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More Ladies Playing Ukuleles

Based on the feedback to my original post on Ladies Playing Ukuleles, there's a great hunger for web videos of ladies rocking out on the uke. In an effort to deliver more uke (the folky equivalent of "more cowbell"), here are some more favorites, as suggested by commenters.

Kate Micucci - Dear Deer

LA superstar Kate Micucci has been popping up all over lately -- on TV's Scrubs as The Gooch, in the band Garfunkel and Oates (ahem), and in the awesome video below, directed by Raul B. Fernandez. See also: Kate's homepage. (Hat-tip to Miss C. for linking to this video a few weeks back.)

Bonus video: Kate's performance of "Screw You" on Scrubs. (Warning: ever so slightly inappropriate.)

Danielle Ate the Sandwich - "Dream a Little Dream of Me"

A sweet song in front of a sweet fridge. See more of Danielle's work on her YouTube page or her MySpace page.

Amanda Palmer - "Creep"

Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls does a killer version of Radiohead's "Creep" on uke. It's even a little...creepy. For more Amanda Palmer music, check out her MySpace page.

Janet Klein - "Tonight You Belong to Me"

Janet Klein teaches you how to play the classic song "Tonight You Belong to Me." See also: The Sweetest Song Ever. Grab your uke and play along!

Tsuji Ayano - "Kaze ni naru"

Translated as "I Become the Wind," this is the theme song from The Cat Returns, a 2002 Studio Ghibli film.

What Else?

I'm sure there are still some great uke-playing ladies I haven't linked to yet. Please share your favorites in the comments!

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Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
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AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

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