Monday, December 31, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bill Tapia Signed Ukulele Stolen

Be on the lookout for a uke signed by Uncle Bill Tapia. It may have been stolen from Derk Richardson. More here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sarah Maisel's New DaSilva Tenor

Had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Maisel at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival this year. Check out the new tenor Mike DaSilva built for her. It features a bevel cutaway (originally seen on the Mike's James Hill model) and one of Sarah's favorite guinea pigs on the headstock. Cute! Link

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)

There's a new Spongebob Squarepants Christmas Special out. Here's a little arrangement of "Don't Be A Jerk (It's Christmas)" I worked out for you. Enjoy.

Monday, December 03, 2012

George Harrison-Themed Uke

Beautiful! Anyone know the artist? Link

UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, we now know that the artist has the YouTube handle of tep1020. Here's a time-lapse video of her wood-burning the art (with Geo. Harrison ukey goodness):

Friday, November 30, 2012

Django Reinhardt Teaching Uke

Shelly Rickey found a wonderful photo showing Django Reinhardt teaching is kid (?) to play the ukulele. Link

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clerk Attacked with Ukulele in Seattle Shoplift

Five'll get you ten it was a red Mahalo. I knew they were good for something. Link

(via Fretboard Journal)

UPDATE: Yikes. Looks like I was right. Looks like a Red Mahalo. Link

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ian Whitcomb Recovering from Stroke

We just learned last night that Ian Whitcomb had a stroke late last week. Here's a note from his wife, Regina, with a request for get-well cards:
Two nights ago, Ian had a major ischemic stroke but because we were at Mijares (two blocks from Huntington Hospital) and I recognized the symptoms (training) he got help as immediately as is possible. 
He was paralyzed on his left side. They started him on tPA and he regained some ability.  
Yesterday his neurologist was very excited to see how well he's doing. She called him, "90% back". He'll be at Huntington for a little while. He'll need rehab and physical therapy. She said that as long as he puts in the work required he'll be 100% again. 
Today Ian was moved out of ICU to the Neurosciences Stroke Center within the Huntington Hospital. 
He's much better today. He's cooperating and gaining strength. His face looks good. His speech in a little slurred because the left side of his mouth is still effected. This doesn't stop him from conversing -- nothing can. He's reading. He can swallow and has healthy meals. He hasn't had a good night's sleep yet but tonight should be OK.
He's been assessed and there will be more tests tomorrow. He'll be right as rain in no time. 
I'll try to report every evening. 
If you would like to send Ian a card -- please do. He would love it. Honestly, it would make a huge difference in his recovery. Send it to PO Box 451, Altadena, CA. 91001. I don't know how it should be addressed if you want to send it straight to the Huntington. 
He's a Superman; don't worry. 
Thank you all,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Russ Morin Ukuleles

Russ Morin makes some lovely (and lovely sounding!) resonator ukes. Check out his blog here. Link

Mystery Ukulele

Attention ukulele detectives. Among several dozen vintage ukuleles that are on consignment at Lamorinda Music is this mysterious baby.

The label reads:
Anton Abreo
Maker Of String Instruments
Especially Guitars
Paia, Maui
Here's what I can tell you about the instrument. It appears legitimately old (someone clearly has played the heck out of this for years and it arrived with the vestiges of old gut strings imbedded in the bridge) and really heavy compared with early ukuleles. The soundhole rings may be ivory, and the grooves are cut so deeply that the wood has separated behind them.

It has a metal saddle. The geared tuners appear to be later additions.

Any help identifying it is appreciated. A set of images are at the link. Link

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Baan Ukulele

Your source for ukuleles in Bangkok! Looks like a cool store. Link

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ballet Camp: 1924

Over on Shorpy, a bevy of beautiful nymphs, one of which has caught the muse with her cigar box uke. Link

Monday, October 22, 2012

Win Dominator's Mystical Magical Tenor Ukulele

Here's your chance to win a storied ukulele built by Dominic Pieranunzio.

The uke has been in the making since 2007, when Dominator promised Aldrine Guerrero that he'd build one to give away on Ukulele Underground. Life intervened, and Dom wasn't able to get around to starting the uke until last year, when he picked up some koa on Kaua'i.

