Hands down one of the best weekends of the year was also one of the shortest trips anyone could take to Hawaii. On Friday, May 17, 2013, Andrew Brearley (Meaty Ogre) of Cherries Records arrived in Honolulu at 8pm by way of Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. He was tired, hungry, and here to spin an all-45 set at Mercury Bar the following night.
“So, wait, how did this all come together?” Andrew asked after greeting me, Oliver Twist and Everybody Knows at the airport. We all laughed. Seriously though, how did we manage to fly down a veteran vinyl collector and newly minted record label owner from Chicago? None of us had actually met Andrew before, and neither had our other Chicago guests—DJ Ambideckstriks and CZR PRZ—even if they lived in the same city. It was definitely an Ocean’s 11 vibe throughout the entire weekend, strangers who each had their own unique strengths coming together to form an alliance that would last only until the job is done. In this case, the job was Dig This Vibe.
However it happened (and the people who know, know), Meaty Ogre was here in Hawaii and everyone was grateful for it.
Party 1: Boy Bands and Smooth Sax
Andrew’s series of airplane transfers didn’t sway him from wanting to hang out Friday night. “You guys wanna kick it and listen to some records? I’m down for that.” We all were, so we headed to a Kapahulu shopping center to grab some grub and beer, then proceeded to my good friend Oliver’s house, where weekend party 1 of 3 commenced.
He played us a sampling of the modern soul gems he brought with him, stuff that was so funky we couldn’t help but dance in Oliver’s apartment. What was supposed to be a laid-back night of listening to records turned into a Honolulu bungalow mini-party fueled by sometimes-super-cheesy 80s boogie, local brews, and a serious lack of sleep on Andrew’s end. (When he landed at 8pm in Hawaii, it was 1am in Chicago. We didn’t head home until 1:30am Hawaii time.)
If you’re into the boogie funk genre, you’ll know that there’s an endless supply of considerably cheesy music that would turn off any run-of-the-mill funk-and-soul digger. It definitely turned me off when I first started digging, and it would ultimately take me hearing this podcast to pay closer attention to 80s supafunk music.
About that cheese. Hawaii has its share, much of it engulfed in pidgin about merchandise being too expensive (“Oh wow wat dis? Wat dis? How mach dis ting cost? $250? Eh dass too mach! Oh wow, lau lau”) or plagued by UFO sightings in the countryside. Or overly zealous of their reed player capable of bring the “Smooth Sax” on every level.
Even worse: shirtless brown-skinned tween boy bands whose group name suggests anything but what you see.
Though, as it turns out, that’s precisely the kind of cheese Andrew’s looking for. “Dude, I would play this at my party… and it would go off.”
Party 2: Facemelting Beat Set at Jelly’s
So after our bungalow boogie party which lasted until 7am Chicago time, we had to be at Jelly’s Honolulu by noon for a Meaty Ogre Beat Set. I woke up surprisingly early to go swimming at the beach (best hangover cure), but the rest of the Ocean’s 11 gang took their time getting up. All good, ’cause everyone arrived at Jelly’s at 11:30am.
Well, almost everyone—DJ Ambideckstriks was arriving at noon, and despite all our efforts to prepare for Andrew’s Beat Set, we forgot one thing: the laptop. Without a laptop, Andrew couldn’t use the Serato we had (thanks Ques!) to play his beats. So while I drove out to HNL with EK to pick up Ambideckstriks, a few of the Dig This Vibe regulars held it down spinning all vinyl.
When we got back to Jelly’s around 1pm, Ambideckstriks set up his laptop and spun out a 30 minute funk-and-soul set. So far so good, and party 2 of 3 brought a handful of Hawaii’s hip hop heads out to the well-known Honolulu record shop.
Andrew followed Ambideckstriks with his Beat Set and subsequently blew minds. Or, to quote Dig This Vibe resident Shitzr: “meaty’s out here in jelly’s town playing his new beats. my face is melted on the floor right now.”
Party 3: Thirty-Six Hours In Paradise
We didn’t anticipate three parties to spawn from a single show, the main event: Dig This Vibe presents Meaty Ogre at Mercury Bar. But it happened, and before we knew it Saturday night rose to become the zenith of our weekend (and hopefully everyone’s) with Shitzr, Aloha Got Soul, Oliver Twist, DJ Ambideckstriks, and Meaty Ogre throwing down funky tracks for the masses, plus live art by CZR PRZ and live visuals by hypoetical.
Here’s a 32-minute excerpt of Andrew’s set:
There’s not much more I want to say about party 3 of 3 right now other than it was one of my favorite nights of the year thus far. Hopefully everyone who attended feels the same way!
The After Party
OK, there was no actual after party, just me, Andrew and Shitzr making jokes at Zippy’s until 4 in the morning. I won’t bore you with jokes, but let me just say this: if you know any songs that fit a pseudo-genre known as “Vocoder Punk”, please contact me. Thanks.