Entries from October 2005

October 30, 2005

Tiki Oasis 6 Coming in May, But Not to Palm Springs

Filed under: Events,News,Palm Springs,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:07 am
Room 135 Party, Tiki Oasis 2004
Room 135 Party, Tiki Oasis 2004

A definite good news/bad news situation. Make that fantastic news: happily, Otto von Stroheim has announced that the Tiki Oasis event will be taking place next year. Tiki Oasis is a huge annual tiki celebration, drawing hundreds from around the world. A formal announcement would have traditionally come much earlier in the year; the idea that it might not happen next year was making some folks quite concerned. Otto has pegged the weekend of May 7 as the tentative date.

Now the bummer: it won’t be taking place at the Caliente Tropics. There was a management change at the Caliente Tropics earlier this year, and Casey Jones is no longer part of the Caliente Tropics team. The new management doesn’t share Casey’s concern for preserving this piece of tiki history, and apparently they have no interest in attracting the tiki community as customers. According to Otto, “The new management openly scoffed at previous managements plans to improve the Tiki decor and court the Tiki audience.” Here’s more of what Otto had to say:

Pete Moruzzi, Sven [Kirsten], and I started the Tiki Oasis event as a fundraiser to support the previous owners who had bought the hotel and renovated it and saved it from getting leveled like the Kon Tiki in Phoenix. The event not only gave the hotel a boost in the arm for one weekend, it raised national and international awareness of the hotels existence resulting in increased vacationers year-round. In return the previous management supported Tiki fans and other Tiki events. (Thanks Casey!) Since the owners and management of the tropics hotel are no longer the type of people we can support we can no longer continue to have our event there. We regret having to pull support from the tropics hotel itself but we feel it is only a matter of time before the owners either run it into the ground or renovate in an effort to increase profits. Therefore we cannot support the future demise of the tropics.

I’m certainly sad, though not surprised to hear of this turn of events. But now, the fun part — speculating on where Tiki Oasis is going to happen.

October 27, 2005

Mai Kai Hurricane Wilma Damage Update

Filed under: Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:20 am

An update on the condition of the Mai Kai, courtesy of Tiki Kiliki, after speaking with Pia Dahlquist, the Mai Kai’s Director of Sales and Marketing:

The Mai Kai is completely intact on the inside. Yes, the outside sustained a good bit of damage but the debris along the front of the Mai Kai is now cleared away and they are working on the roof as we speak. The phones are still unoperational and the power has not yet been restored. As soon as the power and phones are up so is the Mai Kai.

October 25, 2005

Mai Kai Damaged by Hurricane Wilma

Filed under: Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:49 pm

The historic Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale, site of the recent Hukilau event, suffered damage from Hurricane Wilma. Wilma hit the area the harder than any storm in 50+ years. Early reports are that the damage is mostly to the exterior, including the plank bridge at the entrance, but the interior seems to be alright, with only some minor flooding behind the stage. It’s too early yet to know what repairs will be needed.

October 20, 2005

Stolen Tiki Alert: Hawaiian Gardens in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida

Filed under: Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Stolen Tiki Alert,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:08 am
Stolen Tiki from Hawaiian Gardens
Stolen Tiki from Hawaiian Gardens

The tiki pictured here was stolen within the past three weeks from Hawaiian Gardens, a retirement community in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Tiki Kiliki, who lives near the complex, is helping the management search for this tiki. If you spot this tiki, or have any information about what happened to it, contact Tiki Kiliki at tiki_kiliki@tikikiliki.com.

Yma Sumac at Hollywood Forever’s Day of the Dead, October 29

Filed under: Events,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:49 am
Yma Sumac
Yma Sumac

Per the New York Times, Yma Sumac will be appearing at Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Day of the Dead event on October 29. The cemetery (formerly named Hollywood Memorial Park, and the permanent home to such luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille, Tyrone Power, Rudolph Valentino, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Ramone, Douglas Fairbanks and many, many more) holds regular events, often movie screenings — this day the grounds will be closed to burials, and a colorful celebration will take place. While the New York Times says that Yma Sumac will be “performing,” it’s more likely that she’ll be appearing and signing autographs. It would be wonderful if she feels up to performing, but she’s in her 90s and I’m sure it wouldn’t come easily.

