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This goes back to when the Tiki scene was young. At the request of the Florida Ohana who came to Hukilau 2002 in Atlanta, and with the huge efforts of our event partners Tristan and Bre-Elle Ishtar, we moved to the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale Florida. So many friends in this video. So many people who have become true friends.
This was also my first visit to the Mai-Kai and I had no idea it would become an obsession. Collecting the postcards and calendars at first, and now the stories for a book about this remarkable place.
We have promoted the Mai-Kai via Hukilau now for over a decade. I have given lectures on its history around the country and written about it in magazines and talked about it on NPR. It continues to dominate my life and it all started on this magical weekend 11 years ago.
This record has lots of great images. It is meant to be a sort of scrapbook of your Hawaiian Honeymoon. Places to add notes and it is generally a nice bit of eye candy. I expected the most watered down tripe from the vinyl inside.
Instead I found some good music. Even some great music! The track “He Aloha No O Honolulu” at first gave me a little chill and then it shot straight into breath taking.
THIS page says: It showcases the unique talents of Bunny Brown,
Kihei Brown. Arthur Kaua, Mona Kalima, and Buddy Brown at their best; Bunny Brown recalls, “The whole album was incredibly recorded in just one session.”
THIS is the stuff I play in the Hapa Haole Hideaway. It gives me the feeling that is my ideallic soundtrack.
Hilo Hawaiians – Honeymoon in Hawaii
I don’t know much about what is going on here, so I will leave off with comments. I will note that the track names are as they were printed on the LP.
More ripped live Hapa Haole vinyl. I had recorded this record in 2007, but just recorded it again. It appears to be from the 70s. Looks like the dying end of the Tiki Epoch. Everyone in the images is elderly. The show was recorded in the Malia Polynesian Room in Asbury Park, NJ. I find no internet record of this place existing.
Sad, as Sam Makia made one of my all time favorite records. Take it as you will.
I have narrowed my collecting over the years, mainly due to the fact that I could quickly run out of space. Now that the Hideaway is in operation, I limited it even more.
One of the few things I do collect now are items from the Hawaii Kai, NYC. In the last few months, my very favorite recordings have become the live recordings from various island and Tiki establishments. Nothing is better than the sound of forks on plates in the background!
So when I came across this LP I thought I had hit a home run. However, I was more than a little disappointed to find out that it was a studio recording.
Here it is for you to download. If some expert out there can tell me what is causing the high end distortionin my recordings I’d appreciate it. My guess is the needle on the turntable. It is not a problem with recording levels, etc. It is at the source.
Back in 2001, I made Swank Vinyl Exotica I to sell at the first Hukilau. It turns out that was the only money made on the first Hukilau! I made a second and sold them both on my website.
I just didn’t feel like putting in the time to make the CDs anymore and they ended.
I decided to resurrect them and share them now. I do not swear by the quality of these recordings, only their mood, which at those times, they reflected.
This is one of many, many records I picked up at thrift stores over the years. Back in 2004 I ripped it to the computer, at least the first side. Recently I was making new mixes for the Hideaway and included their “Hasegawa General Store” and every time it comes around, I crank it up. I just love it. Something about the sounds of forks hitting plates in the background just endears it to me.
George passed away in 2000. I am not sure when this was released. Some evidence on the web indicates 1992, but I am thinking earlier.
So, enjoy the piano bar in Hawaii, done as well as anyone. Live from the Maui Hilton Hotel on the beach at Kaanapali in the Lokelani Room.
Hula records Stereo HS-539
UPDATE: ” George Jr., entertains at The Royal Lahaina, Kaanapali every weekend.”
I accidentally came across Yahoo’s personal radio station. I have a Live365 station and I am a VIP listener subscribed there. I have pretty eclectic and obscure taste in music. I find a lot of it on Live365. But now I am considering paying for the Yahoo radio.
It is similar to the Netflix scheme where you rate musical genres and artists and songs, etc. and it builds a playlist based on those choices. And the more you listen and rate, the closer it gets to playing what you like. So, instead of listening to say, Vegas Vic’s Tiki Lounge or The Swank Pad, and getting that great style of music, I can hear it all on one “station.”
