Happy holidays! Can’t figure out what to buy as gifts for the music lovers in your lives? Check out our handy guide below for some helpful tips!
From head to toe (and hats to socks), clothes seem like a necessity for holiday gift-giving. But why not throw some pop in your loved one’s style with outfits given the a-okay by some of music’s biggest names? Taylor Swift is out with more unique shoe styles and patterns for Keds, continuing her longtime collaboration with the brand. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath teamed up with Converse on some heavy metal Chuck Taylors and cartoon wrongdoer rapper MF Doom is in cahoots with Clarks on some desert boots that look more versatile than villainous. And sneaker heads out there might be elated at some of Pharrell Williams and Adidas’ Stan Smith Solid kicks that are nearly sold out everywhere now.
But if the “Happy” singer’s shoes aren’t in the cards, maybe something from his collaboration with G-Star called RAW for the Oceans, recycling ocean plastic into stylish wares. The Jam’s Paul Weller recently got into the apparel business as well, launching his Real Stars Are Rare clothing brand, specializing in mod and contemporary looks fitting of the Style Council frontman. For the ladies, Nicki Minaj continues her team up with Kmart, including some snake prints inspired by her booty-shaking hit, “Anaconda.” Or maybe score some romance points with Britney Spears’ Intimate lingerie line. And for the kids in the family, tap into that North West look, courtesy of Kim Kardashian‘s Kardashian Kids line — personal stylist not included.
If you have music scholars in your life, consider books or box sets. Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues by the Celtic punks’ own accordionist is a must-read for Pogues and general rock fans alike, chronicling the group’s rise through Great Britain’s 1980s music scene. Meanwhile, Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith delivers a stateside saga of one of rock’s biggest bands as told by its well known guitar-slinger, Joe Perry. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus tackles the revolutionary notion of rock ‘n’ roll by taking 10 songs recorded between 1956 and 2008 — from “Transmission” by Joy Division to “To Know Him Is to Love Him” by the Teddy Bears and later by Amy Winehouse — and using each to embody the genre and culture. Eric Weisbard’s Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music confronts our notions of popular music by way of radio and how genres have come to define class, race, gender and region. Ode to Billie Joe, by Tara Murtha tackles Bobbie Gentry‘s beloved 1967 album for the 33 1/3 series, investigates Gentry’s career and the real-life mysteries surrounding the album’s origin. And Mick Fleetwood‘s candid memoir Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac tells the drummer’s story of confounding and building one of rock’s most successful and adored bands after four decades. Or, for the yougin’ in the family, why not Bruce Springsteen‘s cowboy children’s book Outlaw Pete, illustrated by artist Frank Caruso and based on the The Boss’ song by the same name.
Perfect for newcomers or dedicated Springsteen fans, the The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984 seven-disc box set comprises The Boss’ first releases for Columbia Records on remastered in recreations of their original packaging, on vinyl and CD. Video game and music aficionados alike went nuts for Grand Theft Auto V last year, and with GTA V’s relaunched on new platforms this fall its massive soundtrack is getting a limited edition three-CD and six-vinyl release so you can chill like you’re in Los Santos anytime. Meanwhile, the Paul McCartney tribute album The Art of McCartney that features heavy hitters from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson is available in a “Super Deluxe Exclusive” box set via Amazon that goes far beyond the former Beatle’s songs with multiple colored vinyl discs, CDs, guitar-shaped USB sticks with Flac Files, DVD and audio documentaries and plenty more. While rock fans were saddened by the passing of Cream‘s Jack Bruce this year, the bassist’s band now has its entire six, career-spanning studio and live albums together in a vinyl box set for the very first time, simply titled Cream: 1966 – 1972. And Creedence Clearwater Revival will too have their entire studio output compiled for vinyl release in the seven-disc, The Complete Studio Albums set — consider whoever gets this gift a very “Fortunate Son.
From films of fiction to documentaries and live concert footage, music fans have endless avenues for audiovisual entertainment. For something more off beat, consider Frank, where Michael Fassbender plays the title character, a talented musician who won’t remove his bobble head-like mask to the world. Meanwhile, John Carney‘s Begin Again starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine is the story of making it in music, set to a moving original soundtrack. God Help the Girl is Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch‘s directing debut, wherein three aimless wanderers in Scotland converge to form an indie rock band. And, naturally, Disney’s Frozen almost needs no introduction or explanation, with a soundtrack that spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year.
Rock fans should get a kick out of the six-DVD The Midnight Special video box set, including nearly 100 performances from the 1970s and early 1980s musical variety show, including sets ranging from AC/DC to The Village People. For epitomizing performance footage by Queen, look no further than the Live at the Rainbow ’74 blu-ray or DVD, showing the band in 1974 riding high off hit singles “Seven Seas Of Rhye” and “Killer Queen” with footage from three sold-out shows in a year at the legendary Rainbow Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park. Meanwhile, Anyone interested in R.E.M.’s alt-rock legacy ought refer to the six-DVD collection REMTV, documenting the band’s legacy through virtually performances, TV clips and a full-length documentary from interviews at various stages of the band’s history. Or check out the Fela Kuti documentary, Finding Fela, chronicling the legendary Afrobeat creator’s life, music and social and political importance, featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and Questlove offering praise. If you’re looking help curate a more heady experience, perhaps The Doors‘ Feast of Friends is the right gift — a previously bootleg-only cult favorite produced by the band in 1968 offering a highly stylized cinematic look at The Doors on the road during their summer ’68 tour.
We all know memory is tied to smell more than any other of the senses, so why not give your loved one a present to remember you by from some of the biggest names in pop? If Beyonce‘s your diva, why not her Heat Wild Orchid, the sixth in the singer’s Heat line? Meanwhile, Pharrell Williams this year unveiled his GIRL wood-based fragrance for girls and boys with Comme des Garcon that’s worth consideration. Directioners out there will be giddy to unwrap One Direction‘s You and I scent, the group’s third, which is also available as a candle. And if you’re not feeling so mainstream in your smell stylings, check out Sun Ra’s Prophetika Perfume Fragrance touting hints of Cairo, Chicago and Casseopia.
If celebrity scents aren’t your thing, consider cosmetics to conjure that Top 40 vibe. MAC has teamed with Lorde on matching her Pure Heroine lipstick, and also Rihanna on a Viva Glam collection that includes lipstick and lipgloss. Or get nails like Rita Ora Rimmel London’s Rita Ora 60 Seconds Nail Polish.
These days, it’s not just what you listen to but how you listen to it. So consider some fresh tech options for your loved ones. With vinyl on the upswing, any music fan can dig into the return-to-retro trend at a reasonable price with Audio-Technica’s AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable. And anyone digging into crates and the vinyl medium would appreciate some help keeping their collection clean with the easy-to-use Spin Clean Record Washer System Starter Kit MK II, resulting in less noise and more resolved music. Of course, anyone looking to upgrade their home audio system would be best off upping their speaker-game, and though Bowers & Wilkins’ 685 S2 aren’t cheap they’re considered one of the best values around. If home streaming is the goal, Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter is a popular option, paring with PC speakers, home stereo systems and AV receivers with mobile devices, tablets and laptops. Or check out mobile bluetooth speakers like the Bose SoundLink Color, which comes in a variety of hues and gets a big sound for its small package. And if video streaming is more of interest, Roku’s 3500R Streaming Stick makes accessing a plethora of video streaming services onto one’s home television easy and affordable, just plugging in to the TV’s HDMI port and they’ll be just about ready to go.