so, i feel like lately i’ve been mentioning a lot of instruments that i don’t think get their fair due in the music industry nowadays. because, let’s face it peeps, in order to get a standard band nowadays, you need: a lead singer, some guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. a keyboardist is nice, but one of the guys already mentioned sometimes serves this dual purpose. so it always feels like a real treat when another instrument appears in a song i like – it’s like…toppings on ice cream. something special, you know?
a truncated list of instruments i dig but hear far too rarely: piano (not keyboard – old school piano), accordion, banjo, xylophone, glockenspiel, and the ukulele.
yes, the ukulele.
i know what you’re thinking – what, that tiny little guitar that’s used in hawaiian music? and the answer is – yup. that’s the one. it’s cute, it’s got a great sound that is simple (it’s hard to distort a ukulele), and it’s got far more to offer the music world than just hawaiian songs.
case in point – amanda palmer’s use of the ukelele to cover some of radiohead’s most popular songs.
and yes – you read that right. radiohead. done with a ukulele.
some of you may recognize amanda’s name – she used to front the punk-cabaret group the dresden dolls, plus she’s worked with ben folds and neil gaimon on who killed amanda palmer.
rather than sounding kitchy, the ukulele, in amanda palmer’s capable hands, transforms into moody melancholia. radiohead’s music inevitably lends itself to this, of course, but so does amanda’s voice and the pacing she sets with her instrument.
i know that radiohead claims they hate fake plastic trees. but damn, if it doesn’t sound morosely lovely here:
that album cover? LOVE IT. makes me think of south pacific. which, i know, ties into the whole hawaiian bit, but c’mon. i’m contrary like that.
now, this song doesn’t have the ukulele but it does feature the PIANO (hooray!) and only the piano. it’s simply beyond charming. and, she’s singing with the jane austen argument. MY GOD. can anyone resist a band named that?
don’t bother answering, because i’ll do it for you. NO, NO THEY CANNOT.
back to the radiohead stuff. here’s a video for no surprises:
buy amanda palmer performs the popular hits of radiohead on her magical ukulele for all of a single buck HERE. amanda palmer goes down under, the album bad wine and lemon cake is off of, can be bought HERE for a whopping 69 cents.