Inspiration Boards on Pinterest
Links to Selected Interviews and Guest Posts
BITTER SPIRITS online promo (early 2014, multiple links)
SUMMONING THE NIGHT online promo (2012, multiple links)
KINDLING THE MOON online promo (2011,multiple links)
RT Author Spotlight interview (2011, in which I misspelled Philip Pullman’s name)
Old-School Horror Movie Style Book Trailer
Arcadia Bell-inspired jewelry on Cemetery Cat’s etsy store:
Tambuku Tiki Lounge Playlist
Ambient background music heard inside Central California’s favorite Earthbound-friendly Tiki bar. Click on the Tambuku logo below to go to playlist on iTunes.
(1) “Tambuku” – Robert Drasnin
This, obviously, is the song that inspired the name of the Tiki bar. Drasnin’s sole album, Voodoo!, was long one of the most sought-after of all exotica albums until its ’96 CD reissue. Its late-in-life success spurred Drasnin to record a follow-up, Voodoo 2, in 2007.
(2) “Quiet Village” – Martin Denny
Martin Denny: the king of Exotica. And this is his signature tune. Composed by Les Baxter, Denny’s 1957 arrangement was an enormous success and marked the beginning of the exotica trend.
(3) “Moon Child” – The Ventures
Not exotica per se, the Ventures’ instrumental rock provided the basis for what would become Surf Rock. This album, The Ventures in Space, epitomizes the otherworldliness of their sound. And the song choice? It just made sense.
(4) “Morticia’s Theme” – Vic Mizzy
You might think that the soundtrack to the TV series The Addams Family wouldn’t be a go-to choice for exotica, but you’d be wrong, as this song proves. The album is chock full of swinging songs with just a hint of the macabre.
(5) “King Kong” – Tarantula Ghoul and her Gravediggers
Such a fun song. Tarantula Ghoul was a horror TV hostess in Portland in the 1950s. No footage of her program survives. Only a few scattered pictures and one 45 RPM single, of which this is the A-side. The flip side, “Graveyard Rock” is also a blast!
(6) “Mucha Muchacha” – Esquivel
Exotica is nothing if not encompassing of foreign cultures, and here we take a Latin-esque trip with Esquivel. His music is always light-hearted and full of humor and is always sure to liven up any gathering.
(7) “Moon Madness” – Pasquale & the Lunar-Tiks
If Martin Denny’s orchestra simulated bird calls to evoke his “Quiet Village,” Pasquale’s Lunar-Tiks turn that concept up to 11. A percussion-heavy track and a rowdy bunch of birds and animals turns frighteningly psychedelic about halfway through once the reverb and echo kick in.
(8) “The 4th Dimension” – The Ventures
Keen-eared listeners might recognize this song as the instrumental basis for The Cramps’ classic “Don’t Eat Stuff off the Sidewalk” from their album Psychedelic Jungle (which itself would serve as a great soundtrack for a night at Tambuku).
(9) “Swamp Fire” – Martin Denny
(10) “Lust” – Bas Sheva
Bas Sheva, born Bernice Kanefsky, provides stunning lead vocals over Les Baxter’s simmering arrangments on this cut from the album Passions.
(11) “Voodoo Dreams/Voodoo” – Les Baxter
(12) “Estrellita” – Esquivel
Once again, Esquivel stretches the limits of stereophonic sound. Listen to this on headphones and hear this cool number take on a new life as it ricochets around your head.
(13) “Satan Takes a Holiday” – Jack Malmsten
Virtuoso organist Jack Malmsten takes this Tommy Dorsey hit into the realm of the exotic.
(14) “Xtabay (Lure of the Unknown Love)” – Yma Sumac
The mysterious Yma Sumac, the Peruvian vocalist, wielded a five-octave range that could call forth images of exotic locales even without lyrics. At times she comes close to sounding as much like a theremin as a human could possibly sound.
(15) “Misirlou” – Korla Pandit
You might recognize this song as Dick Dale’s opening theme to Pulp Fiction, but it has long been a standard for exotica artists. And few were more exotic than Korla Pandit—the turbaned, mysterious maestro of the keyboards—who would take to the TV airwaves of Los Angeles and San Francisco to stare dreamily into the camera as he performed “the universal language of music.”
(16) “Bom Bom/Mood Tattooed” – Les Baxter
(17) “Hypnotique” – Martin Denny
(18) “Teach Me, Tiger” – April Stevens
This song caused a bit of an uproar back in ’59 because of its suggestiveness. April Stevens’ whispering vocals have resulted in the song being frequently misattributed to Marilyn Monroe.
(19) “Out of Limits” – The Ventures
One more from the Ventures, who out-Twilight Zone their own cover of the Twilight Zone theme with this twisty classic.
(20) “Moon Mist” – The Out-Islanders
The great arranger and conductor Billy May collaborated with jazz bandleader Charlie Barnet on a now-classic album of exotica, Polynesian Fantasy, as The Out-Islanders. The soothing, wordless lead vocals from Marni Nixon provide a perfect closing as Cady announces Last Call. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay at Tambuku Tiki Lounge. She’s got important things to take care of.