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Ok. We're agreed. I can't rap.
June 7, 2009 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Julia Nunes can sing. And she plays ukulele. But what won me over: her charming, silly demeanor. She videoed herself playing Queen, Kanye, Destiny's Child, Bright Eyes and others and posted it to YouTube. Now she's got an album (eMusic) and is playing Bonnaroo.
posted by eustacescrubb (46 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
My fave song of "hers" (actually written by the other person in that video)
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on June 7, 2009


Cute-indie-chick-playing-uke phenomenon covered exhaustively here a few weeks back.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:27 AM on June 7, 2009


Her original material, also on her channel and labelled as such, is a lot more interesting and a lot less too-cute-for-myself. Regrets is especially good.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2009


Nunes is great. Can't believe she hadn't been FPP'd before. Love her cover of Survivor.
posted by m0nm0n at 10:43 AM on June 7, 2009


When the music is groovy, it makes me feel happy, like an old-time movie.

Hokey song. Talented person here, though, *almost* made me forget the daffy lyrics.
posted by raysmj at 10:50 AM on June 7, 2009


Destiny's Child link is borked.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:52 AM on June 7, 2009


Not really talented. "You Tube"-talented.
posted by Zambrano at 10:58 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Destiny's Child link is borked.
thank God for small blessings.
she's all kinds of awesome, this young lady...
posted by dawson at 10:59 AM on June 7, 2009


Not really talented. "You Tube"-talented.

Ignore the twee covers and check out the songs she actually wrote. I don't know why they weren't the FPP links in the first place. I'm a little allergic to the slew of "hey look at me being adorable and lol random for the camera" videos myself, but her own compositions do show actual talent; not just "You Tube talent".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:05 AM on June 7, 2009


Well, for whatever reason, her version of cute-indie-chick-playing-uke doesn't annoy me. She does have a good voice and she's having fun, can't fault anyone for that.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:12 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does this thread need the "cutegirlsdoingthings" tag? Yes.
posted by Hollow at 11:39 AM on June 7, 2009


I totally love her music and unadorned, playful, unpretentious style. Likably cute. What a neat discovery.
posted by nickyskye at 11:59 AM on June 7, 2009


Was hoping for a ukulele version of Kanye. Sadly, it was not to be.
posted by wayofthedodo at 12:02 PM on June 7, 2009


FOUND IT!
posted by wayofthedodo at 12:06 PM on June 7, 2009


The bar sure is set low for the blonde and photogenic.

FOLK UKE/Shit Makes The Flowers Grow

I made Cake ukulele. (playing crazy G)

Dear Deer - Kate Micucci
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 12:57 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ben Folds invited Julia Nunes to open for him last year. She is a total badass. Also, her cover of the Beatles' All My Lovin is fantastic. I heart her a lot. Thanks for sharing her with the masses, eustacescrubb.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:49 PM on June 7, 2009


0xdeadc0de there are no blonde ukulele players in any of your links. Or are these links supposed to be a counterpoint to the blonde and photogenic?
posted by eye of newt at 2:24 PM on June 7, 2009


This one is my favorite. Hey, she hits the notes, she shreds the uke, and she's a sweetie. What's with you hard-hearted people?
posted by bricoleur at 2:39 PM on June 7, 2009


What's with you hard-hearted people?

Speaking for myself here, it's like there are two different artists. One is a cloying, cutesy, generic precious YouTube performer doing covers on a ukulele. People a little too into how adorable they are kinda get on my nerves and are frankly a dime a dozen on the internet. BUT, when you click on the videos of her original material, you find a gifted songwriter who performs from the heart and comes across very sincere, plus her guitar work and composition are impressive. That I liked a lot, and I'm glad I visited her channel.

Her original material is where her best works lies and should have been front and center here. Maybe the covers were done to attract a certain internet audience, in the hopes that her original work would be given a better chance. I don't know. I just hope some of the people immediately put off by the FPP links will give her original works a chance.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:58 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


So refreshing to hear an unselfconscious young singer not hiding behind vibrato and melisma. Suck it, haters.

Marisa, maybe she sings the covers because they're fantastic songs and fun to sing?
posted by nicwolff at 3:04 PM on June 7, 2009


I'm sure they're lots of fun to sing. I'm just saying they pale in comparison to her original works.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2009


FOLK UKE/Shit Makes The Flowers Grow

In case anyone doesn't know, FOLK UKE is Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, daughters of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie. Talent runs deep.
posted by Pants! at 3:07 PM on June 7, 2009


I've been subscribed to her channel for a while now. Good to see her on the front page.
posted by kalessin at 3:22 PM on June 7, 2009


P.S. she's totally adorable in the Her Majesty cover.

Which is really why I subbed to begin with.
posted by kalessin at 3:25 PM on June 7, 2009


Wow - suck it haters - she is cute, talented and makes it work.

