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April 3, 2011 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Nerdgasm [SLYT].

If any MeFites want to catalog all the allusions in this piece, that would be all kinds of awesome.
posted by whimsicalnymph (177 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I the only one that's getting tired of the ukelele?
posted by philip-random at 12:44 PM on April 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


Kim Boekbinder is better

and (related uke side-ways self link) She's making awesome music videos
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on April 3, 2011


but I like how every party I go to now has a little uke group going on. Everyone knows Gaga songs by. heart.
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on April 3, 2011


Girls singing songs about how girls singing songs about nerd stuff is so quaint and unique is so quaint and unique.
posted by so_gracefully at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one that's getting tired of the ukelele?
posted by philip-random at 8:44 PM on April 3


Hell no. I hate that fucking toy guitar as hard as if it were a Nazi made out of brussels sprouts and goat vomit.
posted by Decani at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


And that's why you shouldn't shoot video with your phone held vertically.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


posted by whimsicalnymph

Ah-hah!
posted by gonna get a dog at 1:10 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Horace Rumpole: And that's why you shouldn't shoot video with your phone held vertically.

Why does YouTube not automatically rotate the player so that we can see the video better?
posted by 47triple2 at 1:13 PM on April 3, 2011


Here's a little Roy Smeck for all the haters.
posted by cazoo at 1:22 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nerd fetishism.
Glee club humor.
Woo'ing at every mention of shit enjoyed by millions of normal people.
Also, enough with the fucking ukulele. This isn't The Jerk, but you are one if you play it. You're annoying. If BoingBoing thinks it's cool then it isn't cool.
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 1:26 PM on April 3, 2011 [19 favorites]


Why does YouTube not automatically rotate the player so that we can see the video better?

Because then people would be all up in arms about how Google is violating the integrity of the film maker's milieu and would be blogging frothily about how Google is violating their rights and how this is just one more step closer to Nineteen Eighty-Four, except they'd write "1984" with numbers instead of the actual title, and they wouldn't italicize it because I AIN'T GOT TIME FOR THIS, I GOT SHITS TO DO, MAN! just like the rabid, ignorant hipster poseurs they really are.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:26 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, enough with the fucking ukulele. This isn't The Jerk, but you are one if you play it. You're annoying. If BoingBoing thinks it's cool then it isn't cool.

Yer blocking. Go on, tell us how you really feel.

Beyond a certain point I have to let then have their ukes and subway maps and unicorn chasers and bits of self-promotion and, yes, their occasional awesome find. I have Boing Boing in my feed reader, and I am not ashamed.
posted by JHarris at 1:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


When it comes to demented, nerdy Ukelele craziness, no ones comes close to my semi-surrogate sister The Ukelady.
posted by dbiedny at 1:31 PM on April 3, 2011


Aww, I thought it was funny; would've been better without the uke, but funny nonetheless.
posted by garnetgirl at 1:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one that's getting tired of the ukelele?

You mean, of course, the memetar.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:33 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Nerd pandering.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:39 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


except they'd write "1984" with numbers instead of the actual title

Actually, most of the editions on Amazon have covers that just say 1984.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:40 PM on April 3, 2011


I'm going to go with Nerd Anthem by Marian Call. I mean, heck, she did a whole album inspired by Firefly.
posted by redbeard at 1:41 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


soooo I didn't understand pretty much any of the jokes and I love the ukulele. I think my membership to metafilter is going to be revoked soon.
posted by raccoon409 at 1:49 PM on April 3, 2011


kid ichorous: "You mean, of course, the memetar."

"My fashionable percussive stringed instrument is better than your fashionable percussive stringed instrument."

Arthur Phillips Jones Jr: "Woo'ing at every mention of shit enjoyed by millions of normal people."

People don't *Woo* at things because they are obscure, they *Woo* because they enjoy being pandered to.

I mean what do we expect? People go out to see music so someone will get up on stage and let them know how awesome they are. This is the foundation of the music industry.
posted by idiopath at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, for a harmless link to a silly video there is way too much hate in here.

Go outside and kick some squirrels or something. Jeeze.
posted by bondcliff at 2:09 PM on April 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


Guys? Didn't you hear me? Stop having fun!
posted by knave at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


My nerdgasms are vastly different from this one....
posted by pink candy floss at 2:18 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


People find you more attractive when you like the things they like--is that the joke?
posted by LogicalDash at 2:21 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the joke was - watch how many pop culture references can I turn into sexual innuendo.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:23 PM on April 3, 2011


Man, for a harmless link to a silly video there is way too much hate in here.

In accelerated times, frivolity is not harmless. It is at best unintended distraction, at worst covert confusionism. And this shit is definitely frivolous.
posted by philip-random at 2:24 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow I'm getting flashbacks to college and the music student who said tonal music was evil because it lulled into a fantasy world.
posted by The Whelk at 2:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought it was adorable, but yeah-- I'm always a little sad when this kind of stuff name-checks only the highest-profile, most broadly appealing bits of nerd culture.

[I do, of course, realize that a song about Damon Knight, Hope Mirrlees, Windsor McCay, and the Méliès brothers wouldn't draw as big an audience-- and that in fact, it might not draw any audience at all. But I can dream, right?]
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


In accelerated times, frivolity is not harmless. It is at best unintended distraction, at worst covert confusionism.

What.
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one that's getting tired of the ukelele?

No. Me too. The uke seems to be a lowest common demoninator musical instrument and is now so common and accepted it's pretty much the anti-nerd of musical instruments. It's like the pink polo shirt for girls-with-bangs

Am I the only one annoyed that the word "nerd" used to mean being into weird obscure stuff but now it means sucking up vapid self-referential popular culture like a black hole?
posted by fuq at 2:36 PM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


"pink polo shirt" being a reference to "bro" type males. You know, they wear pink polo shirts with the collar popped.
posted by fuq at 2:37 PM on April 3, 2011


"nerd" was replaced

what once was "nerd" is now "hipster"
posted by LogicalDash at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


hipsters are not nerds. ALL hipsters care about is image, a true nerd cares NOTHING about image...
posted by tomswift at 2:47 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one annoyed that the word "nerd" used to mean being into weird obscure stuff

Didn't the word "nerd" used to mean "someone with poor social skills"? I think "geek" is the word you're looking for.
posted by Jpfed at 3:30 PM on April 3, 2011


I mean what do we expect? People go out to see music so someone will get up on stage and let them know how awesome they are. This is the foundation of the music industry.

