Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa, Where's My Sable?

'Tis the season for receiving presents, right? And as you can see in this video of Santa Baby, I am in serious need of a new fur. The one I'm wearing is probably roadkill since it is the raccoon collar from my coat. Ha, ha, ha! I hope I haven't ruffled the fur of all you pro-animal types out there! Ho, ho, ho! :)

But seriously, I think this song is just great...it is from such a bygone era that it seems almost a little camp today. Recorded in 1953 by Eartha Kitt. Redone by Madonna amongst others. Who today, except for the Material girl herself, would have the nerve to ask for so much fancy loot based on having been "an awful good girl?" So I try to sing it with the kind of guts you better have if you're going to be as bold as she is!

Check out my leopard print top. Just seemed to fit the bill for this song. You should see this late 1950s photo of my mother wearing a bikini of similar ilk. Va-va-voom! She was a real looker. Hope you enjoy this song in the spirit of the season.

P.S. I got to play and sing holiday ditties with my friend, Erich, at Mike DaSilva's open studio in Berkeley. Mike's a luthier who builds some awesome ukes. Anyway, we stuck to non-religious holiday songs which are about my speed. Now I can't stop humming "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." Check back for a photos of this event!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Into the Wild

Many moons ago I read "Into the Wild" by Outside Magazine writer Jon Krakauer. It's a true story about 22 year-old Chris McCandless, who throws off the shackles of privilege and spends two years missing as he adventures across the country. McCandless eventually gives away all his savings to wind up in the Alaskan wilderness where he perishes after an 112 day odyssey with nature and himself. Sean Penn directed the film adaptation which is closely entwined with Eddie Vedder's hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, stripped down to acoustic guitar and sometimes ukulele.

The music, as well as the story, have become deeply planted into my consciousness...to the point where I've become compelled to learn "Rise," an amazingly simple tune which Vedder actually plays on the mandolin. Hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I do playing it!

BTW, Eddie Vedder is quite known for including ukulele tracks on his recordings...apparently he contributed a ukulele song “Goodbye” to the soundtrack for Jack Johnson’s surfing documentary A Brokedown Melody. I'm going to have to check out both the tune AND the flick, especially since I'm a surfing girl and awaiting the Maverick's competition (no, no, to observe, not to surf!!) Here he is on the uke. Wonder what kind he plays?? When I did "Rise" at my uke club's open mic last night, found out that Vedder has a house on Molokai. Well, ALOHA, folks!