"Before we left the island I went into a T-shirt shop in Kalaheo where this guy was also displaying some koa rocking chairs, boxes etc. he was making. He had some billets of koa staged throughout the shop with price tags on them. I bought a block that would fit in my suitcase and brought it home. I waited for a month or so for it to acclimate to my shop then re-sawed and stickered it and then put it in storage." 
And then the magic began.
"I finally completed the ukulele in June of this year, the day before we left for Ukulele World Congress in Indiana. I strung it up the night before we left and put a YT video together telling everybody that the uke was finally done and that I would give it away at UU when we returned from UWC. We flew into Michigan to stay a couple of days with my sister before driving to UWC. I knew the uke sounded good when I strung it up but I really didn't get any time to play it before we left. 
"When I got up the next morning at my sisters I tuned it up and started playing it and it sounded really good. I think it's my best sounding tenor yet because it has a nice mid-range to it in addition to beautiful bright tones. Now that brings us to UWC.  
"I play my two songs and hear it plugged in for the first time. It felt and sounded fantastic. And, of course, I mentioned to everyone after I was done with my second song that this is the uke they can win when I return to California. When I got off stage a few people said that I should not give the uke away because it was magical and I should keep it for myself. They suggested I give away the spruce top that I played during Jake's movie premiere. But I told them that I had already committed to giving it away and that I could not go back on my word."
And here's where it gets mystical.
"As my wife and I were discussing this with a few people I also said that even the serial number has UU1 in it because I specifically built the ukulele to give away at UU. I show them the serial number which is D16-T010-UU1. The way I do my numbers is the D16 stands for the total number of ukes I've built of all sizes. The T010 is for the tenth tenor size ukulele I've built and of course the UU1 is for the first ukulele I've given away on UU. 
"Well, my wife immediately focuses in on the number and says, "Wait a minute". You see, we've had this anniversary trip to Kauai` planned for over a year. Our Anniversary is on October 16th. So she was blown away that the serial number was our anniversary date. That's when she said that if I want to follow through on my promise to give it away that it would have to wait until after we got back from our anniversary trip.  
"She is very spiritual and actually does number readings for people etc. I believe in that stuff also and so we thought it was appropriate to take the finished instrument back to where it was conceived to sort of christen it and gather a little "mojo" by having other local musicians play it etc. 
"So after returning from UWC I posted on UU letting everyone know I would be postponing the giveaway until after our trip. I had explained the whole number thing to them in that thread and everyone understood completely.  
"And now it's time to give it away to some lucky person."

To enter to win Dom's tenor, you need to register as a member of Ukulele Underground (free and easy). Complete details are here. Contest ends October 27th. Random drawing to be held thereafter.

(Full disclosure: I'm sure as heck putting my name in the hat!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gerald Ross and Free Romance

Gerald Ross is offering a free tab, if you'll take it. Romance, that is. Link

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Social Media ROI Rag

S'cuse me for mixing business and pleasure. Here's digital marketing guy and ukulele player Chris Boyer belting out his own composition, The Social Media ROI Rag. Learn it! Impress your CFO!

Amanda Palmer at Amoeba Music

Mandy visits Amoeba Music in SF to promote her latest CD "Theatre is Evil"; plays, then signs some ukes. A photoset by Steve Rhodes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Aldine Guerrero & Craig Chee at DaSilva's

Ukulele Underground's Aldine Guerrero will be in concert at Mike DaSilva's studio tomorrow night (Tuesday October 16, 2012). Aldine will be joined by Craig Chee. More info on Mike's site. DaSilva Ukulele Co.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friday, October 05, 2012

Lardy's Ukulele Database

Here is a wonderful and extensive database of ukulele brands, makers and manufacturers. Lardy's Ukulele Database

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Full Stream of the New Jake Shimabukuo CD

Al Wood has a full stream (in video) of Jake's new CD, Grand Ukulele posted over on Uke Hunt cont...

This is the long-awaited album produced by Alan Parsons. I'm listening to it right now. Share your comments via the link below.

