Past Shows and Bloggy Stuffs


Don Tiki braintrust offers free language skills seminar

Well, not exactly a seminar, but for all of you who want to hone their Modern Colloquial Japanese, Tokyo Pop DJ Lingo Style, and who happen to find themselves in Tokyo next week, please feel free to tune into J-Wave for a sure-to-be-fascinating interview and polite measure-taking of Floyd and myself by the famous Ms Sachiko, who, I am led to believe, is the reigning Bawbwa Waltews of the genre over there.

Actually, the interview will occur this Thursday, in this part of the Pacific.  Specifically, it will be undertaken in Ms Sachikoʻs sumptuous studio-den, which overlooks the new scenic Waikiki canyon that is Beachwalk, I am also led to believe.  Should be a hoot and a frolic, with our own Ms Ryoko holding down the translation chair.  Since we have her sympathy on our side,  I confidently expect relatively few snide comments to loft over our mousey-brown haircuts, intended for the sole amusement of Nihongo-fluent hipsters.  

Okay, okay, perhaps Iʻm being a bit too paranoid here.  Hell, they can make fun of me.  I got thick skin.  Or at least, white skin, which, I am also led to believe, is genetically-programmed thick (or is it the skull?).  And yeh, the validity of this claim may be somewhat akin to that olʻ boast of Native Japanese intestinal length, but hell, Iʻm stickinʻ to it.  

Erm, this whole digression seems to be spontaneously bursting out of the normally quiescent volcanic shield that is otherwise labeled my "demeanor," on account of a long-repressed incident which transpired when I first met and played with Ms Hai Jung.  She and I were working in the legendary Cheetah 2000 Night Club, an after-hours dance-ʻnʻ-dally joint which for awhile enjoyed the #1-in-the-world status of being The Non-Union Music Venue Most Annoyingly Close To A Functioning Musiciansʻ Union.  (We maintained a very loud and daily presence smackdab across the back-alley from Local 677, much to my own amusement.)

Anyway, the incident in question was about a month into my Cheetah gig.  A clownish Korean comedian was guesting.  He kept gesturing to myself, our South-Carolinian-born-a-cracker guitarist Shamus, and local-born yet definitely African-American drummer Jesse.  Upon each gesture, knowing laughter ensued from every Korean in attendance.   Suspecting a pattern, I politely inquired of Hai Jung: whatʻs he saying?  She feigned new-immigrant inability to adequately express the English, repeating only, "he is very funny!" between her own stream of giggles.  To this day I hold it against her, and remind her at every opportunity.  I await in lurk for the next opportunity, Ms HJ!!!! Nyah ha hah!!!  ...Yeh yeh, guess I should think again about that "thick skin" boast.

Raja dat, ovah anʻ out,



First Friday Early Returns

So last night post-gig, Mr Jason, Ms Ryoko and I went off to Sorobol to debrief each other on what had turned out to be a most wondrous collective performance at HISAM.  Everyone in attendance went home happy, having experienced the mutual exchange of energy between band and audience that kept accumulating throughout the evening.  Ms Ryoko debuted her new synth, complete with a "shehnai" sound that brought our rendition of Uncle Marty's "Cobra" into deepest Swami World with equally deep timbral satisfaction.  On several occasions, her clever soloing brought spontaneous bursts of appreciative applause, much to her apparent surprise, but not to ours.  She is, truly, our Secret Weapon.

We could not find adequate words to describe how the unique singing of Ms Starr has refreshed the show.  She is a natural commander of attention just by stepping on a stage, whatever the context.  And then she sings.  Man, does she ever sing.  Zing!  Case in point -- our pal Gary, who has followed the meanderings of the band for almost a decade now, declares that Starr now officially owns "Bamboozled."  And her Annie-Rossian, laconic take on one of my favorite numbers, the wistful whimsical ballad written by Nelson Hiu entitled "Sweet and Sour," was the personal highlight of my evening.  Thoughout, Jason, Jon and Lopaka all jumped in with unflagging energy, and of course, Alaana and Capella danced delightfully alluringly.  Can you imagine how lucky-to-live-Hawaii I feel at this moment?

Oh yeh, Sorobol.  I joined Jason and Ryoko mid-nosh at the sushi bar, Jason already having made fast friends with knife-wielding Kevin-from-Korea at tend.  We talked, we joshed, we ate, we drank.  On the stroke of midnight, the elated trio we made collectively stumbled out into the warm Kee'aumoku pomaika'i, Kevin's judicious choices of fish parts, deft sushi assembly, and sad tale of estranged wife and son echoing in our tummies and ears.  Indeed, bubbling their inexorable ascents up our esophagi were the very tastiest of hamachi-wasabi-and-sake burpage, erupting in our mouths in a most satisfying and a-propos encore to the post-gig munch.

Mahalo to all and aloha.  I love you and am humbled.

Ovah an' out



Perry Celebrates

Last minute call from Doze who wanted to have some fun with a tree costume of his own devising and a PA system.  Tasked me to help out himself, Bobo and D to provide spooky music, thus giving his spooky arboric antechamber the proper musical frisson.  My only reservation: since I was already in Day Gig Engineer Mode, I had little time to slap together any costume of sorts.  

