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Weezer Keep Fishin on Ukulele

By Shamus
on Saturday Nov 15, 2008
Filed under:


It’s pretty hard to justify this as geek culture, but this kid has talent and I want to link her and this is my website so I will:

Link (YouTube)

This is Julia Nunes, a YouTube celebrity musician. Which means many of us have probably never heard of her. Internet fame is so strange because it’s so compartmentalized. What I like about this video is how she messes up the start but keeps going, instead of starting over or editing her mistake. There is a certain self-confidence in that. I suppose in this context we should call it showmanship.

She’s got a lot of videos, most of which are done using the format above: She plays ukulele and does multiple voice tracks so she can harmonize with herself, and sometimes she plays rhythm with her hands.

Also noteworthy is her cover of It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, which is an incredibly challenging song. She and a friend conquer it with skill and a dash of teenage silliness. That song was big when I was 16 and Julia was minus two. It’s nice to know our music is still hip enough for the young people. This is not always the case.

Additional trivia: She sometimes refers to her friend “Shamus” in her videos, (like in this one at the 4:20 mark) and it never fails to freak me the heck out. In my 37 years (I’m not old!) I’ve never heard that name spoken except in reference to me, and it’s really hard to get my brain to not think of it as me. Imagine if you bumped into a stranger on the street who blurted out your first, middle, and last name. That’s what this feels like. I imagine people named “John” and “Dave” get over this really early in life, but it’s just not something I ever encounter.

Comments (65)

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  1. Viktor says:

    Speaking as ‘Alex’, I have never quite gotten used to the fact that every single person seems to have my name. At least no one seems to use it in fiction, but IRL, I don’t go a week without hearing someone say it and not mean me at least once.

  2. About the name trivia: my name’s “Lorenz” and I live in Italy, where the common name is “Lorenzo”. Therefore, I always have something like your experience when I hear my name spoken out.
    On the other hand, if somebody refers to me as “Lorenzo” – which happens sometimes – I actually have to think hard before I realize he’s talking about me. :)

  3. freykin says:

    “I imagine people named “John” and “Dave” get over this really early in life, but it's just not something I ever encounter.”

    It still happens to me all the time, and my name’s Chris. Just a reflex at this point, but whenever I hear my name it grabs my attention, directed at me or otherwise.

  4. illiterate says:

    At my 50-odd seat workplace, we have.. four Christophers and a Christian. Two Mikes. No other duplication. The Chrisses get difficult to differentiate. Two of them have last names that start with a K and I’ve sent emails to the wrong one more than once.

    For me, I have a less common Saint’s name, but not a really unusual one. It’s always given me a momentary reaction to hear someone else with my own name.

    Shamus, there’s a “Seamus” in the Harry Potter books. Would that give you a reaction, or only if you listened to the audio book?

  5. karln says:

    Yeah I am Karl and it’s very weird on the rare occasions someone refers to a Karl (or Carl) who is not me.

  6. FireStomp says:

    Yeah, I can empathize a LOT. Shamus and Cassidy are of approximately equivalent common-itude, so when, on the rare occasion, someone brings up my name, I have to rack my mental Rolodex to figure out whether or not I know them.

    Never do, but it’s f***ing annoying.

  7. Gary says:

    I totally know what you mean about the name thing. Strange as it may seem, I never knew a single Gary growing up. So Gary means me. Always has. It is really weird now that tv and movies have started using my name more and more in the last 3 to 5 years. Very strange.

  8. Richard Smith says:

    A few years ago our office got a new supervisor named Richard, and so I get a bit confused sometimes if I overhear talk about Richard telling them to do this or Richard is going to do that. Also, a co-worker a few cubicles over from me has the same last name (gee, what are the odds of that?), which can get a bit confusing at times. Not to mention I’ve had to include my middle initial in my office email address because there are, I think, three Richard Smiths in the system.

    And, no, I did not write “How to Lose Weight During Sex” or “Your Cat’s Just Not That Into You.”* Considering I have some minor aspirations to writing, that might be an issue…

    *I do have the latter title, however, and it’s a fun little read. We Richard Smiths got to stick up for each other!

  9. Bill says:

    On the “compartmentalization of fame”, I remember a reworking of the Warhol quote to: “On the internet, everyone will be famous to 15 people.”

  10. scum says:

    As a Dave, Shamus: Yeah, I got over more than 20 years ago. :)

    Where I work, there are 7 Daves, and 7 Mikes in a company with fewer than 80 employees.