And there I thought people went to concerts to see the people on stage being awesome.
posted by ersatz at 3:39 PM on April 3, 2011


Why does YouTube not automatically rotate the player so that we can see the video better?

Because then people would be all up in arms about how Google is violating the integrity of the film maker's milieu


I don't think the implication of the question was to crop the video to landscape dimensions, I think what 47triple2 was actually asking is "Why does youtube still show a landscape playback window with portrait video scaled down within it's boundaries, as opposed to shifting/adjusting the various screen elements to show portrait video at the largest resolution possible?"

It's probably on their to-do list, but since iPhone is the only device I know of in current release that supports portrait video, the market demands are not large enough to make it higher priority.

As other devices implement portrait recording and the percentage of videos in the format increases in the youtube database, I imagine they will finally get around to addressing it.

Portrait aspect ratio video has more haters than lovers at the moment, it seems, but perhaps in time people will find useful applications for it.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:43 PM on April 3, 2011


Didn't the word "nerd" used to mean "someone with poor social skills"? I think "geek" is the word you're looking for.

As I had it explained to me about ten years ago by a self-described "Hacker" who, it's worth pointing out, was sort of a fugitive at the time:

- Nerds are goofy, obsessed with tech etc but not very good at it, and certainly no one a Hacker would waste his time talking to about anything (the tech equivalent of Grammar or Elementary school kids)

- Geeks are definitely a level up from Nerds, but still prone to being mostly annoying, and definitely not cool even if they have mastered a bunch of complex tech, because there's way more to life than tech (Middle School equivalents)

- Hackers are the cool kids in high school. They can shut down the school's main frame with one hand and roll a joint with the other, whilst simultaneously flirting (successfully) with girls five years older than them.
posted by philip-random at 4:08 PM on April 3, 2011


My friend once ordered from McDonalds by singing on a ukulele. It was late on a Sunday, I'd just played a gig, and I was pretty annoyed at being an extra in a bad indie video. One of my friends who sang (but didn't play) is proud of being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I was the only one not having fun, so I felt like an asshole. And wish I'd taped it so it could go viral.
In accelerated times, frivolity is not harmless. It is at best unintended distraction, at worst covert confusionism.

But after reading that I feel like Andrew WK. WTF?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:08 PM on April 3, 2011


hipsters are not nerds. ALL hipsters care about is image, a true nerd cares NOTHING about image...

Oh dear god. Meet more nerds. All the nerds I know care SO VERY MUCH about liking obscure things that other people don't know about. They look down their nose at people with mainstream tastes so much harder than hipsters do.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:08 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


hipsters are not nerds. ALL hipsters care about is image, a true nerd cares NOTHING about image...

Can we just settle down and be happy with the fact that every single person on the fucking planet has a different definition for what a hipster is (and that they are inherently never a part of that definition)?

Ditto for nerds, except that the people who consider themselves to be nerds rarely actually are.
posted by schmod at 4:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The ukulele is fun. If you don't get it, then you haven't played one enough. But thanks for letting us know that you hate the uke, you hate this song, you hate slyt, and you hate the poster for posting it. I'll be in the other room playing my uke if you have anything else you want to tell me.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:33 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't hate the ukulele, I hate the fetishism of it, in the same way that I don't actually hate fixed gear bicycles.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:36 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is SO MUCH crossover between hipster and nerd/geek cultures, especially when it comes to things like pixel art and indie games. That's pretty much why I loved Scott Pilgrim. It was the ultimate hipster nerdgasm.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:40 PM on April 3, 2011


When I'm on the internet the things I love are derided for being too mainstream but when I'm out in the real world people have no idea who this Joss Whedon fellow is and think I'm some crazy nerd. IS THERE NO MIDDLE GROUND??
posted by liquorice at 5:41 PM on April 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


- Nerds are goofy, obsessed with tech etc but not very good at it, and certainly no one a Hacker would waste his time talking to about anything (the tech equivalent of Grammar or Elementary school kids)

- Geeks are definitely a level up from Nerds, but still prone to being mostly annoying, and definitely not cool even if they have mastered a bunch of complex tech, because there's way more to life than tech (Middle School equivalents)

- Hackers are the cool kids in high school. They can shut down the school's main frame with one hand and roll a joint with the other, whilst simultaneously flirting (successfully) with girls five years older than them.


Can you do me a favor and write a paper on this with the title "The Doctorow to Appelbaum Spectrum"?
posted by codacorolla at 5:41 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think alot of hipsters are ex-nerds. You transfer your nerdiness from nerd stuff into music, where it becomes more socially acceptable and make your bad fashion sense something cool. Then again, a scene were guys like Xiu Xiu play the DS on stage isn't exactly trying to hide its nerdy origins.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:55 PM on April 3, 2011


WE ARE NOT DORKS
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Then again, a scene were guys like Xiu Xiu play the DS on stage isn't exactly trying to hide its nerdy origins.

WHERE. not were. sorry
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:28 PM on April 3, 2011


Can we just settle down and be happy with the fact that every single person on the fucking planet has a different definition for what a hipster is (and that they are inherently never a part of that definition)?

Could you write that in Helvetica and shop it on to a faux Polaroid photo (a picture of a hot dog comprising ingredients made entirely by urban homesteaders (tm) would be nice) made into a postcard and sold on Etsy? Because it takes a lot to get my attention these days.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:00 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The uke seems to be a lowest common demoninator musical instrument

I thought that was kinda the point? At least for the hipster / BoingBoing uke love which includes ukeleles made out of cigar boxes or dead sparcstations or whatever. Music is awesome, playing music yourself is awesomer, and the inherent goofiness of ukeleles means you can just twang away and enjoy yourself without worrying whether you're good enough. That's how I read it anyway. Whether a given ukelele player actually feels that way or just wants to present a carefully crafted image of cheerful unconcern for their image is another matter of course.


