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  • Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail: My Blue Heaven

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    My Blue Heaven

    My Blue Heaven

    Here’s a easy one to mix up quick at the Tiki bar. It looks pretty and the chicks really dig it.

    My Blue Heaven

    1 oz Silver Rum
    1 oz Blue Curacao
    1 oz Coconut Creme
    2 oz Pineapple Juice

    Easy method:
    Put everything in a shaker and shake it up real nice with ice, until the shaker gets frosty. Pour it over the rocks in a Tiki mug and garnish with a piece of pineapple, and if you have it, a blueberry.

    Difficult method:
    Go to the music shop and buy a book on how to play saxophone. Learn to play the saxophone. Buy sheet music to My Blue Heaven, and record it with a couple of jazzing’ cats to a swing beat. Set up a record deal with a major jazz label and have the recording distributed. When it reaches the top of the charts, have it pressed in vinyl as a collector’s piece.

    Buy a high end hi-fi turntable. Set it up at your Tiki Bar and put the record on. Follow directions above.

    MMM, good stuff.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the bar at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Prest-o-lite: A Vintage Advertising Thermometer from my past

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    pretolite-thermometerEvery once and a while I like to post about junk I have laying around the house. This little goodie is a vintage (original, not repro) advertising wall thermometer.

    Prest-o-lite batteries were the cream of the crop back in the 1930′s when this little gem was new. A wall thermometer like this would likely have been given to a gas station or service shop owner as a promo gift, to hang on the wall in the shop or outside by the pumps. It’s built of heavy gauge steel, and the graphics appear to be silk-screened with some heavy-duty pre-war lead-based tough-as-nails paint. It’s about two feet tall, and has a nice three-dimensional art deco look.

    Like everything else I write about, it has a story. When I was a kid, living in the suburbs of Atlantic City, there was a very kool old house (built in the early 1920s) across the street from us. It was stucco, had a drive-in basement/garage, hardwood floors and the original 1920s sink and fixtures in the kitchen. Yes, very kool. It also had a couple of acres of nicely-kept land, including a glass and wood green house. As years went by, the owners passed on and the house became a rental. By the time I was in high school it had deteriorated to a heap of crap, and was torn down. Today it is still an empty field. Yay progress.

    Anyway, when I was a teenager a family with a son my age moved into the house and we became friends. One day we were exploring what was left of the then dilapidated greenhouse, and found this thermometer nailed to a post inside. I offered the dumbass $3 bucks for it, and he happily took it (and proceeded to spend it on a Slurpy and some video games). That was 1984. It now hangs in our library room, right next to where I’m typing this post.

    Note the rather large, circular blemish in the middle of the battery graphic. That is a dent…not a hole, a dent…made by a .38 caliber bullet. Not sure why anyone shot the sign. Maybe I’ll use that for my next murder mystery novel. In any case, the kid kept the slug. I got the sign.

    What’s it worth? Who knows. To some collectors it would need to be mint condition to bring top dollar. To others, the authenticity of its used condition makes it worth more. I’ve never seen another one like in the last 25 years. Maybe it’s worth $300 clams. Maybe 50. Maybe more…but it’s not for sale, so it don’t matter much now, do it?

    I’ve had this thing for over 25 years. I’m guessing it will make a nice ornament on the lid of my coffin someday.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto, bestselling author (soon) of Murder on Tiki Island, reporting from the Library Room (What the hell is a “library room”???)

  • Delovely, The Story of Cole Porter, 2004 for Noir Movie Monday

    Posted on July 26th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    de_lovely-posterA little known and underrated movie for sure, Delovely is the almost fantasy-like tale of the flamboyant (and very private) life of one of the most beloved songwriters to ever grace us with his insurmountable talent, Cole Porter.

    With an outstanding performance by Kevin Kline, you’ll believe your actually seeing and hearing Porter himself from first few seconds of the opening scene. An incredible supporting cast includes Ashley Judd, Johnathon Pryce, and a stage-full of cameos by some of the “Biggest Names in Showbiz” including Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Cole…the list goes on.

    A portrait of Cole Porter’s life, the story is presented as a fantasy musical biographical stage-show being produced at the end of Porter’s life. He leads “the director” through flashbacks of his colorful life, and we learn about Porter’s previously very secret lifestyle through these scenes…filled, of course, with Porter’s songs woven into the story. The “Show” scenes are very noir, dark, often sad. The “Flashback” scenes are generally uplifting and jubilant. Great juxtaposition adds to the charm.

    Diana Krall steals a scene with only a few seconds of on-camera time. She should have been given a LOT more.