This may not be for everyone. But I am the odd person that likes to hear Captain Beefheart mixed with Wanda Jackson and James Brown and Esquivel. If you are too, then listen to my station, or make your own!
The catalogue isn’t as diverse as I would like, but it does have a lot I have not enjoyed in a long time.
I picked up this record on my trip to Tiki Eyeball. I have been dying to hear it since May. The cover is just classic. I am not sure where this Sheraton is in Fort Lauderdale. I thought it was where the Hukilau is hosted, but, that’s definitely a different building. But she does mention the Yankee Clipper on the record. Is this the building across from the ocean?
I have uploaded a nice big image of the back for your reading pleasure. I especially like that it is signed and Chise adds “I’m made in Japan.”
This week, after moving in to the new house a few months ago, I finally got the stereo hooked up and connected to the computer. This record was the first to be ripped.
I uploaded the file HERE. One side at a time, just as it should be.
p.s. I just noticed a strange hiccup in my rip. Whether its my sound card or a conflict in the computer or what, I have no idea. Gotta get a new computer some day…
It’s just a couple of weeks away. Last year was a crazy weekend. I hardly slept! It was the first year I have actually gotten to enjoy the weekend and talk to so many people. I think I talked more in a few days than the entire year. The hot tub made for memories we’ll all keep forever. Once again, thanks to Crazy Al. He has a way of inventing fun.
This year I am endeavoring to spend more time at the Mai Kai. It is my favorite place on Earth. I want to be there for Happy Hour a couple of times.
Beachbum Berry’s talk last year and then sipping with him at the Mai Kai was fantastic, and getting an all new book will be a huge plus. This book has more history rather than being just a recipe book. Lots of new recipes in it too though. Pre-Order it now and have it for him to sign at the event.
After years of anticipation, we are getting a little peak at The DVD of Tiki and a showing of footage from the Hukilau Hurricane of 2004. Many I talk to say that year was the best in many ways. For a lot of Floridians, it was the worst. Very much the worst for me. I never recovered really. But it is a powerful memory and I love to hear Pablus sing “Hukilau Hurricane.”
I look forward to seeing the Crazed Mugs perform at the Mai Kai again. When they took the stage last year, it all just stopped and we were transfixed. Otto was standing next to me and he whispered, “he’s our Bruddah Iz.” So right.
The Hukilau mug has some of my favorite imagery in Polynesian Pop this year, the cannibal trio. I have discussed them with Sven and Bob at Oceanic Arts. I think the concensus is that it started with Donn Beach, which is precisely why those tikis are so special.
The new version of Tiki Road Trip will be making its debut at Hukilau and we get to see all the places we never knew existed.
Robert Drasnin will perform his new work which was recorded earlier this year for a new release. Basement Kahuna says his record “Voodoo” is near perfection for the tiki bar soundtrack and now we’ll have a great follow up.
It’s always great to see my many friends I see only this one weekend a year in person. It’s great to be around so many people who are passionate about the same things I am. And this year my lovely fiance will join me, although she plans to spend more time tanning and exploring the area than doing the tiki-nerd stuff.
This event is central for us non-Californians. California may have an abundance of tiki locales, but we still have the best one of all by a mile down in Fort Lauderdale. We all come together to worship in a rum dazed fog for the weekend. We get to visit the Mother Ship of Tiki and be transported to that special place. That place that is slowly slipping away more and more. No other place holds that mystery better than the Mai Kai. And we right coasters are darned proud. Inside the Mai Kai, it is like stepping back in time. As close as any of us will get anyway…
Two weeks and I’ll be there, at the bar, soaking it all in for my yearly ration… It’s never enough…
If you have listened to my Live 365 radio station, you probably have heard some of these. In the days of the radio jingle, CRC was king. Their intros and lead ins were just fantastic and they covered a couple of decades with their chorus singing “It’s Friday!” or whatever. I picked this record up on Ebay ages ago. The original tracks had an opening and closing with a 30 second or so blank space for the announcer in the middle. My download has the two pieces broken apart. This site gives some history and some great free downloads. I love this stuff. I have kept it to myself for years, but am sharing it now since my radio station is pay to listen only now.