(Thanks, Woodshed!)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Honeybell Ukulele Labels

The other day over a cheroot and a friendly game of checkers over at Mighty Fine Guitars, I remarked to Stevie Coyle (proprietor) how unimaginative most custom ukulele and guitar soundhole labels are. A fine instrument should have a fine label, doncha think?

Here are some labels created by One Swell Illustrator for Honeybell ukes, made by The Guitar Factory. I have no idea how good their ukes are, but if the labels are any indication, they're swell. Link

(Image credit: Billy Davis, aka One Swell Illustrator)

Doctor Who-kulele!

Whofans rejoice. A Tardis-shaped uke.

Aquila String Harvest

A brilliant documentary on the annual string harvest. From the video description:

"Ever wondered where ukulele strings come from? This recently-discovered, hitherto-unseen archive film may date back decades, but is as true today as it's ever been. 
One of the Extras on the Litmus Films double-disc DVD The Ukes Down Under, a documentary on the UOGB's first tour of Australia, available at"

Via Uke Hunt, Cont.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Country Gentleman, May 1928

I think I'd subscribe to this if it were still around. Link

Brittni Paiva's Tab for "Safe and Sound"

Ain't She Sweet? To celebrate her birthday, Brittni Paiva has transcribed her version of Safe and Sound (featured in The Hunger Games, performed by Taylor Swift, featuring The Civil Wars). It's tabbed for low G ukulele and I'm strictly a high g guy, so maybe I'll try it on my bari.

Thanks, Brittni!

Download the tab here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unofficial Kamaka Ukulele Blog

It may be Unofficial, but this blog has lots of great reference information on Kamaka ukuleles. Unofficial Kamaka Ukulele Blog

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ukulele Plays Small, Unexpected Role in Birther Controversy

Eddie Vedder recently appeared at a fundraiser for Barack Obama.
"At one point, Vedder broke out a Hawaiian-made ukulele and joked, 'It's got a little birth certificate right in there.'"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lil' Rev and the Milwaukee Uke Fest

Catch up with Lil' Rev as he gets ready to present the 4th Annual Milwaukee Ukulele Festival in this interview with Express Milwaukee.
"Lil’ Rev has built an under-the-radar national musical career. Touring the U.S. by car, he plays a circuit of folk clubs and festivals and a string of house parties, elder homes and Jewish community centers; he’s released a dozen CDs and eight ukulele instruction books or DVDs for music publishing giant Hal Leonard. And while he began as a more-or-less conventional guitar-and-harmonica folksinger, Rev came into his own with the ukulele revival, one of those vital if far from mainstream currents that run through our eclectic era. He’s also a principal organizer of the Fourth Annual Milwaukee Ukulele Festival, held Oct. 20 at Sunset Playhouse."
Better yet, reserve your tickets for the event at the Festival's site here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

One Last French Cover

I like this one, especially the lettering. And the illo reminds me of Braque. Link

If You Like Madame Oukoulili...

...Madame Oukoulili like-a vous! French sheet music cover for Richard Whiting's Ukulele Lady. Yet another truly frightening bit of cover art from France. If you can peel your eyes away from Madame's horribly disfigured lips, check out the uke she's, um, holding. Nuff said. Link

Here's what appears to be a later three-color version that is a bit more demure, but still has the NC-17 ukulele.

Vintage Sheet Music Illustrator Fail

Were this a photograph, and of recent publication, I would call this out as an example of bad PhotoShop. As it is, it looks like a normal person wearing a Mardi Gras papier mache head and holding a toy uke. Shudder. Link

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

2012 Wine Country Ukulele Festival

The big Wine Country Ukulele Festival is on for this weekend in St. Helena, California. Hoping to head up myself, so say howdy!

Events start on Friday the 7th and run through Sunday the 9th. Gala performance on Friday night at the Napa Valley Opera House.

