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Freestyle: Sunset Room shoots the moon
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like to dance? Honolulu’s dance and DJ enthusiasts have a new option in 2013 with the opening of the Sunset Room at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
With DJs Marasco (Maui) and Loic Tambay
The nightclub, which features indoor and outdoor sound systems and dance spaces, table service and tucked-away lanai banquettes (kiss kiss!), provides a promising alternative for lovers of house, dubstep, mainstream dance music, hip-hop and broad varieties of electronic dance music.
Kicking off with Lean Rock, local DJs Matt Kee and Mr. Nick and a party filmed for Strife TV, the venue participated in Aloha Tower’s big New Year’s Eve party and continued with a formal grand opening that featured big names in the dance/DJ world: Donald Glaude and Paul Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem. They followed that with the amazing three-man outfit Pillowtalk, mixing live and electronic music with a groove. That group still has me talking.
Next up on the club’s agenda is Ibiza-based DJ Tato, aka Tomas Estaben, a buzzworthy trendsetter who helped originate the wildly popular weekly party “Circoloco” at the club DC10 Ibiza, where he is a resident.
Tato has a deep collection, and he’s praised by DJ guide ResidentAdvisor.net for his “enormous wealth of electronic music knowledge, vested in the solid, true 4/4 spirit of house music.” He’s also the founder of Isgud Records.
THIS IS an ambitious lineup, worthy of attention from those who care about the music. I caught up with Sunset Room co-owner Willis Haltom earlier this week, and he acknowledged as much.
Haltom called the set-up “challenging,” because it’s always a challenge to get people to change their circuits and start hitting a new location. (On that point, here’s a tip: A taxi ride from Chinatown is only about $5, so if your posse is bar-hopping, this is a valid option.) But he also talked proudly of the club’s sound system, waterfront setting and entertainment, calling the Sunset Room “a labor of love” that is largely self-built.
“There’s nowhere in Honolulu where you can party till 2 a.m. like you can in our space,” Haltom said. “Hopefully, people will give us a chance and step out of the norm.”
Two more notable acts round out this weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 16, the headliner is DJ Adam 12, who bills himself as “the President’s DJ” because he’s been booked to play at official Democratic Party events with Pres. Obama. Just FYI: Adam Bravin is also a member of alt-rock/post-punk act She Wants Revenge.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, “bad girl” dubstep DJ Fei-Fei will dominate the decks.
Keep a lookout for Lisa Shaw and Jask on Saturday, Feb. 23. Shaw, a singer and recording artist has a sultry, silky voice that might bring to mind a slightly more ethereal Sade.
With DJ/producer Jask, these two promise to deliver a set of “deep, spiritual, jazz, funk, latin & soulful” grooves. I’m intrigued.
Get the scoop on owners Andreas Counnas, Haltom and Darren Zane and their plans for the club in this Jan. 23 “In The Mix” post. I simply want to alert you to the music that’s coming your way.
Chances are there’s something that appeals, whether you like smooth, romantic grooves, local lyricists, off-the-wall beats or throbbing dubstep.
Get info on shows for which tickets are already on sale — at amnights.com.
I’LL CLOSE with a reminder that all the Pow Wow Hawaii excitement draws to a crescendo this weekend. It’s been great to walk the streets of Kakaako this week, and to see how the artists, taggers and illustrators are bringing color, variety and humanity to the district’s walls.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, the Pow Wow finale party and Kakaako Night Market will bring crowds to the street. It’s another opportunity to peek inside the reclaimed warehouses and to deal directly with local artisans and creatives.
(Get the full schedule of events here.)
Don’t neglect to stop by the “1xLand – 2xSea” exhibit at Mahoa, 679 Auahi St. The exhibit features hyped-up, internationally known Pow Wow Hawaii guest artists from Hawaii and around the world. The artspace is open during Pow Wow Hawaii from 5 to 10 p.m., and on Feb. 16, artists will be at the gallery to sign their limited prints, on display and for sale.
Featured artists are Hawaii-centric: Estria and Prime. Estria Miyashiro is co-founder and creative director of the Estria Foundation, an nonprofit that uses public art to bring community focus to important local issues. Prime is director of 808 Urban, headquartered in Kakaako, a youth-oriented organization incorporating art into community service.
Together, these two artists have chicken-skin chemistry and bold vision.
Find out more at blog.1xrun.com and prime-estria.com.
Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.