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  • Tiki Lounge Talk’s Mack and Colleen are entering the Tiki Brand Dance Contest!

    Posted on July 12th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    hula-dancersTonight we’ll be shooting our video for the Tiki Brand Video Dance Contest! This is going to be lots of fun, and we encourage anyone with a love of Tiki and a video cam to get out there and make silly fools of yourself just like we are! Well why not? You can win prizes! Show off your dancing skills! Give your friends (and the rest of the world) something to laugh at!

    For those of you who don’t know, Tiki ‘Brand’ is the company that makes those really nice Tiki Torches, citronella candles, and other fun outdoor party stuff. I have two of their mini-Tiki torches on my Tiki Bar, electrified with flickering candle bulbs. They look great!

    When you sign up, make sure you tell ’em Mack from Tiki Lounge Talk sent ya!

    Mahalos and good luck!

    PRIZES (Right from their site)

    The Grand Prize (retail value over $2,900!) includes

    • $1,000 Visa Gift Card
    • A Canon® VIXIA HG10 High Definition Camcorder.
    • A Charbroil® Designer Series 4 Burner Grill, grill cover and stainless steel tool set.
    • 2 Metropolitan Patio Torches, 8 Island King™ Torches, 8 metal torch stands
    • 12 64-oz. bottles of Bitefighter® Fuel.

    (5) First Prizes (Weekly Winners) include

    • $250 Visa Gift Card
    • 4 Island King™ Torches
    • 6 64-oz. bottles of Bitefighter® Fuel.

    (25) Bonus Prizes

    • $25 Visa Gift Card

    THE FIRST 25 PEOPLE to submit an eligible video will receive a Bonus Prize! (Limit one (1) bonus prize per person.)

    Here’s the website for the contest: http://www.partyonastick.com/contest/

  • A Hot Summer Evening at the Tiki Bar

    Posted on July 10th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    tiki-time-coasterJuly in South Florida can be many things. It can be cool and breezy, wet and rainy with the sun shining through the clouds, or hot and muggy like an old Tennessee Williams scene.

    Tonight has Williams all over it. Heavy, humid air, hanging wet, scented of the rain forest. Heat lightning shining up the Eastern sky. The sounds of night creatures…frogs, crickets, night birds, cutting a swath through the thick night air.

    Perfect night for a cocktail at the Tiki Bar.

    The vintage bar is outside on the lanai, next to the pool. It’s damned hot out there, but a Crown and Ginger Ale fixes that quick (Surprising how refreshing that combo can be). I sit at the bar, contemplating the 50’s style designs I’ve painted on the bamboo backdrops. Paintings of exotic cocktails. Cartoon faces smiling with intoxication. Tropical flowers. Everything is lit with blacklight, helping to pull me back to a time forgotten by most, but not by m

    Our Tiki Bar at Night

    Our Tiki Bar at Night

    e.

    As I sip the drink and look over the vintage bottles and Tiki trinkets, I start to get that feeling…that feel, the one that tells you time no longer exists, it’s only in our minds, and our reality is what we decide it is. My reality races away from the present, and lands me somewhere in the middle of the last century. Les Baxter music plays softly, not from the CD player but from a 45 on a hidden jukebox. The bottles of Crown and Captain turn into Canadian Club and Seagram’s Seven. Even the air feels different…still muggy, but with a distinct hint of kool.

    I take a sip of the drink, built just right with plenty of ice to keep me from melting. My eyes roll over the black velvet paintings of tropical islands and hula girls, and I get that buzzing in my head that tells me I’m floating back to another era, another existence. The jungle drums fill my eardrums and I sway with the sounds and the heat and the booze. Maybe that’s it, maybe this feeling is just too many highballs (or not enough). Whatever it is, I’m there, for that moment, I’ve transgressed time and landed in the glory days of cool jazz and Polynesian Pop, that magical time when calling a woman a doll was a compliment and Frank Sinatra was king of the universe. When a flashy car meant plenty of chrome and big white wall tires. When a buck-fifty could get you a decent steak and a Manhattan, and the really good movies were still being made in black and white.

    Then I hear something, a buzzing like a sick chainsaw…a car on the street…it sounds like a souped-up lawnmower, some kid in a Civic who thinks he’s cool but has no idea how dorky he really is. Suddenly I’m ripped ahead in time again, thrown back to now, back to July 2009.

    The Crown is sitting on the bar again, the CC gone. The air shifts back to normal. I finish the last few sips of my highball and head inside to type this riff on my iMac computer, already a “vintage” model at four years old. In the library, I’m surrounded by memories of the past…a 1955 Marilyn Monroe calendar, Original Glenn Miller and

    Getz-Gilberto, 1963

    Getz-Gilberto, 1963

    Martin Denny albums, old books, antique toy cars…but the computer and the TV and the cell phone tell me no matter how many times I feel that feeling, almost get back in time, I will always return to the present.

    But it’s nice to know those times are only a cocktail away.

    -Macky

  • Hot Summer Days, Kool Summer Nights

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    retro-fun-stuffJuly. Mid-summer is upon us, and the warmth of the sun soaks into our bodies and minds and lets loose under the stars on steamy nights.

    istockphoto_4582053-woodies-on-the-wharfThese days we’ll sit on the beach with an iPod and a Coke Zero, listening to Britney Spears and watching the waves. But how many of us remember how it was back in the day…the 80’s? 70’s? 60’s? 50’s? Here’s a little taste of what things were like on the hot summer days and nights of yesteryear…

    It’s the weekend and you’re itchin’ to get in that jalopy and head for the surf. You’re tired of watching Gilligan’s Island on the little Black and White TV, and you just want to get out in the sun. So you get your best girl on the line and tell her to high-tail it down to your pad, so you can pick up the rest of the crew and head down to the beach. She shows up wearing one of those hot new two-piece red and white polka dot bikinis and a flower sarong, cat-eye sunglasses and a big pink straw hat. Your eyes pop but you don’t let on how bitchin’ she looks.

