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"temporary" tiki bar coming to minneapolis
lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 4090
Posted: 2013-03-07 09:51 am   Permalink

I used to be the ultimate tiki purist when I first joined this forum, so I applaud the Quixotic tendencies of someone like Atomic Tiki Punk. Having said that, I stopped insisting and stopped looking for the real tiki scene and culture as demonstrated in bigbro’s books. That culture does not exist anymore, and in my opinion, has not really been duplicated by the neo tiki scene. Let’s face it: we have a culture here that bears little resemblance to the original poly pop scene. Believe me, it does not! Of course, my area of specialty is in music…so that for me is where I start my comparisons. Rock is not a part of the original tiki scene. Neither is burlesque, kar Kulture, hot rods, punk, surf, rockabilly or garage rock. All those things were definitely of the MCM era, but they were part of the youth culture. The kennedy generation, whereas the original tiki was part of the Eisenhower generation. After I realized that, I sort of gave up. Now I no longer look for authenticity except in my private outlook. Furthermore, if someone wants to start something up that is not tiki, but says it is…who are we to judge at this point? That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Interestingly, I now point my efforts to finding modern day comparisons to the lounge culture of the 50’s and 60’s. And believe me, I find them in the weirdest places, and none of those places are tiki. What I am looking for now is not so much the authenticity, but the sentiment. For example, I find that there are cocktails that exist today that did not exist then, but are just as good for different reasons. I also find music today that is created by musicians that if transplanted back in time, would have been part of the easy listening music scene of the 50’s and 60’s.
In another thread (perhaps by john-o?) it was posited that the direct descendants of tiki music were in fact, artists like Baja marimba, Tijuana brass and Sergio mendes. My opinion is that what came next was smooth jazz and crossover jazz, as well as world music and so-called new age music. I am not sure where it went after that, but I am sure that rock has no place in it. Tiki culture (and most cocktail culture) was not a youth movement. It was the “yuppies” of that time that were the main adherents, not the long haired hippy youth or even punkers.
As to “craft” beverages, I don’t look down my nose at them. Hell, I can’t stand Budweiser, miller and coors, finding them to be disgusting tasting. All the craft beers I have ever had have been great, same goes for wines and spirits.

As to tiki restaurants, it’s true that a great many of them went out of business because the food sucked, and the service was lousy. Nowadays, I go to places that are not tiki, but capture the same spirit….it’s hard to define what I mean, but I know it when I see it. Theme bars, colorful lights, architecture, cool furniture…there are a lot of modern day analogues if you know where to look!

End rant.

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