[Spoiler Alert: If we’re related, please wait till December 26 to read this post. The gift I’m getting you may be listed below. For realsies.]
Hey there, blog reader! You look tense… Do you still have some last-minute Chrismukkah shopping to do? I knew it! Well… does your friend/family member/coworker like music? They do?!? Well hot damn, this is the holiday gift guide for you. Here are three YHT-approved gift ideas that are sure to delight the music-loving friend/family member/coworker that you totally planned to get something for sooner.
1. Mix CD — $Almostnothing.00
I’m serious, don’t sleep on the mix CD. The best gifts have meaning, come from the heart and make the giftees feel like you know who they are and what matters to them. What better vehicle is there for letting someone know you understand their likes and dislikes than a mix CD? Have fun with it by assigning a theme (“Hottest Jamz of 2K11” or “It’s the End of the World As We Know It: Songs for the Impending 2012 Apocalypse”) or by custom-making an album cover (the I Can Has Cheezburger LOL Builder is accidentally great for this), or you can keep it simple and just order the carefully selected songs so that the fourth letters of each artist name spell out a secret code word that gives your friend/family member/coworker a hint as to the location of a key that opens the safe deposit box in Brussels that holds a $15 Panera gift card with their name on it… ya know… whatever! Plus, blank CDs are cheap, you can reuse the wonderful music you and the giftee have been enjoying all year long (i.e. the tunes you already own and AHEM don’t have to spend money on), and it’s easy to assemble a mix CD at the last minute. So if yours is a budget Chrismukkah, or if you have a safe deposit box in Europe that’s just collecting dust, don’t wait! Mix it up!
2. Record Store Gift Certificate — $Dependshowmuchyoulikethem.00
Record Store Day is a wonderful event that brings artists and independent music retailers together to rally support for local record stores. Which made it all the more depressing when my father-in-law and I tried to check out the Black Friday edition and couldn’t because the nearby store that was listed as a participant had closed for business a short time earlier. Independently owned businesses like record stores are essential to the health of our economy and the health of our souls, SO if you know someone who likes physical media, especially vinyl, grab a gift certificate from your local music store and give the gift that keeps on giving. Think about it… record store gift certificates offer immediate gratification (“Sweet! Thanks, bro/mom/respected colleague!”), enjoyable anticipation (“Which Christmas album should I get… Bieber or Bublé?”), and then that special type of satisfaction derived from a purchase made with someone else’s money (Oh parents’ credit card, we sure had some good times in high school, didn’t we?). At the same time, you’ll be supporting your local economy and, if you’re nice to the giftee, you’ll probably be around to enjoy the fruits of their purchase. If you like this idea, but aren’t sure where to turn, here’s a handy iPhone/Andriod app that uses GPS to point you to the nearest record store.
3. One-Year Daytrotter Membership — $24.00
One of the most improbably heart-warming music moments of the year came when Daytrotter, home to a massive library of original recording sessions with thousands of amazing bands, decided to start charging $2 a month for their wares. I wrote at the time that Daytrotter was like the anti-Netflix — instead of anger, the change in pricing structure resulted in an outpouring of support for a service that clearly holds a great deal of value for people who like finding and supporting new music. I’ve been ridiculously happy with my membership, so I was excited to see that you can give one-year memberships as a gift! Fuck yeah! For just $24, you can give your friend/family member/coworker access to an archive of thousands of downloadable mini live albums, all of which can be streamed on a mobile app, and since 3 or 4 new sessions are recorded each day, it’s like you’re giving them a 12 or 16 song album EVERY DAY. FOR A YEAR. FOR JUST $24. That’s some serious bang for your buck. Click here for more information.
I was so excited about this last idea that I created a personal best-of-Daytrotter mix to accompany the gift memberships that I buy. Each track is taken from a different session, and I named it after the Tokyo Police Club song that kicks it off, “Be Good.” Check out “Be Good” below, the rest of the track list at the top of this post, and if you like the looks of Be good for goodness sake… a Daytrotter Xmas, just send me an email with your name and physical address and I’ll mail you your very own copy. Consider it the official YHT Chrismukkah present.
Tokyo Police Club — “Be Good“