Meeting Ms. Sumac at the Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale the week before last was very, very special — she seemed to really enjoy being there and meeting so many fans. She still dresses the part, and was all glamour. She was very approachable, and took the time to recite to me what she had written on her photo for me, while looking me right in the eyes and smiling brightly. She made me feel so good, and I’ll adore her forever for it.

Get a Crazy Al Tiki for $10 & Help the American Stroke Association

Filed under: Art,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:25 am
Crazy Al Tiki #100
Crazy Al Tiki #100

Crazy Al Evans is busting his butt in oh-so-many ways to raise money for the American Stroke Association. He’s organizing an art auction to take place November 6 at the Lucky Tiki in Mission Hills — Bamboo Ben and Basement Kahuna have already contributed pieces to be auctioned at this event, all proceeds go to the American Stroke Association. If you have some art you’d like to contribute to the auction, Crazy Al would love to hear from you. He’s also training to run in the Honolulu Marathon for the ASA — every $10 you pledge gets you a raffle ticket in a drawing to own Crazy Al’s Tiki #100 (pictured above).

Some sobering stroke statistics: every 45 seconds someone suffers a stroke — every 3.1 minutes someone dies of stroke — there are 4.4 million stroke survivors — 29% of people who have strokes are under the age of 65. Stroke impacts a whole mess of us, and there’s a lot of room for improvement in its prevention and treatment. There are lots of ways you can help Crazy Al raise money for the ASA, by pledging a lot or a little, by donating art or bidding on art. One lucky pledger will get to take tiki #100 home, and it’s a beaut!

Leilani Lanes To Be Demolished in Spring 2006

Filed under: News,Seattle,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:44 am

Sad news from Seattle… according to an article in the Seattle Times, Leilani Lanes has been sold to a real estate developer, who plans to demolish it to make way for an apartment and retail complex. Leilani Lanes, open since 1961, had been owned by a collective of families; the same group also owns the non-tiki but very cool Sunset Lanes in Seattle, which has not been sold. Leilani Lanes was sold for $6.25 million to Michael R. Mastro, who also bought the adjoining property. Mastro plans to build a new complex with 363 apartment units and 62,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. Leilani Lanes will be open until March 2006.

Now I’m kicking myself doubly for forgetting to bring my camera when we visited Leilani Lanes last month, as it’s very unlikely I’ll get to see it again before it’s gone. I would guess that the Witco there will be spoken for very quickly, if it’s not gone already. Someone, get some pics, stat!

October 19, 2005

Tiki Torch Nights Atlanta: October 22, with Otto & APE

Filed under: Art,Atlanta,Events,Music,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 8:46 pm
Tiki Kiliki & Humuhumu at the July 2004 Tiki Torch Night
Tiki Kiliki & Humuhumu at the July 2004 Tiki Torch Night

This coming Saturday, October 22, is the latest in Tiki Kiliki’s ongoing Tiki Torch Nights event series, held at the Atlanta Trader Vic’s (which is my favorite of the remaining U.S. Trader Vic’s locations). I made it to a Tiki Torch Night in Atlanta in July 2004 (pictured above), and had a grand old time.

This weekend’s slate is pretty fantastic: it’s a signing for Otto von Stroheim’s Tiki Art Now book, with Otto, Derek Yaniger and Crazy Al Evans in attendance. Derek Yaniger’s artwork is featured in the book; this Atlanta resident has been responsible for a lot of great event artwork, including posters and mugs. Crazy Al Evans’ artwork is also in the book — Crazy Al lives in Orange County, and his trip to Atlanta serves a double purpose: Crazy Al is bringing along some of his San Francisco-based bandmates from APE. Not to be missed. Also performing this weekend are The Surge, Dames A’Flame, and Hula Halau Kapilialoha. There will be a Halloween costume contest, complimentary appetizers and $4.50 Mai Tais, and a Temptation Potion will be given away at 10:30. The soiree kicks off at 8 p.m.

Tiki Kiliki has also started throwing Tiki Torch Nights at the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale, stay tuned to her website for the next event near you.

