VIDEO: Lumerians’ “Life Without Skin”

Lumerians – Life without Skin from m m on Vimeo.

Can you imagine a “Life Without Skin”? Suntan lotion companies would go out of business, but skin cancer would no longer exist. Unfortunately, that might lead to human meat cancer, and that wouldn’t be a good thing. Fortunately, Lumerians have wondered about what it would be like to live a life without skin, and they decided to make a song about it, which can now be felt even more with this handy music video. The song is… well, let’s consider it a preview of their forthcoming album, The High Frontier (Partisan), due out on August 27th. They are sure to make Oakland proud with this one.

Pre-orders for The High Frontier are available below through Amazon.

FROM THE BOX: Summer Jam 82 flyer

As an overeager music fan who was happy to finally be in the double digits in terms of age, there were big concert events that I had wanted to see. I had become aware of Woodstock when it was shown on HBO during the film’s 10th anniversary in 1979, so I knew that concerts with more than one or two bands were considered an “event”. My parents and relatives always had live albums in their collections, so anytime an event was about to happen, I wanted to go. Keep in mind I was 9, 10, and 11 years old, and while my parents were music fans, they weren’t going to let me go alone and due to financial priorities, they weren’t going to buy tickets for themselves and my younger sister. My uncles and aunties had lives too, and really, it wasn’t their “responsibility” to take their nephew to a rock show.

Summer Jam 82 seemed like a very big event for a few reasons. When I was in my single digits, I would listen to hit music on AM radio, back when AM radio did that on a regular basis. Stations like KKUA, KIKI, KCCN, and to some degree K59 in Honolulu were a major source of my audio entertainment, along with records. I don’t remember the first time I abandoned AM for FM radio, but I know that once I heard the sound quality of FM, there was no turning back. Plus, I could hear songs longer than 5 minutes, played by DJ’s who sounded as stoned as some of my uncles and aunties. As a kid who wanted to be a radio DJ, this was like home away from home.

  • In 1982, MTV was a brand new cable network and Joan Jett was one of the hot, young artists with “I Love Rock’N’Roll” and “Bad Reputation” getting a significant amount of airtime. The Runaways were new to me and probably to most mainstream music fans in Hawai’i, but I would guess they were played on the University of Hawai’i radio station, KTUH. Nonetheless, Summer Jam 82 was the time to see the hot Joan Jett.
  • The Charlie Daniels Band had been making music for about ten years before they had a massive pop hit with “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, and while a long like that seems fairly normal today, to rock audiences this was very different. It was country, it rocked hard, and the Satanic fiddle solo was the funky part of the song. As someone who used to hate anything and everything that was country, hearing funky country was odd, almost as if I was hearing Loggins & Messina. Because of this, I would keep a distant eye and ear on Daniels until I was able to buy records on my own, with my own money, and discovered their truth.
  • When Foreigner headlined this festival, it had been a year since their 4th album, 4 was released, and songs like “Juke Box Hero”, “Urgent”, “Waiting For A Girl Like You”, and “Break It Up” were played religiously. (At my elementary school, we would have occasional dances in the cafeteria, and in the 6th grade, I clearly remember dancing to “Urgent” in a line not unlike Soul Train. I liked a girl back then named Mary Jean Smith and I wanted to dance with her down the line, but it was not happening.) By the time Foreigner arrived, they were the season’s kings of rock’n’roll, and very few albums could beat its power. It would be three months before Michael Jackson released Thriller, which wiped Foreigner off the radio for awhile.

    Also at the show were a group called the Surf Punks, who were considered raw and dirty because of their look and the fact that they were punk. It was Honolulu, a good amount of people went to the beach, surfed, and partied on a regular basis, this was the music of the times. It didn’t matter that one of the guys in the band was the brother of Daryl Dragon, the Captain of Captain & Tennille, and I don’t think too many people knew or made that connection anyway. Oddly enough, one thing I remember always hearing on the radio was about people entering to become in the “Air Band Finals” sponsored by 98 Rock. If you loved music and loved to rock, you’d air guitar, that’s what young kids, men and women did. Along with the groups arriving, you could be a star for a few minutes and win a few dollars. With luck, you might be able to make an apperance on a TV show that aired in Honolulu back then called The Hawaiian Moving Company, but I don’t remember if the winners did.

    Unfortunately I did not go to this show. Look at the ticket price: $16 in advance, $17.50 day of show. I was a month away from making my debut as a 7th grade intermediate school student, and my parent’s priorities was school clothes, not a damn concert ticket. I do remember listening to 98 Rock that Sunday, for while the show was not broadcast over the air, they would have scene reports throughout the afternoon so listeners could hear… the crowd. Sometimes an artist might come in to the booth and be interviewed, but I honestly don’t remember if that happened. Nonetheless, it meant rock stars were in Hawai’i at Aloha Stadium, and it felt cool to know that rock stars were in my backyard.

    I never went to any of the Summer Jam’s, and I only went to one concert at the Aloha Stadium: The Police in February 1984. Still, to be able to carry this flyer around and think “yes, one day I’ll go to a big concert” was anticipation of the highest order. I’d have to move across the ocean to the Pacific Northwest in order to go to bigger concerts on my own, and eventually with my own money, but this flyer represents a bit of my concert Jones.

