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View Full Version : Great Article in LA Times Mentions UU!



ukulelearp
07-24-2009, 08:47 PM
Hey guys, I found a cool article in the LA times about the ukulele and it's surge in popularity and how the web has helped with it. Check it out, it also mentions Ukulele Underground.


Here's the ilnk:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ukuleles25-2009jul25,0,5302658.story

seeso
07-24-2009, 08:59 PM
Very cool! Thanks for the link!

ricdoug
07-24-2009, 09:01 PM
'Bout time. Yippee! Ric

upskydowncloud
07-24-2009, 09:53 PM
Hey guys, I found a cool article in the LA times about the ukulele and it's surge in popularity and how the web has helped with it. Check it out, it also mentions Ukulele Underground!


Here's the ilnk:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ukuleles25-2009jul25,0,5302658.story

That was a very well researched and balanced piece, impressive! The person writing actually seemed to know what they were on about.

Thanks for posting the link.

wfwhitson
07-24-2009, 10:11 PM
Cool story, thanks for sharing really enjoyed reading it.

pink flamingo
07-24-2009, 10:25 PM
ukulele revival? does this mean that for the first time in my life I'm actually hip, trendy and up with the times? Dear time travel car, take me back to high school please, I have to go and make fun of the head cheerleader.

Myala509
07-24-2009, 10:30 PM
That article covered everything. jeez. Good writing from the LA times.

whetu
07-24-2009, 10:57 PM
A couple of things bugged me:


Uke makers are riding the wave of popularity that began around the time of former Beatle George Harrison's death in 2001. Harrison was well-known in uke circles, but it was former bandmate Paul McCartney who reignited the public's fascination by playing the instrument in the 2002 tribute Concert for George and in other performances.

As I recall (I own the DVD, but didn't watch it to confirm), Paul played the uke for the first half of 'Something' then switched to guitar, and even then it was a relatively basic strum, nothing outstanding like the version of Something that we get out of Jake/Aldrine/Dom/etc. He didn't touch the uke again (again: as I recall)

What stole the show for me and most people, and more than just uke specific too, was Joe Brown's "I'll see you in my dreams". Sure, the journo is probably just name dropping for the masses, but still...

(Also, I learnt that Anoushka Shankar is awesome, check out her work with Karsh Kale)


The novelty aspect still exists, as anyone who listens to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain can attest. Picture eight men in tuxedos, strumming and picking the tune of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Ahh, LATimes... failing to understand British humour yet again, look up 'irony' in the dictionary. And no mention of the ladies in the orchestra? Not cool...

Apart from that, it was a great article. I hope it attracts more people into the fold :)

Pippin
07-24-2009, 11:58 PM
Dan contacted me and asked if I knew how many ukuleles were being sold yearly in the last few years. I told him how to reach Mike Upton at Kala Ukes and also told him about Louis Wu at Ohana. Louis may have been in China at the time Dan was writing the article. I am disappointed that he didn't mention Ukulele Player Magazine, though. Still, I enjoyed the article... but he should have written Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, instead, he called them "Fleck and the Flecktones".

Dan did a pretty nice job on the article. I am glad that he included Mike DaSilva in it.

BrotherUke
07-25-2009, 01:48 AM
As I recall (I own the DVD, but didn't watch it to confirm), Paul played the uke for the first half of 'Something' then switched to guitar, and even then it was a relatively basic strum, nothing outstanding like the version of Something that we get out of Jake/Aldrine/Dom/etc. He didn't touch the uke again (again: as I recall)

I went to Paul McCartney concert a couple of years ago. He played the ukulele for a couple of songs during his solo set. You are right, it was just basic strumming but he played well and it was just him and the uke... no band back up. The audience loved it. What impressed me was the story he told about George's love for the uke and how it was an after dinner ritual to take the ukes out an jam.

jazzuke
07-25-2009, 03:13 AM
Great article...and:

Is there indeed a ukulele renaissance? When I first started playing 12 years ago...I knew of no one else who had/seen/heard of them, except for Tiny Tim...and I still get the Tiny Tim jabs now and again.

So...is there any way to objectively determine the number of uke enthusiasts in the world? Is it growing? Is it a fad which will disappear in another 6 months?

I'm planning on attending a live Jake Shimabukuro performance with my 19 year old daughter (who had one of my ukes for a time). She was only going because the concert is held in where she goes to school...however, I played Jake's "Live" album for her and her eyes lit up. Immediately getting on the phone to call her friends and tell them about the "really, cool" guy she was going to go hear.

Pippin
07-25-2009, 03:19 AM
The "fad" is going to last a lot longer this time around. There are many musicians using the uke in new and innovative ways and that will give it much greater staying power. There is also the point that a lot of newer music does not have the creativity of the past. A lot of people believe it is too formulaic. I am one of those. It all sounds pretty much the same.

I think it is also great the way a lot of young kids are discovering old songs like "Tonight You Belong to Me". When Eddy Vedder played the song on stage I was amazed.

This is an exciting time for me musically because the growing interest in old tunes, not necessarily ukulele, but, it is due to the uke that these older songs are making a comeback.

Pippin
07-25-2009, 03:23 AM
I went to Paul McCartney concert a couple of years ago. He played the ukulele for a couple of songs during his solo set. You are right, it was just basic strumming but he played well and it was just him and the uke... no band back up. The audience loved it. What impressed me was the story he told about George's love for the uke and how it was an after dinner ritual to take the ukes out an jam.

More credit goes to the ending track... Joe Brown played "I'll See You In My Dreams" and that ignited a fire around the world. Jake's rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has now been viewed 3 million times. Jake deserves a HUGE amount of credit for the popularity of ukulele. Also, thank the forums... big three in particular: Ukulele Underground, Cosmos, FMM.

Alan from the now defunct 4th Peg deserves a lot of credit, too. Alan gave a lot of people their start in ukulele.

sukie
07-25-2009, 03:46 AM
ukulele revival? does this mean that for the first time in my life I'm actually hip, trendy and up with the times? Dear time travel car, take me back to high school please, I have to go and make fun of the head cheerleader.
You and me both! That was a great article.

Lanark
07-25-2009, 04:04 AM
You and me both! That was a great article.

meh. I've always seemed to be on the cutting edge at the point where you still get a lot of crap for something just before it becomes hip. You probably got a couple of years.
On the other hand, we've all got a huge headstart so when it becomes an official craze, we're going to be rock stars...

BrotherUke
07-25-2009, 04:14 AM
I think that longevity of the revival will, in no small way, be associated with the work that Rayan and Aldrine do here as well as Jake. They are making this instrument relevant and accessible to the next generation of ukulele players by integrating it into the music and communication stream they are connected to. The real time access to high quality lessons on up to date music is what is needed right now to reach those who will carry the revival forward.

I just love the seamlessness of how the conversation flows from Weezer to Led Zeppelin and then to the oldest Hawaiian ukulele builder without skipping a beat. How it connects with folks in Hawaii, the mainland US, Japan, the UK, Norway and on and on. We all speak the same language when we speak uke! :music:

AgentORC
07-25-2009, 05:05 AM
On the other hand, we've all got a huge headstart so when it becomes an official craze, we're going to be rock stars...

YES! my lifelong dream!! :rock: lol

AnnaUK
07-25-2009, 05:13 AM
Great article. Hopefully it'll inspire at least one person to take up the uke :)

Kanaka916
07-25-2009, 05:29 AM
They made one mistake tho, the link to UU goes to Flea Market Music.

Bratset
07-25-2009, 05:53 AM
Great article!
Thanks for linking it!"

Lori
07-25-2009, 06:18 AM
They made one mistake tho, the link to UU goes to Flea Market Music.

The link on the Links page works.

–Lori

wickedwahine11
07-25-2009, 06:20 AM
Ah, you beat me. I was just about to post the link to this article. :D

I am glad to see they linked to the Kamaka story they did a little while back as well. I actually wrote the reporter on that Kamaka story to see if they were going to publish it in the paper, he said yes, at a later date. I'm guessing in the Travel section special on Hawaii (it had been under the heading free things to do in Hawaii)? I'm glad to see this one actually made the print edition.

