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  • Doctor Who and the Daleks, 1965 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on August 11th, 2014 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    dr-who-and-the-daleksBeen a while since I did a “Mod Movie Monday” post, mainly because I’ve been busy with doing some much-need restoration on my 1953 Chevy Bel Air Custom, writing a new paranormal murder mystery, and launching a new idea…more on that later.

    So here we go, kats and kittens, back to our regularly schedule program. This week we feature

    Doctor Who and the Daleks

    from 1965, starring Peter Cushing as The Doctor.

    This movie was produced “outside” the original series universe, and as such, die-hard Who fans may find it a little annoying that it doesn’t follow the established theme. But the Doctor is still somewhat of a mad scientist, he still has traveling companions (in this, his two grand daughters and one of their boyfriends), the TARDIS is still a blue police box and bigger on the inside, and they still travel through space and time with special effects that remind you of Lost in Space. And it’s the mid-1960s, so there’s a kind of cold war-era peaceful-people-fighting-against-fascist-overlords kind of vibe.

    Here’s the trailer:

    Food & Booze: You’ll want something far-out, futuristic and still 1960s to go with this. I’d suggest Saturn Sliders (little burgers with big onion rings around them) and for drinks, Blue Neptune Cocktails in a tall, clear glass (see recipe below).

    My Take: If you like Doctor Who, or just dig kookie movies from the mod era, you’ll dig it. From the TARDIS interior (which looks more like a black box theater than a space ship) to the annoying Daleks, it’s a fun treat that will whisk you back to the past before accelerating you to the future.

    Blue Neptune Cocktail recipe:

    2 oz good vodka
    1 splash Blue Curacao (Just enough to make it blue)
    1/2 oz Triple Sec
    Juice of 1/2 Lemon
    Superfine Sugar
    1 Lemon peel
    1 Orange wheel

    Mix all ingredients except lemon and orange in a shaker with ice. Strain over a tall clear glass half full of ice and garnish with the twisty lemon peel and orange wheel. You can secure the peel to the wheel with a sword or pick, and add a cherry if you are so inclined.

    Tiki Chris P. reporting from the time machine at Tiki Lounge Talk

    Oh, I almost forgot…that new idea I’m working on: Yours truly is embarking on a little side biz. Starting now, I’ll be offering my cool & kookie services as a vintage-theme party DJ in the South Florida are. That’s right…I’m putting the thousands of songs I’ve collected over the years to good use. So if you know anyone who wants to have a retro theme party, I’m you man…as long as it’s somewhere between West Palm Beach and Miami, Florida. Check out the new website for the low down. By the way…in that world, I’m known as “Riff”.

  • Tiki Bandit of Frankie’s Tiki Room: Your Weekend Exotic Cocktail Recipe

    Posted on April 18th, 2014 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-drinksI personally have yet to dig the scene at Frankie’s Tiki Room in Vegas, being a couple of thousand miles out of the area. But I’ve heard some swingin’ stories about this place, and one of its original cocktails,

    The Tiki Bandit

    The ingredients might suggest this drink is overly sweet and sticky, but give it a try – you’ll find the balance is quite nice. I didn’t have pineapple rum, and used Captain Morgan instead. Worked out very well.

    The Goods:

    4 oz. pineapple juicetiki-bandit-frankies-tiki-room-vegas-cocktail
    4 oz. ginger ale
    1½ oz. gold rum
    1½ oz. pineapple rum
    1 oz. blue curaçao
    1 oz. orgeat syrup
    1 oz. passion fruit syrup
    1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
    1 wedge pineapple
    1 maraschino cherry

    The Works:

    Throw the pineapple juice, ginger ale, rums, curaçao, orgeat syrup, passion fruit syrup and grapefruit juice in a  shaker with ice and shake that baby up until she’s nice and chilly; strain into a cool Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple and cherry, on one of those little plastic swords. An umbrella couldn’t hurt either. Cheers, kids!

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the casino at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Somewhere in Florida

  • Remembering Stan Kenton’s Eager Beaver: The Song & The Drink

    Posted on January 31st, 2014 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    sheet music eager beaver stan kenton “Let’s take it from Bar 46, just the saxes. 1, 2, 1-2-3-4…”

    Swing back to a rehearsal hall in New York City, 1943. Those words, or something close to them were very probably spoken by the young bandleader as he coaxed his musicians into playing the lilting, modulating melody with a silky smooth finesse that would become part of the band’s signature style. The tune: Eager Beaver. The band: Artistry in Rhythm. The leader: Stan Kenton.

