I say ukulele, and you say…
Traditional Hawaiian songs? Canadian school music programs? Tiny Tim, Miss Vicki and tiptoeing through tulips?
Ukuleles don’t immediately summon images of “sex, swag, and rock and roll“, right? Well, YouTube and I are about to change all that for you.
Maybe during an eleventh hour Christmas shopping trip, you hastily picked-up a $39.95 ukulele at Target for your eleven-year-old son. He keeps telling you he wants to play electric guitar and impress middle school chicks with his awesome shredding. And while you don’t want to discourage musicianship, maybe you also don’t want to encourage rock and roll shenanigans. So you place a safe bet on a ukulele.
That’s pretty twisted stuff right there. If it makes you feel a bit better, these guys are Norwegian, so they started from a higher baseline of wacky.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
You can dress up ukulele players, but it doesn’t make them less kooky. Or less wickedly awesome.
These gals and guys also perform a mind-bending ukulele Rat Pack version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. As if anyone ever needed to drink a few martinis to get this crazy.
Sungha Jung - Super Mario Theme
Kid is just jaw-dropping.
Orla Gartland – Outkast’s “Hey Ya”
Because hip hop ukulele. Sort of. It doesn’t matter. Gartland is mesmerizing.
Internet-proclaimed Best Ukulele Player In The Universe, Jake Shimabukuro’s version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” makes my hair stand on end. And I’ll tell you, I’m not a big George Harrison fan. Shimabukuro is magic. (The music starts at about 1:30 into the video.)
Nicki Minaj for Ukulele
The Waffle Stompers
Just when you thought you couldn’t stand this warmed-over chestnut one more time….
Really, there needs to be a version with these guys shirtless. Just to send it over the top.
Now, have I changed your mind about the lowly ukulele? Are you feeling much respect? Maybe a little fear? I know I am.
I’m going to leave you with an eight-year-old Aidan Powell playing Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” on his uke.
You’re welcome. Go forth and ukulele.