Perhaps no other decade saw such an explosion of new sounds, musical genres and sub-categories as the 1980s. Yet, in pre-Internet Honolulu, the quest to find a rad show or truly transcendent new jam could be challenging. A conscious effort was required of scenesters in tracking non-mainstream, under-the-radar offerings via fliers, handbills and word-of-mouth.
If you were lucky enough to live in a tiny pocket of the city where you might stumble upon college station KTUH’s then-modest reach, you were already ahead of the game. Of course, there was also Jelly’s, where you might run into someone who’d heard the rundown on an upcoming gig or browse through the latest 12″ Euro imports to hear what was happening outside the States. Somehow, some way, the hip and in-the-know got it done.
Local music and art mag Novus is proof that 1980s Honolulu was quite a bit cooler than you think or remember. Here are three more artifacts uploaded for your perusal (search ‘Novus’ on this site to download other back issues).
Novus October 1983
Novus’ first year of publishing was marked by its October 1983 Anniversary Issue, which features trailblazing flutist Tim Weisberg; indie film reviews; a Hitchhiker’s Guide to Alternative Radio in Hawaii; concert reviews of The Cure, Peter Tosh and The Animals; and record reviews of Altered Images, Stray Cats, Big Country, Herbie Hancock and more. Read it here.
Novus June 1984
The June 1984 issue includes a one-on-one with Hawaii songbird Rachel Gonzales; Lesa Griffith explores the growing influence of androgyny on ‘80s pop culture; there are record reviews on the latest jams by R.E.M., Dream Syndicate, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Special AKA, Style Council, Human League, Pat Metheny and others as well as live reviews of The Motels and Steve Morse. Read the entire issue here.
Novus January/February 1985
The headliner here is an exclusive interview with R.E.M., who had recently performed at Aloha Tower. Also included are reviews of nouveau offerings by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wynton Marsalis, Romeo Void, Sugar Minott and others; a sit-down with saxman Michael Paulo; plus a report on the Flock of Seagulls show at the University of Hawaii’s Campus Center Ballroom. This issue was a bit bigger than usual, so your download includes part one and part two.