Hey ‘Spillers! Here’s a wee photo of the fun I had once I took up the ukelele! Just kidding, that’s obviously Elvis (I’m on the right, in the blue cossie). Some of you may know that I have ditched a lifetime’s worth of pain via guitar for something simpler, more fun, the people’s instrument, if you will. I’ve had my uke for a few weeks now, and it’s so jolly that I don’t get shouted at any more, like I did whenever I picked up my guitar. We’ve even had singalongs in the house to Noah & The Whale and the Adventure Time theme song.
I’ve become kinda fascinated with the youtube clips that folks record in their bedrooms, there’s some remarkable talent out there, not to mention a weird voyeuristic peeks into people’s homes and lives across the world. So, here’s my top 5 favourite youtube uke covers.
1. “The First Of The Gang To Die” – originally by Morrissey, covered by Mandy Nikko. I think a big pop star in Malaysia may have covered this, which then led to other people covering her cover. Regardless, I really like this rendition (the chorus is to die for), it takes it back to days of old a wee bit, and shows up the amazing Moz songwriting really rather well. My children call this “The Hector song”, as this is where the family dog got his name from.
2. “Kids” – orig. MGMT covered by Ooks Of Hazzard. Not a bedroom clip at all, but I just love the way they’re all sat in a row with their ukes, all having a wee shot on the vocals, their version really brings out the pathos & yearning that was kinda hidden in the original.
Three more after the jump….
3. “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” – orig Vaselines, covered by youtube user dahlialee1. I think this cover is way more in keeping with the spirit of the ramshackle crapness/beauty dualism that made the Vaselines one of my favourite bands, than any of the covers Nirvana did. Don’t have an accordion handy? Use a kazoo. Genius. I’m now a firm believer that if Kurt had a uke & a kazoo, his life would have been a hell of a lot more jolly, and he might still be with us.
4. “Fake Plastic Trees” orig Radiohead, covered by Julien Cloud. I just love the thought that, once, on a beach in Morocco somewhere, there’s a guy that sang like Thom Yorke, as the sun went down.
5. “Tonight You Belong To Me”, another beach uke rendition. I think it was this hipster “Jerk” that started the whole trend off in the first place…..
I was going to post the Zooey Deschanel version, but she’s not been returning my phone calls lately, so. . .
Cheers! And if there’s any good stuff like this you’ve come across, please put the clips in the comments. Thanks xx