Wednesday, September 30, 2009

you've got a point there.

since we're on the topic of ukuleles, Trina recently posted this familiar photo to a blog called "Accidental Dong", which might be the most brilliant SFW blog i've ever seen.

seriously, SFW!

how is this ukulele related you might ask? well there's a uker in the photo. good enough?

Yes, she also plays uke...

And is woefully undersubscribed. the uke numbers are older - go tell her to post more of them.

This cover is awesome, but check out the original blues number about nursing school too - yes I said nursing school:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Help! Which one should I buy???!!

Hey, guys! I just finished my test to recieve my G.E.D. (hope I pass) and I'm celebrting by buying a new uke!!!1

After minutes of research, I've narrowed my choice down to two sick ukes! The Kala jangowood baritone or the Ohana sopranino. I know they're very similar, but let me tell you what I prefer in a uke (not that I actually own one - yet!):

1) Mellow deep tone
2) bright and sharp sound
3) electric
4) slotted headstock
5) acoustic
6) sound like a guitar
7) Solid laminate
8) 2 necks
9) nylon-wound steel strings
10) cup holder
11) aquamarine
12) friction tuners
13) buttercup

I can spend $38 on it. If I could spend less, great!

Oh, and I prefer tenors. Any ideas? Thanks!!!!1

Monday, September 28, 2009


I got a new uke today and decided to make a video about it. This is dedicated to Deach, with a song at the end dedicated to Adelle. Dont forget to download the mp3 it will be available on iTunes or through soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Were you even listening?

Requests. Love em, or hate em?

There seems to be a few different types of requests, or people that make requests.

Group 1: the email is something like this "OMG Can you play 'Hey There Buttercup, I'm Yours Baby (drop)?' because I looove that song thanks okay bye you're really good n stuff!"

::sigh:: I hate you all.

Group 2: Semi readable email... with a head scratching closer. "I was wondering if you take requests, and if so, could you possibly do 'Girl You Know It's True' by Milli Vanilli?"

What? Have you even been listening? Watch any of my vids? Am I on Candid Camera?

The third group isn't funny. It's the regular commmenters & listeners that actually request a doable song that you can hear yourself in. For the most part, I write these down then forget about them for about 3 months. At that point, I remember, feel guilty, and promptly forget again. By the time I get around to them I'm pretty sure it's a complete surprise to the requester. But I do keep the list... and I will get to em all someday.

Friday, September 25, 2009


If I have to watch another stop-motion strip-tease of someone opening a stupid uke one more time, I'm going to have to falcon punch an iceberg.

The d-bag checklist to buying a uke.

1. Start several threads on UU asking about the best uke. Do NOT give anyone any hints to size, style, sound or anything that might help narrow down the search.

2. Ignore all advice you were given, and buy a uke that no one has suggested

3. Start a thread about waiting for it to arrive.

4. Start a thread that telling everyone about the uke you just received.

5. Make a stop-motion video of you unwrapping the uke.

6. Make a video playing one of these songs

7. Start a thread about which strings would sound best on your uke.

8. Start a thread about how you wished you had bought a "K" uke.

9. Try to sell uke for the same price you paid.

10. Go to step 1.

Da OMG Kine

She's really good, and she is definitely cute...BUT OMG COULD SHE BE ANY MORE ANNOYING????? Seriously....with out naming names. And no, she does NOT have 164,000 subcribers.....yet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeless Vet, Anything Helps, God Bless etc.

I am not a rich man. In fact an argument could be made that I am indeed one bad decision away from having to stand on the freeway offramp with a sign that says "Will Be Your Sex Slave For Beer Money". However I am not one to let intelligence, responsibility, or fear of bears keep me from the instant gratification of buying, tracking, opening, and ultimately playing a new ukulele.

It seems I have a never ending list of ukuleles that I "need" to complete my collection. A Mainland Mango Pineapple, a Palm Flea, a Kamaka Soprano, a Koaloha Tenor, a Banjo Uke....and the list goes on. I know there are a million ways to justify it in ones mind. All I know is I WANT IT, AND I WANT IT NOW. So if you see me on the off ramp with a sign, throw me a quarter...or if you have an old uke and sixpack, maybe we can work out some kind of trade.

Anyone else out there have the same issues??? What concerns me the most is not my fear of becoming "the gimp", it's my fear that I am the only one who has this problem.

-And just to be clear, I bought a new uke today, so I'm not whining or complaining or asking for help or charity or anything else....yet

Monday, September 21, 2009

Boozefest '09 - Sauces with Malice

Without breaking the unwritten rule of “what happens at a UCB event, stays at a UCB event”, here are some highlights of the lovely weekend that was Boozefest ’09.