October 17, 2005

Dumb Angel Gazette: Sixties Surf Teen Culture Meets Tiki

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,Music,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:49 pm
Dumb Angel Gazette
Dumb Angel Gazette

Dumb Angel Gazette #4 was released this summer, after much anticipation (the last issue of Dumb Angel was printed in 1989). Like Dumb Angels Nos. 1-3, this is a masterfully-crafted love letter to the pop sounds of midcentury Southern California, and as such is solidly centered around surf music, especially the Beach Boys, and especially especially Brian Wilson. For Co-Editors Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester, all roads lead to the center of the Dumb Angel universe — Brian Wilson — but much effort is put into defining the outer edges of that universe; introducing the reader to the context and influences that created this era they love so much. As such, the center of my universe gets touched upon: tiki and tiki music. In particular, and article by Tobias Bernsand and Brian Chidester entitled “The Marimba You Send Out Returns To You” describes in great detail the development of the Exotica sound by Les Baxter, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, and draws many strings between this scene and Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys. The magazine (though it’s really more of a book — a beautiful, full-color book) holds tiki touches and gems throughout.
Like the acclaimed earlier Dumb Angel issues, this will surely become an adored reference for those who love the sunny sounds of 60s Southern California, and all it spawned.

October 14, 2005

My Travels: Hukilau

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Music,My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:46 pm

Just got back from a fantastic time at Tiki Kiliki’s Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale. In what is becoming a Hukilau tradition, I lost my camera on Thursday, before the festivities had even begun. Hanford was able to take a few photos with his camera, hopefully we’ll be able to get those uploaded soon. Sadly, I became rather sick during my trip, with either a nasty cold or a mild flu, I’m not sure which. I’m sure it didn’t help at all that I refused to let the rare opportunity to consume delicious Mai Kai cocktails slip me by.

The event blew away all expectations, which already were quite high. The entire crowd became perfectly still, and all faces seemed to be totally transfixed in reverence, during Robert Drasnin’s historic performance. James Teitelbaum is responsible for making that part of the event come together: first, he had to get Robert Drasnin interested, and then, he had to track down professional musicians who could rise to the formidable task of performing a long set of complicated and exotic orchestrations. Amazingly, this 18-piece orchestra met and performed together for the first time when they rehearsed on Thursday, the day before the Friday performance. The live performance by this talented group sounded just like the recording of Voodoo we all know and love. The troupe contained a few notables: Formikaniki (a.k.a Miss Formica Dinette, or Alice Berry) provided primal, yet ethereal, vocals; four members of the Boston Exotica group Waitiki performed, and Robert Drasnin’s own grandson contributed his percussion talents. Another mainstay of Exotica was on hand for Hukilau, Yma Sumac. Meeting Ms. Sumac was an unexpected highlight for me, I found her to be quite charming, still glamorous, and it was pure delight to meet her. I didn’t get to see Charles Phoenix’s slide show, as I was helping out at the registration desk, but I heard it was a big hit, and Tiki Kiliki has stated that she’d like to see Phoenix become a permanent addition to future Hukilaus.

With every visit I make to the Mai Kai, I find somehow that my sense of familiarity does not grow, rather my sense of awe does. Very impressive. I cannot imagine every growing tired of visiting the Mai Kai, and I envy those who are able to make more regular trips there. Our night at the Mai Kai was wrapped up by a performance by the Boston Exotica group, Waitiki. I’d heard of the group quite some time ago, but this was my first time seeing them perform in person. I was quite simply blown away. I have so much to say about Waitiki that I’m going to have to do it in another blog post, which will come shortly. For now, I’ll simply say that Waitiki made me fall in love with Exotica all over again, and in a whole new way. You’re going to get tired of hearing me talk about how much I love them.

The Mai Kai has been very happy with Tiki Kiliki’s Hukilau and monthly Tiki Torch Night events, and they are very excited to work with Tiki Kiliki for next year’s Hukilau, which will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Mai Kai. Naturally, plans are already well underway for next year’s event, which is scheduled for October 5, 6, 7 & 8, 2006, and will feature the return of popular Italian band I Belli di Waikiki. There’s already a thunderous buzz from people eager to see what Kiliki will pull together for the Mai Kai’s 50th, and people from all over the country are already marking their calendars — Sven Kirsten says that he will absolutely not miss this one, and Otto von Stroheim & his wife Baby Doe are also planning on making it — naturally, Hanford & I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog