Remember to click G+1 if you like a post... It will make me happy :-)

31 December 2012

Maccaferri "Islander" Ukulele

This week I've been getting to know a gentleman by the name of Mike Simpson who hails from Sacramento, California. Mike has been collecting ukuleles for the last 30 years and has amassed a museum's worth of instruments. Little by little he's been revealing some of them on Google+. I've been in awe, marveling at the diverse range of instruments that he has in his possession... what a lucky man! There are some fantastic examples of all types of ukulele, but it is the plastic ones that I want to talk about today. Mike has very kindly allowed me to post some of his pictures here. Be sure to look him up on Google+ where you can find the original pictures and of course have a chat with the man himself!

The Maccaferri  "Islander" Ukulele - Patents Pending
Manufactured 1953-69?

28 December 2012

Happy Bloody New Year! (2012)

My blogging buddy Darren laid down the gauntlet for me to write an original New Year song this week. I've only gone and done it!

Yes... that's exactly what you think it is...

I didn't have any time for second takes or to add much in the way of layers. The music and lyrics came to me this morning and after a trip out to the take the kids swimming, I put it all together. Tada! Apart from the singing (which I never like), I'm pretty happy with it. You can hear one uke, one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar and a bass. Oh yeah... and don't forget that godawful singing! Ha ha...

Have a Happy Bloody New Year everybody! Be safe!

27 December 2012

King Uke on 2012

As 2012 draws to a close I think it only fitting that we celebrate some of the fantastic things that have happened over the past year at The Ukulele Blog. It's been a good year - I've enjoyed your company! Let's see if I can make any sense of it...

ACB Warriors

Milk & Alcohol (2012)

I warned you fairly recently that there might be a collaboration with Bug407 in the pipeline. For those with a short memory, Bug is the musician behind Don't Take Life 2 Serious.

I'm pleased to say that it has happened!

Milk & Alcohol - Bug, Slowpaw & King Uke

The tune we settled on is a cover of one of my favourite bands: Dr Feelgood. Watch Bug's fantastic video below to hear us ripping up the classic Milk and Alcohol...

26 December 2012

Old Lang Syne on the Clifton Ukulele

I made a post on my son's new ukulele yesterday and +Thiago Medeiros asked for a demo. Ever one to please, here's a video. Given that we're almost at the end of the year, I figured that I'd do a version of Old Lang Syne for you. It's the first time I've tried the webcam on my new laptop and to be honest, the sound is pretty poor. It's also the first time that I've tried to play this tune. :-D

J-Uke tried his Clifton uke out for size

25 December 2012

Clifton Soprano Ukulele

My son J-Uke was lucky enough to receive a ukulele for Christmas. It was a gift from his biker-Grandma... that and his TT Racing T-shirt. I'm sorry to say that he hasn't touched it... but I have ;-) Whilst he's busy with his new Star Wars droid set, I'm going to share a few photos with you. I'd better be quick!

Lidl's Clifton Ukulele Set

Pickmaster Plectrum Cutter

I saw a Slam Pickmaster in a shop in Launceston this summer and convinced myself that though incredibly cool, I could live without one. You see, I only use Jim Dunlop nylon plectrums. They don't break. Short of losing them, they will last me forever.

Look what I got for Christmas!

Pickmaster by Slam Designs

23 December 2012

Snow (2012)

In recent years I've started a Christmas tradition of writing and recording original Christmas songs. I surprise myself each year with the results. I'm onto my third year. In all cases, the songs are put together and laid down in a matter of hours... The first year's entry was started and finished on Christmas Eve!

Remember this guy?

This Christmas I thought that I might have left it too late; I've been so busy that I didn't think that I'd magic up the time. Even so, I sent a message to +Daniel Hulbert to see if he was up for a collaboration and I'm pleased to say that he was! I think that this was exactly what I needed to help me to get this in bag. Thank you Daniel you crazy talented ukulele-making machine! I really hope that we can create some more music together.

