Friday, February 23, 2007

Ukulele coffee shop in Tokyo

If you ever find yourself in Tokyo with an urge to play your uke, but your uke is nowhere to be found, there's a place you can go. "Bucky" in Shibuya has ukuleles for playing. For a 400-yen cup of coffee, you can borrow one of theirs and play with othe affectinados during the day. At night, you can also feed yourself as well as strum along.

They also hold various events like a hula night (second Friday of each month). Those are advertised as 3,000 with a free drink. Another is performances by Shiraishi Atae, son of Bucky Shiraishi.

They are located on the bus terminal side of Shibuya Station in Tokyo. It should be about a three minute walk from the station. There is a very simple map on their website.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kiyoshi Kobayashi workshop

Kiyoshi Kobayashi will be holding an hour-long workshop in Kamakura followed by a 45-minute mini-concert. Adult admission to either one will be 3,000 yen or 5,000 for both plus drinks, according to the website. Participants in the workshop are invited to play along in the mini-concert.

The workshop apparently starts at 2PM on 3 March and is quickly followed by the mini-concert. The venue is a place called the Aloha Cube.

Monday, February 19, 2007

CD kickoff concert

This coming Sunday (2/25) at Thumbs Up, a three-minute walk from Yokohama Station, there will be a kickoff concert for the CD I wrote about a couple of days ago. If you are in Japan and want to go, detailed info can be had at this website (in Japanese).

Doors are said to open at 6:30, adult tickets on the day cost 3,500 yen. They are 3,000 in advance. Laula, Iwao, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Ukulele Eiji and others are slated to be there according to the website. Kuricorder isn't mentioned, so we can probably assume they won't be there. This is according to the website anyway.

I won't be going, but I would if I could swing it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Loco Factory

Having finally secured a couple of moments to phone up Headway, makers of La Uke ukuleles and possibly Loco ukuleles, I gave them a quick dial.

The brief conversation confirmed my suspicions. Locos are indeed made by Headway China.

A look at their website has lots of nice photos showing how La Ukes are handcrafted etc, etc. The page for Locos are considerably more simple and less impressive. It leaves one wondering if it is only guitars that they make at Headway China. Wonder no more.

Upcoming Rolling Coconuts

A new Rolling Coconut comes out on the 27th of this month. Tornadic Ukulele, who has kindly left comments on this blog, has written to tell us he will be making an appearance there. Congratulations on that! I am looking forward to seeing what they have to say.

Other big features that they will apparently be running will revolve around some of their Geneon projects. The headliner will be the (directly translated) "From the North Ukulele". "From the North" was a series of tv programs that ran here for YEARS. It was about a family of a father, son, and daughter and how they struggled to make do in Hokkaido, where there is nature and it is COLD.The theme music was done by a guitar-playing folk singer named Sada Masashi.It has been redone on a new CD by the usual suspects: Kuricorder Quartet, Iwao, Ukulele Quartet, BanBan Bazaar, and Kiyoshi Kobayashi, to name the majority.

There will be another article about James Hill and one on ukulele Iwao style.

Again, congratulations to Tornadic Ukulele.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Loco ukulele factory

After receiving a comment about the location of the Loco ukulele factory, I have been reading up some on the company that makes them.

Headway is based in Matsumoto in Nagano, Japan. They are well-known for their guitars here. The venture into ukuleles appears to be a new step for them.

It seems that La Uke ukuleles are manufactured at their factory in Nagano. Unfortunately, I can't yet work out if their Locos are made there or by their sister company, Headway China. I have seen several mentions of guitars being put together in China, but the ukuleles are still a mystery.

I will continue fishing around for information until I find exactly where Locos are made. At worst, I suppose I might have to phone up the company.