    “Eager Beaver” was a sophisticated, swinging “riff tune” that featured Kenton on solo piano, engulfed in a true jazz orchestration that set the band apart from the traditional big band sounds of Miller, Dorsey, Shaw and Goodman. It was a hit – Kenton’s first big one – with growling tenor sax solo by Red Dorris and a crazy, loud and high-reaching trumpet section. The song would become so popular that it would be part of the Kenton songbook until his death in 1979. A sleeker, cleaner, definitive version was recorded in 1956 featuring Maynard Ferguson leading those high trumpet notes, and Vido Musso laying down the swingin’ tenor solo.

    “Eager Beaver” laid the roots for Kenton’s “Progressive Jazz” style. Kenton and the band’s style was influential among musicians in the modern jazz, bop, west coast jazz and other styles that were forming in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. While Kenton’s style and sound progressed, Eager Beaver remained an important and steady chart in the Kenton library.

    One of the things that always intrigued me about this tune was how flawlessly the arrangement combines the sounds of the saxes, trumpets and bones against a solid rhythm section. But the big things for me are 1) the tenor solo, and 2) the modulating ending.

    The tenor sax solo was kick-ass before the term kick-ass was coined. The 1943 tenor sax solo had a growling, modern sound that was at least 10 years ahead of its time, forming the basics of what would become the Rhythm & Blues – and then Rock ’n’ Roll sounds of the 1950s sax players. The 1956 version by Vido Musso went a step further, being cleaner, more sophisticated and unique in tone and composition.

    Now, the ending, that’s another thing altogether. As a young musician I tried desperately to get a copy of the arrangement to see how the modulations were written. But this was back in the 1980s, before the world was laid at our fingertips with the World Wide Web. I tried like hell to figure it out by ear, but it was beyond my ability.

    A few weeks ago, on a whim, out of the blue, I typed “Stan Kenton Eager Beaver” into the eBay search box. Hot damn, Sam…this arrangement featured here came up for sale, cheap. I got it, of course.

    Those of you who can read music can check out the Tenor and Alto sheets below. You can see how each verse at the end steps up, integrating with the next verse in such a fantabulous way that that the listener doesn’t even realize what is happening…they just know they are hearing something cool.

    For those of you who don’t follow sticks (notes), the best way I can explain what’s happening is that at the end, the melody “steps up” a note each verse, but in such a way that the last note of the first verse becomes blends in with the second, stepped up verse so you don’t even realize there’s been a modulation. Crazy, sophisticated jazz, man.

    Below are two videos of the riff. The first is a “soundy” from the early 1940s, giving you an idea of the original version of the song (it sounds like it’s been sped up a little in the video.) The second is the 1956 version, clean and cool, much closer to the way Kenton would have sounded live.

    The 1956 version of Eager Beaver

    Below here are the sheet music pages from the 1944 Robins Music arrangement. Follow along with the saxes at the end to dig the modulation.

    eager-beaver-sheet-music-alto-sax eager-beaver-sheet-music-tenor-sax

     

     

    You can see that his sheet music was well used; someone even added their own section at the tenor sax solo (underneath are the chord progressions for the tenor solo).

    This sheet music is also great because it features several ads to buy more sheet music. Talk about a captive audience!

    harry-james-trumpet-method-adTHE EAGER BEAVER COCKTAIL RECIPE

    There seems to be a cocktail recipe for every song title ever recorded. Eager Beaver has not been spared, but the recipe is kind of dull compared to the complexity of the song (It’s also probable that the cocktail was invented independently of the song, and refers to the person eager to complete a task, or a chick who is hot to trot, which no doubt is whom the song is named after.)

    - 2 oz rum
    – 3 oz coffee liqueur
    – 1 oz orange liqueur

    Mix everything together in a shaker with ice; shake and pour over cubes in a highball glass. To “jazz it up” a bit, use spiced rum, and garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Good stuff.

    Well, I hope you enjoyed this jazzy trip down a road that doesn’t get nearly as much travel as it should. I hope I opened some of you up to a cool tune that was recorded at the very start of the modern jazz era, and that it will inspire you to check out more by the master musician, Stan Kenton.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the listening room at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Your Weekend Exotic Cocktail – The HPNOTIQ Hurricane

    Posted on January 17th, 2014 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    hpnotiq_hurricane-400x500Certainly not a traditional exotic cocktail, but this drink does have the makings of new favorite. It’s blue, it has rum, it has a pineapple garnish…what more could you want?

    3 oz. HPNOTIQ
    1-2 oz. Citrus Flavored Rum
    Splash of Fresh Lime Juice
    Splash of Club Soda and garnish with a pineapple

    Pour the HYPNNOTIQ over ice in a stemmed rocks glass are highball glass. Gently add the rum and stir. Splash in the lime juice and club soda. Rim with raw sugar if you’d like, and garnish with a nice slab of pineapple.

