Arborea: Monday Exposure

Arborea – Beirut (MP3)

arboreaukeOne of the most pleasing aspects of the whole ‘New Weird America’ genre is that it’s made it okay to play instruments that aren’t guitar, bass or drums. It’s still labelled ‘weird’, of course, but there are an increasing number of bands stretching out the instrumentation. One such band is Arborea. They use banjos, dulcimers, a combination of the two, and ukuleles. And they were kind enough to let me share the ukulele track from their new album House of Sticks.

Which is just one reason why you should support their Leaves of Life project which brings together the toppermost alterna-folkies – including Devendra Banhart, Alela Diane and Rio En Medio – to on one album to raise money for the UN’s World Food Programme and Not on Our Watch.

You can buy it on Darla, on iTunes, on eMusic and on Amazon. Essential Tracks: Alela Diane’s Cuckoo, Rio en Medio’s Mary, Denise Dill’s Work, Work, Work.

Visit Arborea on MySpace and buy House Sticks on Amazon

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  1. todd October 13th, 2009 9:51 pm

    ‘One of the most pleasing aspects of the whole ‘New Weird America’ genre is that it’s made it okay to play instruments that aren’t guitar, bass or drums. ‘ -Woodshed

    thank goodness for that! along with picking up a uke, for added joy, try picking up an instrument (strumstick or dulcimer) fretted with a diatonic scale…..pure joy…pure joy….

    thanks for sharing Al,


  2. Jomes October 14th, 2009 12:49 am

    For a split second I was fooled into thinking a new beirut album dropped. Oh well.

  3. Jeff October 14th, 2009 6:38 am

    Al, thanks for doing what no other uke blogger can — get the best stories and songs out everyday — you find the best! Hey you need to add some more ukulele sizes. I was at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival in St. Helena, California. Full of world class performers. I played a little verbal tease on James Hill as we were looking at CD’s on a vendor’s table. I said, “Look at this lame song name, ‘Ode to a Frozen Boot’.” He knew I was messing with him.

    Oh yeah, uke sizes:
    Sopranino — is getting around, easier than people think too!
    Supa’ Uke — Is basically a chopped guitar starting at fret 5
    Kala Road Toad Bass Uke — Somebody is going to need an e-book for Uke Bass! These are fun. But I don’t know how to play.

    Humble / Jeff

  4. ronhale October 14th, 2009 8:40 am

    Maybe I’ve been around too long & heard too much music
    to consider the banjo or dulcimer weird. Now, for truly weird
    visit the BBC News site & watch the 8 Oct. 2009 video of
    “the most revolutionary musical instrument in the last 60 years,”
    the Eigenharp.

  5. Woodshed October 14th, 2009 4:48 pm

    Todd: I’ve been really tempted to pick up a dulcimer ever since I saw this video.

    Jomes: Sorry to disappoint.

    Jeff: I’m quite tempted by the Kala U-Bass have to say.

    ron: Thanks for mentioning that. Here’s a link for anyone that’s interested.

  6. todd October 14th, 2009 6:31 pm

    Holy Mackerel…..

    that’s scary good!….i’ve been pleased with just my ‘single note thunking’ and occasional chording…..

    you’d be playing stuff like that right quick i suppose….do it do it do it :)

  7. L.Bo Marie October 16th, 2009 12:27 am

    so haunting lovely….
    sigh.. I’m going to go light some candles and play my Uke…

  8. Woodshed October 17th, 2009 9:23 am

    todd: I’m trying to get more focussed not less!

    L.Bo Marie: I wonder how it would look to have a lit candle inside your uke. And how long it would take to catch on fire.

  9. L.Bo Marie October 20th, 2009 5:34 pm

    hmmm… I imagine it would look really really pretty for a moment or two…

    there are those little “flameless” tea lights out there (little battery operated dudes) but having it rattle around inside could be annoying ;)

  10. Woodshed October 20th, 2009 9:28 pm

    Marie: You’re right. Back to the drawing board.

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