Monday, January 31, 2011

Mahalo and Welcome ...

It would seem that The Secret Island isn't quite the secret that it once was as we celebrated our 5,000th visitor this week!

I'm so pleased that you good people are finding what started out as a place for me to store all my tiki outpourings useful. I quite like doing the background reading, dusting off some thrift shop vinyl and bringing you the Tiki tidbits, but getting frequent visitors (... from ten different countries!) makes it all the more worth while. I'd like to think that this is just the start and that Mia Huna Moku can continue to grow.

If you have any comments or feedback, likes and dislikes I'd love to hear them so don't be afraid to leave a comment or pop that message in a bottle and address it to ...

... here!
I suppose special thanks should go to my most popular Wahine of the Week: Monica Renee who single handedly brought in almost eight hundred hits... and I thought it was my words of wisdom you were after!

... "that oughta set the hit counter spinning!"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stone Cold - Icy Icons ...

It's very much summer here on The Secret Island with temperatures hovering around the mid thirty degree Celsius mark most days. I guess for you guys in the Northern hemisphere Summer feels a world away!? ... Still Summer is on its way and soon you too can enjoy those balmy evenings with a cocktail or two! Why not make your ice even cooler this summer?

The Moai of Easter Island keep their watch over the Pacific with a cold, steely gaze. Now you can endow your tropical beverages with their mysterious aura and keep them icy cold at the same time. The Stone Cold silicone ice tray is food-safe, dishwasher-approved, and packaged in a clear peggable, recyclable PET display box. Available from Fred and Friends.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Shag Prints ...

Shag is releasing two new three colour serigraphs which regretfully don't feature any Tiki's but still might be of interest to visitors to The Secret Island.

Measuring in at 23cm x 34cm Shag's newest print set, Blue Bed and Purple Chair is available at $125 for the pair! Available from the Shagmart.

Les Baxter Teen Drums Capitol Records 1960 ...

For your listening pleasure I bring you all the way from 1960 Les Baxter's Teen Drums.

Part of the marketing of rock & roll as youth music back in the day meant trying to figure out how to sell kids and what were the sounds that they would dig. The record labels tapped everyone for ideas. One of those people was Les Baxter he had already established himself as one of the princes of Exotica and a duke of easy listening. He had backed Nat King Cole & Frank Sinatra. He helped create Yma Sumac's classic the Voice of Xtabay. His classic exotica records, Ritual of the Savage and Tamboo!, were released. He was a success. Still, Capitol tapped him for a teen record and Les Baxter's Teen Drums was made.

One of the great record sleeves.
Les Baxter recorded these swinging tracks with various Pacific Coast drum stars, jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Porto-Rican skin-thumpers. No music was written. They all simply sat down in a studio on Hollywood's Vine Street and started pounding. Les came up with a batch of mad percussion effects, even farther out than those he achieved in "Skins". He's one of California's hottest bongo-beaters and he dashes about the streets in a turquoise Thunderbird with a souped-up engine.

A follow-up to the popular Skins! of 1957, Les Baxter's Teen Drums marks a return to pure beat territory. "Ting Ting Ting" and "Brazil Nuts" start the album off with furious bongo bashing  busy rhythms, but then things slow to a more sedate pace as  Teen Drums delivers its skeletal arrangements and tightly restrained beats. “I dig” swings along nicely but my pick is “Calypso.” Les Baxter's Teen Drums is exotica of sorts, perfect for the average space-age bachelor's cocktail party or simply load the surf boards (.. and the bongos!) for the perfect listen on your next surf safari.

This animated sequence by John Moore features Baxter's I Dig as its soundtrack. Take a look and listen... its a good indication whether you'll get with the beat of Teen Drums!

Enjoy - Les Baxter's Teen Drums.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shag designed Fez ...

To commemorate 10 years of tiki magic Fez-o-rama have announced what may be the greatest mash-up in designer tiki art headwear: The official Tiki Oasis fez! This rare, limited edition fez features fabric designed by world renowned illustrator and artist Shag exclusively for Tiki Oasis and handcrafted into a swanky noggin topper by the upper primates at Fez-o-rama.

