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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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J
jtiki posted on Fri, Mar 7, 2003 1:06 PM

I am sure to incur much ire, but I am somewhat confused and put off by the zealous rage that is voiced when Jimmy Buffet and the term “tiki” are mentioned together, (as recently articulated at https://tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=2905&forum=1&3 )

Now, as George Carlin once said, you can be called (or define yourself) anything you want. “Your name can be spelled SMITH, and you can pronounce it “Jimnopscott” if you want. And I suppose we could claim the term “tiki,” and define it how we want. But just as righteously, couldn’t some other group come along and say Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman have nothing to do with real tiki and that we should only listen to authentic tiki music?

I recognize that “tiki,” as we use the term, refers to a specific period, an American idealization and re-imagining of the South Pacific Ilse. But I can hardly fault or disdain the rest of the world for seeing a guy in a Hawaiian shirt, drinking out of a funny mug and listening to any kind of “island” music; and calling it tiki.

There are folks here who care about the Kono-style of carving versus the Maori influence, and folks here that just think tiki carvings are cool and I don't find their focus any less authentic than mine. Much like the professors of academia we can mutter that the great unwashed don’t know the difference between “real” tiki and fake, and board ourselves up in the white tower. But if you are interested in the real world, you got to lighten up. Even those of us here, who study “tiki” with a scholastic devotion do it ‘cause its fun, and if someone else’s “tiki” fun involves Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet or The Mighty Iz, who am I to question?

By the By,

Martin Denny and Jimmy Buffet probably get equal time on my sound system of late; Chris Isaak seems to be the most effective for me in invoke the “tiki frame of mind.” The two venues I know of that tried to use the authentic lounge music to complement their lounge décor had to quickly retreat from that approach for lack of interest. Really, how much Martin Denny can you listen to?

If we were to acknowledge the popular inaccessibility of hard core lounge music, I am wondering what would qualify as “accessible tiki-influenced music.” I mentioned Chris Isaak and, for some reason, Los Straitjackets makes me feel somewhat tiki (although they may be somewhat too loud, it could just be a retro thing). Other suggestions?

j

[ Edited by: jtiki on 2003-03-07 13:08 ]

E

Ah, music. It has the power to soothe the savage breast - and to cause little brain capillaries to explode, maybe even implode, with rage. Music is like politics and religion in some circles...ya just don't mess with other people's taste buds.

Not that it's the only issue being raised in your comprehensive post jtiki. You stirred up a veritable hornet's nest, a compendium of potential bombshells. As a forum newbie but music oldie, I'll stick with that one point of contention. I think you put it best when you said "...seems to be the most effective for me to invoke the 'tiki frame of mind'." Well, that's all that matters in the end, isn't it? We are all wired differently, and our reponse to music is as subjective as anything we can experience.

Take me: I no more associate surf guitars with "Tiki" than I do Beethoven. To me, surf was the sound of young wild kids, who definitely didn't participate in "Tiki lifestyle" - a completely different subculture belonging to their parents' generation. On the other hand, I know a lot of them were into the trappings of Hawaiiana in a HUGE way (how could you be a surfer and not?). I get that Tiki feeling from Hawaiian music, old and not-so-old, faux and genuine, and the ultra-cool of bossa nova. And a respectful tip of the hat to anyone who wants to say "what the hell does Rio de Janeiro have to do with Tiki?". Well, nuttin'! But that feeling...

Anyway you'll note I wrote a provocative question in the Buffet thread. I hope you'll understand that as a musician and music lover, I only did it to see what makes people tick on this issue, not cuz I like being a s**t-disturber...I think :)

aloha,
em.

I

I liked emspace's acknowledgement of the cultural differences between the 60's surf teenagers, and their adults who were in the original 'lounge' culture.

A good film to rewatch, with a current view towards what is 'exotic or not' is 'The Graduate.' In that film, the older generation is the one that is into mixing cocktails, and it is Mrs Robinson who wears the exotic leopard-skin outfits and goes into hotel lounges to listen to the bands playing there.

Young Benjamin, played by Dustin Hoffman - hates this whole culture - and equates it with being 'plastic' - he prefers drinking beer in the pool versus cocktails, and prefers rock and roll music to the old bump and grind music being played in the strip clubs.

The Graduate came out in 1966, and I consider its success to be one real reason of why the original lounge culture never was adopted by the younger generation - if you want to blame somebody for the downfall of the original lounge/tiki culture - don't blame Jimmy Buffet - blame Dustin Hoffman!!

But now it is 35 years later, and the generational differences that existed in the 60's are long past - we are more free to listen to whatever music we like, without having the emotional baggage it once did. Some of us listen to the music with an awareness of its historical significance, while others will listen to it simply because they like the way it sounds.

Vern

M

jtiki,
Fun topic, indeed.

*Martin Denny and Jimmy Buffet probably get equal time on my sound system of late; Chris Isaak seems to be the most effective for me in invoke the “tiki frame of mind.” *

Used to be a huge Buffett fan, ha ha I said it! (Heck, I used to club baby Harp seals, too. Just for plehhh-zurrr!!!). However, he pulled a fast on his CA fans with the "millenuium" gigs, so I have not been to a concert in years. Not playing his music much anymore either. Is he Tiki? Who cares. Some of the ubiquitous Tiki snobbery is purtty un-Tiki in my mind.

