Entries from March 2006

March 14, 2006

Waitiki’s New New Drummer

Filed under: Events,Mexico,Music,New England,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:50 pm
Waitiki's new "Laughing Boy"
Waitiki’s new "Laughing Boy"

Not too long ago, Waitiki announced that longtime drummer Space Kadet was leaving the Waitiki fold, headed on to new adventures in Hawaii. The new drummer that Waitiki selected was Robert “Bobby Bongo” Schultz, but scheduling conflicts have sent Waitiki on the search again for a new drummer. Enter the mysterious “Laughing Boy,” pictured left. Who is this drumming wonder? I do not know, and the Waitiki website isn’t giving up its secrets. As a matter of fact, the Waitiki boys appear to be making a game of it, as Laughing Boy’s page on the site simply reads:

Do you know who this is? Take your best guess! Let us know at band@Waitiki.com.

He looks a lot like a kid I went to elementary school with named Shane, who lived in a haunted house. But I’m guessing that’s not him.

The boys have two major shows coming up: a special performance of their 21-piece Esquivel Orchestrotica in Mexico City on April 1, and a warm-up show in Boston on Friday, March 24. If you can make it to either of these shows, do not miss them!

UPDATE: Clever monkey ookoo lady figured out who the mysterious drummer is — it’s Mike Connors, who previously was the drummer for Combustible Edison. Great addition to the band, guys!

Dick Frizzell’s Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,Disney,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:21 pm
Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, by Dick Frizzell
Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, by Dick Frizzell

New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell is a “renegade pop artist,” offering new perspectives of pervasive imagery. In the above piece, Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, he creates a clever transition between two cultural icons. This lithograph is in the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand; though it is not currently on display, the gallery does offer the image for sale on t-shirts, notecards and prints in its online shop.

Forbidden Island Update

Filed under: San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:06 pm

This weekend, we got to pitch in and help on the build-out of Forbidden Island, the new tiki bar in Alameda. It’s still on track to open in April. Regular Humu Kon Tiki readers are very familiar with the fantastic work of Bamboo Ben; he has been brought on board to do the interiors. Bamboo Ben’s mastery, combined with the fantastic vision of Martiki, is creating something unlike what you’ve seen before. The build-out has only just begun, but even with what’s already there it’s pretty dramatic. I’ve also had a chance to get to know the bartenders who’ll be crafting the fantastic concoctions (the drink menu is going to be huge), and we’ll be in very, very good hands. I can’t conjure up a word that properly conveys how we feel about this place already — we’re definitely going to be barnacles there. There’s sure to be a Grand Opening party (or two, or three), I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Better yet — go to their website, and sign up for the mailing list.

Mondays at San Francisco Trader Vic’s — Still Going Strong

Filed under: Events,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 9:37 pm
Tikis in the bar at San Francisco Trader Vic's
Tikis in the bar at
San Francisco Trader Vic’s

Just about every week, someone says to me, “Are you still going to Trader Vic’s on Mondays? Because I’m going to be in town on a business trip…” Yep, we sure are. As a matter of fact, since we started going in mid-October, we’ve only missed one week. It’s a rotating cast of characters — a few of us make it every week, some make it every other week or once a month, and there are always new faces coming through. Often it’s folks in from out of town, sometimes people we’re meeting for the first time, and lots of old friends, too. Great drinks, great food, great company, great conversation… what’s not to like?

The San Francisco Trader Vic’s is on Golden Gate Ave, just east of Van Ness. Parking is easy to come by on the street. There’s typically someone there by 7 p.m. or so, and we get there by about 7:30 and often stay until close. Come on by, and I’ll lift a drink with you.

Tikified Workspaces

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:25 pm
Rob Roy's tiki cubicle
Rob Roy’s tiki cubicle

In a thread on Tiki Central, folks are sharing pictures of how they’ve added a bit of tiki to their workspaces. The pictures of dreary gray cubicles with soul-stealing flourescent lighting still send a chill down my spine, but it’s neat to see how people wrap themselves up in the things they love, turning a corner of their corporate-issue pressboard into an altar to savagery. It reminds me of pictures of the first few sprigs of green life that made their way through the thick layer of gray volcanic ash after Mt. St. Helens erupted.

Most of the tikiness in the pictures is in the form of rows of tiki mugs, but there are also small carved tikis, glass floats, grass matting, and even the occasional bottle of rum. My own workspace actually isn’t tiki — I’m working on collecting plastic flowers from the ’60s (like the kind your grandmother had on her dining room table), and I’m gluing them all over the inside of my computer hutch.

Two of my friends have had really great at-work tiki setups. Mig Ponce once had a tiki cubicle at work that was rather over-the-top, and gave him a spot of fame at Shutterfly, where he worked. Easily, the most dramatic tiki workspace I’ve seen is that of Pixar animator Mark Walsh — it’s a free-standing tiki hut. Mig, Mark — do you guys have pictures?

March 13, 2006

Atlanta: 30th Anniversary Bash at Trader Vic’s

Filed under: Atlanta,Events,Music,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 5:32 pm
30th Anniversary of Atlanta Trader Vic's
30th Anniversary of Atlanta Trader Vic’s

In celebration of Trader Vic’s 30 years in Atlanta, master event producer Tiki Kiliki is throwing a bash on the weekend of April 28th and 29th.

On Friday, April 28, there’s a special show at the Starlight Drive-In. The movie hasn’t been announced yet, but vintage movie trailers will be shown, and “Trailer Vic’s” will be serving up drinks, there will be Tiki Torch Marshmallow roasting, and Johnny Knox and Hi Test will be performing. As is the custom at the Starlight, bring your own coolers & cookout setup, and decorate your care space — the best decor wins a tiki carving!

