Holiday Gift Guide 2013: 25+ Pop Presents
Thanksgiving is now a memory, and that means the 2013 holiday shopping season is officially underway. Rather than head to the store to pick up some forgettable, generic gift, we've got special music-related suggestions for all the many fans and listeners on your list. Among our dozens of possible presents, have a look at everything from pop star perfumes (including One Direction's Our Moment) to rockin' box sets (Bob Dylan's "Complete Album Collection," for starters), plus great music docs, fashions, a great camera and speakers, books and more. There's even an Ed Sheeran guitar for that budding pop troubadour in your life. Tis the season to find that merry musical present for each of your loved ones, so get out your list, check it twice, and read on for audio-friendly ideas for them all.
Famous FragrancesWant to thank the sweetest people in your life with sweet smelling scents from some of the biggest names in pop? Consider Justin Bieber's The Key, a new perfume that follows Boyfriend, his foray into fragrance last year. Meanwhile, many a Directioner will be delighted if they get to unwrap One Direction's Our Moment fragrance, a fun scent for the ladies featuring "splashes of fresh fruit and seasonal flowers," according to its website. Those Katy Kats, however, will certainly feel regal if they get a bottle of Killer Queen, Katy Perry's brand-new fragrance. It's an eau de perfum that comes in a ruby-esque bottle with a tiny crown-like top, and it's also available as a "royal" body lotion.
Music Tech There isn't a music fan anywhere that wouldn't like the gift of some cool tech. Your budding musician may not be able to play guitar with Ed Sheeran, but now you can certainly play one he designed, with C.F. Martin and Co.'s LX1E Signature Edition six-string acoustic, with proceeds benefiting East Anglia's Children's Hospices. Ideal for capturing life's musical moments, the Nikon D800 camera is perfect for photography pros and serious hobbyists alike, with 1080p HD for excellent image quality that is certain to up your favorite shutterbug's game. And everyone loves a great portable speaker or pair of headphones. Check out Bose's SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker, which music lovers can carry around for on-the-go, top-notch sound. It can also connect to smartphones, tablets and other Bluetooth devices. For the rockers and pop fans among you, there are Motörhead's Motörheadphönes (best product name ever?) or E-Panda Hooligan Headphones, created by Bruno Mars drummer Eric "E-Panda" Hernandez.
Rockin' Box SetsCountless expanded editions and compilations by artists big and small are, but some special packages are easily the most worth your cash. The new "Super Deluxe Box Set" for Nirvana's "In Utero," released in commemoration of the album's 20th anniversary, is certainly worthy, with a plethora of collectors' items including B-sides and never-before-heard demos and a DVD of the band's December 1993 "Live and Loud" concert in Seattle. For a new take on a recent hit, grab Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" deluxe box set, with an 180-gram double vinyl of the album with gold and silver foil labels, a 56-page book featuring pictures of the album's recording and its film shoots and more -- all in a cloth-bound box. Meanwhile, Jack White's Third Man Records is going way, way back in time for its Paramount Records Wonder-Cabinet, which follows the rise and fall of Paramount Records from 1917 to 1932 and includes 800 remastered digital tracks representing 172 artists. The first volume, representing the label's first decade in business, is currently available, while volume two will see a release a year from now. Last but not least, check out Bob Dylan's insanely large, career-spanning "Complete Album Collection Vol. One," including 35 studio albums, six live records and a brand-new two-disc set of songs not included on the 35 studio releases. You're gonna need a bigger record shelf.
Band Brews The craft beer explosion continues in 2013, and plenty of musicians are getting in on the fun for all the fans over 21. Hanson, the pop-rock band that rose to fame as kids in the 90s, are all grown up and have turned their signature hit into a signature beer. Mmmhops is a pale ale ale from the Hanson Brothers Beer Company. Want a little more metal with your drink? How about Iron Maiden's Trooper, an English ale named after the rockers' 1983 song and brewed by Robinsons. For a more mellow experience, Dogfish Head has an American Beauty Imperial Pale Ale, named after the Grateful Dead's classic album and made with organic granola. And for any brew connoisseur and country fan will appreciate Blake Shelton's Deer Skull Beer Growler, which holds a full half-gallon.
Books For Listeners A good book is always a go-to choice for the holidays and there's something for everyone -- from the little ones to the music scholar -- in this year's crop of music-related releases reading material. The hilarious "Bun B's Rap Coloring and Activity Book," a 48-page interactive book of fun activities, and coloring pages will amuse young and old rap fans alike. A sure-fire page-turner is Morrissey's "Autobiography," in which the former Smiths singer tells all about his life, career, sexuality and more. Questlove's "Mo' Meta Blues," delivers the world according to the Roots drummer and reveals some of the charismatic bandleader's musical influences, thoughts on current artistry and his time with the hip-hop band. "Inventing the American Guitar: The Pre-Civil War Innovations of C.F. Martin and His Contemporaries" peeks into the history of American guitar design as created by C.F. Martin, the country's first major guitar maker -- just in time for Martin's company's 180th anniversary. "What Does the Fox Say?" Read Ylvis' new children's book, based on the duo's recent viral hit "The Fox," to find out. Finally, if you have someone on your list who's into both 2 Chainz and making meals, get them the rapper's "B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME," which as an added bonus includes his fun #MEALTIME cook book (How are the recipes? We tried them out for you).
BUY THEM: Bun B's "Rap Coloring and Activity" Book
2 Chainz' "#MEALTIME"
Questlove's "Mo' Meta Blues"
"Inventing the American Guitar"
Ylvis' "What Does the Fox Say?" Children's Book
Artist Apparel How about some new outfits for the holiday season? Nicki Minaj has you covered with her new clothing collection sold exclusively at Kmart, featuring dresses, jeans, jackets and more -- so you can dress like the hip-hop superstar. Kanye West has been getting into the fashion game as of late as well, and his G.O.O.D. Music label now has its own official line of clothes -- with crop t-shirts, snapback hats and jackets among the inventory, all featuring the label's name or angel logo. DC Shoes is teaming up with Wu-Tang Clan for the rap outfit's branded sneakers, dropping this month. And for the country fan who likes to stay comfortable, let them unwrap a pair of Keith Urban flannel lounge pants.
Music Movies Music DVDs are always a reliable choice for the holiday gift-giving -- great for entertainment on all those cold winter nights. Try Muse's "Live at Rome Olympic Stadium," the British rock band's July 2013 concert in the massive stadium that was filmed in 4K -- the highest definition possible -- as well as HD. For a light-hearted film experience, there's One Direction's "This is Us," the concert film with footage from the O2 Arena in London. For HBO's "Life is But a Dream," Beyonce revealed details of her personal life and career in an autobiographical film, the DVD release for which also includes live footage from the singer's four-night residency at Revel Atlantic City.
Stocking Stuffers Sometimes the smallest gifts are the most beloved. For filling all those stockings hung by the chimney with care, consider Demi Lovato's nail polish line with The New Black, featuring five different kits total at varying prices and different colors, including black, onyx, hunter green and much more. There's also Ke$ha's jewelry line with Charles Alpert, with an array of necklaces, rings and the like -- and the official website is even running a holiday special that includes free gifts depending on how much you spend. If your giftees are less about getting pretty, why not let Dave Nachmanoff write you a custom song? Send the singer-songwriter your criteria (lyrical ideas and musical style, for instance), co-write the tune with him, or write it yourself and have Nachmanoff record and arrange it. Either way, you'll receive a CD with the song and simple artwork for the cover. This could be a great gift for a loved one, something truly one-of-a-kind.