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14 December 2013

Baubles for Young Maids

I'm conscious that I haven't done a great deal with the blog recently. I've been busy. It's that time of year where work goes crazy and home is a mad dash for Christmas. Today's update is loosely based upon spending money like it's going out of fashion, oh yes, and Crimbo.

Yes, I'm still convinced that I'm a highwayman. Ha ha. I am soooo easily lead you wouldn't believe.

This is that same version of Highwayman that I shared with you recently on youtube. I haven't done anything to it other than add a little reverb and EQ. When I set up SoundCloud I made a vow to myself that I wouldn't share any covers on there, but this is such a great tune that I've broken my promise. There's a lesson here: Never trust anything a Highwayman ever says!

Look at this Kickstarter that +Ed Sprake put me onto for "Uke Buke". There's a lot more info in the video below, but in a nutshell, the project is seeking funding to get a new Lutherie book printed. I really, really, really wanted the top prize of 2 weeks in Florence, but I've settled instead for a book and print combo. As you know, I love this sort of thing. The project is being run by Sarah Greenbaum and John Weissenrieder. I'll maybe drop the duo a line over Christmas and see what they have to say for themselves.

This is the sign that made me commit to supporting the Uke Buke project. It's a picture of the postcards you can get if you make one of the smaller pledges.

See the address.... 1052 Rosewood Drive, Boulder, Colorado.

YES! The third verse of Highwayman tells the tale of the dam-builder who meets a sticky end at Boulder on the wild Colorado. As a singer, this particular line is a real sod to get right with it's odd phrasing. I love it. It was the one line in the whole recording above that I worried about pulling off. It strays from the rhythm set up in the earlier verses and seems designed to catch me out.

Ha! I got close to getting it right ;-) 

Here's something that I haven't done before. I was talking to +Luca Jontom Tomassini and he invited me (and anyone else who's interested) to take part in a collaboration that will see ukulele enthusiasts banging out a rendition of "Let it Snow". All we have to do it to send Jontom our respective videos and he's going to edit them all together to produce an epic version. I reckon I'll give it a go. My outfit's literally just arrived. Can you guess what it is? This could be great! Ha ha.

This is how Jontom describes it:

guys, do you want to take part in a collective video? on our forum, we're record our version of "let it snow" based on this tutorial (strongly inspired by ukulelemike version) YOUkulele Orchestra 4 - LET IT SNOW ukulele tutorial

all you need to do is record a video with you playing this song. BPMs are 110 and chords are on screen. you can submit your video until 21st of December, then I'll edit all the entries and publish the collective video for Christmas :) you can contact my here on g+ for more details.

here's one of the videos we did time ago... so you can have a better idea about how it's going to be! YOUkulele Orchestra - Let it Be

I hope you'll like the idea! ~ jt

It's a badly kept secret that I've written a few Christmas songs over recent years. Last year's effort was a collaboration with ukulele-building sensation +Daniel Hulbert called "Snow". It's been a bit of a sleeper hit on the synchronicity circuit. I might even be as bold as to say that it's turning into a synchronaut anthem. Earlier this week I was thrilled to discover that it had featured on the Type 1 podcast. I've embedded "The Christmas Detox" show above if you'd like to give the podcast a listen. "Snow" makes an appearance at 34:20. Yes, I know!

If you just can't wait that long, then you can also listen to it below.

I wonder if I'll do a song for Christmas this year? We'll just have to wait and see. If you want to twist my arm... then feel free to comment on this post.

Before I move on, check out this image that was brought to my attention today. I don't know what it is, but I sense that there is a lot of truth hidden away in here.  Drop me a comment if you can name this scarab.

After seeing this picture, Daz showed me the trailer below for "Cronos". This film was directed by Guillermo Del Toro and released in 1993. I haven't seen it, but it features vampires and a mysterious golden scarab device not dissimilar to the one above.

Finally, I'm going to end with a bit of an experiment. I knew that it was possible to embed Google+ posts in this blog, but I've never tried it before. Let's give this a go!

Even I get dragged out on Christmas shopping trips. When no one's looking I often sneak into whatever music shop I can find. Here are some pictures of places I've found myself in over the past couple of weeks:

Did you see the Vince Ray T-Bucket Spook-Show Acoustic Electric Guitar picture I took in the Music Store? That's one cool Fender! When I saw this graphic by +Rui Ricardo  I was instantly reminded of it. Fantastic stuff!

I've got so many plates spinning at the moment, this post could go on and on. I'll stop now and wish you a Mele Christmas. I'll be back before you know it! I may even have some Christmas freebies to give away! Watch this space!

Ho ho ho!


  1. Did you just go and write this post to disprove Andy Shmushkin wrong about his mustache song KU ?-)

    And does that hot girl with the guitar seem to be suggesting she would like a brew between her legs ?-)

  2. "Andy Shmushkin" - do you think that's his real name? No, I wrote this post to remind me what writing a post was like.