Agree on Isaak, ya notice the images on "San Francisco Days" cd? I like the Ultra-Lounge compilation cd's as well; we have several and they get routine play. It takes all kinds, live and let listen (Taboo COve notwithstanding).

I went to Paris, and have Havana Daydreamed.

midnite

ps The Jam is Tiki to me!

E

On 2003-03-07 13:55, midnite_tiki wrote:
ps The Jam is Tiki to me!

Hee hee...especially "That's Entertainment"!

aloha, em

T
thejab posted on Fri, Mar 7, 2003 2:10 PM

Speaking if tiki music, here's a pic of the Spectres (to go on to become the Status Quo) at Butlin's in 1965:

V

It seems to me that the general ire and disdain directed towards Jimmy Buffett has little to do with any generation-gap of sorts.

I have no problem mixing Les Baxter, Combustible Edison, and The Aqua-Velvets. Different generations, different sub-genres, but it seems to work (again, as previously stated, the key being what gets you in the "Tiki frame-of-mind").

So, then maybe it's the music or the persona. I have no axe to grind with JB or the "parrot-heads", but the music seems a little too deep-fried for my liking.

And yes, I can listen to Martin Denny all day :wink:

I'm gonna try real hard not to insult Buffet or those who like him (and feel that he is tiki). My thought is that his music evokes more of a spanish/ party at the river/ margarita feel where as the others you mentioned have more of an exotic alure to them. I would definately place Chris Issak in the catagory along side Denny and Baxter. They just go about it differently.

I also would have no problem playing surf music in my tiki bar but I agree that it probably isn't 'tiki' music per say. Again, it's what you personally like.

J
jtiki posted on Fri, Mar 7, 2003 7:13 PM

PS - Buffet tickets go on sale tomorrow, ... for $72 bucks. No that's a reason to stop listening.

PPS - don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge Mr. Buffet for taking what the market will bear. I'm more than willing to purchase some packaged-for-sale island-invoking musical fun when it is in my price range.

Some of his songs are fun and some are beautiful - at CD prices. But I have yet to pay $70 for a concert, or $90 for a Tommy Bahama shirt, on the other hand, I've paid some shocking prices for old mugs and stuff. - what's wrong with me.

Ray Charles is special to me in that Chris Issak sort of way. This will sound corny and sentimental..I guess it's a southern thing. There's something about hearing Ray Charles on AM on my car radio at dusk in the summer (honeysuckle vines and bar-b-que in the air), driving through a small town, that makes me feel like all is right with the world. "Geooorgia...."

This should light people up. This years tour is called the Tiki Time Tour

http://margaritaville.com/tour/


:drink:

F

oh god not this again

[ Edited by: fatuhiva on 2003-03-07 21:50 ]

I'd just like to say great, thoughtful posts by emspace, jtiki & ikitnrev. Ah, but this thread is young, and methinks the tone will turn nasty before too long. I've waded in on this before, but I'll resist this time :)

Cheers!

T

I think you have to be over 50 to like Jimmy Buffet. At $70 a show you gotta be rich too! My Mom loves him and last time I saw her she played me a song on his new album that had a mention of Martin Denny! I cringed in horror!

W

Here's my theory for the rabid anti-Buffetism: It's fun. I seriously doubt there are any Centralites sitting at home slamming down Mai Tais while raging against Buffet. He's a non-issue. The point could be made about bland party hardy Margarita tropicalia being wrongly called Tiki, but even then it seems more of a purposely overdramatic disgust than actual fear and loathing. It's fun to gasp in collective horror. And anyway, as your mom or court appointed guardian probably told you: If you friends don't like you because of your Jimmy Buffet CDs then they weren't your friends in the first place.

Do any of us really HATE JIMMY BUFFET? I doubt it. Should we consider it to be part of the Tiki Style? No way! I mean... I like Bach! Do I add his tunes to my Tiki Mix? Nope. Nor do I add Brownsville Station. Same for The Replacements. Or Roy Buchanan, for that matter. If you want to, though... Go ahead!

T

On 2003-03-08 22:37, Traitor Vic wrote:
Do any of us really HATE JIMMY BUFFET?

Hell yeah! I also hate the Beach Boys - that song Kokomo has got to be the WORST song ever for getting stuck in your head.

S

On 2003-03-07 20:37, Basement Kahuna wrote:
Ray Charles is special to me in that Chris Issak sort of way. This will sound corny and sentimental..I guess it's a southern thing. There's something about hearing Ray Charles on AM on my car radio at dusk in the summer (honeysuckle vines and bar-b-que in the air), driving through a small town, that makes me feel like all is right with the world. "Geooorgia...."

I understand what you're saying. My 2000 Ford Crown Vic is about to get a brand spankin new 8-track player!

S

On 2003-03-09 07:18, tikifish wrote:

On 2003-03-08 22:37, Traitor Vic wrote:
Do any of us really HATE JIMMY BUFFET?

Hell yeah! I also hate the Beach Boys - that song Kokomo has got to be the WORST song ever for getting stuck in your head.

No, actually the Winnie the Pooh theme and It's a Small World are the worst for getting stuck in your head.

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