(Also, the only thing that ever comes out of nerd/geek/dork definitional arguments is the (re)discovery that definitions varied from place to place.)
posted by hattifattener at 9:17 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


one of my Facebook friends just mentioned her 'bathtub ukulele cover of Bad Romance'. i give it a day before it ends up here. she's not a close enough friend for me to bother tracking it down
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:19 PM on April 3, 2011


I liked it a lot. Thanks for posting.

And I wrote down the lyrics too, 'cause I couldn't find them anywhere online.

Nerdgasm by Jennifer Teeter

I see you baby standin' there readin' your Neil Gaiman graphic novel.
Oohh. Oooohhh.. You know I want you.
Can I ask you over to watch a couple of my favorite episodes of Torchwood.
Did you know it's an anagram for Dr. Who?

Tell me baby one more time,
You think the cancellation of Firefly was a crime.

Cause when you speak like that, my muscles start to spasm.
Yeah, when you geek like that, I get a Nerdgasm.

Go ahead baby. You're about to spew
A thick hot stream of Star Wars knowledge.
Oohh. Oooohhh... There's no try, only screw.
So I am open and inviting to intercourse with you
About the "Enterprise approaching vessel, Captain Sulu".

Tell me that you listen to science podcasts,
'Cause the force of my lovin' equals acceleration times your ass.

When you speak like that, my muscles start to spasm.
When you geek like that, I get a Nerdgasm.

You be Jabba, I'll be your slave.
You be the batmobile, an' I'll be the batcave.
I'm like a Tardis, bigger on the inside.
Just grab that sonic screwdriver and we'll take a ride.
So stake me baby like a vampire slayer.
'Cause I know you are a Settlers of Cataan player.

Oohh. Oooohhh... Oohh. Whooaah. Whooooaaahhh...

So, oh captain, show me your hammer or you can spray me down with your freeze ray.
Talk Wheedon to me, baby.
Or grab your googles and your top hat, and we'll pretend we're in an anchronistic future.
So steamy.

We can play Zelda all night long,
'Cause I know that your sword is the Biggoron.

Oh, when you speak like that, my muscles start to spasm.
Oh, when you geek like that, I get a Nerdgasm.

posted by marsha56 at 9:38 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


despite spending yesterday crushing on someone because we were both nerds and crying over my 4th viewing of Serenity I still cringed at those lyrics
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:35 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


- Hackers are the cool kids in high school. They can shut down the school's main frame with one hand and roll a joint with the other, whilst simultaneously flirting (successfully) with girls five years older than them.

They'd like to think so, definitely.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dammit. I already defined "Nerdgasm" back in '92.

Nerdgasm - (n) the feeling you get when a large chunk of code compiles, runs and works as expected.
posted by DigDoug at 4:30 AM on April 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought this was so cute and creative. Everyone looked and sounded like they were having a lot of fun. I am unsure why others are being so negative. Everybody's a critic, apparently...
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2011


- Hackers are the cool kids in high school. They can shut down the school's main frame with one hand and roll a joint with the other, whilst simultaneously flirting (successfully) with girls five years older than them.

O RLY?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


i thought a Nerdgasm was what you get when you see something nerdy that you know will be awesome. i had one during the first Spider-Man trailer
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:05 PM on April 4, 2011


A note from that chick in the video (aka Jennifer Teeter):
Hey Everybody,
Years ago when I dreamed of being posted on MetaFilter, this is not how I expected it would go down. So, a few notes about this video, the uke, the song:
A: I did not shoot this video. The girlfriend of ones the guys in the band shot it with her iphone.

B: I did not post this video to youtube, Have You Seen This, thedailywh.at, or Metafilter. In fact, I did not even know this song was online until it had already gotten 2,000 views. If I could have picked one song to be featured on metafilter, this would not have been it.

C: To all of you who called this pandering or said it made you cringe or said the references were to main stream, I agree. Do you know what I call this song to my boyfriend? I call it the pandery song. I wrote this song to get people to come over to the noisy stage space where I was singing at Dragon*Con. The reason I keep playing it, is that people respond to it. Of the couple dozen songs I've written, this is the only one to regularly get me a marriage proposal. Would I prefer to write a song about ruby on rails or a song of my love of Ashcan Pete or maybe some sort of round based on the movie Primer? Of course! But I'm a performer, and every reference I make that 95% of my audience doesn't catch alienates people and sends me into a life of anonymity and squalor. I do write songs that aren't trite. They're funny, but they aren't trite. I write songs about how depressing it is to grow up, how harsh society is on fat girls, how people can go through life so obsessed with their own problems that they can't see the pain in the world around them. I write songs about these thing, and I manage to make them funny, because that's my job. That's what I've found I can do. So occasionally, I write a trite song so that people will listen to everything else. And because, hell, it's fun, and there truly are worse things than having fun. Even Bill Hicks told a few dick jokes.

D: For all the ukulele haters, I'm with you. And I'm scared out of my boots. When I picked up the uke, it hadn't exploded yet. I'm not going to lie, Julia Nunes was out there, people were starting to get into it, but I had no idea that I was riding a giant wave of trendy ukulele explodiness. I picked the ukulele for one very specific reason: I was poor. A ukulele is about the cheapest instrument you can get, save a slide whistle, and I can't play that and sing at the same time. Now that every girl with a threadless t-shirt is picking up a uke and singing about Harry Potter, I feel like I might need to move on. I know how to play piano. That seems to work for Tim Minchin, but then that's the kind of reasoning that got me in this pickle in the first place.

E: I guess that's all from Jennifer Teeter. You guys made me feel like an unknown, chubby Rebecca Black, so, thanks?

