Sunday, June 26, 2011

Footloose Original Soundtrack

Ok when I was younger, like in seventh or eighth grade, I really liked the movie Footloose. It was being rerun quite often on HBO and I caught it once and just really enjoyed it. I would watch it whenever I would stumble across it on the TV. I think I connected with the outcast feeling that Kevin Bacon's character felt, I also really liked the idea of dance being his only release or passion.

I may get crap for saying this, but I think the 1980s were a cool period in time. So I liked the music in the film, with catchy 80s pop like "Holding Out for a Hero," "Let's Hear it for the Boy," "Almost Paradise" and the title track (another of Kenny Loggins' hit 80s theme songs) it makes me feel good and a part of me wants to dance when I hear this album.
I also enjoyed the movie more when I discovered Dean Pitchford, who is from my hometown of Honolulu, wrote the screenplay and composed all the music. Kind of inspirational for me, if this guy can do it so can feeling that I needed back in middle school. I can be a writer as well. Overall this is a a nice time capsule to the 1980s and it is definitely dated, but it also makes the listener feel good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fleetwood Mac - "Rumours"

Fleetwood Mac's most recognizable and best album period, also their biggest seller. Their previous work and their following albums would be successful but there is something transcendent about "Rumours." It is the Fleetwood Mac album that people who don't care for Fleetwood Mac own; it is the Fleetwood Mac album that critics praise even though they look down upon the group's pop leanings and their massive success.

The history behind the album has passed into the realm of legend. The five members were breaking up their romantic relationships (with each other) and having affairs and to paraphrase from great turmoil comes great art.

All the songs on this album are winners: from the acoustic guitars of "Second Hand News" to Stevie Nicks' characteristically flowing "Dreams" to the electric guitar driven "Go Your Own Way." The album is unabashedly pop oriented and that is fine it is pleasing to the ears, but it is also emotionally telling. All the songs grew out of the groups' personal problems, thus the songs are very relatable to the average person. Which could partially explain some of the massive success surrounding the album.

There has been so much said about this album that I don't really have to say anymore. I received it as a birthday present one year and I listen to it every so often. Basically if you are not familiar with this album (or any of its songs) you probably are not interested in music. Thats the bottom line.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mackey Feary - "Back to Back"

Mackey Feary was a member of Kalapana and thus was one of Hawaii's most popular musicians of the 1970s. Feary and Malani Bilyeu were the main songwriters for the group creating a Lennon/McCartney feel. Feary was more introspective and experimental while Bilyeu was more pop and melody oriented. Together they wrote some excellent music. Feary was more intriguing because he was quiet and aside from music he seemed like a shy individual. He also was the youngest of the band just turning 18 when the group made it big. Feary left Kalapana for a solo career after the release of the band's successful second album. he later returned in 1980s.

Feary released a number of solo albums which are hard to come by now (except as Japanese imports) and thus have become like collectors items. "Back to Back" is really a compilation released in 1995 and picking tracks from Feary's 80s albums "Touch Sensitive" and "Nite Life." The tracks have been remixed they are very dated, products of the 80s and early 90s Hawaiian music scene. Some of Feary's lyrics are good but this music pales in comparison to his work with Kalapana. Overall works as driving music.

Feary's tale is a sad one as he battled with drug addiction for most of his life and found himself in and out of rehabilitation and brief stays in prisons. I feel the drugs took away his musical muse and hurt his singing voice. He eventually committed suicide in 1999 at the young age of 44 after being sentenced to a rather long prison term due to drug problems.

Hawaii lost one of its great voices at least we will always have the music.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Frank Delima - "Babooze!"

Released in 1995 during his heyday this is another of Delima's musical parody albums. As with many of his other recordings these are not so much a series of jokes or stand up, but he instead takes familiar songs and writes new humorous lyrics to them. For example "Hawaii Sleeps Tonight" is a fun version of "the Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Delima made a name for himself as one of Hawaii's most popular comedians mixing a brand of "ethnic" humor with a number of zany characters and parody songs. Some of his most famous characters are Tita Turner, the Blalah, Abdullah Fatai and the Babooze. Some of his more popular songs are "Babooze," "Lucille" and "Black Dogs Roasting on an Open Fire." One of his most popular albums is "Don't Sneeze When You Eat Saimin." (very good advice)
During the early 1990s he started his yearly visits to nearly every Hawaii public elementary school entertaining children and speaking to them about the importance of reading and school in general. Around 1995 he also did several successful stage runs in Diamond Head Theater's Hawaii-ized version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, playing a funny Scrooge.

Delima's popularity diminished in the late 90's as did his visibility. He has continued his yearly visits to the schools and he does still release parody songs, usually in response to some current event. Most recently he responded to all the idiotic people concerned with Obama's birthplace by changing the lyrics to "Born in the USA" to reflect our President was "Born in Hawaii Nei." He has also written parody songs about the Furlough Friday situation, football coach June Jones leaving right after taking Hawaii to its first BCS bowl game and the false Tsunami warning earlier this year.

Delima is a very talented comedian and ranks among Hawaii's funniest people. His humor is very specific to Hawaii and may not appeal to those who have never lived in the Aloha State but for those of us who are blessed to live in this Island Chain he is a comedy treasure.