  • SOME STUFFS: KTUH 40th Anniversary documentary in the works

    When I was a kid, my ambition was to be a radio DJ. People like Wiki Moku, Krash Kealoha, Honolulu Skylark and Kamasami Kong were the people looked forward to listening to. I was a child who loved music and loved to play records, and to be able to share that love of music and records to an island-wide audience? That’s all I ever wanted.
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    I was in an enrichment class called E’onipa’a (loosely translates as “one step forward”) and my teacher, Ms. Marilyn Kobata, actually brought me and a classmate to a radio instruction class around where Bob’s Big Boy was, near Moanalua Gardens. It seemed like a huge room with turntables, cassette decks, and a reel-to-reel music. I knew then that that is how I wanted to serve the community.

    When I lived in Hawai’i, I wanted to be a DJ on KKUA and KIKI, and maybe even KCCN. When I discovered the greatness of FM radio, then I had to be on 93FMQ or the almighty 98Rock. Then I found KTUH. At the time they were the only station that played music I had never heard of, including loads of new wave that MTV were playing but the mainstream stations weren’t. It was “college rock”, and why play Siouxsie & The Banshees when you can have it big with “99 Luftballoons”? KTUH’s transmission could not be heard everywhere, so when my parents drove to Manoa (where the University of Hawai’i is located) or in parts of Kaimuki, if it wasn’t too windy, I could catch glimpses of this station.

    Unfortunately I moved from Honolulu in 1984 after my dad passed away, but I was able to fulfill my radio dreams when I became a DJ, and later music director of KTCV 88.1 FM in the Tri-Cities in Washington State. This was part of the Radio/Television Production class in Kennewick, Washington, and I became a DJ for a station that only played hard rock and heavy metal. However, I was one of the few to have a specialty show called The Classic Cafe, where I played classic and trippy rock from the late 60’s and early 70’s. I also hosted a show called Digital Destruction, where I played full CD’s uninterrupted.

    But when I came back to Hawai’i to fill up on the reserves (a/k/a vacation), I would always go to my favorite stations and eventually turn on KTUH. Sometimes it would be some cool world music, other times it might have been a gay pride megamix or a few Hawaiian obscurities but you could guarantee on not hearing “the same old”. Over the years the station would become “Hawai’i’s only alternative”, especially as radio stations became increasingly generic. For a brief moment in the 1990’s, there was an incredible station called Radio Free Hawai’i, and it played anything and everything, at any time. No need for a specialty show, if you wanted to hear Metallica right next to Jay Larrin mixed with Grateful Dead followed by Charles Mingus, it was there. For me, this is what I always wanted to bring to the radio, a “chop suey” blend of anything and everything. If it sounded good, put it in the mix. It was very much in the spirit of KTUH, but you could hear it outside of Manoa and Kaimuki, so that station was on all the time. The station would go under by the end of the 1990’s, but it was an incredible experience to hear. My own Book’s Music podcast is very much in honor of the “anything goes” concept that Radio Free Hawai’i had.

    A former friend of mine was able to make a dream come true for me in October of 2000, when she brought me on as a special guest on her radio show on KTUH. I normally am not nervous when I do radio shows, but this was a “home show”. Even though most (if not all) of the people listening that night had no idea who I was, it was still me saying “I’m home, now I can play some music for you”, and for almost three hours (I had a hard time finding the station), I did. I entered a room that was a part of Hawaiian radio history, and it was an incredible honor to do that, since it was a childhood dream fulfilled. Had I gone to the University of Hawai’i, I would have become a part of the KTUH ohana.

    Now, everyone in Hawai’i and around the world will be able to see a documentary that highlights the lows but many high’s in KTUH’s 40 year history with a documentary being put together by Trav15, host of the KTUH show Re-Percussions and the station’s gurrent general manager. No word on when it will be complete or if it will be released in some form, but as soon as I know, I’ll let you know.

    Mahalo nui to Lauren @ Asita Recordings for the tip.


    SOME STUFFS: Ellay Khule performs in Honolulu this Thursday night

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    If you are in Honolulu this week, or about to head there, you’ll want to go to this concert at The Loft (115 N. Hotel St. #2). It brings together Ellay Khule along with NoCanDo, Joe Dub, and DJ Jus Jones. Anticon‘s own Jel is scheduled to appear as well, so head to the show and celebrate the last weekend of May 2009 in style.

    The show is 21 and over, $10 at the door. For more information, head to Lightsleepers.

    Unfamiliar with Ellay Khule? Hui:

    SOME STUFFS: Creed Chameleon opening for Atmosphere in Honolulu on 11/22/08

    To all of my kama’aina and any malihini who will be on O’ahu in a few weeks, make sure to head to the Atmosphere show on November 22nd at the Pipeline Cafe (805 Pohukaina). It is an all-ages show, so bring your kids and cousins for this.

    I wish I could go, but the fact that someone made a promo for the concert was funny, partly because it’s two haole guys talking pidgin English about Atmosphere. Very funny. Hui, we go eat.