The Kala “Round About” Ukulele Amp (Sure is purty!)

I have been meaning to post this for awhile, but freaking summer just gets busier and busier. Anyway, Rick from Kala sent me a press release about Kala's new "Round About" Ukulele Amplifier. I know I've talked about the Roland Micro Cube before and I do love that amp, but as far as looks go, the Round About is the winner.  It comes in three styles: Black, Pink and Tweed!  What great choices!  The whole look of the amp feels really retro and fun.  It seems like something a foxy lady in the 60s would carry around with tiny white earbud headphones.  Or maybe something that Frankie Avalon would bring to a beach party.  Here's some pictures:

Kala Black Round About Amp
Kala Black Round About Amp
Kala Pink Round About Amp
Kala Pink Round About Amp
Kala Tweed Round About Amp
Kala Tweed Round About Amp

The amps are 10 watts with a 5" speaker.  If you want more details, here's a YouTube video talking all about the Round About Amp:

Ukulele Guy goes on tour! (almost)

So, here's the deal.  Besides being a Ukulele Fanatic, I also really dig new wave music.  I've been making Heavy New Wave sonics with VOLUMEN for something like 13 years.  During those 13 years, we've released something like 5 full length albums, a handful of EPs and 7" records and some various videos and whatnot.  We've also toured portions of the US (as far NE as Minneapolis, as far SE as Austin, as far NW as Seattle and as far SW as San Diego).  Once we even did a 14 day tour of the Baltic countries (Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).

But, these days it's hard enough to get all 5 dudes (all of whom have wives now, and 4 of whom have kids) together for weekly band practice, let alone world tours.  So, I'm pretty psyched that we are going on for a Mini-Tour in August!  Woo hoo!  We are calling it The Replication and Entropy Mini-Tour.  That's a nice way of saying that we are getting old and making babies.  Heh.  This tour is to support our newest record, "Skipper of Reverses"  (Note: Check out if you want to get some mp3s of this record.  I think it might also be on itunes, but it's cheaper on Volutunes).

Sadly, I don't play Ukulele in Volumen, but I will have at least one ukulele with me.  So, if you wanna hook up before/after the show, lemme know!  I'd love to kick out the jams with some good ukulele-lovin' folks!  I'd also love to see a bunch of nutty Ukulele-lovers at the show cause I think it'd freak out the rest of the showgoers.  Heh.

Here's the details of our tour:

Wed Aug- 4  Missoula @ The Badlander w/ Wartime Blues, Pony Canon
Thur Aug- 5  Spokane @ Empyrean  w/ Belt of Vapor
Fri Aug- 6  Seattle @ Sunset Tavern w/ The Royal Bear, Summer Babes, Panama Gold
Sat Aug 7- Pdx @ Dante's w/ Don and the Quixotes, The Polaroids, The Lordy Lords

If you want to know more about Volumen, here's a link to a short documentary about us.  This Documentary won "Best Directing" and "Best Music Documentary" in the International Documentary Challenge of 2006.  It was filmed/directed by a good friend of ours who spent several days in our Amulance on our Sonic Infection (aka Mustache Reunion) tour.

Here's some random videos for some of our songs.  These videos were made by a good friend, Andy Smetanka.  Who has made videos for Guy Madden and The Decemberists.

Um.  So, yeah.  I guess that's it.  I apologize for the non-ukulele-ness of this post.  But, like I said, I'm really psyched to get out on the road.  And, if this means I get to meet more Ukulele folks face-to-face, then I'm all over it!


Ukulele Guy

Tabs: Martian Hop by The Ran Dells

So.  Here's the deal (and try not to look shocked when I reveal this), I'm freaking addicted to "Novelty" music.  Yup, I know.. scandalous, right?  Anyway, in my family you don't have to look to far to find a "25 All-Time Novelty Hits" (or equivalent) Record or CD.  There's almost always one within arm's reach.  Anyway, one thing most of these novelty compilations have in common is The Martian Hop.  My kids can't get enough of it!

We've almost got it to the point where one of us does the "Pama em me meh" and the other one does the high pitched "Ee-ee-ee", meanwhile I play it on the uke.

I found chords for this somewhere online so I just reprinted them here with the fingerings for ukulele.  There is a modulation through the song (where it goes to G/C/D).  But, if you are having a hard time with the F#/B/C#7 fingers, just play the whole song using G/C/D instead.  It'll still sound fine.

