Do It! Dirty Vegas, ‘Taste of Kalihi,’ more

Nov. 9, 2012 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
--Courtesy photo

--Courtesy photo

Dirty Vegas, known for its acclaimed electronica style, stops by The Republik

Dirty Vegas is best known for its tune “Days Gone By,” which won a Grammy Award for best dance recording in 2002. It had a good self-made marketing campaign for the award: The accompanying video showed a man popping and locking, doing the robot and break-dancing on the street, while onlookers told a story about dancing for the sake of lost love.

Another version of the video, in which band members Ben Harris and Paul Harris (no relation) and Steve Smith watch from a Mitsubishi Eclipse, eventually became the basis for a television ad for the car, with the moody cruising scenes matching a reviewer’s comment that the group’s “beats are up-tempo, but the atmosphere is nocturnal.”

The British band, which performs in the electronica, house and downbeat styles, first formed in 2001, disbanded in 2005, then regrouped in 2008, producing a live album in 2009 and its third studio album, “Electric Love,” which reached No. 13 on Billboard’s electronic music charts. Dirty Vegas has also made inroads into the film and TV world, producing the soundtrack for the 2005 film “Goal!” and the theme song for the Fox TV series “Standoff.” The group appears Saturday at The Republik.

Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $22.50-$27.50
Info: or 855-235-2867

Master mixer revels in bold, thumping tunes
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--Courtesy photo

Aaron Holstein, aka VibeSquaD, brings his bass-heavy DJ post-dubstep artistry to The Republik tonight.

VibeSquaD, a native of Colorado, has a long and varied career in the modern beat scene, as a member of Future Jazz Project, Zilla and Sporque.

As a teen in Chicago, he hooked stereo systems together to get his start in scratching and mixing, picking up the city’s sound. He got into new wave and goth, then the psychedelic sound of classic rock bands, and studied jazz guitar for a few years with saxophonist/composer Yusef Lateef. After touring with the Chicago band Boogie Shoes in the ’90s, he took a break, then got back into music again in 2001 with the Future Jazz Project, a Denver-based hip-hop and soul band.

He got into sampling and composes mostly on the computer these days. With the technology and all that experience working for him, he’s prolifically turning out original sounds. Last year he was featured at electronic, dance and music festivals, including Sonic Bloom, Electric Forest and Wakarusa. In the spring he completed a two-album project, “Orphan Alien,” which combines elements of soul, funk, jazz and bass-heavy beat.

Just a couple of weeks ago, he released a four-track album titled “Bionic Hijinks,” available for download on his website, He’s so confident you’ll like it that he’s letting you name your price.

Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. today
Cost: $20
Info: or 855-235-2867

Taste of Kalihi invites folks to dance and dine
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Get ready to grind — and practice your moves for the Electric Slide — because the sixth annual Taste of Kalihi goes down on Saturday.

The festival features “the largest Electric Slide Dance in Hawaii,” and Eddie Agas, chairman of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce, a co-presenter of the festival, says it’s always a good draw.

“It’s the music and the tempo, and it’s been popular before,” Agas said. “The tradition now is there. It’s always one of the signature dances.”

If you don’t know the dance, someone there will be able to teach it to you; Agas estimated that more than 1,000 people have participated. (If you want to come prepared, take your pick of how-to videos by searching “Electric Slide” on

Taste of Kalihi will feature a wide variety of ethnic foods, of course, from Hawaiian to Vietnamese to Thai, along with music and information about the community.

“There’s a lot of variety of entertainment from the different ethnic groups, mostly from Kalihi and around that area,” Agas said. “It will be just like a big block party. There will be a lot of different booths and nonprofit programs.”

Where: Colburn Street, on the corner of Dillingham Boulevard and McNeil Street in the Dillingham Shopping Plaza
When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: free
Info: or 783-3327

Steven Mark

Annual festival celebrates international love of hula
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--Courtesy photo

The World Invitational Hula Festival takes place today and tomorrow at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

Now in its 21st year, the festival, a nonprofit event, has brought halau from places as diverse as Europe, Mexico, North Africa, Iran and Egypt to Honolulu to celebrate hula and Hawaiian culture.

This year’s festival honors halau from Japan, where the popularity of hula has only grown since the country’s devastating March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, according to executive director Paulie Keakealani Jennings.

Last year the festival struggled from disruptions and a last-minute change of venue — from the Waikiki Shell to the Blaisdell Center — due to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

This year’s event is scaled back to two days from three. Meanwhile, however, a sister event in Chigasaki, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, was held successfully in September, the Japanese event’s second year. Winners from the World Invitational Hula Festival Japan will perform in Honolulu.

Soloists and halau will dance in Honolulu. With an emphasis on education and proper respect for Hawaiian culture rather than competition, Jennings said participants vie for achievement awards.

Food booths, lei makers, jewelry and other Hawaii craft vendors will also be on hand at the festival.

Where: Grand Ballroom, Queen Kapiolani Hotel, 150 Kapahulu Ave., Waikiki
When: 6 p.m. Nov. 9-10
Cost: $25, $35 VIP
Info: 550-8457,,

Nina Wu

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