Become a fan of the NAMM Oddities on facebook and see occasional audio-related strangeness all year long. You'll also be the first to hear when the Oddities go online each year.
In recent years it's taken me quite some time to carve out the time to get the Oddities up. This year I'm pleased that I was able to get them done in a reasonably timely fashion. With any luck this is my new normal.
I was recently introduced to the term Chindōgu. While the products featured herein certainly qualify as "unuseless" there are some that occasionally guilelessly sail into Chindōgu waters. But who knows, maybe one of these seemingly quixotic devices may turn out to be the equivalent of the Chindōgu Selfie Stick.
A special shout out goes to Trader Joe's for their Irish single malt, a complicit partner in the writing portion of the Oddities. I've collaborated with this particular associate in the past and thought it was about time to give credit where credit was due.
A follow-on shout out goes out to Tracy Berna, whose copy editing cleaned up my whiskey-fueled writing and whose wit punched up the humor.
After attending the Winter NAMM show for a number of years, I'd noticed that the exhibitors seem to fall into two categories: the established company showing its new (and sometimes vaporous) products and the independent start-up company looking to be noticed by distributors, music stores, potential investors and the music press.
It seemed that every year I spent more of my NAMM time checking out the various small companies that got stashed in some dark corner of the show. Many of the products from these companies were never seen by the average visitor, sometimes because they only appealed to a small market, or because most people simply couldn't figure out what the hell they were supposed to do.
That isn't to say that these products are ill-conceived or poorly executed. It's just that sometimes they're, well, a little odd. This situation made me think that there ought to be a place for people to come to marvel and wonder at all of these products. Thus, the NAMM Oddities were born.
©2019 Barry Wood