Eric Alcantara, left, and Tony Regensburger in the KTUH studio. Eric, the on-air deejay this past Saturday, was promoting a new compilation CD with local acts on an independent Minnesota label called Chicken Katsu.

Isle indie rock

Four Hawaii-based
bands featured on CD

By Gary C.W. Chun

'World Famous Kintama Boxers'

CD Release Party with the Haunted Pines, Postmodern, Paul & Gwen, the Beta Release, teradactyl and the Bunk Beds

Where: Cafe Ground Level, 1154 Fort St.
When: 9 p.m. tomorrow
Admission: $6, 21 and over; free copies of the CD will be distributed while supplies last
Call: 546-9998

Believe it or not, the local underground music scene has a connection to a guy named the Beerbug in Minneapolis, Minn. That's because Hawaii resident Tony Regensburger once hung out with Beerbug in Okinawa. It was there that during a brief time living on the streets, they bonded over many a plate of chicken katsu. It was one of the cheapest things -- 100 yen at the local Popeye's -- they could eat to fill themselves while on the dole.

That provided the inspiration for Chicken Katsu Records, which Beerbug runs back in the Midwest. Regensburger and his musical partner in crime, Eric Alcantara, help out with the Hawaii "branch office" of Chicken Katsu Curry Records, which has helped to produce a new compilation CD that features four Hawaii-based bands. The disc will be released with a celebratory party tomorrow at the Hawaii Pacific University downtown hangout Cafe Ground Level.

It took three years to gather and select contributions for the "World Famous Kintama Boxers" compilation, too long in band lifetimes. Although the compilation includes bands from Seattle; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Okinawa; and Japan; the local bands -- the Persephone Myth, Kite Festival, Fire for Effect and SPIMA (Severe Punishment Incites Morbid Animosity) -- no longer exist.

Two of those bands, however, continue on in new guises. Kite Festival has morphed into the Haunted Pines, and that band will headline tomorrow's CD release party. SPIMA -- whose lineup included Alcantara and Regensburger -- is breaking in a new singer and bass player under the working moniker Personal Foul.

But it was as SPIMA that Regensburger and the Beerbug, along with Alcantara, reunited when the Hawaii band played a couple of shows in Minneapolis.

Eric Alcantara, left, his musical partner in crime Tony Regensburger and musician Kyle Fujimoto sit around in the studio. Fujimoto's band The Beta Release will be performing at the CD release party tomorrow.

THE COMPILATION CD serves up a generous helping of indie rock, with Kite Festival offering the earnest "Hey, You Got Me," Persephone Myth adding female pop in the form of "In Flight," Fire for Effect's dash of rock in "Angels Singing" and SPIMA delivering "gleeful" death metal with "The Curse."

Another group on the CD with some local involvement is J Church, an Austin band featuring former Hawaii native Lance Hahn. He and the band have distinguished themselves on the national indie scene, and they contribute their musical take on Los Angeles with "Clean and Obscene."

Other highlight tracks include the jangly folk of Okinawa's Crackpipe on "Change with Time"; a raw, rock take on the disco classic "Stayin' Alive" by Stoopidly Yours; Choplogic's big-sounding "Spaceman Shifty"; the skewed pop of Minneapolis' Rank Strangers' "Girls Do Not Make Passes at Boys Who Wear Glasses"; and the rockabilly rhythm that propels "Shinigami No Tsubasa," from Ibaraki, Japan's Take Care of Calcium.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --