ukes take the brewery

I got an anonymous tip tonight that “a gang of about 20 ukulele players” had “taken over” the Corner Brewery. I was told that it was incredibly blog-worthy, and that I should get my ass out there ASAP. The tipster, not a fan of the ukulele apparently, informed me that good, beer-drinking people were being forced out into the street. He himself was on his way out as he called me on the tip line. He said, “something has to be done” in an exasperated tone, and talked of the “terrible precedent” being set.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I myself have been known to associate with the occasional uke player. Hell, I even recorded with one once. But, I played along on the phone, agreeing that these uke players should be evicted before, god forbid, tuba players and the like get it into their heads to come out and plant their asses down in front of our bar.

So, I got my shoes on and headed out into the rain with my camera in hand. By the time I got there, I think the majority of the attack had already taken place. There were people outside with uke cases, slowly making their ways to their cars. Inside, there were still about a dozen at it though. Just as I’d been told, they were right in front of the bar, their sheet music set before them, nary a beer in sight. (Gasp!)

To be honest, I didn’t find it all that offensive. But, like I said, I have a special place in my heart for uke players, and maybe they’d already done all of their more offensive material. (Were they doing bawdy sea shanties with lots of high note plucking? All I heard were Christmas songs.) I can see how others might be miffed though. This is probably especially true of the bartenders who 1) had to listen to it for a hell of a lot longer, 2) may have been losing paying customers, and 3) probably weren’t getting much in the way of tips from the few ukulele players drinking. And, while I like ukes, I do recall an incident earlier this summer when I was at the Brewery when a few hippies came in with bongos and acoustic guitars. I’m sure that some people didn’t mind their performance, but it drove me off the fucking deep end. So, I can kind of sympathize with those that were upset in this instance. Maybe there needs to be a “no unscheduled music” rule. But maybe that’s a slippery slope. Next, maybe it’s kids that people won’t like having around. (We are presently living under a “no kids after 9:00 compromise,” but I it’s possible that a faction could begin lobbying to keep them out altogether.) I love having a big, open, public space where people can meet and drink beer, but maybe there are some lines that still need to be drawn.

[update: When I first posted this, I was under the impression that the event had not been sanctioned by the brewery – that the folks had just shown up with their ukes, as though they were on an Improv Everywhere mission. I’m told now, however, that it may have been approved in advance by Brewery management. I’m still awaiting confirmation.]

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  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Unicorns bleed ukuleles. Look what you’ve done.

  2. Posted December 12, 2007 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Just for you, here’s a picture of a couple of gentlemen with their Swagerty ukes:

  3. Bruce
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    “Maybe there needs to be a ‘no unscheduled music’ rule.”

    This event had been scheduled for months. So is the next one.

  4. Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I saw a sign while at the SAF about the Uke players playing and I thought it was great. I once posted the great song, “Ukulele Style of Making Love”, on my site and I got tons of love from uke players out there. (I also posted a crude remix featuring Lee Osler called “The Ypsilanti Style of Making Love”.)

    I have found that ukulele players are a united collective worldwide spirit and that there’s just something special about the instrument.

    Maybe the ukulele is indeed the answer to all of our problems, and we just don’t realize it?

    After reading about these uke rebels taking over CB, I am now completely convinced (I think Mark is on the fence here). Ukulele players – I support you! Peace, love, and ukes in Ypsilanti!

  5. Posted December 12, 2007 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    That song I was talking about is actually called, “Makin’ Love Ukulele Style.”. The remix is called “Makin’ Love Ypsilanti Style” AKA “Makin’ Love UkuleLEE Style.”

  6. JJT
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I’m told there’s supposed to be a hardcore rap battle taking place this Sunday afternoon in the bar area of Zingerman’s Roadhouse. People are being bussed in from Detroit.

  7. Posted December 12, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I was there last night and found it rather pleasant despite the Christmas music (which I despise).

  8. egpenet
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh, thank God!

    Ukes! Ukeleles!

    Someone told me to get to the blog … that NUKES had been found in and around the Corner Brewery!

    What’s that duet from an old Laurel & Hardy flick, where they are on an outing with the Sons of the Desert, or something like that?

  9. Annette
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    OK. I am the guilty party here. I did arrange with the Brewery to have this event held there about 2 months ago (thus the notice posted in their window). I have been looking for a place for area uke players to jam and some one gave the spot as a suggestion. They thought Tue was usually a slow nite. I am also a big fan of their beer.
    Sorry if some folks didn’t enjoy it. Thanks to those that were supportive. Ukes can save the world!

  10. Josh
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I would draw the line at high school marching bands.

  11. Bob
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This will probably kill you to know that not only were they playing ukes in public (no shame) and singing what they called Christmas songs (not Holiday songs) and I saw people ask for business cards and phone numbers. That means these people will probably strike again somewhere armed with ukulele’s, singing crazy songs about love and happy stuff, attacking beer drinking crowds. What next? They are trying to take over the world. I’ll bet that Bush is behind all this. I am going to shoot off a letter to Hillary.

  12. Tark
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    As uke players have a very difficult time mating, scientists are hopeful that we won’t have to see, hear, or otherwise experience them in the future.

  13. Bob
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you once were a uke player… Hope all is well for you now.

  14. kmh/jch
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey Tark,
    About that mating thing…we’re reproducing as fast as possible, but some things really shouldn’t be rushed…perhaps something you’ve never expereinced. Also,uke players have been known to “start hard, meander in the middle, and finish strong”. A quote from a fellow microbrew lover. It should also be noted that among the uke fans Tuesday night was a dedicated homebrewer. Heck, the ukes sound even better with large amounts of great brew…the hoppier the better. I know I strum better with a few under my belt. We will be back, and next time we’re bringing kids!

  15. Posted December 13, 2007 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I suspect what happened is that Tark has been turned down by a few uke players, and is just pouting.

    The tune Laurel & Hardy sing is “Honolulu Baby.” (There are also some nice clips of Buster Keaton playing the uke on YouTube, but I’m too lazy to post the links.)

  16. Tark
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Don’t attack me. I am merely the messenger. I’m only reporting what I have read in the scientific journals. Firemen, as I recall, get the most action, and thus have more viable offspring. Uke players are on the other end of the spectrum. I remember scratching my head and wondering how a group could statistically have “negative sexual encounters”.

  17. Bob
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The issue is not about scientific journals or firemen, but rather Tark, you having all these sexual thoughts and fantasies when you have encounters with ukulele players. But it’s OK Tark we can keep this our “dirty little secret”.

  18. Ms. X
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I screwed a uke player in college once on a bet.

    It turned out to be the most unbelievably magic night of my life.

  19. Posted December 14, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I thought it would be pertinent here to post a link to a “Victoria’s Secret” ad featuring the uke, but this site won’t let me. Perhaps it’s just as well; Tark is already troubled enough.

  20. Ed
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Mr. X, may I ask whether or not this uke player you made love to was Tiny Tim? If so, may I then ask how recently this act took place?

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