I’m hereby declaring it officially “Tiki Season!” With the annual blow-out Tiki Oasis in San Diego just around the corner, the Egyptian Theatre kicked things off with “Tiki Night” featuring a Luau Dinner, venders, the Polynesian Paradise Dancers, a performance by King Kukulele and the Friki Tiki’s (featuring guest appearances by Crazy Al and Judd Finkelstein) and the Premiere Screening of “The DVD of Tiki Volume 1: Paradise Lost”
I got to hang with my pal DJ Lee Joseph and we stopped in for a pre-screening cocktail in the adjacent bar with some of the film’s luminaries including Shag and Bamboo Ben – a fruity rum based drink was a must for my Tiki mood, and then we took our seats in the theatre to enjoy an extensive exploration into Tiki Culture by Director Jochen Hirschfeld who held is own during an offbeat Q&A with King Kukulele before and after the film.
The film chronicles the origins of Tiki to the birth of the Polynesian Pop movement that centered around the romantic idea of Tiki as an escape from squares-ville conformity of the ‘50s and ‘60s. I especially enjoyed the research on the origins of the cocktails and the sounds of Tiki from exotica music (think Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman), to “hapa howlie” and ukelele sounds. Anyone into Tiki Culture would benefit from this quick crash course that pays tribute as to why we are so in love with this idea of an island paradise. The evidence was in the audible gasps when the film showed of some of the greatest Tiki bars closing and being steamrolled into history. Be sure to pick up a copy of the DVD when it goes on sale and catch the screening of it at Tiki Oasis.
Director Jochen Hirschfeld
To further get you in the mood for Tiki Oasis coming up August 16-19, check out my three-part series on Tiki Culture featuring:
- Tiki Oasis with an interview with Otto Von Stroheim
- The Art of Shag with an interview with Josh “Shag” Agle
- How to Go Tiki in Your Home Decor with an interview with “Book of Tiki” author Sven Kirsten
And the slideshow from last year’s Tiki Oasis Stiletto City review, click the photo:
This year’s theme is Spy Tiki: Exotic Espionage and Polynesian Pulp,” featuring The Untouchables performing on Saturday night. (I can’t wait!) Here they are doing “(I Spy for the) F.B.I.”
See you on the island!