Waitiki Videos from European and American Shows

Waitiki live in Berlin, 2008

Waitiki live in Berlin, 2008

Check out the videos Waitiki put up on the web. Some from this summer’s Wassermusik, which took place in Berlin. I was there, and it was very special and otherwordly and beautiful.
The following is quoting professahhummingflowah / Randy from the opening post in a Waitiki video thread on Tiki Central.

As you may know, this summer Waitiki launched a new project that has been christened The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet. In other words, a 7 member ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of classic and modern exotica.

The group is comprised of: Abe Lagrimas & Randy Wong (Waitiki co-founders; drums and bass, respectively), Tim Mayer (‘The Mayor of Exotica’ – sax/flutes), Jim Benoit (Berklee vibraphone wunderkind, of the Phil WIlson Rainbow Big Band), Helen Liu (dazzling violinist, a.k.a. “Ms. Helenini”), Zaccai Curtis (Latin jazz pianist with Paquito D’Rivera, Christian Scott, Wallace Roney), and Lopaka Colon (percussion and birdcalls; son of original Martin Denny percussionist and birdcaller, Augie Colon).

For your listening & viewing pleasure, here are some selected videos from our two recent performances—The Wassermusik Festival (Berlin, Germany) and the Retro Cocktail Hour’s 500th Broadcast Anniversary (Lawrence, Kansas). We will be mixing and mastering audio from the Retro Cocktail Hour show, as well as recent studio and other live performances, for an upcoming commercial release. Stay tuned.

In the meantime:

From our European debut – videography by Jochen Hirschfield of Armchair Travelling and ‘The DVD of Tiki’

Coronation, shot in Berlin. Featuring Lopaka Colon (son of original Martin Denny percussionist, Augie Colon), bongos & birdcalls.

Primativa, shot in Berlin. Featuring Tim Mayer (Waitiki’s Mayor of Exotica), saxophone.

Tiki, shot in Berlin. Featuring TIm Mayer (sax) and Zaccai Curtis (piano).

From our American debut

Sweet Pikake Serenade, shot in Lawrence. A composition by Randy Wong, in the style of Arthur Lyman’s great exotica ballads. Featuring Lopaka Colon (birdcalls/percussion), Jim Benoit (vibraphone), and Zaccai Curtis (piano).

Left Arm of Buddha, shot in Lawrence. Arrangement by Tim Mayer, of Martin Denny’s classic. Featuring Tim on alto flute and Jim Benoit.

L’Ours Chinois (‘The Chinese Bear’), shot in Lawrence. A composition by Randy Wong, in the style of Fritz Kreisler, Martin Denny, and Maurice Ravel. Featuring Helen Liu (Ms. Helenini) as violin soloist.

Firecrackers, shot in Lawrence; the encore to our show. Arrangement by Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Jim Benoit. Features Abe on drums and Jim on vibes.

Hope you like the videos. Sorry that some of the audio isn’t completely synced to the video; I’m still learning how to use Final Cut Express!! Let us know what you think of the group!!

– Randy & The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet

Tiki Central Forums – Topic: The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet: videos from our European and American debuts.

Wassermusik, Part VI

Lushy at Wassermusik 08, Berlin, Germany

Lushy at Wassermusik 08, Berlin, Germany

Yesterday was a little calmer, starting with Coconami (I somehow missed snapping a picture of them, sorry!) who used to be in the Tiki Tiki Bambooos, a Surf band from Munich, they now are a Ukulele duo, with mostly female vocals. This has to remind me of Petty Booka, if just by the sound of two ukes and japanese ladies singing. Maybe a smaller venue would benefit their delicate presentation more, but on the other hand Wassermusik successfully aims at presenting a wide range of music styles.

Lushy – the most contemporary sounding act in the Tiki series of events at least, if not the entire set of Wassermusik events. It’s hard to compare Seattle and Berlin for me. However I can say that there is an artificial element, not unlike in the B-52s for example. Like a yellow plastic Tiki mask at Trader Vic’s, they stuck out of the set of Wassermusik performers by having said cartoonish lounge approach coupled with some electronics. I think this could be a really groovy thing, but probably working best with a dancing party crowd in a small club.

