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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Music » » Buena Vista Social Club
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Buena Vista Social Club
Chinarose
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 34
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2008-07-06 6:15 pm   Permalink

I don't know if this is kosher tiki music, but if Rockabilly is, then why not Son? When I'm in a mood for some music with passion and soul, I love The Buena Vista Social Club. It blew my mind the first time I listened to it. It's great for listening or dancing, with that tropical Afro-Cuban vibe, and all of the musicians featured on the album are freakin' amazing in their own right.

 
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Chinarose
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 34
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2008-07-06 6:19 pm   Permalink

besides, I can't think of anything better to listen to while drinking a Mojito, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, or a Piña Colada.

 
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The Mayor Of Exotica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 392
From: Boston
Posted: 2008-07-06 7:59 pm   Permalink

While not Exotica per se, it is great music, very rum-kosher.

There is a Latin root to Exotica, but it is only one of three. Without the other three cultures, you don't get Exotica, you get exotic music.

There are many other discussions of Exotica here, and elsewhere on the web:

http://www.fraternalorderofmoai.org/huimalu/viewtopic.php?t=4811

http://randywong.net/exotica/

It's a rich style, with lots of history, and beautifully crafted to accompany a Tiki experience in a great tiki bar with friends, and cocktails. I'm glad you are interested.
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Let it not be said that I ran for Mayor of Exotica on a platform of lower taxes and less corruption. My platform is lower rum prices, less reality TV and more rights for Pandas!


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DejaVoodoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 138
From: Woodbridge, NJ
Posted: 2008-07-06 8:31 pm   Permalink

Just chiming in to say that I, too, love the Buena Vista Social Club. I bought that album on a whim and from the first song to the last, it truly transported me to another time and place - and isn't that what Exotica music was intended to do? Don't get me wrong, I know quite well that the Buena Vista Social Club is NOT Exotica, but it is great music just the same!

Speaking of true Exotica music, I just recently picked up Les Baxter's Tamboo!/Skins!: Bongo Party with Les Baxter and it is smooooth! I can't believe I waited so long to buy it. Collecatables/Oldies.com certainly did right when they reissued these albums on a 2-for-1 CD back in 2000. The sound quality is first rate and I love the little paper umbrella that's printed on the actual CD!

Peace,
Peter


 
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Chinarose
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 34
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2008-07-06 9:05 pm   Permalink

Definitely not exotica, but people who appreciate the latin-inspired rhythms from exotica might dig Son Cubano just because it's great music. Plus, it goes well with rum.

 
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KuKu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 436
From: Santa Cruz, CA. norcal
Posted: 2008-07-06 11:27 pm   Permalink

My tattoo artist (Flip @ Eights & Aces) did most of my full arm sleeve to it, that & Morphine who I find to be quite exotic without being Exotica...
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One day, there will be a cure for tiki,
That's the day I'll throw my rum away...



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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11239
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-07 6:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-06 18:19, Chinarose wrote:
besides, I can't think of anything better to listen to while drinking a Mojito, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, or a Piña Colada.



By all means, since these are non-Tiki cocktails, why should one not dance to non-Tiki music while enjoying them?

The greatest achievement of the movie and soundtrack of Buena Vista Social Club is that it almost singlehandedly saved the classic Cubano music from extinction. It had survived for long time because Cuba was so isolated, but by the late 80s/early 90s the younger generation was heavily into rap and other "hipper", Western music styles and relegated their fathers sound to the museum. Along came Wim Wenders and Ry Cooder with Buena Vista Social Club, creating a Cuba fad in Europe that brought waves of tourists to the island, who all wanted to hear THAT sound. Since it was not extinct yet, the tradition got a rejuvenating shot in the arm, and gave the Cubans something to be proud of. Nowadays the one cultural icon that is mentioned as often to tourists as Ernest Hemingway is the Buena Vista Social Club, and there are live bands playing in every bar and Hotel.




 
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Tiki Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2007
Posts: 112
From: Holiday Florida
Posted: 2008-07-07 7:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-06 18:15, Chinarose wrote:
I don't know if this is kosher tiki music, but if Rockabilly is, then why not Son? When I'm in a mood for some music with passion and soul, I love The Buena Vista Social Club. It blew my mind the first time I listened to it. It's great for listening or dancing, with that tropical Afro-Cuban vibe, and all of the musicians featured on the album are freakin' amazing in their own right.



