Entries from February 2006

February 25, 2006

Tiki Pendants

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:01 am
Tiki God Collection
Tiki God Collection, from the collection of the jab

One thing I love about la vida tiki is that the men have as much, if not more, jewelry than the girls do — it’s very gender neutral that way. Between us, Hanford & probably have a couple dozen tiki necklaces strewn about the house and in various boxes. These fab trinkets pepper my house in the same way that stray legos did when I was a kid. On our way out the door on a typical evening: Wallet? Check. Lipstick? Check. Tiki ’round the neck? Check.

In a thread on Tiki Central, lots of people have shared their collections of pendants, and you get an idea the great scope of variety out there: many different traditional designs from moai to Hawaiian carvings to Maori ones; fantastical modern designs; different materials like wood, bone, plastic and metal; modern designs and vintage designs. They’re really fun to have, and because of the small size and low cost, it’s the sort of collection that sneaks up on you.

The picture to the left comes courtesy of The Jab’s blog. It’s from the August 1963 issue of the (ahem) mens’s magazine, Escapade, and illustrates that tiki necklaces for men are a time-honored tradition.

February 24, 2006

New Website for Conga Lounge

Filed under: San Francisco,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:26 pm
Conga Lounge website
Conga Lounge website

Oakland’s Conga Lounge has a new website… by me! In updating the Conga Lounge website, I aimed to give it the same feel that the bar does — tropical, warm and friendly. I also helped the Conga Lounge get set up on Flickr… if you have pictures of good times spent at the Conga Lounge, add them to Flickr with the tag “congalounge” to share them!

Website design and database programming are how I eat, and luckily I love to do it. I’m available to do websites of about any scale — database-driven websites like Critiki are my speciality, but I do smaller, static websites like this one, too. I also can create and host a blog for you. I’ve got 12+ years of database design and application design experience, and six years of Perl/CGI programming experience.

I have a handful of great projects on my plate at the moment, and I’m looking to line up more. Whether your needs are business- or leisure-oriented, I love doing great work for people. Check out my services & portfolio, and I’m always happy to help you figure out how to best achieve what you desire.

The Best of Martin Denny’s Exotica

Filed under: Music,News,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:59 pm
The Best of Martin Denny's Exotica
The Best of Martin Denny’s Exotica

On March 6, Capitol is releasing a new compliation of Martin Denny’s Exotica classics, apty named “The Best of Martin Denny’s Exotica.” Here’s a track listing:

1. Exotica
2. Coronation
3. Quiet Village
4. Forbidden Island
5. Oro (God Of Vengeance)
6. La Pampa Y La Puna
7. Flamingo
8. Hypnotique
9. Misirlou
10. Caravan
11. Escales
12. My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii
13. Jungle Drums
14. Taboo
15. The Enchanted Isle
16. Similau
17. Ringo Oiwake
18. Stardust
19. Martin Denny on Martin Denny (bonus interview)

Martin Denny’s excellent back catalog is relatively easy to find (thankfully!), but any collection that serves as a handy introduction to the exotic works of Martin Denny is okay by me. I don’t know what the bonus interview is like, but I’ve seen interviews with him before, and he was an engaging fellow. Amazon is accepting pre-orders now.

Tiki Packed Weekend in So Cal

Filed under: Events,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:48 pm

I already mentioned tonight’s Tiki Taix 2nd Anniversary, but Sunday’s going to be a good day to be a So Cal tikiphile, too. Otto von Stroheim is in town to turn the atrium of VacationFest into a Tikifest. VacationFest takes place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and is filled with travel vendors’ booths with information on tour packages, destinations, hotels, boat packages, you name it. Trips will be given away in drawings by several vendors. As at last year’s Vacationfest, the atrium of the building will be a tiki marketplace, with vendors of carvings, apparel and more. Otto will be selling copies of his Tiki Art Two book. Doug Nason will have a presentation on Tikis of the South Pacific at 2 p.m. A coupon for free admission can be found at Otto’s website. Later that evening, Otto will be DJing at the new Puka Bar in Long Beach, from 9 – 11 p.m.

