Our Picks for the Weekend
Honolulu Club plays host to Russian trumpeter
For a regular evening of high-caliber music, you can't miss with Jazz Wednesday at the Honolulu Club lounge on Ward Street. Guitarist Robert Shinoda does a bang-up job lining up consistently interesting gigs featuring groupings of the best of local musicians with the occasional out-of-town guest. And coming up this Wednesday is trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, the Russian ex-patriate who's been here before and made his reputation as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers band.
Ponomarev will be joined by Shinoda, drummer Darryl Pellegrini and Honolulu Jazz Quartet members John Kolivas on bass and Dan Del Negro on keyboard.
Music starts around 6:30 p.m. and there's a $5 cover with validated parking.
Rapper Mos Def to play at Pipeline, for a price
Sometime between 2005 and now, Mos Def must have figured out there are quite a few hip-hop fans in Honolulu.
Along with playing two shows at Pipeline Cafe next week, the Brooklyn-born rapper has also raised the price of admission. Fans only had to pay $33 and $45 to see him live two years ago; the price rises to $50 and $70 at the door April 12 and 13.
Mos Def's current album situation is interesting as well. Fans were able to buy his latest release, "True Magic," for a short time in December before it was pulled from store shelves. According to MTV, the album leaked to the Internet and Geffen Records wanted to minimize the impact on retail sales.
While still available for purchase on Amazon.com and streaming online at Mos Def's Web site, www.mosdefmusic.com, "True Magic" doesn't appear alongside his other releases on the iTunes Music Store. The album is expected to be repackaged and re-released later this year.
Doors open at 9 p.m. April 12 at Pipeline, with local rapper Krystilez opening and DJs Jimmy Taco and XL on the turntables. The April 13 show is an early one, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and a 10 p.m. curfew. Call 589-1999 for more information.
Symphony crowned by Beethoven's 'Emperor'
Ludwig von Beethoven, by the time he wrote this fifth, and his last, piano concerto, was already composing with his ear flat on top of the piano, because of advancing deafness. That's why this work is in E flat, as are many of his symphonic works, because his ear was flat on the ... oh, never mind.
OMG! This is a splendid piece, called the "Emperor" -- though not by Beethoven -- because of its grandiosity. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra has tapped pianist William Wolfram to juggle the ivories this time out. An experienced hand at Beethoven concerti, Wolfram has gigged with, just in the last year, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Singapore Symphony.
The performances take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Blaisdell Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $68, with a 20 percent discount for seniors and military; $10 students. Call 792-2000 (days), 524-0815 (evenings), or visit www.honolulusymphony.com.
This event is eggzactly what we need for Easter
You'd be surprised what can be done with an egg shell.
With the proper dedication and care, a fragile shell a can be turned into the image of Hugh Hefner, Mariah Carey or Ang Lee -- and a few of them were, at last year's Eggstravaganza Egg Decoration Display. Of course, they were called "Hugh Eggner," "Mariah Car-egg" and "Egg Lee."
Designers and staff of Architects Hawaii Ltd. will take a crack -- so to speak -- at besting those entries, and puns, at the firm's sixth competition Friday in the lobby of American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop St.
This year's theme is the 1960s, which means, perhaps, something groovy in egg designs.
First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected by public vote. Fill out a ballot between 8 a.m. and noon; results will be announced at lunchtime.
The eggs will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Waikiki Beach Walk, 226 Lewers St. / 924-7245
I don't think anyone's going to Holokai Grill for connoisseurship. It's a place designed for fun, a relaxing afternoon or evening with friends, and the sort of noncommittal situation one wants while on vacation. Pass the pupu and salads around for a quick bite or stay as long as you want.
Holokai Grill is the younger sibling of Tiki's Grill and Bar, with similar ambience but much less kitsch, due to its more serious inspiration, Polynesian voyaging. The room's centerpiece is a 33-foot hand-carved New Zealand war canoe. Pull up to the Embassy Suites valet and you're liberated from your cares, as well as your car, even if it will cost you $5 plus tip to get it back.
By day you'll find many of the same pupus on the dinner menu, plus sandwiches and the makings of "Perfect Salads" starting at $7 with your choice of greens and toppings ranging from candied pecans to shaved pastrami.
If you want to continue your tourist charade at night, start with coconut shrimp bottle rockets ($9). There's more shrimp than batter on these skewers, served with lilikoi chili and spicy guava dipping sauces.
If you're puzzled over which Holokai sliders to order, go for the kalua pig with spicy guava sauce, at two for $4. The juicy meat helps the bun, which tends to dry out more quickly than most breads due to its miniature size, at 3 inches wide. Skip the ground steak slider with a half-dollar patty as dry as the bun.
Spicy guava sauce is a hit here. You can also get it on jumbo popcorn chicken ($9). I opted for the white-meat nuggets prepared Buffalo style, with no holding back on the chili sauce, and extra splashes of Tabasco over the baked-on sauce.
Lemongrass and ginger-crusted onaga ($25) was a hit at my table not because of the barely discernible lemongrass and ginger flavor, but because of its light, bready crust. The fish was accompanied by a delicate risotto with crisp kernels of Kunia corn.
The Holokai barbecue platter ($20) could feed two or four light eaters. On it are orange and guava-glazed ribs a little less dry than the aforementioned shrimp, a huliyaki chicken breast that was really botched teriyaki, and pulehu steak that in our case never materialized. The best thing was the sweet potato fries underneath the heap.
Dinner for two is about $45 to $60 without drinks. Open 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, with Beach Bar menu available until midnight, drinks until 2 a.m.
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