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.
My NAMM experience went really quite smoothly this year. I didn't have to deal with any injuries or camera failures.
The show was a little smaller than last year, which was most apparent in my favorite haunt, Hall E. There were some open areas where there weren't any booths set up at all.
That being said, there was no shortage of invention and innovation at the show. Because of that, I think the great unsung heroes of the Oddities need their own motto:
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor global economic collapse stays the mad genius from the swift creation of strange musical devices."
I salute you -Barry
I'm pleased to present this year's selection for Oddity of the Year: the stunning and hypnotic Video Guitar by the aptly-named Visionary Instruments.
I very nearly missed this item and it was on my final sweep through Hall E when it caught my eye.
You can read more about it here.
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.
©2010 Barry Wood