Yessir, we got ourselves a real band!

First off, let me apologize for the total lack of posts for the past few months. It's true, I'm a lazy jerk. But, let's not dwell on it. I've got some exciting news and I want to share it right up in yer face!

See, I was working with some fellas on a Cure cover project (in which I played bass) and we wanted to do a show as a bit of a teaser before our real show. Dave, who was the man behind our Cure cover band, asked if I wanted to do some ukulele stuff to open the show. Now, I've played many a show with different bands (playing either bass or guitar), and I've played ukulele in front of lots of folks around the campfire, but I don't think I'd ever played a ukulele "show" at a bar or venue. So, I was pretty stoked and nervous.

I said yes to Dave but immediately decided that the ukulele project couldn't just be me. I needed a band! So, I turned to my buddy Jerry (who had once accompanied me on drums around a campfire "show" in the recent past) and asked if he wanted to be a part of this here thing. I sent him links to the songs that I wanted to do and also showed him this Weird Al video to give him some ideas for drums.

Next thing I knew, I had both a drummer and also a drummer who used a suitcase as his drumset. Total magic! We practiced a total of two times and decided that was enough preparation. We hadn't really decided on a name for the band, but we are now known as "Shane Hickey and his Magical Ukulele.... and Jerry". I think you can probably see where that is going. Anyway, nameless and flush with two complete practices, we were now ready to rock the Bejeebus out of the VFW.

Apparently, though, Jeebus had something else in mind because our little town was crushed under a mighty blizzard that night. It turned out to be a mixed blessing, though. Sure, many folks didn't come down to the show because they didn't care to spend 2 hours digging their car out of their own driveway. But, the folks who made it to the show certainly didn't want to drive in those conditions again, so we had ourselves a captive audience! Thankfully, my foxy wife was onhand with her camera to record much of the show. Now you can feel like you were actually there!

UPS Girl:


Portland Man:

Santa Claus Needed a Drink:

Trailer Park Moms:

Megan Lannegan:

Moderation Town:

Drank Too Much Today:

Punk rock Friends (are broke):

There was another song or two that evening but I can't post everything because there is still a chance that my Mom will read this and the other songs are pretty offensive. Heh.

A guy in love…. (covers Magnetic Fields, of course)

So, today I felt like I needed to do something special for my wife, Erika.  I stayed up super late playing poker and maybe drinking too many beers and I slept in too late, etc.  She's the center of my world and I knew I needed to remind her of that today.  So, what did I do?  Well, I covered some Magnetic Fields, of course!

Maybe this doesn't make sense to everyone, but Magnetic Fields are pretty much a touchstone for us.  Hell, our youngest son's middle name is Merritt for heaven's sake.  We're pretty rabid fans.

But, this song is something special for us.  A fantastic Missoula band, The Oblio Joes, played on our wedding day and they played this song as "our song".  I actually sang it with them (although, I guess I probably should have been dancing with Erika, right?) and it sealed this song in time, as ours.

Then several years later, The Oblio Joes played their last show ever in Caras Park in Missoula.  Well, this last show took place on the anniversary of our wedding.  So, as a surprise to Erika, I jumped up on stage and sand Strange Powers with the Obes for the last time.

Well, today I had to do it without the Obes, but I did as best as I could.  There are 11 tracks in this song and they are:

  1. muted strumming on a Tacoma acoustic guitar
  2. muted strumming on a Rogue baritone ukulele
  3. muted strumming on a Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  4. bass on my Applause acoustic bass
  5. guitar on my Tacoma acoustic guitar
  6. ukulele on my Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  7. vocals
  8. backup vocals
  9. tiny hook on my Kala Pocket Ukulele
  10. weird harpsichord (?) part on my Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  11. synth electric guitar sound from my Eleuke

Oh yeah, and I recorded it on my MOTU Traveller interface.  I love it!  And I used an AKG C 2000B Microphone.  But, enough of all that tech jibber jabber.  This one is for my baby.  I hope you like it, Erika.

Strange Powers (Magnetic Fields Cover) - by Ukulele Guy, for Erika

P.S.  I need a windscreen for my mic.... I know.  I'm buying one today as well as new Aquila strings. 😉

P.P.S. I'd love to make a video for this song.  You know one of those rad videos that shows me playing each of the instruments as the part comes in for the first time.  But, that seems like a ton of work and I'm not really sure what software to use.  Does everyone do those with Adobe Premier?  It seems like it has a steep learning curve (and costs about a million dollars).  Any other suggestions?

P.P.P.S  Crap.  I just realized that I muffed the lyrics in a few spots.  Hopefully Stephen Merritt never hears this because I'm not sure I could stand up to his sardonic comments and cool stare.