I have had an internet radio station for a few years on Live365. The diversity of music available to listen to for free online is incredible. The music industry thinks this is bad however. They have decided to drastically increase the fees charged to online radio. That’s online radio only. This will kill Internet radio. Of the hundreds of stations on Live365, probably 98% will vanish, including the Swank Pad and Vegas Vic’s Tiki Lounge. This sort of variety is what makes the Internet fantastic. No more streaming of on air radio either. It will all go away over night.
I am guessing a lot of you are into the same sort of weird music I am. Lounge, but not really the normal sort of lounge. Stuff that strays just enough to give you a sly little smile. So I wanted to share with you perhaps my all time favorite CD. I have owned and listened to about every lounge CD out there and tons of records. This particualr CD I keep going back to. I put it in the player and I worry. “Will this be the day? Will this be the playing that I can no longer tolerate this CD?” No. That has yet to happen. Every time I play it, I just flat enjoy it. I think you will too.
So, ignore the many other CDs out there and buy this one. I have waded through them for you. And if you enjoy it like I think you will, let me know. Maybe I have a few other suggestions for you in the future.
Click the cover to get your very own copy.
I know Vic and I know he has good taste in weird music. Weird and good music. I finally got around to listening to this post he made last month. It’s intrigued me. My. God. This is the shit! Scary and weird and brilliant, in a scary ass way. It’s the perfect follow up to the Jesco White “Dancin’ Outlaw” video. Not much I can add to this except that you must listen to “Green Girl” which I bet was written while looking at a Tretchikoff painting, and “Don’t Trust”, oh, and “Carolina Drive-In” nearly gave me aheart attack laughing…
I really love Henri Rene’s music. It rewards the listener. It’s slightly akilter. It’s doing little things that are just wonderful and fun. Not in your face. But for the afficianado, it’s music to love. Deeply.
withdrawing my support of Hukilau. Editing all the links to point to hukilau.org insteadPablus and The Crazed Mugs
One of the things I most look forward to at Hukilau and other East Coast Tiki Revival gatherings is the sounds of Pablus and his uke. He’s a good friend and drops by the Hideaway semi-regularly with his uke, and his company and playing are always a great pleasure.
There are a variety of people and groups out there playing Hapa Haole and island music, but when it comes to writing new songs, there are not that many doing that. And when you narrow the field to those folks who are into Polynesian Pop, it gets smaller. And then you think about who is active in the community and actually writing about the community of tiki lovers, it gets down to just Pablus.
Being the only one doing a particular thing isn’t really enough though. But, with Pablus you have all you could want. First, he is an excellent musician and surrounds himself with excellent musicians. Second, he owns one the best recording studios in Florida. Third, he really writes great songs, and forth, he really gets it.
What you end up with it an incredible sounding, well performed CD with a few standards done with feeling and some new songs that will bring a smile to the mug collectors and Beachbum Berry mixologists out there like nothing else.
Henri Rene is one of my favorites. He has a subtlety that the more popular Space Age artists lack. His music rewards the attentive and perceptive listener. It’s genius.
Henri Rene – Compulsion to Swing Updated 4-29-007
This is a nice LP that takes the Hawaiian music and peps it up a bit. Not the moody Exotica or the slow Hapa Haole. It does indeed swing!
This little EP was produced by Enogh Light. I had hopes… The first thing that should have dashed those hopes was the name of the orchestra leader: Whiteman. The second was the “Accent on Strings.” Yawn fest. Yet I hoped. Hopes dashed. I recorded it anyway. If you need some soft strings with a Hawaiian bent, download it. Forgive the dirt as this EP had no sleeve and the record just got dirty in all those unprotected years… Nice cover though.
