Melissa Moniz
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Friday - December 12, 2008

The guys of PALI, Pali Kaaihue, Mark Kawakami, Bradley Kawakami, Ken Lykes and Kaleo Van Titcomb, have a holiday deal that’s definitely worth checking out - two disks for the price of one. That’s right: PALI’s brand new release isn’t one album, but two.

Disk one is a “by request” collection of hula favorites, originals, contemporary tunes, instrumentals and even a Okinawan song. The track list includes Walked Into Waikiki, Mana, Kawika, Ulupalakua, Hanalei Moon, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai, Keli’i Slack Key, E Huli Makou, Ko’ula, Noho Pai Pai, Misirlou, Wai O Ke Ani Ani and Shima Uta.

The group refers to disk 2 as its “hana hou” CD, which features the best songs from its previous two albums. Here’s the track list: Haleakala, Island Days, Ua Lilo I Ko Aloha, Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua, Ku’u Aloha, All Day Music, Makalapua, Ku’u Lei Nani, Le’ahi (live), For You, Ku’u Lei Awapuhi and ‘Akaka Falls.

“I think the best way to describe it is really that of a postcard to the world or a sampling of the diversity of Hawaii’s music,” says Kaaihue. “Between the two discs, we feel there’s something for everyone.”

The lone Okinawan song on the album is Kaaihue’s favorite. The song, which speaks about peace, was recorded with members of the Okinawan Minyo Aikou Kai Orchestra.

PALI: Kaleo Van Titcomb, Mark Kawakami, Brad Kawakami, Pali Kaaihue and Ken Lykes

Shima Uta draws many parallels to Hawaii and the overthrow of our monarchy,” says Kaaihue. “The song details the trials and tribulations the people of Okinawa had gone through, many having lost their lives and those of loved ones, and is specifically the separation of a man and woman, knowing that they’d never see each other again. The song calls for peace and reminds the listener not to forget the beautiful island and all of its elements.”

Their last album, Tribute, garnered their first Na Hoku Hanohano award for Best Contemporary Album, and the guys couldn’t have been happier. They say their friendship is the underlying reason why they are able to continue to produce music people seem to enjoy.

“We all get along as great friends first and foremost, and music is secondary,” says Brad. “We all enjoy playing music, period, so whether it’s by ourselves, or for fun, or for an audience, we just love playing. We joke around a lot, and hang out with each other outside of practicing or performing.”

As for their goals, producing albums is always a great accomplishment, but they agree that growing as individuals and personifying what other musicians have taught them is most important.

“We’re so thankful for the gift of music that Akua has blessed us with and besides growing musically, we yearn to just be better people and to really personify what the aloha spirit is about to others,” says Kaaihue. “That’s something I really miss about Aunty Genoa Keawe, because this was something I felt she really embodied. She was always very gracious to anyone who approached her, and so kind and giving to younger groups and artists out there who were trying to make it in this industry.”

For more on PALI, visit


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