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MP3 Of The Undefined Time Period
Uke Skywalker 2018 Live Test)
I didn't get a recording of this year's Uke Skywalker set, but here's the rehearsal recording from a few days earlier. I make one of these for every live performance to listen on a loop for days as a way to learn.

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31 Flavours Volume 1: Vanilla

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Hardy Fox (1945-2018) Tue, 30 Oct 2018

I love Hardy Fox, more than I love almost anyone else (hi Mom!). Though we already knew of each other through a mutual friend, we first met in person when I was 20 years old. Over the next two decades, our friendship continued to grow. Because his occupation was manager, sound engineer, and producer for The Residents, my interest in that group was entangled with my relationship with Hardy. If anyone wants to understand why The Residents is so important to me, it's because of this strong personal connection. The Residents is a family, based not on blood but upon choice, respect, and friendship. I love my Residents family, and Hardy most of all.

That first meeting was after a show in Boston. I sat beside Hardy at a large table in a restaurant, a post-show dinner for crew and friends. At one point our server showed up with drinks for everyone. I tried to decline (I don't drink alcohol, plus at the time I was under the legal drinking age anyway), but the restaurant was noisy so the server couldn't understand and kept assuring me the drinks were on the house as he laid the glass down in front of me. I became a bit flustered over all the implications, but Hardy offered to take the drink from me. In all fairness, he may have been thinking "sweet, I get double the alcohol!" but I prefer to think he was helping out a new friend.

About ten years later, also in Boston, he was dismantling and packing equipment after a show. I approached to say hello, and he hugged me up onto the stage. Please picture this. A man in his sixties reaches down from a stage, puts his arms around someone on the ground, and lifts him in an embrace so they end up standing together. Whatever faults he may have had, the man knew how to show love for someone.

He was the silliest no-nonsense person I've ever encountered, often amplifying the absurdity of everyday life with a deadpan joke but equally capable of cutting through distractions to get to a simple and elegant solution to a problem. And if that's how anyone sees me, he's a big part as to why. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but it's shaped like Hardy Fox.

In mid September he was diagnosed with brain cancer, with an estimated six weeks to live. That set him up to do that which he has always excelled at: organize chaos. That doesn't mean, however, bring order to chaos. Oh, no no no. It means steer the inevitable chaos in a direction of his choosing. He placed birth and death years on his website and let that sit a few days before making his official announcement. Later he closed his Facebook account (which he had been considering doing anyway, but the timing became perfect). Was he playing around with us? A little, yes (I mean, if you have the opportunity, don't waste it, right?). But he was also softening the blow. Given the forewarning and his attitude in the matter, the impression I have is less "bright light that suddenly went out" and more "bulb that grew dimmer, and by the time it had extinguished my eyes had already adjusted to the dark."

Like all people, Hardy Fox was more than mere animated flesh and blood. Either professionally or personally, he touched the lives of many, and has been an incredibly large contributor to who I am as a person. His wit, love, and attitude live on through me, as well as in others. I haven't lost him in the most important sense, and I never will.

His final email was written with love and appreciation for life and those he felt close to. "Being dead is okay," he assures us. But I know he's a bit disappointed that he just missed out on Día de Muertos. Maybe next time, eh guy?

Rocky Horror Ukulele Cabaret Sun, 14 Oct 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 9 PM – 12 AM
KGB Bar Red Room 85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003

It's that time of the year again, when the slightly-more-underground-than-you-believe-possible ukulele scenesters perform the songs from Rocky Horror over the course of an evening.

I will be playing "Dammit Janet" which is new for me. I've played several of the show's songs at the Ukulele Cabaret in the past, and maybe if the tradition continues long enough I'll end up playing them all. Probably not. But come check this one out. It will be fun.

Sonic Uke
Chris and Ashley
War Ponies
Roger Greenawalt
Dana McCoy
Lloyd United
Rush Kress and the Uke Men
Jamie Scandal
Buttery Barmaids
Westchester Country Club
Carlo Maria
Alan Drogin and Gregor
Camille Veillon
The Dry Runs
Andru Cann

September Ukulele Cabaret Wed, 19 Sep 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 9 PM – 12 AM
KGB Bar Red Room 85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003

Pete Sturman
Angus Loten
Carmen Borgia
Patsy Monteleone
Camille Veillon
Emily Kramer
The Buttery Barmaids
Westchester Country Club

Famous Original Sonic Uke
Leslie Chase and Charlie Sands
Chris Combs
Lloyd United
War Ponies
Andru Caan
The Dry Runs
Jamie Scandal and Alan Drogin