Saturday, March 28, 2009
There's an oppressive layer of fog over the park in Ukuleletown this evening. It was a semi-warm day, but, with the approach of dusk, a blanket of chilly fog spread across the city like a cold virus. No hot blooded island music here tonight. Stay home and sing to your computer, sing to your headphones. Record it and listen.
Recording is a terrifying experience to most musicians. It's an arcane science that drips incomprehensible techno-jargon and obsessive sonic attitudes. But it doesn't have to be that way, it can actually be fun...with a little forethought and foreknowledge.
Where do you get it, you may ask? A young lady named Sarit Bruno steps up to the plate and offers...Audio Fanzine. A little bit of everything you need to know to make music. All linked together with astonishing panache. And there's even a ukulele section. Check it out.
edit: I was reminded by a email yesterday that Sarit is female.
Basic research, basic research...
Friday, March 27, 2009
"A Zepp-load of Zippy Uke Ditties brought in by the zephyrs of demand!...Uke McGluke is The Duke of All Ukists. He is to Ukuleles What Corn-Beef is to Cabbage...The UKULELE in the HOME is a SIGN of HAPPINESS."
Live from Maxwell DeMille's World Famous Cicada Club in Los Angeles, California, through the Miracle of Electronic Television, it's Ian Whitcomb and The Bungalow Boys. Two hours of musical entertainment, for your dancing pleasure! Set One. Set Two.
Ian and the Boys will be back at the Cicada Club on April 5, 2009! Link
Me: "Going to sit at the feet of Brozzle in April, see what he knows about the uke, if anything."Words from the Master...
Bob: "Helpful tip: pay more attention to what his hands are doing."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Ukulele Workshop 2-3pm $20 (includes concert)Link
Concert 3:30-4:30pm. $10
Cash or checks only.
KIDS (16 and under) FREE!
We scheduled this program to be as kid friendly as possible as Brittni is a great example of what can happen when music is part of growing up.
Brittni will be performing with her ukulele and guitar as well as highlighting some new material.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Taimane has put together several medleys that are quite ingenious...and beautiful. This one is Led Zeppelin Meets Beethoven.
If you get a chance to see her, don't miss it.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Listening to the new CD by James Hill and Anne Davidson is like having a shower of melodies and harmonies raining down on me from somewhere up in Canada. "True Love Don't Weep" is the name of the CD. I like rain, it washes away all of the trials and tribulations of your past and leaves you clean and shiny, facing the future.
And this is how I feel about this CD; his first full length collaboration with cellist Anne Davidson is like being baptized all over again (if music is your religion, otherwise it's just like falling in the river...). James and Anne do some killer harmonies, weaving their voices in and out on songs "One More Lie to Love" (by James) and Oh! Susanna(a sensational arrangement of the song by Stephen Foster).
I don't think I have to talk about James great technical proficiency on the ukulele...I was impressed by his tasteful restraint on this CD. That, and his amazing slide work...yow. Anne's cello is a lovely counterpoint to the ukulele, and both instruments get plenty of space to work.
Of course, having musicians like John Kavanagh, David Myles and Chambers Doane watching your back doesn't hurt at all.
What slammed me in the face about this CD was...the vocals. James' and Anne's voices are welded together on some songs and soar apart on others. Darker than any of his other work (and I DO like that), "True Love..." is still extremely accesible.
Go. Go buy it now.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Also on the video is Boo Takagi (nice double neck!) and lots of Ohta-San (beginning about the 12:00 mark). If you've never seen Ohta-San play, do give this a watch, especially if you're used to the pyrotechnics of players like Jake Shimabukuro. Ohta-San is a study in restraint, and will show you how much beauty you can gently coax out of an ukulele. Of course, he's the Master, and makes it look easy, but it's a wonderful style to develop. Link
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
$65 for the 3-hour classWorkshop size is limited to 30. For information, call Haley S. Robertson at (831) 336-0304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
$80 for 3-hour class plus an extra hour of advanced and more personalized instruction
March 19, 2009Taimane, and a lot of other Hawaii musicians, will also perform the next night at Gordon Biersch at around 7 or 8. It's all part of a big promotion being run by our good friends over at the Hawaiian Convention and Visitors Bureau. (Hi, Jay!) Check out the promo site and enter the contest. If you win, just remember who your real friends are.
5:00 - 9:00
The event is free, but space is limited.
RSVP by March 16th to email@example.com.
"May says he's open to new sounds and ideas - maybe a detour into R&B or electronic music, he says - but for now, he'll keep playing ukulele until people realize it's not a joke.Since he's playing in Beantown, I suspect Craig is already standing in line for tickets. Link
'I do think the ukulele deserves to be taken more seriously,' he says. 'It's misunderstood, but that's one of the reasons I wanted to play it in the first place.'"
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"When I began building ukuleles almost 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would also lead me to a close friendship with one of my longtime musical heroes...Mike produced the CD at his shop which doubles as a performance space (great acoustics–must be all the koa dust). Under the Sun is available from CD Baby, or as a download from Digstation. No word on when it'll be released on 78s. Link
...Before I had any interest in ukuleles, as far back as the late 70's, I was a big fan of The Cheap Suit Serenaders...I remember going to the original Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, which could maybe hold 20 people in the audience and just simply having the best time enjoying the musical antics of Allan Dodge, Robert Armstrong, Bob Brozman, Terry Zwigoff and Tony Marcus. I went to see them as much as I could and pretty much wore out the two LPs of theirs I owned...
...Now, fast forward to 2005. I end up meeting Al Dodge at a 78's record swap (quelle suprise, ed.) where our mutual uke interests prompts a subsequent visit to my shop. Before I know it, Al is visiting the shop regularly, sharing his vast music and instrument knowledge, introducing me to his friends and quickly becoming an important sounding board for my fledgling ukulele business."
Monday, March 09, 2009
The Suncoast Ukulele Festival, of course, but only weather-wise. April 8-11.
Organized by the lovely Nina Coquina with some interesting guests and workshops.
An excellent excuse for me to wear that neglected panama hat. Do I know any happy songs? no.
A great location at the perfect time of year. (It's sleeting here in Boston today!) Pack up the significant other, the kids and a couple of ukes and head on down to Nokomis, Florida.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
"I just scored and recorded the soundtrack for a video produced by Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for patients in their Parkinson Disease program. The video's topic is quite an important one - "Driving with Parkinson's Disease".Driving with Parkinsons
I used my Talsma ukulele as the lead instrument. I also play guitar and bass on the tracks.
Beth Israel wanted some "mellow mood" incidental music as well as some fast driving music.
Have a listen and a look."
The KoAloha Ukulele Story, an animated documentary short film based on the life of Alvin Okami, has won the 2009 Honolulu International Film Festival's prestigious Gold Kahuna Award for Excellence in Filmmaking.
Can't wait to see it! Link
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
I am particularly grateful for Dav's transcriptions of 12th Street Rag. I've set proficiency on this standard as my next challenge. It seems to be all right hand, and a good opportunity to put together all the bits and pieces of more complicated strums that I've been working on, but which, alas, still remain as bits and pieces.
As reference links, Dav has found all the useful stuff I've been bookmarking, too, including Woodshed's collection over on Uke Hunt, Dominator's transcription of Fleastomper's version, and Marcy Marxer's extremely helpful video lesson over on YouTube. Finally, Dav lends a hand with the basics with this pdf, showing the characteristing melody strum, and this midi so you can hear it at learning speed.
Three cheers for Dav! Viva la Smeckeries! (via King David Ukulele Station)