Much aloha to you, Bill! Link
Friday, December 31, 2004
"The Frisky Frolics are a wily 5-piece, ukulele-driven outfit specializing in long-forgotten musical gems of the 1920-30’s. These self-described Tin Pan Alley Troubadours have lovingly mined through their 78 record collections and come up with a lively and varied set of songs, combining favorite familiar standards such as 'Louise' and 'Paper Moon', with obscure and novelty numbers like, 'Cake Eatin’ Man' and 'I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate'.Link
Voted “Best Band for the New Depression” by the Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay, 2001 and; SF Weekly Wammie Nominees, the Frisky Frolics continually perform their “new” musical discoveries to a growing legion of enthusiastic fans from their home base, The Rite Spot in San Francisco."
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Just a quick note to let you know that the website for the Great Canadian Ukulele Expo has been updated. The site has been changed to reflect the new year, photos from last year have been added, proposed lineup for this year is online, proposed outline of events is online, a list of hotels in the Winnipeg area (close to the expo), how to get to Winnipeg if you want to attend and more.
Surf on by and take a look!
Monday, December 27, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
If you're playing Santa this year, please be sure to let your uke-gift-recipient know about Ukulelia and the wealth of information about ukuleles freely-available on the Web.
To quote the original Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one".
Mark Frauenfelder and Gary Peare
Thursday, December 23, 2004
"This will be the site of all the updates for the upcoming Great Canadian Ukulele Expo 2005 May 7, 2005. I will be posting new information about the expo, info about the ukulele circles at Sled Dog Music and notices about upcoming ukulele events in the Winnipeg area. Uke on everybody!"Link
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
"Hey its Jason ... not sure if the Ukulele Disco 'spam engine' :P is working so I though I'd send another quick note to say that we're doing a special Christmas Ukulele Disco tonight. The live webstream and chat board should be up and running too if you want to join in live :)"PS. Ted's doing Jingle Bells and naked ukelele guy ...
9.30pm Tuesday Minnesota
10.30pm Tuesday New York/Philadelphia/Ohio
3.30am Wednesday UK
4.30am Wednesday Paris
4.30pm Wednesday New Zealand"
Monday, December 20, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
At 6' 3'' and 345 lbs., Edwin Mulitalo may literally be the biggest thing in ukedom since Bruddah Iz. The uke-playing Baltimore Ravens guard established Big Ed's Band Foundation, which supports instrumental music programs in the Baltimore area.
Next Tuesday, Ed will be a guest performer at Dunbar High School's Annual Christmas Concert:
December 21, 2004
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Dunbar High School
1400 Orleans Street
Be sure to check out the Photo section of the foundation's site for pix of Ed and his intrument of choice. Link
Friday, December 17, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
"All-Acoustic String Band Sound Features Taj's Signature Slack-Key Blend of the Blues and Pacific-Caribbean-Island music. The American release of Hanapepe Dream offers bonus video footage including live performances of The Calypsonians and The New Hula Blues. Stereophile wrote, "Taj Mahal's genius is in seeing the unlikely connections between disparate genres, and on My Creole Belle he seamlessly adapts Mississippi Hurt's country blues to a ukulele arrangement. The beautiful melody has a swaying, antique character in this ingenious setting.Check out the track samples at this link, especially Jimi's Along the Watchtower and Hurt's My Creole Belle. The latter seems to be Hurt's arrangement of this tune (chorus with lyrics is on index page 7).
Thursday, December 09, 2004
"The C, E, and A strings resting on a fully angled/compensated saddle the intonation will be spot on, but here is the best aspect. The G string will rest on either a forward or rear positioned, user moveable, small saddle to allow for correctly intonated high and low g tunings on one instrument. And since I’ve filed for a provisional patent you can only find this saddle design on Mayes Ukuleles. Now you can switch between high and low G tunings without sacrificing intonation."You have to look closely at the Features page on John's site to see how this works, but what an elegant solution! Tune it or die! Link
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Let's hope that Bill's paean to the uke inspires Joel and Ethan to do for the ukulele what they did for Old Timey music with O Brother...!
Monday, December 06, 2004
A Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas Camp Uke from Dave TalsmaExcuse me. I've got to revise my letter to Santa...
The Creature From the Black Lagoon Uke, also by Dave (More pix on Frets.com)
The Bacon & Eggs Fryingpan Uke from Tony Graziano
And for the Jack Sparrow on your list, this Pirate Uke, also by Tony
Friday, December 03, 2004
Thursday, December 02, 2004
From Risa, makers of the swell Uke Solid
Compiled by Jerry Dallal
From John King
From Joseph Todaro, father of the Akulele
Mele Kalikimaka (low G arr.) from Mark Occhionero!
From UFO of Marin
From The 4th Peg
From Ukulele Boogaloo
Courtesy of Fleamarket BB Posters, tips for jazzing up Jingle Bells!
From The Guitar Guy, Christmas Standards
If you know of any others, please drop me a note. Mele Kalikimaka!
"Most uke cases look like they were designed by a Mortician. And the uke is a fun instrument and sticking it in a blaw looking case just don't seem right...."Shown at left is "The Islands" model. Also available is a blue denim model and the tres retro "Tin Pan Alley" model wrapped in hemp-colored canvas. All feature plush lining and would make a great holiday gift (no gift wrapping required!). Link (Scroll down)
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
"HAWAIIAN SON is the story of an extraordinary musician whose influential career has spanned over half a century. As a young man in the late l940s Eddie Kamae developed a jazz picking style that forever changed the status of the 'ukulele. He became its reigning virtuoso. For twenty years his legendary band, The Sons of Hawai'i, played a leading role in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance. By the mid-1970s Kamae himself had become a folk hero, known for his instrumental genius and for a vigorous singing style that carried the spirit of an ancient vocal tradition into the late 20th century. In l979 he was named 'A Living Treasure of Hawai'i."And get this, Houston's book rates a pull quote from W. S. Merwin, no less:
"Eddie Kamae is a living treasure of Hawai'i, one of the rare links with the traditions of Hawaiian music that have come down to us through the generations . . . . To have an eloquent and meticulously presented account of his life and outlook, his views on music and the life of which it sings, is something to be grateful for."Grateful, indeed. This will undoubtedly be the year's "must have" for any uke afficiondado. I know that since I'm taking the family to Disneyland for Xmas, Santa will surely leave a copy under the tree for me this year (hint, hint, family). Link to James D. Houston's site (be sure to check out his complete works). Another story in Waikiki News about the book's release.
Monday, November 08, 2004
It's just a cheap Hilo that I airbrushed for her, but she really got a kick out of it. I gave it to her after the concert last night at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. It turns out that, just by coincidence, she had bought Jumpin' Jim's Visual History of the Ukulele two days earlier. What a trip, huh!
Friday, November 05, 2004
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The Portland Ukulele Association's growing membership is testament to the tiny instrument's popularity
is a notably good-natured group of people -- which may be a function of playing an instrument that is small and cute. They don't indulge in uke jokes at Portland's Pioneer Music -- they save those for banjos -- but the description for one uke suggests that, "if you're taking yourself too seriously these days, there's no better cure than playing a uke."
Link (Thanks, Stefan!)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
>From the Heartland: Circleville Ohio's 98th Annual Pumpkin Show
Time Warner: Channel 67
RCN: Channel 113
Free to air: Channel 16
Live stream: http://www.mnn.org/
Archive at: http://www.ukuleledisco.com/
Tonight, Tuesday the 26th, we're bringing you a special episode of Midnight Ukulele Disco - all the way from Circleville, Ohio ... home of the Pumpkin Festival !
We'll take in the sights with Ukulele Man Tom Harker. Don't miss this one.
Sneak preview at: http://www.ukuleledisco.com/eldorado/
We'll be taking calls live on-air at: 212 757 1538. Or, send us an email to read on air at email@example.com
Tom Harker explains how to view the live stream tonight...
To watch the show live on the internet, follow these steps (you might want to run through this early to see if you have the necessary software):
1. Go to: http://www.mnn.org/
2. On the page there is a link to a free Real Player software if you need it.
3. Click on the rectangle that encloses Ch. 67
4. Real Player will come up (if not, you can go to the download link below the Ch. 67 rectangle.)
5. Sometimes (even if you have Real Player), you may have to go back and click on the Ch. 67 rectangle again if it doesn't work right at first. I usually try to get it all set up a little early.
