If you’re in a Tiki mood and ready for summer like I am, then this month’s Low Brow Lowdown is just for you! This summer you may not be able to make it to Disneyland to see the magical audio-animatronics show at The Enchanted Tiki Room, but here are some recommendations to help you create that enchanted atmosphere right in your own home.
Music: First of all, for the right atmosphere you’ll want to put on some Martin Denny Exotica. Vinyl is best, but if you haven’t got that, Pandora plays a fine mix. I recommend you start with the exotic sounds of Quiet Village. The first Exotica record was released in 1957, and they are all guaranteed to take you to faraway places, so long as you have a little imagination and a good cocktail.
Book: Then, if you’re feeling ambitious, spruce up your home with PAD: The Guide to Ultra-Living. Written by Matt Maranian, this book profiles some very groovy pads, and has the most fabulous ideas for retro, lounge-inspired décor, complete with DIY guides. The projects range from the simpler drink coasters, Tiki art, and ambient lightning fixtures all the way to build-it-yourself Tiki bars and TV cabinets, and even your own functioning tabletop volcano!
The book even includes a how-to on house painting, guides to plants, music, drink garnishes, and flea markets around the country. But, perhaps the most helpful are the bevy of hangover cures included in PAD!
Art: Next, you’ll need to set the scene with some art. The perfect thing would be one of my favorite artists, SHAG, also known as Josh Agle. Pictured on the right is Hula Table from 2004. A beautiful book of his work is SHAG: The Art of Josh Agle. His paintings illustrate the suave sixties in a style all their own. SHAG’s work characteristically consists of bright colors, clean shapes, cool characters, humor, and sophistication, often rounded out with witty titles.
After all that work you’ll need a tasty beverage. Try some of the recipes in Adam Rocke’s Tiki Drinks, illustrated by none other than SHAG. As the introduction says, “With every sip of a Tiki drink, you should expect to be whisked away to a lush, tropical island surrounded by warm, turquoise waters.” Mmmm…
Film: Finally, I suggest you slip into something slinky and settle in to watch Blue Hawaii. As with other Elvis vehicles, the plot may not be entirely inspired, but that undeniable Elvis charm makes it oh-so worth the watch. Not to mention the gorgeous scenery of Hawaii, and plenty of bikini-clad girls! Here’s my favorite number: Rock a Hula Baby.
It’s Tiki Time!