Complete details on the festival site. Link

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Martin 2 Ukulele

The most remarkable thing about this 1930s vintage Martin is that it's over 100 years old. Link

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Plastic Ukulele by Scott Seelye

Scott Seelye from Bend, Oregon is hoping to fund the tooling and start-up of a new polycarbonate ukulele via Kickstarter. Could Scott be the reincarnation of Mario Maccaferri? Link

(via Ukeeku)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Heart Strings: The Story of the Kamaka 'Ukulele

I've been wanting to watch this documentary on the Kamaka family for some time. Thank you to WKAR for archiving it. Watch it here: Link

All Things Strings: Inside Elderly Instruments

Set aside an hour to spend 60 minutes in heaven with this wonderful documentary of Elderly Instruments. When I was a student at Michigan State, they were located on Grand River Ave., just across from campus. This is where I bought my first uke (a $19 Hohner soprano that I still play almost daily). But I still haven't forgiven them for letting me buy the Hohner over an $85 mint Gibson Style 3. Link

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Win a Dirty Donny Uke!

Time's running out to enter to win one of two Kala Acacia Tenor ukes, custom painted by Dirty Donny Gillies, sponsored by Jim Dunlop (maker of ukulele strings that we had heretofore been unaware of). Here's a video about Donny, his art, and the ukes. Winners to be announced next Friday, August 24th. Enter here.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Matthew Mitcham Plays Single Ladies

Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham strums Beyonce.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Guinness World Record For Largest Ukulele Ensemble

The bar has been raised. Substantially. If you now plan to claim title to the Guinness World Record for greatest number of simultaneous ukulele players you'll need at least 2,134 friends to join you.

Ukulele players in Yokahama have handily beaten the old record of 1,547 players, with 2,134 players all strumming Aloha Mahalo A Hui Ho, a song written by Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler Konishiki Yasokichi.

As an added bonus. Colonel Sanders was on stage to witness the event. Link

Friday, July 27, 2012

Miss Arthur Godfrey Road

I'm sure you can't see it from this angle, but she must be holding a uke. Link

(Via Retrospace)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ryo Natoyama

Meet Ryo Natoyama, a 19-year-old player from Japan. Clearly, a disciple of Jake. Enjoy! Link

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Warren Buffett & Jon Bon Jovi: A Ukulele Duet For Charity

Here's a video of Warren Buffett and Jon Bon Jovi performing The Glory of Love at  Tuesday's Forbes 400 Summit on Charity. I knew that Warren was a generous man (what uke player isn't?), but JBJ? He topped Forbes' list this year of celebrities who generated publicity value for charity. (An interesting metric that demonstrates the star's commitment to their cause rather than sheer dollar value of contributions.

While we're (only slightly) disappointed that Warren did not bring out the Dairy Queen uke for the event, we're delighted to see that he's sporting a new Kala ukulele. A nice choice from what is also a very generous organization.

The song choice for the WBJBJ performance? Sez Mr. B:

“The first line of ‘The Glory of Love,’ incidentally, is ‘You’ve got to give a little.’  So I think it’s quite appropriate for the occasion.”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ukulele Dream Party

Here's an opportunity for Bay Area ukers to get involved with a participatory art project.

Frankenart Mart has planned a Ukulele Dream Party for July 21st, and is looking for folks to help out.

Sez Leslie Henslee,
"The ukulele lesson/party is part of a show we are hosting here at Frankenart Mart in San Francisco.  Our current theme at the mart is the Stock Market for which we started Dream Trade.  We chose 4 people's dreams to invest in and enact - one of these is a Ukulele Lesson/ Party that we plan to host on July 21 (time TBD).  Part of the dream is to have ukes on hand for people to play, a lesson, a play-in, as well as the possibility of a build your own uke workshop. We need all the help we can muster, so all are welcome to help make this dream come true.
Frankenart Mart is a small, participatory, always in progress, crudely-hewn conceptual art-in-practice store that hosts changing themes, hot dog days, and two cats in San Francisco.  Basically, we host a theme for 3 months that is open to everyone’s participation, exploration, and response. Art, writing, music, dance, performance, lectures, ongoing projects, food, you name it - we welcome it, as long as it responds to the theme. We encourage folks to make their works here on site as well as experimental, interactive, and ongoing projects. Our themed shows grow as more people participate, collaborate, create and exchange over the course of the theme."
Investments needed: ukuleles, ukulele builders, ukulele teachers, ukulele players.