6. The screen will be small, but can be made bigger (bigger, though, is less clear).
7. The show lasts a half hour.
If you miss the live show, check out the archive at http://www.ukuleledisco.com/
Friday, October 08, 2004
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Friday, October 01, 2004
Man, all this talk about Martin Denny has convinced me that I want a clip from "Little Grass Shack" by Bliss Blood's exotica combo, Voodoo Suite, to be the ringtone on my cellphone. (Now if I could only figure out how...) Link
Thursday, September 30, 2004
In today's Washington Post, Bob signalled his willingness to suit up again:
"Wolff, who strummed a ukulele on long train rides, coaxed some of the team into harmonizing one night. Roy Sievers, Jim Lemon and other Senators actually appeared on the "Today" show in 1958, crooning for a full 45 minutes. Ballplayers in a barbershop quartet on NBC. Honest.It'd be nice to have some more talented Singing Senators for a change, wouldn't it? (Photos) Link (free subscription required)
You ask Wolff if he is interested in play-by-play work again, given that he still works part-time for a cable station on Long Island, the Madison Square Garden network, and is going on his eighth decade in the business.
"No, when my daughter started calling airplanes 'bye-bye Daddies,' I knew I needed to stop traveling," he said. However, Wolff said he will reprise the Singing Senators, but only if Jose Vidro and Livan Hernandez can sing or need spare cash. 'Oh, I'm ready to come back with my ukulele.' "
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Archives of past shows are at Ukulele Disco. Link
From 8pm-9pm ET (New York) tonight we'll be broadcasting live on the web from the stoop of the Murray Spaceshoe. Check it out at http://www.sonicuke.com/stoopcamlive
The broadcast uses Quicktime ... the free plugin is available as a download from Apple Computer, for Macintosh and PC at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download
Then, at 10.30 we return to MNN for the first of the second season of Midnight Ukulele Disco. Tonight, our special guest is Howie Leifer. Don't miss his inspired uke-puppetry !
Mary Anne plans to join Ted from the stoop; Syd is working on a new song; the Incredible Uke has a new feat of strength; and rumour has it the Naked Uke guy may return ...
Midnight Ukulele Disco
Tonight, 28th September 10.30 ET
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Time Warner: Channel 67
RCN: Channel 113
Manhattan free-to-air: Channel 16
or streaming live on the web at: http://www.mnn.org/
Monday, September 27, 2004
(You may have to poke around on David's site a bit to locate the photos. In the left hand nav, roll over "Art of Dave" and click on "Section 2". On the dropdown button that says "choose category here", select "misc". Or look for a button for the George Harrison tribute ukulele on the right hand side of the site.) Link
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
"There are three people in this world who under no circumstances - WHATSOEVER - do you wish to be informed about what went on in their bedrooms.Link
The first two are your parents.
The third is Tiny Tim, the world's only Depends-wearing, falsetto-trilling ukulele master, who died in 1996.
That's what makes the new tell-all book by his Des Moines manager, "Tiny Tim and Mr. Plym: Life as We Knew It," as repulsively engrossing as watching a boa constrictor gulp down live rats."
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Friday, September 10, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
Monday, August 23, 2004
Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've been away from the blog for the past two weeks, attending to my dad, who passed away on August 13. I took my ukulele with me back to Detroit and spent a lot of nice, reflective time playing and singing to Dad at the hospital. At the end he was very tired and slept most of the time, but he seemed to like the music, and it seemed only right to sing him to sleep with songs from his glory days.
The last song I sang for him was "I'll See You in My Dreams", which I chose not because of the George Harrison memorial connection, but because Dad's cousin was married to Saxie Mansfield, a tenor sax player who played with the song's composer, bandleader Isham Jones. I remember Dad recalling how several times when he was a kid, he woke up and went downstairs to find the Isham Jones Orchestra crashed in his parents' living room. Imagine having to step over Woody Herman to get to the kitchen!
So, farewell, Dad. I'll see you in my dreams...
"Today is "Ukulele Day in Hawaii," honoring the 125th anniversary of the islands' musical icon.If you're lucky enough to go tonight, send pix!
From 7 to 9 p.m., a ceremony recognizing the day will be held in the renovated Mission Memorial Auditorium, located on the Civic Center Grounds, makai of the State Capitol and between Honolulu Hale and the Sky Gate sculpture.
