At this point in Tiki Month, I think it appropriate to discuss one of the many legacies of the late Steve Jobs: The podcast. Sure, he didn’t invent it, but he didn’t invent the MP3 player, the personal computer, or digital music downloads either. He just made them workable and/or legally reasonable for white-bread Americans like me. I am not a huge podcast guy, but there is one activity I do a lot of that is conducive to listening to podcasts.
You see, if I don’t mow my grass every couple of days in the Summer, full-grown deer can hide it in with no trouble. Having a lawn in Ohio is a constant fight to keep your house visible from the street.
Thus, every few days, I mount my mighty steed and do battle with the bluegrass besieging my home on all sides.
I thus have plenty of time to listen to things over my noise-cancelling headphones whilst Blade-Biter and I do battle with the green horde, and I fill that time with podcasts. Two of my usual favorites are the Ricochet Podcast (Warning: Includes conservative screenwriters, columnists, and others who often use the term “RINO”, as well as the occasional Pat Sajak. This makes it obviously a broadcast of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy™) and How to do Everything (WARNING: A production of National Public Radio, and thus obviously a broadcast of the International Communist Conspiracy®). Both make me laugh, but they aren’t enough to get me through all the grass.
I’ve put together a few podcast suggestions for you that are appropriate to Tiki Month, some of which I’ve known for a long time, others that are new to me, but are ready on my computer for when the Spring comes. Listen to them when you like.
I’ll start with a few Tiki music-oriented audio podcasts:
I’ll start with Brian Cooper’s Exotic Tiki Island Podcast. This is a brand-new one that features music from Brian’s own collection of vintage exotica on LP. The sound quality of the music is exceptional for vintage vinyl, and the music is great. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he does throw in some other stuff between songs, including some vintage, Tiki-themed advertisements. As I write this, there are only four episodes, but the latest one is less than a week old, so I expect more content to come.
The Zen Tiki Lounge Podcast is another fairly new effort. It is more of a chat show with lots of music. In between the music there is a lot of banter and some good discussion about Tiki drinks in addition to Tiki Music. It also has been a very regular producer of new podcasts over its still short history. The companion website has episode summaries and any food or drink recipes discussed during each.
The Quiet Village Podcast, from Digitiki is inexplicably not directly available through the iTunes store, but iTunes users can still subscribe manually, as I have. I think that this one is the best of the batch. Digitiki himself is a member of one of the very best exotica bands out there today, the Tikiyaki Orchestra.
As of last week, there have been forty five episodes of The Quiet Village, an extraordinray number. The podcasts have become less frequent of late, but Digitiki is to be forgiven since he recently spawned a child or something. Each episode features lots of cool music and very detailed, interesting discussion about most every song played. There is usually a guest for him to talk with about the subject matter as well. While most of the one hour podcasts center on Tiki-style music, he does go slightly away for some thematically close stuff. His two-part podcast retrospective on James Bond music is simply awesome for even the casual Bond fan.
The production values and Digitiki’s voice on this podcast are utterly professional, better frankly than most such programs I’ve heard on places like NPR or Pacifica. If you like Tiki music at all, you need to check out this podcast for a sea of music you simply will not be able to hear anywhere, much less buy.
Podcasts also come in video as well. The very first one I ever subscribed to, video or otherwise, was the late, much lamented TikiBarTV. Come back to us, Lala! OK, you can bring back Dr. Tiki and Johnny Johnny if you must…. Tiki Bar TV is a must watch, even if you don’t give a damn about Tiki.
The Velveteen Lounge Kitschen video podcast is genius. A dead-pan retro housewife (Kelly Camille Patterson) first mixes up a decent-sounding cocktail, Tiki or otherwise, then produces a somehow appetizing-sounding dish straight from what ought to be the darkest culinary days of 1959…. I may actually go buy some SPAM. The podcast is not 100% Tiki, but it is definitely of a piece with the era. If you don’t want to subscribe to the podcast, the whole series (34 episodes so far) is available on YouTube as well. I’ll wrap up this survey by embedding the episode A Lovely Luau With SPAM.