    Needless to say, we use a lot of nick/last names. :)

  11. Ann says:

    There’s always several other Ann(e)s and it’s a near universal middle name. ANNNd it’s a long drawn out syllable when people are talking.

    We Anns spend a lot of time trying to find out if we’re being spoken to.

  12. There is a hobbit in the Shire of Lord of the Rings Online who has the last name of Bottomley.

    The first time I saw it I nearly fell right out of my chair! Bottomley was my rather unfortunate maiden name (imagine being in 4th grade with that name!). I guess there are a few Bottomley’s in Great Britain, but here in the U.S. there’s probably a total of 20 people with the last name of Bottomley.

    So yes, I completely understand how you feel, Shamus.

  13. Aergoth says:

    I was in a class with two other people that had my name. Attendance with a supply? “Which one?” Not to mention two Mikes, I think we had two Chrises i’m not too sure. It was bad though.

  14. Heph says:

    I’m called Robin. In the first place I lived, I was all alone.
    Than, when we moved, I suddenly ended up in a class with a Robin and a Robyn. Considering it’s a fairly rare name in Belgium, that were some odd odds.
    Now, I only know one other Robin, but he is one of my best friends. It’s fun calling out to each other in the street.

  15. UtopiaV1 says:

    Wow, she’s… terrible, just terrible… still, i can’t do any better!

    Does anyone else get freaked out when someone says something that turns out to be your screen name? For instance, when someone says ‘utopia’ in a sentence using its proper meaning, and then i say ‘Huh, that what i call myself online/in games etc’. I dunno, it just feels weird when you’ve kept an online tag for over a decade and someone uses it in conversation… ¬_¬

  16. Kaeltik says:

    Off topic, but I didn’t know where else to put this. Sony and Activision get to blame Congress for removing user-generated content that invokes rival game systems.

  17. Wil K. says:

    Being named “Wil,” I am accustomed to hearing people say my name when they weren’t even saying a name – it gets annoying turning around to find out someone was only talking about what they ‘will’ do. Yeah, that word comes up a damn lot.

    On the other hand, when it’s spelled out, it’s easy to identify! I once met a guy named Wilfredo (which is apparently fairly common in… Puerto Rico, maybe? can’t remember where he said he was from) who shortened it to Wil. That was cool.

    On a third hand, do you have any idea just how frequently people drop the second ‘l’ when typing ‘will?’ It’s very hard to find actual non-typo Google results for ‘wil.’

  18. Claire says:

    I love her. I hope she likes the half-dozen dead rats dressed in tiny, Christmas-themed lingerie that I sent her.

    Okay, so “love” might be a little strong, and I didn’t actually send her any rats. But someone did, I bet. Internet, you know.

  19. illiterate says:

    “Fire at will!!”

    I made the dubious choice of saddling my son with his grandfather’s name. One which is not only rare, but more common as a girl’s name.

    And yeah, I chuckle whenever I hear someone called “illiterate”, or initiatives to eliminate illiteracy.

    S- Do you also react when someone is called “Shameless”? Did you ever end up getting pegged with that as a nickname? (You seem level-headed enough to have possibly avoided it)

  20. craig says:

    so my first name is Craig, not very common in the US, but it sounds enough like Greg and whatnot that it isn’t that weird to hear it around. However my last name is Koniges. While Konig, König, etc might be fairly common in Germany, Koniges is rare everywhere. If I look it up on the internet, I KNOW everyone that pops up in google search… except for 2. I need to find out who these people are. I would be quite baffled if I ever met a Koniges not related to me somehow.

  21. Shamus says:

    Illiterate: A bit. Back when Garth Brooks had that song “Shameless” on the radio, EVERYONE would sing it when I arrived.

  22. Loneduck3 says:

    As a Karl, I still feel odd when someone calls out Karl (or Carl, in conversation, it doesn’t matter.) I have a hard enough time keeping up with actual celebrities, much less YouTube stuff. The best I do is a vagu knowledge of actors, videogame desiners, etc. Unless you wanna talk about Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa. Those were real celebreties! Too bad they’re both dead. So yeah, I’m more into the dead variety of celebreties than than living kind.

  23. yoshi927 says:

    I indeed got over this quickly as John. (my grandpa and uncle are also named John, so that didn’t hurt either)

  24. Malimar says:

    My name – Nathan – is fairly uncommon. I’ve personally met maybe two other people in my life with the same name, and I think both of them were actually Nathaniels.

