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  • MAD MEN: Don Draper’s Record Collection

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 9 comments
    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    Fans of MAD MEN know that music plays a fairly important role in the series, but when it comes to individual characters, music generally takes a backseat.

    So, I was wondering what kind of albums the character of Don Draper might have on hand. We’ve heard him play classical music at a dinner party; we know he doesn’t dig the Beatles. But that’s about it.

    So what kind of music does Don Draper dig?

    I think, in order to answer that question, first we need to answer, “What kind of music does Don NOT like?”

    Well, lets take a look at his past: He grew up in the 30s & 40s, when big bands played the most popular music in the country. There were swing bands and sweet bands, and they dominated the music scene. It’s safe to say that big band swing and jazz were probably what Don heard most as he was growing up, along with more “localized” music that probably included country/western and folk. Since he considers his childhood a complete bust, I’m going to lay my chips on big band, jazz vocals, folk and country/western as being the kind of music that Don Draper (well, Dick Whitman, actually) hates with a passion. Hell, he might even go into a cationic fit whenever he hears “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” for all we know.
    It’s also a safe bet that Don wouldn’t be into Rock ‘n’ Roll. Let’s face it – Rock ‘n’ Roll was considered “kids music” back in the 1950s, and had a very small adult following. Don was already an adult (in his 20s) when he was in Korea (somewhere between 1951 and 1953), so like most men of the era, he probably dismissed RnR as kiddie pop.

    Don has never showed us a side of him where he sits and listens to sophisticated music, whether it be jazz or classical, for the pleasure of it. He sits in front of the tube a lot, but we never see him play an album (except for the Beatles song, which he completely dismissed). So it’s probably safe to say that he has never really bought a record for the enjoyment of the music. Unlike Meghan, who’s life revolves around music and acting, for his character, it’s just not that big of a deal.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Exotica Music – Some cool, breezy songs for your Tiki Bar

    Posted on January 31st, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments
    Now Playing: Swamp Fire by Martin Denny

    Today’s post is just music. But not just any music – Exotica, the official music of the retro Tiki bar or lounge. Just play and enjoy.


    Baia – Bill Perkins, Exotica Tiki Bar music
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Music Lovers: Check Out “This is Vintage Now”!

    Posted on July 9th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    This is Vintage Now

    This is Vintage Now

    There’s a kool kat out there who is devoting his life to bringing some of the swingin’est, jumpin’est and absolutely best music of the past and present to the masses. His name is David Gasten, and he’s just produced an album of tunes from some very hep kats and kittens.

    “This is Vintage Now” is a collection of ten tunes geared toward today’s retro lovers…a GREAT combination of easy swing, jump blues, Exotica, bachelor pad and hard rockin’ blues. The tunes span the decades from the 1950s through today, with some artists you probably know well (Waitiki 7, Big Jay McNeely) and others you may not (Beverly Kenney, with a sweet voice that would have made her a star to this day had she lived past 1960).

    This quote from the website really says it all: “THIS IS VINTAGE NOW introduces Vintage Music as a thriving, forward-moving musical movement. The musicians on This is Vintage Now tap
    into the spirit of the original Vintage period, and bring its
    “anything can happen” excitement forward to today’s listeners.”

    Ilana Charnelle, one of the artists on This is Vintage Now. Photo by Sarah Walker.

    Ilana Charnelle, one of the artists on This is Vintage Now. Photo by Sarah Walker.

    This is the kind of album that serves a dual purpose. For retro lovers, it’s a great combination of rarely heard old tunes and new tunes that fit that elusive retro mood. For people who don’t dig the retro scene but want to get into it, it’s got the perfect mix of tunes both old and new, just right to ease into the scene.

    The artists on this album are all top notch. Gasten himself even plays one of the tunes with his band David Gasten and The City Kids, a hard-swingin’ bluesy riff entitled “The Deacon Don’t Like It”. Gasten calls the style “Heavy Jump Blues”, and indeed it is the kind of music you’d want to hear at a smokey club in Memphis, while drinking Wild Turkey neat while sitting across from your tattooed, ex-stripper girlfriend.