Limited to only 50 pieces and due to the nature of the printed fabric, no two will be exactly alike! Each of these high profile fezzes will feature an antique brass tassel grommet and imported brass tassel lock for easy tassel adjustment and the quilted black lining includes both the new four color Fez-o-rama and Shag Limited Edition labels.

Production starts with a pre-order of one of the six sizes available. If you fancy one of these get across to their website now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Ama Lee ...

It's Tuesday so time for this week's Woo Hoo Wahine! This week in a slight change my Wahine of the Week stands behind the camera rather than in front of it!

Ama Lee is a professional full-time photographer originally from Boston but now residing in LA. She travels alot and takes tons of photos of Pin ups and Fashion models, she is also a self confessed party animal and once partied with Andrew WK!

She is also a part time horror writer for magazines and websites including her blog Hot Girls and Horror Movies.

Here are just three of her stunning shots. For more information and more of the same check out her website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

More from the Farm ... more shelves required ...

The Tiki Farm have released more details of their forthcoming mugs. As always they are well designed and will come with the usual fantastic Tiki Farm quality. I wish I had the cash and shelf space to accommodate them all!

Premiering soon EXCLUSIVELY at the world famous Kon Tiki are three brand new Milan Guanko inspired designs. Rendered and dressed-up into mug form by Pizz, keep an eye out as they will be released in the not-too-distant future.

Mana Mana is the second design (1st was the very-popular Captain Hold Fast mug) from the Scottish Atomy Tony Tiki. Mana Mana is a super cool Maori Baby Eater!

Next up is the remaining stash of a fun design Tiki Farm did for Surf n Shack in Capitola, CA. Tim Ward did the design for this little surfed-out Tiki dude!

Finally is their first collaboration with Japanese artist & pinstriper “Ghost”! Shown below is his design… “The Slickster”.

Perhaps most interesting for ambitious home bar owners and events managers are the custom Tiki Farm mugs that they can create for you. They can produce your art high resolution on waterslide backing decals. After immersing the decals in water, they slide them onto your mug, squeegee out any bubbles and then fire the art onto the mug, making it 100% permanent.

If you're interested in any of these mugs get yourself down to the Farm and snap them up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tiki Tank ...

I've been toying with the idea of a fish tank for the bar... but I'm always put off by the little glass box with a lid look. I have considered giving it the bamboo treatment but unsure as to how it might turn out. Then I spotted this and it's ... well perfect!

With swaying palms and the echo of distant drums, let the Aloha Tiki model transport you into the romance of Polynesia. This cylindrical aquarium is incorporated within a delicately carved tiki statue, detailed with native images. With its hand-carved appearance and authentic finishes, this aquarium is sure to be a conversation piece. This is a complete set-up kit and it includes an advanced filtration system, and a power compact lighting unit with bulb, a package of synthetic sea salt, sand, and a 25 watt submersible aquarium heater. Just add filtered water and you are ready to go.

It's very tempting but at $341USD it ain't cheap and when I see $341 I see a whole lot of full rum bottles and tiki mugs! Check out MyFishTank for more detail.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tiki Totems ...

Life here on the island is fairly busy, there's the hunting and gathering to do, the two hungry mouths of the savages to feed and the Wahine to keep happy... not to mention sharing some Tiki goodness with you on Mia Huna Moku.

What better way to relax at the end of the day than to while away a few minutes (... easily becomes hours!) messing with some iPhone apps. I've already got Tiki+ from Beachbum Berry but I thought I would see what other tap-able Tiki time wasters might be out there!

Thats when I came across Tiki Totems which allows you to work against gravity in order to protect a Tiki idol that is treasured by the gods.

The game is simple enough, all you have to do is tap the grey blocks in the right order to get the Tiki to safely drop. If you don’t tap the bricks in just the right order, the Tiki falls to the ground and breaks, angering the gods. So unless you want to be running from a river a lava, you better learn quickly!

