Video: The Electric Fence Wager (part 5)

Well, you knew what was coming.  Or, if you didn't, you weren't really paying attention to parts 1-4.  In this particular installment (which started as some sort of crazy promotion for the Eleuke Electric Ukulele) Colin finally puts his nuts where his mouth is.  Err... that didn't quite sound right.  Long story short, he puts his testicles squarely on the electric fence in my backyard.

Yes, I realize that this only barely qualifies as a ukulele video.  Meh.  You can't deny a guy a public forum from which he can humiliate his beloved kinfolk can you?

Video: You Didn’t Have a Girl (the making of)

Hmm..  I totally thought I had posted this song already, but it looks like I was wrong.  So, here's the deal.  This Christmas, Erika (my wife) and I agreed to not spend very much money on presents for each other.  So, I had to sort of get creative.  Luckily, I'm the king of pulling a song out of my hat with a moment's notice.  And, this time I had helpers!

Or, rather, anti-helpers as the case may be.  You see, I decided to involve my two sons in the recording process.  In hindsight, this was a terrible idea, but the end result turned out great.  It was just incredibly painful.  They fight like cats and dogs on a good day and (as you can tell from their jammies) it was getting on in the day.

Anyhoo, I made the process even more painful by videotaping parts of the recording "session" with my Flip MinoHD.  I had actually forgotten that I had done this until I found the videos today.  So, I decided to finally give Adobe Premiere a shot and try and do some video editing.  This is my first editing attempt so please be gentle.  You should just be lucky I wasn't doing "star wipes" all over the place. Also, I guess I have to figure out how to edit it without that black border around the whole thing. If you are an Premiere genius, then I welcome your input.

If you want to hear the finished product, then give this a listen: Ukulele Guy - You Didn't Have a Girl

Oh yeah, and I was using my aNueNue Banjolele in this song.

NOTE: Of course, after I already uploaded this video and wrote the post I realized what I did wrong in Premiere.  The next video won't have those annoying black bars around it.  I'm not sure I'm going to re-do it, though, because I don't see a way to do that easily without starting all the way over.  And, I'm way to lazy for that.

Video: “I’m a mess” – the Valentine’s Day song

Now, before we get started, I have some defending to do.  Since February 2nd, at least one person in our house has been sick.  For myself, I was sick from like the 6th through the 13th.  So, as you can imagine, all of the Valentine's Day planning and shopping that I would normally do went right out the window.  Now, I know what you are thinking, "Hang on Ukulele Guy, you don't strike me as a real planning type.  How can we accept this excuse when you probably wouldn't have done any planning or shopping for Valentine's Day had you been healthy?"  And, my reply to that is "Shut up!"  Sheesh.

So, anyway, once again I'm left with only my once-quick-but-now-dulled-through-years-of-beer wits and my trusty Ukulele.  Thankfully, driving to my oldest son's Valentine's Day party at school I got stopped at a train crossing.  I swear the train must have been 200 freaking cars song.  For some reason I had the radio off so I just started singing "I'm a mess, but I'm your mess" and that got me started.  Unfortunately, it took me until February 15th to finish the song.  But, on the plus side, I actually wrote a bridge for once.  Anyway, here's the video for it.

Now, I'm not sure why you would want the lyrics and chords to this song. I mean, unless your kids are also named Simon and Gus and you also like all the same stuff that I do and you also drink beer and play Nethack till 4am? If those things are true then we need to hang out.

I'm a Mess - Ukulele Guy
Ab - 5343
Cm - 0333
Db - 1114
Gdim - 0101
Bbm - 3111 (sometimes 6564)
Fm - 5543 (sometimes 1013)
Eb - 3331 (sometimes 3336)

Bbm  Gdim

I am lying on back lookin' up
not a star in the sky
or a satellite
and I wonder why
       Bbm 3111 6564
wonder why-y-y-y-y

Well I can 
waste time thinking bout stars
till the early morn
yet year after year I somehow manage to forget
the day you were born

that perfect day that you were born

Well I'm a mess
        Fm (5543)
But I'm YOUR mess
                Bbm (6564)
despite all the stupid things I do
    Eb 3331
I'm hopeless-ly
    Eb 3336
craz-y about you

Bb Gdim

Who do you pick
in a battle 'tween a wizard and jedi knight
it's important
that I answer this one right
well I may stay up all night

And when I 
don't get up in time to help with simon and gus
it was just because
the question was too tough
but I answered for the both of us

And even if I said that I tried my best to
warn you
There is no way you could know
what you were getting into
Bb                Fm
I am geek on nerd compounded
Bb Fm
I am dorkiness expounded
But I'm yours
Bb         Gdim
I'm youuuuurss
and I'm a mess


Ukulele Guy and The Decemberists (Huh?)

Alright, the title might have been slightly misleading, but stay with me.  You see, roughly 6-7 years ago, a good friend of mine, Andy Smetanka, made a video for The Tain, by the Decemberists.  The Tain is basically the Irish Beowulf and the Decemberists' version of it is nearly 20 minutes long, so this thing is pretty much a freaking epic in every possible way.  Anyway, you should definitely watch the whole video, the animation will blow your mind.  Especially when you realize that Andy did it all by hand.  Yup, he painstakingly cut paper with an X-acto knife and filmed all the action frame by frame using an old super 8 camera.

What does this have to do with Ukuleles, you might ask?  Hang on, I'm getting there.  If you've ever seen any of Andy's other videos you'll notice that the credits are often as long as (sometimes longer) than the actual video.  And, usually there is some rad music underneath.  This video for The Tain was no exception and that's where I (and to a much greater part, many of my friends) came into the picture.

A big group of us used to meet once a week for something we called The Sharing Shack.  Basically it was like a potluck but the hosts of the potluck would have to teach everyone something or involve everyone in some sort of artistic project.  So, you might all come over to my house and I'd teach everyone candle making while my wife would teach stained glass.  Or, maybe we'd all head over to someone's house to do light painting or tamale making.  Frankly, I can't remember when I had so much free time and I often think back wistfully to these days.

Anyway, at one particular Sharing Shack hosted at my house, Andy wanted us to all help him make the music that would go under the credits of The Tain video he was working on.  So, the whole gang brought all manner of instruments and we got to work.  If you aren't going to watch the whole video (shame on you) then you can start at 19:10 and hear our interpretation of The Tain.  I engineered this recording and played ukulele.  Lots of other people contributed as well, thankfully there are credits for the credits, so you can read about all that.  My wife and (at the time) 6 month old son are also listed in the credits.  Enough gabbing, here goes!