Love,
Jennifer Teeter
posted by jenniferteeter at 1:36 PM on April 5, 2011 [129 favorites]


Hey, look, my sister is on MetaFilter now. That's cool.
posted by ivey at 2:10 PM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess that's all from Jennifer Teeter

Welcome to MetaFilter Jennifer, and thanks for taking the time to drop us a note. Don't mind the haters.
posted by jessamyn at 2:45 PM on April 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


Also, don't hate the minders.
posted by Mister_A at 3:07 PM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now that every girl with a threadless t-shirt is picking up a uke and singing about Harry Potter

Wait, there's a backlash against women playing ukuleles now? Dear god, I hate the internet.

call me when there's a backlash against straight white guys playing guitars and singing songs about women they never name but describe in detail
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:27 PM on April 5, 2011 [45 favorites]


I saw this from MetaTalk and after watching the video, don't get what people are being pissy. It was silly fun. The world could use more of that. The only thing possibly wrong with the song is adding a Battlestar Galatica reference.

But yeah, rock on and do your thing if it works for you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:31 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


and you know about MetaMusic, right? If you got people here looking and talking about your music, you might as well post a few more tunes, just for the hell of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As long as Eddie Vedder continues to do magical things with a ukulele, I have no problems about anyone playing it, anywhere.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on April 5, 2011


You know what I'm sick of? Guitars. Enough already.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:50 PM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Goddamn zombies and their #$% opinions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 PM on April 5, 2011


I'm just sick of overdone "novelty". Ukulele is fast approaching it.

That being said, thanks for responding, Jennifer.
posted by josher71 at 4:06 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


HEY

I WAS ASHCAN PETE WHEN I PLAYED ARKHAM HORROR WITH ANOTHER MEFITE

HE IS AWESOME

AND HAS AN AWESOME DOG

THAT IS ALL
posted by Greg Nog at 4:16 PM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


What the heck is a threadless t-shirt?
posted by thinkpiece at 4:17 PM on April 5, 2011


What the heck is a threadless t-shirt?

Threadless T-Shirts
posted by hippybear at 4:18 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


HEY

I WAS ASHCAN PETE WHEN I PLAYED ARKHAM HORROR WITH ANOTHER MEFITE

HE IS AWESOME

AND HAS AN AWESOME DOG

THAT IS ALL


That dog's name is Duke.

He is a Good Dog.

(also you should play mansions of madness. it's awesome.)
posted by jenniferteeter at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


thinkpiece, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threadless
posted by vidur at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2011


Ohh, ok, thanks. And here I was, feeling all smug that I was getting the references and could pepper my conversation and impress my kids. And now, I'll be getting off you kids' lawn. Carry on.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:23 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As Eddie Vedder himself might say: "Zabba dabba zabba dabba UHHHHHHHHHHH-huh Woooooo-OHHHHHHH Yeah! AHHHH-HAHH! Yuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA UNH!!!"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:24 PM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


kittens for breakfast: it's not fair, bringing the recorded version of Yellow Ledbetter into this. Eddie has never performed that on the ukulele!
posted by hippybear at 4:27 PM on April 5, 2011


I LOVE Jennifer Teeter. She is funny and awesome, and her songs make me happy.
posted by Catbunny at 4:38 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"call me when there's a backlash against straight white guys playing guitars and singing songs about women they never name but describe in detail"

Uh, that lash has backed already. The only reason we haven't been able to burn their ilk from the world is that straight white girls keep having sex with them despite the absolute shittiness of their music.
posted by klangklangston at 4:39 PM on April 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm just sick of overdone "novelty". Ukulele is fast approaching it.

If novelty is overdone, doesn't it just become mainstream? I have a feeling that an amplified guitar was a novelty once upon a time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:57 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think a discussion of the ukulele is complete without this, which is, of course, MMMBop as it would sound if it were played by Leonard Cohen. On the ukulele.

Those of you who think the ukulele is overdone will immediately change your minds. Those of you who think it isn't will also change your minds.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:19 PM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what I'm over? Giving up on things that I genuinely love because someone else decided they were overdone. Cf. weird covers, homemade sausage, Etsy, and now (apparently) the ukulele. Haters can suck it, I'll be over here in my sombrero and Mickey Mouse pants.
posted by KathrynT at 5:21 PM on April 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


Anyone who loves Ashcan Pete is OK by me. Just sayin'. Due and his dog reliably save the world.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:30 PM on April 5, 2011


I've never asked anyone to stop liking the things they like. This hater does not hate these things in and of themselves, only the feeling that it is supposed to be a wonderful, hilarious, novelty.

The ukulele is approaching mainstream but people still treat it like a novelty. That's more what I was getting at, AZ. I'm fine with ukulele music that's that without the pretension of it being on a ukulele.
posted by josher71 at 5:31 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


some sort of round based on the movie Primer?
...Oh my. Yes please.
posted by Skorgu at 5:31 PM on April 5, 2011


I think that was cute.
posted by OmieWise at 5:40 PM on April 5, 2011


The ukulele is approaching mainstream but people still treat it like a novelty.

Well, that's fair. I've been playing the uke since for 20 years, and there's definitely more to it than a strummy sort of toy to play when you're feeling a bit whimsy. That being said, it is an excellent strummy sort of toy to play when you're feeling a bit whismy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:43 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Nerdgasm" isn't quite my thing, but I have respect for ANYONE that gets on stage, anywhere, anytime. It's a brutal and terrifying prospect, so more power to you, Jennifer.

And I used to be a uke hater, until I heard Jake Shimabukuro. (Here's his cover of Bohemian Rhapsody - wow.)
posted by malocchio at 6:23 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


No ukulele thread should pass without a nod to the great Roy Smeck.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:48 PM on April 5, 2011


until I heard Jake Shimabukuro

Jesus Christ. I am consistently amazed at some of the crazy shit that people can do.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:49 PM on April 5, 2011


Who's Rebecca Black?
posted by tomswift at 7:15 PM on April 5, 2011


[I do, of course, realize that a song about Damon Knight, Hope Mirrlees, Windsor McCay, and the Méliès brothers wouldn't draw as big an audience-- and that in fact, it might not draw any audience at all. But I can dream, right?]