There are 80 different levels, of which I've completed a handful, so it will definitely keep you occupied for a while because as you'd expect the levels get more difficult. The graphics are colorful and fun, and I must admit that it's fun to wake the gods and erupt the volcano every once in a while!

Give it a try. Tiki Totems Premium is currently free!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tikimentary - In search of the Lost Paradise ...

I recently came across some trailers for a short film tiled "Tikimentary" which went on to become a longer movie screened at the 2010 Hukilau. Tikimentary is
A road-movie searching for the ultimate Tiki experience. Take a trip through San Diego's Tiki Oasis, The Hukilau, in Fort Lauderdale and the Luau By The Lake, in fabulous Lake George. An intimate portrait of this new exotic urban tribe: the so-called "tikiphiles". They drink tropical drinks, dress in vintage clothes, listen to Exotica music, but most of all: are a big and colorful family. Starring: Tiki Kiliki, Otto Von Stroheim, Baby Doe, Marina The Mermaid, King Kukulele, Shag, Lenore "Tikilicious" & Steve Koppleman, Joe & Nicole Desmond, Harold Golen, Paul & Kelly Patterson, Suzanne Long, Sandy Future, Amy Eggers, Kiki Lenoue, David Lenoue.
Here are a couple of trailers to wet your appetite:

"The average person doesn't get it, they don't understand."

"Tiki casts a spell on you!"

"We are all looking for a paradise to escape to."

It was directed by Duda Leite, a Brazilian independent filmmaker currently living in São Paulo. He has directed some “cult” short films like “Serial Clubber Killer” (1994) Best Short Film at Mix Brazil, “Selma & Denise” (1995), “After the Fox” (1999) – Official Selection at OutFest in Los Angeles and Frameline Festival in San Francisco, and “Resmungo” (2002) which aired on MTV Brazil.The final version of the movie is currently available for watching on

Watch the Tikimentary.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Beachcomber Bar, Minehead, UK ...

A recent postcard purchase set me thinking about a Tiki Bar that I visited every year for about eight years as a child. The post card above is an original from 1970 and depicts the Beachcomber Bar inside the Butlins Holiday Camp, Minehead, UK.

In the mid 60's most of the Butlin's camps in the UK had theme bars, the best remembered has to be the Beachcomber with its tropical storm, boats and Hawaiian bar maids. From the other postcards I’ve seen online the Minehead Beachcomber seemed to have the most ephemera and looks to have been the most decked out.

It was an amazing experience as a child, sitting eating and drinking soda in those surroundings - Running water abounded, fish swam, lightening flashed and the rain poured every half hour like clockwork!

This Pathe News clip recorded at another Beachcomber gives you a tropical flavour of what it was like. (I love the commentary on this … very much of the time)


Minehead Butlins was built in 1962 and the Beachcomber with its impressive A frame (… even if it was just bolted to a square shed!) proved to be a tempting tropical escape within the camp!

It operated for over twenty years before the decline started …

In 1995 - 96 The Beachcomber was used for the Bingo (yes … Bingo!) and retained some original fittings including the Volcano which by this time had become sadly dormant! In 1996 the venue was split in half and one side remained semi-intact and was renamed Hurricane Harry’s and was fitted out with new fittings and furniture.

The Beachcomber closed its doors for the last time in 1998 and was used as a storage room. Tiki Bar? ... yes! Tiki storage room? ... it'll never catch on!

Sadly in 2006 the building was demolished ending hopes that one day it might be restored to its former glory. Still I hold on to some fond memories ... and a postcard! ;0)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Doris Mayday...

It's Tuesday O'Clock and that can mean only one thing ...

Meet Las Vegas native Doris Mayday, a stunningly beautiful blonde representing the Retro Pinup lifestyle.  With looks reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, this modern day pinup stays busy modeling for companies like PinupGirlClothing and Bettie Page Clothing.   Doris is also the manager of the Bettie Page Store at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, all at the tender age of  21!

