Favorite Spaces
I've been in two bands in my life, and both of them suffered untimely demises. Whereas the reasons for littlejeans' slow death were abstract and vague, I place full blame the break up of the now defunct rock band Oh the Possibilities on the rhythm section, good as they may have been.

The band started humbly enough--three guys in shorts and slippers (one with a hat) met at an apartment in Makiki shortly after New Year's 2008. The Oh the Possibilities sound was founded upon acoustic guitars played in living rooms and in public parks on Saturday mornings. We would pick up yogurts and pastries, sometimes coffee or chai, and share a park bench for several hours while we worked out arrangements. Usually the weather was just right--in those winter/early spring months the climate was breezy and cool. Someone up there wanted this band to succeed. Everyone, in fact, wanted the band to succeed--except for the rhythm section. They had more insidious plans.

The folky manifestation of Oh the Possibilities lasted several months while we searched for a drummer. Finally, it occurred to someone that the bass player was married to one of the sickest drummers in Hawai'i. The lineup expanded, and briefly included a keyboard player who vanished, some time in April, without explanation. The sound of Oh the Possibilities grew more darker, heavier, the bass player and the drummer worked as well together as if they were soul mates (which they were), and the guitar players kept doing their thing. Practices became more fulfilling, shows began to materialize, records were made...and then the bass player and drummer split, moved to Maryland to have a baby.

Though my life was poisoned with bitterness after the sundering of this small, beautiful thing, I've come to appreciate the lessons I've learned with the band: that Russ is as good making Japanese food as he is making Mexican, and as good a bass player as he is with the guitar; that Janie's beats are machine-like in their precision, yet stunningly human in their groove; that Chris's songs never stop getting better. I was afraid he'd never top his Bunkbeds stuff, and then he came out with his Buford Brixton/Summatyme Playerrz--I was afraid there wouldn't be another "Happy Ending," and then he wrote "Lula." Personally, I was probably as good as I'm ever gonna get with Oh the Possibilities.

To sample songs from the final OTP playlist, go here.http://www.last.fm/music/Little+Jeanshttp://www.myspace.com/summatymeplayerrzhttp://www.myspace.com/summatymeplayerrzhttp://ohthepossibilities.bandcamp.com/album/the-estate-tapes-epshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3
Shine your light
Formerly of littlejeans, the bunkbeds, the Haunted Pines, and Kitty Hawk, lovehandles has played music all over this land, from Mililani to San Francisco to Arlington to Portland. I first met the personage who would become lovehandles in an undergraduate screenwriting class, where he had me listen to a cassette of his acoustic multi-tracked cover of the Beatles' "Real Love" on his Walkman. Ever since that moment, lovehandles has consistently flipped my wig with the breadth of his talent and taste.

Following the music career of the artist formerly known as Tommy for the past seven or eight years--as both a collaborator and a fan--has delivered one revelation after the other. His first cassette compilations were what I might call, if I chose to wear the shit-stained music reviewer's hat, "ad hoc indie folk guitar pop," but lovehandles is not the kind of artist that should be judged by the crippled measurements so commonly used to classify guitar-based songs. In fact, lovehandles is a different kind of artist altogether.

Whereas many musicians exploit their lives as material to create an artificial statement of their feelings, lovehandles' life is his music. His songs are not abstract and miserable musings on the injustice of existence; rather, they are vibrant photographs of a particular moment when he felt a particular thing particularly. Each lovehandles song celebrates a moment and feeling in all of its wonder, and the immensity of his output is testament to the limitless number of transcendent moments, the chasms and the pinnacles, a person can experience from one day to the next.

You can check out the newest lovehandles recordings on his bandcamp page here.
In my mind, I beat up jerks
Hailing from the backwaters of Washington State, now currently located in the frontwaters of Maryland, Russ Crandall is a bit of a polymath: songwriter/singer/bass player/producer/sound engineer and loving husband/father. Although I'm personally more acquainted with him as one-half a rhythm section as tight as Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew (his drummer wife Janey makes up the other 50%), Russ has recorded a vast amount of amzing songs on which he sings and plays guitar.

Where does one start with Russ's catalogue? Well, Radiation Output Determined doesn't want anyone to work too hard for listening satisfaction, so I've included five of my favorite Russongs on the box player to the right of the page (without trying to give Russ a swelled head he's also pretty nifty with a computer--he showed me how to access the widget I'm using as a music player). These songs illustrate Russ's talents not only as songwriter, but also as an interpreter of others' works. Check out his versions of "Lula" and "Two Little Lovebirds," songs by equally excellent artists about whom you will also read in the near future.

You can listen to Russongs here.