Wait.  What?  You've never heard The Martian Hop?  Seriously?  Freaking public schools letting everyone down!  Ok.  Here ya go:

And here's the chords:
The Martian Hop:The Ran Dells.
F# - 3121
B - 4322
C#7 - 1112
G - 0232
C - 0003
D - 2220

F#            B            C#7                  F#
We have just discovered an important note from space.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
The Martians plan to throw a dance for all the human race.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..
F#            B            C#7                  F#
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..
F#            B            C#7                  F#

F#            B            C#7                  F#
I got into my rocket ship to see the Martian Hop.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
I saw the planet shining red so there I made my stop.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
But as I opened up the door and climbed the ladder down.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
I saw the Martians on the floor a-dancin` to this sound.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee(The Martian Hop)
F#            B            C#7                  F#

F#            B            C#7                  F#
It seemed I was the first one there and so I was surprised..
F#            B            C#7                  F#
To see the Martians Twist and Stomp before my very eyes.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
They did the Locomotion and the Hully-Gully, too.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
I couldn`t name a single dance the Martians couldn`t do.
F#            B            C#7                  F#
Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee (The Martian Hop)
F#            B            C#7                  F#

(Change keys.)
G           C          D  G
G           C          D  G

G		     C		          D	         G
Now right around the stroke of twelve the dance had just begun.
G			    C	              D			G
The Earth kids parked their spaceship down on Mars to have some fun.
G	         C		        D	        G
And so I left my friends, the Martians, stomping on the ground.
G		    C	          D			G
And even though I`m back on Earth I still can hear this sound.

G        C	    D			G
Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee..(The Martian Hop)
G	 C	    D			G

G		 C	          D			 G
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..
G		 C		  D			 G
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..

G		 C		  D			G
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..
G		 C		  D			G
Papa em meh meh, papa em meh meh, papa buppa buppa buppa em meh meh..(Fade.)

Tabs: Trailer Park Moms

Well, John asked for chords for Trailer Park Moms so here ya go.  Don't spend it all in one place.  Hmm.. for some reason it didn't format right, but I think you can get the idea.  Just play along to the video.  Heh.

Bb                                                                                               C           F          Bb
Oh trailerpark moms are the funnest moms because they let you smoke weed
Bb                                                                                            C                                   Bb
trailer park moms are the funnest moms cause they get drunk and yell at the tv
Bb                                       Eb                                          F                                       Bb
trailer park moms are the funnest moms cause they let you pet the cat with cherry bombs
Bb                                                                                     C            F         Bb
trailer park moms are the funnest moms cause they let you smoke weed

Eb                                                                                       F
and the only thing better in the world than dating a trailer park girl
Bb                                                     Gm
is dating a girl with a trailer park mom
cause she's guaranteed to be hot
and if she's not
Bb                                                    Gm
she's like 100% likely to try and make it with you
like maybe she walks out of the shower topless
cause she "forget" that you were there
Bb                                                                                 Gm
yeah, that's the kind of shit that a guy could get used to
Eb                                             F                             Bb
and I used to.  I used to get used to you.  Oh trailer park mom

Bb - 3211
C   - 0001
F - 2010
Eb - 3331
Gm - 0231

Original Video: Trailer Park Moms

I wanted to keep my momentum going, so I recorded this little video today.  Before I get into the song, I wanted to bring something up.  See, I guess when it comes to music and art, I'm sort of a Marxist.  By that I mean, if you are telling someone they can't appreciate art correctly unless they know Art History then you are basically saying, "You can't appreciate art because you are poor and didn't go to college".  That's lame.  By the same token, sure if all you can afford is a $20 ukulele, then that shouldn't mean you can't make art with it!

Now, let me get off of my soapbox because I'm pretty sure I just called my song "art".  Heh.  It isn't.  It is, however, a goofy novelty song and that's plenty good enough for me.  I wrote this song for a project with my brothers Colin and Bryan and we were going to call it "Those Damned Hickey Brothers".  But we never practice, so I'm not sure if we're really a band or not.  You know how sometimes you get drunk with your friends and talk about ridiculous things like road trips to Mexico that you are never going to take?  Well, I guess our band is like that.

I'm playing my wife's purple Mahalo ukulele in this video.  I bought it for her because I was already buying two Mahalos for my little boys and she expressed an interest.  For $20, it's pretty much the best Ukulele you can get, if you ask me.  This is especially true if you are buying a ukulele for a younger kid.  Sure, in a perfect world you'd buy Jr. a Kala, Ohana, Pono or other bitchin' ukulele.  But, let's be honest, they are going to break it in like 6 weeks... tops.

So, get them a Mahalo because it's inexpensive and totally playable.

Now... on to the song and possible offensiveness.