Entries in the 'Music' Category

January 14, 2006

Change in Waitiki Lineup

Filed under: Music,New England,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:30 am
Bobby Bongo
Bobby Bongo

Boston-based Exotica band Waitiki has announced a change in its lineup. Drummer and pandologist Space Kadet (a.k.a. Abe Lagrimas) is moving back to his home state of Hawaii. Enter Bobby Bongo (a.k.a. Robert Schultz), an accomplished percussionist who has played with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops, and is principal percussionist for a number of other ensembles. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 for Best Small Ensemble Performance for his work on Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror. But the real question is — will he be able to skin the goats? All indications point to yes. From the Waitiki website:

The Boston Globe has referenced his work as “subtle, with cat-like alertness,” his musicianship as “dazzling” and his performance as “spellbinding.”

Well, that’s good enough for me. Okonkulú and wishes for the best of fortune for both Space Kadet and Bobby Bongo!

January 13, 2006

Tiki Gig Poster Fantasia

Filed under: Art,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:46 am
Gig poster from Coop
Gig poster from Coop

My friend Selector Lopaka has had a yen for rock show posters dating back to his days in the early ’90s Seattle scene. His fascination with rock artwork meets his tiki lovin’ ways in a collection of posters he’s shared on Tiki Central with tiki or tiki-friendly imagery in them. Lopaka says he’s found many of these images on gigposters.com, and he’s given the artist’s name when he could find it. Some of the tiki images are new creations, some are borrowings of older imagery, some are inspired, some are not, but all are a treat to view. Pictured here is one from the artist Coop.

January 8, 2006

I Belli di Waikiki Playing at South London Pacific Jan. 22

Filed under: Events,London,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:18 am

On January 22, Italian outfit I Belli di Waikiki will be playing at South London Pacific. It’s the third anniversary of the monthly Hula Boogie event, and is the birthday of DJ Miss Aloha. Advance tickets are available for £7, or you can wait and try your luck at the door where the tickets will be £8.50. The night starts at 7 p.m. and goes past midnight.

November 15, 2005

Rest In Peace, Rusty Key

Filed under: Music,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:08 am
Rusty Key
Rusty Key

Sad news tonight — Rusty Key has passed away unexpectedly.

Many know Rusty as the frequent cohort of pablus, and as a master ukulele player with the Crazed Mugs. Rusty was far, far too young — 55 years old. He suffered a heart attack, at home. A remembrance from pablus:

His rich harmonies, his easy laugh, his delight to learn, his exasperating habit of being the very last to leave the Lagoon Lounge, his goofy New Years’ Resolutions, his never-ending line of unique friends, his fresh hand grown produce that he would bring to us (including bananas), his willingness to play and obvious enjoyment of our circle’s company, his genuine nature and loving view of humanity.

He was a true friend and a good man who cared deeply for people.

I didn’t get to know Rusty Key as well as I should have, but my encounters with him left me feeling warm and fortunate to have crossed paths with him. My favorite memory is of his kindness and patience in teaching me how to play “Wait For Me” — I still have the song sheet where he wrote down which chords to play when. He made me feel like he was every bit as excited about my learning ukulele as I was. I’m so very sad that I won’t be able to play it with him when I’m in Florida in January.

Rusty: I’ll meet you in Waikiki, under the banyan tree….

November 7, 2005

Selector Lopaka Tuesday Nights in Seattle

Filed under: Music,People,Seattle,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:24 pm
Selector Lopaka
Selector Lopaka

When I lived in Seattle, I often could be found on Tuesday nights enjoying the musical soundscapes of Selector Lopaka at Fu Kun Wu in Old Ballard. Fu Kun Wu is the bar for the restaurant Thaiku; Fu Kun Wu is themed as an old Chinese apothocary, and is very well done. The environment is a perfect match for Selector Lopaka’s music, which starts early in the evening with great Exotica, Hawaiian and lounge classics, and gradually and seamlessly shifts later into more modern beats with a light sprinkling of great reggae (I love it, and I’m not a reggae fan). On top of all that, the drinks at Fu Kun Wu are unusual and delightful — my favorite was always the Radiant Flower, a light, crisp, gin-based concoction. Food from Thaiku is available in the bar until 9:30. For the winter season, Selector Lopaka is shifting up his DJ set to be a bit earlier — from 6 p.m. until 9ish.

