Got myself a magical new ukulele

Alright folks, as you might remember from my post, "Yessir, we got ourselves a real band!", my new project is called "Shane Hickey and his Magical Ukulele.... and Jerry".  Well, to really sell a name like that, my ukulele better be pretty freaking awesome.  Also, I'm going to need something that will take the focus off of my playing.  Cause otherwise folks might wonder why they just shelled out $3 to see a couple of hacks.  Heh.

Well, as luck would have it, I found a fella who makes magical instruments.  There is a local luthier named Ryan Rukavina and he does some pretty magical work.  I got wind that he was making a couple of Teleukes (Solid body electric ukuleles patterned after the Fender Telecaster.  When I heard about them, I asked him to keep me up to date on the projects because I was probably interested.  By "probably interested" of course I mean, insanely interested.

So, I was pretty much on cloud nine yesterday when I dropped by Ryan's shop to pick up my new Teleukulele!  I will post some videos very soon so you can hear how great it sounds but, until then, you can feast your eyes on this baby.

Rukavina Teleuke
Rukavina Teleuke

Here's more good news.  If you are looking for your own custom electric ukulele, then look no further.  Ryan also made a brunette to the blonde that I purchased.  Check out the eBay auctions below and you will see it listed with some more of his creations.

Travel Rukavina lap steel guitar
Travel Rukavina lap steel guitar $375.00
Time Remaining: 22d 21h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $375.00
Rukavina T Model Tele Style Guitar Chambered Sapele Top
Rukavina T Model Tele Style Guitar Chambered Sapele Top $1,199.99
Time Remaining: 18d 18h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $1,199.99

Yessir, we got ourselves a real band!

First off, let me apologize for the total lack of posts for the past few months. It's true, I'm a lazy jerk. But, let's not dwell on it. I've got some exciting news and I want to share it right up in yer face!

See, I was working with some fellas on a Cure cover project (in which I played bass) and we wanted to do a show as a bit of a teaser before our real show. Dave, who was the man behind our Cure cover band, asked if I wanted to do some ukulele stuff to open the show. Now, I've played many a show with different bands (playing either bass or guitar), and I've played ukulele in front of lots of folks around the campfire, but I don't think I'd ever played a ukulele "show" at a bar or venue. So, I was pretty stoked and nervous.

I said yes to Dave but immediately decided that the ukulele project couldn't just be me. I needed a band! So, I turned to my buddy Jerry (who had once accompanied me on drums around a campfire "show" in the recent past) and asked if he wanted to be a part of this here thing. I sent him links to the songs that I wanted to do and also showed him this Weird Al video to give him some ideas for drums.

Next thing I knew, I had both a drummer and also a drummer who used a suitcase as his drumset. Total magic! We practiced a total of two times and decided that was enough preparation. We hadn't really decided on a name for the band, but we are now known as "Shane Hickey and his Magical Ukulele.... and Jerry". I think you can probably see where that is going. Anyway, nameless and flush with two complete practices, we were now ready to rock the Bejeebus out of the VFW.

Apparently, though, Jeebus had something else in mind because our little town was crushed under a mighty blizzard that night. It turned out to be a mixed blessing, though. Sure, many folks didn't come down to the show because they didn't care to spend 2 hours digging their car out of their own driveway. But, the folks who made it to the show certainly didn't want to drive in those conditions again, so we had ourselves a captive audience! Thankfully, my foxy wife was onhand with her camera to record much of the show. Now you can feel like you were actually there!

UPS Girl:

Automobile:

Portland Man:

Santa Claus Needed a Drink:

Trailer Park Moms:

Megan Lannegan:

Moderation Town:

Drank Too Much Today:

Punk rock Friends (are broke):

There was another song or two that evening but I can't post everything because there is still a chance that my Mom will read this and the other songs are pretty offensive. Heh.

Video: Dance Hall Days – a Wang Chung cover

You know how it is. You have some songs that are just touchstones. Every time you hear them they transport you back to a certain place in time or maybe just trigger your brain to release extra serotonin or something. Well, for me, one of those touchstones is Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung. If you aren't familiar, check out this video. Note, there are two videos for this song, but the following video is better for reasons listed below the video.

