Week of Gift Guides: Music Essentials


    1. Concert Tickets: This fun and all-encompassing gift option is perfect for literally anyone on your list. Whether you bring Dad to the classics, Mom to see a crooning half-her-age heartthrob or your best friend to boogie the night away – small venue, large venue, new or old band – this failsafe gift is one of the best kinds, because it’s an experience. If you ask me, that’s often more meaningful than anything that can be shaken out of a box. Bonus: They should bring you, if you buy two tickets. Down side: If they open the tickets and begin rhyming off other guest options – I apologize in advance for staging the world’s most uncomfortable gift exchange. Listed 2013 shows in Ottawa include Rihanna, Blue Rodeo, Heart, Sigur Ros and Fleetwood Mac. Toronto will host the same artists as well as Lady Gaga, The Tragically Hip with the Arkells (on Valentine’s day – swoon), Passion Pit, Maroon 5 and Tame Impala, to name a few.


    1. New Album Releases: There’s something to be said about enjoying a real album playing from your speakers. I’m a firm believer in giving money to artists I support, and that shouldn’t be hard to do with this stocking stuffer staple; some of the hottest ladies in the music biz have released upbeat, New Years Eve dance party material in the last month. Scan the racks for Ellie Goulding’s Halcyon, Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die: Paradise Edition, Rihanna’s Unapologetic or Crystal Castles’ (III) and let her hear the rest of the songs the airwaves haven’t overplayed yet.


    1. Jensen Wood Turntable: This ridiculously affordable turntable, which can be found at Urban Outfitters for under $100, is the ideal first record player for the music aficionado who’s just dying to spin the vinyl they’ve been eyeballing. It’s compact, contemporary classic in appearance and will sleekly fit onto any side table or cabinet.


    1. Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10Sufjan Stevens: As one of our generation’s quintessential indie-folk singer songwriters, it feels only natural that his quirky and often spiritually laced acoustic-meets-big band pieces would resurface in holiday form, again, in this five-EP round-up of Christmas-related songs and carols. I always struggle with the idea of giving someone holiday-specific gifts on the day of Christmas, when they’ll only use them for half a day before (very) willingly retiring them for 11 months, but this heartwarming holiday follow-up sure would make for a beautiful Christmas feast soundtrack.


    1. Fluance FISDK500: This is one of the pricier items on the list, but with the amount we spend on our phones (which are also combined music devices, for the most part), I believe that quality, crisp-sounding speakers belong as a part of that package deal. If you’re feeling a little splurge coming on or just crave wall shakin’ circa ACDC, pick up this top-of-the-line technology.


    1. Music Books: This fall has been a banner season for legendary musicians scribbling lyrics of a different kind, specifically autobiographical stories and commentaries about or relating to their musical journey. I’ve read a couple of the books you’ll see above, and let me tell you, I spent just as much time reading as I did pencilling down brilliant observations from these iconic artists, so that I wouldn’t forget them once the last page hit.


    1. Headphones: I would describe this as an absolutely essential gift for any music lover, especially in the winter season. If you like the feeling of earbuds in your ear – I mean, really enjoy shoving a tiny object into your head and then constantly re-adjusting it – I commend you. Anyone who knows me knows that for years, I’ve limited my earbud use to the absolute dog days of summer and exercising, but otherwise enjoy these headphones; not only is the sound quality supreme, but they double as earmuffs during the frosty cold spikes. Try Sony or Apple’s Urbanears classic headphones for this win-win gift.


    1. iPhone Cases: I understand that how we choose to decorate the extension of our hands – otherwise known as our smartphones – might be a personal style decision for the phone user themselves. But, regardless, I’ll admit that having at least one flashy or fun phone skin is kind of a cheap thrill for most ladies out there. If you aren’t comfortable picking one out for someone else, grab her a gift certificate to Holt Renfrew, Free People, or even Etsy, and watch her giggle with glee as she flicks through the limitless gaudy options.


  1. Lyric or music art: A vintage framed poster, framed concert stubs, a mounted autograph – these are all wonderfully personal gifts that will capture something momentous, as well as add a unique decor touch. On another note, as you can see above, I recently created, printed and framed my favourite Avett Brothers lyric and included it in an artwork cluster – so that for a very small price, I can continue to enjoy the meaningful words while admiring the unmatchable touch to my walls.


Check back tomorrow for another day of our 2012 gift guide!

Who are you hoping will release new music in the New Year?

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