LOS ANGELES (AP) — Whether it’s for the ardent record collector or the casual listener, the vocalist in the shower or the future rock icon, a music-themed present is always a safe bet during the festive season.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The real challenge lies in making a choice. Is there a method to obtain genre-specific festival tickets? How about a comprehensive box set tailored for a burgeoning audiophile?
Below are diverse gift recommendations for the music devotee in your life – from photo card binders for the K-pop aficionado to a pair of top-notch headphones on the market and a cheese board that boasts remarkably high definition.
This will be music to their ears.
Bestow Them Simone: There exist vinyl box sets, and then there’s the colossal “Four Women: The Nina Simone Complete Recordings 1964-1967,” a massive, seven-LP compilation comprising the seven albums Simone released for the Philips label during her tenure. A prolific creative period. That’s “Nina Simone in Concert” and “Broadway-Blues-Ballads” from 1964; 1965’s “I Put a Spell on You,” “Pastel Blues” and “Let It All Out”; 1966’s “Wild Is the Wind”; and 1967’s “High Priestess of Soul”, remastered from the original tapes. This is the perfect way to honor the musician and civil rights activist, and an exceptional gift for a music fan of any persuasion. Cost: $199.96
Press “Play”: Cassette tapes revolutionized the music industry and the music listening experience: you could create mixtapes for loved ones, record that hit song from the radio, or best of all, play your favorite album on the move. In “High Bias: The Distorted History of the Cassette Tape,” music journalist Mark Masters provides the definitive account of this small but mighty piece of plastic. Perfect for pop-culture enthusiasts. Cost: $20
For your enjoyment: In 2021, Harry Styles ventured into the beauty industry with his brand “Pleasing,” which commenced with vibrant, gender-neutral nail polishes. It continued to expand, eventually encompassing skincare and cosmetics. This holiday season, Styles has made a foray into the fragrance domain. Debuting this month, Styles’ perfume line includes “Closeness”, described as a “woody musk scent”, “Rivelets”, a “floral, fresh amber scent”, and “Bright, Hot,” sporting an “intoxicating woody amber scent.” With top notes of plum and tobacco. Something for everyone, or at the very least, the pop music enthusiast in your life. It’s a welcome diversion from One Direction’s indefinite hiatus. Cost: $135
Say Cheese: It might cause audiophiles a momentary panic, but it doesn’t diminish its cuteness. ‘Tis the season to bring out the charcuterie board and host a fabulous holiday gathering – why not do it with a musical flair? Uncommon Goods’s “Turntable Cheese Board” is just what it sounds like – a cheese board fashioned to resemble a high-end, sleek turntable, complete with a slate platter and a concealed handheld slicer. Delectable. Cost: $78
Hear It Loud: There’s never a wrong time to upgrade your headphones — in fact, it serves as an excellent gift. Sony’s MDR-7506 headphones are an especially astute choice. This pair is perfect for aspiring producers, music students, future podcast hosts, anyone who wants to sport studio-grade headphones on the go, and beyond. They’re the industry standard for good reason. Cost: $80-$130
Her Story Revealed: On November 7, Barbra Streisand unveiled her extensive and long-awaited memoir, “My Name is Barbra.” She had been discussing it for years – in 2021, she shared with Jimmy Fallon that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis requested her to author a memoir in the early 1980s, when the former first lady was an editor at Doubleday. (Indeed, during an Associated Press interview in 2009, Streisand indicated that she had been penning chapters about her life for a considerable time. “I go back and forth,” Streisand mentioned at the time. “Do I genuinely want to chronicle my life? Do I genuinely want to relive my life? I’m uncertain.”) But beyond the wait — and the fact that “My Name is Barbara” is worth it, spanning an autobiography of nearly 1,040 pages – those are the disclosures that await the reader. From her childhood to her marriage, to the conception of “Yental” and beyond. Cost: $47
K-pop chic: Frequently, holiday gift guides — even those designed specifically for music connoisseurs — overlook devoted, artist-specific admirers. And that’s regrettable, because the most considerate gifts are often the most exceptional. They convey to the recipient that the giver genuinely recognizes them. That they listen. For the K-pop enthusiast, why not acquire a photocard binder where they can store their limited-edition collection? Just ensure you know who their “bias” (a K-pop term for a beloved member) is first and foremost, alright? It would be disgraceful otherwise. Cost: $13 – $20
It’s Not a Phase: In his second book, “Goth: A History,” Lol Tolhurst, co-founder of the influential “goth” band The Cure, delves into the frequently misapprehended movement he dubs “the last true alternative outsider.” Termed “subculture”. “It’s certainly about the musical subgenre born out of punk and funk in the late 70s (Joy Division, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and The Banshees) but it’s also influenced by Tim Burton’s films, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven, as well as “the novels of Mary Shelley”. Frankenstein”, Emily Brontë, and an adolescence marked by black nail polish and nihilism. It’s a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and definitive history and part-memoir, perfect for the friend who swears she was in a band before she matured. Loved it. Cost: $20 – $25
There’s Something Going On: In 1995, The Roots introduced their influential sophomore album, “Do You Want More?!!!??!,” a critically acclaimed album in the hip-hop canon. Now, nearly three decades later, a four-LP box set has been released – a remastered version of the original two-LP albums and now with additional tracks curated by Questlove himself. He and Tarik Trotter aka Black Thought penned the liner notes, and it’s the kind of special commentary you can only obtain through a purchase. (And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you could also procure Trotter’s new book, “The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are” and become the ultimate gift bestower among your circle.) Cost: $89.98
Te Amo: What do music enthusiasts truly desire for the holidays? Undoubtedly, the live music experience. Building on the triumph of its premiere in Los Angeles, the Latin music festival Besame Mucho will be making its debut in Austin, Texas in 2024 and is sure to be a sought-after ticket. The lineup features Los Tigres del Norte, Banda MS, Grupo Frontera and numerous others – an occasion not to be missed. Cost: $275 – 950