November 1, 2005

Ahhhh… Waitiki!

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Mexico,Music,New England,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:30 pm
Mr. Ho of Waitiki
Mr. Ho of Waitiki

In my recap of Hukilau, I made mention of one of my best finds — the Boston-based Exotica group, Waitiki. Waitiki is four guys: Tim Mayer, “The Mayor of Exotica;” Brian O’Neill “Mr. Ho;” Abe Lagrimas, Jr., “Space Kadet;” and Randy Wong, “Professah Humming Flower.” Randy and Abe met as youngsters in Hawaii; both made their way to Boston, where they met up with Brian and Tim — all four are graduates of prestigious music schools there. Randy’s parents knew Arthur Lyman, and he had a strong impact on Randy.

The Waitiki boys are very, very silly. A very nutty and bright sort of silly that struck a serious chord with me. They are a lot of fun — a LOT of fun — to spend time with. This wacky tone carries over into their original songs, which touch on such topics as watermelon sacrifice and the intersection of adorable furry animals and proper grammar. However, their set at the Mai Kai was a tribute to Martin Denny, with an all-classic Exotica set. Listening to Waitiki play at the Mai Kai, I was struck by two things.

First, any Exotica composed after the ’60s just doesn’t sound the same to me, even those pieces by the greats such as Martin Denny and Robert Drasnin. They aren’t bad works, they just don’t evoke that same feel of the exotic and the mysterious. Randy Wong’s original composition, Sweet Pikake Serenade, was the first time I had heard a modern composition that sounded ready to take its place alongside those great classic songs. Halfway through hearing it, I had forgotten that it was a new piece. Stunning, beautiful, and moving.

Second, their entire set was Exotica as I’d never experienced it before. These songs are ones I’ve heard, and loved, dozens and dozens of times over. Over years of hearing them, I’d created a scene in my head of middle-aged, somewhat-serious men playing these songs quietly and intently. The Waitiki boys have every bit the intent and serious focus while they’re playing, but they play with so much life, so much vibrancy, and so much energy. They made Exotica fun. They brought Exotica completely to life for me in a new way. They made me look at Exotica music in a whole new way. Fabulous.

Okay, so here’s the latest in Waitiki Appreciation: They have a new album out, “Charred Mammal Flesh.” Their expanded 20-piece configuration, called Waitiki Orchestrotica, which was created for the purpose of playing faithful recreations of Esquivel songs, will be playing at an Esquivel tribute concert in Mexico City on April 1, 2006. A few tracks from a September performance of the Orchestrotica is available for download on the Waitiki website. Uh, what else… oh yes, they’ve also been wanting to get a show together in NYC somewhere, hopefully at Otto’s Shrunken Head (where another favorite of mine, Fisherman Vibraphonic Trio, plays on Mondays). And also, the guys are on the lookout for radio stations around the country that would be a fit for their music (KEXP in Seattle leaps to mind, and Senor Amor’s Molotov Cocktail Hour on L.A.’s KXLU).

Waitiki is now on your radar — take advantage of their existence! Get to see them if you can, and get their album & all that stuff. Okonkuluku!

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.

October 4, 2005

Rock-A-Tiki Art Exhibition in the Netherlands

Filed under: Art,Continental Europe,Events,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:29 am
By Claudia Hek
By Claudia Hek

From November 20 through December 18, 2005, the cafe/restaurant Patronaat in Haarlem, the Netherlands is hosting a tiki art exhibition. Featured artists are Angelique Houtkamp, Claudia Hek (who did the piece pictured to the left), Michiel Hoving and Mappe. The opening event is happening on Sunday, November 20 from 5-11 p.m, with rockabilly performances from Miss Mary Ann & the Ragtime Wranglers, Mischief and Milwaukee Wildmen. Cost for the event is 9 Euros.


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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu
hello@humuhumu.com
http://www.humuhumu.com
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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