Diane Rubio plays "Lulu's Back in Town" on ukulele


51 Responses to “Diane Rubio plays "Lulu's Back in Town" on ukulele”

  1. coolvoodoo says:

    The smile at the end of the song was even better then the song itself……..As a musician, I’m always glad to see a proficient performance on any instrument, and cute young girls that take the time to become true musicians give me hope for our society.

  2. Digilante says:

    k, k, nthr ct xtc fml strmmng phllc nstrmnts, bt NGH WTH TH KLL LRDY… t’s rlly gttng brng.

  3. David Newland says:

    Digilante – rule of the internet is, if you’re not interested, don’t click. It’s not like someone forces you to watch the clips.

    Mark, keep your eyes peeled for an entire evening’s worth of clips from the Corktown Uke Jam shortly after April Fool’s day.


    We’re all Canadians, which is exotic and boring at the same time. Something for everyone!

  4. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Community Manager says:

    I have disemvowelled Digilante in a gesture of solidarity with everyone else who told him where to find online sources of really big corks.

    Come on, Digi, you know the drill: if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I’m tired of asking people whether they’re experiencing the bug that causes them to be unable to read entry headlines before they click through to the permalink.

    Tensegrity, mighty is your Google-fu. Swap you for a cute girl playing drums?

  5. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Logophile — I’ll let you in on my secret: each time someone lodges a complaint about these posts, I vow to continue to post more of the same each week for a month. Thanks for helping to keep the theme going!

  6. arkizzle says:

    Damn, she has great fret work! Work it!

  7. dianerubio says:

    Mark @44, Yes I am a great fan of Lyle Ritz, and this performance is in the Lyle Ritz style. I had the honor to perform for him a few years back at an ukulele festival, and he told me that I played his songs better than him, and he offered to be my ‘back up bass player’ if I ever made an uke album. This may very well happen! In the meantime I’m busy designing and building some crazy crazy ukuleles (even crazier than the Japanese cake ukulele), that I’m sure every uke enthusiast will want to have! I’ll keep you posted :)

    Kiddr01 @36–I can make a special ‘reinforced’ one just for you, if you like.

  8. jimh says:

    Awww, c’mon haters-
    Cute girls playing ukes are cute!

  9. Tensegrity says:

    I like boingboing’s cute-girls-playing-ukelele obsession just fine, but I am also wondering what the next demographic+musical instrument rave will be.

    Old ladies playing standup bass?
    Programmers playing pan flute?
    Scottish children playing bongos?
    Fat guys playing mouthharp?

  10. GeekMan says:

    Okay boingboing crew, I think its time for a retroactive “UKULELE” tag, don’t you?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I think its time for a retroactive “UKULELE” tag, don’t you?

      Actually, yes. Coming up with more and better and more consistently applied tags is my next project. Ukulele will be one of them.

  11. GeekMan says:


    Befuddled wizards playing the holophoner.

  12. dculberson says:

    Digilante, stuff it.

  13. Hot Funk says:


  14. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    dianerubio@35: Hi Diane! Thanks for dropping by! I really enjoyed your rendition of Lulu. Are you a fan of Lyle Ritz, too?

  15. mdh says:

    @digilitante -

    And what exactly are YOU stroking there?

  16. Transmission3000 says:

    I dunno…Digilante has a point: BB has gone a little overboard with the “cute girls playing ukeleles, sometimes doing ironic covers” thing.

  17. codereduk says:

    Old ladies playing standup bass?

    Where do I click? Where do I click?

  18. cynicaldrunk says:

    All the people are hatin’ because they know they wouldn’t be crafty enough to catch the digits of any of these cuties if they met them in “in real life” if you will. Butthurt much?

  19. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    @digilante -

    “Phallic instrument?” Oh my goodness gracious you naughty boy. Is that what George Formby was implying when he sang about the little ukulele in his hand?

  20. tuscadero says:

    At least this one has some chops and isn’t playing that coy, retro, Betty Boop angle. I approve.

  21. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Community Manager says:

    Digilante: Oh, well said.

  22. Takuan says:

    (aw jeez, I JUST unwrapped it too!)

  23. mdh says:

    Transmission3000 –

    Digilitante DOES have a point, but Mark F. has a website. Point. Set. Match.

  24. shashi2005 says:

    Ummmmm…. yummy close position voicings. (The guitar struggles with them.)

  25. logophile says:

    Hi Antinous. I have used the Suggest A Link probably five times, though for other people’s videos, not my own. None of my suggestions were ever used.

  26. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    David Newland@2: Thanks! This looks great. Are you a uke player?

  27. wigglin says:

    Mark has a weird fetish.

  28. ToddBradley says:

    I’m with Tuscadero. All the other ukelele girls I’ve seen on Boing Boing haven’t really shown much in the way of musicianship. However, this one’s got some chops!

  29. kpkpkp says:

    Amy Crehore…. you have a model

  30. logophile says:

    Mark, don’t you have a uke blog for this sort of thing. I agree, it has become gimmicky. Why don’t you post some vids of old ladies or old guys or just guys for that matter playing the uke?

  31. Digilante says:

    @25 Teresa – ah, it’s only because I visit BB a gazillion times a day, and the ukulele thing is getting a tad much. A part of my comment was also meant to be vaguely tongue-in-cheek.

    If there was something better to read on the internet, I would go and read it. However we all know there isn’t ;-)

  32. dianerubio says:

    Aloha everyone! I’m Diane Rubio, a.k.a. the ‘cute girl playing uke’. Mark, thanks so much for sharing my video with everyone! You can see more at http://www.youtube.com/user/dianerubio

    I’m currently working with my original band Falling Down Romance http://fallingdownromance.com on writing music for a show called Cirque du Polynesia (and album), which I’ll be performing in this summer!