17 December 2012

Sharkfin Ukulele - Beach Closed

I'd been hoping that I could get my Sharkfin Ukulele finished before Christmas, but it ain't gonna happen! Construction has officially stopped. I've tidied up my tools and packed them away. I've also tried to vac up all the sawdust... hope Mrs Uke doesn't look too closely at the carpet... :-s

Everybody out of the water!!!

This is the last update of 2012 on this subject....

16 December 2012

Party Time Inflatable Ukes

With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to ensure that you've got your Christmas list in order. Need some ideas for that special someone in your life? Struggling to come up with the perfect idea for your Secret Santa? Have I got the thing for you!

Hawaiian Guitars? They look more
 like ukes to me..

Monsters (2010)

I'm on a bit of a South American kick this week. There is a lot going on in that neck of the woods. I don't usually jump about much in my film reviews, but there are a couple of things on my mind that I'd like to call out.

Air Strikes Continue in Mexico!
Monsters, Vertigo 2010

14 December 2012

Don't Take Life 2 Serious (2012)

Not long ago I joined Cigar Box Nation. For the uninitiated: CBN is a worldwide network of people who specialise in building their own musical instruments. As the name suggests, there’s a heavy focus on instruments made from old cigar boxes, but as I've discovered, there is actually a lot more going on than just this. It’s just as well really, because I haven’t actually built a cigar box uke myself!

When life gives you blind lemons... play, play the Blues...

To be honest, I still feel like a bit of an impostor, but in my defence: Daniel Hulbert said it would be okay to join. Would it help if I said that I am considering building a "KingBoxer?"

11 December 2012

Sharkfin Ukulele - A Bridge too Far

I've moved indoors to try and finish off my Sharkfin Ukulele build. I don't think that Mrs Uke has realised. Please don't tell her... she'll have my guts for garters! I sneaked the workbench upstairs whilst she was out at her Wrestling classes. :-O

I will NEVER give in!!!!

7 December 2012

Who'd Win?

As if we needed reminding... Intolerance is alive and well and it lives on the Internet. People get a bee in their bonnets about the smallest of things and before you know it, everything's been escalated out of control and it's handbags at dawn. I usually keep a safe distance... usually... ;-)

Who'd Win... Zombies versus Vampires?

6 December 2012

100,000th Visitor

We're all a bit tearful here at the Ukulele Blog. Earlier today we welcomed our 100,000th visitor to the site. I've checked the records and the hit came in the early hours of the morning from a sleepy suburb of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

I immediately hopped on a plane to congratulate the winner.

Imagine my surprise when none-other than Thiago Medeiros answered the door. We drank a little, talked about tanajura, and I awarded Thiago a Ukulele Blog custom "dead hand" ukulele! What a wonderful guy!

Thank you Thiago.

Here's to another 100,000 visits!

Thiago Medeiros accepts his prize!

4 December 2012

Sharkfin Ukulele - Building Bridges

Hot on the heels of yesterday's update, I've been inspired to do a little more on my Sharkfin ukulele build. In case you're wondering about my bad back... it's feeling a bit better... it'll probably be fine by the time I have to return to work tomorrow :-(

Brown-trouser Time!

Dead Man (1995)

I can't remember who put me onto Dead Man. It was a recommendation from left field. I bought the DVD, but never got around to watching it... That was until today!

Practice makes perfect!
Dead Man, Miramax 1995

3 December 2012

Sharkfin Ukulele - Strings

Today's update isn't meant to be happening. I should have been out and about with Ma and Bro, but a bad back has laid me low. I feel like crap. Still, with the benefit of pain killers, I managed a little bit of ukulele-building therapy...

Jawas Rock!

1 December 2012

Sin City Headhunters

In the same week that I learnt that my mum has joined a biker gang (yep, you heard me right!), I happened to be rifling through my hard disk and came across a few pictures that had me chuckling to myself. Some of these I've shared with you before. Some are brand new. Let's see if I can make sense of all this... There is a bit of a sync going on here...

Sin City Headhunters