You're looking for the filk room of your local sci-fi con.
posted by the_artificer at 7:15 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who's Rebecca Black?
I'll tell you on Friday.
posted by unliteral at 7:24 PM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Who's Rebecca Black?

She's a Google phenomenon. Go ahead, type her name into Google and you'll see!
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 PM on April 5, 2011


What's Google?
posted by tomswift at 7:29 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who's Rebecca Black?

She's a Google phenomenon.


She's a Google phenomenon!
She's got her sneakers on!
Her name is known from the Pyranees to Lebanon!
She's at the hair salon!
She's joining Al-Anon!
I once saw her at a diner in Saskatchewan!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:33 PM on April 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


What's Google?

Google!
Schmoogle!
It's a boondoggle!
A toggle switch'll turn ya of and on while ya struggle!
A double!
In trouble!
It make me wanna giggle!
Gonna wear my goggles while I look ya up on Google!

[repeat]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:37 PM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


dammit. that's "off and on".

typos. grrr.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:42 PM on April 5, 2011


Whoever is sending the weed to flapjax might want to cut back a bit...
posted by tomswift at 7:44 PM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nah, tomswift, I'm high on life, baby.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:46 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am also high on life.

Also drugs.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Life is a drug.

Coming down? That's dying.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:47 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really recommend weed over life... it's more reliable.
posted by tomswift at 7:48 PM on April 5, 2011


guys you can have both.
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


For a while. But you knock over that first domino, brother, you'll be shooting horse right through your eyeball within two weeks, and from there it's perdition. One day the preacher will be pointing to your body in the open cask, and he will ask the assembled "What did he keep in there? Oh my brothers and sisters, what did our fallen love one keep in the temple that was his body?"

And they will stare back, uncomprehending. And he will answer his own question.

"He kept his weed in there."

Join me now for Psalm 23, lead by our own sister Gloria.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:36 PM on April 5, 2011


G! L! O! R! I! A!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:52 PM on April 5, 2011


pointing to your body in the open cask

because that's where he'll have drowned?
posted by russm at 10:49 PM on April 5, 2011


Cute song. I'd buy it for at least 99 cents. If only ...
posted by jabberjaw at 10:56 PM on April 5, 2011


Hey, thanks for the amazing debate over my dumb little song. I just wanted to defend my body of work against a negative response to one song in one badly recorded video. Anyway, MeFi is a pretty cool place to be critiqued.
Oh, and thanks for not calling me a filker. That's really all I ask.
posted by jenniferteeter at 6:12 AM on April 6, 2011


I heard flapjax' first post there to the riddim of Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell
posted by jtron at 6:26 AM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't hate on the ukulele scene because it's gotten my daughter (and a lot of kids like her) to put herself out there, musically. She's been dabbling with guitar a while, even participating in Girls Rock DC for three years running, but was never really into an instrument until the uke. She'll be 16 this summer, and it's amazing to see how the uke has helped her socially and emotionally.

There's a whole ukulele scene at her large suburban highschool, and she feels a bit snobby about the fact that she was playing hers before they were playing theirs, you know, about how she plays guitar, too, not like all these wannabes. It's charming to hear such things from my 16-year-old, the Holden-Caulfield-esque rants about those phonies. But what's really charming is the idea that all these kids are bringing their musical instruments to school, playing them at lunch and while waiting for the bus. We were never that outgoing with our performances when we were kids, and we were the music geeks.

So, sure, ukuleles are trite, Glee is a fad, songs about nerds are pandering. Yes, it's all be done. But while you're sitting over there feeling judgmental, I'm sitting on the couch next to my daughter (who goes off to college in two years), performing an ironic ukulele duet (she likes emo covers), and feeling like the best damned dad in the world.

Thanks, jenniferteeter. Thanks, Sweater Set (who let me play along on Valentine's Day). Thanks to all the fads that have converged with me sharing absolutely priceless moments with my daughter.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:59 AM on April 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


I just wanted to defend my body of work against a negative response to one song in one badly recorded video.

It's never the song (or the drawing, or the video, or the blog post, or...) that you want it to be, is one of the weird monkeys paw gotchas I've noticed. The stuff I'm mostly intensely proud of, the stuff I put my heart into, is the stuff that gets a couple polite notes and one of them is from my Dad and that's it. The dumb little thing I put together in an hour in service of a pun I thought up, or the joyful but pandery little riff on something people can relate to but that isn't technically or emotionally all that substantial, that'll be the one that shoots the damn moon.

Anyway, I'm glad you joined up and talked about your side of it. It's easy for this stuff to happen sometimes as if there's some invisible membrane that keeps the What We Post About partitioned off from Who We Are, and a reminder that that's not so is generally a good thing.

And as a few people have mentioned in here and over on that related Metatalk thread, you should definitely check out the Music part of the site and toss up a song or three. That way you actually get to choose which one it is, heh.
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on April 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with filk? :(
posted by kmz at 7:09 AM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


You guys get what you asked for.
posted by jenniferteeter at 7:30 AM on April 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what I'm over? Giving up on things that I genuinely love because someone else decided they were overdone.

Oh yeah, I've been eyeing the ukes at the local music store because I've been thinking about stretching out into treble clef and they're cheap. Of course, I don't really have an audience beyond L., two cats, and maybe my parents. It's a bit of a quid pro quo as they subject me to English Handbell music. So frankly, I can look as stupid as I want.

Not a horrible song, made me laugh, worth listening to once.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:45 AM on April 6, 2011


- Nerds are goofy, obsessed with tech etc but not very good at it, and certainly no one a Hacker would waste his time talking to about anything (the tech equivalent of Grammar or Elementary school kids)

- Geeks are definitely a level up from Nerds, but still prone to being mostly annoying, and definitely not cool even if they have mastered a bunch of complex tech, because there's way more to life than tech (Middle School equivalents)

- Hackers are the cool kids in high school. They can shut down the school's main frame with one hand and roll a joint with the other, whilst simultaneously flirting (successfully) with girls five years older than them.


