Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Man Who's Making Ukuleles Sexy Again

Oh puh-leeze. LAist interviews Dent May, the Moon Martin of the Ukulele. Link

(I've always wanted to mention Moon Martin in a post...)


RonHale said...

Stunned, just stunned. Are the article & comments representative of LA, or just an aberration of the LAist audience? It can't be that uke-challenged, can it? A trip for the residents of that four-string backwater to Ukulele Town for an intervention by the ladies & gentlemen of Ukulele Noir seems to be in order. And how is it possible than an up-&-comer like Dent May hasn't made any effort to hear Jake play?

Jon said...

I tried to listen to Dent May. Really I did. I couldn't finish one song. I'll have to admit, I don't get the Moon Martin reference. At first I thought you meant Moon Mullican. Then again, I can't see what Dent May could possibly have to do with Moon Mullican or even Hardrock Gunter. I just don't get the guy. Besides, LA is awash in sexy ukulele players. Madame Pamita and Janet Klein come immediately to mind.

Tad said...


Not all of us kneel at the alter of Jake.

And thank God-- the level of Jake-worship is ridiculous and out of step with what he is. He's a rather dull virtuoso player, and not much of a songwriter at all.

I really feel the current level of Jake-worship within the uke community is holding everyone back. Imagine if every single guitar player out there had to be so reverent about some dull virtuoso hack... a world of rabid Joe Satriani fans. I think that'd be the point at which I gave up on music.

rbrown said...

I tried listening to Dent May too. The guy is such a geek! Is that the point? I just don't get him either. Maybe its a generational thing. He's certainly not my cup of tea.

Gary said...

Whatever your opinion of Jake, he is the undisputed poster boy for the ukulele right now. How could one be legitimately interested in the uke as a performance instrument and not have listened to Jake at least once? I take that as an indication that May is using the uke strictly for its novelty value. Maybe "ironic" is more precise than "novelty."

And I only mentioned Moon Martin because May looks like Moon back in the day. Maybe he's Moon Martin's love child...

Jon said...

Truthfully, I think Jake's music is suitable for elevators. HOWEVER, in addition to being a virtuoso, he is a charismatic performer and terrific looking guy. He makes it easy for folks to take the ukulele seriously and he even sexes the uke up. Unfortunately, none of this has rubbed off on me.

As to Dent May's professed ignorance of Jake, I am OFTEN pestered by people who crack wise about Tiny Tim. I look them straight in the eye and say, "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with him. Did he record any songs?"

When they tell me about 'Tiptoe' I tell them that I'll have to track down a copy and give it a listen sometime.

I like Tiny Tim and appreciate his sense of humor. It is possible that Dent May's persona represents some kind of attempt at irony. If so, I ain't buyin' it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the over worship. I would rather hear Lyle Ritz in person again. I've seen Jake twice and I do think he is awesome, but I can't listen to him A Lot. I tend to feel that way about a lot of vocal-less music though. I can't imagine someone Dent's age thats a uke player who has never heard Jake's music though. Ukester Brown

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