Grumpy showed up on the train mid-morning on Saturday, Russ three hours later. This turned out to be good scheduling as it allowed me and Grump to get in some breakfast and have the last intelligent conversation we would have for nearly 48 hours. After a couple "cokes" and some “ice cream” we recorded a Traveling Douche Berries number then went out for a burger and some “tea”. Coincidentally there is a nice little restaurant with “really good tea” two blocks from my apartment. Who knew?

From this point on, the rest of the Saturday is a little hazy. I’m pretty sure we played flukes in the park, drank a couple more “cokes” and ended up walking to a more “upscale” establishment for “refreshments”. By midnight we were scaring local hipsters at the roach-coach parking lot down the street. I don’t know if it was the good food or the great company but I’m not really clear what happened after that, though I do remember Russ being really heavy.

Unfortunately either because of something we ate, or all of the soda the day before, Sunday turned out to be a challenge. We all were feeling a little under the weather. We did manage to record a couple songs after a really greasy breakfast and a forced march at Mt. Tabor Park. We even walked down to the River Front Esplanade and recorded a song on a floating dock (the greasy breakfast didn’t like the movement of the dock, or visa versa…so we couldn’t stay long). Pizza and a couple beverages made us all feel better. And we went to bed early so that Russ could work in the morning, Grump could travel back to Seattle, and I could finish the quilt I’ve been working on for several months.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give the weekend “easily five stars”. Russ and Grump may have entirely different opinions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boozefest '09

On the eve of Boozefest '09 one has to ask the question: Will "Boozefest" need to be renamed "Sausagefest"? Stay tuned to find out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

America's Got Talent - No, it doesn't.

Dear “America/Britan’s Got Talent” and “Pop/American Idol” and their ilk,

Please stop. You present mediocrity as talent, “sob story” as a substitute for stage presence, allow only karaoke style repetition, and the worst transgression of all – you allow the unwashed masses to whittle any slight talent to the most common denominator by “voting”. They are not qualified, as a group to judge talent. These are the same idiots who made Britney Spears a mega-star, and continue to go gooey over Patrick Swayze. They are HORRIBLE judges of talent.

Take your darling Susan Boyle as an example. She got a fine voice. But that’s my point, it’s just fine – nothing your average studio singer or Podunk opera performer couldn’t pull off, only about 10x better. Her stage presence seems to be “I was a creepy shut-in, but I’m not as horrible as you think”. The narrative excuses the mediocrity. Well, not for me.

Meanwhile, real talent busts their collective asses in studios, bars, dance-halls, basements, choirs, and breaks their hearts to make a living as PROFESSIONAL musicians. And Susan’s first album goes platinum because the pretty TV people said she was great and the idiots keep voting. Surrounded by all the other swill on that show, she looked like she knew what she was doing. She doesn’t.

It’s inhumane.

Please produce a talent show that scours the bars in Austin TX for example. Or a singer/songwriter competition, judged by real musicians and poets – not phone –ins from non-entities. You have the power to put the ART back in ARTist. Please do so.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ok, So We All Know You Are Good

How 'bout those players that are just too good? You know the ones I'm talking about. Usually they are Asian, or German, or Dutch, or really young (if the are White Americans). They post videos all the time, and you know they will be playing some impossible song, and playing it flawlessly. Most of the time they are covering a tune by Jake, or some other really hard song that has become a uke standard. Like some Beatles or Santana arrangement that us normal folks could never play. As soon as you see it in your subscription box you know what to expect. Effortless perfect playing. So you hear While My Guitar Gently Weeps or Let's Dance for the 132nd time. And yes, it was amazing. And no, you (or I) will never be able to play like that.

It's easy to leave comments for my mere mortal friends. I want them to feel good about what they just posted. I know how hard it is to bare your soul to countless strangers on the internet. I want them to keep posting. I honestly LIKE to see them in my subscription box.

But here is someone who seems to not even have to try...and they are fucking good. Too good. Now it's time to leave a comment for them......what do you say?

Say 'ello To My Little Friend

One of my pet peeves lately has been people who name their Ukuleles. Of couse I'm not talking about you guys (if you indeed do that). But I've seen people who list their ukuleles in their signature and have their cute little pet-names listed next to each one. Kala AS-C Sadie, Bugsuke Concert Scoobie, Oscar Schmidt Soprano Pookie, Washburn Tenor Princess...etc. Come on guys...really? And if you do name your uke, when do you actually use their names? Do you talk to them? Do you call for them in the night? Do you whisper to them, telling them to make you sound better? What's next, making out with them? Rubbing them on your crotch? Hugging them at the end of your videos? Just to be clear, ukulele's are inanimate objects. They are NOT living beings. Seriously where does it end?