Exoticas inspiration comes from "an escape to far away (usually tropical) places". It would take more fingers and toes than I have to count the number of Exotica tunes with an Afro Cuban rhythm involved in there somewhere. Cuba and Africa are both exotic locations traveled heavily by traders for hundreds of years. Granted, exotica music is for the most part "lounge jazz", but it's roots come from all over the pacific and Carribean. So I say YES, Buena Vista Social Club is kosher.

Tiki Bill.


 
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Chinarose
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 34
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2008-07-07 10:51 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-07 18:05, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-07-06 18:19, Chinarose wrote:
besides, I can't think of anything better to listen to while drinking a Mojito, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, or a Piña Colada.



By all means, since these are non-Tiki cocktails, why should one not dance to non-Tiki music while enjoying them?



doesn't anything automatically become pseudo-tiki if I serve it in a tiki mug?


 
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KuKu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 436
From: Santa Cruz, CA. norcal
Posted: 2008-07-10 5:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-07 22:51, Chinarose wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-07-07 18:05, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-07-06 18:19, Chinarose wrote:
besides, I can't think of anything better to listen to while drinking a Mojito, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, or a Piña Colada.



By all means, since these are non-Tiki cocktails, why should one not dance to non-Tiki music while enjoying them?



doesn't anything automatically become pseudo-tiki if I serve it in a tiki mug?


uh-huh, I like my martikis shaken while I'm crawlin' in somthin' made by the farm...
_________________
One day, there will be a cure for tiki,
That's the day I'll throw my rum away...



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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3157
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-07-11 8:55 pm   Permalink

I was fortunate enough to see their concert in L.A. in the Wiltern Theater a few years back. I saw the whole group, it was great. Another time I saw Eliades Ochoa at the Roxy.

 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-09 3:40 pm   Permalink

Interesting someone should bring up the BVSC. This is terrific music, soulful and passionate (like you said); new recordings of old songs of an old genre of folk music of Cuba -- one that preceeds the Cuban dance music most of us know. But it is not Tiki music. In fact, there really is no such thing as 'Tiki Music', unless one looks to some of the music (not all) of Les Baxter and Martin Denny as being representative. And it is far wiser and more accurate to refer to said 'Tiki Music' as Exotica, as Tiki implies Polynesia only and not the rest of the exotic locales of the world -- locales of which both Les Baxter and Martin Denny explored in their own unique musical fashion. Then, of course, there's the short-lived spin-off groups and bandwagon-jumper albums that followed Baxter and Denny's sound(s), but I won't go there.

But neither is the BVSC's music Exotica. Exotica music is a unique musical expression of far away, exotic places, conjured up and composed largely by those and for those who didn't/don't live in such locales (nor have ever been to such). On the other hand, some -- i.e., Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman -- actually did live in such exotic places, albeit in urban surroundings. Did they consider their place of residence exotic? Probably not so much as they thought of neighbouring islands and the mysterious islands of long ago that they could not access as exotic locales. But the music they conjured up sounded like no other musical form, it wasn't cultural, traditional. Whereas the music of the BVSC IS cultural, traditional -- hence, authentic.

Exotica music is rather about imagination and fantasy; and its sound evolved into a short-lived musical genre at a time when leisurely travel to far away places became more accessible to the middle and lower classes, particularly in North America. And whilst one could classify traditional Hawaiian music or any of the forms of progressive Hawaiian music that still incorporate traditional Hawaiian form, rhythm, and instrumentation as 'Tiki Music', traditional Hawaiian music is not Exotica; not Exotica because of its authenticity and tradition. Exotic, not Exotica.

A further paradigm to illustrate my point:
Augie Colon brought Latin (Cuban) rhythms to the Martin Denny group, transforming a George Shearing-esque jazz sound into more of a Cal Tjader-styled sound. At the time and slightly before, this Latin fusion into jazz, and vice versa, was one that was happening all over the place, especially in New York city. One could compare the styles of Tito Puente and Perez Prado -- they both were Cuban bandleaders inside and out and both played firery Cuban dance music often mixed with jazz, but, with the exception of some of his earlier recordings, Perez Prado's music wasn't traditionally Cuban along the same lines as Tito Puente's music. Prado took his firery brand of Cuban music further, adding jazz and rock rhythms, electric organ, electric guitar, etc., -- all making his music less traditionally Cuban. Still, it does SCREAM of Cuba in its performance, despite the infusion of musical styles from the U.S. Perez Prado could possibly be the first Cuban to make Progressive Cuban music.

