Monday, June 28, 2010

MUSIC: Deadbolt

Veering into the surf category.. We have San Diego's finest; Deadbolt.

The FIRST time I heard Deadbolt, I was playing guitar in a band called the Deadlines, and we had met up with our labels' A&R guy. He was shocked that we hadn't heard any of their records. At the time they had released 'Voodoo Trucker' a year prior, but I got stuck on the previous release 'Zulu Death Mask'. This is STILL my favorite album they've released and I can't ever get sick of it. From start to finish, it's just full of so much dread and slow paced, reverb drenched, terrifying surf songs. This record has the undertones of a Arthur Lyman or a Martin Denny record.. if he had been lost in the jungles, picked up a machete, and started carving up the locals. Okay, I know that's kinda horrible sounding, but it's definitely a very DARK vibe in these records.

Their first record was actually a split 7" with Rocket from the Crypt which is surprising because they're both pretty different sounding bands but both kin residents to San Diego. This release was pressed in 1000 increments and is probably very HARD to find. The following releases were Shrunken Head (93') and Tiki Man (94') were pretty amazing records as well. Alot of farfisa, alot of macabre subject matter, and the ever tradermark spoken vocals by Mr. Harley Davidson..

Quickly, I'll Explain that Deadbolt has had MANY members through their 20 years of existence. Founding members Harley Davidson, and R.A. MacClean, with current members, Gary 'Third Degree' Burns, and drummer Tank Johnson. Previous personnel has included; Les Vegas, Les Vegas, The Phantom, Badtime Charlie, Clay 'Moore' Mines, The Coroner, Coffin Boy, Moose Cutter, The Voodellas, and in some cases vocals from Diana Death.

Ok, back to releases.. after those first 2 full lengths, the released 'Tijuana Hit Squad' in 96 which is another favorite of mine. All themed around mexican, mafia, and spanish hit men themes, the band delivers a pretty amazing record that has some memorable tracks. One in particular called 'The Interview', is a 2 and a half minute instrumental featuring the band 'interrogating' a suspect and basically torturing him in some pretty awful ways. From getting slapped, to electrocuted, to burned, to drilled, and finally table sawed.. It's pretty fun to listen to...

So after that record there was ZDM, as noted above, then 'Voodoo Trucker' (99'), Hobo Babylon (02'), Haight Street Hippie Massacre: The best of.. (03'), I Should Have Killed You (05) some live records and the recent release, Voodoo Moonshine (2010). So, 12 releases a handful of singles, and Deadbolt continues to influence countless bands.

If you have the means to ever catch Deadbolt live, it's definitely a MUST. Their live show includes plenty of shit talking, jokes, power tools, in some cases aqua net, drinking, and of course Harley rearranging songs. I just caught them earlier this month in downtown and it was their anniversary gig / record release and it was AMAZING.

a 10 day HIATUS

not to fear, I haven't given up. I have been hard at work building a new podcast, and some new discussions to bring up in this blog of mine..

a little recap on what I've been up to,
  •  Mid Century Modern furniture hunting! I moved into a new place fairly recently and I've been redecorating everything to suit our Mid Century building and give it more vintage interior to match the exterior!
  • DRINKS. I just picked up Beachbum Berry's Remixed book, so I've been learning a TON of new drinks. I learned 2 new details. 1) you must make your own fruit juice. No questions asked. ESPECIALLY lime + lemon juices. 2) certain alcohols make a WORLD of difference when making Tropical drinks.
  • TV! Of course being the dark + sinister person I am, there is the cult of True Blood and now I am TRYING to catch up with Mad Men. If you're of the vintage noir persuasion I highly suggest you get into this show.
  • BARS. As much as I love my beloved Tiki Ti, I need to venture out and abroad to bring you more exciting new bars if you're NEW to all of this. Next on the list is the Purple Orchid. I need to get out there and check out that little slice of heaven in El Segundo.

That's a fairly quick roundup of everything and hopefully today I'll have time to make a new MUSIC write up on the scariest band in the world.. DEADBOLT!

Friday, June 18, 2010

EVENT: Bahooka's in Rosemead unveil new Mug!

It's time for an event! I've been waiting for this mug for quite a while now.. Since at LEAST March or so.. When I was told by my favorite server 'Chico' that the Bahooka would be featuring a new mug since their prior mug from back in 2007 for their 40th anniversary!

I've been pushing this event for a while now to my friends on Facebook and now more recently to the Tiki Central Forum people which I'm glad to be mixing with!