    So watching Heroes can get a little weird for me sometimes.

  25. R4byde says:

    Wow, she sure has a messy room.

    As to the name thing, my name is Thomas and I’ve always lived around other Toms. I’ve never had much of a problem with it though because I always insist that everyone call me by my full name, so everyone else gets confused. :)

  26. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About the trivia:

    You think thats weird?My father once got a phonecall from some stranger refering to him by his first name(which is not very common here),asking about my mothers health(also not that common name),and her job,only to realise after a full minute that she is talking to a wrong person(once she asked about the daughter),that has the same phone number,only in a different city.

  27. Rev.Blacky says:

    I suppose ukulele is pretty geeky in and of itself, so, she is welcome here…
    If you enjoy geeky girls on ukulele, there is always this one:

  28. Terrible says:

    Back when Garth Brooks had that song “Shameless” on the radio, EVERYONE would sing it when I arrived.

    That’s terrible.

  29. Zyzzyva says:

    Well, I’m a “James”, so I’ve mostly gotten used to it (or am refereed to by my (uncommon) last name), but I did have one experience that freaked me the hell out, and I think it trumps pretty much any story above here. It involves the Nicole Kidman film To Die For. Anyone who remembers that movie well may already know the scene I’m talking about.

    Essentially, in the flick there’s a character called Jimmy, short for James, who at one point is watching Kidman on TV (she’s the weatherman for a TV station) and starts fantasizing about her, so Kidman segues from talking about how hot the weather is to talking about “how hot you make me, James” and so on. So – picture this – it’s 1:00 in the morning, and I’ve only been sort-of paying attention to the movie. Joaquin Phoenix’s character, in as much as I can recall his name at all, is “Jimmy”. So I’m sitting there, and it’s showing Kidman on the TV-on-the-TV, and as it does that thing where the camera pans into the onscreen TV and the frame disappears and your TV shows exactly what Jimmy’s TV is showing, she starts coming on to the viewer.

    At about this point I start paying a bit more attention – I’ve always had a thing for Nicole Kidman, what can I say – and then she mentions “James”. She then spends the better part of ten seconds coming on to James, specifically, out of the TV.

    If it hadn’t ended with a jump-cut to Jimmy waking up abruptly on the couch, I suspect it could have done some serious psychological damage. As it is, I only regret that I’ve never been able to find that clip on YouTube. ;)

  30. Cuthalion says:

    As a Joel, I always whirl around whenever I hear my name. So it annoys me to no end when people are talking to/about a different Joel. It’s a pretty uncommon name where I’m from. Enough so that people can pronounce it, but not enough for them to spell it.

    Yeah, I can sympathize with you Shamus. (Almost wrote Samus… that’s how rare your name is.)

  31. Wonderduck says:

    I’ve seen someone on here who uses my (real) last name as their online nickname. In that it’s a pretty darn uncommon last name (at last count, maybe 100 people in the US, total), it never fails to get my attention.

    Assuming that this person-who-shall-remain-unnamed uses the name because it’s really his/her last name, it’s almost guaranteed that we’re not related.

    Yes, you read that right: NOT related. Weird quirk… there are two families that have the last name. One based in the Chicago/Milwaukee area (about 10 people), and one in the South, and they have zero relation to each other. In the case of my family, the Chicago group, when my great-grandfolks came over, they had their name changed at Ellis Island. The other group probably had the same thing occur, just from a different source.

    Still freaks me out, though.

  32. illiterate says:

    Cuthalion, at least it’s not Joao. Then no-one would get it right.

    Zyzzyva, that’s what netflix is for. hell, you can probably own a copy for ten bucks.

  33. Rustybadger says:

    Heh. My name is Jethro- honest to god. And I don’t even live in Tennessee, where I understand Jethros are a dime a dozen. I was named after the band Jethro Tull (my mother was a fan), so you can probably guess about how old I am. And I have only met one other Jethro in my entire life. So if I hear the name, it’s likely being directed at me!

  34. Josh says:

    Her and a friend conquer it…”

    She and a friend conquer it. You wouldn’t say “Her conquers it”.

  35. Adamantyr says:

    She’s a cutie… She is over 18, right? I don’t have to hate myself for thinking that?