Wassermusik, Part V

I Belli di Waikiki

I Belli di Waikiki

Don Tiki at Wassermusik 08

Don Tiki at Wassermusik 08

Don Tiki

Don Tiki

Don Tiki

Don Tiki

I Belli di Waikiki must be one of the busiest acts in europe in the Hula-Rock’n’Roll field, o.k. there aren’t that many, but I heard they play a lot outside their native Italy. I always enjoy the good time music and fun presentation. It’s been a smart move to pick-up the fifties connection of Polynesia and Rock’n’Roll, as so many aging Rockabillys join the Tiki afficionados. I must say that I really dig their style and especially the sound of the steel guitar and the Dearmond/Bigsby Tele – he practically nails my ideal guitar sound with it! They had given some accomplished pin-striper a go on their ukulele and guitar, looks very neat.

Don Tiki – probably the best show this side of Esquivel in Vegas! Unfortunately my phone camera couldn’t capture the fury of the dancers, the drama of the performers or the wealth of customes and make up. It was the biggest crowd at Wassermusik so far – and I like to think they witnessed something to tell their grandchildren about.

Wassermusik, Part IV

Along with seeing and hearing Waitiki and Latin Lovers it was great meeting Virani, Jochen and Tanja Hirschfeld, Forbidden Paradise’ Hai Kai and Michael. It made me really happy to hear that the first part of Armchairtravelling in the World of Tiki DVD will be available later this year. I enjoyed seeing the work in progress on the big screen, especially interested how the pictures work with the music, I had the pleasure to record for it. It’s going to be a definitive must have for Tiki-philes. …once it’s actually available.

Latin Lovers (Berlin)

Latin Lovers (Berlin)

This band was opening the Tiki weekend at Wassermusik 08. The horn heavy line-up was proof to the theory that many ways lead to Exotica.

The Mayor of Exotica in sumo dress

The Mayor of Exotica in Sumo dress

He didn’t quite look as big wearing his stage suit. An Exotica flute heavy weight if there ever was one!

Waitiki at Wassermusik 08

Waitiki at Wassermusik 08

Accomplished performances by all musicians, beautiful arrangements and cheerful stage presence – it was a great experience seeing them. Thanks! Oh, and the birdcalls by Lopaka Colon – so great and all done while providing perfect groove in polyrythmic bongo-playing. Several people noted to me that we were listening actually to Augie Colon’s son. Playing again today with Don Tiki.

Wassermusik, Part III

I really enjoyed Boom Pam. The Klezmer influence has been displayed by Meshugga Beach Party from San Francisco, but they don’t have a tuba like Boom Pam has! A very enjoyable set, really, really good players, too.

I’ve seen the Bambi Molesters a couple of years ago when they still toured and had the other bassplayer. You can’t escape the dense atmosphere they create and have a really great guitar sound while doing so. They choose fitting covers and have written many beautiful originals. I don’t recall them playing so much on the edge of distortion like yesterday. The albums sure sounded cleaner, but it worked well with the audience the way they did it now.

Wassermusik, Part II

Messer Chups from St. Petersburg had great melodies and were a sight to see. Notice the Betty Page lookalike bassplayer! I don’t think I heard them play one major chord, which is radical, while lacking the concept of contrast to keep things interesting… BUT they had a collection of snippets from b-movie videos as a stage backdrop, which put those sexploitation and horror flicks to good use.

La Popuna from Brazil mixed very varied influences, from latin american and caribbean dance music to punk, some surf and what not. Very entertaining, but demanding on several visitors of this event.

Wassermusik, Part I

First of all: it rained, so the two Surf shows and The Endless Summer projection took place indoors. The attendence was fair sized, could have been a little better, if outside sure some passer-bys would have joined the fun.

The first time I saw the Surfaris, and it was overwhelming. They cover the entire field of classic California Surf Music and each player added his personal style to great effect, especially Paul Johnson has to be noted here, a flawless player.