Listen Up! – Rock

The 86 List before they grew out their hair: from left, Derek on drums, Josh on guitar and Otto on bass. photo: courtesy of The 86 List


Over the course of six years, The 86 List has created a fan base like few other Hawai‘i bands, thanks to its crowd-friendly punk anthems (think The Clash). At an 86 List show, it’s not uncommon for the entire audience to be yelling the words to each and every song. “People will grab the mic away and sing for us,” says Otto, the bass player. “For some reason, the songs have that beat and that sing-along quality that people connect to. Even my girlfriend’s parents like The 86 List.”

If Otto looks strangely familiar even to non-punk-fans, you might remember his other claim to fame: his delicious cheesecakes, which in 2001 HONOLULU Magazine named best in the city. He’s not baking anymore, sadly, but we’ve still got the music. Find out where the band is playing next at

The 86 List – “Tattoo”


Go Jimmy Go celebrates the release of its album at Pipeline Café last year. photo: courtesy of Go Jimmy Go


Local ska band Go Jimmy Go has pulled off that rarest of feats: For two years now, it’s been touring and recording as a full-time, self-supporting band. The band (which celebrates its 10th anniversary in October) has performed all over the Mainland and in Japan, and is planning a European tour in September. Eric White, the saxophone player, says, “We always dreamed of traveling. Music was a means to get out and see the world. And finally it’s come true.”

It helps that Go Jimmy Go is really, really good. The band has gained loyal fans with its cheerful guitar work, buoyant horn section and catchy original songs, which incorporate elements of traditional Jamaican ska, soul, funk and rock. “It’s more of a vibe than any specific style,” says White. “Whatever works.” And how does the band know it’s working? “People are shaking their ass, and really going for it,” he says. Visit or for upcoming show dates.

Go Jimmy Go – “Open the Door”


Linus takes a break from rehearsal: (from left) David Neely, Stanley Hardjadinata, Danmerle Capati and Nikolaus Daubert. photo: Olivier Koning


Local indie band Linus has a knack for packing contradictory feelings into crunchy little pop packages. On “Girlfriend,” for example, lead singer David Neely sings in a pained voice over an infectious guitar riff: “If I screamed my lungs out, would you forget him? Regret that you met him?” It would be a heartbreaking song—if it didn’t make your head bop quite so much.

The band is eager to sidestep genre labels. “From the beginning, the driving force for Linus has been the need to create something new and fresh,” says Neely, who is also the band’s songwriter and lead guitarist. The formula is working: Linus has been around for six years now, has toured on the East Coast and last fall released its first full-length album, The Construction. Visit or for the latest on Linus shows.

Linus – “Arrivals and Departures”

Sugahdaddy is: (from left) Mike Cueva, M. Kalani Souza, Darrell Aquino, Jason Nobriga and Chris Luke (not pictured). photo: courtesy of Sugadaddy


For those tired of the local glut of party-hearty Jawaiian bands, the five-piece Sugahdaddy—‘EHawaiianRockBand, as the bandmates call themselves—offers a throwback to socially conscious Hawaiian groups such as Olomana and Country Comfort, with original, politically aware rock and folk songs. Lead singer M. Kalani Souza says, “It’s not about skanking or selling a message of flowers and coconuts. It’s about real life in contemporary Hawai‘i. We want to evoke thought in people, start a dialog.”

A Sugahdaddy show is no dry lecture, though—the band packs its sets with high-energy, original roots-rock and funk. It also injects its songs with a welcome measure of wit and humor. Sample lyric: “We ain’t no crabs, this ain’t no bucket. … If we can’t all agree, all we’ll ever get is suffereignty.” The band’s Under a Native Moon won the 2005 Na Hoku award for best rock album. Its latest, Suffereignty, turns the volume down for an acoustic set.

SugahDaddy – “Suffereignty”, the best place on the web for what’s happening in the world of Hawai‘i rock, punk and ska.

Detox (1192 Alakea St., second floor, 526-0200), now that there’s no more music at Coffee Talk, Detox has become the place to go for small-scale music shows.

Pipeline Café (805 Pohukaina St., 589-1999), for better or worse, Pipeline hosts more rock bands—mainland and local—than just about anyone else in Honolulu. Check for upcoming shows.