Think Tiki music, and you'll think young. You'll think hip. You'll think 20-something guy who buys his vintage flower-print shirts at Ahab Bowen and classic brushed-steel cocktail shaker at Metro Retro. You don't think 60-something, balding, trumpet-playing, Shriner-pledging grandfather. But we first heard of Tiki from our Poppy, who played his Don Ho records so many times that our grandmother wished they'd melt on the turntable under the same needle that played "Tiny Bubbles" over and over again.
Turns out we're not alone. Mark Ridlen (a.k.a. DJ Mr. Rid) was schooled on Tiki and other "exotic" music by his dad, a professional as well as at-home disc jockey. And the result of those childhood memories may inspire the same in future generations. On Friday, Ridlen will officially release Texotica Volume 1 on his Gravid Records label. This first disc--the second will be released in April--features musicians, DJs and scenesters from Ridlen's past performing as local bands and karaoke stars covering island-themed classics as well as originals. Of course, "Tiny Bubbles" has its rightful place on the Polynesian compilation.
Appropriately, the CD launches with a party. And some of the disc's contributors will perform, including Jerry Haynes as Mr. Peppermint, Peter Schmidt, DJ Cheeky Puppy, The Necro Tonz, Tangella (a drag queen/performance artist whose track is a reading of "Happy Talk" from the soundtrack to South Pacific), Fran Baskerville (the "Singing Psychic" featured on The Howard Stern Show) and DJ Mr. Rid himself. The album also features The Deathray Davies covering The Kinks' "Holiday in Waikiki," The Gospel Swingers on "Bava Lamp," The Lucky Pierres' "Do You Really Want to Be My Friend?" and "Northern Line" by The Old 97's. So buy one for yourself, and get a second for Gramps for Christmas. Just don't let Grandma near it.