In a pensive mood: Michael Jankowski (left), Shannon Ogura, John Davis and Jon Marchan make up Little Moments.

Humble name,
huge sound

Their indie rock can
be intense or mellow

'Avant Pop'

With Battle Royal (formerly Skanabata), teradactyl, Little Moments, Less Than Zero and Walks Among Us, plus special art exhibit

Where: Club Pauahi, 80 S. Pauahi St.

When: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. today

Admission: $5 cover (free before 9), for 18 and over


In the ever-expanding local underground music scene, there is one band that has distinguished itself from the rest of the pack. These young men simply dwarf the ENTIRE works of their comrades-in-sound. So huge is their musicianship, so great their power, that their name can only be whispered meekly by their adoring fans.

THEY ARE ... Little Moments.

OK, even without such hyperbole, there is a noticeable contrast between the band's humble, indie-rock moniker and the full-tilt roar Little Moments can produce at times.

Made up of Ooklah the Moc drummer John Davis, bass player Shannon Ogura (ex-Pimpbot), singer and guitarist Jon Marchan and guitarist Michael Jankowski, "we represent what homemade music is all about," Davis said before a weekend rehearsal in Kaimuki.

"We're not hard rock," added Marchan, although the music is impassioned. Marchan, however, did start out with the local hardcore band Field Trip, screaming more than singing, like he does with Little Moments.

Ogura said he parted with Pimpbot over the usual creative differences "and this band plays more the type of music I like. This is more intense."

Davis has shorn the dreadlocks that made him so recognizable as Ooklah's reggae drummer and opted for a shorter 'do. He's also enjoying the change of pace offered by his stint in Little Moments. "I like there being both a heavier side and a mellower side to our songs," he said. "Some have a driving sound, others are more melodic and sometimes we play in some pretty odd time signatures.

"It's good to be playing rock again," he added. "It's super-fulfilling playing with musicians as good as these guys."

Jankowski brings to the table his own indie-rock history, which originates with the Syracuse, New York, band This Afternoon.

"The scene here is different than New York's," he said. "It's a lot ways more positive here. The fans here come out to the shows because they want to see and hear the bands, and not just to make 'the scene.' Everyone's interested in supporting each other. It's like a family, where on any given night, you find out you know everyone that's at the club. It's more focused."

Jankowski also brings with him sound engineering skills -- honed at Bust Up Studios back in Syracuse -- which he puts to use at his regular job at Anna Bannana's. That technical know-how will be more evident when the band starts recording an album Sunday, with a September release date.

LITTLE MOMENTS' genesis started with Jankowski and Ogura meeting at the local indie-rock Junk Studios. "I started practicing guitar once or twice a week there," Jankowski said, "and when I met Shannon, we started working together.

"I met John at Anna's through our mutual love of New York hardcore (Davis started as a drummer in a punk band), and then Jon when he performed at one of the open-mic nights."

If the band's name doesn't exactly evoke a balls-to-the-wall image, consider the group's original choice, Turn Off the Stars. After they found out they shared a name with a fey-looking Canadian band, the name was quickly changed.

"We're all on the same page," Davis said. "There's a lot of creativity and musical chops in this band. In fact, there are such serious guitar tones being played that I have to change my drum heads to match up with them."

And it's easy to hear how committed Little Moments are in playing a particularly dynamic brand of indie rock -- while it ain't emo per se, the chances the band takes in shifting time signatures and well-crafted arrangements certainly gives its sound a unique heft in this scene.

During rehearsal, the group's signature can be heard during "Reappear Invisible," a sharp sound sculpture about roommates, driven by a steady pulse. There's also tightly-wound, intertwining dual guitar lines in "Paper Trail" and a mellower, floating "Tyrannosaurus Rex Arms."

There are some big issues being dealt with within Little Moments' big sound.

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