So here's what I've gathered via Tiki Farm;

"The world famous “Bahooka Family Restaurant” will be premiering their brand new Tiki Farm manufactured Tiki mug on Saturday, June 19th!  There will be drink specials and friends galore (and of course the ribs… you’ve gotta love the Bahooka ribs).  Tiki Farm and the Bahooka just inked the event so we don’t have any fancy posters or things like that yet, but we do have something special for you!  Here it is…

 The Bahooka Tiki mug is the first collaboration in a series between my long time friend Sven Kirsten and your pals here at Tiki Farm!  It seems that Sven’s getting a lot of play in this email (read on… you’ll see:).  With the design you see below, Sven wanted to have a more modest emphasis on the “Tiki” and pay more attention to nautical elements.  You see folks, if you’ve never been to the Bahooka, they’ve got 109 fresh water aquariums (and 1 brand new salt water aquarium)!  There will be drink specials going on all night (“buy the drink at “X” price and keep the mug”).  We hope to see you there!"

Need I say more??
Bahooka Mug Facebook Event page!

Go to my facebook event page and RSVP so I can try to meet some new DARK & TIKI friends! 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dark & Tiki Podcast - 01

Dark & Tiki's first podcast! I hope I don't sound like too much of an idiot..

[NOTE: I was playing the third track from Bohren's record MIDNIGHT RADIO! I was a little drunk when I did this..]



Friday, June 11, 2010

RANT: Is there more to Exotica / Lounge than meets the eye? (UPDATED)

As a music buff, I have accumulated ALOT of music in my time. As I start to really appreciate the whole Tiki/Lounge subculture, you start to notice that alot of the music is pretty much the same records and musicians all the time. Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman, and one of my favorites Korla Pandit, the mastermind behind the organ.

So in my time researching all of this, I've been trying hard to assemble my OWN Dark & Tiki soundtrack. I am a firm believer that bands like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and my more recent finds (thanks to Jeralyn!) Gallon Drunk & The Flaming Stars are definitely in the vein of our Tiki brethren.
gallon drunk

the flaming stars

If any, the prior post I did on Bohren & der Club of Gore was my first real love into the world of the so-called 'doom jazz' or 'jazz noir' sounds. Upon my research I've discovered quite a few different bands that make up this AMAZING sub-genre. There's the Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble, which had a couple of pieces that could easily resemble a dark sided Exotica. The band still has a bit of a trip-hop vibe I can't seem to really enjoy, but there are some notable pieces in their catalog. I also discovered Heroin & Your Vein, and Somewhere off Jazz Street which both have the same stylings of Bohren with definite Twin Peaks undertones. Heavy sax, slow sustained sounds, and always the trademark sleepy piano or vibes.

bohren & der club of gore

heroin and your veins

As I began receiving more of my ebay items, I got a hold of the TIKI MODERN book by Sven Kirsten it had a great article on some of the more darker tinged Exotica records that were released by Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Martin Denny. There was Lex Baxter's collaboration record with Harry Revel & Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman entitled; 'Music out of the Moon', Music Unusual feat. the Theremin. A very space-y bachelor pad styled record that was a 3X10" release on Capitol. The music on this first album was very Orchestral, yet Haunting with Choir esque vocals and lots of Theremin. Feeling more like the background music to a Sci Fi Mystery than anything else, but still an amazing gem.

I have accumulated ALOT of music. I'm putting together my first Dark & Tiki vol. 1 compilation as we speak. I have a great arsenal of material to provide for your dark evenings while you sip your Mai Tai.

I'm also teaming up with my other half to create a new Podcast to discuss my recent finds. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BARS: Tiki Ti, Silverlake, CA. home away from home.

There are few bars in Los Angeles that I have felt welcome at, and I've been to ALOT of bars in LA. There is the Kibitz room in the Fairfax disctrict that has always been a good place to grab a cheap drink, watch Willie Chambers of the famous Chambers Brothers do an amazing live show every weekend, or to just catch Artie Vegas the same night do his Rock & Roll re-vue.. Not to mention to get amazing food and watch the assortment of weird patrons stumble in. There's also the Golden State in that area, great staff, awesome beers on tap, ..amazing food.

So with that said, I was in Puerto Rico earlier this year and I had my fill of Tropical Drinks while I was there. I came home and was reunited with friends at a little slice of heaven called Tiki Ti. Located just south of where Sunset & Hollywood meet, this little hole in the wall, (and I mean that) has been sitting there since 1961. Originally a violin repair shop I believe, and this landmark is one of the longest running Tiki Bars (next to the Tonga Hut in NoHo) delivering amazing beverages to locals.