    This simple recipe not only looks good, but it also shares most of its name with one of our favorite Martin Denny tunes, Hypnotique. Play the tune while you’re mixing the drink, and it will taste even better.

    Here’s Martin Denny…

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, the Blounge for swingin’ retro hipsters.

  • Today is International Exotic Cocktail Day! Tiki Drink Recipes

    Posted on October 4th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    exotic-cocktail-dayIt’s here! International Exotic Cocktail Day 2013!

    #IECD is a day to celebrate with our favorite Tiki drinks. It doesn’t matter where you are, whether at home or at a Tiki bar, just mix up some rum and fresh juices and top with a pineapple slice and a paper umbrella! (Where appropriate. Don’t put a paper umbrella on a Jet Pilot, for instance ;)

    Yours truly, Tiki Chris, started International Exotic Cocktail Day a few years ago as a way to bring my world-wide Tiki friends together, without actually getting together. You don’t have to do anything special…a Rum Swizzle in your living room is fine; or you can go all-out and plan a happy hour with friends at The Mai Kai or Trader Vic’s.

    Enjoy the day/night with a Tiki Cocktail!

    Here’s a few drink recipes in case you decide to host your own #IECD party at home. For more great recipes visit Tiki Lounge Talk’s Tiki Drinks! page.

    Mai Tai, from Don the Beachcomber:

    •    1 oz Rhum Clément VSOP Martinique rum
    •    1 oz Appleton Estate Extra dark Jamaican rum
    •    1 oz fresh lime juice
    •    1/2 oz Orange Curacao.
    •    1/4 oz Simple Syrup.
    •    1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup

    Add to a shaker with crushed ice and shake it up, baby. Pour over rocks in a Tiki mug or Old Fashioned glass and garnish with mint sprig, so that you sense the mint as you take in the drink. An umbrella is mandatory, unless you have a fresh tropical flower to replace.

    Navy Grog

    oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi Silver, Meyers White)
    1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Myers Dark, Coruba Dark, Appleton Estate)
    1 oz Demerara Rum
    3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
    3/4 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
    3/4 oz Honey, warmed
    Club Soda Shake everything but the soda up in a shaker and strain over rocks in a tall Tiki mug. Top it off with the soda and give it a quick stir with an appropriate swizzle stick (a flamingo, Tiki head, or something vintage. Don’t be lazy and use one of those plain plastic ones with the little ball on the end and nothing else). Garnish this masterpiece with a combination of lime, pineapple and cherry on a sword, and if you can, add an orchid. Fantabulous, man!

    At the Tiki Bar...

    At the Tiki Bar…

    Tiki Galore (A Tiki Chris original!)

    The Tiki Galore

    1 oz. Amaretto
    1 oz. Dark Rum
    1/2 oz. Triple Sec
    2 oz. Orange Juice
    1/2 tspn powdered sugar

    Pour everything into a shaker with shaved ice, shake, and strain over ice cubes in a tiki glass. Garnish with everything tropical-looking you can find. You can make it a little more tart by squeezing in some lemon, a little sweeter with more sugar. Drink up! It ain’t bad, and will knock you on your ass! Cheers!

    Scorpion Bowl

    8 ounces of silver Rum (personally I prefer dark rum, and it gives this concoction a richer taste)
    4 ounces Brandy (used something decent, not that $11 a bottle junk!)
    8 ounces of orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
    4 ounces of lemon juice (you can add a little more if you want it more tart)
    3 ounces orgeat syrup
    2 cups of crushed ice (plus extra cubes)

    Mix up everything except the ice in a big bowl, bucket, tub, whirlpool, whatever you’ve got. Toss the crushed ice in a blender for a few seconds, and add about half to your Scorpion or Volcano Bowl. Fill with the booze, add in a few cubes. Garnish with floating flowers and use those long-assed straws to drink it up. This big bowl-o-rama is best enjoyed with a couple of hip friends, some Martin Denny playing on the hi-fi, and candlelight or Tiki torches.

    You’ll have to keep tasting this stuff before you pour it in for you guests, as the balance can be tricky. Too much orgeat syrup and it will be overly sweet. Too much lemon and you’ll pucker up like a duck. Fresh juices make a much better, more authentic-tasting drink (always) and will impress your friends. If you have a Volcano Bowl, add an ounce of 151 Rum to the volcano and light it up!

    We’ll be heading to The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale tonight. I’m planning on a few Jet Pilots and Mai Tais, and a stretcher to get me out of there. Cheers!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from behind the bar at Tiki Lounge Talk