Ok now that I am done bitching I am going to get up off of Dave (my chair), walk accross Matt (the floor) and go eat Suzie (my sandwich). After that I might go play with Little Kevin.

Fuck Em All

That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Really YouTube? Really?

Dear YouTube,

Ok. I'm in the tech industry. I'm not naive as to what it takes to make a Web application with the massive demand and scope of YouTube. It's hard - I get it.

I can forgive the nearly useless messaging system, the puzzling "unread" icon that never goes away, the dropped notifications, the endless uploads, and the baffling and cryptic usage rights. I can forgive all of that.

What I can't forgive is the transparent attempts to be "hip" and "casual" during your absolutely unnecessary disabling of features when you go through "maintenance". In particular, this message:

"We are currently performing site maintenance. Be cool - we'll be back 100% in a bit."

It's insulting and irrelevant. You are not performing maintenance. You fucked something up. When we can't use the application, it's broken - period. None of your pithy bullshit messages help that. You broke your app - usually for hours at a time.

"Cool" and "hip" are self-evident. The minute you use a phrase like the one above to appear cool - you are not.

If you want us to think you are "cool", admit that you wrote bad code and need some time to fix it. Try an apology instead of the arrogant demand that I "be cool" instead.

Thank you.

Mainland Madness!!!!!1111

so i've been visiting the Mainland ukes website everyday for the past month waiting for their new models to arrive. let's call it full blown UAS. i really don't need another uke. i do however, (paces back and forth), have the urge, (wipes forehead with hankerchief), to JUSTIFYYYYYYYYY!!! (stomp stomp)

1. i'm buying an upgrade for another uke i plan to sell (LIES)
2. i don't have one is this size and wood combination (AS IF I CAN TELL THE DIFF)
3. a better uke will encourage me to learn more (BULLSHIT)
4. my 401k can suck it, i need another uke just because i do (TRUTH HURTS)

anyway, i'll continue to visit the Mainland ukes website twice a day until the new honeybees and mangos show up. i will then proceed to sell a kidney and maybe all my hair to buy something....anything!

i really should have taken up smack instead of uke. it's much easier to get a fix.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You thought that other guy was cool?

I love Yahoo news. The stuff they feature on the main page is rarely relevant... but boy is it entertaining.

Today I learned that a man in Norway has legally changed his name as a tribute to his favorite TV characters, and now has one of the longest name in history. Are you ready for it? Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov.

I thought my favorite part was the fact that he spelled Chewbacca wrong... but then I saw his picture & I almost spit "congrats on the 400-subs" cookies on my monitor. Behold!

Back to 399 subs

And I swear it wasn't me who un-subbed...looks like Alan will have to create another youtube account.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm a little bored...

...for that you will be punished. Here is the man for the job.

Your challenge now, is to post enough interesting articles to make this fella scroll off the homepage. Entertain me, damnit.

Looks like 400 to me...

Congrats all - the UCB channel recently broke four big-ones in subscribers. Here's to the next 400.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beat This Hate Comment! Ha! I win!

ookalaylay (2 hours ago) Show Hide

"if you are somehow offended by this video...really, lighten up"

You're behaving irresponsibly while operating a dangerous vehicle that weighs a few tons and I'm supposed to be okay about it? Too many innocent people are killed in crashes because of selfish morons like you. UNSUBSCRIBE.

Good Uke-Playing-Singing-Person Alert

Say what you want, this girl can sing. (and she doesn't have big glasses, isn't showing a bunch of leg, or rolling around in the grass, and isn't 17 years old...Alan)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some of my best friends are GIGGPUes

Ok. So there I sat. Friday night open mic. Largest turnout in the venue history. 25 performers and at least 90 people in the crowd. Four professional recording acts - whole bands, at least five solo acts with albums. I mean these folks are good. Most Friday's we get 15 acts or so and maybe 30 asses in the crowd total. This was big. Most of these people I had never seen before.

I hadn't practiced anything. I was still emotionally hung over from the Thailand trip, was totally underprepared, and had no idea the place would be bursting at the seams. I was the only uke in the joint. Everyone was looking at it, asking questions, expectations were high. I quickly grabbed the sound guy, who plays a mean mandolin, and did a warm-up of "Wanna do Bad Things With You" in the parking lot. It sounded ok... so WTF. I thought I'll do that and Withers "Ain't no Sunshine". Easy Peasy. Six chords in two songs. No problem.

