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10 Holiday Gifts for Music Fans
Music lovers are a particular bunch. They have very specific tastes, an ear for detail, and can be pretty tough to buy for. How do you know what genre they’re into, what they already have, what they don’t have, what they want? Get the wrong thing and you’ll look, well, lame. Thankfully, we have 10 suggestions that would make almost any music lover happy.
Meet Me in the Bathroom
It might seem weird at first to give someone a book whose title alludes to illicit activity in a disgusting club toilet, but Meet Me in the Bathroom tells the story of the rebirth of the New York rock scene in the artist’s own words—featuring The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend.
Twin Peaks: Music From the Limited Event Series
David Lynch has always been known for his phenomenal taste in music, whether it was helping to produce the original Twin Peaks theme with Angelo Badalamenti or making music with Julee Cruise, who became his dream pop muse of the original show. Music played an important role in Twin Peaks: The Return, as every episode closes with a performance of a different band at the Roadhouse from Chromatics, Sharon Van Etten, Nine Inch Nails, Cruise, and more. And they’re all compiled here in a beautiful black and red vinyl.
Kendrick Lamar Damn. Double Vinyl
Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. isn’t only the best album of this decade, it remains one of the greatest of all time—a masterpiece that transcends one man and his relationship with race, god, and the failings of the American dream. Shortly after he released this album, he announced that it was meant to be listened either backward or forward. At the end of last year, he made that possible, releasing a deluxe LP that included a version in reverse. Listened to this way—which some fans actually prefer—it opens up what feels like more of a concept album with a linear narrative.
Teenage Engineering TE010AS020A PO-20 Arcade Pocket Operator
Whether they want to dabble in making beats or just mess around, the Teenage Engineering arcade synthesizer module is a stripped-down, easy to use synth that can go pretty much anywhere. And if the giftee starts getting really into it, the drum machine can be connected to other Teenage Engineering synths for a full tabletop rig.
AUDIO TECHNICA AT-LP60 FULLY AUTOMATIC STEREO TURNTABLE SYSTEM
If you’re sure this person doesn’t have a turntable yet and you want to hook them up with a good beginner one at a good price, this is your buy. At $89, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System is an absolutely great deal. It’s easy to use and won’t run the risk of ruining your vinyl with an improperly weighted tonearm. Plus, this is an excellent turntable for them to test the waters of vinyl. It’s easy to set up easy to use (for anyone not tech savvy or born after 1980).
Sonos One Speaker
It can be intimidating getting involved in someone’s home sound system. A music fan takes that shit seriously. And even for a casual music fan, a new speaker setup can be daunting. Thankfully, Sonos makes everything—literally everything—easy. This system is easy to set up, easy to love, easy to add onto, easy to gift. If someone already has a sound system, they can still use Sonos for music in a different room. If they need a new home sound system, then this is an awesome starter speaker that they can add on to and fill the entire house with music. If this all sounds stressful—don’t worry, it’s not. The Sonos app guides you through such an easy setup that you basically just need to plug it in (or link with your TV speakers). From there, it’s the best speaker you can find for the price.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II
If you’re like me, headphones can be a tricky buy. In-ear headphones need to be something you try on yourself, test out a little bit. Same goes for workout or commuting headphones. But, if you have someone who spends long hours listening to music on headphones while working or for just a little bit of solitude, then a good pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones are pretty easy to pick out as a gift. You just have to get the right pair. Thankfully, no matter who you’re buying for, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II have excellent sound—especially for wireless headphones—along with an impressive 20 hours of battery life and access to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Speaker
These days everyone has some sort of portable speaker—especially music lovers. But, portable being portable, some folks will buy any random cheapo thing for a day in the park or at the beach or a weekend camping. But, everyone can use a better speaker. You can’t go wrong buying someone the JBL Charge 3—the best wireless, waterproof speaker you can find in this price range. The sound is great and the cost isn’t astronomical, so no one should feel guilty putting it through the elements.
The sleekest and easiest to use vaporizer on the market, the PAX 3 is discrete and works fast and clean. Plus, the 8-10 sessions per charge will work for any lengthy outing. Please enjoy in any legal setting. Best paired with music.
Mophie Powerstation Plus XL
Okay this looks like a nerdy tech-dad gift at first glance, but anyone who listens to a lot of music using their phone knows it’s absolutely necessary. Listen to music while commuting, while at home through your home sound system, while at the gym, you’ll need to charge it on the go. How about if you go to a lot of concerts, to music festivals? Yep, these portable chargers are a godsend. Most importantly, these things are small enough to fit in your pocket and keep a phone charged for 34 hours. Because, especially if you’re at a festival, you’ll sure as hell need it.