King Uke on Music...It's been a huge year for music. In January I hooked up with fellow desperado El Pancho for a tentative collaboration. It resulted in the wonderful Wanted EP which has been well-received by outlaws across the world. The success of the EP has spurred me on to all sorts of little side-projects during the year.
Pancho and I made the Wanted EP available as a torrent. According to Mininova, it's clocked up almost 16,000 downloads. Not bad! Perhaps it goes without saying that we're big in Mexico ;-)
I joined SoundCloud during 2013 posting some remixes of recent(ish) songs and a load of new ones too.
Last year I introduced a Ukulele Blog first with the end of year music chart. I counted down my top 5 songs of the year as voted for by you, the great unwashed. It was so much fun that I'm going to do it again! I can't wait. Hey! I just had a sneak peak and I'm playing on all of the songs in the top 5! Better still, by some fluke, I also appear in all the videos!
One of my aims this year was to produce simple acoustic music. Looks like I did it! Ha ha...
At number 5 we have song 2 from the Wanted EP. It's a personal favourite of mine. Check out a cut-down live version I did recently in the following video...
At number 4 we have the only cover to make the charts. It's a quickly thrown-together version of the Highwaymen's signature tune. I love it! This song alone has inspired all sorts of highwayman-related shenanigans.
Number 3 sees me pay homage to Tokyo Zombie. I originally did a "studio" version, but what you can watch here is the infected ukulele version...
At number 2 is Pancho's song! Bad Blood was our attempt at some cowboy rock and roll. Here's the official MTV video. ;-)
At number 1 is the mysterious "Save my Soul". I love the original version I did of this. It sort of came out of nowhere. Here's the busking version I did...
King Uke on Film...
I didn't do many film write-ups this year. It isn't that I wasn't watching films, I just didn't find the time or energy to write about them. Tarrantino's Deathproof was probably the nicest surprise of the year, but who can forget the return of Bond! I held off until the home release of Skyfall and it was well worth the wait!
Yep, Cowboy films featured in the playlist as well as some terrible, terrible zombie films. The less said on that front, the better...
I don't watch, much TV, but there were a few notable exceptions in 2013. I caught the second series of the saucy Game of Thrones. I even watched some vintage Planet of the Apes. By the way, I can't wait for the new film in 2014 - it looks like it could be a cracker! It's called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and follows on from Rise.
King Uke on Books...
I started off the year strong, reading all sorts of books, but I'm sorry to say that it's dwindled in recent months. Actually, I've had a lot of fun with comics in 2013. In fact, I might as well reveal that I'm busy storyboarding my own cowboy story as I write this. Unfortunately, these sorts of projects are ones that I never seem to finish. Let's see if this one is any different.
I did once finish a book project. Look what I found whilst clearing out my son's room... Monster School by King Uke.
On second thoughts, perhaps I shouldn't proceed any further with my comic aspirations. Check this Bill.I.Am "strip" I produced earlier in the year. It was inspired by my discovery of the wonder that is John Byrne. Oh dear, oh dear! Ha ha.
King Uke on Ukuleles...
There has been a huge amount of ukulele fun this year. I secretly attended the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain and the inaugural Grand Ukulele Festival in Pontefract. I spoke with and was inspired by luthiers like Tom Parse, Daniel Hulbert and Sven Nyström. I hooked up with all sorts of ukulele players from around the globe. I worked on my playing technique, inventing the Tokyo style of playing. I bought, built and pimped ukuleles. What a year!
Here's a shot of my "Grand Poobah" acoustic ukulele build. This was the project that took up the most time this year. It's a bit quiet, but doesn't it look great! ;-)
This is my "Tokyo Ukulele". You'll no doubt recognise it as a pimped Skylark. ;-)
King Uke on Getting out and about...
I don't know what happened, but 2013 was a great year for not writing this blog. Perhaps there is a lesson here?
Virginia City has to have been my absolute favourite destination this year. I liked it so much that I went twice!
It was a close-run thing for top spot. I've been on a high all year after a weekend in Bruges. It was freezing, but the Art and Architecture was inspirational. I'm desperate to return.
Everything looked great this year! Even places quite close to home.
So that's it! The end of another year!
Who knows what next year has in store. Perhaps I'll produce a comic. Maybe I'll make some more cowboy music? Maybe I'll attend some more festivals? Don't tell anyone, but I might have a go at urban exploring. Ha ha... 2014 can be whatever I want it to be!
Whatever happens, you'll be the first to find out... ;-)
Have a great New Year!