The anniversary also commemorates the Honolulu arrival of the Barkentine Ravenscrag, a Portuguese ship that departed from Madeira, bringing 419 Portuguese men, women and children to settle in Hawaii. Aboard the Ravenscrag were the men who invented, built and popularized the ukulele.
A stellar lineup of entertainers will be demonstrating the many ways that the ukulele can be played, from traditional Hawaiian to Tin Pan Alley and jazz numbers.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Friday, August 06, 2004
Just when you thought things couldn't get any better...
Today I have the honor and pleasure of announcing that Ukulele Lady and her Aloha Style Band shall be playing with us at Ukulele Night next Friday, August 13 at Borders Books in Los Gatos!!!
This means that the final official lineup is as follows:
-Ukulele Lady and her Aloha Style Band
Each act will play for approximately 20 minutes.
You do not want to miss this event. The ukin' will start at 8:00 PM but parking can be a bitch so leave yourself plenty of time.
Borders Books is at 50 University Drive in Los Gatos, California.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Hulabilly has been working on new material and we just
posted an MP3 for The People. A little rough, but if you don't mind, then we don't either. Enjoy! Link
QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele - Volume 1
QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Tenor & Baritone Ukulele - Volume 1
Advanced Guide to Ukulele Chords - Volume I,
Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Midnight Ukulele Disco
Tonight, Tuesday 3rd August
MNN Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Time Warner channel 67
RCN channel 113
Free-to-air channel 16
live stream at: mnn.org
- special guest, M. David Hornbuckle, on banjo-uke
- Eve of Mass Destruction
- Ukulele Rapture II
- more Uke (in)Sanity
- unexpected guests
- live call-in 212 757 1538
Check out clips from previous shows at Ukulele Disco
Monday, August 02, 2004
Friday, July 23, 2004
Grammy award R&B vocalist James Ingram
Troy Fernandez (of the Ka’au Crater Boys)
James Hill (Canada)
Yuji Igarashi (Japan)
Da Hawaii Seniors Club of Cerritos (California)
Kaoru Kohonoike & KK Hawaiian Groove (Japan)
Roy Sakuma 800-piece Ukulele Band
Nice profile of festival founder/sponsor Roy Sakuma yesterday in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, too. Link
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
"thanks for the email. and it is true i am making ukes again. hope you like the pic. this instrument really sounds incredible, much more than expected, and is very easy to play. unlike the double neck guitar i made for Roland Cazimero, because its so small. am considering making the soundhole smaller however not much smaller as this uke has a hugh, rich sound that i don't want to restrict. my good friend larry ramos, of the new christies and the association, is having me make the next, with a spruce top. larry, or "little larry" as he is known here, won the aurther godfry ukulele contest when he was 6 yrs old and after that the family moved to calif. and the rest is history. i'll be getting more pics on the website shortly. mahalo for the inquirery and come visit if your ever on the island..."Who could say no? Link (Thanks, Ukulele Earle!)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
I asked Jim for an update on the event, and he sent me this link to the event site. Did he know who the lady was that I met? "I don't know who the person at the Cape was, but heh, I'm the only uker in town."
His CD Facing Future is also the number one selling album among Microsoft employees, according to Amazon. Link
"Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" has consistently been on iTunes' list of the top 100 songs sold since it debuted in the store in December. Recently, the song held spot No. 73, ahead of Jessica Simpson's "Take My Breath Away" (81) and Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" (82). "
Monday, July 19, 2004
"Billy was in my band in '52,'53,'54 when we did a weekly live remote show from The Ali Baba Ballroom in Oakland over San Francisco Channel 7. He played guitar and steel mostly, but I used to feature him playing his Ukulele and singing on the front edge of the bandstand with a coconut hat. He got most of the fan mail ! He uses a picture of that scene with my band for his promo material still today...
"I'll contact the documentary film people about Bill Tapia and some of the zany musical acts we did with him. If he keeps playing I'm sure he'll make it past 100. I'm supposed to go down for his birthday party on New Years Day.
Ken still plays today in The Certificates, a Bay-Area-based swing band that recently released their first CD (available on their site).
"I'm doing more playing of Uke than I do my Sax and Clarinet nowadays. I'm teaching it to my 7 year old grandson and I took him to Santa Cruz Uke Festival last month to be with Billy and he won the Martin Ukulele being raffled !!"(Lucky kid!)
"I imagine you follow all the good stuff Jim Beloff is doing for Uke playing just like I do. Nice reading your comments."Well, thank you, Ken!