    "And does that hot girl with the guitar seem to be suggesting she would like a brew between her legs" - brew? broo? I'm not suggesting anything Daz ;-)

  3. Of course "Andy Shmushkin" is his real name.
    Even though at first I thought he may have been that actor out of "Nightmare on Elm Street 4",Andras Jones,but after giving it some serious thought I realized Shmushkin has a mustache and Jones doesn't.Plus they have two different Facebook accounts,so they can't be the same guy.
    It would be like me saying that you were Andy...never mind King,you wouldn't know him anyway,he is a guy from a closed group called the "Kitchen Sink" that probably wouldn't let a Kiwi in (Russell Crowe was kicked out for fighting,so they are a bit weary of NZers now.-) anyway.But when I saw Andy I thought he looked like you,but he wasn't holding a uke,so I knew it couldn't be you.

  4. Every time I try to play that Blogtalk link it won't play and comes up with an "error 2032" message,even when I go to their site.
    I'll just have to take your word that you made the airwaves King. :-(

  5. Re:"See the address.... 1052 Rosewood Drive, Boulder, Colorado."

    Sounds like you are turning into a bit of a Sync-head KU.
    But as regard to ROSE WOOD check out this sync video made by Andras Jones (the Shmushkin look-a-like) about Rose McGowan.
    They actually gave Rose this vid to watch and she was stoked about it...and only used half a can of capsicum spray to drive them away,instead of the full amount.
    A sure sign of appreciation of their efforts,I think. :-)

  6. "Every time I try to play that Blogtalk link it won't play and comes up with an "error 2032" message,even when I go to their site."

    I think this must be because you're in Australia Daz. I hear that Australiens have been banned from the internet.

    "at first I thought he may have been that actor out of 'Nightmare on Elm Street 4'"

    Aha! This is all making sense now! "Kitchen Sink" sounds like it might be full of nutters! I don't think I qualify.

    On the Rose McGowan video. I love that. Especially the song from Planet Terror ( which I actually watched for the first time a fortnight ago. I wonder if she's still in hiding ;-)

  7. Re: "Aha! This is all making sense now! "Kitchen Sink" sounds like it might be full of nutters!"

    Nutters/Actors/NBL Basketball stars ( and Podcast DJ's/Super models (that's the category that probably best suits me)/Musos/Artists/authors/serial killers/and your look-a-like Andy...oh,never mind about Andy,you probably would never of heard of him anyway,I think he may be Shmushkin's drug dealer,or some make-up artist that Jones met on NoES4,or maybe even a water-boy that Joe Alexander knew from the Chicago Bulls (Chicago is full of gangsters...Andy may even carry a water pistol,who knows? I won't be making fun of that squirt when I'm trying to make him feel like he belongs with the talent amassed in that group),but yeah I think you're right the first time KU.They are all f#cked in the head,especially the guy going under the name of Pumpkin-head Pete.I think Shmushkin may have been pissing in his ear about the rest of us group members,or doing something much worse to him because he seems really f#cked up,but with a name like that,what would you expect ?
    To get in,I told the group I was a famous Aussie,and since there were too many famous Aussies to check through,the suckers let me in,but you would never get in telling them you were a famous Kiwi,because everyone knows there are none anyway. ;-)

  8. And Re: "I think this must be because you're in Australia Daz. I hear that Australiens have been banned from the internet."

    This is just between you and me,don't let Tila Tequila in on this,but Australiens run the internet,in fact we are the Illuminati...doesn't the proper spelling of the race (Australiens) give it all away ?
    Why do you think we were all kicked out of England a few centuries ago ? It's not because we are such great cricket players,although that me be a small part of it.It's because they found out about our reptilian origins.Why do you think Steve Irwin was always cuddling up to crocodiles all the time ? Australia Zoo is part of our covert Reptilian breading program.You may be familiar with a doco that was made by John Carpenter called "They Live",which was about Rupert Murdoch's efforts to get FOX News up and running in The States,and if it wasn't for those darn kids,FOX would he been up and running much sooner.We have even taken a few lower primates from NZ like Russell Crowe and Crowed House and tried to pass them off as Australiens,but nobody is fooled by the inferior race we monkeyed around with trying to get them as smart as us world denominators. Probably the reason I can't access Blogtalk radio is that the Australien government learned a lesson from the Martians when they got wiped out by bad music in that movie Mars Attacks and have put safeguards up against it's elite citizens coping a head popping from bad ukelele playing floating over the airwaves like mindless mind bombs ready to wreak more havoc than a combined Russell Crowe/Miley Cyrus concert. :-)

  9. Wow Daz! I'm speechless! Have to agree about the supermodel comment though ;-)

    1. Oh,sorry King,I left out one small detail,having revealed that the Illuminati are Australiens - you're now going to have to die I'm afraid.
      Now where did I put that blasted bone to point at you.-)