Simply the most bestest Holidaze® gifts for the Musically Inclined (2018 Edition)

In what’s looking like a yearly thang, and with the Holidaze® squarely on top of us, APITE has again scoured the pages of Amazon looking for the oddities and just plain wackiness of the Musical Gift Genre to provide you with a bit of end of the year humor and perhaps even an idea or three for that person or persons who are impossible to shop for – the Star Wars fan.

Wait – Star Wars fans are easy to shop for. Musicians are not. Hopefully you’re not shopping for a Star Wars Music fan…

So are you ready for the madness? Are you sure about that answer? 😀

51 V25s+1mL

Last year we started off with a frog so why not lead off with other frog of sorts this year?

Probably Carcinogenic Smokey Juice. And not just any bog-standard fog machine fluid but Oil Based Haze Fluid, whatever the $#@! that is. And not just a teensy-tiny gallon mind you, but 55 flipping gallons of gear-destroying, stage-soaking, crowd-saturating, respiratory system-choking ‘haze fluid’ that is most likely banned in reasonably civilized countries for violating reams of UN Sanctions. But hey, if you really, really need a metric fuckton of stage smoke to obscure the fact that the band is incompetent, even-more-than-usual fugly, or still using backing tracks and just miming, then rest assured that at least you’ll get free shipping for that $1300 you’re dropping on this (ahem) mess. I can only imagine the residue left on everything in the vicinity of the venue after churning through this petroleum infestation, and the repair costs incurred on even the smallest of tours. Since it has zero reviews and no rating whatsoever, you know this stuff is just amazing. Now if only I could figure out why I feel like I need a shower after writing this…

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Mmmmmkay… That’s a pretty vague statement there kids. Let’s think about all the things that bacon is:

– Salty.

– Greasy.

– Fried.

– Cholesterol inflating.

– Potentially heart-attack inducing.

– Offensive to certain religions and/or vegetarians.

– Best dried out on paper towels.

– Makes an ungodly mess that takes ages to clean up.

– Delicious.

 None of these points are addressed in the description or comments. 

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Of course all of you know exactly what this is – it’s the Leelvis Portable Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Nut Shape with Super Bass Stereo Sound 8 Hours Music Playing Time for iPhone Android Smartphone.

And we all know that since Bluetooth speakers come in every possible size, shape, color, wattage, battery life, brand, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species, the modern music listener needs something that not only stands out from the hoi polloi, but also shows off their passions and interests as well. And if it also  doubles as a self-defense weapon, well that’s just a bonus. This one is made from wood-grain plastic, and not actual dead tree carcass, so we’ll forget about that last feature, okay?

And since there are several others exactly like this in the Compare with similar items section I can only assume that somewhere in our diverse world, Nut-shaped Bluetooth speakers are the must-have gift this Season. So you can rest assured that that certain special someone in your life who needs an acorn-shaped mini-boombox will just be tickled faux wood-grain that they are on the cutting edge.

Personally, I  want to buy one of these as well as an adult squirrel costume (you can get that too), hang out at the local playground continuously blaring S.I.M.P. (Squirrels In My Pants) from the Phineas and Ferb Soundtrack. Official video of that song here. Official video of me doing it will never be seen by human eyes.

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I guarantee that someone in your life has been pestering you about wanting a guitar. They won’t stop yammering that they want to be just like St. Vincent or Slash or Lil Wayne. This exchange occurs so you’ll be so annoyed that you will ultimately succumb to their whim, even though you both know they will spend 20 minutes with it, realize that it takes time and practice, and give up because they will only be Lil Wayne – not even remotely close to St. Vincent or Slash.

And guitars and accessories and alarmingly expensive, so the question always arises on how do you appease them and yet still retain your sanity (and bank account)?

Easy-peasy. Simply affix the slightly overpriced decal shown above to their wall and then happily them that you got them a guitar and matching amplifier. When they ask where it is, tell them to look in their room. They will then race to said room only to look around eagerly seeing nothing but the mere illusion of a Strat and mini-Crate taunting them. At this point they will sobbingly return to you saying how cruel and mean you are. Return to the room muttering to yourself (that last part is important) about how you really got them a guitar and amp and you have no idea what they’re talking about. Walk in, look around, and stare at the picture on the wall for a few minutes before declaring that the instruments must have self-immolated rather than be used by your friend or relative, leaving only the cold, dead, shadowy remains. Then hand them the Leelvis Portable Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Nut Shape with Super Bass Stereo Sound 8 Hours Music Playing Time for iPhone Android Smartphone shown above as a consolation present.

Is it mean? Unbelievably.

Will you lose a family member or friend? Pretty much guaranteed.

Is it worth it to get rid of the Leelvis Portable Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Nut Shape with Super Bass Stereo Sound 8 Hours Music Playing Time for iPhone Android Smartphone you bought because you saw it here? Hells yes.

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There are some great drummer jokes out there, and this is a pretty good one too. I like the attention to detail such as ‘1000% talent’, ‘300% Creativity’, and lack of being Off-Key. For the record I know exactly four drummers who can accurately pitch a softball, let alone anything musical.

I was a drummer before I became a Programmer, so I understand deeply the plight of the modern percussionist in this confusing, heavily-quantized digital age, but I would change a few things for accuracy here. I would suggest the ‘Caffeine’ part be replaced with ‘Wild Turkey’ or ‘Heineken’ or “Cat Tranquilizers’. The ‘Not a Significant Source of Quiet’’ is cute, but I’m deeply saddened the fine print includes absolutely zero mention of ‘100% Chance of being Time-aligned in Pro Tools by an ex-drummer Programmer’.

