VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
Ukulele Loki’s vaudeville troupe and facial hair
In that case, dashing musician, vaudevillian and raconteur Ukulele Loki must be swimming in a fair amount of soupy goodness.
But don’t mistake this for some sort of attempt at retro coolness.
Loki, donning clothes that could have been raided from Grandpa’s
closet, seems entirely sincere.
“A lot of people assume that because I’m into vaudeville
and because I play the ukulele, that what I’m doing is a recreation
of corny, ’20s string-band music; but I grew up on New Wave, early
death-rock, post punk music. I think what I do is equally informed by
Joy Division as much as it is Gus Kahn and the Gershwins,” he
After being asked to M.C. a few burlesque shows in Denver — including
one for contemporary pin-up queen, Dita Von Teese — Loki created
his own show of shows. With girlfriend Yuka Takeda (melodica, glockenspiel),
Ben Fauch (tuba), Phil Norman (cello) and Davis Wimberly (drums), Loki
has formed The Gadabout Orchestra. The group, fusing acoustic, central
European, indie-rock and hot jazz in a manner most peculiar, is currently
recording an album.
Loki points to an acoustic-instrument renaissance as his springboard.
Directing burlesque and vaudeville shows is all well and good, but
the core of Loki’s intrigue lies smack dab in the center of his
face: an expertly groomed and waxed mustache, curling just so at the
He started growing the facial hair in 2000, with a pencil-thin mustache.
Alas, being fair-haired, his dreams for a “crushingly handsome,
dark and swarthy, thin, 1930s mustache” just weren’t going
to come true. Instead, he curled his up at the sides.
“Around the same time [he started growing his], mustaches started
to be worn ironically by the hipsters,” he says, “so I thought
maybe it was time for a mustache revolution.”
Naturally, Loki did what any socially conscious, mustachioed man would
do: He started a club, the Hirsute Moustache and Beard Grower Society
(HuMBuGS), which plans to host the second annual Beard and Moustache
Bash in March, an event for all, including females and fakers.
“Well, food gets stuck in it,” he says. “And not everyone loves to kiss it. Luckily, I have a very understanding girlfriend.”