Cameras jiggle Joe's nerves


POSTED: Friday, November 06, 2009

Even though he has years of radio and live event experience, Island 98.5's Phat Joe still gets nervous working on his latest project, “;Live at the Reggae Cafe.”;

Hosting a television show is “;a lot different”; from being on the radio, he said. “;I can rock a crowd in front of thousands of people, but put cameras in front of me and it all changes.

“;Even to this day, you put a camera on me and I'm nervous at first.”;

Still, Phat Joe has been able to settle down and work with Kai Media on the half-hour program that airs at 10:30 p.m. Sundays on KHON. After a two-week hiatus, “;Live at the Reggae Cafe”; returns this weekend with 82Fifty; remaining guests for first season include Rootikal Riddim on Nov. 15, Ekolu on Nov. 22 and Aipohaku on Nov. 29.

Local reggae heavyweights Ooklah the Moc were in the Roadrunner Music Hall at Clear Channel Hawaii's Iwilei studios on Oct. 23 when your columnist spoke with Phat Joe. He was especially excited about getting the opportunity to help them film a music video.

“;A lot of these bands that we've brought on, this is the first time they're actually shooting music videos,”; he said. “;Ooklah is one of the forefathers of the reggae scene out here, so to have them on here is a real treat.”;

Following 2009's final episode on Dec. 12, “;Live at the Reggae Cafe”; will return in January for a new season. Along with an planned appearance by Soldiers of Jah Army, Phat Joe is excited about branching out beyond Dole Cannery.

“;We might bring the filming to the clubs,”; he said. “;It's nice and private (at the Hall), but we have some clubs out there that need to be rocked as well”; ...

LOCAL MUSICIAN John Cruz checked in last week with good news for fans.

Except for a few dates in 2007 in support of his last album, “;One of These Days,”; Cruz hasn't played a show here in years. That changes this weekend, however, when he kicks off a seven-date, statewide tour.

“;This coming year is Canada, Japan, Australia, then back to the East Coast and West Coast again,”; Cruz said last week. “;I'm thinking that I'm gonna start recording when I get back from the winter tour.

“;We're probably gonna be on the road through March, and then when I get back I'll start recording. ... If I can focus my energy and if I have the right material at that point, I could have it out by summer.”;

Before all that happens, Cruz will play the Big Island (today and tomorrow), Kauai (Nov. 13 and Nov. 14) and Molokai (Nov. 27) before returning to Oahu for a gig at Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber on Dec. 1. The tour concludes Dec. 4 on Maui.

Despite the newly announced concerts, Cruz hopes for an even greater presence here in 2010.

“;A lot of the press that's been going out has been about me doing stuff on the mainland,”; he said. “;I'm trying to fix that. It's frustrating for me, too, to just be sitting around waiting to go to the mainland when there are people here who want to see me play.”;

Details on Cruz's upcoming gigs, including ticket prices and where to buy tickets, can be found on his Web site, www.johncruz.com ...

WEEKEND PICKS: 2009 “;Mai Tai Rumble”; first-round winners 82Fifty head to Chinatown tonight for a music video release party at LOFT Gallery and Lounge. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the First Friday crowd, with opening sets by Gary Liu Jr. and DJ Capecod. Cover is $5 after 9:30 p.m. ... California-based rockers Evaro join Canada's Great White Shark at Boardriders Bar and Grill tomorrow for the official “;Vans Triple Crown Kickoff Party”; at 9 p.m. Cover is $10 at the door; they will also perform alongside local band Busekrues at Anna Bannana's on Sunday starting at 9 p.m. Cover is $6 for that show ... Also on Sunday, SoHo Mixed Media Bar hosts its monthly “;Sunday BBQ”; from 4 p.m. with free burgers and hot dogs, plus 30 percent off your tab with a valid liquor card from the Honolulu Liquor Commission. This month's barbecue will double as a CD release party for Silver Medallion ...

”;In the Mix”; drops Fridays in HILife. Contact Jason Genegabus by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).