This is an awesome thing. Over on PCL Linkdump, they have compiled all the shared rips of classic lounge records into one big ol’ post, plus links to articles on the artists. This is a real treasure. If you were debating paying for a Rapidshare account, this ought to push you over the edge, at least for a month or so…
My 1976 receiver had a problem. Noise. Just plain garbley noise when I tried to run the sound out to the computer to record LPs to digital. It’s not that much money to get it fixed, but somehow I never got it fixed. I spent the better part of a year without being able to record LPs. That meant no new Exotica CDs for sale on my site and no new music period to listen to and share.
But this week, I am back in business. I have everything repaired and can start back on this long term project. I have continued to buy records of course. And there is now an even bigger pile to be converted. I had plenty already.
It’s a pretty time consuming job. The first step is the hardest. You have to match your stereo output to the computer input to get the levels nice and hot, but not too hot. Once that is dialed in, you can then record the record. Once the record is recorded, you need to edit each side into tracks. And usually there are pops and noise to edit out of those songs. I do it manually. None of the automatic filters works well to me. They mess with the whole sound. I just smooth out the bad pops. And then you type in the info and save the tracks. One album likely takes 2 1/2 hours to finish. Part of that is just starting the record and letting it record. Much of it is tedious work.
There is a clipping problem I still need to work out.
So, in celebration of my return to recording I am sharing this first LP. It’s a recent find that I have been playing a lot. I just love this old Hawaiian music.
Music of Old Hawaii by The Sons of Hawaii featuring Gabby Pahinui – London International – SW-99396
I only have side one recorded. It’s a busy weekend. I’ll get the rest to you sometime this weekend.
UPDATE: This weekend has turned out to be more hectic than I imagined. I woke up Sunday morning with a hang-over and strep. I also have a rush order on a puffer fish lamp. So, rather than wait to put this out until I can edit all the pops out of the songs, I am just putting the tracks out there. Forgive the noise. The link below has all the tracks in it.
UPDATE: There is something funky about the recording. Maybe some skipping problem. I have been listening to the download here at work. I will have to investigate. The oddity of the way they play and sing on some songs just makes it sound crazy!
The songs off this record I put on a mix CD I gave to Pablus have been some of his favorites, so I thought I’d spread this recording around.
I love Mel Henke! And who doesn’t? He is quirky and full of stereo action, plus he has an out front sense of humor in his music without being cliched. Great stuff. Most have heard “La Dolce Henke,” but maybe this LP is new to you. Warner Brothers BS 1447. It’s along the lines of Equivel’s sound scapes.
Peggy is pretty hot on this cover for sure. And she is such a cutie-pie on the album for sure. This is a very peppy and fun record and you just have to love Peggy for it. Not much more to say than that! Download it and enjoy!
You may recognize “I Only Have Eyes For You” from a Lipitor commercial. I love Perez Prado and I love Rosemary Clooney. Putting these two together was gold. Perez should have teamed up with more singers because it really brings his music to a new level. I wish they had done about 10 records together, but all we have is this one jewel.
Billy Mure is coming back to Hukilau this year. His partner Debbie was Rosemary’s assistant for many years. The two of them knew and worked with about everybody in music it seems. If you want to know more about Rosemary Clooney, ask Debbie.
This is one of my all time favorite records. Enjoy the download!
I recorded this LP some time ago and had forgotten about it until it came up on my Winamp player. I made a playlist of every song on my computer, so everything gets played eventually. This makes for an odd mix, but not nearly as odd as when I made a playlist of every sound file on my computer. That was really interesting. Besides all the music, it would play Windows sounds for maximizing and minimizing windows. The real oddities were the sounds for games when “Arrrrgh!” and “Red Two ready to attack” would get mixed in. I’m the sort of person who enjoys that kind of crazy mashing of sounds. I bet many of you are too.
This may only be one side of this record. I don’t have it in front of me to tell. I mixed in some exercises to help keep you fit in this swimsuit season. Download and enjoy it!