1. Gum-chewing violin player looking directly into your soul
2. Sweaters!
3. Sweaters tucked into pleated pants!
4. You can almost hear the video director's instructions to the band. "Ok guys, I need you to look like condescending pricks who are laughing over some hilarious inside joke. Can you do that?"

Sadly, my video has none of that.

Here are my corrected tabs.

 Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days
 tabs by Ukulele Guy

Note: Except for the Chorus, play the F, C and G like so:
F - 2030
C - 0033
G - 0232
 
 F  C  G  F  C  G  F  C  G  F  C  G 

[Verse]
 F              C            G
Take your baby by the hand
 F              C            G
And make her do a high hand stand
 F              C            G
Take your baby by the heel
 F                       C            G
And do the next thing that you feel

[Refrain]:
(play single note)
        F   C G  
We were so in phase
        F    C    G
In our dance hall days
        F    C   G
We were cool on craze
(play chords again)
    F   C        C5       G
When I, you, and everyone we knew
        F     E        A        B     C
Could believe, do, and share in what was true
[Chorus]
             F  C  G                        F  C  G 
Oh, I said             Dance hall days love

[2nd Verse]
F              C      G
Take your baby by the hair
F                      C           G
And pull her close and there there there
F              C      G
Take your baby by the ears
    F             C       G
And play upon her darkest fears

[Refrain]

[Longer Chorus]
             F  C  G                        F  C  G 
Oh, I said              Dance hall days love

                F  C  G                        F  C  G 
Dance hall days            Dance hall days love

[3rd Verse]
   F              C      G
So take your baby by the wrist
    F               C      G
And in her mouth an amethyst
    F               C           G
And in her eyes two sapphires blue
    F                C          G
And you need her and she needs you
    F                C          G
And you need her and she needs you
    F                C          G
And you need her and she needs you
    F                C          G
And you need her and she needs you
    F            C  G
And you need her... and she needs you

[Refrain]

[Chorus]
             F  C  G                        F  C  G 
Oh, I said             Dance hall days love

                F  C  G                        F  C  G 
                         Dance hall days love

                F  C  G                        F  C  G 
dance hall days           Dance hall days love

                F  C  G                        F  C  G 
dance hall days           Dance hall days love 

Origami Folding Ukulele

Well, I somehow stumbled upon this little slice of rad pie.  Heh, I say "stumbled" but you know full well that it's more like "obsessively searching".  Anyway, this bird-shirted origami expert designed a kit so that you too can own your own folding Ukulele!  Sure, it's pretty easy to travel with a ukulele, but wouldn't it be easier if the entire neck folded into the body of the ukulele?  Yup, I thought so.  Check out these pictures.

Origami Folding Ukulele
Origami Folding Ukulele
Origami Folding Mini Ukulele
Origami Folding Mini Ukulele

Pardon me while I wipe the drool off of my mouth.  The frustrating thing for me is how the hell am I ever going to be able to own EVERY unique ukulele out there if geniuses like this guy keep making more?!  Anyway, check out this video that explains how you can fold this baby up.

Sadly, if you wanted one of these before Christmas, you needed to have placed your order already.  But, what better thing to spend all that Xmas loot your parents are going to send you, right?

Adventure Time with Swagerty Ukuleles

I can't believe I haven't made a video with my Kookalele or Surfalele yet.  Blasphemy!  In my defense, I think I was waiting for the new strings to come in.  But, I couldn't resist it any longer.  So, here is a quick video that shows you 3 out of the 4 "Kooky Ukes" from Swagerty.  Don't hold your breath for the 4th one (The Lil' Guitar).  I saw one on eBay recently and it was like $600.  Oof.

Oh yeah, I apologize for the crazy noise during parts of the video.  That is what it sounds like when someone (in this case, my foxy wife) runs the vacuum cleaner in the room above my office.

Oh yeah, if you don't recognize that song, then you should check out this madness.  And, if you like the look of these title sequence then you should totally start watching this show.  It rules!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcTsNKrr4fs