Do It! NeonVibe 5K, Erika Elona release party, more
FRIDAY, JAN. 3
Stadium 5K turns black lights on runners and walkers clad in fluorescent garb
There’s running a 5K. Then there’s running a 5K at night, under black lights and covered head to toe in glowing fluorescent colors.
TheNeonVibe.com 5K is not a rave or a timed race, but a family-friendly event during which you can run, walk or dance your way around the Aloha Stadium parking lot.
Tonight’s race is also for a good cause, as all proceeds benefit the Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with the race starting at 6:30 p.m. Waves of 500 people will be set off every three to five minutes, with the course featuring several “glow zones” where participants will be blasted with neon colors — and FYI, it’s not paint, just cornstarch. On-site registration is available.
DJ Migz will provide high-energy music before, during and after the run, which culminates in an after-party that features dancing, giveaways, a special onstage presentation with child ambassadors from the Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network and, of course, more color!
Where: Aloha Stadium, 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd., Aiea
When: 5 p.m. (gates open), 6:30 p.m. (race starts) today
SATURDAY, JAN. 4
Erika Elona marks CD debut at Republik
Sure, nowadays it’s all about digital downloads. But when local singer-songwriter Erika Elona celebrates the launch party for her debut album “Things to Break” on Saturday at The Republik, it will be the realization of a dream.
“I know discs are going out of style, but to me, a child of the ’90s, with cassette tapes and CDs — to finally make one of those is huge to me,” Elona said. “To be able to hold it in my hand is like a whole ‘nother level.”
The Honolulu 25-year-old has been performing around Oahu since she was 15, at coffee shops, bars and open-mic nights. But she has been gaining in popularity the last few years, and most recently opened for Matchbox Twenty at the Blaisdell Concert Hall in November.
Elona’s voice draws comparisons to ’90s folk-pop singer Jewel. And that’s no coincidence.
“Jewel is why I even started playing music,” Elona said. “I was little, like 6 or 7, and I just thought she was the coolest thing. I just remember trying to emulate her yodel, the way she sings, and it just kind of became my own.”
Elona’s acoustic sound is a mix of folk, alternative and pop, with influences that range from ’90s alternative to ’60s and ’70s folk rock.
That’s reflected in “Things to Break.”
“The album is pretty eclectic, probably because I like so many different things,” she said.
The album’s lead single, “Anchor,” is already available on iTunes. Elona wrote it a couple years ago after getting out of a very bad relationship.
“I didn’t realize how closed off I was,” she said. “I didn’t realize how many people — my friends and my family, people I would meet — how much they were trying to be anchors to me, trying to keep me grounded in reality because, honestly, throughout that whole time I was kind of in my own head.
“Up to this point, it’s my favorite song that I’ve written. It’s really, really dear to my heart.”
Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $15, $10 in advance
Info: 855-235-2867, flavorus.com
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8
Chinatown bars unite to observe Hump Day
For years, bars in Chinatown have been trying to drum up business on Wednesday nights. Now a few of Hotel Street’s favorite watering holes are uniting to make the area THE place to party on Hump Day.
The first official “Walkabout Wednesday” is set for next week, bringing together five bars under one umbrella for a night of music, drinks and other entertainment.
Bar 35, thirtyninehotel, Downbeat Diner and Lounge, Manifest and NextDoor are participating, all offering discounted drinks and no cover charge — the exception being Bar 35′s House of Brews weekly beer tasting, which starts at $25.
In addition to House of Brews, Bar 35 offers a happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. and “Showdown in Chinatown Remix,” a short-film competition for locally produced films, starting at 10 p.m.
At thirtyninehotel, happy hour runs from 5 to 8 p.m., followed by “The Far Out Party,” with DJ Bucks Eric and Farley.
It’s “Totally 80s” night, presented by Double-O-Spot, at Downbeat Diner and Lounge from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. And Manifest (“Gravity”) and NextDoor (“Switch”) have DJs in the mix starting at 10 p.m.
Organizers hope to bring in other Chinatown and downtown clubs for future “Walkabout Wednesdays.”
Where: thirtyninehotel, Bar 35, Downbeat Diner and Lounge, Manifest, NextDoor
When: 4 p.m. Wednesday
Info: thirtyninehotel, 585-8439, thirtyninehotel.com; Bar 35, 537-3535, bar35.com; Downbeat Diner and Lounge, 533-2328, downbeatdiner.com; Manifest, manifesthawaii.com; NextDoor, fb.com/nextdoorhi
SATURDAY, JAN. 4
Atherton concert celebrates Chicago’s West Side blues
Luther Allison had a big influence on Chris Vandercook, pictured.
Vandercook, a guitarist and singer as well as co-host of Hawaii Public Radio’s morning show “The Conversation,” said he learned all about Chicago’s West Side blues sound by listening to Allison in small Midwest bars decades ago, before the acclaimed bluesman became famous.
On Saturday, Vandercook and the Chris Vandercook Band pay tribute to Allison and others associated with West Side blues with a show at HPR’s Atherton Studio.
“Luther and his band members were my extended family for many years, back in the day,” said Vandercook. “The band and I shared a house on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin — and it’s a good thing those walls can’t talk. I have many happy memories of those times, and carry Luther’s influence with me in a thousand different ways.”
Vandercook describes Allison’s West Side sound as “raw and full of fire, with guitar as a running complement to — and comment upon — the vocal. Their music from the ’60s and early ’70s is a blues genre unto itself, with great songs and lots of rhythmic energy.” Allison, who died in 1997, was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1998.
Where: HPR Atherton Studio, 738 Kaheka St.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Info: 955-8821, hprtickets.org
YMCA of Honolulu holds its annual open house 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday with free activities at seven branches around Oahu; ymcahonolulu.org