Is it just a reflection of my own taste in music, or is the ukulele, previously relegated mostly to novelty tunes and Hawaiian music, been enjoying somewhat of a comeback in recent years? I like to think it’s at least partially due to the influence of Stephin Merritt, although maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
I know Amanda Palmer, who is primarily a keyboard player, took it up because she wanted an instrument that was portable.
She makes good use of this as well, often wandering around in the audience while playing a uke tune. I also seem to have heard that the uke is somewhat easier to play than other lute-style instruments, but as I’ve never tried it myself, I can’t vouch for this and could be wrong. What’s particularly interesting, however, is that it seems to be the chosen instrument of girls who are going for a cute image. It’s become the go-to twee instrument, or something like that. Notable female uke players who come to mind include:
Abby DeWald of the Ditty Bops
Robin Goldwasser, wife of John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants, and member of the trio The Last Car
Kim Boekbinder, formerly of Vermillion Lies
Okay, maybe that’s not THAT many, but it still strikes me as a bit of a trend. What do you think?