Five acts to go, I'm shitting my pants. Act four busts out "Aint no Sunshine" with a full band and a native american flute. Fuck my life - they knocked it out of the park. I not only don't ever want to play it again, I never want to hear it any other way. It was epic. I'll do "Miranda Rights" I think I can remember it.

I'm sixth. We hit the floor and I get them cracking up with some joke about how much I'm about to stink the place. I nail "Bad Things". They love it. My mando player leaves and I stumble and stutter through "Miranda". Not a total loss but not great. Polite clapping and I'm out. Not too bad.

Two acts later and I was sucking down cookies and trying to forget the whole thing. A young songwriter in oversized glasses named Magdalene asks if she can borrow my uke for a number. No problem. She rips the roof off the place with a two chord protest song she wrote in the car on the way over. It was a nice song, nothing special, but cute. Folks were on their feet. They wouldn't let her leave the stage. They asked her how long she had been playing uke. They bought her cookies. Now everyone wants a uke and asked her all about them.

When I left, no one noticed.

I've decided, the next time I'm in Thailand, to ask the nice doctors there to turn me into a 20 year old girl with giant glasses. It'll do wonders for my music career.

Friday, September 4, 2009


This one's for Grumpy.

When did the whole "Girls in Freakin' Gigantic Glasses and Playing Ukulele Syndrome" start? This girl isn't even wearing real glasses. They're just her sunglasses that she's poked the lenses out of. Is this supposed to be a disguise? Or is it just the "Latest rad trend", as the young folks say these days?

I guess we have to blame it all on:

Harry Carey: idol of teen hotties everywhere.

Identity Problem??


....the same guy as this one?....

Consider the following comments left on recent Youtube video postings:

deach69 (1 hour ago)
Nice job on both songs!

okvolleyball (40 minutes ago)
nicce job there

20 minutes apart. Hmmmm.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Sneezing Panda!

Aldrine Guerrero turns 25 today. i suppose we can't call him a "boy wonder" anymore. does "man wonder" sound right?? i should consult Boozelele.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Da Aloha Kine Place

I've never been to Hawaii. It has always seemed like a waste of a vacation to me. There are so many other places in the world that I really would love to see, and in many cases they can be seen for less money. In a previous life I used to spend most of my time planning my next vacation. While shopping for airfare, no matter what kind of a deal I could find to Hawaii, I could find an equal or lower fare to Mexico, or Costa Rica, or Belize, etc. And for a few bucks more, I could travel to Amsterdam, or Spain, or France. And since Hawaii is "just another state", why should I go there when I could go somewhere REALLY cool for the same price? The main reason I like travel in the first place is to get away from ugly Americans, why in the hell would I want to go somewhere that there is a bunch of people who look just like me?

Everyone who goes to Hawaii tells me how great it is. But for the most part, these are people who don't have enough of an adventurous spirit (read; balls) to travel out of their comfort zone. So a State that has white beaches and brown people is as close to an exotic local as they are ever going to see. But as Alan's Pigin Pride post points out, there can be as much danger for a Haole in Honolulu as there is for a Gringo in Guadalajara, so maybe they aren't total wimps after all.

Now with my fondness for all things ukulele I've taken an interest in Da Islands. (Though I'm still not sure I would spend the money to go there). So here is my question: Is it really a cool place to visit? What if I could get some kick-ass deal on that Koaloha Tenor that I want so bad from going to the factory? Would that justify the expense to travel there? Or should I save my money, continue to get my ukes on ebay, and save my money for more ice cold Coronas at home, and meet-ups with my UCB buddies here on the mainland?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What Now?

I'm the kind of guy who has to have several projects to procrastinate over at once. I have three outstanding collabs with various folks and the coffee contest/restless heart song I'm writing with Adelle still left undone. On top of that, my studio is only half built, and I still need to fix a couple of guitars.

And yet - I feel like I don't have enough projects somehow. I'm clearly not disappointing enough people, I must disappoint more.

So what, my dear friends and playmates, is our next collab I can avoid doing like the plague until you all guilt me into action?

Any ideas?

Pidgin Pride = Racism?

I've noticed a lot of "island pride" on the UU forum from some of our native Hawaiian friends. So much pride, in fact, that it seemed to border on elitism. It's harmless enough, I guess. But it may be a symptom of something much bigger and darker. There's a whole movement to separate Hawaii from the Mainland. Some of this hatred has manifested in to violence against tourist.

I don't believe for a second that our Hawaiian brothers on UU condone this type of behavior. I hope that the UU members will continue to use the forum to bridge the gaps over our differences. And perhaps sites like UU will help overcome those who are too short-sited to see past the islands and over the ocean to the rest of us.