The holiday season has arrived and for those still wondering what to gift the music lovers in your lives, we've got you covered. Sure, buying a CD from the mini-mall may not carry the same sort of appeal it once did (also, good luck finding a CD store), but options abound in the modern era. Be it something to wear, read, watch, drink or -- of course -- listen to, we'll help you find that perfect present for that special someone in your life. Click through for some of our top picks for this oh so merry time of the year.
'Tis the season for holiday merchandi...
'Tis the season for holiday merchandise -- music's favorite new tradition. Beyonce's back, of course, (Ms. Noels Carter, if you're naughty) bringing tidings of joy with merry puns galore. Ms. Spears is looking to get cuddly this Britmas, while Shawn Mendes and the Descendents are aiming to help trim your tree and more. Meanwhile, Foo Fighters' beanie game is on point, Gwen Stefani's ugly Christmas sweater is actually lookin' pretty darn good and Haim has the cutest sweats on the block.
For heavy duty music fans, musicians and casual listeners alike, why not add some new gear to upgrade their setups? Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones offer cordless, professional-grade audio, while the Crosley CT200 Cassette Player heads the other direction as a lo-fi throwback to the good ol' days when tapes ruled. Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 and Teenage Engineering OP-Z deliver futuristic synth sounds for the bedroom producer in your life, and the Samson G-Track Pro USB condenser microphone is a solid, affordable option for vocal recordings, ranging from singing to podcasting. Elsewhere, show someone you care about their hearing with these Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs, give the gift of on-the-go high-quality audio recording with the Roland: R-07 or share a laugh with Big Mouth Billy Bass, everyone's favorite animatronic singing fish that now links with Amazon Echo -- which may or may not work very well (read the reviews first).
Share a cup of cheer (or two, or three) with some hard stuff, courtesy of hard rockers: Metallica and Bob Dylan are serving up whiskeys, while Motörhead, Mogwai and Def Leppard are favoring hops with their own beers for what ales ya.
Sure, stuff is nice, but how about giving the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Looking ahead, 2019 should be chock-full of them with massive tours for music fans of all genres: pop (Ariana Grande, Robyn and Cher), country (Carrie Underwood and Kane Brown), hip-hop (YG), R&B (Ella Mai), Latin pop (CNCO) and rock 'n' roll young 'n' old (Bring Me the Horizon, Rolling Stones), just to name a few.
Vinyl lovers and super fans will relish in these box sets and special-edition reissues. Classic rock offerings abound, with deep-diving collections celebrating Tom Petty, The Beatles, Eagles, John Lennon, David Bowie and Jerry Garcia's pre-Grateful Dead days. Modern rockers will enjoy Chris Cornell's eponymous collection honoring the late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman or indulge in Guns N’ Roses' 'Appetite For Destruction: Locked N’ Loaded Edition' that's a 80-plus-item ode to the heavy metal icons' seminal debut. Meanwhile, Bob Dylan's 'More Blood, More Tracks,' the 14th installation in the musical icon's bootleg series, offers an immersive glimpse into the creation of one of his most successful and personal albums. Or, if you're thinking something more mellow is the answer, check out Brian Eno's ambient 'Music For Installations' set, a totally atypically retrospective from an atypical musical genius.
The Beatles - 'The White Album...
The Beatles - 'The White Album' 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (buy)
Bob Dylan - 'More Blood, More Tra...
Bob Dylan - 'More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14' (buy)
Tom Petty - 'An American Treasure...
Tom Petty - 'An American Treasure' 6LP Vinyl Box Set (buy)
Chris Cornell: 'Chris Cornell'...
Chris Cornell: 'Chris Cornell' Super Deluxe Box Set (buy)
David Bowie: 'Loving the Alien (1...
David Bowie: 'Loving the Alien (1983-1988)' 15 LP Box Set (buy)
Try updating your festivities with fresh tunes this year. There are a handful of new holiday albums worth checking out from John Legend, Diana Ross, Pentatonix, Old 97's, Aloe Black, JD McPherson and more. Even William Shatner is getting in the mix, because there's room for more than one jolly old guy this season.
When the weather outside is frightful, help your loved ones snuggle up with some good books. The Beastie Boys, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Justin Timberlake and music exec Dorothy Carvello have released vastly different memoirs, while The Roots' Questlove offers up an inspiring guide to creativity in 'Creative Quest' and Snoop Dogg is serving his platinum recipes in a new cook book. Other choice reading includes Carol Tyler's 'Fab 4 Mania' graphic novel, an Amy Winehouse photography book filled with previously unseen pics, a history of the U.K.'s exciting grime scene and a tribute to some of music's most rockin' females.
Justin Timberlake - 'Hindsight &a...
Justin Timberlake - 'Hindsight & All the Things I Can't See in Front of Me' (buy)
'Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonc...
'Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl' edited by Evelyn McDonnell (buy)
'From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg's Kitchen' by Snoop Dogg (buy)
'Inner City Pressure: The Story o...
'Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime' by Dan Hancox (buy)
'Anything for a Hit: An A&R W...
'Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman's Story of Surviving the Music Industry' by Dorothy Carvello (buy)
Why not cozy up around a music-focuse...
Why not cozy up around a music-focused (or at least heavily featuring) film this holiday season with something the whole family can enjoy? There's something for all age groups, ranging from 'Coco' for the kids to 'The Greatest Showman,' 'Mama Mia! Here We Go Again,' 'Hearts Beat Loud' and more.
Nothing beats story time for kids and this year delivered a bounty of children's books written by musicians worth picking up. Help nurture a love of reading from an early age with titles by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Belly drummer Chris Gorman, Rory Feek of Joey + Rory, Lava Records CEO Jason Flom and more.
'Apples to Zeppelin - A Rockin&rs...
'Apples to Zeppelin - A Rockin’ ABC for Cool Kids!' by Mr Benjamin Darling (buy)
'The Cow Said Neigh: A Farm Story' by Rory Feek (buy)
'Lulu Is a Rhinoceros' by Jas...
'Lulu Is a Rhinoceros' by Jason Flom, Alison Flom (buy)
Try giving the gift that keeps on giv...
Try giving the gift that keeps on giving this year with a subscription tailored to your music fan's interests. Sub Pop is reviving it's iconic vinyl Singles Club after 10 years; Vinyl, Me Please is now offering two more monthly programs for classic and hip-hop releases, in addition to its essential record of the month; and the PostWax heavy music vinyl subscription series is just starting up for the stoner metal, doom and heavy psych band lovers on your list. Meanwhile, you can't lose with digital services like Spotify and Apple Music, or -- never mind the shameless plug -- how about a subscription to Billboard magazine, for some of the best music reporting around?