Alan Edelstein showed his half-hour Oscar nominated documentary (Best Documentary, Short Subjects, 1986) titled "Wizard of the Strings." The tiny room at the back of Barbes was filled to capacity with about 35 people, a few packing ukes.Thanks, Joe!
The film was delightful, with clips of Smeck performing on film in the 1920s and interviewed in 1983. It was a treat to see Smeck paying in his early 80s, accompanied on guitar by Mel Bay (!). Gene Autry appeared to explain what a big influence Smeck was on cowboy stars of the era.
Edelstein explained to the Barbes audience that he'd been a fan of blues and other niche music in college and was surprised to discover a recording by Smeck, whom he'd never heard of. He found Smeck in the phone book, living in Manhattan, and was delighted to discover that Smeck had preserved a trove of old films -- at that point Edelstein knew he had a documentary. At the same time, Edelstein and his partner found Smeck frustrating as a documentary subject -- like many old-time and vaudeville performers, Smeck repeated favorite anectdotes and was not very reflective for the camera. Smeck died in 1994, but Edelstein stayed in touch with his widow, Kay until her death.
After the film, guitarist Elliott Sharp performed some of his compositions -- there was little connection to Smeck, but Sharp was as amazing as always.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
A special tribute to ROY SMECK: Vaudevillian, master of the soprano Ukulele and all around entertainer with a special screening of Alan Edelstein's documentary: Wizard of the Strings presented by the director - with Elliott Sharp and more performers tba.Link (Thanks, Joe!)
Here is their page of uke-related items. Actually, only one at the time of this posting, but it does include a link to an mp3 of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's "Wonderful Land."
"Rummage Through The Crevices is a weekly community radio segment (Friday mornings, 2SER-FM, Sydney, Australia) devoted to offbeat and outsider music, less travelled paths of global pop, music-sharing activists, notable and unusual online mp3 repositories, etc. This webloggy thing is its online companion.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
"'Coffee Pot' is the first song we wrote incorporating the uke, butMr Mediocrity's uke player extrordinaire, Peter Remiger, has graciously posted tabs, lyrics, and chords on the band's site. Brew yourself a pot of Peet's and Uke Baby Uke!...Link (Thanks, Joe and Peter!)
I'm sure the future will bring more works featuring the ukulele. Very soon
we'll have a fresh recording of "Coffee Pot, along with a couple new pieces
which we're very excited about recording. "
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
"For the first 3 weeks of every month I'll accept your nominations of someone you think would benefit from a DaSilva ukulele. And I want to know why. Maybe they deserve a simple token of appreciation from the ukulele community. Or a new instrument will inspire their musical talents. Or a quality ukulele would just light up their day. Then, at the end of the month, I will choose someone and send them a DaSilva ukulele. Free. No strings attached.It's kind of a MacArthur Genius Grant for uke players! Link
This is not a popularity contest. Nor a hard-luck reward. Great stories, fun reasons, inspirational situations and out-of-the-box thinking is what I am looking for. Once the ukulele is delivered, it will be theirs to own, or pass on as they see fit. Just like many of the ukuleles I own are enjoying multiple lives, I hope DaSilva ukuleles have a long useful lifetime.
Please visit the website for more information. I will post updates on the process during the month, including great ukulele stories and construction photos of the giveaway uke."
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Thinking of coming to the 2nd Annual Mid Atlantic Ukulele Invitational? There are a few rooms left at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center (410-633-9500) for Saturday night. There is a map to our event at creativealliance.org and some tickets are still available for the afternoon workshops and evening concert. There will be an open jam and 5pm free Hula and Hawaiian rhythm workshop and even a special guest or two.Buying and selling of ukes and related material is encouraged and bringing a lender uke for the beginner workshops will be greatly appreciated. Email me or the Creative Alliance at the above adress with any questions. We are looking forward to a splendid second outing.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
John Flansburgh (of They Might Be Giants) has a little show on WNYC where he interviews various luminaries of music (that is, if you have good taste). In his piece on Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, Merritt plays accompanied only by a uke. The website even points out that Merritt “rock(s) out (sort of) on the ukulele.” There is also a brief piece of him singing “All I Want To Know” (erroneously called “All I Wanna Do” on the website), again alone with his uke.Link (Thanks, Gary!)
