Well, I was able to go. Had no trouble getting in, either. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was an HOUR early
(so okay, I was worried about traffic!)
Getting there early got me a comfy seat on one of the sofas, with a good view of Jim, and BEHIND the webcam. Yay! I didn't exactly want to be broadcast live worldwide.
Kulak's is a very quirky place, run entirely by volunteers (which makes the good quality of the video work even more impressive) and paid by donations. The reason for the $2 membership is that the local governmental mucky-mucks have required them to temporarily become a private, paid-membership-only club until they get some kind of a parking variance from the zoning boffins. They pass a bucket (a paint bucket, with dried green paint on the inside) to help defray things like electric bills.
Somebody had a lot of fun decorating the place. There are clotheslines strung along the ceiling with CD's hanging from them, clipped on by wooden clothespins. Quilts on the ceiling too, and glow-in-the-dark glittery stars. There's a stuffed frog hanging from the boom that one of the cameras is attached to. The seating is an extremely miscellaneous collection of kitchen chairs, dining room chairs, fold-up wooden theater seats, a couple of sofas and even one bed. There's (horrors!) a bagpipe on the piano [insert bagpipe joke here]. And when I went to the restroom (way in the back, after you walk through the "bar" where you can get bottles of water or cans of soda out of the fridge on the donation/honor system), I noticed that the hot-water tap handle was an oven temperature control knob, and the cold-water tap was a volume control knob.
For the benefit of those who didn't catch the webcast, Jim did a solo set first, some traditional Hawaiian tunes and some his, including an unnamed one off the soon-to-be-ready new album, which I am now looking forward to more than ever. Then Bill Tapia
came on and did a couple of songs (wow-- 97 years old and he's not only still playing, he's TOURING!). Finally, Jim and three other guys (sorry, I can't remember the name of their band) did a set together, three of the songs accompanied by a girl dancing some very beautiful hula. No grass skirt, just an elegant black flowing kind of dress and a flower in her hair. Nirvana cheerleaders, eat your heart out!
At one point, Jim & band did a song about Molokai. It was NOT "Party At The Leper Colony." Just in case anybody was wondering.
One thing I found very interesting were the little hints and indicators of how well Jim has managed to find himself a place in Hawaiian culture. Almost all the singing he did was in Hawaiian (he mentioned having taken Hawaiian language lessons) and clearly he has a lot of close friends there.
I was also impressed by how varied the music was. And basically none of it made me think of fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, except maybe when Mr. Tapia sang "Little Grass Shack." But then, I guess that song is SUPPOSED to make you think of fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, and since Mr. Tapia played in the band when the Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened in 1927
, I guess he's entitled.
I talked to Jim very briefly afterward, told him I was looking forward to the new album, and passed on greetings from this forum, which I said is full of people kicking themselves because they live in the wrong state.
And that's all the news from North Hollywood.
"Weird Al" has a charisma that's all his own. The awkward, the misshapen, the socially inept flock to his banner.