues, trends and controversy; he takes news elements and converts them into passionate parodies favored by radio and his laugh-hungry fans. And he's at it again.

    This compilation of new tracks and oldies is a case in point. Days after last year's earthquakes, DeLima and writer Patrick Downes created a parody of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day," a version that aired on radio. Alas, it's not on this disc because approval to record the version with local lingo, sung to Powter's melody, was declined by the publishers. Not to be defeated, DeLima and Downes reworked the tune, included here, with a melody and structure that echo "Bad Day" under the title "The Great Hawaiian Earthquake," on which he laments that, after the quake, his bad day was replete with his flashlight batteries not working, he had Vienna sausages but couldn't cook rice and there was no radio transmission save civil-defense bulletins.

    Funnier, and more timely, is "Pawdagee Isle," rendered to the tune of the theme from TV's "Gilligan's Island," on which the Superferry dilemma is recounted without mentioning the ship by name, complete with references to invasive species, judges, EIS, the governor, the whales and the weeks of frustration and fury. He unapologetically declares, "this boat was shut down by environmentalists."

    Otherwise, the title tune sings the joys of Island living, including L&L's combination plate with two scoops rice, Genki sushi, rubbah slippahs, songs by Bruddah Iz, Spam from Pali Longs and a gift certificate from Alan Wong's stuff that make Hawai'i no ka 'oi. ...

    Other sung revivals range from "Covers and Pens" (Audy Kimura's "Lovers and Friends") to "Flying" (the Peter Moon Band hit that surveys airport security of shoe removals, liquids and gels in plastic bags). Plus comedic bits with DeLima evergreens like Cardinal Vermicelli and Aunty Mary Tunta.

  • Our take: DeLima hits the funny bone once again.

    Sample song: "Hawaii, I love it" by Frank Delima

    "Old Style IV" by Lono; Lonomusic.com

  • Genre: Traditional Hawaiian; vocals with ki ho'alu.

  • Distinguishing notes: Lono is the jack-of-all-trades here singer, composer, instrumentalist, arranger, who draws from the past to create his simple, rustic Hawaiian songs in Hawaiian and English. "Hanohano Wale No" typifies his music; the tune, like the spirit of the CD, is about Moloka'i, the 'aina, the people. Track after track, themes, things and people of the Friendly Isle are in focus the paniolo on "Imua Paniolo Moloka'i," the reflective mana'o on "Keep Moloka'i Moloka'i," the culture on "Na Lima Kela," the country ease of "Pule O'o, the party flavor of "Moloka'i Alanui."

    One charming diversion: the blues-infused "Moloka'i T.M.H.," with a nod to formats and moods of yesteryear. One minor disappointment: Lono fails to provide the listener with lyrics.

  • Our take: Lono is pono he chronicles topics and concepts Moloka'i residents keep near and dear to their hearts.

    Sample song: "Hanohano wale no" by Lono

    "Earth Patriot" by Kumanu; Perry-scope

  • Genre: World fusion music.

  • Distinguishing notes: Kumanu is a multicultural group composed of performers of Native Hawaiian, Native American, African-American, Asian and European descent a mini United Nations, if you will, eager to solve some of our global problems. The participants include locally based troupers such as Damon Williams, Rupert Tripp Jr., Gregg Perry, Howard Shapiro, James McWhinney and others, plus guest artists Kenny Loggins, Faith Rivera, Keoki Kahumoku, Mikuak Rai and Leilehua Yuen.

    Kumanu upholds cultural traditions derived from kupuna and simple elements such as respect, compassion, peace, hope, freedom and tolerance. Williams' resourceful voice gives "Malama I Ka 'Aina" its clout, sounding like an anthem from "Hair" with Hawaiian flair; Tripp's command gives "Forever Hawai'i" its power, and Rivera's precision defines a mission on "Freedom and Peace."

    Kenny Loggins' "Conviction of the Heart," an expansive 6:51 version, brings relevance and definition to Kumanu's vision and provides the essence of heart that "Earth Patriot" is trying to share.

  • Our take: This is just the start of Earth Patriot's plans to help right global wrongs; besides the CD, a film and animated series are planned.

    Sample song: "Native Chant" by Earth Patriot

    Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.