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Music

Seán Maquire, Fidil agus Píb Uillinne, 1959

I called to see my Dad yesterday, and he told me he has resurrected his old Pioneer record player. I have many memories of this device sitting in the corner of the “good room” at home, and after the needle and the rubber band that drives the player were replaced it works really well.

Seán Maquire (McQuire) recorded an album of songs in 1959, which my dad still has in his collection. Here’s twenty seconds of music from that album.

I have to confess I’m not familiar with Seán’s music at all, but an online search found a Wikipedia page about Seán McQuire which shows his birth surname as Maquire. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 77.

I’ll have to figure out how to properly record those vinyl records to digital format. Suggestions? It used to be simple to record things with an AUX or 3.5mm cable to a tape recorder, but Mac laptops and Android phones are more problematic. Maybe I’ll have to dig out my old desktop PC with its numerous audio sockets…

Want more? Enjoy the following …

Categories
Music

Building the MP3mobile

Apart from hoarding driver CDs and diskettes in 1999 I also printed out a huge number of pro-Linux news articles. One of those was this page on building an MP3 player for a car called The MP3mobile.

Over the years I had grappled with the idea of adding an MP3 player to whatever my current car was but never really got anywhere but the MP3mobile was the initial source of inspiration for this idea.

The furthest I ever got with the idea was using a portable MP3 CD player but that didn’t work too well:

  1. Bumps in the road caused skips.
  2. Irish roads are bumpy.
  3. More skips.

It’s funny now to see what the MP3mobile can do, but back then this was highly impressive.

The final result is immensely wonderful, and impresses the hell out of most hackerish people (like me). Non-computer people just wonder why you havn’t got a CD player. But, with my setup (based on RedHat Linux 5.0) I can do these things:

* NFS mount my car from my laptop (there’s a loose 10-base-T cable behind the drivers seat) and squirt new tunes into it.

* Hook up my GSM-modem to the car (so you can telnet into it and run emacs at 60mph 🙂 ).

* Hook up a GPS unit, so you could finger the car and find out exactly where a car full of computer equipment suitable for stealing is located.

* Compile as I go round bends.

* Coredump as I change gear 🙂

None of these things can be done with an autochanger. Sorry, but you lose 🙂

Future plans include:

* 418Mhz low-power radio link to allow me to upgrade the software when the car is in the garage 30m or so from the flat.
* Link into the car’s engine management to monitor boost pressure, etc
* Voice-command of the music functions.

The machine ran off a Pentium 166MMX CPU, and had a 2.5″ laptop drive with a massive 2.1GB of storage space.

It all seems so quaint and obsolete now doesn’t it? That may well be how your current state of the art tech appears in another twenty years!

In the time since then the rise of smart phones led to miniaturisation, better screens and power efficient computers. A few years later a Raspberry Pi or Android phone would have been a suitable replacement for the device. And later still Android Auto or Car Play would make the job of playing your own media even easier.

If you use an Android phone, then your car stereo could run Linux, at least through Android Auto as your phone has a Linux kernel!

Categories
Music

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played by London Concertante

London Concertante in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. March 2022

We haven’t been to a concert in a long time. Last night I went to St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the heart of Cork City to listen to London Concertante.

My son has shown a huge interest in music over the course of lockdown. He started with an electronic keyboard, and then on to other instruments. I know Matt would be delighted to hear he has expressed an interest in learning the saxophone too.

Anyway, we heard that there would be a classical concert in the Cathedral so we had to go. It was an amazing night. I’ll admit I don’t know much about classical music. I recognise the most popular compositions everyone else recognises. But despite that it was a feast for the ears.

In the video above they play Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons. I can’t imagine there’s anyone reading this who won’t recognise this fabulous piece of music.

PS. I shared this video on Facebook too and received a copyright strike. Luckily, I could dispute it without penalty and it was not muted “in 74 territories”.

Categories
Music

Keep Yourself Alive (Long Lost Re-Take)

I just heard this edit of Queen’s Keep Yourself Alive for the first time and I love it. It’s longer than the original and definitely worth listening to if you know the original.

Apparently it was recorded in 1975 as a possible radio edit according to this post but it was finally released in 1991 by Hollywood Records.

This acetate first was thought to be from circa 1972. But some years ago in an interview Brian confirmed that in 1975 it was re-recorded as new version for a possibly new release. Interestingly, the “long” track is refered to as a “long lost retake” on the hollywood version.

I’d love to know what other material is in the Queen vaults waiting to be heard..

Categories
Music

James Last plays the Beatles

In the mid 80’s I found a cassette tape of Beatles music played by the James Last orchestra. While I sort of knew some of the music this was the first time I heard many of the songs and I preferred this orchestra version to the original!

The next time the Beatles would intrude on my life would be when I watch Red Storm for the first time in the early nineties.

I guess I have a thing for instrumental Beatles music. 🙂

Categories
Music

Finding Freddie

The Finding Freddie video podcast on YouTube is a wonderful ongoing series of short videos covering different aspects of Freddie Mercury’s life.

So far there have been 4 episodes. If you’re a fan of Queen music you’ll love these!

Categories
Music

Queen – Open your eyes look touch and feel

This is a forty five minute remix of Queen music that just blows me away.

Categories
Music

Bo-Meme-Ean Rhapsody (Queen Fan Video)

OK, this is just wonderful. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen in memes. Article 13 would have a field day. I don’t expect this video to stay up for very long so watch it as soon as you can!

Categories
Music

Bohemian Rhapsody on FLOPPOTRON

Is this a hard drive?
Is this just floppy disk?
Caught in a page fault
No ESC from reality
Open your files
Look up to the skies and C:\……..

Sometimes it’s worth reading the comments on YouTube. This one from Yuan Edo.

Categories
Music

The Firm: Serious Fun

The FIrm are “a novelty band” according to their Wikipedia page. They released fun, mostly silly songs in the eighties.

In the late eighties they released an album called “Serious Fun” which included a song most people who grew up in the eighties will recognise, Star Trekkin’.

My parents bought that album and I remember dancing around to that song so long ago. 🙂

There’s a bunch of other songs on the album too but unfortunately the album itself appears to be very rare and only a few of the following songs can be found online:

  • Star Trekkin’
  • Girls Got Feelings Too
  • Arthur Daley (E’s Alright)
  • Snookered
  • Heavy Metal Robot
  • Start Wrekkin’
  • Superheroes
  • Strawberry Ice Cream, Jelly and Cake
  • Monster Rap
  • Cash in Hand
  • Summertime on 42nd Street
  • Pop Stars

Lucky you, I tracked down most of them!

Your life is now complete.