Explore "Slacker Gear for their swell T-Shirt. They also have the most innovative approach to ripping music I've seen. They offer a do-it-yourself CD kit that includes everything you need to produce your own SCS CD: blank CD, jewel case, liner notes, and cover photo. Just download their mp3s and burn it yourself! The only things they forgot were the mp3s and and a way to order the kit. Oh, well. Grab your board, dude. I'll meet you later at the Boardwalk.
Saturday, January 31, 2004
Friday, January 30, 2004
Meet Greg, aka "Mr Wu," a uke player from Lancashire (actually from Bolton, memorable for its unpalindromic properties in the classic Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch). Mr Wu's Laundry is a very nice site with great resources for you George Formby fans out there. Link Discuss
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Illustrator Robert Armstrong draws a brief biography of the late King Bennie Nawahi.
Jim Tranquida describes the situation that drove his great-great-grandfather, early uke builder Augusto Dias, from Madeira to Hawaii in August 1879.
Frank Ford of Gryphon Stringed Instruments tells us how to repair koa ukulele cracks.
UO editor Michael Simmons interviews living uke legend Ohta-San.
UO editor Jason Verlinde interviews master uke luthier Duane Heilman.
Phil Milstein chronicles the life of one-hit wonder (and baritone uke player) Nervous Norvous.
Earnest Instruments proprietor Joel Eckhaus talks to Australia's Azo Bell.
Gregg Miner writes the definitive history of the harp ukulele.
Sacramento-based cartoonist Michael King contributes an original ukulele comic strip.
Seattle's Kurt B. Reighley interviews underground pop music duo the moth wranglers.
Mr. Verlinde talks to Fluke creator Dale Webb.
Ukulelia creator Mark Frauenfelder interviews King Kukulele on his impossibly weird world travels.
Mr. Verlinde interviews actor William H. Macy on his love for the uke.
Reviews of books and CDs and videos.
A few more odds & ends ...
Every Monday I look forward to the Salon at "Conrad's" restaurant in Pasadena. We've had these salons for over a decade now but the location has changed. "Conrad's" is the most congenial of all. The staff treat us well and our waiter remembers exactly my order. Always the same -- salad with beets and croutons and ranch dressing, followed by the Spanish-style ground sirloin with side dishes of mixed vegetables and sauteed onions, and a plate of garlic toast. The same dishes every week. How satisfying! How soothing! When I enter the restaurant at around 6.30 I have a vodka martini with two olives at the bar. Always the same -- until last night when the barman, including a five dollar bill in the change,
remarked: "I know, senor, that you dislike singles". What could he mean? And then I realized: I usually tip him a quarter on the $4.75 drink. Personally I think that's enough but my colleagues tip in dollar bills. So as it was near New Year and got him to change the five dollar bills into singles and I gave him one. "Gracias, gracias, senor!". Well, I so love the steadiness of this place that it was worth the over-tipping.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
"When I bought the ukulele, my husband said that's the last instrument you're buying -- if you can't figure out that one, you're done," she said.
To her delight, she had finally gotten an instrument she could play. "I found that anybody can play the ukulele, even those who have no talent at all," Foster said.
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Ian Whitcomb has a new DVD entitled "Turned On Alley." It features a lot of Ian favorites (including a groovy clip from the 60's of of Ian performing "You Turn Me On").
"The disc is an audiovisual treat, crammed to the edge with goodies. IHere's where you can buy a copy. And here's more info on Ian's site. Allegedly, there's a special code somewhere on the site that will allow you to preview a video clip from the DVD. I couldn't find it, but if you do, leave a note in the Discussion link.
can't stop playing it. The main program is a recording session of me and The Bungalow Boys held at one of Los Angeles finest concert venues, Zipper Hall atthe Colburn School of Performing Arts, opposite Disney Hall. The sound is crystal clear perfection. I have never been so faithfully recorded. And we played for real -- no overdubbing, no equalization compression, or artificial reverberation. No faking! Of course, the Bungalow Boys are so
professional that there's not a misplaced note or clam. Once or twice I garble the words -- but that's me. It really is a record of a great band led by a quirky personality."
Friday, January 23, 2004
Once a member of the '80 alternative rock band the Del Fuegos, Dan Zanes has now produced a series of highly acclaimed family-oriented CDs. Dan plays the you-know-what occasionally and has gone on record that, if elected President, plank #5 in his platform would be "every house should have a ukulele." Sez Dan:
"i've been playing ukulele quite a bit recently and i think that it's probably the easiest of stringed instruments for little hands. it's great for grown up paws too. when we drove up to boston last weekend i was able to play mine for an entire 3 hour van ride song festival. this is also a good instrument for the campaign trail, i would imagine....."(Which leads me to wonder: Howard Dean playing the ukulele...his path to redemtion following the now infamous screech, or not?)
