It’s early December. The time of gift idea generation. In fact, did you know that the word “December” is actually derived from an ancient Sanskrit word that means “Shit, what was that thing my wife said she really wanted when we were waiting in line at Banana Republic back in April?” It’s true!
The good news is that, if you have a friend or significant other who has a record player and eats food, you can cross one person off your list right now, thanks to Turntable Kitchen. If you haven’t heard of it, Turntable Kitchen is a really neat site that marries two of the Internet’s most conspicuous obsessions — conveniently, the two Mrs. YHT and I blog about — and they offer one of the coolest gifts I’ve seen in ages: the Pairings Box.
If you’re lucky enough to have a monthly subscription, each box nets you a limited-edition, hand-numbered, 7-inch (three pairs of hyphenated words in a row — make a wish!) vinyl single, an exclusive, downloadable digital mixtape and 1-2 “premium dried ingredients” (the site lists spices, flours, grains and beans as examples). I got to see one of these assemblages up close this weekend was wildly impressed.
Impressed and jealous, especially of the 7-inch single. Hand numbering gets me every single time. Something about the feeling it fosters — “There are many like it, but this one is mine” — just hits me the right way (I’ll never forget buying my used copy of the White Album [No. 2282072] for that very reason). I grew jealouser still when I saw that the single’s B-side featured the cover of Miguel’s “Sure Thing” by Oakland-based group, Trails and Ways. I first found out about this rendition from 70 Day Weekend a little while back, and it was a big reason why I made my way over to NPR for the first listen of Miguel’s outstanding 2012 release, Kaleidoscope Dream.
I think it’s so cool when groups take the time to write new lyrics to a song they’re covering. In this case, Trails and Ways decided to take the “Sure Thing” baton and speed off with all-new verses, expanding the song’s purview “We Didn’t Start The Fire” -style to include Karl Marx, Miles Davis, Pablo Neruda, Jakie O and women’s suffrage, among other people/places/concepts. It’s as clever as it is well-executed, and I encourage you to check it out below, along with the single’s dreamy A-side, “Nunca.” When you’re done, click here to learn more about giving a Pairings Box gift subscription. Or you can just be selfish and buy one for yourself, like I might.
Hear that, Mrs YHT?!?