A full schedule at WebVisions

· Design, Events, Patterns, Social Design, ukulele stories

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Arrived in Portland yesterday and did some prep for one of my gigs at WebVisions, the Ukepalooza set I’m playing with Bill DeRouchey as the duo “Cheeses & Tequila.”

This morning Erin and I are teaching our Designing Social Interfaces workshop. Tomorrow is Ukepalooza, and then immediately afterward I’ll be doing my aptly named Designing for Play presentation.

It’s not too late to register in person!

(Here Comes) The Reuben Kincaid!

· Musicology, The Reuben Kincaid, ukulele stories

So sometime back in the previous millennium a bunch of us technical-publishing bohemians were sitting around wasting time as we were wont to do, coming up with band names, which reminds me of xian’s law: “There are more good band names than there are good bands.”

One of the ones that I suggested that our gang really liked was The Reuben Kincaid (we weren’t sure how to spell it though). It has that ’70s pop-culture thing and of course the classic ’60s-era “The” prefix (as in “The Pink Floyd”). Then time passed and we drifted around.

Five or so years ago when I started teaching myself ukulele and posting my baby steps on my blog, I decided that I was going to form a “virtual band” out of myself and anyone I could get to overdub on my tracks. I called that band The Reuben Kincaid.

More time passed and I renamed it Layers of Meta, which is its name today. I also play in a duo with my brother Arthur (aka “xourmas”) as The Power & Mighty.

But when myself and Cecil Vortex and so-called Bill and “the B is silent” Ryan got together last fall, at first to work on our still-very-underground radio show, Podcast Gold, we sort of evolved into a quartet, with Cecil on guitar, songwriting, arrangement, keyboards, production, and general fabulousness, Bill on bass, Ryan on bongoes (and sound recording-ism), and myself on ukulele.

And now, at last, the Reuben Kincaid has its first single! Enjoy…

play “Single-Cell Critter”

Four-alarm pentatonic ukulele chili

· Musicology, ukulele stories

My #uke4geeks talk at South By was so hot it set off a false alarm. We persevered, and prevailed, a small band of die-hards, many of whom brought their own axes (next time we set it up as a hootenanny?), and here are the slides I spoke to. I’m already revising them based on flow and keeping remembering other things I meant to say:

via Ukulele For Geeks: Secrets of the Pentatonic Scales (sxsw 2010).

Coming this Friday to SXSW: "Ukulele for Geeks: Secrets of the Pentatonic Scales"

· Musicology, ukulele stories

[official blurb from sxsw website]At first glance the fretboard of a ukulele (or guitar) looks incomprehensible, but with the magic of pentatonic scales – ancient, nearly universal 5-note patterns, you can “crack the code” and hack the fretboard and start jamming along with your favorite tunes or musician friends in no time.

“You don’t need to know the names of the notes or what key a song is. Just find the “little dippers” and start messing around with patterns. I’ll explain the concepts and demonstrate the techniques, which are completely self taught.”

That’s the official blurb for my South by Southwest talk at 5:00 PM friday in room 18ABCD (uh oh, that sounds big), Ukulele for Geeks: Secrets of the Pentatonic Scales.

This is based on the Ignite talk I did in Sydney and the Pecha Kucha I did in Tokyo, but this is the expanded 45-minute version of the talk, so I don’t have to rush through all the little concepts and shapes. I think it will be a blast.

See you there?

Video of Uke for Geeks talk at Ignite Sydney

· Musicology, ukulele stories

A month or so ago I posted my slides and some photos from my Ignite Sydney talk. Today I just noticed that the video was up on YouTube (yays).

Unfortunately, there’s a person’s head obscuring the view of the ukulele for most of my talk, and I kind of start ignoring the slides after a while, but this came out fairly well!

(In the Pecha Kucha version of this talk last week, I think I was able to track a little more closely to the slides, so this is sort of an evolving thing.)

p.s.: for the other great speakers from a very fun, raucous evening in Sydney, check out Ignite Sydney 3 Speakers.