Saturday, June 19, 2004
"...I recently decided to do another run of saprano ukulele's. There are about 150 of them(mahogany and koa), ranging from entry level 01's to mid level 09's to 10's with master grade Koa. I will finish these ukes over the next several month's. About a dozen being completed a week. I am also building 10 concert size ukes that will be available sometime in August. If you are interested in owning a uke from this run you can find out what is available and order through your favorite dealer. I have read frequent postings concerning hardshell cases for Larrivee ukes. I now have custom fitted hardshell cases for the them. Mini versions of our guitar cases. They are very solid! The hardshell cases will be offered as an option. A softshell gigbag is always included either way. For those of you already owning a Larrivee uke and are interested in geting your hands on a hardshell case, just order one through your Larrivee dealer. It's pretty exciting doing the uke 'thing' again, it's been a while! John Larrivee Jr. Carpe Diem!"For more information, Johnny says you can also contact him directly via email.
Friday, June 18, 2004
"I flew to Kansas City on Wednesday to speak to a local user group. It was just an overnight so I was utterly delighted to be a one-carryon, minimalist traveller for the first time in memory. I just tossed my PowerBook, its charger, my toothbrush, one book, and a change of shirt and unmentionables into a backpack I got last month, slid my iPod and my phone into a pocket, and then I was ready to go.
"But there was still plenty of room left over so I figured what the hell...I'll take my Fluke with me. Lo and behold, the backpack's outside pocket zipped around the thing as if it were a custom-made Fluke Papoose:
"I mean, this backpack kicks butt. On top of its obvious appeal for Fluke enthusiasts it's the only notebook-compartmented backpack that doesn't scream out "Are You Stronger And More Aggressive Than Me? A $2000 Computer Could Be YOURS! Pin Me Against A Wall And Ask Me How!" It has expandable and/or bungeed pouches for anything worth taking and pass-throughs for headphone wires. The pack was a freebie (a party favor from an awards dinner I attended last month in London) but a Google turned up its Australian manufacturer.
"The user group (MacCORE) was surprised and delighted by how I finished my talk. Well, I don't know about Delighted but my performance found that happy medium above Men Throwing Beer Bottles and below Women Throwing Underwear. But I was doubly-glad that I brought the Fluke. My connection home through O'Hare was profoundly delayed and by the start of my third hour in Terminal C, strumming "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" in a variety of tempos and styles was a fine distraction from the sorts of impulses that would have led to my being siezed by federal air marshals and dragged behind an unmarked door somewhere. I might have to make my Fluke a regular travel companion...!"
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
"The model V is a refined version of this classic uke. Subtle binding accents set off the two tone sides while the fingerboard sports a snappy multicolored wooden side stripe...You have to play one of these sweet babies to believe it...and fall in love. (Don't miss Marc's interview with Albert Einstein on the site and the story behind the Del Norte uke, made from flame redwood and wood from William Randolph Hearst's yacht. Not for the faint-hearted!) Link
"...While retaining the look and feel of the original, this modern uke plays in tune and will meet the standards of even the most critical musician. With its "tap tuned" top and attention to detail, this diminutive dandy barks with the authority of a big box Jazz guitar!"
Monday, June 14, 2004
"Jim Beloff asked me in December to do a classical book and CD for his Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Masters series and I wanted to use a Fluke for the recording so I asked Dale Webb to send a stock plastic fretboard model, which sounded great. I used it for the recording and loved it. When we were in Santa Cruz Dale asked me if I could use a 17-fret Fluke; it arrived Friday. He said he had few more of the 17 fret fingerboards and I thought some of your readers might be interested."The extended fretboards are made of rosewood (rather than the standard issue and serviceable molded ones). If you're interested in ordering a 17 fret Fluke, John suggests that you inquire over at the Fleamarket Music site.
I understand that using a Fluke for the recording was John's idea. He wanted the book to be accessible, and for players to know that they didn't have to have an expensive uke to sound great. Watch here for news about the release of the John's Ukulele Masters book!
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
The Hazzards are Sydney Maresca & Anne Harris. They have been playing the ukulele together in NYC since meeting at a party in 2000. Originally known as "The Ukes of Hazzard", they recently shortened their name to stay on the right side of the law.Their video is a hoot. They'll be in San Francisco this week!