We’ve been preparing for our luau for weeks now and with just 3 weeks to go, I am getting in the mood. Something about this weekend has me melancholy. I yearn for the islands I have never been to, and likely will never see. Never see? Yes. My Hawaii existed either 200 years ago when Captain Cook was unknown, or, 50 years ago, just after statehood. A fantasy I suppose. I changed the way I do this, as I figure it is easier to do one single downlaod than a bunch. I also included a playlist so you can hear the tunes as I would like to have you play them.
Starting with “Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village” or some such long title to a classic Webley Edwards LP. I love this record more than you will ever know. And Ray Kinney is the best. I think I like him more than Alfred Apaka.
Next, from Elvis TV show, “Aloha from Hawaii” is a little tune that plays as we tour the island and see E land in his helicopter, etc. Elvis loved Hawaii and the Hawaiians love Elvis.
More Webley Edwards, talking to Haunani about “Beyond the Reef.”
This is “Beyond the Reef” by Elvis, sort of. It actually features Charlie Hodge on the lead. Charlie was Elvis closest friend and he used to live here in East Tennessee and perform with Lou Vuto at Memories Theater. A really sweet, wonderful man.
Here is a tune by Haunani, “Tomi Tomi”. She has that deep voice that has been a Hawaiian standard.
Now Arthur Godfrey talks about the islands and their wahines.
My favorite singer, Ray Kinney with his version of “Little Brown Gal”
And a closing from another Webley Edwards LP.
Hope you enjoy this short venture to the islands that exist in my heart.
I had a similar SNL moment when Fear played on October 31st, 1981. This was monumental. They played at John Belushi’s insistance. The audience was brought in to thrash and that too was allowed only because Belushi insisted. They destroyed the set. Ving said some things you can’t say on television. It was beautiful. Because of that performance, punk was banned on the show for a decade. I recall Lee Ving saying “I’ll give you a dollar to be my friend” to the audience and spitting on people. It was crazy and exactly how I felt. I had been in the sub-culture for a while and listening to U2, B-52s, BauHaus, etc., and when I saw Fear, I knew this was my music. My voice.
Ah, to be a punk in the Reagan era…
First, in the holiday spirit, I offer one of my all time favorite musical directors, Henri Rene’s “The Swingin’ Stars and Stripes.” Henri Rene’s music is not all “out there” like a Equivel. He holds it in control and puts a little something extra in there that rewards your listening.
From Stars and Stipes to Stars of Strippers, I give you David Rose – “The Stipper.” That’s America!
From Stippers to Sunset Strippers, Mel Henke has his way with the tune on “77 Sunset Stripper.” Love his stuff. It’s over the top!
And be sure to bring ice on your travels this holiday to relieve the burns and bug bites.
And for your adventures, Mel Henke’s “Adventures on the Highway” which plays on his theme for Chevrolet “See the USA in your Chevrolet.”
Enjoy the Holidays!
I thought I’d share a few sound bites today.
First one is a Hertz commercial from the 60′s. Ms. Swanky wondered how Capote got a car out in the plains as we watched “Capote” the other night. This commercial is likely around 1966 by the convertible in it, which you can’t see. Anyone know when car rental started?
Now a blast from the past that some will recall, a classic Drive-In movie clip.
Frequent Grogalizer user Johntiki sent this to me. I hope it’s okay to share. It’s a 7-11 commercial for Awaawaukelele which was an island flavor. It’s preety cute and funny, and then, the ending is just great. Genius!
And, I guess I should share a real song. I put my DJ CD of Lalo Schiffrin into the car player the other day and it completely transformed the ride home from work. I love soundtrack music and Lalo was the king of detective movies in the 70s. Steve McQueen is the star for Lalo’s music. This track is Shifting Gears from Bullitt. The version on the soundtrack does not have the sound effects in it at the end that I love. I can’t find the sound effects version. But, put this on and drive around town and you feel like you are tailing someone and any moment a chase will begin or a car will pull up next to you and there will be a shotgun coming out the window. It’s a fun sensation.
Enjoy. I’m off to dig in the yard for the weekend.