Let It Not Be Said That I Am Not Actively Fulfilling My Obligations

For the ukulele performance, Redshirts auction winner Brad Roberts said that any tune I favored will do. Well, this particular tune is pretty easy (four chords! Over and over!) and I know it reasonably well. So there it is.

And before anyone asks, yes, if I do make to 4th Street Fantasy as planned next year, I will take the uke with me. Along with the pie (I will actually probably make the pie once I’m there. Seems easier than trying to carry it on a plane). And yes, I will also play the uke. Bear in mind that as I know 4th Street Fantasy to be filled with actual musicians, I’ll be the idiot cousin of the musical world there. Be that as it may.

64 Comments on “Let It Not Be Said That I Am Not Actively Fulfilling My Obligations

  1. Scorpius:

    Actually, having just been to a They Might Be Giants concert, I can state authoritatively that the accordion is the hipster accordion.

    The ukulele may be the nerd accordion, however.

  2. Shame we can’t see what your right hand is doing.

    Not that I’m suggesting anything, mind. Your look of concentration and plausible left hand movements- not to say habitual Scalzi honesty and trustworthiness- are more than enough to convince me.

  3. Great performance! You are a funny man, Mr. Scalzi and often melodic?!

  4. Ukes are great, and that was an… inspired version of Creep. :-)

    But… you didn’t pick a new JoCo song? Dissolve would definitely be an interesting choice to attempt (tough to play, though!), although I suspect you would have more fun with Good Morning Tuscon…

  5. Good gravy, I must say that I’m terribly jealous of your abilities! Great playing and wonderful voice! I could have that on my iphone!

  6. You have a very lovely voice. So when do we get John Scalzi the album?

  7. And here I was hoping for Hendrix’s version of “”All Along the Watchtower”.

    hm. I need to win the lottery and then wait for your next fund raising auction.

    Next time, Gadget. Next time

  8. Jim C:

    JoCo’s been playing the guitar for years. I’ve been playing the uke for a few months. So that’s the challenge there.

  9. I’m relieved that you went with the radio-friendly lyrics (“so very special”).

  10. Well chosen and well done, sir.

    Oh, and you’ll have no trouble fitting in quite well among the musically inclined 4th Street attendees.

  11. Cheesehead Matt:

    The radio version is the one I knew before the album version, so every time I hear the album version it seems wrong, you know? I may be the only one who thinks that way, however.

    Brad Roberts:

    Oh, good! Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Thanks. Nicely done John, and thanks to Brad for the inducement to play – not as if you needed one.

  13. John, that was quite good. You have a pleasant singing voice. I like that you kept it to a more classic uke style instead of just playing it more guitar style.

  14. Very nice choice. That was quite unexpected, and well performed.

  15. You have a very nice singing voice! I was almost disappointed that it was not painful :-)

  16. Yeah, this was weirdly good. I didn’t expect it to be bad but I didn’t actually expect it to be GOOD. Well done.

  17. Is that a tenor uke? Once you get larger than the wee tiny ukes, I have a tough time telling one type from the other unless they’re side by side.

  18. I agree with Erica. You have a really nice light tenor, John. I’d like to hear you sing more.

    That said, I was hoping for a uke version of “Schism” by Tool. Oh, well, next auction maybe.

  19. i hurt myself today to see if I could feel. i focus on the pain, the only thing thats real.

  20. John, may I request that you bring your ukulele to Toronto this November?

  21. That was pretty good, John.

    My son walked in while that was playing and commented (in a good way) about how you were playing that ‘Abney Park’ song. I had to correct him about who played it first, though…

  22. For what it’s worth, I checked with the FAA a few years back about whether I could carry a pecan pie on the plane with me. I was told it depended on the whim of the security agents that day. Just to be clear, he didn’t use the word “whim”; that’s just what I understood!

  23. Add me to the people who are pleasantly surprised by what a sweet singing voice you have. Now I look forward to other unexpected talents you might reveal in the future.

  24. Huh. Your singing voice is nicer than I imagined. Well done!

    Will you be painting on your eyebrows soon?

  25. Xopher:

    Ironically, my singing range is actually baritone. No one was more surprised than I when I was told that.

    And thanks to everyone for the compliments.

  26. Wow, that was nice. I was expecting some kind of comic train wreck and got a pleasant cover instead. Here’s to lifes pleasant surprises.

  27. So, I read the post on an RSS feed, saw the description (“Four chords! Over and over!”) and thought, huh, I wonder if he’s doing “Creep.”

    And indeed he was.

  28. Getting a pie on an airplane. I can just see the TSA going ape trying to figure out the rules for pie.

  29. John, to echo most everyone else, that was quite enjoyable. How about a new song once a month? (I’d say once a week but we know how busy you are…) I’d love you hear you play one of my all time favorite songs, the oft-covered “Can’t Find My Way Home.”

  30. I don’t know about their rules for pie, but a homemade Emily Dickinson Black Cake was fired into the trash can several Christmases ago. Maybe I shouldn’t have made it in a Nordicware Kugelhoph pan.

  31. I saw in the other post that Athena wanted to play a duet with you, John. What are the chances of that happening in such a way that we can sing her praises too?

  32. I was hoping that Brad Roberts would request Mmm Mmm Mmm by his band, Crash Test Dummies…..

    Turns out, it’s not *that* Brad Roberts.

  33. Umpteenth in the queue to concur: well played and sung, John!
    Thanks to you and Brad for sharing. It heals some of the week’s sadness.*
    ________
    * Brought to you in part by REM, who earlier this week announced they would be known in future as “the former band [of that initialism”, and by ITEOTWAWKI.

  34. Lovely song, and very nice singing voice. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Pee Wee-esque intro, but I certainly didn’t expect such a nice, sweet singing voice. You should do that duet with Athena, and video it, too. It is something your family will look back on and enjoy. My Dad would burst into song when I was growing up, and I would sometimes join in. I wish we had recorded it, even to cassette.

  35. I think you and AFP should duet this one some time, should you ever end up in the same city at the same time. I was a little disappointed by the radio version of the lyrics but since that’s the version you’re used to it makes sense.

  36. THAT WAS FREAKIN’ AWESOME! I admit to having that “uh oh” feeling you always get when someone you know but you’ve never heard sing before starts strumming on a guitar (or ukelele) and gets that cheesy-soulful “I’m about to start singing” expression they always get and you wonder if you’re going to be able to smile and effectively repress the involuntary cringe response that you’re absolutely sure is about to come over you. Fortunately it turned out to be the “hey, that sounds really good” response instead. Nice work. Good choice in song, too. Now you must learn Paranoid Android for us, although I suspect that might be tricky to play on a ukelele. ;)

  37. I would have made you play a Toto song. Count your blessings.

  38. Yes, make the pie there. I can tell you from reliable 1st -hand reports that some airport security officers will let pies through, and some will not.

    So what kind are you making?

    Mary

  39. Rock ‘n Roll, John!

    So, when do you do the duet with Amanda Palmer? Just ’cause, you know, she actually beat you to the ukeleli cover of that song (but not by much, and she is a pro, after all.)

    Bet you she’d do it.

  40. Very nice! I must learn how to modify that for mandolin – I just started a month ago, and Losing My Religion was a pretty lofty goal… At least I can play Creep till I learn the other one!

  41. Most enjoyable! Your singing was suspiciously accurate. Hmmmm…. Even pro singers usually miss a note or two when they’re “live and unplugged.” :-) The auction and the zany prizes you came up with are a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the painting.