Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear Mr. Vedder

I appreciate the effort - I do. It's a fine album of original uke music. I particularly like the fact that it's not Hawaiian music. Not thatI dislike Hawaiian music, but that's been done. So you made a contemporary singer/song writer album focusing on uke. I like that.

But seriously Ed (may I call you Ed?) did you have to call the thing "Ukulele Songs"? Now every pearl-jam-flavored wannabe douche nozzle who scoffed at the uke now thinks it's cool because of you. The open-mics I go to are now awash in fresh uke players who are just dying to show me their Zebra-wood Kalas and Malaka Dolphins. Not to mention every easy-listening middle of the road blank-spot. You managed to dilute the uke even further by adding two more audiences I have no respect for.

But that's just me and my bias... Let's talk exploitation. You are arguably a mega-music star. Slightly washed up and irrelevant, but still pretty much any music you decided to make would have sold eleventybillion copies. But by calling your album "ukulele songs" you targeted an audience you never had before - uke enthusiasts. You also capitalized directly on the novelty *and* rising popularity of the uke to make people pay attention to you and see you as somehow musically fresh. It stinks of a pandering gimmick - one you didn't need to do.

All of which is understandable - except for the outcome you didn't foresee. Overexposure.

You have dominated my facebook stream email and twitter. Family members I hate to hear from and are generally blissfully silent now send me articles and reviews about you and your album. I have been sent the same NYT review about your stunt no less than 12 times. For that dull, repetitive offense I simply can not forgive you.

As the wave of uke popularity breaks and people begin to backlash and boo whenever we pull one out at show, you can blame yourself. Your intentional overexposure was the straw that broke the back. It went from obscure and kind of quirky and cool, to that tired shit Vedder played out to death in '11. You did that. You are the Tiny Tim of this phase of the repeating uke fads. "Tiny Ed" if you will. The bullet in the head to any shred of the unexpected or interesting that was left in making contemporary uke music.

Unfortunately you never took up the accordion. No one would complain if those get shoved back in the closet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

UWC'11 Trip Report

So here I was trying to write a trip report for UWC'11 when it occurred to me that I really could not do a better job than Miss Lonna did in the Ginley Gulch guestbook.

I'll post anecdotes and such later, but this is why we love Shawn and Lonna so. Well, this and the macaroni and cheese.

Also - true story.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No room for another UWC sticker

No room on my uke for another UWC sticker so I'm staying home this year. I'll miss hanging out with the UCBs and our extended family. I'll miss having an excuse to wear my overalls. I'll miss carrying Russ home.

Maybe next year......