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Ukulelia reader John Barlos kindly posted a transcription of Joe Brown's arrangement of "I'll See You In My Dreams" from the "Concert for George" DVD. You'll find the deets here. A visit to this link will take you to an mp3 of John performing the arrangement. Go to the "mymp3" folder and click on "CU In My Dreams." Thanks, John! Great version!
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Check out their MP3s on the site. Fun stuff!
Friday, January 16, 2004
Folks in Hannibal, Missouri--Cliff Edwards's home town--have formed a committee to erect a memorial in his honor. If you feel compelled to contribute to the cause, send an email to David P. Norman. Link
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Great Real Audio Clip of George Harrison playing the banjo uke at a George Formby Society Convention.
"On Sunday evening, George surprised everyone by getting up on the stage and after giving a short introduction proceeded to play 'In My Little Snapshot Album' which finishes with a fairly difficult solo on the Banjo Uke. He admitted that he was only just learning to play and because the song had so many verses, he asked the audience to help him with the words if he forgot them. And he did ! But everyone loved his performance and I am sure he was just as proud of his efforts as when he played along with the Beatles to their fabulous hits."Link
Jake Shimabukuro is the new spokesperson for Hawaii Tourism Japan.
"Beginning Jan. 26, subways and train stations in Osaka and Tokyo will be papered with poster boards showing Hawaii's green forests, blue coastlines, black lava and red sand. Shimabukuro stands in the middle of each poster with his ukulele."
Friday, January 09, 2004
Jumpin' Jim Beloff has released a second volume in his "The Joy of Uke" educational videos. It's not yet on the Fleamarket Music site, but here's what Elderly Instruments has to say:
"In this long-awaited follow-up to Volume 1, Jim teaches chord shapes and progressions, complex strums and accompaniments to seven beloved popular songs. With his usual warmth and good humor Jim guides you through each song, slowing down the tricky parts: "Under the Boardwalk," "That Hawaiian Melody," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "The Girl from Ipanema," "Blue Moon," more. Jim's special guest, Lyle Ritz, shares his ideas about the instrument and demonstrates some of his most requested instrumentals: "Dream," "Lulu's Back in Town," "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Ritz Cracker." Intermediate. Includes booklet. 90 min."Link Discuss
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Aloha, Ukers of the North! Manitoba Hal announces the first Great Canadian Ukulele Expo, May 8, 2004 in La Prairie, Manitoba.
"The Great Canadian Ukulele Expo is the first of its kind in Canada. The event begins with a Friday night social gathering at the Canad Inn Portage La Prairie. This gathering is an opportunity to meet and socialize with the entertainers and your fellow attendees. Early registration will also be held here. There will be coffee service and a cash bar avaiable.
The Conference begins Saturday at 12:00 noon with Strum-a-long sessions, beginner workshops, advanced workshops and a vendor gallery. These sessions are included in the conference price. The conference runs until 6:00pm where folks are left to their own devices for dinner.
The concert featuring Judy Cook, James Hill, Jim Beloff, Ralph Shaw and Manitoba Hal begins at 7:30pm and runs until 10:00pm."
Mark your calendars with an early reminder so your Kumalae has plenty of time to thaw out! Link Discuss
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Friday, January 02, 2004
Great article about Bill Tapia today. A (free) online subscription to the LA Times is required, but here's a juicy snip:
"Bill Tapia intended to put down the ukulele for good in 1946 because it wasn't used in jazz bands. Instead, he turned his attention to the guitar and studied it with the nation's finest jazz musicians for 56 years before the death of his 81-year-old wife, Barbie, in 2002 brought the 96-year-old Hawaiian musician back to his uke roots.
"I came down here to Southern California two years ago and everybody started getting crazy about the ukulele," he said. "I started playing again and played as well as I ever did. And I began playing jazz on the uke, which is odd."
The same performer who opened glamorous Hawaiian hotels with orchestra leader Johnny Noble in the '20s and '30s and whose claim to fame once was playing the ukulele behind his head, has added this jazz kick to his performances as perhaps the oldest Hawaiian musician working today. Combining a slow hand with a youthful charm, the longtime entertainer is proving he can still jam."
Bill will be in concert Sunday 1/4/04 at the Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Ave. in Claremont, CA. Link Discuss