As both a music critic and a father of two, I'm always on the lookout for gizmos and gadgetry that will bridge my disparate worlds. (No, a flask is neither gizmo nor gadget, but I like the way you're thinking.) The tots dig the tunes, and a constant soothing soundtrack helps me both do my job and stave off an inevitable breakdown. But I digress … Here are three pieces of music technology on my wish list. If I see any of them under the tree this year, I'm totally raising my flask to the sky and toasting Santa.
Otterbox Ego Ice Waterproof/Floating iPod Sound Case
Here's something for the sailor, the randy pool boy or the beer-bellied weekend warrior who likes to float into the gulf and forget the 9-to-5. Think of it as an iPod boombox. This buoyant see-through speaker system is waterproof, be it salt or chlorine, and weighs less than 2 pounds. A thin membrane covers the iPod's Click Wheel, allowing easy scrolling. The case fits most iPods, including all Nanos. The kids will love it, 'cause now the Jonas Brothers can follow them into the surf. (C'mon, don't hate on the JoBros. They're my peeps.)
Stacks and Stacks 1960s Suitcase Turntable
Lately I've been hosting "Vinyl Night" in the Daly manse. Although my tribute to Mexican folk songs didn't go as planned, my 4-year-old daughter still flips every time I play the 12" of Cameo's Word Up. "Yo, pretty ladies, around the world …" Anyway, this hipster-cool turntable, complete with full-range stereo speaker and a diamond stylus, lets you cart your records all over town. The turntables come in tweed, brown and black. Prices start around $150, but I'll DJ your next Mexican-folk-song party free of charge.
Jensen iPod/XM Satellite Radio-Ready CD/DVD Deck with Built-In HD Radio and 7-inch Monitor
Holy overkill, Batman! This is the mother of all car stereos. It does everything except bake bread and fire rockets (and I'm pretty sure you can add on both of those). The price starts around $400, which is ironic, seeing as how my 1998 MAZD (we're still looking for the "A") with 184,000 miles on it is worth approximately $399.99. Every morning on the drive to school, my oldest daughter shouts, "Daddy's car smells funny!" But who's gonna hear her with this sucker cranking? That's right, honey. Keep talking, keep talking.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467.