5 Gift Ideas for Music and Tech Lovers

Having officially commenced my holiday gift shopping today (including one of the below recommendations), I began to wonder if our shopping habits might reveal interesting (or disturbing?) facts about our true selves. Here is my breakdown of shopper types. Which one are you?

Types of shoppers:

– Those who spend 6 months brainstorming, obsessively searching for the perfect thing…not to mention the time and money spent wrapping gifts with meticulous care, despite the wrapping’s imminent fate of being torn apart and discarded.

– Those who nonchalantly wait till 8pm on December 24th, then panic and do all their shopping in two hours at Walmart.

– The home-made gift givers who slave away knitting scarves, framing photos, making mixed CDs, editing video …

– And of course the eh-I’ll-just-buy-em-a-gift-certificate types.

Whatever their shopping style, most people have someone in their life who is an aficionado of music or technology. Or both. Here are some gift ideas for that person:

1. The Gamerator – Arcade game/Beer tap. “Not only does this supreme frat-gadget give home to a flatscreen monitor, full MAME game system, and vintage arcade controls, it also hosts a kegerator that situates its tap right beneath the joystick ledge, allowing mid-game refills without any pause in competitive action.” So, when you get sick of playing Beirut you can move on to this more high-tech drinking game set-up.

2. Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band – Someone I know recently got a visit from the cops at home because he and his friends were playing Rock Band too loudly…Whether your giftee is a musician, a gamer, both, or neither, these games are a good bet. Be forewarned, however, that both can be highly addictive (or so I hear).

3. Pro Tools – One of the best DAWs available for recording musicians (professional or not-so-professional). There are a plethora of other software alternatives including Logic Pro, Cubase, Digital Performer, Sonar and Garage Band. Some of these software programs practically require a degree in nuclear physics to master, others could be learned while simultaneously watching the Simpsons, eating a taco, and updating your Facebook profile, so it’s advisable to ascertain the recipient’s level of musical ability and familiarity with software before making your purchase.

4. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain – bestselling book by author/neurologist Oliver Sacks, in which he examines the power of music on the human brain and recounts stories ranging from “people with ‘amusia,’ to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans, to a man whose memory spans only seven seconds–for everything but music.” I once read an article about a girl who has a terrible stutter, except for when she sings – wonder if he included her in the book…

5. Solar Messenger Bag – Charge your cell phone, ipod, camera, etc (can carry but not charge a laptop) as you bike to the office in your suit with your latte in one hand and your newspaper under your arm…Good for hippies, green-friendly business types, or anyone who habitually forgets to charge their devices at home.

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