Sorry for ranting, but my Bachelor's degree was in print journalism so it pains me to see the newspaper go the way of the dinosaur. I don't mind the online editions, I just don't always know the content is there. Unlike when I opened my LA Times today and saw the beautiful picture of an ukulele in progress in the front of the Business section...I think I actually may have squealed in delight.

Ukulele JJ
07-25-2009, 06:39 AM
Great article! Thanks for the heads up, Lori!

And now I have a new sig. :D

JJ

ukulelearp
07-25-2009, 07:43 AM
I don't think without sites like this or others I ever woul've stuck with the instrument. Mostly because some places, especially Ukulele Underground, kind of opened the door to more genres and more interesting pieces that weren't really expected on a ukulele.

rayan
07-25-2009, 07:56 AM
They made one mistake tho, the link to UU goes to Flea Market Music.

Al from Ukulele Hunt pointed this out to me this morning too. I emailed the writer in hopes of getting it changed. Still really awesome article though, nice to see someone take the time to do the research and write a complete well informed article.

UkuleleHill
07-25-2009, 07:59 AM
Thats weird, it was right about 4 hours ago..

This is awesome though!

ukulelearp
07-25-2009, 08:00 AM
I seem to remember the link working when I first posted it. But then again, I might've also just been very sleepy :D

bbycrts
07-25-2009, 09:21 AM
I went to Paul McCartney concert a couple of years ago. He played the ukulele for a couple of songs during his solo set. You are right, it was just basic strumming but he played well and it was just him and the uke... no band back up. The audience loved it. What impressed me was the story he told about George's love for the uke and how it was an after dinner ritual to take the ukes out an jam.

George certainly doesn't do any fancy strum on Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - but the whole family sings along with it in the car when I put the CD in. Sometimes simple is best!

rayan
07-25-2009, 09:29 AM
Can someone in the LA area please pick up a print copy and mail it to us?

Bratset
07-25-2009, 09:30 AM
George certainly doesn't do any fancy strum on Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - but the whole family sings along with it in the car when I put the CD in. Sometimes simple is best!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5k-OE0-fWs
that is one of my favoritte clips of George playing uke :) nothing fancy but still great

wickedwahine11
07-25-2009, 09:33 AM
Can someone in the LA area please pick up a print copy and mail it to us?

Sure, PM me the address and I will send one to you...

Ahnko Honu
07-25-2009, 09:48 AM
I did a cut & paste of article to Microsoft Office Word and it saved the whole
article pictures and all.

uke5417
07-25-2009, 10:11 AM
I'm a trend again. I hate it when that happens.

gotrice415510
07-25-2009, 10:51 AM
this article sounded so ignorant about it.... like they talked about UU like it was just some fan website.

wickedwahine11
07-25-2009, 10:52 AM
I'm a trend again. I hate it when that happens.

Sorry to hijack the thread but uke5417: has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Peter Gammons?

Pippin
07-25-2009, 11:12 AM
this article sounded so ignorant about it.... like they talked about UU like it was just some fan website.

I never got that impression at all. When Dan first asked me about ukulele sales figures and wanted to know more about ukulele, I was flattered that he found Ukulele Player. I told him about Ukulele Underground because it is a great forum for beginners to be accepted and encouraged. I was also thinking about the large American contingent here.

Mentioning a forum as a site where ukulele "fans" gather is a very valid take on it. It is an ukulele forum, I'd expect it to be a big fan site, among other things.

uke5417
07-25-2009, 11:24 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but uke5417: has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Peter Gammons?

Nope. Not a big sports fan, so I don't know much about him. I see he's got an album called "Never Say Die, Never Grow Old." What's not to like about that?

baumer
07-25-2009, 11:34 AM
Very cool. I loved the last line of the article so much, it had to go in the sig.

ukulelearp
07-25-2009, 02:57 PM
Very cool. I loved the last line of the article so much, it had to go in the sig.

I liked the quote too, even if it is a little cheesy.

whetu
07-26-2009, 02:54 PM
and it's on digg now

http://digg.com/music/Ukuleles_Have_Gone_Viral

bumblemark
07-26-2009, 04:17 PM
haha yeah
the Uke movement has been growin around my area
i like to think i'm a contributer to it lolz