Yeah... no. You've got your nerds and geeks mixed up.

And hackers are just lamoes on Rollerblades.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you insist on a highly technical definition of "nerd" you probably are one, myself included.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:21 AM on April 6, 2011


The uke thing is funny, because it gets a weird "oh that's just a bullshit toy instrument" dismissal sometimes, but, well, it's a stringed fretted instrument. It looks like a novelty, but it's a functional instrument. It looks easy, but you actually have to learn to play the thing worth a goddam—fretting, chord forms, transitions, strumming, picking, limb independence. These are basic, fundamental musical skills even before we start talking about songwriting and arrangement.

So if you pick up a uke as your first instrument and you get good on that thing, congratulations: you are legitimately a musician and the majority of people can, in theory, shut the hell up right then and there. If you come to uke from a musical background, it's even less of an issue: you already were a musician, and you've learned another tool.

But the uke has had a bunch of memetic saturation for a while now, and so a lot of people whose investment in the topic goes no farther than what comes across their youtube linkroll have gone from a sort of neutral-dismissive "ha, they're playing a tiny guitar" default to more a more aggressively condemnatory "oh god, not another uke player" mode. Which, from a strict consumer perspective, sure, I get that: you're tired of the new hotness, you want a newer hotness. The world is a buffet and you're annoyed that they're using two heater trays for swedish meatballs when you're over swedish meatballs.

But from the musician's view of the whole thing, it is weird to behold. People will reflexively snob about Guitar Hero and say "oh yeah, well go learn a real instrument", as if people who might have put in the time to do that are going to be dissuaded from doing so by a video game. People will reflexively snob about the uke and say "oh yeah, well go learn to play a real guitar", as if the size of the instrument is the measure of its legitimacy as a musical tool. People will crap on guitar playing they don't like, as if every good guitarist on the planet was born that way and never had to learn; people will crap on songwriting in a style they don't prefer, as if writing songs is as easy as turning dials to the Correct Genre setting and why on earth didn't you turn the correct dials?

There's a lot of this sort of detached entitlement out there. It's certainly not unique to music, but listening to music is such a universal experience, and as crafts go music-making such a common outlet, that it's that much more visible when "I want content generated to my tastes" collides with "I'm making something with my bare hands" in such a way that the folks in the more passive former camp feel somehow totally comfortable asserting the high ground on the people in the latter.

Personal taste is personal taste and everybody's got a right to it; criticism is useful, at least when it's useful. Beyond that, though, there's a lot of Why Am I Not Being Correctly Entertained out there in the world that manages to get off the leash for no good reason, and from the doing-the-work, learning-the-craft, making-the-content side of things that does get awful tiring.
posted by cortex at 8:28 AM on April 6, 2011 [172 favorites]


I'm not sure I like the abbreviation "uke." I mean, "ukelele" is inherently such a fun word to say out loud and to type, why shorten it to a sound my cat makes when it's hacking up hairballs?
posted by jabberjaw at 8:48 AM on April 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Meh. Ain't no Tiny Tim.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 AM on April 6, 2011


I'm not sure I like the abbreviation "uke." I mean, "ukelele" is inherently such a fun word to say out loud and to type, why shorten it to a sound my cat makes when it's hacking up hairballs?
Because no one, including you, knows how to spell ukulele.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:03 AM on April 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


the size of the instrument is the measure of its legitimacy as a musical tool.

This man would like to have a word with you.
posted by owtytrof at 9:13 AM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want to be free of being told to be excited about the new hotness since it's not new anymore. It may still be hot and awesome, but if the fact that it is new is supposed to be part of the entertainment, then I'm not sold on that element. Others may be though. I'm not discounting that and I hope they enjoy it. But, yes, "memeatic saturation" indeed.
posted by josher71 at 9:46 AM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to be free of being told to be excited about the new hotness since it's not new anymore.

Which, sure. If someone is cornering you and saying "you do like the ukulele, don't you?" and cracking their knuckles, they're an asshole.

There's a great big continuum between that and someone just choosing to play songs on the uke because that's something they are enjoying doing, though, and the disconnect for me is when folks treat one point somewhere on that continuum as another point entirely and react accordingly. Certainly not everybody does that, and certainly it's fine to be tired of a thing of your own accord.

The cultural zeitgeist is a bigger, more lumbering thing than the individual people participating in it, and it has a momentum that can be inconvenient for creative consumer and creative producer alike. As someone who just plain likes playing the ukulele, I assure you that whatever your difficulties with its preponderance the last few years, mine are greater because instead of being annoyed at a few too many youtube links I get to be annoyed at people treating something I do because I like it as something I do because I'm a creative carpetbagger or because I didn't get the memo that it's not okay to like doing this thing anymore, etc.

We're all mostly on the same side on this stuff: like what you like, do what you like to do, nothing's compulsory and everybody can pretty easily and effectively filter for their preferences. But it gets easy to lose track of that and glom things together, whether we're talking about critical responses (e.g. not everybody who dislikes a song/instrument/performance is just being an grumpy poser for the sake of the grumpy pose) or creative acts (almost no one doing that creative thing that a lot of people are doing that you're annoyed about is doing it just because everyone is doing it, or doing it to annoy you, or doing it for cynical reasons detached from the simple joy of doing).
posted by cortex at 10:05 AM on April 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Because no one, including you, knows how to spell ukulele.

But that's part of the fun of the word!
posted by jabberjaw at 10:44 AM on April 6, 2011


So, do all these people who hate the ukulele (or find it tired) also find mandolins hateful or tired?

I mean, they're kind of the same instrument on many levels... 4 basic notes they're tuned to (different for each instrument), kind of a plunky sound, can be played by strumming or mad picking skills....

