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First/Last-Uke and Tuba

July 18, 2013

“Uke Skywalker & Tuba Fett are Pittsburgh’s finest ukulele/tuba band (with dancers). We have played rock shows, house parties, bars, comedy clubs, poetry readings, coffeehouses, a library, a wedding, a yard sale, the 2008 One Nation Under A Uke Fest in Philadelphia, a church, as the orchestra in a musical, in public parks, a TV show, a middle-school Girl Scouts’ day camp, Andy Warhol’s grave and an abandoned bowling alley.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, MySpace and YouTube. The band plays The Bloomfield Bridge Tavern this Saturday night on a bill with Johnny Habu and the Rebel Salmon and The 23 String Band. I want to thank Eric Frankenberg (Uke/Vocals), Alex Baratta (Tuba/Vocals) and Caitlin Northup (Dancer/Baritone Uke/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Eric Frankenberg: No Doubt “Tragic Kingdom”, on cassette.
  • Alex Baratta: The first album I ever owned was “Bringing Down the Horse” by The Wallflowers. I got it for my birthday. The first albums I spent my own money on were “Running With Scissors” by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles bought at the same time.
  • Caitlin Northup: Ace of Base “Happy Nation/The Sign”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Eric: Daft Punk “Random Access Memories”.
  • Alex: I bought the 180 Gram Re-release of “Master of Reality” by Black Sabbath and a used copy of “Excitable Boy” by Warren Zevon.
  • Caitlin: “Bad Blood” by Bastille.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Eric: Toss-up between Velvet Underground’s “Loaded” and Beck’s “Odelay”.
  • Alex: The 3 albums I consistently listen to on a regular basis and never ever get tired of are: “You’re a Woman, I am A Machine” by Death From Above 1979, “The Dethalbum” by Dethklok and “Since I Left You” by Avalanches.
  • Caitlin: Tie: Tori Amos “Little Earthquakes”, Billy Joel “Cold Spring Harbor”. Don’t judge.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Eric: Most disappointing was Richard Ashcroft’s first solo album after he left The Verve. I was psyched because I liked ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and all of The Verve’s “Urban Hymns” album. I had high hopes and, with a title like “Alone With Everybody,” I felt like I was in for a treat. I was very wrong.
  • Alex: I couldn’t come up with a least favorite album.
  • Caitlin: Lady Gaga “Born this Way”. “The Fame” is WAYYYYY better.
  • First concert attended?
  • Eric: Green Day/Mighty Mighty Bosstones at X-Fest in like 1998 or 1999? I bought a giant foam middle finger that didn’t survive the night.
  • Alex: Chicago at the IC Lite Amphitheater in Station Square.
  • Caitlin: Backstreet Boys in 6th Grade. Accompanied by my Dad.
  • Last concert?
  • Eric: El-P & Killer Mike at Altar Bar.
  • Alex: A lot of little bar shows but the last one I went to that had a physical ticket was Baroness and Coliseum at Mr. Smalls.
  • Caitlin: Killer Mike at Altar Bar.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Eric: Prince at Mellon Arena in 2004. Supposedly he was “per4ming his hits 4 the last time,” but thankfully for everyone (every1?), that turned out not to be the case.
  • Alex: I have seen a lot of the greats (Elton John, Slayer, Bruce Springsteen, Motorhead, Eric Clapton) but the most fun I have had in a long time was Kvelertak earlier this year. I went alone, I was in a weird mood at the time due to personal troubles, It was my first time getting in the PIT, and it ended up being a nearly religious cleansing experience.
  • Caitlin: Robyn at Radio City Music Hall or Green Day in 1997.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Eric: When I saw Aimee Mann at the Arts Festival a few years ago, I thought she was going to fall asleep onstage. And she was mean to a fan who gave her flowers in the middle of her set. I didn’t feel like her heart was in it that day.
  • Alex: Radiohead at Blossom Music Center outside of Cleveland. The fans were terrible, they started late, the band never talked to the audience, and they did nothing special with the songs. It was like paying 60 bucks to listen to a Radiohead mix CD surrounded by idiots.
  • Caitlin: Calvin Johnson in Youngstown. He drooled on stage for most of the set.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Eric: As our pal Neil says, “Pittsburgh is the most!”
  • Alex: I have lived here for almost 15 years now. I hated it growing up to be perfectly honest but I love living here now that I have sorta found my place in the city. I love exploring around Pittsburgh and seeing the weird niches I have still yet to discover. If I had one gripe it was that I wish the metal scene was bigger.
  • Caitlin: Yeah Pittsburgh!!!!
  • Thanks, guys. Quirky vibe you got going on. I particularly like this cover. Wait, there’s something in my eye… sniff.