It was/is often claimed that Perez Prado was trying to appeal to the white-bred audiences of North America; and with the political relationship of Cuba and the U.S.A. in the 1950s and '60s, it makes a lot of sense. And it is perhaps because of this implementation and fusion of Western instrumentation and beats (and general imaginative musical fun and exploration) that Perez Prado fits so well into the colloquial genre 'Lounge Music', whereas Tito Puente fits in less so: authentic versus inauthentic, traditional versus non-traditional. That's not to say that certain artists and genres within the 'Lounge Music' category aren't authentic (the jazz ones in particular, of which Lounge music is based heavily), but when it comes to World music, then it becomes a different story. Why? Because such World music that is unauthentic, untraditional should evoke a romanticised ideal of an exotic locale or style of music, not be representative of it. And perhaps this is where the kitsch factor comes in. It is for this same principle that the Buena Vista Social Club doesn't fit into the 'Lounge Music' category, either: it's too folk, too authentic, too traditional, too serious. Though it's good music, it isn't fun and whimsical, experimental music. It's traditional folk music reflective of its society and social way of life -- sort of a Cuban Blues.

As far as Rockabilly and Surf music, though I enjoy both, I certainly do not include these forms of music as 'Tiki Music' or 'Lounge' music (of which the former is merely a component of the latter). Some people associate these two genres with 'Tiki' and Lounge music because of their proximity in decades (the 1950s & '60s) and because the music is still round and being played today -- a link to the past. But cultural fashion/time period is the only link between Rockabilly and Exotica and Lounge music. Exotica and Lounge music is non-rock music; adult music of the easy listening variety -- largely jazz-based -- of the 1950s and '60s, and Rockabilly couldn't be further from it. Surf music ties in perhaps more realistically with the two ('Tiki' and Lounge) as it deals with elemental similarities of Hawaii, is clean-sounding and instrumental, and as many surf music groups covered easy listening songs of the day, as well as traditional/contemporary Hawaiian songs.

A tiki is a statue, a totem. It is not a culture, not a musical style, not a decorative style. There is more to totems in the world than tiki; more to the tropics, bamboo, thatch, and grass huts than Hawaii.

So embrace the Buena Vista Social Club for what it is: Cuban.


[ This Message was edited by: DJ Terence Gunn 2008-08-10 14:10 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11239
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-08-12 09:05 am   Permalink

It is nice to see such an erudite definition of the various musical genres that make good accompaniment to the the Tiki experience. I really appreciate it when someone spends the time to compose an intelligently written post like this, and I agree, that, technically, in a historic sense, there was no "Tiki music", ( just like there were no "Tiki Cocktails").

But :

Quote:

On 2008-08-09 15:40, DJ Terence Gunn wrote:
A tiki is a statue, a totem. It is not a culture, not a musical style, not a decorative style.



Basically you are saying that all my writings are a sham, then? That the fact that I identified and have proven the Tiki to be THE symbol of the mainland Polynesian style of the 50s and 60s (as opposed to mainland Polynesian style in the 30s and 40s), in decor, architecture, graphic design, and other applied arts, does not warrant its examples to be called Tiki style?

And that, the Tiki being its figurehead, the escapist lifestyle lived out in Polynesian restaurants, bars, backyards and parties, which added cocktails, fashion and music to the mix, did not make up its own pop culture, now termed Tiki culture? And that the re-appreciation of that period today, with its creative outpour of art, decor, mixology and music, (which are all represented on this board) shall not be called Tiki culture either?

What is it then?


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2008-08-12 10:22 am   Permalink

I think, Sven, that you codified something that had never been codified before.
When I first read BOT, all of a sudden everything was made clear. A common thread was identified for me. Basically, you gave a name to something that never had a name. In my opinion.
BOT is a work of genius.
I agree with DJ on the music part, though. Rockabilly and surf have very little to do with the exotica. I have always said that exotica and lounge was performed by expert studio jazz musicians. Rockabilly, rock, surf, ect...I hate to say it but for the most part they are created by non-professionals. By professional I mean the ability to play jazz or classical, sight read, etc..As good as Dick Dale is, I doubt he does those things except at the most rudimentary level.
But the trend nowadays is to merge genres. Surf blended with exotica, ect..or surf with "tiki" imagery/themes/artwork.


 
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Kawentzmann
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 254
From: Berlin, Germany
Posted: 2008-08-12 11:14 am   Permalink

Well, the Surf that I like is Rock’n’Roll Exotica. The two genres even shared some standards. Tiki necklaces and statues could be seen around surfers’ necks and homes. Before ANYONE else did it.

[ This Message was edited by: Kawentzmann 2008-08-12 12:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Kawentzmann 2008-08-12 13:30 ]


 
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