Mysterious Pink Tiki Innards

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:26 pm
Pink Boots inside tiki
Inside Bargoyle’s tiki

Bargoyle had a resin tiki outdoors in the biting cold Connecticut weather; it took a topple when a wind gust came along, and snapped into two. Upon inspection, Bargoyle found that the otherwise hollow tiki had this strange, not-creamy, pink filling… inspiring the mind to race with wonderment. Was the tiki was part of a vast underground doll boot smuggling network? Does the tiki have an appetite for Strawberry Shortcake dolls clad in difficult-to-digest galoshes? Perhaps Bargoyle was really purchasing small pink footwear, and it comes in natty tiki packaging?

Tiki Taix Tonight: Two Years of King Kukulele & Escargot

Filed under: Events,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:31 am
King Kukulele
King Kukulele

Tonight is a celebration of two years of King Kukulele’s monthly Tiki Taix cabaret night, at Taix French Restaurant in Los Angeles. King Kukulele is a comedian, singer, songwriter, adorable nutjob, emcee… but most of all, he’s a ukulele player. On the last Friday of every month, he transforms the intimate bar area of this ’60s French restaurant into a showcase of tiki. Visiting musicians, dancers, collectors, historians, vintage film clips… with King Kukulele’s rotating cast of supporting players, you never quite know what’s in store at Tiki Taix, but it’s always a blast. Taix is a neat old restaurant worth paying a visit to in its own right, and the clam chowder available on Fridays is very tasty. This month, everyone is receiving a reproduction of the Hawaiian Village Hotel’s “Coconut Bulletin” of October 20th, 1957. The evening’s entertainment program includes a hula dancer, music from the Friki Tikis, a slide show from the recent party at the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach, and a look at vintage ad art from the Hawaiian tourism industry. The evening kicks off at 10pm-ish, but it’s nice to get there a bit early to enjoy dinner in the bar and secure a table near the stage. Taix Restaurant is at 1911 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.

February 23, 2006

Tucson: Big Party, Refreshed Decor at Kon Tiki Lounge

Filed under: Events,News,Tiki,Tucson — Humuhumu @ 2:29 pm
New Bar at Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson
New Bar at Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson

One of my favorite tiki spots, the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, Arizona, has got some great things going on. The Kon Tiki Lounge has been going strong since 1961, kept busy and profitable by their enduring popularity with the local college set. Miraculously, almost all of the original decor is still intact, though sometimes in need of repair. In recent years, a new manager named Louie has been leading the charge in restoring the Kon Tiki’s glory. Kon Tiki Lounge tiki mugs by Tiki Farm are now available, with the design taken from the excellent Milan Guanko tiki outside. The place has been nicely maintained, and Bamboo Ben has been hired to do some fixing here and there. Above is the gorgeous new bar that Bamboo Ben has created — the old bar was perfectly serviceable and classic, but didn’t have much character, and the new bar looks like it was always there. Hey guys — can you ditch the bright lights in the aviary-turned-lizard cage behind the bar next?

With all this good stuff happening, a celebration is in order, so Louie is planning a big bash, likely for April 22. No details yet on the party, but whether you go then or during a quieter time, it’s definitely worth the trip.

A Truly Rotten FedEx Experience

Filed under: Art,Stolen Tiki Alert,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:35 pm
Big Benzart #5
Big Benzart #5

There are plenty of horror stories out there about all of the shipping companies, so a lot of folks tend to think of FedEx, UPS, DHL and all the others as being generally equal in reliability. And truly, it’s possible that any one of the shipping companies could have been the player in this crappy tale, but it happens to be FedEx this time. This doesn’t excuse the extraordinary awfulness of what happened to Benzart.

Ben “Benzart” Davis is not only a fantastic tiki carver, he’s a bit of a legend — he’s been carving for decades now and was responsible for the fantastic tikis that used to populate the Tropicana in Vegas. Benzart now lives in Florida and after working on heavily detailed small pieces, has returned to creating large masterpieces. Benzart pieces are highly coveted, and widely revered.

The tiki to the left is Big Benzart #5, and was shipped via FedEx to its new owner in Maryland. It disappeared from the FedEx system on February 16, when it “Departed the FedEx location” and never appeared anywhere else. Calls to FedEx were uncooperative, initially telling Ben “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” and ultimately telling him that the tiki had been completely “destroyed,” had been discarded and it was now a claims issue.