With over a million downloads of their video "Gay Boyfriend", The Hazzards are truly an international sensation.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Hawkes is so into the string thing he says his first post-Cars solo CD likely will be - no kidding - a ukulele album. As a preview, he plays three tracks he's recorded featuring
multitracked ukes: a sweet original with Nilsson-esque vocals, an
almost Oriental-sounding instrumental and a gorgeous arrangement of
Friday, June 04, 2004
"Yesterday I taped a short interview segment for MTV Canada that will air on June 7th [4 pm]. I talked `ukulele with 'VJ' Brian Adler and played a bit...As with most things `ukulele these days, it was a little surreal. After all, here's a show that usually features pop artists, rappers, DJs and other 'cool' folk, and there I was - right in the heart of teen culture... with nothing but a smile and an `ukulele. MTV - who would have thought?"(If anyone does a video capture, let us know...) Nice shoes, James! Link
It would appear that for some odd reason that the Seattle branch of the Ukulele Occasional will be bartending on Monday night [June 7th]. At Hattie's Hat in lovely Ballard, Wash. There will be uke music on the stereo, a drink special or two for anyone who brings in a uke, and a few giveaways. And I'll do my best to hand you your beer in a timely fashion.
So come by, talk to uke people, have a drink, and discuss pressing uke issues ... all in the comfort of one of Seattle's friendlier bars. And they serve food, too.
Hope to see you there..."
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Sunday, May 23, 2004
The article also notes that Ohta-San is on his way to Japan demonstrate Yamaha's new ukulele synthesizer:
"When I first saw it, I thought it was just another toy, but it really sounds good," Ohta-san says.I'm sure this new instrument will spark a heated debate within the uke community, but I can't wait to check one out! (I haven't found any info about them on the Yamaha site yet. If anyone has found more information, please send me an email.)
"It's a standard-size ukulele (and) has four strings that will never go out of tune, and you can tune it just by a twist of wrist of the peg to low G, high G, tenor sound, soprano sound. And with a turn of the peg it will sound like a violin, a Hammond organ, a trumpet," he said, adding that the instrument can also be programmed to show a novice the correct fingering for up to eight songs.
"It's not on sale yet, but they're going to sell it for under $300.
Friday, May 21, 2004
"Famous Solos and Duets for the Ukulele presents ukulele music as you have never seen or heard it before. An anthology of pieces selected from the earliest known methods and collections published for the ukulele between 1909 and 1920, Famous Solos and Duets is newly engraved in both standard notation and tablature and contains extensive fingering and performance instructions.I'm off to my neighborhood music store (Campana Music in Lafayette, CA, where Bill Tapia taught guitar for years) to have them order me a copy. Make that two copies (duets, you know...). Link
Edited, arranged, and performed by ukulele virtuoso and historian John King, this collection makes the original, classic repertoire of this charming little instrument available to the public for the first time in nearly a century. The Preface, informative and thoroughly researched, places the ukulele and its music in historical context, from its early days in Hawai'i, to its widespread popularity on the Mainland. Showcasing pieces which are both challenging and beautiful, Famous Solos and Duets features the music of Queen Lili'uokalani, King Kalakaua, Ernest Ka'ai, Henry Kailimai, George Awai, George Kia Nahaolelua, N. B. Bailey and Vadah Olcott Bickford. Also included in Famous Solos and Duets are invaluable instructions for the different styles of strumming as played by the "Father of the ukulele," Ernest Ka'ai. The CD contains all 22 pieces expertly performed by Mr. King. $17.95, 48 pp."
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Play It Strange is a non-profit trust "established to encourage young New Zealanders to develop interests and skills in music, composing and performance". The trust is currently looking for funding sponsors for their Ukulele Orchestra Programme:
Schools apply for a "ukulele orchestra" for Years 7, 8 and 9.I have a better name for the program. Geoff Davis, what do you think of "The Kiwi Strummers"? Link
Resource package includes:
- Overhead projector resource.
- CD of ukulele hit songs.
- CD of backing tracks for class and solo performances. Fifty per cent of the material will be NZ songs.
Ukuleles are retained by the school.
Ukuleles lead naturally to the guitar. They are a perfect launchpad to a wider performance and composition pursuit.
"If we could prove that MPs can play the ukulele then anyone could."Lessons are being provided by Kiwi uke legend Bill Sevesi. Link