While we’re on coffee cups:

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Yep, the obvious Music Teacher trope blended with a dash of Social Media snobbery. So I’ll just call it an Octothorpe. Don’t you feel all smug and self-satisfied now?

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Imagine walking into the bathroom at a friends’ abode and confronting this.

Much like the Tuba shirt listed above, one wonders the message trying to be expressed here, but my guess is somewhere between ‘indeed, my intestinal fortitude has the same tone and resonance of a bass clarinet’ and ‘yeah, I used to play one but I found out it works better as a plunger.’

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For when you like your Cosplay mixed with a dash of sub-par audio. I know I’m old, but man you kids are just fucked up these days… I get Cosplay. I get Fandom. I even get that 99.9% of everyone on the freakin’ planet doesn’t really care what their audio quality sounds like as long as they can sing along with the latest Ariana Grande pop fodder. But combining these elements together is just heresy.

All I can say is that I hope they’re noise cancelling so you won’t hear the groans and snickering of passerby.

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This is the Simple Music Player.

In truth this is a potentially smart idea – a music playback device for anyone with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues. Good idea, right?

Unfortunately all is not happiness and sunshine in Simple Music Playerland. Do you see the bar on top that says ‘Lift to play music’? One could safely assumes that lifting that tab or bar would start playing music.

Uh, no. Once you lift the bar there is a black, recessed button underneath that you have to push as well. This button is not labelled or marked in any way, so I could easily see someone who just wants to listen to some Iron Butterfly or Frank Sinatra (or that sweet Iron Butterfly/Frank Sinatra mashup floating around the Tube of Yous) to brighten up their day continually fumbling and futzing with this thing more that any other music player that’s already out there just to play a song.

What’s even more confusing is that there are no volume controls on the thing other than two up/down buttons on the bottom that require a stylus or other pointed object to adjust. Yes, I can understand this as a ‘safety’ feature (and just how safe is a pointed stylus?), but what you have here is not only potentially confusing for the person you give it to (remember – this was designed for people with disabilities) but now you have to have the instructions handy to not only remind you how it works, but for any caregivers as well.

The reviews also talk about difficulty loading songs from a computer (no USB connection, uses a proprietary cable) and general quality issues, so I would venture to guess that even the most inexpensive of mp3 payers might be a better choice.

So instead, think of this is the perfect gift for someone you know who likes music but has such eclectic taste that you just want to mess with them. Load it up with a bunch of Chopped and Screwed tracks, turn the volume all the way up, throw away the special cable and manual, and gift away. 🙂

Oh, if you gift it put it in one of these:

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It’s The Little Guy (big love, Minneapolis!) as a rubber duck. Nothing more to see here…

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Shure SM-58’s (and SM57’s) have a reputation for excellent sound and military-grade construction. I have personally driven a nail into a stage with a 58 in a pinch, and I can attest for their robustness – the mic was unscathed except for a few minor scratches and it worked perfectly for years afterwards. This $76 pack of 16 replacement wind grills for your aging, spit-rattled SM58 is probably meant for retail or for updating a bunch of well-used road or studio mics, but there’s a better reason to buy these.

During your next recording (or live) session use an SM58 as the vocal mic. Keep telling the talent that their tone isn’t quite right and walk out to the booth or stage, unscrew the grill, and replace it with a new one from this box. Do this at least 8-9 times until you exclaim ‘that’s perfect!’

Now the vocalist will be forever scarred believing that these screens will make it ’sound better’, and will ask for them to be replaced in the future when something ‘isn’t right’.

Hilarity ensues.

(Warning – may ruin your career as well)

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And the piece de resistance:

Remember the Acoustic Revive CD Demagnetizer from last year?

This year, I invite you to behold the amazing Furutech LP, Disc, and Cable Demagnetizer

For the measly sum of $3000 (and only $4.50 for shipping), you can free your precious vinyl from the bonds of magnetic infestation causing the space-time continuum to rip to shreds, forever ruining the never-played magnificence of your beloved obsolete musique art d’object…

Yes, it will happily Demagnetize Compact Discs (and probably those old 2” Master reels of Ampex 456) as well.

But most importantly, it has the mind-bending capability to remove any traces of magnetic residue from your cabling!

(Whatever you say there Furutech. Did someone unload 55 gallons of Froggy’s in here? Its getting a bit thick…)

Just imagine the thrill of your ‘Audiophile’ Uncle Vince opening this on Christmas morning, scrambling to the interwebz® to tell all of his two buddies on The ‘Gram that his sound system is now way better than theirs because he’s going to methodically go through the house and demagnetize every single cable, interconnect, and AC power cord in the joint. He might even get up in the attic tomorrow and rip out all of the Romex so it can be demagnetized too. Top that you jackwagons!

Meanwhile your Aunt Martha is talking to your mother in the kitchen about how it was really expensive but that’s what he wanted, and Uncle Vinny is like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, dreaming on about all of the things this miracle of modern technology will make all better again.

Internet’s down again? Put the coax cable on the Furutech! 

Toaster Oven on the fritz? Demagnetize the wall socket!

The dog has heart worm? No need to go to the vet – he’s probably just magnetized!

The power bill went up 100 bucks after we got the thing? Well that’s cheap for all the things we’ve been fixing around here…

I want to thank everyone for popping by A Poke In The Ear in 2018 – you’ve made our transition over to WordPress a great one, and I hope we gave you a chortle or two, gave you some some insight into the current musical culture, and hopefully ignited a critical thought or two to take with you.

Thanks again for stopping by and you know there’s plenty of great things and even more insanity coming in 2019. The Happiest of Holidaze® to all of you and we’ll see you in the New Year!

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