I know they're not the same. But they're close enough that I wonder if ukulele dislike spills over into mandolin dislike.
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM on April 6, 2011


I find it weird that people are complaining about all these ukulele playing people. What they hell are they doing/going where they keep finding that sort of thing as a steady diet. They should try going somewhere else for a change.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on April 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I mean, they're kind of the same instrument on many levels... 4 basic notes they're tuned to (different for each instrument), kind of a plunky sound, can be played by strumming or mad picking skills....

The difference is if you get confused and ask a ukulele player about his mandolin he's not going to smash it over your head.
posted by bondcliff at 11:59 AM on April 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The other difference is it only takes a uke player half as long to not really tune their instrument correctly.
posted by cortex at 12:16 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since this has turned into a referendum on the uke, I'll add my two cents, and say that although I certainly don't mind the uke, I greatly prefer the baritone uke for its slightly greater range and versatility.

Definitely one of the more underappreciated instruments.
posted by schmod at 12:29 PM on April 6, 2011


This one goes out for all of you ukulele haters out there.

If you can hate this (now fairly well known song) by the late, great Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, there might be something wrong with your outlook on life. Me? As a really snarky, cynical son of a bitch? It makes the hair on my neck stand up and tingle and reminds me that I'm alive, and that that doesn't suck at all.
posted by loquacious at 12:54 PM on April 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Me too Loq.
posted by Hobgoblin at 1:10 PM on April 6, 2011


"Fuck You, I'm a Ukulele"
posted by phoque at 1:10 PM on April 6, 2011


Amen on the IZ. Have we ever had a good FPP about him? Singular dude.
posted by jbickers at 1:13 PM on April 6, 2011


I thought so - zarq's exemplary post on IZ ...
posted by jbickers at 1:14 PM on April 6, 2011


Wait, what? Zarq? You posted... and then you said... I.... err *explodes*
posted by loquacious at 1:56 PM on April 6, 2011


I'm not sure I like the abbreviation "uke." I mean, "ukelele" is inherently such a fun word to say out loud and to type, why shorten it to a sound my cat makes when it's hacking up hairballs?

Because no one, including you, knows how to spell ukulele.


Not only that, but my Hawaiian wife and all her Hawaiian family all pronounce it "ookalehleh," rendering the "yuke" shortening nonsense.
posted by nevercalm at 2:26 PM on April 6, 2011


Then they should call it an "ook" for short (which is even more fun to say than "ukulele").
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:38 PM on April 6, 2011


MetaFilter: I Am Not Being Correctly Entertained.
posted by dhartung at 3:54 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


+1 point for ukulele: "Postcards from Italy" by Beirut
posted by dhens at 3:54 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


my Hawaiian wife and all her Hawaiian family all pronounce it "ookalehleh,"

Here in Japan the pronunciation is similar to the original hawaiian. Basically, oo-koo-reh-reh.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 PM on April 6, 2011


OK, now I'm confused. nevercalm, does your wife pronounce it "uke" as in "duke" or "ook" as in "book"?

I'd hate for the Internet to think I'm speaking words wrong.
posted by m@f at 4:15 PM on April 6, 2011


I'd guess she pronounces it "ook", as in the European "u" vowel sound, which is sort of a pure "oo" noise as in "shoe". It's neither the diphthong "yoo" as in "duke" nor is it the "oohk" sound as in "book".

Ookoolehleh. That's how I've heard native Hawaiians pronounce the word.
posted by hippybear at 4:18 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is also the place that hated on Wil Wheaton so hard he mentioned it in his book. When we see the parts of ourselves that we're the least comfortable with reflected in other people, all the self-loathing muscles clench. It's like watching the next-to-least popular kid in school pick on the least popular kid in for being lame.
posted by danny the boy at 4:34 PM on April 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'll give you my ukulele when you pry it from my cold, dead, Five Foot Two strumming hands.
posted by Drab_Parts at 5:19 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


nevercalm, does your wife pronounce it "uke" as in "duke" or "ook" as in "book"?

Hippybear has it....the "oo" in "shoe," except perhaps dragged out a half of a beat shorter. And I've never heard anyone there say anything but the whole word, so much so that my first thought is to wonder if somewhere people call a guitar a "git" or a mandolin "man."
posted by nevercalm at 5:22 PM on April 6, 2011


I have heard "git" occasionally. I have heard "mando" a great deal. Bluegrass folks from Montana as the primary source in both cases.
posted by cortex at 5:24 PM on April 6, 2011


Okay, i actually listened to it. Got halfway through the first verse and had to turn it off. It did remind me of a friend seeing me reading Death: The High Cost of Living and yelling 'TORI!' and then making a lunge for it
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:27 PM on April 6, 2011


Now that you say it, I've heard "mando" as well.
posted by nevercalm at 5:29 PM on April 6, 2011


"...and curse Sir Walter Raleigh
he was such a stupid guitar"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 PM on April 6, 2011


I like my ukulele: it's portable and only has four strings to tune. Plus, a nylon-stringed instrument is a useful studio tool.

Also I pronounce it oo-koo-leh-leh, but only while I'm wearing an aloha shirt. Which is much of the summer.

Also I sometimes label guitar tracks "git."
posted by uncleozzy at 5:51 AM on April 7, 2011


I don't name my instruments often or quickly, but I think I'm going to start calling my ukulele "Uke Boll" and blaming bad video game movies on it.
posted by cortex at 7:14 AM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I vote Uke Nukem.
posted by phoque at 7:32 AM on April 7, 2011


Cortex, go to joke jail. Do not pass go.
posted by josher71 at 7:33 AM on April 7, 2011


I'm going to name mine Timo Boll and start playing table tennis with it.

