By now, you have probably seen all those other Christmas Gift lists on other sites, telling you that there’s a nice set of headphones for a couple of grand, or an iPod dock for £800. (Who are these people who spend that much at Christmas? And why don’t I know any of them?) It’s enough to make you cry “Bah Humbug!”
On the other hand, you don’t want to be lumbered with an old Stereophonics CD, so here is a list of some cool music-related gift items for the music lover in your life. Just leave this web page open on your computer for your loved ones to “accidentally discover”. And if any of my family are reading this – this might just be the next ten Christmases for me sorted….starting with that vintage portable record player…(I won’t hold my breath though).
The Epiphone Les Paul Ukelele: Join the likes of George Harrison, Paul McCartney and many others in their love of playing the uke – but still look cool doing it with this splendid Les Paul version for £79. Available at all good Les Paul ukelele shops.
The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society Tea Towel: I know what you are thinking: your kitchen needs brightening up, and you can’t stand all those dull tea towels cluttering up the place. It’s a common problem that bothers almost everyone almost constantly (oh, okay, it really isn’t). But this is still a lovely tea towel, featuring the lyrics to The Kinks classic “Village Green Preservation Society” plus unique artwork depicting scenes from the song. It costs £15.99 from the Mojo Magazine website.
The Soundburger Portable Record Player: How to play records when you are on holiday? This vintage portable record player solves that problem and was produced by Audio-Technica in the 1980’s. For those people who feel that iPods are still just a passing fad. Only available on eBay, although I hear Crosley have produced a replica. Which is awful.
Metallica “Master of Puppets” Festive Jumper: If there is anything that is the absolute opposite of heavy rock, it is festive jumpers – so how gratifying to see that such items exist and can be purchased. Absolutely ridiculous, but no more so than, say Lars Ulrich. A snip (yeah, right) at $74.99 from Metallica’s webstore. Happily, this appears to be a trend – there’s also a Queens of the Stone Age one for a more reasonable $34.99…. and a festive T-Shirt from the same site…
Iron Maiden’s The Trooper Ale – and merchandise: A nice beer for Christmas day afternoon whilst you try to avoid watching Eastenders and The Wizard of Oz. Real ale fan and Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson played a major role in developing the flavour of the beer, entailing ongoing visits to Robinson’s brewery in Stockport. The result is a very nice pint in a fun-looking bottle and there are plenty of Trooper related bottle openers and cups available from the Iron Maiden Trooper webstore.
Cool Concert posters: The Flood Gallery in Greenwich Market has a stack of great concert posters – covering a diverse range of artists from Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Wilko Johnson and Oasis, including this excellent one featuring Jarvis Cocker of Pulp (£45)
Black Keys Dress Up Kit: ($20) Perhaps the silliest gift idea is this one. Dress up in disguise as both of The Black Keys. Just don’t do it near Jack White, or he may mistake you for his arch enemy…. Available from the Black Keys website
Noel Gallagher Notepad: (£5) I jot down ideas for this blog in a notebook, but not one as splendid as this one that has Noel Gallagher’s name on it. Presumably the idea is that if it gets lost, it will be returned to Noel Gallagher, and you can tweet him to see if it has turned up? Available on Noel’s website.
A Raconteurs Stylophone: ($15) Reduced (from $30) from the Third Man website – play Bowie’s Space Oddity (badly) with this Raconteurs branded Stylophone. Then put it away after ten minutes because it’s not an especially versatile instrument. Unless you plug it into a guitar effects rack…
Set Of Six Vinyl 45 Record Coasters: £16 from NotOnTheHighStreet.com. Ensure your furniture is not ruined with unsightly marks from hot drinks by using coasters. Ensure your room does not look unsightly with unpleasant coasters strewn about the place by using these vintage record label ones. Marvellous. All hand cut from 7″ records from British chart acts from between 1958 and 1990 and laminated on both sides. Let’s hope you don’t get a Pet Shop Boys one…
Record #261: The Darkness – Christmas Time