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Sophisticated Voodoo Jazz of the 50's

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 15, 2018 01:25pm | Post a Comment

Mystery Skull

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La ShowRobert Drasnin, Voodoo

So, you just found a Mystic Skull board game with all the pieces at the swap-meet and you are having some friends coming over to play it before watching Val Lewton's 1943 classic, I Walked with a Zombie. You frustratingly find yourself digging through your vinyl vaults and cannot seem to find the right music to set the eerie atmosphere you desire. Let my red chicken foot charm point you the way to the records you seek...some for the music, others for their covers.

Robert Drasnin's 1959 album titled Voodoo, is truly superb. You can easily feel entranced from the music, luring your mind deep into a forbidden jungle while listening to "Chant of the Moon." If the stars are in alignment, you may be lucky enough to find this record on colored vinyl (I recently found a yellow one). Perhaps some of you may have even seen Robert Drasnin when he performed at the Tiki Oasis back in 2008.



Perez Prado's "Voodoo Suite" is the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" of jungle jazz. From exotic drumming and primitive shouts and grunts to smooth jazz beats, this 23 minute piece makes you wish you were prowling on all fours like a tiger, hunting a scantly clad prey in the Jungle Rock Room at the Madonna Inn. Listen to it in its entirety, and if you stumble across this record in the wild do not hesitate in buying it. Pounce on it! In my humble opinion, this composition is a masterpiece.

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Score Board: Soundtracks for Tabletop Games, Part Two

Posted by Amoebite, April 2, 2018 02:59pm | Post a Comment

By Chris Curtis

Howdy gamesters! Welcome to the second installment of an occasional series of articles on soundtracking your board game experiences. In part one I made the case that the right music can elevate your fun around the table as much as it can with any social gathering. The tricky part with tabletop game ambience, though, is that you’re generally avoiding lyric-centric music, which wipes out a huge swath of choices.

My search for appropriate gaming background music has led me to dig into some neglected corners of my own music collection. Lately I’ve been re-listening to some '90s electronic and ambient releases that have survived years of collection culling.

For a brief period, ambient or electronic listening music was being heavily hyped by the music press. During the height of the British house and techno scene, clubs had begun to offer a separate music room apart from the main dance floor where clubgoers could take a break from the unrelenting beats. Adventurous DJs played a mix of '70s electronic LPs, mellow psych and prog, sound and nature effects, NASA recordings, and custom samples, along with current beatless 12” mixes - a blend designed to sooth the savage breast of the ecstasy eater. These “chillout” or ambient rooms became quite popular, and after album releases dubbed “ambient house” by The KLF (Chill Out) and The Orb (The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld), a spate of similar releases surfaced, most on independent labels, and a new (sub)genre was born. The scene flourished for a couple years but ran its course by the mid-'90s. Truth be told, not a lot of the material holds up, and, arguably, only a handful of classic records emerged from the heyday years.

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Murder on the Oriental Rock n' Roll Express

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2017 05:58pm | Post a Comment

Orient Express

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"His breakfast was his Amber Moon. He never rose until it had had its full effect."
- Mr. Beddoes, Butler of Samuel Ratchett, in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

First, what is an Amber Moon you ask? To make this morning cocktail, crack an egg in a highball glass Murder on the Orient Express(with the yolk unbroken), add two shots of whiskey and a few dashes of Tabasco, then send it down the hatch! Of the many movies that hit the big screen in 2017 (The Shape of Water was my favorite), the one major stink-bomb let down for me was Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express...not only because this egg drop cocktail was not featured, but because, let's face it, David Suchet is the only actor that should ever play Hercule Poirot (and Kenneth's mustache was more awful then the bread rolls at Tommy's Joynt). Regardless of how Hollywood murdered Murder on the Orient Express, Johnny Depp's acting as Samuel Ratchett was totally superb and I truly Murder on the Orient Expresshave not liked a Johnny Depp movie since The Ninth Gate. His character was the diamond in the rough of the cast.

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Nejla Ates: the Exquisite Turkish Delight

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 27, 2017 08:48pm | Post a Comment

Nejla Ates

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


Nejla Ates"She had a ruby on her tummy and a diamond big as Texas on her toe
She let her hair down and she did the hoochie-coochie real slow
When she did her special number on the zebra skin
I thought she'd stop the show…"
~ "Little Egypt" by The Coasters

If you have flipped through Middle East or Belly Dancing records, you most likely have seen her…for she is hard to miss. As Sandra Warner was the enchantress for Martin Denny’s album covers, Nejla Ates, “the Turkish Delight,” was the “Honk-honk, hubba-hubba, Ee chee wa waa!” album cover model of Middle Eastern records in the 1950s.

A fellow Pisces, born March 7, 1932, Nejla lived a life of wild seduction, exotic belly dancing, and love drama. (If you are a Pisces too, join the Bay Area Pisces Power group on Facebook!) Dancing at night clubs around the world in the 1950s, Nejla was said to have "left a trail of broken hearts from Istanbul to the Bronx, with stops in Paris, Miami, and Las Vegas.”

Princes, oil tycoons, famous singers, and actors would fall madly in love with her, knowing full well that her side-hobby was stealing taken men, even from Zsa Zsa Gabor.

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A Playlist For Your Time Travel And Commute

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 27, 2017 07:32pm | Post a Comment

Historic F Market Train. SFMTA

By Brent James

When you’ve lived in a big city for an extended period of time, no matter where or when, you find yourself automatically adjusted to the normal, everyday droning sounds of sirens, car horns and the like. There are those of us that have let human (or inhuman, it’s case sensitive) screams become a part of everyday life because that’s how it is in the “Big City,” right? Wrong. Or at least, it doesn’t HAVE to be.

The hustle and bustle of a commute each and every day can be taxing, even if you don’t realize it. Taking the time to “stop and smell the roses” isn’t as easy as it used to be, and let’s face it -- doesn’t that look a little creepy anyway?

My advice when things get a bit jumbled upstairs is time travel. It’s easy, it’s relatively cheap and there are many eras to choose from! I’ve made a complete guide for a wonderful trip through time and space, and I’m about to share it with you so you too can step away for just a bit…

For our first trip, we find ourselves at the fabulous Embarcadero in Downtown San Francisco. There is a light drizzle, but the sun should be out a little later. For now though, the fog twirls in and out of the buildings saying hello and welcoming us to History!

Mamie Smith
Mamie Smith

We’ll be taking the historic F train outbound on Market Street and, for those visiting, there are multiple passes available to ride. Single cash ride is $2.50, including a transfer. Don’t get caught hopping on the back; you may get a ticket. Make sure you read the specific history for your particular car, as these are refurbished beauties from all over the world! Now, obviously you don’t want to get too carried away or buried too deep in any electronic devices on this trip. Pay attention while you have fun, as sadly this is NOT the 1920s. Yet.

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