    Diana Krall steals a scene with only a few seconds of on-camera time. She should have been given a LOT more.

    I  don’t want to give anything away…it’s fun discovering things about this incredible man and his accomplishments and contributions, his marriage to the love of his life, and the hidden meaning behind some of his very risque lyrics (Let’s just say I’ll never think of “Your the top” and “Blow, Gabriel Blow” the same way again.)

    The movie is a perfect little time capsule of 1920s-1950s America and Europe, with exquisite sets, costumes, and storyline that any vintage music lover will instantly love. Unfortunately the movie was not a hit; the box office was disappointing, critics and audiences are split down the middle on whether it’s a masterpiece or a long-winded semi-musical bomb. Who is right? Well, if you’re like me…and if you read this blog you are…then you’ll get it, and you’ll love Delovely.

    de-lovely-kline-juddMy only complaint about this flick is that (probably for time constraints) some of the best songs are cut off, or just grace the background of a scene. But don’t worry, the soundtrack is available on Amazon.com.delovely-old

    Sit back with a bottle of champagne, a dinner of Chateaubriand, and if you’re the emotional type, a box of tissues, and enjoy this truly incredible movie.

    Here’s the original trailer:

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from the sound stage at Star Dust Studios, Florida

  • Goodbye, Amy Winehouse

    Posted on July 24th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    A Poem In Alternative Prose

    By Darrin C. M. Buckley, Resident Beatnik

    Queen of R & B-hive, luscious cracked demon voice wrought from the streets of Foggy town.
    Spinning Jazz, riffs with hop and pizazz, soul and roll blended with blues and crushed ice and vodka,
    she melded the galaxies of music into one cool and swingin’ universe for all the little kiddies to dig.

    Are you hip to this? Can you dig what the chick laid down for the crowds, belting out “Round Midnight” with as much soul as “Rehab”? The utmost chick, the one and only chick, to invent, invoke, infuse, like, wow…yeah. Mind blown, successfully.

    What riffs she wrought, what tunes will now not be. What a cosmic waste of a hip life; uptempo, forte, the crescendo now way gone in the past, the coda never to be riffed upon again.

    What crazy, mixed-in-the-head juice did this chick chug to cut down such a groovy existence? She did refer to the reefer, but did she chase the dragon, ride the white horse? And why, with so much going on? Who knows, man. Who knows. She knows. We don’t. Heavy.

    Goodbye, slick chick Amy Winehouse. Goodbye to you, you beautiful, right-on chick. Goodbye to your silver voice, your kooky hair, your on-stage goofs, your krazy tats. Goodbye to one of the swingingest retro-chicks to go Platinum. May your soul swing high through the cosmos, baby.

    You, and what you may have been, will be missed.

    - Darrin C. M. Buckley

    amy-winehouse-final-day-bw

    (Darrin C. M. Buckley is a guest writer for Tiki Lounge Talk and appears courtesy of Star Dust Productions)

  • Spicy Piña Colada: Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail, and Cocktail Nation

    Posted on July 23rd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-drinksHow about something frozen on this hot, South Florida day?

    As the Mai Tai is without question the quintessential Tiki Cocktail, the Piña Colada is without doubt the most famous and best-loved Tropical drink. Welcome anyplace on the globe where palm trees and thatch are present, the Piña Colada is at equally at home at the Tiki bar or on a Mexican playa.

    From Shag’s Tiki Drink Deck, here is the

    Spicy Piña Colada

    1 1/2 oz. spiced rum (I prefer Sailor Jerry’s)
    1 1/2 oz. creme de coconut
    2 oz. pineapple juice
    2 oz. pineapple chunks
    splash of cream
    151 rumpina-colada

    Blend everything except the 151 in a blender with ice until smooth. Pour into a hurricane glass, top with about a tablespoon of 151 and garnish with a cherry, pineapple wedge, orange slice and a little umbrella. It’s nothing without the umbrella. Sit in your favorite deck chair pointed at the ocean and enjoy!

    Shag's Tiki Drinks Deck

    Shag's Tiki Drinks Deck

    Cocktail Nation

    So, as I riffed about in my last post, Koop Kooper of Cocktail Nation kindly interviewed me for my newest retro-tastic novel, Murder on Tiki Island. The vintage music podcast is now available at CocktailNation.net (click the link to listen now!) The show is, as always, great, kicking off with a Diana Krall tune and filled with great music and retro koolness. You can catch Koop’s podcast every week, with new-old tunes a’plenty.

    For info on Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto, visit the Star Dust Mysteries Publishing website at StardustMysteries.com.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the lanai at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Florida