Monday, February 21, 2011

The Word of the Day: Pianosaurus!

In the Ain't Technology Wundafil? Department, I've been messing around with my new computer over the past couple of weeks, and realizing how far advanced it is over the old one that I liked perfectly well until I started seeing what the new one could do.

The first time I slotted a music CD (it was Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass: What Now My Love) into this thing and opened ITunes to play it, the program asked me if I wanted to add the CD to my Library.

I didn't know what that meant. I pressed "OK" and then watched in astonishment as the computer copied the whole CD onto my hard drive in about a minute! 

Suddenly I realized why musicians and CD companies hate this development!

A few days later I copied a Renaissance CD onto the new machine. And then I thought, "Hmmmmm! I wonder if I can record it right back onto a CD-R?"

I think y'all probably know the answer, but I didn't. The next day I bought a spindle of CD-Rs, and in nothing flat I had second hard copy of Ashes Are Burning. I gave it to a student at work.

Then another coin dropped into my slow-on-the-uptake mind. 

When I was searching for Melanie CDs at Amazon, I noted that several key titles were out of print and unavailable, or available only at outlandish prices.

Or in MP3 versions.

A month ago I would never have considered paying for an MP3 version of an album. Last night I bought Melanie's Stoneground Words, otherwise unavailable in any form, downloaded it -- and burned it onto an audio CD that plays just beautifully in my little portable CD player.

Suddenly, I am part of the New World Order. 

I didn't stop there.

About a decade and a half back, maybe longer, I got together with my best friends and spent New Year's Eve in Portland, going from venue to venue, checking out the different acts. One of them, up from Boston, was a nifty little band called Pianosaurus. They played classic rock 'n' roll -- all on toy instruments

The drummer had a little toy drum set that came up to about his knees. I bet he went through a new set every night! The leader played a little toy guitar not more than about two feet long. They were backed by a cute gal on Toy Piano and a guy on Toy Bass. 

And y'know what? They got a great sound out of those things! I was entranced and tickled. It was completely unique, fun as all get out, delightfully charming.

The group recorded one album, Groovy Neighborhood, in their short lifetime (and appeared in the movie New York Stories). Of course I bought it. And, you know the story by now, haven't been able to listen to it in yonks.

The band is defunct now, the record long out of print. But last night I searched the MP3 store and there it was! Five minutes later I was playing a CD of it in my living room, and boppin' down to the good-time sounds!

Sometimes, technology really is wundafil!

And now -- have I got a treat for you! I am becoming so techno-logically up-to-date that I can even provide you with a cut from the album! Click on this link to download an MP3 of the song "Bubble Gum Music"

Let me know if it doesn't work!

-- Freder. 


  1. Doug, I got a new iPod Nano for Christmas. It's smaller than a Reese's Cup, for godsake, but it holds more music than I have ever physically owned in any form: 45, album, cassette, 8 track or CD. I mean, for $150 now you can buy all of the Beatles studio albums from iTunes, and they download automatically onto your computer. Amazing.

  2. And now we don't have to hear any more rants about software not being made backwards-compatible for 15-year-old systems! Developers everywhere are rejoicing, thinking of the wonders they'll be able to unleash now that they don't have to worry about that guy in M____ with the dino-Mac! O, frabjous day!

  3. Nah. Sheesh, haven't you been paying attention to the trends? This new machine will be outdated in about six months!

    Besides, backwards compatibility is just good business policy. As I told the honcho at DownEast magazine, one of your best customers could be "Grandpa Adolph Who Inherited His Computer from his Grandson when Grandson Updated."

    You hunt your Snark and I'll hunt mine!


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