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Ukulele Besties: And the winner is…

Congratulations to Robert Porembski!

Robert collected a total of 569 votes in the Ukulele Besties contest on our UkeCanPlay Facebook Page, and won himself a SWEEEEET Kala ukulele package that includes all three of the best-selling BeatNik uke products! Here is that winning photo of Robert:

Robert Porembski, winner of the Ukulele Besties contest
Robert Porembski, winner of the Ukulele Besties contest

Once Robert received the prize, he immediately set out to put it to good use. He is a professional musician, and wanted to give us all a gift in return – so he recorded this amazing song, Sunset Beach, for us to enjoy:

Here are the other amazingly awesome contestants:

 This is our tribe. These are our brothers and sisters. Uke on, everyone!!

Thank you all for participating in the contest!

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Janet Klein Is Coming To Town

This Saturday night in Altadena I will be heading over to The Coffee Gallery to see the inimitable Janet Klein and her Parlour Boys in concert. Afterwards, Janet has promised we can have a little chat to share with everyone here at UkeCanPlay!

If you haven’t gotten to dig Janet’s way cool ukulele flapper aesthetic, go check out her website and enjoy the many fine offerings.

I’ll have more about Janet next week – for now, check out the video for Hello Bluebird, above, and if your in Los Angeles, head down to The Coffee Gallery this Saturday – and don’t forget to say hello to your ol’ pal BeatNik, too!

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Ukulele of the Future – Futulele?

This just in… There’s a new ukulele coming, one that can surf the web, check your email and even take your calls.

It’s called the [sociallocker]Futulele from Amidio, Inc., and it’s an app for your iPad. Or is it?

Utilizing both an iPad and an iPhone in a custom case, the Fututlele is actually an ukulele synthesizer that allows you to strum on the iPad while fingering chords on the iPhone. The app even lets you record your performance – let’s see your old-fashioned wooden ukulele do that!

Not yet ready for retail, Amidio is still looking for manufacturers for its innovative case design – but to quote the immortal words of Futurama, “Welcome… to the world of tomorrooooowwww!”


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I’m Just Wild About Janet!

Hey all you cool cats and kittens – have I got something special brewing!

Do you know Janet Klein (and her Parlour Boys)?

I’ve been a fan for quite some time, what with her way cool 1920’s style, cutesie-boopsie voice and occasionally naughty lyrics… What’s not to like?

Turns out, Janet is going to be playing a concert in my ‘hood next month, and she is going to give us an exclusive interview! I can hardly wait… so I decided to ramp things up by showcasing her over the next few weeks as a preamble to the interview. If you don’t know her yet, you’ll love her by the time we chat!

To kick things off, check out her ukulele tutorial on the classic “You Belong To Me”, with sly references to the movie that immortalized it, The Jerk.

And if you think you’ve seen enough of the bedroom/bathroom uke tutorials on YouTube, wait ’til you see this one. Talk about your production value! This, my friends, is HOW to do a video 🙂


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It’s SKIFFLE Time!

I first heard the term Skiffle while watching (and re-watching, and re-watching…) the phenomenal rockumentary It Might Get Loud. My buddy Chris was visiting from London and explained that the music was a huge craze in mid ’50’s UK led by the influential Lonnie Donegan. Apparently we can thank Lonnie for Jimmie Page. Thanks Lonnie!

Wikipedia describes skiffle as:
Skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, roots and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Originating as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, it became popular again in the UK in the 1950s, where it was mainly associated with musician Lonnie Donegan and played a major part in beginning the careers of later eminent jazz, pop, blues, folk and rock musicians.

Now, one of my favorite bands, The Jive Aces, have resurrected skiffle – or maybe I’ll coin a term for them, “skiffle-lele”, since they’ve added the ukulele to the washboards and jugs so perfectly.

Enjoy these two videos with dancing shoes on… The second is the tutorial version, so get that uke out!

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Eddie Vedder Ukulele Album

It’s true – next month the long-rumored album of ukulele songs by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder hits the shelves!

Ambitiously titled “Ukulele Songs” (how do they come up with these catchy titles?), the first single, “Longing To Belong”, is already available digitally.

Here is the track list for Eddie Vedder’s “Ukulele Songs”:

Can’t Keep

Sleeping by Myself

Without You

More Than You Know


Broken Heart


Longing to Belong

Hey Fahkah

You’re True

Light Today

Sleepless Nights (featuring Glen Hansard)

Once in Awhile

Waving Palms

Tonight You Belong to Me (featuring Cat Power)

Dream a Little Dream

Here’s what you can expect from the new album…

And this classic will also be included, though featuring Cat Power – not Janet Weiss as in the video…

Ukulele Songs goes on sale May 31st, 2011. Sweet sassy molassy 🙂

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Lucky Uke – Lucky Us!

I am digging these guys from Montreal!
Their new album is filled with songs from my wild youth, now set to sweet island vibe. Perfect for rocking (in your hammock)!
The first video is an introduction to the band:

Now, groove with a REAL quiet riot:
Note: This starts with the same gag, but in French… different video though!

Now click the Amazon box below to hear the album and buy it in time for summer cocktails!

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