I've always called it a 'yook', but I've been trying to call it an 'ook' since I saw The Mighty Ukulele.
posted by MtDewd at 7:33 AM on April 7, 2011


A friend of mine has an uncle who's obsessively searching for a National Steel Ukulele. I hope he finds one, because that's something I just have to see.
posted by COBRA! at 7:51 AM on April 7, 2011


Does it have to be National Steel? Recording King makes a resonator ukulele, too, nickel-plated brass instead of steel, and probably not as nice, fit-and-finish wise, but still damned nice.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:59 AM on April 7, 2011


I don't know how much of a stickler he is for it to be a National; but now I kind of want one of those Recording Kings just to hang up as wall decoration.
posted by COBRA! at 9:02 AM on April 7, 2011


Recording King is made by Johnson, so it's not the best-quality instrument. I've had to replace the resonator cone, as it's easily dented; the one in there now is actually a National cone. The friction tuners were bad, slippy and not very precise, so I changed them, which was complicated by the fact that I had to drill the headstock--the new mechanical tuners are WAY superior. Even with all the extra work, it cost about 1/4 of a National; I've not seen one of those in person, but I bet it's sweet.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2011


George Harrison was a ukelele fan since before the Internet.

Also - welcome, Jennifer!
posted by kristi at 5:15 PM on April 7, 2011


I had no idea that the ukulele is currently a fascination amongst the mainland youth and hipster crowd, and it thrills me that all of you can experience the unique irritation that comes with too few chords played properly on just four strings. I thought the song from the OP was pretty well done, compared to some acoustic atrocities I've born witness to.

Back when I was in high school (mid-90's) you couldn't throw a rock without hitting two people strumming a uke, which was mostly due to the popularity of Iz and the Ka'au Crater Boys. On the flip side, the great thing about the uke was that you only had to learn 3 chords and you could hold a pretty good jam session for about 2 drunken hours, seamlessly transitioning from one song to the next between hearty swigs of alcoholic autotune.
posted by krippledkonscious at 7:20 PM on April 7, 2011


All this talk of ironic ukulele and no mention of the The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain?
posted by Eumachia L F at 12:05 AM on April 8, 2011


I gotta say I love the bitter but funny simple victories.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:14 AM on April 8, 2011


The popularity of the ukulele has been going in waves for over a 100 years.

Of the three original Portuguese ukulele makers, only Manuel Nunes remained and by 1910, orders were so numerous that he could not keep up with the demand. A young Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka began his apprenticeship under Manuel Nunes (more on Kamaka Ukuleles). New competitors entered the field sometimes bringing unique design differences, tonal qualities and innovations. One of the competitors, Kumalae, had a new factory that could turn out around 300 instruments a month. Despite all the competition, there seemed to be plenty of business to go around as orders flooded in from all over.
- From Ukes.com

The ukulele is based on the Portuguese cavaquinho which has its own history of popularity and is still played in Portugal today.

Its a wonderful instrument with a great history.
posted by vacapinta at 3:41 AM on April 8, 2011


Thanks again for the support and helpful critiques. I posted the most appropriate song I had to all this hullabaloo yesterday. It's called ukulele whore, which is what I think some of you wanted to call me. But you didn't, because you're good people.
posted by jenniferteeter at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2011


All this talk about 'uke' is very amusing to somebody who is familiar with yaoi terms.
posted by kmz at 1:15 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Why Am I Not Being Correctly Entertained?
posted by memebake at 4:34 PM on April 9, 2011


I'm very late to the thread, but the singer of the song showed up a few days ago, and in passing mentioned that perhaps she should write:
...or maybe some sort of round based on the movie Primer?
posted by jenniferteeter at 4:36 PM on April 5
..and I gotta say, that's the greatest idea that I've heard in quite a while. (Thanks, jenniferteeter, and best of luck with your music!)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


But from the musician's view of the whole thing, it is weird to behold.

It seems to be an English-speaking Western thing in some ways, because it's not just the uke. The number of instruments that draw shit and derision in popular culture is... actually, almost all of them. Playing a flute with your hard rock band? Pretentious wanker. Accordian? OH GOD STOP. And so on. My daughter's music teacher is German and plays the latter and finds the fact that it's basically disappeared in the English-speaking world really weird.

We seem to have picked up this fucked-up notion of authenticity that has basically rendered it not OK to play almost any instrument outside of samples, drums and guitar, as though aspiring to be one of a thousand wanna-be cock-thrusting lead guitarists is somehow a sign of more authentic musicianship than playing violin or accordian or whatever. It's incredibly arrogant and narrow-minded.

And there's nothing wrong with silly fun, anyway.
posted by rodgerd at 1:52 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I found a funny little toy guitar at a thrift store and paid $8 for it, because it was actually an 80 year old uke. I named it Babe, and I'm just learning. But I don't much like watching people on youtube play the ukulele, unless they're teaching me strums and fingering. I don't like feeling like the old hotness, I guess.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:51 PM on April 13, 2011


We seem to have picked up this fucked-up notion of authenticity that has basically rendered it not OK to play almost any instrument outside of samples, drums and guitar

What? SAMPLES are okay? SAMPLES are authentic? when did this happen? I'll allow you one sample per album, and it can't be part of a song
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:57 PM on April 13, 2011


LIKE everybody else, Eddie Vedder was shocked by what the ukulele could do.

NYTimes article about Vedder, Palmer and the rise of Ukulele.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:06 PM on April 17, 2011


What? SAMPLES are okay? SAMPLES are authentic? when did this happen?

Over thirty years ago.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:19 PM on April 17, 2011


What? SAMPLES are okay? SAMPLES are authentic? when did this happen?

Over thirty years ago.


Bah. I still refuse to believe it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:54 PM on April 17, 2011


LiB - if you're claiming that Since I Left You isn't OK, I'm going to have to... look, I don't know... revoke your music-listening license, or send the boys around, or something...
posted by russm at 7:12 AM on April 18, 2011


the whole album, that is, not just the title track in isolation
posted by russm at 7:24 AM on April 18, 2011


What? SAMPLES are okay? SAMPLES are authentic? when did this happen?

Well, there's this example of Tom Waits' cocksmanship, which combines many of the worst things called out in this discussion into something awesome.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:28 AM on April 18, 2011


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