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Friday, March 19, 2010

"Press Play On Tape"

If you know what those four words mean, you are a geek.

It's true. That means that you owned either a Commodore 64 or a Commodore Vic 20, and you played games that had to be loaded into memory via a cassette tape drive. And while it loaded, you only saw the words "LOADING" on the next line. Then when it finished loading, it said "READY.". Then, you typed "RUN" and you got to play your game...sometimes 5-10 minutes after starting the process.

Now this was before the 5.25" drives came out. After that happened, well...that opened the floodgates for games, games, and more games. There were so many games out there, it was dizzying-- more than you could really play...even if you tried to play them all. And aside from game play, and the graphics, the one thing people loved was the music. C64 game music has a specific sound-- it was one of the first home computers to have a built-in audio synthesizer, so you could create "life-like" sounds. And after playing these games 1000 times, you start to pick up the melodies.

That brings me to this band of geeks who have taken their name from the tape drive command line. "Press Play On Tape" performs Commodore 64 melodies with real instruments. What's pretty insane is that they know the songs really well...and they know some pretty obscure games to base their remakes on. Take for example, the them music to one of the most frustrating and annoying games of all time: Aztec Challenge.

How about the theme from the game Auf Wiedersehen Monty:

I must say, however, that one of my favorite covers of theirs is the theme from the game Commando:

It's for fun and nostalgia, that's for sure. It's always a treat when you realize that there were people all over the place that were into the same things you were; especially the things that make you feel like a dork! Makes me wish I knew people that I had more in common with back in those days.

I only wish that someone would do a kick-ass cover of the Skate or Die theme:

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