Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hello and welcome!

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the history of tiki culture as well as the resurgence that's currently taking place. Now, more than ever, we need good escapist entertainment. So join me on a journey to find where tiki's been hiding and help bring a little paradise into our complicated, modern lives.

Here's how I got hooked:
My wife, Dorrie, and I both remember our parent's Martin Denny records. The sounds were very intriguing as kids. If you closed your eyes, you would be whisked away to far-away, exotic lands. My parent's best friends had a tiki bar in their basement, where we celebrated New Year's Eve every year. The tropical decor, tiki mugs and colorful Hawaiian clothing brought to life the illusion created by those records.

I forgot all that until I rediscovered my dad's old record collection. He had some crazy records from the 60s, like "Moog Strikes Bach" and "Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space". I grabbed everything that looked weird, including his Exotica and Provocative Percussion records. The memories started flooding back and all that percussion sounded fantastic!

This sent me on a mission to collect old records of all things percussion... the stranger the better! Once my mom found out about my new obsession, she started collecting Hawaiian shirts and tiki bar items at garage sales for me. Dorrie suggested I start an Exotica project, which I was luke warm on until hearing how beautifully my 20s Leedy xylophone recorded... then I started collecting old percussion instruments too!

Now I'm performing Exotica music and writing this blog in the hopes of helping bring tiki culture to the midwest. It's already well established on the west coast and in Florida. A couple big events you can check out are the Tiki Oasis in San Diego (www.tikioasis.com) and The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale (www.thehukilau.com). Future installments will include links to tiki websites, venues, events, plus vintage and modern Exotica bands.

Thanks for reading and happy tiki-ing!

Roland

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