COURTESY OF REBEL GIRL UNDERGROUND
Promoter Kasi Nunes will be leaving for Los Angeles with her band X-Factor.
Girls rebel again
The party that Kasi Nunes is throwing Saturday night will be a celebration among old friends, and marks a new beginning for Nunes herself.
One last fling
Rebel Girl Underground Reunion Party
Place: thirtyninehotel, 39 S. Hotel St.
Time: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday
Admission: $8; 21 and over
Note: Guest performer Kami Liddle will hold workshops Saturday and Sunday at Ballet Hawaii, Dole Cannery. Cost is $55 with preregistration; $60 at the door; or $100 for both sessions. Call 358-2571.
After a two-year hiatus, the Rebel Girl Underground co-creator and promoter will hold one last femalecentric gathering at thirtyninehotel. Then on the first of October, she and her bandmates in X-Factor will move to Los Angeles to get closer to the music industry action.
For this special occasion, Nunes is flying in three guest performers: "tribal fusion dance artist" Kami Liddle and deejay friends DJ Primmitiv (Andrea Primm) and Maritez Apigo, aka DJ Zita.
Liddle, currently on tour with Bellydance Superstars, will be hosted by Shakti Dance Movement's Kalae Kaina, whose own progressive bellydance crew also will perform at the party. Original RGU spinster Primm is coming from her Kansas home, and Apigo, a founding member of local crew Sisters In Sound and another former RGU resident deejay, is coming from San Francisco.
(Rounding out the talent list will be RGU co-founder DJ Lady J, spinning rare grooves and underground hip-hop, and tribal house DJ KK, better known as world-ranked pro surfer Keala Kennelly.)
Apigo, who will start teaching high school English when she returns to the Bay Area, said Rebel Girl Underground parties during 2002 and '03 were always fun to do.
"They were a pivotal part of my two years in Hawaii," she said. "Even though it was only once a month, they were always great parties. Kasi put a lot of energy in them, and she was always well-organized. ... And it's wasn't just music, but other elements, like the visual arts, dance and live emcees."
Better known as the Sister In Sound who spun house, underground hip-hop and downtempo, Apigo keeps busy deejaying in San Fran when she isn't playing her part in the public school system. "I deejay at least once a week, sometimes up to three nights, here. I've been playing mostly old school hip-hop, and lately a lot of party jams. I plan to include some of that at the party."
AFTER THE party, Nunes will refocus her attention on her band X-Factor, made up of herself as singer, guitarist Jesse Savio, bassist Brian Phillips and drummer Matt Kat.
The party was initially meant as a benefit to help finance a tour, but Nunes and company opted instead to relocate.
"We did a mini-tour of San Francisco and Los Angeles in March of this year," Nunes said, in particular the Bay Area version of GiRL FeST and a gig at On the Rox, above the famous Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. The band has signed to O-Shen's local label, Sharpnote Records.
"When we came back from California, we decided we have to move there," she said.
But Nunes said, "I had to throw one last party. By far, (Rebel Girl Underground) is the coolest thing I did in my life. I did it because, at the time, there was a lack of a platform for women to perform, and we had such a big talent pool."
Nunes remembers moving home from San Francisco, "bartending at the W and wanting to throw parties with all of this money I was making." Her social circle would expand once she launched Rebel Girl Underground.
Once she and her friends found the right space in the intimate Chuck's Cellar in Waikiki, they gutted and redesigned the place, bringing in lights and lugging in a sound system when needed.
"The purpose of the parties was never to make money. I would've needed a bigger venue to cover costs. When we were at Chuck's, I kept it purposely small."
And with every successive party, Nunes came further out of her shell and became more of an artist.
"Three months in, I was inspired to become a deejay. I would watch other deejays throw down, so I would start writing to instrumentals. After singing and rapping as a deejay, I then got inspired to start a band. Once I had a taste of that, I knew this is what I had to do."