Uku-Tuesday Video! “The Way I Behaved” from The Last Unicorn

This week’s Uku-Tuesday is brought to you by the godfather of modern fantasy – Peter S. Beagle! Peter is the author of The Last Unicorn, which happens to be my favorite book of all time, and also a delightfully weird animated feature film from the 1980s.

In the novel, Prince Lir asks the Lady Amalthea what he can do to help her when she is troubled by nightmares. She asks him to sing to her, and this is the song that he sings. It’s a bit dark for the occasion, but it makes her laugh nonetheless. In the audiobook version of the novel, Peter sings the song to this tune, and I transcribed it with my brain-powers onto the uke.

I hope you enjoy it!

For Your Listening Pleasure: Uku-Tuesday!

I’ll admit it: I’ve had a blue couple of days. We opened the ren faire this past weekend and it was a nonstop roller coaster of awesome, kickin, rock-and-roll Renaissance fun, but it was also full of pit stops and hurdles and all sorts of unexpected hesitations and adjustments. Then, on Monday morning, I woke up completely sick: sore, swollen throat, stuffy sinuses, aching body. I slept through the day on and off, dosing myself with Flonase, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes, and a bath with epsom salts. I ate soup and lounged. This morning I found myself much better than I had been, but still a bit gross and feeling kind of down.

You know those days where you just sort of feel… trapped by how much you want to do? You have so many goals and aspirations and so many things on your immediate to do list that you become immobilized by everything and can’t function for a bit? That was my morning. I tried all the usual things to shake myself out of a funk: shower, clean clothes, lots of water, good lunch, stretching, a little ice cream, a little daydreaming. Nothing was working.

So I pulled my concert uke out of her case and started tuning.

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It takes me forever and a day to write my own original songs… I wish it didn’t, because I love playing and singing and I’m really proud of the few original songs I have. I do wish I were better at it. I know it takes practice more than anything, but gosh, it’s hard to practice when you’re discouraged by how long it takes! Catch 22, I suppose. But I do enjoy finding little odd songs from the already-established music library of the world and covering them to my particular mood and liking. Today, I rediscovered a fondness for Duke Ellington.

Funny how music can help you beat the blues. 🙂

Happy Uku-Tuesday! Click here to listen!

Bigger on the Inside: Amanda Palmer Ninja Gig in Chicago

I love Amanda Palmer.

She is, most of the time, a maelstrom of artistry: a musician, a songwriter, a performer, a dreamer, now a writer, a media target, and a controversial topic for many. She is a beacon of light and patron saint to self-proclaimed weirdoes, artists, punks, goths, in-betweeners, loners and overall a vast spectrum of people, people of many different genders/identities/ethnicities/ages. She is a strange, hairy, beautiful, loud, open-armed mother-sister-lover-friend of all who seek her, and her fans love her for her genuine words, her infinitely raw and passionate performances, her honesty, her dedication, her connection to each and every one of them.

Not everyone loves Amanda Palmer. I get that. She gets that. It’s cool. But a lot of people – and I mean a lot of people – really love her.

Two days ago, Amanda’s Twitter feed exploded as she announced she was seeking a venue for a ninja gig in Chicago. Amanda is famous for ‘ninja gigs’ – last minute, often free or very cheap performances where she plays music but mostly interacts with her fans in a less formal setting, often in public or in strange locations, sometimes with a picnic, frequently with shared food, booze, and company. People flew off the shelves suggesting places, and when she was narrowing it down, I even helped connect her with the folks for one of the possibilities myself. She decided to stage the gig at the Old Town School of Folk Music (near enough to my house that I walked there) and have an after party at a super-secret loft space in another building. It would be a magical event. I rallied my folks (and by folks I mean a handful of gals from Plan 9 Burlesque, including one of my best friends and fellow AFP aficionado Stella Cheeks) and reserved a (free) ticket and two hours before the doors were set to open I made sure I was standing in line to get the best seats we could. (I was third in line. Spoiler: our seats were perfect.)

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We stood outside of Old Town and waited…

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