Dumb Angel Gazette: Sixties Surf Teen Culture Meets Tiki

Dumb Angel Gazette
Dumb Angel Gazette

Dumb Angel Gazette #4 was released this summer, after much anticipation (the last issue of Dumb Angel was printed in 1989). Like Dumb Angels Nos. 1-3, this is a masterfully-crafted love letter to the pop sounds of midcentury Southern California, and as such is solidly centered around surf music, especially the Beach Boys, and especially especially Brian Wilson. For Co-Editors Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester, all roads lead to the center of the Dumb Angel universe — Brian Wilson — but much effort is put into defining the outer edges of that universe; introducing the reader to the context and influences that created this era they love so much. As such, the center of my universe gets touched upon: tiki and tiki music. In particular, and article by Tobias Bernsand and Brian Chidester entitled “The Marimba You Send Out Returns To You” describes in great detail the development of the Exotica sound by Les Baxter, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, and draws many strings between this scene and Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys. The magazine (though it’s really more of a book — a beautiful, full-color book) holds tiki touches and gems throughout.
Like the acclaimed earlier Dumb Angel issues, this will surely become an adored reference for those who love the sunny sounds of 60s Southern California, and all it spawned.

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