    My first name, “Adam” is uncommon, so it’s actually interesting to run into someone who has it. I’ve had two different jobs where there’s been other Adam’s, and it had it’s moments of humor.

    My last name really causes problems, though. Nobody ever, EVER says it right. To be fair, that’s because we don’t say it the way it’s spelled. It has a double vowel of ‘aa’ in it, presumably of Dutch or German origin. I’ve had it messed up in tons of ways, I actually double-take if someone gets it right the first time without a correction.

  36. Ingvar says:

    Hah, yes, my first name is not entirely common where I’m from and even less so now that I live in an English-speaking country. On the plus side, it’s next-to-impossible to pronounce correctly for an English-speaker, so I don’t get many “correctly pronounced” cues. On the flip side, it means I now react to a whole slew of almost-but-not-quite-my-name as a cue for my name.

  37. Packy says:

    Does anybody else find it amusing that these 36 comments aren’t upon the actual post, but about the few lines of trivia at the bottom which have nothing to do with what the point of this was?

  38. illiterate says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, Packy, but discussion about names make me feel like less of a creep than saying “wow, that jailbait can sing! such adorable jailbait too.”

  39. DaveMc says:

    I really enjoyed the song, I have to say — really, no irony. It’s certainly the finest ukulele-based Weezer cover I’ve ever heard, but even beyond that, I just like the music. I don’t know if there’s anywhere to “go” in terms of being a YouTube celebrity musician, but I hope she goes far.

  40. Kerin says:

    Yeah, I’ve met a couple of Shamus…es.

    My mom decided to call me Winfield, though. Which may be one of the worst names ever. I guess I’ve never had the name mistake occur!

  41. Nilus says:

    Shamus you just were born in the wrong country. If you were living in Scotland it would be like being named Dave.

    That being said my Wife finds it bizarre that we all call my one friend Foster and never his first name(Chris). But she doesn’t realize in high school, at one point, we hung out with 5 guys named

  42. Brandon says:

    I’m going to offer up an episode of Escape Pod Flash (podcast, science fiction/fantasy) that touches on this name issue. It’s one of my favorite Flash pieces and is hilarious. Knowing your name TOO well can get you in trouble.

    The Teammate Reference Problem in Final Stage Demon Confrontation, by Constance Cooper and read by Frank Key.


  43. Peter says:

    I’m actually surprised how uncommon other Peters are. I’ve always known that other Peters exist, but they’ve always been friends-of-friends, or more distant than that. So my ears always perk up a bit when I hear Peter, because with reasonably good odds, its referring to me.

  44. Esteis says:

    Voom! Bam! Ha! Nothing like a shot of undiluted life-force to spunk up my day “” thanks for the link, that girl is brilliant. [1]

    As for names: I was named after my uncle, (and he after his, and he after his aunt who had the feminine version,) so I’m used to the experience. I do still perk up every time I hear our name, but that’s only to be expected. Now, I’m curious what my brothers will do whenif they have kids….

    * * *

    [1] What’s a good synonym for “spunk up”? Transitive verb, please; preferably one that doesn’t have those unfortunate connotations, but still conveys that sense of “VOOM!” I’ll be grateful.

  45. Penn says:

    I have never met another Penn. I know they exist (witness Penn and Teller), but not near me apparently.
    I’ve heard rumours of Pennys and Penelopies that go by Pen, but I’ve never even met one of those.
    Bens, Kens, Lens and the like, however, those always catch my attention for the same reason.

  46. elopingcamel says:

    I am a John. My freshman English class (in high school) had three other Johns in it. My teacher thought she was hilarious and put all four of us in the same corner of the room so she could laugh when she saw all four of our heads whip up every time she yelled out our name. If I still remembered her name I would curse her.

  47. Viktor says:

    If I still remembered her name I would curse her.


  48. gyfrmbrd says:

    On the name thing: a good friend of mine recently moved in with his girlfriend. Since then, both of them (!) have recieved mail from the police because apparently, people with names exactly similar to theirs have commited minor to not so minor offenses… completely unrelated to each other, too. Now, neither their first nor last names are especially uncommon, but these are exact matches, middle name and all, which makes it kind of spooky, and also (to anyone not my friend and his girlfriend) hilarious…

  49. Reluctant DM says:

    FYI, Julia has a website with CDs for sale if you’re interested: http://www.junumusic.com/ I think she has two CDs out now. My favourite song of hers (original) is Into the Sunshine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk5L0-SIceg). It was featured by youtube way back when and is how I discovered Julia in the first place.


