Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Ukulele Year

Hopefully everyone of you had a great holiday season. Here's to an even better 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cool Song

I am so envious of people who write songs like this. Seemingly facile and almost flippant, the talent in this song is that it doesn't make the genius of the song obvious.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seeing Starz

I'm interested in hearing about how you all hand out your Youtube stars. Is it an auto 5 for anyone you sub/like? What about something you hate? Do you react & rate differently to something you hate by someone you have subbed as opposed to someone you don't sub?

What are the rating doing, really? Are you more likely to click on a vid if it's well rated... do you not click on a vid with one star? I want to know!

I find myself strangely drawn to the vids with one star... I just gotta know what it is, and what about it earned it that rating.

What do you think of the 1-5 rating system? Would Youtube be better off with a more Facebook approach- thumbs up or thumbs down?

Begin lively debate.... NOW!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The new UCB Anthem

Well, maybe for the weekend, at least. But who can resist this over-covered tune played on ukulele and dying cat? Well, that's what it sounds like....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He'll teach your parrot a new word....

Not a uke, but it is made with hate. I think we may have been seperated at birth - he got the talent. Go hit "subscribe".

Unce Unce Unce

Monday, December 14, 2009

You're Killing Me

Every time I bring up a new youtube page I get that same annoying iPod dancing-douche-bag ad. It seriously is driving me f'ing crazy. How can I make this thing stop? I am getting really pissed about this. And just so you know "Mr. Apple"- or whatever your name is - even though I need a new iPod, and your stuff is actually pretty cool, I'm not going to buy one just because this ad irritates me so much. So suck on that, jerk.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Defeat World Suck!!

Finally! Mike at Mainland Ukes gets to business attempting to defeat World Suck. And until Boozelele stops playing, this is the next best thing:

Visit the Ukulele Kiva site!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

look out Britney, Erika's got your number!

okay, so this is usually Alan's thing, but i just had to post this brilliant youtube video. it doesn't contain ukulele but it does have Erika from Helvetica Uke Explosion awesoming up a storm. i will never understand the popularity of Britney Spears but if she made videos like this, i would watch the shit day and night. but i'd turn the volume down and play a Kelly Clarkson CD instead.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Audio Interview and Music by Rachel Goodrich

"Sessions From the Box" is new to me, but their last two sessions (Erin McKeown and Rachel Goodrich) have made me a big fan already. Rachel Goodrich is a musician from Miami. She features ukulele in many of her cool songs. Check out her "session". Although she doesn't play the uke here, she gets out her kazoo, charango and guitar and her unique vocal stylings.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Opening Up Your Mind

We often hear talk of ukulele’s “opening up”. But what the hell does this really mean? And do ukulele’s really “open up”? Or is this just another one of those myths that they would have us believe in. Like Aliens, or Big-Foot, or the female orgasm? I often hear people say things like “I was playing my uke this weekend and it really opened up” or “I’ve owned my new Kala for 3 months and it’s really starting to open up”. Really? Can this be? Hmmm.

I did some research on the web and came up with a few interesting articles like this one which says “The reasons for the improvement have to do with subtle changes in the stiffness and flexibility within the cellular structure of the wood, as well as the hardening of resins within the cells themselves. These changes usually take many years. In the final analysis, it seems that the major change is to the wood itself, with the top leading the way as the major tone-producing element.”

Huh? OH stiffness and flexibility within the cellular structure, and hardening of resins within the cells improves the tone-producing elements…yeah, that's what SHE said.

I actually read the above article all the way through (so you don’t have to) and what they did was they tried to speed up the process of aging a guitar by “shaking” it in order to replicate many years of playing. Here is their verdict; “difference between the before and after tapes is hard to pinpoint and not necessarily consistent from song to song, but we did feel that the guitar was ringing out more in the second session” That’s right we did “feel” that the guitar was ringing out more. Ok, buddy, shake this.

So to sum it all up? Horse-shit. Some people feel that old instruments sound better than new ones. IF this is true you would be looking at upwards of 50 years, not three months and definitely not a weekend. So if you want something to open up, get yourself a bottle of wine and a corkscrew. Otherwise we'll see you in 50 years.

On a scale of 1 to 10...

If life were like a video game (among other things) you'd be able to see someones musical ability like a health bar. Maybe there'd be a 10 point scale & right next to their head you'd see a little bar- halfway filled up, empty, all full... and you'd know. You'd know if they were someone you could potentially jam with, or someone that would make you want to restrict your playing time to after midnight under the covers where no one can possibly hear or see you because this guy makes you realize that all you're producing in comparison to him is noise- and not even pretty noise.

I went over to my buddys house the other night cause he had another friend there that plays guitar & was interested in havin a little jam session. I'd never met the dude before- and sadly there was no musical ability health bar floating next to his head.

"Play me a song, then I'll take a turn." he says innocently.

I wasn't too nervous- don't know the guy so I'm not worried about impressing him. So I start out with a Dead cover- Sugaree. It seemed to go over well, & he asked to hear an original. Sure! I played Ordinary Bones. Okay dude, your turn!

He decides to play an original. Starts out with a little picking... then he starts to strum & sing. It only took about 5 seconds for me to realize that his musical ability bar was twice as full as mine. When he got done playing, my jaw was hanging open & before I could even speak, he launches into another song. And that song? That song was freaking amazing. The lyrics were so well crafted that I wanted to knock him unconsious in the hopes he'd forget how crappy my song was. It was better than the first one- it was unbelievable- it was.... unfair. Totally, totally unfair.

How was I to know that you were gonna freaking kick ass, huh? And what's with asking me to go first? It's cause you knew I'd never play if I heard you first, isn't it? God damnit. I don't know if I hate getting tricked into playing fist more, or admitting that you're right I never would've played second.

The more casual the invitation, the more likely that person can play circles around you. And then they tend to be really nice about it... which just irks me more. If you were an ass with a huge ego, I would have a valid reason for hating you. Now I just seem petty & jealous.... which, yeah, okay, might be true... but... ;p

So after this dude I was jamming with played his second song... I was ready for some serious alcohol. There was one line from it that had really hit me & I started to tell him how it made me feel, but he cut me off. "Oh, I'm sorry- I didn't mean to confuse you! I guess I should've spoke up in between songs. That first song was an original, but the second was a John Prine tune."

Well, fuck a duck!

Good thing I didn't sneak into the bathroom & slit my wrists over it... I woulda felt reeeeal stupid when I figured it all out.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Not sure which I hate more, blatant sub-grubbing or poorly disguised sub-grubbing.

Oh I know, FEA!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bradford's ArchTop Guitulele

Holy crap I want one of these... I don't know who "Bob" is, but he's about to be one happy SOB.

2 Videos, 3 buckets of Awesome

No, I don't know what that means, but this woman from Germany impressed me with her first few videos. Now her new video confirms my first impression. Call me Smitten McSmittysmit. Or don't. Listen to her version of Calexico's All the Little Horses. A German woman covering a song by an Arizona band. I loves the internets!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Put this dude in the "needs more subs" category...

Bloody good stuff here.