Ukuleles, the perfectly fun four-string that you've probably grabbed as a joke, have found new life outside of Hawaii due to -- what else? -- plaid-shirted Brooklyn types. Sure, George Harrison and Greg Hawkes were fans, but, I'm sorry, I just don't see where that translates into groups like Neutral Uke Hotel.
Okay, okay, you can't really go wrong with Neutral Milk Hotel. (Does that make me a hipster... err... peasant-dress-wearing, sleave-tattooed Williamsburg type?) But really, is a revival necessary? Really?
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Wherever you stand on the lovable uke, a renaissance is under way. And there's already a film documenting its stars and ever-expanding fan base. The promotional write-up for the Mighty Uke: The Amazing Comeback of a Musical Underdog claims:
"Ukes top the charts in Japan, Swedish punks thrash uke angst, California popsters serve it to ya ukulele style, classical composers carefully pluck out musicbox sonatas, and all of them meet together at the myriad ukulele festivals from New York to London to Tokyo. Mighty Uke travels the world to discover why so many people of different nations, cultures, ages and musical tastes are turning to the ukulele to express themselves, connect with the past, and with each other."
The phenomenon may be annoying simply because of those who are advancing it most visibly, but the film will probably leave you feeling all fuzzy and wanting a ukulele of your own. But if we see hippie uke circles at the Bubble or bike-collective kids cruising downtown as a pack of ukulele-strumming fools, County Grind is gonna have words.
Cinema Paradiso has an event planned around the movie which plays July 17 and includes a luau with pina coladas and a Hawaiian buffet. If you aren't feeling the festivities that start at 5:30 p.m., Mighty Uke plays at 7 p.m. Admission costs $15 and includes the luau, movie, and a pina colada.