The Gift Guide is back for 2013!

Unleash your inner inventor and sculptor all at once! The littleBits synth kit by Korg has been buzzing just in the past week around the internet and we are happy to share it just in time for the holidays. LittleBits is a New york based tech company and they have teamed up with legendary synthesizer manufacturers, Korg, to bring the synth kit to life. What exactly is it? As the name implies it is an actual kit of distinct synthesizer parts, which a user can connect to one another in endless configurations, creating and then playing their own tiny modular units. It comes with a thorough manual that offers a history of synthesizers and descriptions of the various parts as well as ideas. This is one of those gifts that can endlessly entertain the user, kids and adults alike. Super creative and fun!
sk288 For kids, or for your stoner cousin, The Silver Knob Voice Recorder. Part wooden Waldorf inspired craft toy, part music gadget, this small but fun gift is also proudly made in New York out of non toxic paint and sustainable wood. With it’s super minimal design it offers tons of room for creative play and simple function: one button to record 30 seconds of sound, one button to play back, and one big knob that bends the pitch of what you have recorded. Great for laughs but also for building a fundamental understanding of pitch and sound.
Were you disappointed when you purchased a cheap USB turntable hoping to convert your beloved vinyl pressings into high quality digital files, only to find that the sound quality was severely lacking? Go back to a non USB turntable and amp, and connect it to the Apogee Duet. Among other functions, this well designed and sleek device will capture music files with far more depth, richness and ease. The conversion coding is the same used by super high-end studios. duet-desktop-400
Gorgeous coffee table book with incredible photos and beautiful layout… Beat Box, A Drum Machine Obsession, by Joe Mansfield, foreword by Dave Tompkins, and published by Stones Throw. Continuing in the gadget theme, this carefully produced book is a love letter to some of the classic drum machines from the 1950’s thru early 1990’s.
At the core of the book are some gorgeous photos of the drum machines.  Along with the pictures: background and facts about each machine gathered by Mansfield; archival advertisements; interviews with master drum machine programmers and innovators .” 
To be released December 3, ’13 and available now for preorder shipping.
Another great book for admirers of all that is weird in the world of records… Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992, by Gregg Turkington. We had the pleasure of seeing this massive exhibit in person this past summer at NYC’s Milk Studios. The exhibit was made up of an immense collection of albums classified as Private Pressings- records made at small studios or even home studios and pressed in low quantities by unknown artists who made a go of it! Strange and goofy, they are a window into a time that no longer exists.“Religious fanatics, smarmy lounge acts, wholesome family groups, high-school marching bands, funk and disco copycats, aspiring cult leaders, costumed enigmas, and scores of singer/songwriters with all kinds of clothes, hairstyles, and facial expressions could press and sell small runs of their music.” Of all of the books in the ‘album art’ genre, this one is by far the most unique and would make a great gift! Experience1_FRANK151
mZVuN1o_k5mySxhXE-l8y5Q It was a sad announcement when legendary manufacturer, Technics, discontinued production of their turntables which have been the single most important tool of the DJ. Superior in quality, function, durability and versatility. Enter the turntable equivalent to the Polaroid Impossible Project: Japanese company Stokyo, refurbishing and customizing high-quality Technics, built in Japan! Using existing stock of classic Technics, Stokyo puts each unit through a rigorous refurbishing process followed by a 100 point inspection. Turntables are then graded for condition and warrantied for 1 year. With fair pricing that beats the now peaked prices of existing Technics, this is a great way to buy a turntable that you will have for a lifetime. Ditch that lo-fi Crosley and upgrade to a beautiful, high quality workhorse!
Bonus Beat: This holiday season, slow down to take in 2 of the finest must-see music documentaries of 2013:
Twenty Feet From Stardom: from IMDB Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
A Band Called Death: A heart-wrenching documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, a band of brothers who were arguably avant-garde in their unique sound, years before the world discovered punk. This film explores their early years, disbanding and frustration and finally bizarre rediscovery and popularity decades after they disbanded.