Sound like an intriguing project to you? Contact them at frankenart (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teaser Video for Jake Shimabukuro's New Ukulele Album

Ukulelia Founding Editor Mark Frauenfelder posted a video promoting Jake's upcoming album (produced by Alan Parsons) on Boing Boing. Link

Opihi Man - Ka`au Crater Boys (Cover) Dominator & RussBuss

Dominator channeling Troy Fernandez. Dig it! Tab of solos here.

Alex Glasser and the Aqua Teen Hunger Uke

The Fretboard Journal has a nice write-up on Alex Glasser and the custom Martin-style uke he built for voice actor Dana Snyder. It features inlays of of Master Shake and Granny from Aqua Teen and Squidbillies, respectively. Photos and more info on FJLink

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wyandotte Ukulele Workshops

A message from Rob Bourassa about the ukulele workshops and sing-along this Saturday, June 23 in Wyandotte, Michigan. Sorry, muskrat is out of season.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kamakas to be Inducted in the Ukulele Hall of Fame

Sam Kamaka, Jr. and Fred Kamaka, Sr. will be inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame on July 20th. Details on the gala event at the link. Link

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Schoenhut Ukulele Update

We've been in contact with Dale Webb regarding the Schoenhut Flea copies (see previous post, below). Here's an update from Dale:

"We appreciate everyone’s concern regarding the Schoenhut Flea copies found on the internet. We have been in communication with them for some time with the understanding that the new ukes would not be sold until we resolved our relationship. Unfortunately a small number of ukes got shipped to sellers by mistake. We are in the middle of discussions intending to reach an agreement that benefits both companies and allows Schoenhut to produce and sell a toy version of the Flea ukulele. We have had a sample here for evaluation for a number of weeks. Despite major differences between it and the Flea we make here in the U.S., it is a playable instrument and well suited to the toy market for which it was intended."
Hope this results in a win for everyone concerned.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Schoenhut Flea Copies

Schoenhut, makers of toy pianos, is marketing knock-off copies of Dale Webb's wonderful Flea Ukulele. Made in China (real Fleas are made by the Magic Fluke Company in the USA), Schoenhut's copies sell for around $30 at various online retailers. Compare that to the starting price for real Fleas at $180 (and most are much more), and it begins to spell real trouble for Dale.

Ukisociety Jones has a comparison posted on Ukulele Underground, along with a sound comparison here. The sound of the real Flea is superior, but it'll be hard to convince the average consumer that it's worth an additional $140.

The availability of high quality Chinese-made ukes has undoubtedly fanned the flames of the ukulele's current popularity. But this move is pretty shameless, IMHO. Link

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hey East Bay: Play Ukulele By Ear!

Attention SF Bay Area ukers. Head over to Lamorinda Music (my hometown store) on Saturday, June 9th for Jim D'Ville's Play Ukulele by Ear workshop. Start time is 4pm. You'll want to call the store ahead of time to let us know you're coming. (There's lots of room; we just need to know where to set up.) Link

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

Elderly Instruments 40th Anniversary Lanikai Tenor

I bought my first uke at Elderly Instruments back in 1981 when they were still in East Lansing, across Grand River Ave. from the MSU campus. The uke in question was a Hohner Soprano, which is sitting right next to me as I type this. I remember distinctly that there was a Style 3 Gibson in the store at the same time, and that one of the employees urged me to buy it. It was a sweet uke, he said. But, alas, being a poor college student at the time, I felt it would be extravagant to plunk down $85 for a uke. So I went with the Hohner. It was $19.

