Old Tunage Meets Technology Central

Last week, I hooked up my cassette deck and ripped MP3s from some of my old tapes that have been tucked away for a while. You can see the results if you click on “What’s Playing on jtl’s iPod?” in the column on the right. I didn’t realize I had a lot of this stuff…
Probably the best find I’ve had so far is under the playlist called “12 Tracks From 525 Lines.” This was a tape I started once I got my first HiFi VCR (a Mitsubishi HS-U50, for you video geeks in the crowd), where I would record musical acts on TV and transfer them to audio cassette with pretty sweet results.
Many of the songs were recorded from the late, lamented NBC’s Sunday Night, hosted by Jools Holland and David Sanborn, which begat Night Music, hosted only by Sanborn. These shows ran from 1988 to 1990. This show was awesome: it featured many different acts, from Dr. John to Branford Marsalis to Leonard Cohen, all playing with the house band, led by the host(s) of the show. This was the first place I heard Debbie Harry’s version of “Calmarie,” a haunting Brazilian number written by Nana Vasconselos. They also gave airtime to one of the most underrated bands of all time, the latin/jazz/funk/art rock/you-figure-it-out fusion band Ambitious Lovers. Hearing their performances of “Copy Me” and “Admit It” drove me to the record store the next day to buy the LP. (I managed to get a copy of the CD from someone on eBay last year.)
Technically, the process went okay. I used my desktop PC with Cool Edit 2000 (which later became the bloated Adobe Audition) to bring the tracks over, and it worked okay despite some problems with the audio inputs on my computer, primarily with levels.
I decided during the week to pick up a Griffin iMic which connects through the USB port. I hooked it up to my PC and did some more transfers this weekend, and at first pass it seems to work pretty well. I’ve not been able to get it to work with my iBook, though, so there’s a little more work in store.
One track that I’ve wanted for a long time on MP3 is Third World’s “Try Jah Love,” which they performed on SCTV in 1982. This version is a little livelier than the version that was officially released that year. I also ripped the entire “Great White North” album, which is still funny in its own way after all these years. So take off, eh?
More transfers to follow.. if anything else of interest comes up, you’ll hear about it here.

12 Tracks from 525 Lines
1. Waiting Game (Live) – Swing Out Sister / Late Night with David Letterman
2. Iko Iko (Live) – John, Dr. / Sunday Night
3. King For A Day (Live) – XTC / Late Night with David Letterman
4. Copy Me (Live) – Ambitious Lovers / Sunday Night
5. Admit It (Live) – Ambitious Lovers / Sunday Night
6. Heartbeat (Live) – Belew, Adrian / Night Music
7. Oh Daddy (Live) – Belew, Adrian / Night Music
8. Can’t Stop Running (Live) – Rundgren, Todd / Night Music
9. Asa (Live) – Djavan / Night Music
10. Calmarie (Live) – Harry, Debbie / Sunday Night
11. Gold and Braid [Live] – Nicks, Stevie / Stevie Nicks Live in Concert
12. Little Wing (Live) – Sting / Saturday Night Live