    Thanks again,

  33. MCOBigBen says:

    1 Creative person exposing us to an interesting and unfairly ignored art form = signal

    5 creative people exposing us to the exact same interesting and unfairly ignored art form = noise

  34. kiddr01 says:

    ok ok, i see the first voice of dissent has been swiftly disemvowled – but thank god people are cottoning on to the gimmick that is cute girls playing the uke.

    I’m just starting to think they may be some invading alien race with masterplans of taking over the world. they’ll distract us with their cuteness then pan our heads in with reinforced ukes.

    creative and interesting this is not – a fad and a gimmick it is (did i just impersonate yoda?)

    I’ve got a bee in my bonnet. it may be colouring my judgement.

  35. Bob K says:

    Ukulele fans will recognize this song and arrangement as a loving homage of the original from Lyle Ritz, the father of jazz uke:


    He’s not as cute as pretty girl..but he plays GREAT!!

  36. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Community Manager says:

    Kiddr01 @36:

    ok ok, i see the first voice of dissent

    The first voice of dissent? Right. You are as one with Andrei Sakharov. Go forward bravely, Comrade Kiddr — if you die, you die for freedom.

    has been swiftly disemvowled

    Nearly three hours is “swiftly”?

    but thank god people are cottoning on to the gimmick that is cute girls playing the uke.

    Let me get this straight: only old and/or ugly females are allowed to play the ukulele on YouTube, under threat of being labeled a gimmick? How do you justify that? What about cute guys? And how come you’re not aware that the ukulele is a serious instrument?

    creative and interesting this is not – a fad and a gimmick it is (did i just impersonate yoda?)

    I find it interesting. Other people find it interesting. Some of us like the music for its own sake. What you’re saying is that you don’t find it interesting. What I’m saying is that if you’re in the habit of reading entire articles about subjects that don’t interest you, and then reading their entire comment threads, and then posting about them, you have such a high tolerance for boredom that I don’t see why you even bother complaining.

    I’ve got a bee in my bonnet. it may be colouring my judgement.

    Un poquito solamente, sweetie.

  37. hokano says:

    @Tensegrity -

    I don’t know… I’d rather see something like:

    Cute girls playing standup bass.
    Cute girls playing pan flute.
    Cute girls playing bongos.
    Cute girls playing mouthharp.

    Oh yes. Most assuredly cute girls playing mouthharp.

  38. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Bob K@19 — Lyle is excellent. I’ve seen him play live a bunch of times. He was a bass player in the Wrecking Crew!

  39. elsmiley says:

    If Mark has a strange fetish, I have it, too. I love his ukulele posts. I don’t care if they’re a gimmick or not.

  40. phraust says:

    I used to see her play live at Jazz Minds in Waikiki with this trip-hop group called Tempo Valley.

    It made me melt into a little puddle whenever I heard her play the cello.

    <3 ya, Diane!

  41. mooremadrid says:

    is it just me, or is she really overly conscious of being an pretty girl playing an obscure instrument? …Waynes world bird meets fantasy kooky-cute girl you wish you’d met before the one you’re actually with

  42. arkizzle says:

    Trimeta.. or he’s sharing something “out of love for what [he's] doing”, with a group of people who love it too.

    There is no “blame”.

  43. Teller says:

    Kamaaina looks natural with uke.

  44. Tensegrity says:

    @Geekman, I confess to not knowing what a holophoner was. A google image search turned this up. You’ve hurt my brain.

    @codereduk You asked for it!

    @Hokano, I sense a theme here…

  45. trimeta says:

    @Teresa Nielsen Hayden:

    Let me get this straight: only old and/or ugly females are allowed to play the ukulele on YouTube, under threat of being labeled a gimmick? How do you justify that? What about cute guys? And how come you’re not aware that the ukulele is a serious instrument?

    C’mon, be serious. Sure, you can do whatever you want on YouTube, and if you’re doing it out of love for what you’re doing, it’s not a gimmick. But when Mark exclusively posts cute girls playing ukuleles here on BoingBoing, it’s a gimmick. I don’t think anyone is mad at these girls for doing something they enjoy and sharing it with the world; the blame falls squarely on Mark’s shoulders, since his laser-beam focus on one previously-obscure subgenre demonstrates that he’s trying to be gimmicky. Either that or has a strange sexual fetish.

  46. logophile says:

    Mark, way to stand up for what you believe in, that looks are important, and only uke players who are cute girls deserve recognition. It not a theme, it’s a just a filter, and is nothing to be proud of or vindictive about.

    Dannynono, if you are talking to me I have been playing uke for almost 10 years and have posted over 30 vids on YouTube. But you won’t ever see me on Boing Boing because I wouldn’t make it through Mark’s filter. I do not at all think uke playing is a gimmick! That’s part of my beef with this so-called theme.

  47. dannynono says:

    Are you people kidding me. Who cares, male, female, sexy, ugly,black, white. This is an amazing talented HUMAN BEING. Lucky for us she happens to be HOTTER THAN HELL. My god this girl is a dream in so many ways. BRAVO, BRAVO. MORE, MORE. Thankxs for posting.

    Before you call it a gimmick, pick one up and play it. You may change your mind.

  48. David Newland says:

    Mark @ 14 – I do my level best as a uke player; I also co-founded and co-host the Corktown Uke Jam.

    I’m particularly fond of the uke as a songwriting instrument. Here’s me doing an original to end the jam last week.

    NOTE: I am not pretty. I am not a girl. The song is not an ironic version of a classic. And the uke is NOT AN OBSCURE INSTRUMENT!

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