Movember and Luke’s Ukes

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since i’ve updated Luke’s Ukes–well, long relative to the schedule I wanted to keep. I was hoping to do weekly updates and haven’t given you anything since October 29. That’s a longer absence than I’d like, but it’s been for a good cause.

One of my students this year–one of my young, first-year students without a wealth of experience–has taken it on himself to organize a school-wide Movember drive, raising nearly $2,000 from a school of only 1,200 people to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illness among men who are known to vastly underreport it. After a degree of prodding from my class, I’ve ditched the beard and joined the cause–an aesthetically terrible sacrifice that highlights my unflattering resemblance to that Matt Damon character from “The Informant” with just a touch of Petyr Baelish skeeziness thrown in for good measure.

People trust a beard. Nobody trusts a moustache. But the cause was good, and I was so inspired by the effort put in from my class that I had to support them. So, it’s happening.

Naturally, my star student is beating me in the fundraising drive–the other students will see to that, and I think that’s a good thing. But I see nothing wrong with using this (and Luke’s Ukes) as a platform for a little extra charity work. So this month, on Luke’s Ukes, I’m growing a moustache and recording only cover songs from people with moustaches. My Leon Redbone and Weird Al Yankovic recordings form last month were the beginning of this trend. My recording today, of David Bowie and Queen’s unforgettable “Under Pressure”, is an ambitious one and I hope it works out.

I do have evidence that it can work out, though: I’ve recorded this song once before on the Internet, back in 2010, also on an account that I can’t do revenue-sharing with–and there, I’ve racked up something like 10,000 views–A drop in the bucket on the Internet, maybe, but something far better than the usual 20-30 hits I get on each one of these…at least for now.

In any case, here’s today’s update, a long time in coming. If you enjoy the blog or the music, considering some modest support for Movember if you can. It’s a good cause and makes a real difference.

It has a bad reputation, of course, with animal rights activists, as prostate cancer research has involved animal subjects in the past (and in many places, still does). But better funding is what will lead to better methods: the higher yield of genome-based research and testing is slowly phasing out animal testing, and helping the medical and scientific community all we can will only help hasten, rather than slow, their abandonment of old and harmful ways of doing things.

Enjoy the music. Freddie Mercury is, as we’ve already seen, a personal hero of mine. I hope my music can do him justice where my skeezy wisp of a moustache has yet to succeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFaGgT5XwFA

P.S. Dear readers, if you don’t like Queen (that’s crazy! Who wouldn’t like Queen?) or don’t care for ukulele covers, you can find my Movember volunteer page HERE, and can donate to the cause without actually going by way of the Luke’s Ukes page.

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