Tag Archives: music

Heavy D — A Part of My High School Years Has Died

Man, word is hitting all over the place that old school rapper, Heavy D, has passed away at the age of 44.  I guess we’ll get a word on the cause of death later.

I was introduced to Heavy D in my later teen years with his song, “Mr. Big Stuff,” which he made in 1986.  Here’s the official video for said song (there may be a commercial at the front since it is an officially uploaded video).

Back then, I found that my musical tastes were toward this “fad” called “rap” and so when an electro-funk/rap station came on air, I recorded as much as I could from the radio (depending on the weather since I lived just on the edge of the radio station’s transmission range at the time).  “Mr. Big Stuff” was one of the early rap songs that I recorded, and it also introduced me to the concept of “sampling” since Heavy D & the Boys used Jean Knight’s song title and music from the early 1970’s for their rap version.

For most folks though, Heavy D was seen as more of a 1990’s element since he had several hit tunes that came out in the early 90’s. For me, he will be a part of my high school years and a reminder of things like Max Headroom, Ronald Reagan, Coca-cola clothing, and other things that were great about the 80’s.  So, I’ll close with another of Heavy D’s 80’s tunes.

My thoughts and prayers go to Heavy D’s family and friends at this time of loss.

My Favorite "Old School" Jam

Back as a teenager trying to determine which musical genre would be the one that best fit me, this song by Pretty Tony (Fix It in the Mix) is what I think ultimately made me an electro-funk, hip-hop (and dance music) fan. ^_^

Ah, memories. I still love this song no matter how many times I hear it. ^_^

Cool Medieval Music

While giving the Savage Piper some much deserved grief over his piping ways, Taco’s Rule decided it would be cool to find some techno piping videos. Somehow, that lead to our finding this German, medieval band with this cool-sounding song (at least we thought so).

If only these guys were at the Renaissance Festival. ^_^

Corvus Corax — Saltarello Ductia

Note: Updated with new file. *_*


Bring back the disco, y’all! While looking for humor stuff, our group came across a bunch of Indian songs with humorous “English translations” of what the songs sound like they could be saying in (poor) English. Eventually this lead us to the song “Moskau” by Dschinghis Khan, a West German disco group. Below is the TV version of the song and this is the Buffalax comedy subtitled version (which has language that some may find offensive).

The Buffalax version aside, I found I liked the song so much, I had to score it from a Russian source, where to my surprise, it’s 6-minutes long. Of all the songs I’ve heard from the group, this is my favorite by far.

Sadly, “Cape Guy” and “Bald Guy” have passed away.

Qtrax — Free Legal Music Downloads (w/ DRM)?

I’ve been reading from British and American publications about a new, free, legal, music downloading via peer-to-peer software. The service, known as Qtrax, will reportedly have 25-million tracks (supposedly including rare songs and live recordings) that one can download-to-own for free from big labels such as EMI, Universal, and Warner (though as of this posting, it appears that these companies are denying having licensing deals with Qtrax, meaning that right now, no legal free music). So free, legal music may be just around the corner.

Of course there is a catch. You will have to download the Qtrax proprietary software (a “jukebox” browser, based off of Firefox) to play the Qtrax files (and your other MP3’s as well I take it). Said software will supposedly provide “nonintrusive” ads to pay for said music and will monitor and report on what songs you play so that they can then pay artists. Your iPod will not play Qtrax songs (for now at least). The DRM on the files will apparently prevent you from burning said songs to a CD though I can find no mention of their being blocked to other portable devices (I can’t discover if these are going to be MP3 files or something else). You will be reportedly be “encouraged” to dock you player every thirty days so that the spyware can report on what songs you are listening to.

It is about time that the music industry finally gets it (assuming the deals are eventually confirmed), after fighting this for what? Ten or more years? Hello! McFly! Find a way to give the consumers what they want and get paid for it rather than attack your customer base.

The Qtrax service is clearly going to be perfect for the high school, college, and other folks who don’t have much disposable income but want to hear music. You trade off some privacy and have to see some ads to get almost all the music you want. (I say almost because clearly if you are into Japanese music, this service isn’t going to help. And I doubt that Qtrax will have a rare track like “Nasty Rock” by Garrets Crew or “Jump, Stomp, and Twist” by Mo-Jo.) Providing you can score a portable player that will play Qtrax files and have access to a PC/laptop that the free software can be installed on, you are good to go.

For me and others like me, the service is going to be mostly a “no go” because frankly, I’m not interested in what I listen to be monitored and recorded to report back to Qtrax. I’m not interested in something that I can’t burn to a CD (but lets face it, should this thing actually get off the ground, there will be software to overcome this DRM). In my car, I have an MP3 CD player, and that’s what I use to listen to tunes. So I transfer MP3’s to CD’s just for that purpose alone (to say nothing of offline archiving of my MP3 files). Further, I want to listen to music without being forced to use a 3rd-party software to listen to it on my computer, so I’m willing to pay for a legal, DRM-free, MP3 file (say ~30-cents per track of a new, current song, ~15-cents per track of an older song).

Still, this may all be moot anyway. Qtrax was apparently another illegal P2P application until 2002, when they shut down to avoid being sued when the RIAA went after Napster. Now despite it being widely reported that they are back and will be offering free, legal downloads, the music industry is balking at this and Qtrax has a ton of egg in its face with “Big Music” laughing their butts off at Allan Klepfisz (the CEO and President of Qtrax), showing him who’s the boss around here.

I’m going to follow this to see what happens. Should this be a “go,” I’ll be interested in what the tech folks says for sure.