Friday, October 29, 2010

Mad Tea Party on Public Radio

Jason and Ami on public radio! Link

Rock 'n' Roll Ghoul

Happy Halloween, y'all.

Ashville, NC's resident ukulele goddess Ami Worthen was kind enough to send us a copy of Mad Tea Party's latest 7" vinyl and second Halloween-y tune, Rock 'n' Roll Ghoul. (It's a follow-up to last year's fab Zombie Boogie.) You can buy your copy here. The $10 price includes a digital download (so you can have it today for your party this weekend!).

"The EP offers up 4 spooky selections for your rockin’ Halloween party. “Possessed,” a 60s-tinged psychedelic number, features Worthen’s wicked vocals and a demonic guitar solo from Mr. Cartwright. The furious screamer “Rock ‘n’ Roll Ghoul” expounds upon the theme of flesh-eating music critics while drivin’ rocker “Dr. Phibes” is an ode to the popular Vincent Price villain. The duo close with the Hollywood Flames’ song “Frankenstein’s Den” with Cartwright on drum kit and Caroline Pond (Snake Oil Medicine Show) joining Worthen on doo-wop vocals."
Here's an interview with Amy and Jason: Link

And here's the video of the title track.

Poke around the Mad Tea Party site. Lots of ghoul, er, cool stuff to check out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The 'Strange Powers' of the Magnetic Fields

There's a new documentary out about Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields.
"I just like the ukulele for its lack of rock associations. And I love the fact that you can bring it on a plane.
Here's an interview with John Hockenberry. Link

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Slightly Different Jake Interview

Just about every day that Jake Shimabukuro is out on tour there is an article and interview in the local press. They're pretty much all carbon copies, but this article is of particular interest, especially to you budding professional recording artists out there. In it, Jake talks quite a bit about the business side of things. Link

Jake Shimabukuro - Star Spangled Banner

Won't MLB please ask Jake to play this for the World Series? Link

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cyndi Lauper, Uker?

Call me a pessamist, but this doesn't seem like it's going to turn out well:
"'I found a really sick ukulele in a novelty shop with a metal top,' she says, in her almost comically caustic Bronx-Sicilian drawl. 'I tuned it to a chord and played it with a knife like the old guys did. I'm not fantastic – but I'm not fantastic at anything, except singing. And I don't really give a damn. I just love doing it. It's like the trombone. I make the dog jump when I play that.'"
Played it with a knife? Link

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Over the Rainbow on Bari

Want to be the hero to millions of baritone uke players? Tab this one out for us. As Lightnin' Wells sez, "Have a nice day, everyone."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kala Clip On Tuner

Picked up one of these little gems this weekend. I'd been using an audio-based tuner for years, but when I recently started teaching workshops, I quickly learned how hard it is to tune in a roomful of ukers.

There is something wonderfully satisfying about seeing the tuner screen turn green when you're in tune. I regret not having gotten one sooner. Monkey simple to use, and works for both C- and D-tuning. Highly recommended! Link

Mistletoe Mazel Tov!

"Light the candles, spike the eggnog and trim the tree... spin the dreidel and send out for Chinese."

It's Mistletoe Mazel Tov, a new CD of ukulele holiday favorites from Ukulelia pal, Gerald Ross.

Gerald calls this a "collection of holiday instrumental classics arranged for ukulele and steel guitar." He was kind enough to send us a reviewer's copy and we've been rockin' around the Christmas tree here for several days. My favorite so far is his arrangement of the achingly bittersweet Christmas Time is Here from "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

You can order the CD from Gerald's site for only $18.95 and he'll also send you any disk in the Gerald Ross Catalog as a bonus - free of charge. (If you don't have Ukulele Stomp -- and you should -- now's your chance.) Plus free shipping anywhere in the USA. Such a deal!

But wait, there's more. At our humble, but brilliant suggestion, Gerald has posted the chords for his arrangement of Go Tell it on the Mountain online here.

Here's the link to Gerald's online store. Get your copy today and give it a sov.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Popcast: Nellie McKay

Nellie McKay was interviewed on the NYTimes Popcast last week. Link

Bad Company Feels Like Makin' Uke

Add Bad Company to you list of rock n' rollers picking up ukes. Former Heart guitarist Howard Leese has been rocking out on Feel Like Makin' Love in recent concerts. Link

UPDATE: Woodshed located a video. Looks like it was an Ovation mandolin. Woodshed = Killjoy. (Kidding. Thanks, Al.)

The Daily Ukulele

Jim and Liz Beloff's latest book, a 365 tune tome The Daily Ukulele is out. The first 200 copies are signed. Order yours on the Fleamarket Music site.

Here's a nice profile on the First Family of Ukuleledom and the new book. Link

Train Edges Ingrid Michaelson Out of Our Brains

The Soul Sister earworm crawls on:
Ingrid Michaelson has been known, at least for the past few years, as pop music’s primary ukulele practitioner.

But, she laments, the group Train’s recent hit “Hey, Soul Sister” has quietly co-opted her status.

“Yeah, I heard that song and I was like, ‘Oh well, there goes that,’” Michaelson, 30, says with a laugh. “What I did is ... now stamped on that song forever, that very, very catchy song that will never go out of our brains.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Danny Ferrington Uke Update

Leslie was kind enough to add a comment on our earlier post about the Danny Ferrington ukes featured in this years Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalog.

Turns out that Leslie commissioned Danny to make one of his gourd ukes for her husband (lucky man, he). She blogged about it today, and her post includes more info and photos of their construction.

Danny Ferrington is scheduled to appear on The Today Show on Tuesday, October 19th (we presume to showcase his ukes). If so, we'll try and post a clip. We're anxious to hear how they sound.

And just to be clear, we believe that a luthier has a right to obtain whatever price they can for their work. By all accounts, Danny is an amazing luthier. (Our beef was primarily with Needless Markup's hack copywriting job.) But I do hope in this case that Danny gets the lion's share of the $6,000 price tag. Link

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eugene Uketoberfest 2010

Okay, all you Ducks and Beavers and such. Head over to Eugene, OR for Uketoberfest, Friday and Saturday, October 15 - 16. All kine workshops. Hang with Gerald Ross, James Hill, Jim D'Ville, Del Ray, and more! More info here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ukulele Thai

Add Thailand to your list of uke-crazy countries. Here is, the equivalent of Ukulelia for the local community, created and hosted by Pasapum Naonan. He already has over 3000 readers. Link

News of the Jake World

Jake Shimabukuro will release a new CD in January, 2011. "Peace Love Ukulele" will feature Jake's original songs 143 (the numeric pager code for "I love you") and his tribute to World War II veterans, Go For Broke. The album's only two solo ukulele arrangements are Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Here is Jake performing the latter in a clip from a upcoming documentary film scheduled for release sometime in 2011. Link

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Danny Ferrington Neiman Marcus Ukulele

For only $6,000 you can now get a ukulele made out of a gourd. Okay, it's made by the legendary and mysterious luthier Danny Ferrington, but do gourds "open up" over time? Or just become seedy? I kid.

But mainly this uke is $6,000 because it's in Needless Markup's Christmas Catalog.

The accompanying catalog blub sez that Ferrington "purposefully stays low-tech (no computers or Internet)". Apparently, so does Neiman Marcus's copywriter, who blithely asserts that the ukulele was "created in the Hawaiian islands by Micronesian immigrants in the 1870s".

Maybe "Madeiran" isn't in his/er spellcheck. Or maybe fact-checking is just so...déclassé. Link

Sutherland and Eleuke Split

Divorce, ukulele style. Link
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