Okay, Hawaiian music fans–here is my roundup of five blogs on Hawaiian music that have my “Gold Star” recommendation.
#1 AUNTIE WANDA’S MELE MONDAY
- Auntie Wanda’s Mele Monday — Featured Playlists on the YouTube Channel
- Auntie Wanda’s Mele Monday — the Facebook Group
- Auntie Wanda’s Mele Monday — the beginnings on the “Talk Story” forum at TaroPatch.net
Wanda Certo is a superfan of Hawaiian music who lives in Cleveland, Ohio with musician-husband Paul. Auntie exemplifies the power of media and technology to sustain communities that know no physical or geographic boundaries.
“Mele Monday” is a weekly compilation of YouTube video links of Hawaiian music, which Auntie Wanda began sharing with the TaroPatch community back around 2008 or 2009. The initial emphasis on slack key videos still prevails, but is no longer strictly exclusive. The list expanded its reach when Auntie set up a YouTube channel, and the lists took the form of embedded videos. When Auntie joined Facebook, she then established a group for the Mele Monday lists. At present, TaroPatch.net still carries a weekly link to the current YouTube channel list. In addition to the comments and discussions on the YouTube channel each week, the Facebook group has also attracted the following of fans and musicians alike who not only comment but also contribute videos and news announcements there as well.
Auntie Wandaʻs Mele Monday lists are a labor of love. They are also a great resource for cutting through the din.
Jeanne Cooper’s blog at SFGate, the website of the venerable San Francisco Chronicle. Frequent posts on Hawaiian music provide in-depth coverage of Hawaiian events throughout the San Francisco Bay area, and in Hawai’i as well. Cooper also covers Hawai’i in her column “Aloha Friday” for the newpaper’s travel section.
The blog of San Francisco-based recording artist Steven Espaniola is the home of his series “Anatomy of a Mele.” The series offers focused conversations with current recording artists and producers that are substantially informative. Students take note: This is a model for one kind of project that has high documentary value!!
Steven states his objective as follows:
Each month I will feature a different Artist/Producer pairing and go behind the scenes to closely examine one song off of one of their albums, giving the reader a tiny glimpse into the sometimes magical, sometimes arduous creative recording process. The ultimate goal is to give YOU, the fans and music lovers a little insight into what it’s like to be in the studio. Hopefully it will inspire, educate and encourage the next generation of music makers
The archive as of this writing includes:
Vol. 1 — Raiatea Helm & Dave Tucciarone (posted March 2, 2012), on “Ku’u Home Aloha” by Bina Mossman, on the CD Sweet & Lovely (2004)
Vol. 2 — Mailani Makainai & Dr. Trey (posted May 14, 2012), on “Penei Iho, Penei A’e, Penei No” by Keola Donaghy and Mailani, from her debut solo CD release Mailani (2009)
Vol. 3 — Kawika Alfiche & Forrest Lawrence (posted June 14, 2012), on “Ho’i Hou Mai” from Kawika’s second CD, Kale’a (2011)
Vol. 4 — Brittni Paiva & Tom Scott (posted July 17, 2012), on “Tell U What,” from Brittni’s fifth CD, Tell U What (2012)
“Aloha Got Soul is a music blog documenting Hawaiian funk, soul, rare groove & jazz music.” Founded in summer 2010 by Roger Bong, who also characterizes this blog as “a Hawaiian music blog exploring the B-side of Hawaii’s music history.”
Musical life in Hawai’i is more than Hawaiian music. There are artists working across the stylistic spectrum, in a vibrant music and entertainment industry. Aloha Got Soul is an excellent information resource, with informative interviews and extended commentary. Media maven Roger also produces mixtapes that offer expertly curated overviews of whoʻs who and whoʻs hot.