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Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-04-24: Ukulele Noir

May 13, 2019
AccNoir 2009-04-24


From the beginning, we understood that accordions, despite having been top of the A-list instrument heap for the majority (well, 50% +1 at least) of the 20th century, now found itself bumping elbows with a different calibre of instruments — fellow “underdog” acoustic instruments often tied to ethnic cultural practices not widely shared (or perhaps popping once in the popular consciousness but never apparently undertaking a comeback.)  You know what we’re talking about — variety spice instruments you find these days icing folk recordings with a little bit of prestige: our fellow travelers the banjo, bagpipes, steel guitar, and so forth.  We’ve enjoyed good success intermittently pitting players of these instruments against accordionists at our festivals at our “underdog instrument grudge match”es, but before we began that practice, we figured that exploring the other instruments in our ghetto would make for interesting member drive radio specials, and would annually turn over an hour (or so) to some other instrument, to celebrate and edify them, for a change of pace, as we do weekly with the accordion.  We’ve done it since with a number of fellow underdog instruments (hello, hurdy-gurdy noir!), but the obvious place to begin was with the biggest comeback story among the b-list acoustic instruments, the ukulele.  (Its passionate local community of enthusiasts was the model that inspired us to mount the monthly Vancouver Squeezebox Circle get-togethers!)  10 years ago we kicked off this sporadic member drive tradition by inviting Creaking Planks strummer Heather McDermid and busker-entertainer “King of the Ukulele” Ralph Shaw to join us live on the air for a double-and-a-half length episode (number 126) to help give this twee little instrument the full noir treatment.  At its original online home it was enjoyed some 14009 times, but today’s cohort of intrepid noir uke explorers can enjoy listening to it online courtesy of the Internet Archive.  And now — here’s its playlist!

Accordion Noir: Playlist: April 24th, 2009: Ukulele Noir! Fund-raiser, Over-Timer!

Hosts: Heather McDermid, Ralph Shaw, Rowan Lipkovits, and Bruce “What’s next?” Triggs.

Playlist: Artist — Song – Album & sources?
Ukulele Noir Promo clip… We made this!
Jason Castro – Somewhere Over the Rainbow (after Israel Kamakawiwo’ole) on American Idol April 8th, 2008. Video at
Beirut – Elephant Gun – Lon Gisland (2006) Music video at
Augustinho De Pina – Hora Di Bal — Music From Cape Verde –
Tahiti Here (That’s the name of the group) – Purotu – Music from the South Pacific (2009)
Toots Paka’s Hawaiians – Kamawae (1911) – Edison wax cylinder. From the fabulous UCSB Cylinder Digitization Project:
Tahiti Here – Haere Mai Na – Music from the South Pacific (2009)
King Bennie Nawahi – Mauna Kea – (Can be heard as the soundtrack to Marv Newland’s 1988 animated short “Black Hula” at ).
Hawaiian War Chant (Kaua I Ka Huahua’i) via the Lion King.
Jake Shimabukuro – While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Gently Weeps (2006) –
Molly “SweetAfton23” – Toxic (after Britney Spears) – as at
Julia Nunes aka “jaaaaaaa” – God Only Knows (after the Beach Boys) – as at
Danielle Ate the Sandwich – Gone – as at
Waitswatcher – Hoist that Rag (instrumental, after Tom Waits) – as at
The Burning Hell – Dinosaurs – Happy Birthday (2007) –
Screw You (from Scrubs) – “Garfunkel & Oates” (Riki Lindhome & Kate Miccuci) – as at
Uni and her Ukulele – My Favorite Letter is U —
Krista Muir (Leiderhosen Lucil) – Kuss – Accidental Railway (2008) –
Jean Martin & Justin Freedman – Bookends – Freedman (2008) –
Bohemia Ukulele Band – My Baby Just Cares For Me —
The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Really Love You Anymore – “i” (2004) –
Olo T. Schickellegroughverre and the Happy Philanthropist Orchestra – I Can Tell the World – from the incredibly rare album, “Jenny Tantric’s Preggo Playground.”
Bob Uker – Uke Messiah – Visit his portfolio site at
Bob Uker – Poutine
Heather McDermid (Live!) – Tired of Running from the CIA – (after Sloppy Seconds, originally on their album Destroyed, which is available at your favorite online audio-retailer.)
Guy Forsyth (his own song, “True Friends”) – “Waking Life” Dream Monologue – can be seen at
The Burning Hell – Goodbye Ukulele –
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
Toots Paca’s Hawaiians – Aloha Oe (1913: again from the Edison cylinders online.)
George Formby – Why don’t Women Like Me (George Formby’s Lament)
[You might want to check out Bryan Talbot’s “Alice in Sunderland” page. We talked about George Formby’s cameo.
[And perhaps visit the brief “George Formby Grill” animated short at ]
Cliff “Ukelele” Ike Edwards – Fascinatin Rhythm
Ralph Shaw – Frank on his Tank (live in our studio!) –
Joel Eckhaus – Cheek to Cheek –
James Hill – Little Wing – A Flying Leap (2005) –
Ralph Shaw – Do I Worry (live!) –
Ralph Shaw – Manikin Man

(Thank you for joining us in the studio tonight Heather and Ralph!)

This episode’s cover is from a ukulele art-book project by Peter and Donna Thomas. Check them out at:


It’s come to our attention that there [was] a monthly uke showcase called “Ukulele Noir” in Boston! There is information at (and , but that site is having problems currently.) They have some recordings up at: .

Ralph Shaw host[ed] the Vancouver-area monthly Ukulele Circle at Our Town Cafe the third Tuesday of every month, and it has a website at


This is where we love to say, “Please support ethical and unusual media by becoming a member of Co-op Radio,” because we love our little radio-station, and it loves you.

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

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