Magnificent May, not from Hawaii but it’s OK

From the video for "Oh Paris!"

From the video for "Oh Paris!"

Many are the reasons why Dent May deserves my affection. Many of these reasons may be found on May’s MySpace page, and include but are not limited to:

– Tab soda

– John Waters

– Musical influences list that includes Hall and Oates

But I knew that Dent May had my heart in his hand – the hand not holding the ukelele – when I first heard him sing. His voice is what would occur if Jens Lekman’s and Stephen Merritt’s voices became BFFs but always argued over who the prettiest one is. The poppy sensibilities are also similar. May sings about love with enthusiastic abandon and adds handclaps to his cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine,’ which helps to avoid the bitter undertone of the song without losing the unrequited adoration aspect.

And there is the matter of the ukelele. It’s amusing to me that it’s become more common in pop music, since it’s an instrument I associate so strongly with Hawaii. You want to know how to become burnt out on “Brown Eyed Girl?” Live in Hawaii and hang out with ‘uke players for a while. But since Zooey Deschanel’s ties to the ukelele have made it almost a hipster badge, I feared that mainstream culture would swallow my childhood artifact and any artist who tags himself as “fanciful and retro” would try to master the jumping flea mini-guitar. For Dent May, the instrument looks appropriate. But if he starts to cover any Bruddah Iz, I’m done.

Dent May will open for A.C. Newman at the Doug Fir on Sunday, February 22.

  • Dent May ~ The Good Feeling Music of Dent May and His Maginificent Ukelele ~ Paw Tracks

Oh Paris!

Here’s the video, which I predict will launch the man into cultish levels of fame if it hasn’t already.

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