Okay so here’s the thing: Whenever I tell people I work “in music” or “in the music industry,” undoubtedly, their follow-up question is: “OooOOOo! Do you sing or play an instrument?!” To which I politely laugh and then tell them “Oh honey, NO. I cannot carry a tune to save my life!” This is literally my exact canned response. But I mean, just because you’re a GENIUS in the Hummdinger catergory in Cranium, does not a musician make. I played the flute for like, 2 years in middle school because that’s what all the other cute and pretty girls were doing, even though I wanted to play the drums; but, alas, I thought I was WAY too cute and pretty for such a loud, bulky instrument. Girl Power. And if we’re being honest ’round these parts, I didn’t exactly peak in “cute and pretty” during middle school, so who was I kidding.
There was also a time I learned how to play the first 15 seconds of Dave Matthews Band’s “Typical Situation” on the acoustic guitar, and I could KILL the Rugrats theme song on the piano. But this is as far as my musical talent and/or patience reached.
So when my friend Keenan recently told me he needed to temporarily get rid of some instruments while he moved, I decided I should jump at the opportunity to partially commit to learning how to play one. I walked away with both a banjo and a ukulele. Super ambitious of me, right?
First of all, that banjo was fucking heavy. I carried it all the way from the Essex stop to my apt on 1st Avenue and 4th Street, and after the first few blocks I quit carrying it like a cool person and started carrying it like a sack of groceries. My friend Noel, in the meantime, took the itty bitty ukulele and was walking around grinning like Tiny Fucking Tim himself. After I finally lugged the banjo up my 6 flights of stairs, I was beyond ready to put Baby in a corner.
Then, whilst working from home the other day, the precious little ukulele sang out to me. In the key of B sharp. Or whatever. Also, I had just finished going through all my trashy celeb-stalking websites and needed something else to do during my “lunch break.” The uke was the closest thing I could grab without leaving my chair. So I picked the sucker up, Googled a bunch of chords and shit, and .. ABRACADABRA! I was ready to play my first song: The Velvet Underground’s “After Hours.”
Sike! That did not go well. Mostly because I am both stubborn and lazy and like to learn things the hard way. Also, I’m just really ready to give people a different answer when they ask me if I play an instrument or have an untapped American Idol voice: “Well yes, actually. I do dabble in the uke from time to time.” Do people say that? Whatever. So once I sort of got the hang of a few chords, I decided to record myself in an effort to show the world that if I can do it, SO CAN YOU.
And I’m going to show it to you because there’s nothing I love more than self-deprecating humor. This could get really awkward for the both of us though, so, you know, enter at your own risk (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!? Never gets old. Never.).
NOTES: 1.) The uke has a name – Luke … the Uke … get it? 2.) The “wink” is not intended for the general public, and 3.) Yes, I know I missed the second “BEWWWWWW.” I was nervous, okay?
Afternoon Delight from Parry Ernsberger on Vimeo.