Here's something for you fact fans... 
  • Took on the stage name of Doris Mayday when she was on a roller derby team. Combined class act “Doris Day” with “Mayday” to describe herself.
  • Accessories Doris cannot live without:  Fake eyelashes and belts!
  • Admitted that she’s enhanced her curves thru corset training.  Doris waist-trains with corsets from Bad Attitude which allows her to shrink her waist down to 22 inches!
  • Is a huge fan of Antiquing!  Doris is a collector of anything from vintage 30′s to the 60′s.

I'm not the only one with a soft spot for her. Check out Aubrey London's Doris Mayday Post .

Fire at the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Room...

Here's a clipping from the Orlando Sentinel...
Firefighters were called to a small fire at an attraction at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park on Wednesday, officials said. According to the Reedy Creek Fire Department, firefighters were called to the park's The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management attraction in the Adventureland section of Magic Kingdom about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Fire Department spokesman Bo Jones said a small fire in the attic of the attraction was extinguished by fire sprinklers. Firefighters worked to evacuate the area and to check to make sure the fire was completely out, Jones said. After determining that the fire was out, firefighters reopened the area, officials said. About 8 p.m., Jones said only the Enchanted Tiki Room remained closed to park goers, as crews worked to clear excess sprinkler water.

... if it aint broke!
The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday evening. Jones said crews were still working to determine the extent of the damage, but he said it appeared the sprinklers had kept the fire from spreading to other structures. "They did their job today," he said. Firefighters did not report any injuries as a result of the fire.

According to Disney's website, The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management is a

"Polynesian musical revue starring singing birds, flowers and tiki idols, performed for Guests of all ages inside the Sunshine Pavilion in the Adventureland area at Magic Kingdom theme park."

Watch this clip until 1:44 ... it's downhill from there!
The Disney World version of the Tiki Room was once at the forefront of audio-animatronics the benchmark by which all other attractions should be measured. In 1998, thankfully after my two visits, the show was redesigned (wrecked in my opinion!) and updated to feature the Lion King's Zazu and Aladdin's Iago. Therefore my sadness at any damage at Disney World is tempered by the fact that the attraction was damaged more significantly back in 1998! If you're still looking for the original Tiki Room experience then head to Disneyland California as they have remained faithful to the original preserving its timeless charm.

John Kameaaloha Almeida and His Orchestra ...

Here's a little something to lift a little of the Winter gloom for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. Turn the heating up really high, dig out the Aloha shirt, pour a Mai Tai and listen to this.

It speaks of the lure of tropical Hawaii, where it is always Springtime; and it whispers of romance. All its enchantment is captured in these high fidelity recordings for your enjoyment and pleasure. It conjures up pleasant dreams, and, like a mating call, it invites you to come and play in Hawaii. Hawaiian hospitality awaits you. You too would want this fine album of Hawaiian melodies in your music library. AUTHENTIC Hawaiian Melodies: Recorded in Hawaii by 49th State Hawaii Records.

John Kameaaloha Almeida - the "Dean of Hawaiian music" was a blind composer, musician, vocalist, entertainer, and teacher. He was born under a bush while his mother was gathering maile in Pauoa Valley. His blindness was attributed to the maile sap on his mothers hands, although advances over the past century in knowledge of childhood vision loss indicate a more likely cause to be congential blindness!

His compositions, at least 300, mostly inspired by women, were songs of love and romance, and enhanced his reputation as a casanova.

Enjoy - On a Coconut Island

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

They don't make them like they used to ...

I had a few minutes spare time this morning so I went thrifting, I'm normally fairly open minded when I enter these places - Australia doesn't offer quite the same odds of stumbling across a real find but it is worth it ... for the thrill of the chase at least!

Whilst trawling through the vinyl (Why is it that every thrift store has the same five records?)I came across an Hawaiian release which captured my imagination...

... they don't package them like that anymore! ;0)

The "Beak-i" Room ...

We get quite a lot of colourful birds here in the gardens on The Secret Island, Grass Parrots and Rainbow Lorikeets etc. We try to encourage them with seeds and fruit etc... but with this eBay find we could take it to a whole new level.

Introducing The "Beak-i" Room! ... Shame they won't post to Australia! ;0)