This is intensely better than any of the "big media" "talent-show" competitions/comptetitors I've ever heard/been abused by in the last several years.
posted by jkaczor at 3:35 PM on June 7, 2009


Thing is, the adorableness and cuteness and unpretentiousness are actually performances in their own right. It's one thing to be cute, adorable and unpretentious in real life. It's quite another to be able to perform those things successfully. Being able to pull it off to the degree that she does indicates a real talent. It's completely connected to her songwriting ability. I think they call it "stage presence."
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:39 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Her nose looks kinda funny. But agreed - she can sing.

On a side note, how the hell to these youtube phenoms manage to be so goddamn unselfconscious while mugging in front of their PCs? I would feel like such a dick - pulling faces and waving my hands about. But then, I am sitting here in my dressing gown with a dirty porridge bowl in my lap. Probably just as well I'm not on youtube.
posted by tim_in_oz at 3:49 PM on June 7, 2009


Being able to pull it off to the degree that she does indicates a real talent. It's completely connected to her songwriting ability.

Not to belabor the point here, but whatever act she coveys has nothing to do with songwriting ability. I could point to any number of performers who have spectacular stage presence but still can't write a song half as decent as Julia can, as well as plenty of equally talented songwriters who turn to frozen shivering pillars of fright on stage. I get the cuteness is a "performance" in itself, but man, Regrets is an awesome song and she wrote it herself. Just saying, her original catalogue outshines. I'll be following her to hear more, definitely.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:55 PM on June 7, 2009


I can't believe no one's mentioned her cover of God Only Knows yet. I loved it when I first heard it a few months back. I'll have to check out some of her original stuff too.
posted by Richat at 5:54 PM on June 7, 2009


I wanted to hate her. I mean, cutesy girl mugging and all that. But what a voice. You can really see it on the video where she's doing the last few tracks of Abbey Road with her dad--even he looks charmed and surprised.

So my preconceptions were totally wrong. Great post.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:13 PM on June 7, 2009


I had seen her Queen cover a while back, and checked out her other stuff. Pretty Cool.

Some other youtube ukulele fun I had found doing a Zappa search (not quite as polished).
posted by stifford at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2009


The antidote to these damn cute, female, uke players.
posted by HuronBob at 6:33 PM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or are these links supposed to be a counterpoint to the blonde and photogenic?

Yes, in the sense that they are superior cute ukulele players who don't sell CDs and aren't playing Bonaroo. (Ok, yes, Micucci has a self-published CD, but she's played on TV.)

I mean, she does have talent. But so does every musician. She wouldn't be getting this attention now if she didn't look like a young Katee Sackhoff.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 6:54 PM on June 7, 2009


I was really hoping that the "God only Knows" link would redeem this...but, sort of off key, not really dynamic...

Cute sells, but music is what I'm looking for..

Now... I would be hard put to complain about "Dear Deer" which is the one cute,girl,uke utube that I think is pretty neat....
posted by HuronBob at 7:22 PM on June 7, 2009


Your favorite ukulele player sucks.
posted by dw at 9:33 PM on June 7, 2009


I've just realised what it is about the whole "cute, smart, funny, talented girl with ukulele" meme that makes me cranky and defensive:

None of these girls would ever date me in a million years.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:01 PM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I met her at the Boston stop of the Tour De Nerdfighting 08. I'd never watched her videos before, but she was fantastic. She can work a crowd like you wouldn't believe. She's a charmer and has loads more talent that she's not taking advantage of in her videos.
posted by Mizu at 10:02 PM on June 7, 2009


HuronBob, how did you find that awesome video?
posted by dirty lies at 12:32 AM on June 8, 2009


None of these girls would ever date me in a million years.

They might think about it if you didn't have that cranky attitude.
posted by kalessin at 5:19 AM on June 8, 2009


I've been in love with her for the past few months. She has great covers, including weezer and band of horses, and she has great originals. She's lots of fun to listen to, her video editing and multi-tracking is certainly awesome and creative, and she's funny and sweet when she talks. I've already downloaded all the freely-available mp3s she posted online and put them on my iPod.
posted by alona at 6:24 AM on June 8, 2009


I like her, and would love to see her perform live in the future. Talented.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 6:43 AM on June 8, 2009


JunoFilter
posted by Pollomacho at 6:55 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I ran across her stuff last year and thought it was cute. The Jesus Walks cover was what did it.
posted by furious at 8:41 AM on June 8, 2009


I'm going to weigh in on the Pro-Julia side here. I like it. It makes me smile. Particularly this cover of Queen. So there.
posted by qldaddy at 10:54 AM on June 8, 2009


Which, of course, was linked in the FPP. Way to read big guy.
posted by qldaddy at 11:11 AM on June 8, 2009


The Office (US) theme song? Hell, yes.
posted by grubi at 11:47 AM on June 8, 2009


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