    You and your girl jump into the ’48 Plymouth Woody Wagon your uncle gave you when it turned 50,000 miles. It still runs, creaks a lot but what the hell, it’s got room for nine people plus coolers and surf boards. You check to make sure you’ve got your AM transistor radio, dial it in to the only station that plays rock ’n’ roll, jump on the starter and get the Woody moving. Your girl giggles as the car lurches out of first gear and takes off down the road.

    Johnny B. Goode is playing on the squwakbox. You stop and pick up your pals, those guys with names like Skids, BlackJack, Krazy Maynard and Lemonhead. They bring their girls too… Betty, Alice, Ginny and Red. All ten of you pile on top of each other in the wagon along with three coolers filled with baloney and square-cheese sandwiches, apple pie, RC Cola, Utz potato chips and Hershey bars. BlackJack, the ‘bad boy’ of the crew, slips a hip-pocket bottle of Old Crow in under the ice. Four surf boards and a half a dozen beach chairs and blankets are stuffed into the back, and you’re off.

    The beat-up jitney makes it to the edge of the sand, and you all fall out and pile up the goodies in a nice spot by the water. Down-beach there’s a couple of kids playing Frisbee. Next to the lifeguard stand are some to chicks hula-hooping. The AM radio is cranked as high asistockphoto_7173990-holiday-in-50-s-panoramic it can go, blasting out a crackly and distorted array of hits from the Beach Boys’ Fun Fun Fun to Bill Halley’s Shake Rattle & Roll. The girls set up the blankets and chairs and the big yellow and white-striped beach umbrella as the guys run straight for the waves with the boards. In the surf they fall a lot, and so do you, but you finally catch a good wave and ride it all the way in. Then you and the boys turn the boards over to the girls and watch them catch the waves as you chow down on the sandwiches and pop.

    As the night approaches, you head down the beach to a bonfire, and set up camp near the edge. There’s a guy playing guitar and singing slow Elvis songs, and another guy on bongos joins in. Soon everyone is sitting around the fire sipping (spiked) sodas and swaying with the music. Your girl, still in that smokin’ two piece, snuggles up close. The waves slide lightly into the shore as the stars and moon reflect off the surf. She leans up for a kiss…

    Well, I guess some things never change, no matter how many years slide between.

  • Posted on July 4th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    happy-july-4-tiki

    Click here for a great old-fashioned Macaroni Salad recipe!

  • This Week’s Top Songs In 1956: #1 Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis, #2 Moonglow/The Theme from Picnic by Morris Stolloff

    Posted on July 1st, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 9 comments

    The King - Click to Play Heartbreak Hotel

    The King - Click to Play Heartbreak Hotel

    Flip your ears to the hi-fi kats and kittens and listen to what I’m laying on ya, two big hits from ’56 in the mix and there ain’t no tricks, it’s the King, The Man with the Swingin’ Pelvis, Elvis Presley in the Number One slot this week in 1956, and right in view at Number Two is…Morris Stoloff?

    Yeah, that’s how it was back in the 50’s. Back then there was ONE chart, one list of hits, and you could have Rock ’n’ Roll and a Jazz standard together with a Western tune and standards vocalists like Frank Sinatra on the top five at the same time. Today you have a couple of dozen charts, so you’ll (probably) never see Winton Marsalis on the same hit list as Beyonce. but back in the day that would have been common.

    Now don’t get me wrong, most kats that were digging Elvis wouldn’t listen to Jazz if their lives depended on it. And vice versa…A lot of kats in the Jazz scene were too busy groovin’ to sophisticated bop to catch the Rhythm & Blues bug. And neither click would turn their ears to say, Patsy Cline, who also topped the charts plenty in the 50’s. But there were some mavericks who could riff along with all of them…From Frank and Dean to Les Brown and Dorris Day to Miles Davis and Stan Getz to Elvis and Buddy Holly.

    My old man was just such a kat. “Picnic” happened to be one of his favorite movies, and according to him the scene where William

    Picnic - Click Here to Play "Moonglow/The Theme From Picnic"

    Picnic - Click Here to Play "Moonglow/The Theme From Picnic"

    Holden and Kim Novak danced to “Moonglow” had everybody going crazy (Kim Novak burns through the scene with one of the most understated and sexiest ‘innocent’ dances  of all time, believe me). It’s a krazy scene musically because up to that point there is sort of corny dixie-type music playing for the picnic. Then this piano, guitar, bass and brushes comes in swinging with Moonglow, and these two characters finally get together (and just dance) after an hour of repressed 50’s sexual tension. It’s like, hypnotic, lulling you into this dream-like paradise for two…then all hell breaks loose. If you want to know more, rent the movie, I won’t spoil it for you here.

    So back to the tunes.

    #1 This week, July 1, 2009 is Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. Imagine if a Diana Krall tune was #2. That’s how it used to be. Granted, you’ll get a few Jazz or other tunes reaching into the Top 20 now and then, if they’re from a movie usually. But gone the days when diverse talent like Fran Sinatra and Bill Haley shared the top positions on the charts.

    Other #1 songs of 1956 included:

    Dean Martin – Memories Are Made Of This
    Gogi Grant – The Wayward Wind
    Platters – My Prayer
    Les Baxter – The Poor People Of Paris
    Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons

    All on the same chart. Krazy, ain’t it?