Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rene Paulo and Akemi - Forever More

I had an idea to do a "theme" type post around Rene Paulo but apparently (and unfortunately) I don't have any of Rene's classic exotica LPs. How did I manage that? I even looked through my download collection and "The Enchanted Garden" is the only Rene I have (besides this one). People! Where are the Rene Paulo shares? Consider this a formal request. I'd especially like to hear "Black Coral."

EDIT: And just like magic Xtabay comes through with Rene Paulo - Black Coral. Now you can hear what Rene was doing as an exotica bachelor. Thanks Xtabay! This sharity thing is great.

Anyway, Rene Paulo on the piano with his group accompanied by the singing of his lovely wife Akemi. Feels a bit like a live lounge act but its a studio recording. Nice.

Rene and Akemi

Kathy Paulo - Fall In Love With...

Rene and Akemi got married and the results you can hear on this album from 1980. Kathy Paulo is their daughter and she apparently got her own "one-woman show" in Waikiki after several appearances in bit parts on Hawaii Five-O. I was just perusing the credits of her TV appearances on imdb and I'm pretty sure I remember her in the "Computer Killer" episode and she was quite the hotty. I'll have to dig around in my Five-O collection and see what eps I have. Her brother Rene Jr also appears on this album singing Beautiful Kauai. I'm not sure if he plays piano as well since the participating musicians have no credits in the liner notes.

Please know what you are getting into before you download this one. This is a LOUNGE ACT in Waikiki FROM 1980. There are corny interactions with the audience and the musicians and the songs are not done in a subtle style. This is the kind of stuff that Bill Murray parodied on SNL. She talks about her background and about Hawaii and judging by the back of the LP (which I am privy to and you are not) she put on different costumes for the different numbers. I find it funny that she (as was likely the fashion at the time) makes a point to pronounce Hawaii as Hah-veye-ee and nowadays when you're over there the trend is more on getting a good glottal stop between the "i"s when saying Hawai'i and they don't much push the "w" pronounced as "v" thing so much anymore.

Sorry for the tangent. This is a fun listen and transports you back (or over) to those darkened Waikiki nightclubs where you sip on a cheap "Mai Tai" while watching a semi-cheesy song and comedy act. They still do the same thing today in Waikiki and in Nashville and Bronson MO and elsewhere I'm sure. It does go a bit (a lot) downhill at the second half of side two when Ms Paulo goes mainland and starts singing some contemporary show tunes like "Tomorrow" from "Annie" and the song I despise above all others: "Send In The Clowns." Yech!

Darken the lights and pull some naugahyde furniture into your tiki lounge and get into that early 80's vibe. Enjoy the Hawaiian and Hapa Haole tunes and when you finally get to "Send In The Clowns" crank it up to run off those rum thieves.

Fall in love with...Kathy Paulo

Featured Drink: Sleepy Lagoon

I feel a little guilty about this recipe because I changed it up a wee bit. Obviously, its silly to feel guilty about that since every legendary tiki bar of yore had it's own versions of all the classics. How many versions of the Mai Tai are there? Donn Beach and Vic Bergeron both claim to have invented that uber-drink but both recipes are quite different. For what its worth, I'll always believe that Vic invented the Mai Tai simply because his recipe is simple and elegant when compared to Donn's recipe which included grapefruit juice, falernum and (oh the horror!) Pernod. Anyway, I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to making the vintage cocktail recipes so I do this with some small amount of trepidation...but damnit! the name "Sleepy Lagoon" is too great a drink name to be consigned to as poor a drink as the original is.

When you're dabbling in vintage cocktail recipes you'll undoubtedly run across more than a few stinkeroos. Some of these old drinks are just plain nasty. Rather than dump the offending drink down the sink and waste my hard earned booze, I have found that no matter how foul the concoction is, adding orgeat syrup will eventually (keep adding it) render it palatable.

The World can do without the original Sleepy Lagoon as it appears in Okolemaluna! I found it fairly hard to get down the gullet so, as per my usual practice, I added a half ounce of orgeat syrup. Whoa! Pretty good drink!

It maybe could use a little more tweaking but here it is:

SLEEPY LAGOON (Kono's version)

1oz brandy
1oz dry gin
.5oz orange juice
.5oz orgeat syrup
dash of lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

If you're brave enough to have the original just delete the orgeat (but keep it close at hand - trust me).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Blog!

Just wanted to point out to the ohana that Manakoora has finally started up his own blog!

Manakoora's rips are SUPERB and he has infinitely more patience and skill than I do when it comes to cleaning up digitized vinyl.

