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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Review: Jake Shimabukuro on Tues. July 11 @ The Triple Door

   
Author Topic: Review: Jake Shimabukuro on Tues. July 11 @ The Triple Door
erosomniac
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Venue Info & Ticket Purchasing

I'm definitely planning on being there, and am trying to get the rest of my friends to go. Any Seattle area Hatrackers want to go as well? It will be a great show: Jake live is unbelievable.


If you're unfamiliar with Jake's music, watch this video that has been circulating the web pretty widely (and I'm pretty sure has been linked on Hatrack before).

Edited to clarify where the heck I was talking about.

[ July 12, 2006, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: erosomniac ]

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Kwea
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That was amazing.
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Kwea
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This is even MORE amazing, to be honest.


I wish I could see him live, I would love it, as would my wife. [Big Grin]

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El JT de Spang
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I can't decide if it's sad or cool that I knew immediately who this was when I saw the thread title.

edit: eros, if you go and he's selling CDs, you mind picking one up for me? I'd reimburse you, of course.

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erosomniac
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Kwea: Yeah, there are a lot of different aspects to his live performances. The second video is certainly more impressive, but I like the first one more, if only because George Harrison would love it, having been such a big fan of the ukulele himself.

JT: Sure thing. Drop me an e-mail about it.

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TheHumanTarget
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This threw me off as I kept thinking of the Washingtonian magazine, and trying to figure out why Seattle 'rackers would want to come to D.C. to watch a show...
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Dagonee
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No way do I have time to be there tonight (Edit: especially since I thought "DC" when I read "Washingtonian," too). But I'm glad to learn about this guy.

I prefer While my Guitar Gently Weeps, but the one you linked is more impressive to watch, Kwea.

Edit: every now and then while I'm watching, my mind sets the scale as if that were an acoustic guitar, and I think, "Man, he's HUUUGE."

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erosomniac
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I just fixed the title to prevent further confusion. [Big Grin]
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erosomniac
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Bump...anyone?
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erosomniac
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So the show was AWESOME.

The last time I saw Jake live was five years ago in Hawaii, and it's clear he's taken a big jump. He's no longer just a fast'n'furious uke player; he's demonstrated an amazing comprehension of the nuances of his chosen instrument. He can make the four nylon stringed uke sound like both an electric guitar and a harp in a 10 second period. I was particularly impressed with his understanding of how to utilize space, both in elapsed time between notes and breathing room within chords. And, of course, he does some pretty crazy tricks: fretless sliding harmonics, picking three different individual rhythms in addition to a complicated strum pattern, etc. Plus it's really fun to watch a 5'4" (so I'd estimate) Japanese guy play bluegrass on a uke [Big Grin] .

I'm continually amazed (but unsurprised) by how much people love him. In our audience of less than 300 people were at least a dozen of his personal acquaintances, a former student, a fan and her three friends from Japan who had come on her birthday to see Jake play, and numerous other people who had passing interactions with him. I got to say hello after the show and he remembers the several times he played at my high school back home. What also struck me:

1) He knew more or less immediately that I was from Hawaii, and I am about the least local localboy in the history of the universe.
2) HE came up to ME after the show, not the other way around. He saw that I had already bought some merch and thanked me specifically for that.
3) He made the effort to engage me in personal conversation, things like "Where'd you grad from?" and "When are you going back home next?"

A+ show.

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El JT de Spang
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That sounds awesome.

As soon as I can extract my Paypal password from their system, I'll send you the money for the DVD.

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Juxtapose
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So I went with ero, and like he said, it was awesome.

What really struck me about Jake - besides his technical prowess, which is obvious - was how awkward he seemed onstage. As the show progressed he clearly became more comfortable with the audience. His stories became more involved, it seemed, after he had established that the audience would not reject him. Even after it was clear that the audience was loving what he was doing, he would deflect attention away from himself, pointing out friends who were celebrating a 24th anniversary or acknowledging the sound techs. It amazed me to see that someone who must spend so much time onstage could still be vaguely uncomfortable there, though practiced at dealing with that discomfort.

Which is why I think Jake plays the way he does. His motions during performance are...eccentric, lets say. If you watch a couple of the videos of him online, you'll know what I mean. It's not at all what I would call showmanship. It's almost like he's feeling the music, in a literally tactile sense. Throughout the performance, I never doubted that we were seeing the way he plays when he's by himself. Which made it even better.

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Zotto!
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Last time I saw Jake was at the 2005 Kauai Music Fest; they played a full-band version of WMGGW that must have been a good fifteen minutes long. Awesome to watch, and I'll agree that he's just an all-around good guy. He's very into really *feeling* the music and using it as a community-building experience. [Smile]
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Kwea
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I am jealous. [Big Grin]
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jennabean
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you're actually pretty localboy [Wink]
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