    One of the best parts about this album, besides of course the kool music, is the website that goes along with it. Gasten obviously spent a long time researching each of these artists and the tunes before laying the tracks down, and a lot of what he’s learned has gone into info pages on his site. I had some fun going through the pages, and was surprised by some of what I learned. (For instance, being an old jazz and swing musician, I always heard the style of music he calls “jump blues” as either “jump tunes” or boogie woogie. I looked up the term, and today even bands like Louis Jordan’s Tympany 5 are referred to as “jump blues”. Learn something new every day.)

    David Gasten, Producer & Artist, This is Vintage Now. Photo by Bryce Boyer.

    David Gasten, Producer & Artist, This is Vintage Now. Photo by Bryce Boyer.

    The album, which is currently available only as instant download from the site, is only $9.77, and will include two bonus tracks for a limited time. You can listen to each of the songs on the site to make sure you dig it…but I’m sure you will. Here’s the info:

    This is Vintage Now Homepage (and purchase info)

    The Artists:

    Beverly Kenney
Big Jay McNeely
    Caro Emeral
    Ilana Charnelle
    The Pharohs
    The Waitiki 7
    David Gasten & The City Kids
    Carole Creveling
    Blake Jones & the Trike Shop
    The Necro Tonz

    So if you dig vintage tunes mixed in with some swingin’ new riffs, check out This is Vintage Now. I think you’ll flip for it, kids. I sure give it Five Coconuts!

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the music room at Tiki Lounge Talk, the place for Tiki news, events, music and more from South Florida & beyond.

  • Space Escapades and More, Cheap on

    Posted on April 14th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    The groovy kats and kittens at were nice enough to send me a little email blast with some swingin’ deals on swingin’ tunes.

    Space Escapades, Les Baxterspace-escapades_
    CD, 24 New from $10.06

    Quiet Village, Martin Dennyquiet-village
    CD, 21 New from $8.87

    Music for a
    Bachelor’s Den Vol. 6,
    The Best of Arthur Lyman
    CD, 7 New from $6.75

    Plus 325 results under the search “Exotica” starting at around six clams, including hard to find stuff by The Waitiki 7, and the ever-elusive Exotica album by Bananarama (wait, what? How did that get in here????)

    At prices like these you can afford and extra $15 drink at the Mai Kai!

    Of course these are CDs. Old-school Tikiphiles will insist on original vinyl, which is a little harder to come by and a little more expensive. Sometimes people tell me they get lucky finding some original 1950’s Denny or Baxter albums at thrift shops for a buck. Damn, hats off to you kids! I gotta say through all my years of searching through piles of moldy, dusty records, I’ve never gotten that lucky finding a great album. However…you can still catch a break on eBay now and then…

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the record store down the street from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Florida

  • Looking for a Fun Tiki Party for New Year’s Eve? If you’re in California, go to Don The Beachcomber’s Waitiki!

    Posted on December 4th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    If I weren’t 3000 miles away at the other end of the country, I’d probably be swinging down to Huntington Beach todons_home

    Don the Beachcomber Presents WAITIKI
    A Festival of Music and Cocktails
    December 29 – 30 – 31, 2010

    Being a Floridian, I’ve never been to Don the Beachcomber’s (Haven’t even been to CA yet, can you dig it?) but I can tell you, they come very highly recommended. And with the music of the WAITIKI 7, I have a feeling this is going to be one swingin’ shindig. Here’s the lineup:

    Wednesday, December 29
    “The Jazz Sides of Exotica”
    with the classic WAITIKI Quartet.

    Thursday, December 30
    “Coronation of the Voodoo Masters”
    The WAITIKI 7 with Robert Drasnin & Sherry Shaoling

    Friday December 31 New Years’s Eve
    “The New Sounds of Exotica”
    The WAITIKI 7 with Combustible Edison Alums
    Brother Cleve and The Millionaire

    You can buy tickets separately for each event. For more info, visit the website at

    Here’s the WAITIKI 7 with “Rendezvous in Okonkuluku (a.k.a. ‘Das Knaben Wundertiki’)

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from poolside at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar