The idea of north, and every other direction

The winner of Eleuke’s annual prize for best ukulele video is the most Canadian thing I’ve ever seen.  I kept expecting footage of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon breaking up a hockey fight.


Ukulele Videos for Halloween

Whether this post is a trick or a treat is not for me to decide. 

At the Corktown Ukulele Jam, young Jimmy the Uke plays “Monster Mash

The Vampire Song, aka “You Know a Lot About Me,” by Count Orlok and his Ukulele

Poopy Lungstuffing and Organ Failure perform “You Are My Sunshine” as it would sound if zombies sang it

Poopy does a solo version of “Little Orphant Annie.”  I think this is the best video in this post.

The Wolf in Me,” a rather grim original by Danny Korves.

Jennifer Teeter’s “Sea Monster’s Lament,” also known as “The Lesbian Sea Monster Song.”  It’s realy too sweet to be a Halloween song, but there is a monster in it, and some handcuffs, so I’m including it. 

If you are looking for a song addressed to neopagans who keep 31 October as a religious holiday called Samhain, here’s something


Poopy in closeup (click for video)

Poopy in closeup (click for video)

A couple of weeks ago, Ukulele Hunt included Poopy Lungstuffing’s “Dolly Got a Haircut” in the weekly roundup of uker vids.  It’s been playing in my head ever since.  I invite you to listen and see if you have the same reaction.  It sounds a lot like the song Tom Waits would have written if he’d spent his childhood as a young girl who was self-conscious about her mental health. 

If Poopy’s song does stick in your head and you’re looking for something to vie with it, you might stay on YouTube and switch to TorontoUkes.  They’ve posted a bunch of videos from this month’s Corktown Ukulele Jams.  I’d say five of the strongest entries include Marianne Girard’s cover of “What a Wonderful World,”  Paul Yedema’s of “Drinking EX and Asking Why,” and Sunny Widerman’s of “Levon.”   Of the originals, my favorites are Zoe Henderson’s “Cryin’ in My Sleep” and Eve Goldberg’s “Pineapple Sorbet.”  

Girard’s “What a Wonderful World” is radically simpler and more wistful than Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s iconic version.  Her version doesn’t compete with his, but has a quiet strength of its own.  Yedema and Henderson play gentle, sad, country-and-western style tunes; if you’re in the mood for a good cry, either one could help you get there.  Goldberg’s tune, a ukulele transcription of a guitar piece of hers, is light and chipper; if you’re in a good mood to start with, it’ll make you very happy.  If you are looking for a song to help you raise your spirits, Sunny Widerman’s mighty performance of Elton John’s  hit should help you gather your resolve. (more…)

Alexis Alchorn

Alexis Alchorn and Jason Tagg

Alexis Alchorn and Jason Tagg

Recently I posted about the Corktown Ukulele Jam, a Wednesday night event at the Dominion on Queen.  One of the performances I embedded there was by Alexis Alchorn.  I admit she could use a bit more training, both with her uke playing and her singing, but she really is an excellent songwriter and a pleasant stage presence, as you can see in this episode of Midnight Ukulele Disco from last year.  The episode runs about 26 minutes, I’ve had it on in the background as I’ve been working this morning.  Here’s a link to her myspace page.

Corktown Ukulele Jam

Here are some youtube videos from Toronto’s Corktown Ukulele Jam, held every Wednesday night at the Dominion on Queen. 

An ad for the occasion; Rochelle Gagnon is the Oyster Queen; “A lot of people think this song is about sex, but it’s really about strawberries”; Eve Goldberg has found a “Cold Wind Blowing.”  (The Gordon Lightfoot fans among you will be especially impressed); Collette Savard and John Zytaruk, “I see you.”  Alexis Alchorn looks really young for her age- she remembers the “Dinosaurs.”  It’s a great song and she has the perfect voice to sing it.  As for her uke playing- well, she’s written a great song and she has the perfect voice to sing it.