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Something WAY different from Brian

(Scott)...I'll take a few minutes break in the Beatles project in order to give my full attention to
Brian's latest creation.....he just sent it a few minutes ago, can't say I am familiar with ANY of this stuff, but my mantra is ANYTHING GOES here, you submit and I'll post (within reason, of course, I had a guy email me yeterday and ask for Def Leppard! Reminds of a classic joke, "What has nine arms and sucks big time?"......"Def Leppard!", funny huh?)  Anyway the eccentric type of stuff that others send here is the life blood of what we do, and THIS, no doubt is eccentric. Gotta a bit of a road trip this weekend, so, my family just may get a heavy dose of this stuff. Take it away Brian........
NOTICE: I've been dealt a crippling blow lately. My favorite MP3 site - Song365 - has become a popup-ridden pit. I can't access it through my phone's browser anymore. Has anybody else tried it and had problems lately? It literally changed overnight, between Sunday and Monday.

The main point of me telling you this is: Song365 was my go-to place for finding all the mp3s that make up those covers compilations you guys have been enjoying. That place was it. Without that site working, I don't think I can compile anymore. Every other MP3 site is a pain in the ass, and 365 was the only place I found that had a good search function and subdivided things into artists and albums. So, any advice, people? It was the spot where I found a lot of good, strange, and rare music...and that's what I want to highlight in my next few posts: things I found there. And I really want to thank whichever reader just downloaded every one of my uploads since September - some of them needed a bump! So, on to the music....
Lately, I was pondering some of the things I've gotten into this past year. One interesting thing I've found is bands that use ukuleles. I should stress, there's no kitschy albums here. I didn't want to go goofy with this, just showcase some great music. This also ties in well with all the covers stuff flying around the last few months.

This group will look familiar. I put these two albums up here months and months ago...not sure if the files worked for people. These are new, properly tagged files. Either way, more people need to hear the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain! Look at this track list...

1. Running Wild |2.Born to Be Wild |3.Miserlou |4.Life On Mars? |5.Anarchy In the UK |6.Hot Tamales |7.Teenage Dirtbag |8.Pinball Wizard |9.In A Monastery Garden |10.Yes Sir, I Can Boogie |11.Satellite Of Love |12.Wuthering Heights |13.Whistling Bach |14.Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll |15.Melange |16.The Dambuster's March

1.Dr. Jazz |2.Silver Machine |3.The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly |4.Rock Around the Clock |5.America |6.Shaft Theme |7.Slave To the Rhythm |8.Two Pints of Lager |9.Only You |10.On the Beach At Waikiki |11.Je'Taime |12.Rikki Don't Lose That Number |13.Limehouse Blues |14.Thunderball |15.Leaning On A Lampost |16.Fly Me Off the Handel

Talk about an eclectic mix! And it should be said: the novelty factor of it all being played on ukuleles dissipates. You don't even notice after a few songs...it's just well-played, amazing music. I won't dissect the whole thing, but a few of my favorites: the gently strolling cover of "Anarchy In the UK", the perfectly lovely "Teenage Dirtbag" (which is actually a Dawson's Creek tune!), the racing and whooshing version of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine", and the dead-on take of "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly", as well as "Theme From Shaft". My favorite moment is definitely "Melange", which weaves so many songs amazingly throughout its length I can't write them all here...it might be the single greatest medley anyone's ever done. Really. Both albums are in one file. Enjoy. It's worth it.

Ukulele Club De Paris - Manuia!
Another good find is the Ukulele Club De Paris. I don't know anything about the group, but they sound like their name. Like you're walking down the Rue de Whatever and stumble into a smoky, dimly lit club with candles stuck in wine bottles, and they're playing on stage. I believe this is their only album. There's tracks with kind of an island feel (Hawaiian or Caribbean), sad Edith Piaf-style love songs, salsa, jazz, blues.... Hell, "Honolulu Baby" almost sounds like a great Tom Waits tune. And having a very faithful version of "Teddy Bear's Picnic"? I don't know what to say other than I dig it. A great, diverse group. And I looove that album cover!

No Sugar and The Sun

The Ukulele Clan Band is a great Spanish folk group. They sing in English, and definitely have more of an indie feel. Reminds me of the Violent Femmes. The title track of The Sun even reminds me of The Strokes a bit. It's unfair to compare, though; these guys are just really cool. And that reimagining of "Money For Nothing" is genius. File contains 2 albums. If you like 'em, check their Bandcamp page

Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele
This next one was a recent find. Amanda Palmer is/was the singer in The Dresden Dolls. While her normal solo output is of the band-based, indie kind of thing, this one-off EP is a novelty. It is it's title; she performs Radiohead songs solo singing and playing a ukulele, with occasionally piano or strings backing her. This looks to be kinda rare. And the emotionally naked performances contained herein have to be heard. The "Hungover at Soundcheck" version of "Creep" is amazing, "No Surprises" is heartbreaking...it's all great and a must for Radiohead fans!

And to give this all a kind of context, I've included this comp that came out on Rhino. It shows the history of the Uke in popular music through the years. From native music fads, through oddball songsters through to it's modern use as a colorful solo instrument, this one is a great listen!

Enjoy, guys. Some great music here. And if anybody has good MP3 advice, let me know. (And keep an eye out for the bonus.)


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