Friends of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Member Name:  The Tiki Brothers

Tell us about yourselves.

We are the Tiki Brothers, a music collective that styles itself as an aquatic rock band. We enjoy and cover lots of different kinds of music, ranging from jazz standards to surf rock, reggae to American psychedelic garage rock - but especially songs that relate, directly or indirectly, to water. Our originals are mostly about the Gowanus Canal or Coney Island. 

Members of the Tiki Brothers also play with a number of other neighborhood groups, including the Fifth Street Band, South Hope, New Yeller, Bette Stuy, the NGN Blues Band, and Miles of Music Band Camp.  Some of the Tiki Brothers played for a number of years in a band called Bliss Point that recorded and released an album in 2014 called "Forget About Gravity." We are not actual brothers, and in fact, are not all male. We have no plans to quit our day jobs.

What was your first BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival concert?

No idea. We mostly moved to Park Slope in the late nineties or early aughts, and got together as our kids went to school. We rolled to the shows with little red wagons and strollers, laid out blankets on the hill, put blinking-light dog collars on our kids, and let them loose. We were happy to enjoy the open air shows no matter who was playing. Emmy Lou Harris, Bob Dylan, and Burning Spear stand out as particularly memorable.

What have been your favorite shows?

Many of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival acts have motivated us and demonstrated the art of stagecraft. One of the giants has to be Jimmy Cliff. Mr. Cliff holds the torch high for the good vibes of island living. He inspired us to add “Sitting in Limbo” to our setlist. 

Another favorite was Calle 13. Having bands with international stature like Calle 13 is astounding. The audience was so huge that we couldn't get into the show and watched from outside the fence. The Festival does a great job of bringing lots of different traditions to the Bandshell, and that night the local connections were strong and proud.

Another favorite was Nora Jones. It was pouring rain: pelting sheets of rain that put the few stalwart viewers at risk of hypothermia or drowning. Nora and her band looked out at the meager audience shivering like wet cats and connected with how much these fans loved her. They wiped off their instruments, rearranged every song, and played their hearts out.

Yet another highlight was Maceo Parker, especially when Prince joined him for the encore.  Our drummer reports that a visible wave of energy washed over the crowd as Prince came on stage and proceeded to crush a guitar solo. 

What bands would you like to see play at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival?

This is a hard question to answer because some of the greatest acts we have seen were new to us. Like DanceBrazil.  Or the Tuvan throat singers. Some suggestions come to mind.  Like Session Americana.  And Courtney Barnett. And Chance the Rapper. And the Stray Birds. And the Alabama Shakes. And the Tedeschi Trucks Band. And Kamasi Washington. And Anais Mitchell. And Cataneo Veloso. And King Crimson.

What makes the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival different from other summer festivals?

The programming is amazing, and just seems to get better all the time. The diversity of programming, between cutting edge new acts, timeless classics, and representations of various cultural traditions never ceases to educate, elevate, and bring Brooklyn together. The intimate, sylvan setting within a huge metropolis is also a distinguishing factor. Like the Newport festivals, you get the sense that the artists realize they are playing at a special spot. 

What are your concert going rituals?

Forgetting to bring ear plugs. Beer. Pork or lamb bowl, with cheese on peasant fries and kale salad. And sometimes rosé.