Their claim to fame has been the trademark 'Ray's Mistake' cocktail they serve by the dozens every hour of operation. Quick story on the drink, created by the master ninja Ray Buhen by mistake for a patron in a rush. Turns out he was making him his beverage and told him that he messed up, but the person said he'd take it anyway, VOILA! the Ray's Mistake was born. The customer said how AMAZING the drink was, and from that moment on, it became the signature cocktail of the Tiki Ti.

The bar has I think 86 cocktails on the menu, and some brave souls have attempted to try them all. They have either gone broke, or washed away by the giant wave of alcoholism trying. I personally have stuck with my top 3 drinks, the Bayanihan, Ray's Mistake, and the Painkiller. the Bayanihan is a similar to a Pina Colada but not as boring and festive. The Painkiller is a standard Tiki drink but this one has got to be one the best I've ever had. Topped with some nutmeg and cinnamon on top, it's just amazing to have once you're in a good buzz want something to sip slowly.
I can honestly go ON and ON about how this bar makes me go and become a full blow alcoholic because the drinks are just so well made. I've been going every week and have finally earned rank at the table of the veterans. Mike Sr. and I smoke cigars every week, Mike Jr. is always on hand to make an amazing Bloody Tiki, and Mark is becoming the master of the Ray's Mistake every Wed. when I order one.

As yo can see the decor of this place is every Tiki-phile's fantasy. Plenty of bamboo, thatch, outdoor lights, millions of patron's names litering the walls and ceilings, just about every Tiki nic-nac you can think of and so much more. Personally my favorite item behind the bar is their custom FEZ hat. If I ever had a choice of one thing to take from there it would definitely be that. The amout of mugs on the shelves are just too many to even count. That seems to be the ultimate form of acceptance. If you can get your mug on the shelf and be able to use it when you come in, that'd be my ultimate goal. Personally I feel like I am up to that standard but there just isn't anymore room on the wall!

 I can honestly keep going, but I'm not. If you're ever in Los Angeles, skip the Museum of Wax, skip all those goofy places in Hollywood, and just come to something that's really nostalgic and will live up to your expectations. Expect alot of smoke, cash only, and the friendliest staff ever.

..and never EVER. Order a BEER!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MUSIC: Bohren & der Club of Gore, a perfect score to a darkened bar..

If any of you know me personally, you'll know that I'm a huge snob with the music I like. When I use the term 'snob' I mean it as a person that knows my shit, and I don't mess around with loosely listening to a band. I'm either fully in it, or nothing at all. Bohren & der Club of Gore is one of those bands that I can listen to all day and night, and NEVER get bored of it.
With seriously, 8 releases under their belt, this german outfit should have scored Lynch movies ages ago. With that given, you can sort of see where I'm going with this. Imagine the most decadent Exotica record but turn the speed EXTREMELY low, and you'll have a good idea what I am taking about. Lots of sax, rhodes, vibes, sustained piano, surf esque guitars playing minor chords, lots of synth, ethereal bass.. this is just a few of the formula that Bohren creates.

I happen to own every record, and I'm on the hunt for more of their vinyl releases which are VERY hard to find. For the first listen, I strongly suggest you listen to 'Black Earth', which was the record I was introduced to. Previously released in 2005, this album has such a high rate of front-to-end play. Every song is like a sequence in surreal murder story. Did I mention there are NO vocals whatsoever? Well, who needs vocals in this band. Every instrument speaks for itself in the most amazing ways, and leaves little room for any addition.

My personal favorite release has got to be Sunset Mission. This album released back in 2000, and I was no where the mindset of appreciating a band of this caliber. This entire record has spoken to me in so many influencial ways and now I will go into my Tiki comparison.
I DARE YOU to put this record on, serve yourself a proper martini, or even perhaps a simple style drink like a Chi Chi, and just sit back in the dark with this as your soundtrack. I will garuntee that it will be the proper soundtrack to a night at home, either alone, or with a certain someone..

I always prefer to add this to my mix of Les Baxter stuff and get a nice sleaze in my Lounge mood. I honestly think you need to just listen to the music and let it speak for itself.


welcome to the newly budding DARK and TIKI blog.

Here you will find my rants on the whole TIKI subculture the way i see it.

I will writing about my musical tastes, cinema, bars, food, decor, events, and just about everything ghastly I can come up with that involves that polynesian treasure, the TIKI gods.

Please feel free to follow me up on twitter, facebook, tumblr, whatever.. I'll be getting busy with this site real soon, and once I feel it's getting approriate, EXPECT a video podcast!