Forza, Folklife, Another “F” Word, Yeah.

One of the many great things about a three day weekend is the extra day off to rest your battered fingers. If you’re this Castaway, your index and middle finger are shredded from practice, your nails are broken and too short, and you think Pete might have a point when he says we need a manicurist on staff.

While we’re discussing our staffing needs, we also need a massage therapist, one that’s especially good with hands, a black opps team to recover any State Department evidence of a certain band member’s Cairo issued passport, a hair stylist, a dedicated sound guy (Mark does an amazing job but we’d love it if he didn’t have to and could just play) and, uh, what else? A personal trainer and chef. That should do it for now. Our roadie is working out just fine, even if we have to keep telling him to wear his crew tag. He’s starting to talk back and to that we say, “Okay, he’s part of the band now, and he’s earning his keep by dragging gear from point A to point B and back again. We’ll allow it.”

Saturday night we were psyched to be back at Forza Coffee at Green Lake. Our man Murray (it’s his place) was on a much needed vacation, but we loved the warm welcome from Skip, the manager. “Man, I am ready for you guys! I know it’s going to be loud and the place is going to rock.” The shop is in a great location; people walking by the cafe’s big roll up door do the ukulele double take, that move when a person hears the music, sees the ukes and says, “No. Way.” For our first two sets we got to play with the sun on our backs — it was like a summer night, boys with their shirts off, girls in summer dresses, cold beer in tall glasses, and ukulele rock.

Sunday afternoon we played to a full house at Folklife; we opened the ukulele showcase, a four act, two hour set of all ukulele music. It was an honor to get to be part of the Folklife  tradition. It was so cool to be on that stage with the bright lights, and if we tried the patience of the house manager, we were kind of excited, thanks for being patient with us. We had a short set but it felt great, the audience was really fun, and before we let loose, the MC said, “Hey, do me a favor? Rock the proverbial house.” I hope we didn’t let you down, Mr. MC.

We were followed by the Thornton Creek Elementary School’s ukulele students (adorable), the Seattle Ukulele Players Association (who owned the Elvis tunes) and the fabulous Canote Brothers, Greg and Jere. If you can’t be charmed by the Canote Brothers, well, you need what the ukulele has to offer.

Any day you can hang out with people who are digging on the uke, that’s a good day. And if you get to be on stage while Jim belts out some Twisted Sister and Ed tears up some Stray Cat Strut, if you get to sing Material Girl backed by the obtrusive percussion of the cajón while three strapping lads deliver the accompanying vocals…that’s a very good day. A very good day.

I didn’t get to shout “Are you having a good time? I can’t HEAR YOU!” into the mic because we were out of time, but summer is just starting. And we had a great time, so hey, THANK YOU SEATTLE!