Friday, January 15, 2010

Music & 'Ohana: Sage Rocks My World

My experiences with ALL THINGS HAWAIIAN have never been anything but amazing and lovely. From chocolate covered macadamia nuts, to Slack-Key guitar music to the joy of hearing applause after a particularly stunning sunset on the beach in Maui, Hawaii kind of rocks in a hugely wonderful way. The foliage, the smells, the landscape and the Pacific all lend a soft yet powerful quality to the Hawaiian Experience. The Hawaiian language is soft but staccato with many apostrophized vowels & repetition of words peppering one’s speech. Mahi-Mahi, Wahini, Ukulele, Aloha…all such fluid sounds when rolling off of the tongue, like gentle waves mesmerizing your ears as you fall asleep on the sandy shore.

One of my favorite Hawaiian words in both definition as well as verbal flow is the word ‘OHANA, meaning community or family. In my passionate experience with All Things Music, the community and family I am discovering never seems to stop growing. My ‘Ohaha in the Music World is now Vast, Huge and Welcoming.

As I spin images and tales of the bluest seas, the warmest waves, the brightest spirit of people, I also send you an Aloha from the dance floor and a Mahalo for taking the time to read this little ditty today on some ‘Ohana-influenced Hawaiian Rock and Roll from the Bay Area band, SAGE.

Joshua Schiaretti: Voice, Ukulele, Guitar

David Polo: Voice, Ukulele, Guitar

Every community begins with 2 individuals and a common goal or vision, two beings sharing a path. Joshua Schiaretti and David Polo met in High School in Hawaii, hated each other immensely and then decided to be lifelong friends & musical compadres for the rest of their lives. You can tell right away the ‘Ohana brotherhood between these two Ukulele wielding maestros whose Positive Island-Vibe inspired lyrics on love and life will open your mind even more to the possibility of Peace Through Music.

Sage is an unusual rock band that features Ukulele’s instead of guitars as the driving force of the main musical highway of Rock And Roll. Joshua Schiaretti and David Polo started out as an acoustic duo on the warm beaches of Oahu, but when they had an opportunity to jam with Bassist Ben Pfeiffer in 2005, the magic began to happen. 2008 brought drummer Dana Miller into the folds of the Musical Ohana of Sage. Pfeiffer and Miller both come from local ROCK bands (Chrome Johnson, Sabbath Lives!) and that changed the original sound of Sage immensely. Says Josh Schiaretti of adding the rock backgrounds of Miller and Pfeiffer to their largely acoustic groove, “Our sound went from a mellow, blending background to an "In Your Face", makes-you-wanna-move and smile your ass off vibe!” David Polo adds his ideas of the band’s morphing into more rock stylings, “I think it's really cool to see the different styles of music that are coming out of us, and it’s still developing. I feel it's something new and can go in any direction.”

We now have a new term to add to the world; Ukulele Headbang.

Ben Pfeiffer: Stand Up and Electric Bass

Dana Miller: Drums/Percussion

The Ukulele is not an instrument most people think of as having Rock and Roll Shred-ability, but instead our heads are filled of visions of Don Ho and 50’s Tiki-Schtick. Though if you put a Ukulele in the hands of Josh Schiaretti and David Polo, you’ll see that they have a tendency of being used in a much more dramatic ways than anything from Tiny Bubbles. Growing up in Hawaii, both men used the Ukulele quite a bit in most jams and musical ventures. Schiaretti clarifies the myth, “I think most people have a common misconception of the Ukulele. Mostly known for the "clanky" hollow sound from the past, the Ukulele in my opinion is capable of so much more tone and presence. We are just trying to take something traditional, something stuck or kinda stagnant and create a new sound, something new and for everyone. Our Ukulele's we're custom made by hand in Hawaii and fitted with electronic pickups as well as an internal mic so blending the sound to achieve the most natural tone possible is easy.” He continues, “The Ukulele seems so fragile, but it is pretty sturdy and is capable of creating a solid wall of sound. Plus my favorite thing is it makes people happy! Something about the sound and presence of the instrument makes people smile and dance!...I like to think of {our sound} as a merger of all the influences of our past. but focusing on a certain feeling of the present.”

The band is taking the Aloha approach to their music, infusing it with love & good vibes, gratitude & joy. They all sparkle and shine onstage like an early morning sunrise over the golden Pacific. Drummer Dana Miller really wants Sage “to keep playing and creating music with good vibes, and bring it to a global audience.” With the desire to create an album of Sage music, David Polo states, “We love the studio and we have the songs to do an album a year. I'm fired up! I love the fact that we're blessed with the ability to do what we do. if we stay focused no task is to difficult.”

With the ‘Ohana Vibe permeating their live shows as well as their recorded tunes on their website, Sage leaves you happy and loved with the music that is inspired by the deep culture and spirit of Hawaii.

And so I close my story by wishing you Aloha and by sending you postcards from my brain with images of whale song & body surfing, of bonfire jams with Ukuleles on a full moon night, the Big Dipper, 7 Sisters and Orion possibly overhead, guiding you in your journey for finding your own ‘Ohana.

Moonmama Loves You!

SAGE website

1 comment:

  1. Sage is my favorite band...please come to the Big Island to play.