Elderly is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and Lanikai has released a special flame maple tenor model to commemorate the event. Edition limited to 300. I'm sure it sounds way better than my Hohner. But man, that Gibson was sweet. Link

Friday, May 04, 2012

RIP Junior Seau

From the Fretboard Journal:
"The world knew him as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play football. What some may not know is that Junior Seau was also a ukulele player and enthusiast."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Ukulele Takes Center Stage in GSA Conference Drama

GSA (former?) Employee Hank Terlaje strums an original tune in a video featured at the now infamous Las Vegas GSA conference. The conference has been dubbed Clown-and-Cheesegate by the press. So clearly we've dodged a bullet here. It could have been Ukulele-and-Cheesegate. Whew. Link:

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Jesus Christ Ukulele Star

This Friday (Good Friday), Seattle performance artist K Brian Neel will perform a one man, one ukulele, house concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar. If you go, leave us a comment and let us know all about it. Link to location at Neel's site. Link

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NoCal and Reno Ukulele Festivals

The Northern California Ukulele Festival is this Sunday, April 1, 2012 in Hayward. Link

For those of you a bit to the East, the Reno Uke Fest starts Thursday and runs through Sunday as well. Link

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hello To Jason Isaacs

Prompted by a challenge originating from the Kermode & Mayo show, Jason Isaacs says "ukulele". So, Ukulelia says Hello to Jason Isaacs.

h/t to Paul Adams

Friday, March 23, 2012

Arthur Godfrey Shot By Stanley Kubrick

If you go to the Museum of the City of New York site and search on "ukulele", you'll find 14 pix of Arthur Godfrey playing his uke, including some shots from a live radio broadcast. All shot by Stanley Kubrick. Note the pilot's wings on Godfrey's lapel. He was also an aviation nut. Link

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Just What We Needed?

You've been thinking, I'd like to get a ukulele, but why should I spend $35 on a Red Mahalo when I can spend closer to $1,000 on an iPad, iPhone, and the Futulele app?

I suppose if you already have the aforementioned gadgets in your life, this might have some novelty appeal. It actually might be great for people with developmental or physical disabilities. But I think you're going to be voted off the island if you show up to kanikapila with this. Link

Tiny Library Raises Money with Tiny Uke and Awesome Video

Big Sister Boing Boing blogged this story today. Enjoy

Donate to the library here.

Update: Julie Webster on uke. Nice, Julie!

Monday, February 27, 2012

George Clooney Plays the Ukulele

This just in, via The Daily Beast:
"For the relaunch of Newsweek’s iPad App, photographer Gavin Bond filmed George Clooney, Viola Davis, Charlize Theron and other actors from our Oscar Roundtable interacting directly with your iPad screen. In this video, Clooney hums a Hawaiian ditty while playing the ukulele." 
Well, not really, but if you're a George Clooney fan, I'm sure you'll be happy. If you're Hawaiian, you may be happy that Clooney didn't win the Best Actor Oscar. The app is free to Newsweek subscribers. Now I just need an iPad.

Info at The Daily Beast.

h/t Check out the junk uke sent to members of the press for The Descendants.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Win a Uke Autographed by Seth Rogen and Friends

Donate $26 or more by April Fool's Day and you'll be entered to win an actual ukulele signed by me & other performers from the Hilarity For Charity event.  
Also... if you win, I'll tweet a video of me singing a love song to you. And if you want, you can make a video with the ukulele too and I'll tweet it out to the world. It will be our own little love fest, all for a good cause.  
Check out the see everyone who signed the ukulele. Paul Rudd did, Ty Burell did... Sexy Aziz Ansari did...All you need to do is give $26 and you'll be entered to win. It's 26 bucks for a one-of-a-kind instrument/momento/awesome prize.  
Please help support the cause and something really cool while you're at it.  
Thank you, 
Seth & Your Friendly Neighborhood Hilarity For Charity Team

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lil Rev in the Bay Area

Mike DaSilva reminded me that Lil Rev will be in the San Francisco Bay Area this week for a bevy of workshops and concerts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bob Brozman's New Ukulele Toolbox DVDs