Okay, now look at this thing. It’s a big ol’ solid piece of wood. Really big, like man-size. What, short of a raging inferno of a fire, could damage it so badly that it would justify completely tossing it? FedEx refused to give Ben any confirmation of what had occured, no details, no pictures of the damaged goods, only telling him it had been discarded. The whole thing smelled rather fishy.

Benzart puts a lot of time, care and love into his tikis, and he simply would not take this as an answer. He wanted to have the remains of his tiki. He wanted to know what had become of it. You don’t just toss a tiki. Everybody knows that. It’s bad juju.

Ben insisted on speaking to a human being at the local office that last saw the tiki. He again was given the runaround, told that he couldn’t talk to the local office, told again that the package was damaged and destroyed, and upon insisting to see the remains, was transferred through three more people. Finally he was sent to a person at the local office, a woman named Peggy, who upon hearing the description of the item, said “It’s RIGHT HERE”… the tiki had not been destroyed at all. On the contrary, the FedEx label had been partially damaged.

So not only was FedEx unable to connect a package having lost its delivery information with a person trying to find out what happened to a package at that exact same day & location, they flagged Benzart’s package as having been destroyed and discarded, without actually having any idea at all what happened to it. Especially given that the FedEx system knows the dimensions, size and Lose Weight Exercise of each package, it should have been able to connect the two, given the unusual the size of this package. With Ben being told his package had been trashed, how on earth did they plan on connecting the package with its proper owner?

So Benzart and the tiki’s new owner have a happy ending, but it is absolutely ludicrous that it was incumbent on him to be so ridiculously tenacious and persistent in the face of FedEx asshattery.

Hale Tiki in Augusta Has Closed

Filed under: Atlanta,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:04 pm
Tiki at Hale Tiki in Augusta
Tiki at Hale Tiki in Augusta

The Hale Tiki in Augusta, Georgia has gone out of business. The bar opened to much fanfare in 2004. The bar was owned by Brad “The Beachcomber” Owens, who enlisted the help of Basement Kahuna, Bamboo Ben, Crazy Al, and many other carvers and artists, ultimately creating a tapa and bamboo encrusted bar that was unusually lovely. Initially things were promising, with raves about the uncommonly good drinks, and music only being played from vintage lps.

All was not rosy, however… Owens earned some very bad publicity when he didn’t follow through on many mug and shirt orders, and did not communicate in a timely fashion about the status of orders, leaving many tikiphiles who were trying to be supportive of the Hale Tiki feel cheated. Eventually the orders were filled, but the damage had been done to Owens’ reputation. Down the road, a business feud with Basement Kahuna also seemed to negatively impact the mana of the place — I’ve heard multiple reports about the dismal quality of the drinks there in recent months, and the declining decor.

Today on Tiki Central, Brad Owens announced that the Hale Tiki’s final day was last Friday, February 17. He says he’s considering offers to sell the bar outright, but it may not open again. No word on what will come of the many carvings and artwork, some of which were donated to Hale Tiki by Tiki Centralites.

I’m glad that I got to enjoy Hale Tiki in happier times, and I lament its loss.

February 22, 2006

Dumb Angel Magazine Starts a Blog

Filed under: Los Angeles,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:05 pm
Dumb Angel Balboa - Stuft Shirt Restaurant
Dumb Angel Balboa – Stuft Shirt Restaurant

Domenic Priore & Brian Chidester, the creators of Dumb Angel Magazine, have started a blog. This is a time for great rejoicing. If it’s anything like the magazine (which recently published a very book-like Issue #4 after a 16 year interlude) the posts will be sporadic, but each one will be long and jam-packed with pictures, history, and lots of references. Dumb Angel’s focus is the Southern California scene of the 1960s, the influences that went into creating that era, and the influences that came out of it. The heart of their passion is the music, but passion drives them to paint the most complete picture possible, and results in authoritative articles that launch off in the most far-flung, unexpected directions. They have a talent for pulling together threads from every which direction, and making it all make sense. My already fervent love affair with Southern California is driven to even further heights every time I read one of their pieces.

One of the first entries is an encyclopedic look at Balboa in Orange County, including the above picture of the Stuft Shirt Restaurant. Any description I would attempt would sound confusing and wouldn’t do it justice — just go check it out.

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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