On the next edition of “The Freak Power Ticket”  (Monday, August 4th), producer/host Ted Coe will examine the story of Tiki kitsch culture with special guest Otto von Stroheim, a production & design specialist from the San Francisco Bay Area who created the popular 1990s zine Tiki News.

Courtesy image.

Baby Doe & Otto von Stroheim in home Tiki bar. Photo by Jim Ferreira. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Since 2001, Otto and his wife Baby Doe von Stroheim have been the event producers behind Tiki Oasis, an annual convention of Tiki fans and retro revivalists from around the globe, which reconvenes in San Diego from Thursday, August 14th through Sunday, August 17th. That weekend, 3000 attendees will gather for a celebration of the music, dance, cocktails, food, fashion, art, architecture, design, collectibles, literature, culture, and history of the pop-culture sensation that has loose, stylistic connections to totem carvings and mythologies of the South Pacific.

With origins in post-Prohibition restaurants and clubs with tropical themes, a mid-twentieth century “Polynesian Americana” emerged, its fans part of a “cult of modern primitivism, naively engaging in… (now taboo) practices of alcoholism, racism, chauvinism, and pig-eating” (Sven Kirsten, Tiki Style). During Monday’s broadcast, von Stroheim will elaborate on the relationship between the original Tiki phenomenon and its playful, punk-inflected revival — alongside related obsessions with other US subcultures of the 1950s-1960s.

While previewing the upcoming Tiki Oasis convention (with this year’s Beat Generation-theme dubbed “Beat-Tiki”), Monday’s program will also discuss (and mix in) Exotica and other classic music connected to the festivities, including works by Yma Sumac, Arthur Lyman, Eden Ahbez, Juan García Esquivel, Martin Denny, Les Baxter, El Vez, percussionist Preston Epps, Combustible Edison, and more.

(The second of this two-part Tiki Oasis preview on “The Freak Power Ticket” will air next week, on Monday, August 11th.)


The Freak Power Ticket airs on Mondays in the summer from 11am-1pm PDT.