Heels & Picks: Brendan Smith’s Top 10
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Every once in a while when you’re sitting on a bench waiting for an appointment and scrolling through your Facebook feed, you encounter a whip-smart post from a “friend” that makes you laugh out loud. It’s a welcome break from the political rants, photos of lunches and passive-aggressive emo posts that are the norm on Facebook these days — although I do love a good sandwich shot every now and again.
In my social media stream, often it’s Maui-based, multi-faceted smarty-pants Brendan Smith (no relation) who provides comic relief that is so appreciated during my day.
Among his Twitter gems in the past month:
“Never seen so many haoles making the ‘How’s these stupid haoles?’ face.”
“Buying vowels on Hawaiian ‘Wheel of Fortune’ would SUCK.”
“Do you realize how confusing it is to keep Nicki Minaj’s Kmart collection next to their Halloween costumes?”
“I’d mainly like to go to the fair to shoot some candid photos, but that shouldn’t be done alone by a guy with facial hair.”
“I was just told that I sound like a slimmer version of Jonah Hill. I’m baffled as to how I should take that.”
Clever, always on point, jovial and able to laugh at himself as well as the rest of the world – that’s Brendan. But what does he do, besides out-Tweet the rest of us? And what gems of wisdom does he have for us this holiday season?
You can usually find him promoting concerts and working with Oahu-based promoters BAMP Project to help take care of their artists while on Maui, popping and locking his face off on a dance floor, running the show at Daddy-O’s Barber Shop and manning the eclectic and fantastic floor at Requests Music in Wailuku. Yes, a REAL record store. With a basement full of vinyl.
Curious to see what albums stand out to him this holiday season, I checked with Brendan to get his recommendations on the top albums of 2013. We can all use a little help choosing how to spend those holiday iTunes gift certificates.
“Certainly Robin Thicke, Daft Punk and Bruno Mars all had ‘the song of the summer,’ somehow simultaneously,” he said. “So there’s no point in me mentioning them here. To be honest, I only purchased one of those three selections. This is a list of albums I loved this year.”
» “Reflector,” Arcade Fire: Following an Album of the Year Grammy for 2010’s Suburbs, AF deliver us another gem. Reflektor sounds new, yet true to their sound. People may actually dance to this at a party. This will make your kids think you’re hip.
» “The Next Day,” David Bowie: Yes, David Bowie recorded a new album. Yes, it is fantastic.
» “13,” Black Sabbath: See Bowie description above.
» “Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs,” Elvis Costello & The Roots: Is it any surprise this combination turned out great? No, not really. This one covers just about anyone on your list.
» “Tetra,” C2C: A turntablist album you may not realize is a turntablist album. From electro sweeps to hip-hop cuts and even chopped up American gospel, this French DJ group covers a wide array of amazing sounds. Play this loud.
» “Event 2,” Deltron 3030: Prepare for blast off. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Kid Koala and Dan the Automator are together again to take you on another trip of crazy lyricism, sick production and some perfectly placed cameos (Zack de la Rocha, where you been?!). Besides, most rap these days is just too serious.
» “Days Are Gone,” Haim: These three sisters will leave you doing the “Love Is a Battlefield” shoulder dance. Their music is the perfect amount of pop, without crossing into the obnoxious or cheesy zone.
» “Pure Heroine,” Lorde: Chances are you’re sick of her massive hit, “Royals.” The good news? This young Kiwi has nine additional tracks for you to devour. On top of the great sound, this album is also pretty astounding lyrically. When I was 16, my writing consisted of rehashed book reports I had written the year prior.
» “Color Map of the Sun,” Pretty Lights: An electronic album made with analog methods. Live bands playing breaks and singers with out of context lyrics, recorded and rearranged by an imaginative Colorado producer. Also, check out his production on “All of These Lights,” the first single of the upcoming album from The Grouch & Eligh.
» “Woman,” Rhye: Time to put the kids to bed. This duo is silky, sexy and sensationally Sade-esque. I’ll leave it at that.
» “Isles,” Wild Belle: Long lost offshoot of Santigold, perhaps? No, but she totally fell in love with them on her visit to Maui. This duo creates a reggae-laced soundscape far beyond what you’d expect from a brother and sister raised in a Chicago suburb. Jawaiian bands, take note: you can play reggae-influenced music without bastardizing it’s original sound. Who knew?
For more from Brendan Smith, follow him on Twitter.
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.