  50. Clint says:

    I’ve got to add, for a great story that exploits the whole Dave-is-a-common-name thing to the hilt, check out Narbonic, an excellent webcomic which has the “Dave Conspiracy” as one of its major plot points.


  51. Julia says:

    thanks for the mention and your very kind words, Shamus! And if you’re interested, you can see my friend Seamus, and his instruments, in my cover of “Falling Slowly” with Danny Tieger:


    – Julia Nunes (jaaaaaaa on youtube)

  52. Hentzau says:

    Big fan of Julia. She just makes me smile. I’ll listen to her cover of “God Only Knows” about once a week.

    Glad you posted her here, Shamus.

  53. Groboclown says:

    With a name like “Matt”, I’ve gotten used to it. However, I still get tickled when I remember the time I was in a room with 7 Matts.

    “Hey, Matt.”


  54. Illiterate says:

    Heheh.. once upon a time i found myself in a room with the three other guys in the school who shared my name (all of them). We all sat in one corner on purpose.

  55. krellen says:

    My middle name is a family name (my great-grandmother’s maiden name, actually), passed down three generations. So if I heard someone use my first, middle, and last name and not mean me, I would be very, very surprised.

    First name, not so much. I’m named after the father of the Christian church (though when I say it that way, most people guess my name wrong). That name gets around.

  56. SiliconScout says:

    Mine is Jason so yeah it’s in the middle ground.

    When I moved to Calgary for school I was rooming with a guy in my class that the school setup and his name was also Jason.

    It was pretty funny when people would call looking for Jason.

  57. Apathy Curve says:

    Since you claim she “has talent,” I’ll take your word for it. With that caveat, however, I must assume that the professional version of the song sucks as badly as her version.

    N.B. – I’m old and cranky, so my opinion is probably rather sheltered when it comes to modern pop. I still think of Matchbox Twenty as a group of talented young upstarts.

    N.B.2 – I’m pissed that Sirius broke 90’s out from The Pulse, as they apparently took that as license to quadruple the amount of rap. I actively avoid ghettos; I’ve no desire to hear echoes of them on my deck while sipping scotch, thanks much.

  58. David V.S. says:

    As a David, in my elementary school years I stopped assuming my name referred to me whenever I was outside of the house or classroom, unless I was already in the middle of a conversation with someone.

    A friend could see me from across the street and yell, “David!” and I probably would ignore it out of habit, perhaps even if I recognized their voice.

  59. Delve says:

    My name is Grady, not terribly common. I’ve only heard of one other by that first name. However it was quite a shock when I noticed my future-wife’s license plate (the plate itself, not the frame) stamped with a license number and GRADY. I thought she must have been a complete stalking nutcase.

    Now we both live in Grady county Georgia. Go figure.

  60. DaveMc says:

    Re: Comment 51: Julia, baby! Is it really you? Quick, say something only Julia Nunes would know — then explain to me how I would know that only you would know it . . .

    I’ve sometimes wondered about this. How do celebrities (Net-celebrities or otherwise) ever establish their identities, if they want to post as themselves in a forum or something?

    Stephen Colbert

  61. Christian Groff says:

    Heh, you guys think you’ve got it rough with people using your name for other people? My real name is Chris, and that’s the name of my sister’s husband, my aunt(Kris), and it’s one of the most common names in the universe. LOLZ.

  62. Will says:

    Weird… The youtube video back in your “depths of the 70’s” post has been caught up in the Apache-video remixing trend and now has different audio. Kinda destroys the point of the post. I didn’t realize people could rework a video on youtube and still retain the same url. (Then again, I’ve never set up an account there, so I’ve yet to see their dasboard.)

  63. JP says:

    Apathy Curve: “Since you claim she “has talent,” I'll take your word for it.” & “I still think of Matchbox Twenty as a group of talented young upstarts.”

    No offense, but I think I see your problem. You’re using a different definition of the word “talent” than the rest of the world.

  64. Somebody Else says:

    My first name is rather uncommon – I have only twice heard it directed at anybody else, and both were quite surreal. There is one very important exception to this, however – during my high school years, a highly-profiled movie was released, named for its main character, who shared my name – and was a mental patient.


    So, Shamus, when it comes to unfortunate pop culture references attached to one’s name – I feel your pain.

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