Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Listen: Eddie Vedder, 'Ukulele Songs'

NPR has a posted a bevy of info and track links for Eddie Vedder's new Ukulele Songs CD. I've just started listening to it myself, so I'll post my thoughts later, but in the meantime, you can stream the entire CD via this page. A worthwhile interview with Ann Powers is posted on NPR's The Record blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Uncle Bill Slideshow

Sweet little slideshow about Bill Tapia on the OC Register. Link

Donald Chan Shoots Kamaka Factory

Photographer Donald Chan has posted shots he took of Fred Kamaka at the Kamaka Ukulele Factory. Link

Even if Schwartz is Getting One

Last night my wife asked me what I'd like for my birthday. My inner Ralphie wanted to blurt out "I want a real vintage mint condition pre-war Style 3 Martin Soprano."

Instead, I said the equivalent of "Heh, I was just kidding, even though Schwartz is getting one. I guess I'd just like some Tinker Toys."

Didn't want to hear her say "You'll shoot your eye out."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oddball Japanese Ukuleles

Everything from a double-sound-hole smiley face uke to a triple-necked bad boy. Wonder if anyone ever built a triple-necked tiple? Made by Koji Sujiura of Cozzy Guitar Craft. Link

Tatsuya Mitsui Ukuleles

Check out the gorgeous binding on these ukuleles made by Japanese luthier Tatsuya Mitsui. Link

(Photo by Mkawamr)

Are Ukes Hot?

An easy way to tell. Link

anNueNue "U900" Ukes

Fans of U900 will adore these aNueNue sopranos for sale at Elderly. Complete with custom soft case. Shown is the Rabbit version with Bear sound hole. (The Bear version is the other way around, natch.) I think you'd have to have both, wouldn't you? Link

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kala Presents Secretary of Education With Uke

UPDATED with event photo.

Mike Upton and Rick Carlson from Kala Ukuleles have been invited by NAMM to participate in their Washington DC Fly-In as delegates to advocate music education in schools.

Sez Rick:
"Music education advocates will be meeting with members of Congress and the Senate and have been asked to participate in a drum and uke circle outside the Dept of Education bldg on Tuesday 10:30 am - "Strumming and Drumming for Music Education" -with VA area middle school students and Department of Education personnel. We have shipped 70 ukuleles for the occasion. The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be in attendance (Update: Assistant Secretary Peter Cunningham attended on his behalf) and we will present him with a red, white and blue Kala ukulele!"
Shown here is Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the Dept. of Education, Peter Cunningham, joining Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink in strumming the custom Kala. (Something tells me that if Secretary Duncan want that uke he's going to have to wrest if from Cunningham's hands! And who would blame him?)

Read more about the event and the dignitaries who attended on the NAMM site.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Milwaukee Ukulele Festival 2011

Mark your calendars! The Milwaukee Ukulele Festival will be Saturday, September 24th, 2011. Tickets go on sale June 1. Link

Friday, May 06, 2011

Well, There Goes That Dream

"'I don't think they'll be looking for a guy who plays the ukulele,' Warren Buffett quipped about his eventual successor." Link

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Santa Cruz Rotary Earns Award

The Santa Cruz (CA) Sunrise Rotary club was recognized as the Community Supporter of the Year by the Santa Cruz Education Foundation for its Arts in the Afternoon program. Ukulele construction and playing was a featured part of the program this year. What a great endeavor! Link

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Acoustic Alarm

It doesn't take a Smeck to see how this acoustic alarm clock should really be tuned. Then again, I wonder if waking to a major chord would affect your waking mood differently than say, a suspended fourth...


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