Miscellaneous Christmas Gleanings

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain routinely gives little gifts to their fans at Christmastime in the form of particularly generous postings on their (already very generous) website; this year they’ve posted a series of videos under the title “Christmas Playalong.”  Here’s one of them:

Also, our old friend Al Wood has posted his usual excellent Christmas things at Ukulele Hunt, including the Christmas UkeToob.

I remember Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fondly, or perhaps I should say I am of the age of people who remember that show fondly. I didn’t have a TV when it was on. Anyway, I don’t think I’d ever heard this one before.

Here‘s a holiday favorite:

And a great classic from the 1980s:

Thanks to theologian Alastair Roberts, I found a new favorite Christmas song just this morning, as I said on Twitter:

This has been making the rounds today:

Psychologist James Thompson engages in one of the most venerable of all Anglican religious traditions, publicly declaring that Anglicanism is doomed and wondering whether it deserves to die. I can’t explain why we do that, I can only say that it’s our way.

Jacobin magazine has a brief summary of how the Christian Left in the USA tends to think of Christmas, which picks up where James Brown left off a few decades ago:

I allowed myself a little scholarly musing on Twitter this morning, in response to a remark by Tom Holland:

As to who should do what with which holiday at this many-festivalled time of the year, here‘s a view from Mya Gosling:

Asked on tumblr whether it’s okay for Gentiles to celebrate Hanukkah, Scott Alexander writes:

To stick with stuff on tumblr for a minute, here’s a cartoon in which Gahan Wilson expresses irritation that various holidays, including Christmas and Halloween, run together in the USA:

This is kind of neat:

The Comics Curmudgeon has taken a vacation over the holiday, and it looks like Rebecca Watson is missing him as much as I am:

Ross Pearsall has put together a nice concept cover for a Christmas comic book that ought to exist:

calvin-and-snoopy

So, Merry Christmas, everybody.   And:

Advertisements

Our ukulele links

As I continue paring down our collection of links pages, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for us to let go of the one for the ukulele.  I still love the ukulele and still use some of our links pages, but that page hasn’t been updated since June 2012.  So here are the links from it that are still live as of today:

Ukulele Acts (more…)

Something Brilliant

This was one of the Videos of the Week the other day at Ukulele Hunt, I hope it wins the Nobel Prize for Awesomeness:

 

Phil Doleman takes over the Classical Ukulele blog

Yesterday morning I thought of Classical Ukulele, a blog I started in February 2010 and proceeded to do nothing with.  It struck me that it was a shame to waste such a good url, and I wished I could hand it off to someone who would make proper use of it.  Then I opened my email, and saw that WordPress had a message for me.  Someone had started following Classical Ukulele.  It turned out to be Phil Doleman of the Re-Entrants.  When I saw that Phil had started a blog called The Classical Ukulele, I contacted him and offered to give him the url for Classical Ukulele.  He accepted.  So, if you are interested in the ukulele as an instrument of the classical repertoire, Phil’s your man now.

Ukulele Hunt’s Ukulele Video of the Year 2011 Contest

It’s time to go to Ukulele Hunt and vote for the best ukulele video posted online last year.  I seem to have been the first person to have voted for Amanda Palmer & the Young Punx’ “Map of Tasmania” (Oh. My. Gawd!,) and the second to have voted overall.  I won’t deny that several of the other candidates are probably at least as good (especially LP’s “Into the Wild“), but I couldn’t help myself.

Herman Vandecauter and ukulele enlightenment

For some time now, Herman Vandecauter has been giving the world an education in the possibilities of various stringed instruments, including the ukulele.  Here’s his latest entry on soundcloud, an original composition called “Instantanea.”  About three months ago, he posted this piece there, a suite that Johann Joseph Vilsmeyer wrote in 1715 for violin, which Herman arranged for tenor ukulele.  Herman is the perfect artist for soundcloud; the wave forms emphasize the care with which he articulates each note of each piece, at the same time they illustrate the flow of the melody.

He also is a mighty presence on YouTube.  In this video, he plays his composition “The Russel Falls”:

Herman maintains several ukulele-oriented sites.  There’s Ukulele News, an English-language blog with reports on our favorite instrument.  And Ukulele Belgium, which is similar but partly in Flemish.  He’s on Twitter, and Tumblr, and a couple of years ago he posted some interesting photos on Flickr.  His classical guitar site is worth checking regularly, as well.  So he’s quite a busy gent.

I love the things that…

Al Wood says: “It seems there are two types of site on the internet: sites about things people do (like Facebook, Twitter and Perez Hilton) and sites about things that people make (like YouTube, Tumblr and Boing, Boing). And I think you can guess which side of this I’m on.”  So he suggests that The Burning Hell’s “I Love the Things That People Make” should become “the official anthem of the internet.”

For some time, I’ve been trying to come up with a good tagline for this site.  When I read this bit of Al’s, it became obvious to me that it ought to be “I love the things that people think.”

You Told Me You Loved Me on April Fool’s Day

Poopy Lungstuffing sings an original composition (by Puppetrina) in honor of 1 April.

Manitoba Hal wins!

The votes are in for Ukulele Hunt’s Video of the Year 2010 contest, and our favorite Manitoba Hal has won a much-deserved victory.  He edged Bella Hemming’s “Play Guitar” (which is also excellent) by 11 votes out of 1225 cast.  The big surprise was that Jonsi and Nico Muhli’s “Go Do” came last with only 31 votes; I’d expected it to be one of the top finishers.  It was my second choice.  Maybe it was lots of people’s second choice.

Vote for Manitoba Hal!

Voting is underway in Ukulele Hunt’s Ukulele Video of the Year 2010 contest.  My vote went to Manitoba Hal’s “Poulet Shack“:

The early voting is going Hal’s way, though that’s no indicator of how it will end up.  Whether he wins this time around or not, Hal might win the Ukulele Video of the Year 2011 contest a year from now, based on his latest upload, “Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women“:

There were a couple of disappointments this time around.  Lila Burns’ “Young Hearts, Young Minds” didn’t make the final cut; I don’t know how it would have done in a video contest, but I’d have voted for it as ukulele song of the year.  Also, Ukulele Hunt webmaster Al Wood included the Keston Cobblers’ Club’s “You Go”  in his initial suggestions; lots of people nominated it before it turned out to have been posted in 2009.  It really is a spectacular video, I suspect it would have won.  Several people wanted to nominate a video Al included in a recent Saturday UkeTube, a song called “Map of Tasmania”  starring Amanda Palmer and her pubic hair; that one was uploaded this year, and will likely be among the stiffest competition “Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women” (or whatever it ends up being) has to overcome to be Ukulele Video of the Year 2011.