I just ordered and received Bob Brozman's new 2 DVD series: The Ukulele Toolbox Volumes 1 and 2. I've only had a chance to watch 30 minutes of the first disk, but thus far it's terrific. I've taken two lessons from Bob, and I've always left feeling that my uke has turned into a Sawzall--an amazingly powerful and versatile tool. So the title for the series is spot on.
"THE UKULELE TOOLBOX series is in C tuning (G-C-E-A), and is suitable for Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukuleles. These DVDs are designed to build on easy-entry fundamentals, providing a huge toolbox of useful techniques, sounds, and concepts. For beginner and intermediate/advanced players alike, these lessons are packed with ideas which can be applied to many types of music, from vintage popular uke songs to blues, jazz, swing, Caribbean, and Hawaiian sounds. This series is a great starting place for beginners, but will also offer intermediate and advanced players powerful tools and shortcuts for improvising and arranging."
You can order the DVDs directly from Bob Brozman's site, here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jake Shimabukuro Songbook

Jake's first book of song transcriptions Peace Love Ukulele will be released on February 7th. Just in time to give your sweetie for V-Day. Songs included:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Boy Meets Girl
  • Bring Your Adz
  • Five Dollars Unleaded 2010
  • Go For Broke
  • Hallelujah
  • Hula Girl
  • 143 (Kelly's Song) 2011
  • Pianoforte 2010
  • Trapped 2010
  • Ukulele Bros.
  • Variation On A Dance 2010
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Pre-order here.

Mystery Uke from NAMM

Hey, NAMM attendees: anyone remember who made this uke? If so, please drop me a note at gpeare AT hotmail DOT com. Mahalo.

Ben from U900

They're so darn cute. Now they're playing Ben from the movie Willard. Maybe it could be someone's campaign video?

Kamaka at NAMM

Musicguymic interviews Casey Kamaka on the new ukuleles at NAMM.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jake Plowing for Famers

Jake is now the spokes-strummer for Farmers Insurance in Hawaii. I'm sure it pays better than uking. Sadly. Link

UPDATE: Here's a TV commercial featuring Jake:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Warren Buffett Plays Ukulele, Sings 'I've Been Working On The Railroad' For China's New Year Gala

Story and (out of synch) video over on the Huffington Post about Warren Buffet appearing as part of a New Year's gala in China. Link

Friday, January 20, 2012

NAMM 2012

Tim over at Ukeeku has uploaded a full-day's worth of photos from the NAMM show. I am SO mad I didn't take a day off and go. Some really exciting stuff to be seen. I'll try and point to some highlights later. In the meantime, enjoy this feed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Martin Ukulele Shirt

I may not be able to afford one of the new Martin ukes, but I could scrape together enough for one of these new Martin ukulele aloha shirts. Link

New Martins at NAMM

I'll take one of each, please. Link

NAMM Show 2012

Kamaka stunners from the NAMM Show, going on now. Link

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Knitted Ukulele Cases

Do you knit? On intimate terms with someone who does? Then check out these cute knitted/felted ukulele bags designed by Wendy Bernard.
"The Soprano version is small and flirty like its namesake, Betty Draper; the Tenor version is simple and sporty like the girl we named it after: Gidget. Add a purchased or re-purposed purse handle and you can take your ukulele anywhere. The optional pocket is a handy place to store your tuner."
Instructions are here at this link on

Hot Girls with Ukuleles

An aptly-named Tumblr set. Warning: Some NSFW images. Link

Hawai'i 1948

Photo of a young woman strumming a ukulele. Photograph by Eliot Elisofon. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, January 1948. I've seen this around the web of late, but the image was reversed (unless there was a ukulele luthier named nitraM that I'm not aware of). So I've fixed it. Great shot, isn't it?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Theme From Love Story

A friendly reminder that Valentine's Day is less than a month off. h/t to Rob Bourassa for the link.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Folk Uke Down Under

Here's a video performance and interview by Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson, aka Folk Uke, from Noise11 in Australia. I love "Quattro Momento" from their new CD Reincarnation. I also love their cover of Harry Nilsson's "He Needs Me" from his Popeye soundtrack. Link

Vintage Ukulele Photos

This guy has a Facebook album with just about every vintage ukulele photo I've ever run across. Perhaps he has UPAS (Ukulele Photo Acquisition Syndrome). Link

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Make a $10 Ukulele Stand

Over at Ukulele Underground, Aldine shows you how to make your own ukulele stand out of PVC pipe and foam insulation for less than $10. Neat! Link
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