Bookmark it:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Big Sound - Heart of Hawaii

This is a bit of an odd quasi-exotica album. Who are "The Big Sound?" I have no clue. I have two copies of this LP, each with unique covers but with essentially the same liner notes on the back. Regarding "The Big Sound" it says on the backside:

"You will find big pleasure in The "Big" Sound. This album is just one of a series of new recordings released under The "Big" Sound. Be sure to ask for them at your favorite record counter."

This is a collection of Hawaiian and like type tunes done up by an orchestra with some wordless female vocals and the odd tribal drumming here and there. It'll mix in well with your exotica collection. Kind of reminds me of some the Hawaii Calls Orchestra stuff but a little more bombastic. One major clue that this is not true exotica is that there are only ten tracks. As all aficionados are well aware, TRUE exotica albums always have twelve tracks. ;)

Tracks include: "Red Sails in the Sunset," "Moon of Manakoora," "Hawaiian War Chant" and "Beyond the Reef" plus six more.

I'm going to go ahead and publish this post and whenever Rapidshare finally uploads the file then I'll edit.

EDIT 1: The rapidshare bastuhds cut me off at about 90% (and 50 minutes) of the upload. A-holes. I can get a good megabyte a second downloading off of strong servers but uploading to rapidshare is like being on dial up. This LP may or not be posted tonight.

EDIT 2: OK! Here it is finally: The Big Sound

Yma Sumac - Miracles

This is the album all of the Yma fans can't stand. It's my favorite Yma LP! I love it because it's just so insane sounding.

This is Yma and Les Baxter's "rock" album from 1970. All of the tracks but the last one ("El Condor Pasa") were written by Les.

What says:

"The first song on this disc should've been a hit; "Remember" begins with a hard rock explosion and Sumac exploring what the liner notes call her "extraordinary five-octave voice." There are no lyrics here, just Sumac's vocal flights which ride over rock & roll textures. Although the rock here sounds like it is straight out of the Berklee College of Music, jazz influenced organ courtesy of Richard Person, Chuck Cowan's guitar, the bass of Roger Cowan, and Skippy Switzer's drums all shine here. On "Let Me Hear You," Sumac reaches down into her gut and comes up with a sound Peter Frampton utilized on his 1976 hit "Show Me the Way," the amazing thing is, she didn't have to use the mouth instrument employed by Frampton!"

What I said on another forum some time ago:

"That album's so whacked I'll always love it. It makes me think of a group of early 70s long-sideburned, mustachioed, Peruvian narco-guerillas getting floopy on ayahuasca and jamming out with some kind of birdgod woman spirit guide. If that makes any sense."

Play this at closing time to run all those rum thieves out of your tiki bar.


EDIT: The above dead link has been fixed!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Featured Drink: Island Dreamer

These drink features seem not to be all that popular since they garner no feedback, but I don't care. Here's another one!

The Island Dreamer is perhaps the finest drink I've sampled so far from the Okolemaluna recipe book. Very very tasty and yet another drink from this booze tome that features that famous Hawaiian staple, maple syrup, as a sweetener.

I use .5oz of maple syrup myself, but as it says, mix "to taste."

OH YEAH, before I forget, go down to the comment section of the Arthur Lyman - At The Crescendo post to find a very nice clean rip of that LP courtesy of Manakoora.

From the book:


2 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. orange juice
Maple syrup to taste

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Tastes like a thick, sweet, fruit juice, but will sneak up on you if you try too many!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

MAITAI: tahiti cocktail

This is an LP of "traditional" Tahitian folk-type songs and dances. The reason I put the word "traditional" in parentheses is because one of the tunes was co-written by Eddie Lund and more than half of the others were co-written with Yves Roches. So I don't know how truly traditional they are. Anyway...they sound traditional with lot's of drums, chanting, singing and vahines shaking the hips and all that good stuff.


On Tamure Records as part of the Manuiti Productions Musicales Polynesiennes Series. Year of release is unknown.


Webley Edwards/Hawaii Calls Orchestra - Sunkissed Hits of Hawaii

One of the "Webley Edwards presents Hawaii Calls" series. Mostly these are heavily orchestrated hapa haole hits sung by various members of the Hawaii Calls Chorus BUT! there's a nice slinky version of "Quiet Village" AND! "Hawaiian Wedding Song" has some slightly ethereal female vox and is a quite fine version of that classic.

The tracks do not follow the listing order on the cover.

Sunkissed Hits

Featured Drink: Fiji Blackout

This is an interesting drink from Okolemaluna! It's simple to make, tastes great and a bit different from your average "lots 'o juices" tiki drink.

From the book:


A tasty dark drink, mixed for two.

1 1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. light maple syrup
4 oz. dark rum

Stir ingredients well in a mixing glass, and pour over 2 champagne glasses filled with finely crushed ice. Mix another batch-for-two as often as needed.