Saturday, April 29 is the main celebration at the Atlanta Trader Vic’s. They’ll be bringin out vintage Oceanic Arts decor that was purchased and put in storage in 1976. King Kukulele is the MC, and Haole Kats, Cocktail Preachers and the hula troupe Hula Halau Kapilialoha will be performing. There will be door prizes, and a “temptation potion” giveaway. Mai Tais will be available for only $4.50, and you can make reservations to enjoy a special dinner there that night, too.

The Atlanta Trader Vic’s is my personal favorite Trader Vic’s. It’s located in the bottom level of the Atlanta Hilton, which has rooms available that weekend for only $89/night. Kiliki is most famous for organizing the annual Hukilau event at the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale, but her regular Tiki Torch Nights in Atlanta are hugely fun and popular. This should be a real winner of a weekend, and the cost is only $10 each night.

Album Frames by Monkeyman

Filed under: Art,People,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:12 pm
Album frame by Monkeyman
Album frame by Monkeyman

Carver and artist Monkeyman has been creating detailed, customized wood-carved frames for artwork for a few years now, and his work is truly beautiful. Each frame he creates is uniquely suited to the piece of art it will hold. These hand-crafted works take time, and Monkeyman is looking at something new — doing a larger production of standard-sized frames, designed to perfectly hold vintage album covers. Album cover frames are available out there, but they tend to be pretty basic — but Monkeyman’s ornate frames would work wonderfully in any home tiki setup, and will likely be very affordable. Based on the great interest this has generated, it looks like now is the time to get on Monkeyman’s list for frames.

Bone Carvings by Basement Kahuna

Filed under: Art,People,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:54 pm
Marquesan bone pendant by Basement Kahuna
Marquesan bone pendant
by Basement Kahuna

Carver Basement Kahuna, whose work has been profiled here before, usually works in wood but has started creating intricate pieces from bone. He’s currently taking orders for these pieces, in Maori and Marquesan styles, for completion this spring. I don’t know how much they run, but whatever the price they’re likely worth it — BK’s work is top-notch. If you’d like to place an order, send Basement Kahuna a personal message through Tiki Central.

Dallas Trader Vic’s Reopening Confirmed

Filed under: Dallas,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:22 pm
Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by suelo
Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by suelo

The widely-rumbling rumors of the Dallas Trader Vic’s reopening have finally been confirmed. There was some confusion earlier in the year, as the Dallas-based investors had announced it, but the Trader Vic’s organization had not confirmed it until more recently.

The Dallas Trader Vic’s opened in 1967 in what was then the Dallas Hilton, and operated until the spring of 1989, when it was shuttered. Remarkably, the space has weathered many changes of ownership and decor at the hotel, and has remained surprisingly intact. It is a classic, gorgeous old Trader Vic’s. The space has been available for private rentals, but has been basically unused for nearly 20 years.

The hotel is now becoming the Hotel Palomar, and new investors Jim Sibert and Angus Wynne have stepped in to reopen the Trader Vic’s, as an actual Trader Vic’s, no less. I’ve heard various dates bandied about, but the one I’m hearing the most lately is August/Late Summer 2006. From the Dallas Morning News:

Expect a traditional-Tiki- meets-neo-Tiki décor. The original furniture and fixtures are still in place.

“But we’ve got a treasure-trove of new decorations, furniture and wall coverings that we’re adding,” says Angus.

I can’t say I’m excited about any neo-tiki infusions — from looking at pictures suelo took there just a couple years ago, the decor doesn’t need any help at all, and any attempts to “freshen” it with more modern additions could look out-of-place. Hopefully the additions will be tasteful and understated, rather than winking attempts at kitch. Kitch can be lots of fun and has its place, but hopefully not at a classic and elegant showpiece of a restaurant like the Trader Vic’s Dallas has the potential to be.

No matter what, this is a major, massive boon to Texas-based tikiphiles, who have been living in a tiki-deprived state for far too long. To not only gain a new tiki bar, but a Trader Vic’s — and not only a Trader Vic’s, but a classic Trader Vic’s — well, I bet some of the Texas folk are pinching themselves right about now.

I love this new trend we’re seeing — the return of classic tiki, as seen with the restoration of the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood, and now the Dallas Trader Vic’s.

Fil Slash’s Week of Tiki Radio in Hawaii

Filed under: Hawaii,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:00 pm

Oahu radio personality (and rabid tikiphile) Fil Slash is guest hosting “Heckathorn’s Hotplate” all this week, while regular host John Heckathorn is in Greece. Fil has taken this opportunity to line up some tiki guests for the Hawaii-based talk show. The show is about wine, beer and events around Hawaii, and airs Monday through Friday between 12:05 p.m. and 1 p.m. on 1420 KKEA-AM. The tiki guests are scheduled to come on right about 12:35 each day (that’s 2:35 p.m. here on the west coast, 5:35 p.m. on the east coast). Here’s the lineup:

Monday — Fluid Floyd of “Don Tiki.”
Tuesday — Hawaii Music Award nominee, Henry Kapono of “C&K,” and solo fame…
Wednesday — Hawaii Music Award nominee, TC’s own Pablus of the “Crazed Mugs”…
Thursday — (We have his contact #, and the producer is trying to book him in time) Al Harrington.
Friday is a short program, so no third guest…

Wednesday in particular should be a great listen. The show is streamed online — to access the broadcast, go to the KKEA website and login (registration is free and painless), then under “Now Playing” on the main page, click “listen here.”

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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