Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, November 26, 2001

Jamal, fronting Quadraphonix, shared the spotlight during the
Deevali celebration at India Cafe.

Forces of light prevailed
at music fest

By Nadine Kam

A steady stream of poet/rappers made their way to the mic during Quadraphonix's weekly showcase at India Cafe Nov. 18, an event made bigger in celebration of Deevali, the Hindu Festival of Light.

In between bites of lamb and vegetable dosai (rice pancakes), about a hundred gathered to hear the jazz, Cuban, hip-hop and funk rhythms put out by the band -- Jonathan Heraux, Susan Copp, Eli Clemens and Shree Sadagopan -- plus guests of the sort with many slashes attached to their names, i.e.:

>> Dancer/rapper/promoter Jamal a k a MC Kilowatts Mongoose.

>> Musician/environmental sculptor/performance artist Steve Rosenthal.

>> Writer/landscaper/tree propagator/poet Dark Sevier.

Band members, family and friends were called upon to don the costumes and act out the battle between Krishna and Narakasura, who cast the earth in darkness before his destruction brought back joy and light.

Photographer Hesham was set to videotape the entire performance, but halfway through got caught up in the act -- or maybe he was just afraid of Hsraux's believable transformation into the rampaging Narakasura -- and put down his camera.

As usual, when kids congregate in this town, where everyone lives much too close to their neighbors, Heraux and Sadagopan were next seen negotiating with members of Honolulu's Finest while Omega 6 continued to deliver his tongue-twisting, rapid-fire verse, and Vernice drew the audience into her call-and-response creation.

At 10 p.m., typically starting time for shows like this, the police officers gave the poets a half-hour to wrap up their raps.

The musicians began packing up their instruments, but by the time the hour of termination approached, the HPD had changed its tune, allowing the mellow party to continue with the volume reduced.

Low-key events will continue the next three Sundays, Sadagopan says, but he's looking for a bigger, soundproof venue for monthly stagings that won't disturb the Narakasuras who walk among us.

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