Where have you gone?!

Yeah, I get it. I understand that I pretty much dropped off of the face of the earth. But, it's only because I've been doing important work. That's right, I've been making a difference, y'all.

I've been playing VIDEO GAMES!

No be fair, I've also been crazy busy with work, my old heavy new wave band (VOLUMEN) had a reunion show at the last Total Fest, here in Missoula and I still occasionally play ukulele with Jerry in our novelty act.

But, fret not, ukulele-loving folk, because Jerry and I have been making recording our Tuesday video game sessions and the results are (sometimes) hilarious. Also, each week we switch instruments to play the theme song, so there is still some ukulele up in this piece.

Here, check out the outtakes for this week's episode and you'll see me playing my Kala Pocket Ukulele while Jerry pretends to play bass.

If that tickles your fancy, you should watch the full episode. Or, if 17 minutes is too big of a commitment (believe me, you won't regret it), then check out this 7 minute episode featuring Chicken Lady!

The premise of "Who's Better?" (that's the name of the series, by the way) is that we challenge each other (and occasionally a guest star) to a video game battle. The winner gets bragging rights for the week. I designed the contest because I figured it would just legitimize all of the Jerry-bashing I already do. But... so far it hasn't been going my way.

Ok, well, I hope you join us. I promise to keep putting ukuleles up in there.

Video: 3am “Girl from Ipanema” on Ukulele and Keytar

Well, I'm finally back from the whirlwind Volumen Mini-tour of the northwest.  I feel like I'm still recovering, though.  This morning Simon (my five-year-old) asked me when I was getting my normal voice back.  I wish I knew kid.  I wish I knew.  Anyway, we played 4 shows in 4 days and after the 2nd show I had already lost my pillow and my voice.  After the 3rd show I had lost my credit card and any dignity and sanity I used to have.

The tour was awesome!  We had really great turn-outs and we sold buckets of CDs and shirts and whatnot.  Actually, the t-shirt sales weren't all good news.  We discovered after the Seattle show that we had sold at least one shirt that still had the security tag on it.  Whoops.  Sorry about that folks.  Just drive to Montana and we'll unlock it for ya.

Anyway, this is all leading up to a Ukulele video, right?  Umm... yup.  Here's the story.  We played at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard (Seattle-ish).  We played with Summer Babes (who are awesome) and two other bands who were fine, I guess?  I was a little grouchy on stage because we weren't allowed to drink on stage.  It's apparently against the law.  But, for some reason $37 white belts and tight pants are totally legal.  I'll let you figure that one out.  So, after our set we all made up for lost time with something I like to call "Extra Beers".  Then we loaded up our gear and drove to the afterhours at Jeff's house (Jeff is in Summer Babes and The Lights).

After arriving safe and sound we went across the street to The Buckaroo and had $2 cans of Olympia, pickled eggs and Misfits played super loud.   They ran us out of there by bringing a motorcycle inside the bar and peeling out inside the bar.  It was nuts.

So, we ran back to Jeff's house and decided to chill out.  This started the impromptu Girl From Ipanema session you are about to witness.  Keep in mind, Bob is our drummer and we'd never seen that keytar before.  K.  Here goes.

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 Volutunes.com 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