Long time friend of the blog, Shigeto Takahashi‘s album Roots Trip is for download on iTunes and on CDBaby. Must have tracks: Hilo March, Kohara March. Unfortunately, two of the best tracks (Peanut Vendor and Rhapsody in Blue had to be dropped for copyright reasons).
Hull Ukulele Group have made their Halloween/Guy Fawkes songbook available to all
Stephin Merritt hasn’t been playing ukulele much recently but he still some nice things to say about it. But the most interesting parts of the interview was him and Claudia Gonson realising they’ve been playing Papa Was A Rodeo incorrectly for the last decade. (Thanks to Paul)
I’m a bit ambivalent on the subject. I certainly support artists making money from their work. It’s my policy not to put anything up when there are official uke tabs available. (It helps that they were nice about it and didn’t threaten to send in the lawyers). Also, I’d like to see sites with official tabs on the net. There needs to be an iTunes for tabs. But there isn’t really anything like that for guitar so a uke site like that is a long way off.
On the other hand, I do think you can build up a big fanbase through teaching. Aldrine’s certainly won a big audience on the back of teaching on Ukulele Underground.
One issue I’m not ambivalent on: 95 years is a ridiculously lengthy term for copyright and absolutely has a negative impact on culture. The Economist, those famously anti-business hippies, suggest 14 years is more sensible.