Kala S-U-B (Subductive U-bass)

Freaking Kala does it again.  What did they do?  They made me NEED yet another ukulele-related instrument.  I know, I have a problem.  Or, rather, I have a disease and the only cure is more UKULELE!  (and beer)

Anyway, check out a picture of the new Kala Subductive Solid Body U-bass.

Kala S-U-B Solid U-Bass Sunburst
Kala S-U-B Solid U-Bass Sunburst

Now if that doesn't get yer juices flowin' then you might already be dead.

So, I guess they call this baby the Subductive because of that word's relation to the Mariana Trench.  Get it?  The deepest place on Earth.  Well, if you've ever heard the apparent black magic of the low end that comes out of these U-basses then you would definitely get the reference.

I'm hoping to get my hands on one, and if I do, I'll upload some videos of it.  Now, where did I leave my bank-robbing mask and gloves?

Destroyed Guitarron and the Kala U-Bass

So, one of my biggest shortcomings is my memory.... or, rather, complete lack of long-term memory.  So, lately I've been heavily relying on my Google calendar.  That way, wherever I am, whatever I am doing, if I happen to be lucky enough to remember something, I pretty much enter it in my calendar right away.  Sometimes, I need a little help making sense of what entered, but it's better than nothing.

So, where I'm going with this is that I was at the grocery store and I remembered that my brother, Bryan, had always really wanted a giant acoustic bass guitar.  What he really wanted was a bass like Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes plays.

But, I'm pretty sure that's a custom job.  Or, at least, I couldn't figure out where to get one.  So, I started thinking.  Ya know, I bet he'd like one of those giant mariachi bass guitars.  So, I put it in my calendar for August 1st (his birthday is August 17th) and I promptly forgot all about it.

Fast forward to August 1st, 2011.  My Google calendar tells me that I need to "buy giant bass guitar for Bryan".  So, I do some research and discover that those mariachi bass guitars are called guitarrons.  What is cooler than that is the fact that they have 6 strings and weird tuning.  I was roughly Bryan's age when I first got my ukulele and it was right before the birth of my first son.  Well, Bryan and his wife are expecting their first baby sometime in October.  So, I thought maybe this guitarron could launch him down a new path in life and figuring out how to play it would open his mind to new ideas.  Long story short, the ukulele changed my life and I was hoping to give him a similar experience.

So, I order a guitarron on eBay and when I get it... there are problems.

What's worse is that the replacement guitarron that they sent me also had problems.  I think the brand is just trash, which isn't what you would expect for nearly $400.  Well, now I'm in a pickle.  I got the replacement guitarron on August 18th... the freaking day after Bryan's birthday.  So, even though I started off ahead of the curve thanks to my new calendar-brain, I still ended up blowing it.


Guess what saved the day?   The Kala U-bass!  Although, that almost didn't happen.  I called my local music store because I know they sell U-basses, but they informed me they were all sold out.  They checked with Kala and I guess they are back-ordered for like 4 months?!  Crap!  So, I headed to eBay and I found plenty of left-handed U-basses, but only one Spruce right-handed U-bass.  I snapped that mother right up.  Now, I should mention that there were some mahogany right-handed U-basses available but those are nearly $550, I think?  I love my brother, but I apparently don't $550-love him.  Heh.

What's neat is that the U-bass I bought for him is fretless, so it sounds like a freaking upright bass.  It rules!  Now I can finally play Lovecats by the Cure without having to bend strings.  Wait.. what do you mean it's his bass?  Crap!  Heh.  I'm sure he'll let me play it.

Our next step is to get him a battery-powered amp.  You see, although the U-Bass sounds amazing, it's not terribly loud.  So, if you were rocking it at a campfire, you should probably have a little amp.  Right now we are looking at the Roland MicroCube Bass Amp or a Pignose HOG-30 amp.  I'll letcha know what we decide on.  I'm sure we'll make some videos after we get the amp.  So then you'll know what a U-bass sounds like through a little battery powered amp.

Sneak Peak: Kala’s Solid Body U-Bass

Kala has really revolutionized both the Ukulele and the Bass guitar with their U-Bass.  Heck, the U-Bass has been featured in live performances and studio recordings for the likes of Sting, Paul Simon and Jimmy Buffett.  I was lucky enough to play one at a local music store and it blew my mind.  The strings feel like nothing you've ever played.  What's even better is that if you close your eyes you'd swear it was an upright bass.  It has BUCKETS of bottom end.

So, what did Kala do?  Yup, come out with a solid body version of this bad boy.  Now I have to explain to my wife why we need to have two ukulele bass guitars in the house.  Heh.  I just finished convincing her that I just HAD TO buy my new 1973 Gibson EB-0 bass.  Doh!

Feast your eyes on the Kala Solid Body U-bass:

Kala Solid Body U-Bass
Kala Solid Body U-Bass

If you want to see a demo of this beast, check out this video of Hutch Hutchinson pretty much slaying it.

Video: Bakithi Kumalo playing the Kala U-Bass with Paul Simon

Well, I'm still going through my inbox and now I'm down to just 281 messages left.  What prompted this particular post was an e-mail I got from Rick Carlson over at Kala.  He was just letting me know that Bakithi Kumalo played a U-Bass on the Colbert Report (with Paul Simon).  The video is pretty rad.  Enjoy!

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Paul Simon - Getting Ready for Christmas Day
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> March to Keep Fear Alive

Yup. That does it. I definitely need a Kala U-Bass now.