Clubs came and went in 2007, but the bands played on
IT WAS a year in flux for many in Clubland, with nearly 20 new venues opening and a number of significant closures as well. Here's a quick look back at what happened in 2007. Party people from Waikiki to Aiea were rewarded early this year, as the Yard House Waikiki
introduced more than 100 beer taps during its soft opening in February, just a few weeks after Lily Koi Restaurant and Lounge
opened in the former Buffet 100 space near Pearlridge. January also saw Detox
become Sound|House, and freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart
opened his second Hart and Huntington Tattoo Co.
location on Kuhio Avenue ...
MARCH WAS another good month for bars, with the Irish Rose Saloon reopening on Ena Road and Red Lion Waikiki moving in at the Hyatt Regency.
Xyloh, which spent its first few months as a private club, opened to the general public and quickly gained a reputation for shady antics and late-night drama. Management, however, seems to have dealt with the issue in recent months.
Summer brought new parties to Cirque Hawaii and Aaron's, with Senor Frog's debuting at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in August. There were farewell parties as well, starting with Sound|House in July and the Esprit Lounge in August (the owners of Sound|House went on to open the Loft in October, while RumFire replaced the Esprit in December). The Dungeon said goodbye in September, as did the legendary Ocean Club, and the Cellar Waikiki announced it would close for good on Dec. 30 after three decades of service.
The most disturbing closure, however, had to be when Skybox and Osake shut down in March. Although not directly caused by the murder of Osake employee Daniel Browne-Sanchez, the violence undoubtedly cast a dark shadow on business.
It's too bad the building's mainland-based absentee owner is ambivalent toward redevelopment, as the location remains vacant nine months later ...
ANNIVERSARIES: Local hip-hop collective AIGA and ska band Go Jimmy Go both celebrated 10th anniversaries in January, while the 86 List made eight years in September ... Tiki's Grill and Bar and local promoters AYA Hawaii held fifth-anniversary parties in October ... And the Living Room, Panama Hattie's, thirtyninehotel and the O Lounge all turned three years old in 2007 ...
REGGAE FANS enjoyed a full complement of concerts this year, from Kymani Marley and Yellowman in January to Inner Circle in March and Pato Banton in May. The best, for me at least, was Matisyahu's performance at "Band Camp" in June.
On the pop front, local residents had a lot of options. Lauryn Hill played Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in February, with Paula DeAnda and Danity Kane making appearances at Aloha Stadium in March (R&B crooners Lloyd and Omarion followed in June). Eddie Vedder and Matt Costa were special guests at Jack Johnson's "Kokua Fest" in April, while the Shins played Pipeline Cafe in July.
The Gym Class Heroes, Gwen Stefani and the Wu-Tang Clan helped keep the summer hot, followed by Nine Inch Nails in September and the Ying Yang Twins in November. Rap fans were blessed by repeat Mos Def and Talib Kweli appearances, followed by Lupe Fiasco's Hawaii debut in December.
Other notable shows: Little Brother, the Wailers, Los Lonely Boys, DJ Quik and Ziggy Marley ...
LOCAL RADIO lost a number of talented people over the past 12 months, with KIKI's Pomai Uphouse and KDNN's Makani Tabura both relocating to the mainland. Big Teeze is off the air, too ... KQMQ's Justin Cruz traded in the morning drive for weather duties at KHON ... And top-rated night jock Jay Tee Valencia lost his gig at KDDB-FM in December ...
I'VE SAID it before, and I'll say it again -- don't sleep on Hawaii hip-hop.
Underground heads winced when Jake "The Snake" Miyasato retired his locals-only "GenuineHI" show on KTUH, replacing it with "The Mixdown" on Fridays (at least DJ Jimmy Taco is still going strong after 10 years of his "Mind Tactics Show" on KIKI).
Island rappers got no love last week in our picks for the year's top albums, either, despite a number of quality offerings. Creed Chameleon set the stage late in 2006 with his sophomore release, "Love Potion Cynanide," followed by the Hoku-nominated "The O" from Krystilez in January.
The Audible Lab Rats, Nomasterbacks and Hunger Pains also released quality albums, and mixtapes by Wun, DJ Kutmaster Spaz and local label SiQ Records received high rotation in my ride.
That's about it; welcome to 2008 ...