Again, it was Delmar to the rescue.  Always on the lookout to further circulate Artifacts Straight From the Edge of Wacked, the Del Man had recently omiyaged me with a jokerʻs tri-triangulated and -jinglebelled jokerʻs cap, complete with Bushmillʻs logo for added hilarity.   That, along with presription shades whose mysterious disappearance Del had just solved using his own obscure deWildean logic, and a black shirt-and-trousers ensemble bought ages ago to satisfy the sartorial dictates of a Cecilio gig, was my costume. (Actually, the cap was down to one bell, the other two having been chewed off by my sweet squirmy 1-yr-old grandson Jack.) Aside from not being able to see the actual piano keys, the "costume" worked.

In any case, our musical/theatric proceedings were the hit of Hinano Street, for awhile gathering a bit of an uncomfortably large crowd blocking the thoroughfare in their enthusiasm for it.  But then the kids went home and the teenagers came out.  Of course, they were much too cool for such a specatacle, so we all went off to Ojisanʻs for some delicious refueling.

Happy All Hallowed Eve Evening laʻdat






It can only be hoped that the unholy union that is DON TIKI contributed to the mirth and matri-fest that recently saw the joining of Dennis Christianson and Kim Porter (both True TLC Believers) at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. Pilgrims came from far and wide to wish the bride and groom well and to sail them into their collective future on an outrigger driven by ethereal TIKI POWER. It's a certainty that these same pilgrims will now carry the message of DON TIKI back to their own far flung tribes... EL DEL



recent Fluid Floyd activities brought to the Blinding Light of a Tropic Day 

Daniel Z is to be congratulated.  Fluid Floyd, my cohort, crony and fellow tiki-gonif, has blessed Danʻs film project with his Official Benificent Monk Seal of Fullest Approval.  And let me tell ya, of all genetic constructs, hominid segment, Mr FF should know.  Born, raised, nurtured and acculturated in the most fecund streetcurve of Hollywood, he has sired and mentored 3 (count ʻem-3!!!) boys who, this very year, are making serious, careerious inroads in the filmworld industry.  Stalkers of FF, remember: google "Kandell," not "Fluid" or "Floyd," and seek Aaron, Jordan, or Keith.

Regarding the incubating Dan Z opus, as FF commented, he "totally gets it."  A complete hoot of a script.  Letʻs all hope he finds the pot oʻ production gold, so that he can serve it to a panting, salivating, anticipating tiki public in some very near future cinematheque near you.

What else about the Fluid One?  Oh yeh -- in a recent Tiki Central missive, South Of The Boudoir artist Robb Hamel had some very kind words to say about my affable partner, viz.:


Koolau asked me about my participation in this album on my velvet painting thread and I thought it would be cool to post the info here. 

Lloyd Kandell, who is one of the two founders/producers of Don Tiki contacted me in April about using one of my pieces for the new album. I could tell immediately that he was an absolutely terrific guy, so much so that I trusted him enough to send him the image he wanted before we had finished hammering out a deal, without being asked to! I'm still surprised at how nice it was to work with him. He even sent me an early cut of one of the songs, before the title was finalized, I think. 

Lloyd sent me an email that I didn't see for a few days requesting some other images they were considering. These needed to be shown at a specific time to the albumʻs designer, Craig Okino. I checked the date and time he needed the new pics, looked up the Honolulu time, and realized he needed them in about 40 minutes!! I'm very slow at doing emails, so I went into Insane Desperate Slowpoke Artist In High Gear mode and got him the files a few minutes before he walked out the door. 

These are the uncropped images of the paintings that were chosen: 



I'm very happy that the reproduction of my paintings and how they were used in the packaging is surprisingly good... better than my own Tiki Magazine Ad, which I created! Thank you Craig Okino. 

Lloyd sent me copies of the album a little while before it was released, and I've been submerged in it since then. The first thing I noticed is that it is unmistakably Don Tiki. Which means that it has a distinctly theatrical quality - when I listen to it I can't help but get mental images of live performers standing in spotlights, scenery flats being moved for each song, colored lights, and curtains opening and closing. 

The second thing is the album seems like a kind of self-contained universe that you enter slowly. This is because it is so carefully crafted and unique that you need to get used to these familiar-yet-not-familiar sounds. Like you, Koolau, this is how most of my all-time favorite albums grew on me. Great art should be this way: a unique artistic vision, not the last album with new titles and lyrics. 

The third thing is the album needs to be listened to on a decent audio system to come alive, not cheap-ass computer speakers or tinny base model car speakers. I'm listening to it right now on my halfway decent living room system and the super, super silky sound is absolutely seductive. In fact, I get the feeling the nearly every track is trying to get the listener stimulated (yes, in THAT way)! 

Thank you Lloyd and company for a great and happy experience working with you and for giving us a new and hot-blooded piece of art. 

Big thanks Koolau for asking about my tiny part. 



And yes, the moon-contemplating moai that eternally graces the top of the blog is another Hamel black-velvet masterpiece.  If I was rich enough, iʻd invest in Robbʻs velvet visions instantly.


Oddadendat, notting.  Ovah anʻ out anʻ aloha,