PHOTO CREDIT: Iconica
Great Gifts for Music Lovers
IT can’t just be the men…
who will leave things to the last moment! The traditional mentality to panic-buy and wait until Christmas Eve results in some rather questionable and thoughtless gift. Music lovers demand presents a little more personal, impressive and appropriate. With that in mind; a collection of confections – various-prized gifts – that will satisfy your music-obsessed friend/family member.
There should be, in this stuffed and stocked list, something that tickles the fancy; a present that would be perfect for a music fan in your life – and, with a few weeks remaining – plenty of time to get your order in!
IMAGE/PHOTO CREDITS (unless stated otherwise): Getty Images
A U.S.B. Mix-Tape
Still here are the days when romance can be measured by a mixtape! It is a great gift for music fans that prefer their sounds/technology a little older and vintage – the look of a cassette with the attached dongle. It looks great and means you can put their favourite sounds on to the memory stick; hand it over and watch their eyes light – or let them choose their own tracks.
Sia - Everyday is Christmas
The Australian Popstar departs from her confidence and electric songwriter to something tenderer and Christmas-flavoured. Written with Greg Kurstin; this is a collection of modern Christmas songs that are guaranteed to warm the cockles and get the family singing – and are actually pretty decent songs for those who dislike the cheese of Christmas tracks.
Music-Themed Chocolate Bars
The Balance says it best: “When you're starting a food business, you can start out with a plan to either appeal to as many people as possible. Or, you can decide to focus in on a group of people to create products that also, perhaps, tie into your own interests or dietary needs. Within one year, several candy businesses caught my eye as it turned out they were all targeted to the same type of consumer: music and entertainment lovers seeking fun gifts”.
Spire Studio Portable Recording Studio
It is a pricey one for the stocking but a sure-fire winner for any serious musician and producer. It is available via U.K. sites – and should arrive from the U.K. in time for Christmas – and is an all-in-one studio for those who prefer convenience and affordability. As Spire put it: “Record studio-quality sound without the hassle of cables. Instantly edit, mix, and share your recorded songs via a built-in Wi-Fi connection between Spire Studio and the free, Spire app for iOS. Whether capturing a moment of inspiration or collaboration with bandmates, Spire delivers a new kind of recording experience”.
Personalised Song Lyric Print
Surprise the music-lover in your life with a framed and personalised print. You can capture their favourite song lyrics in a gift that is sure to give them satisfaction. Whether they are a Rock or Pop fan; you can give them something that is meaningful and special to them.
Roli Seaboard Block
It is a perfect and lightweight keyboard for those who want to create quick and easy sounds on-the-go – or those who want to sit at home and craft something. The manufacturers say: “Create astonishingly expressive music on a portable, super-powered keyboard. Touch and shape your sound on Seaboard Block's soft, pressure-responsive musical surface. Play a powerful standalone instrument — and extend its power by connecting to other Blocks”.
The Beatles Anthology (Hardback or Softback)
They sang about paperback writers – can’t remember which song it was! – and, here, you can discover how the band got together and why their music creates a timeless joy! It is filled with fantastic and never-seen-before photos and, although the book is a few years old, its relevance and place will never date. I am ordering it for Christmas and feel like it is an essential purchase for fans of The Beatles – and those discovering them for the first time.
Fender Monterey Bluetooth Speaker
Another pricey gift but a high-end speaker that delivers exceptional performance. GAK provided their capsule review of the product: “Powerful and packed with music-friendly features, the Monterey Bluetooth Speaker makes it easy to bring Fender’s classic stage-ready style, performance and sound to your home, office or dorm room. Designed in Southern California, with a look inspired by our classic amplifiers, the Monterey brings Fender’s famously clear sound to streaming music and phone calls. The Monterey channels 120W of power into a pristine quad-driver system; two woofers and two tweeters are precisely matched to”.
StuHub Gift Card
IMAGE CREDIT: @StubHub
This is a nice, easy gift for those who love their gigs. It works like any gift card and can be pre-loaded with various denominations. It is hard affording gigs these days so this is a nice option for anyone who has plans for next year’s big gigs – and needs that financial help to make it a reality.
FiiO X1-II Media Player
This is how Headphone.com sees this incredible piece of technology: “The newly updated - and extremely affordable - high resolution digital media player FiiO X1-II has arrived at headphone.com. This 'second generation' X1-II player / DAP from FiiO now includes awesome wireless Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a tidy touch scroll wheel, improved DAC and headphone amp circuitry plus a cool new look with streamlined navigation and design improvements”.
Personalised Headphone Stand by MijMoj Design
This is something I could do with! Make sure your headphones are given a comfortable place to rest this Christmas! Not only that but you can have this stand personalised – either a great gift for a music fan you know; perhaps it is something you want to treat yourself to!
Wax & Stamp Subscription
This is a brilliant idea for anyone looking to get their vinyl-lover a great gift. Why is this such a sought-after gift, then? “Set up by two friends, Wax & Stamp is a real labour of love. Two records will land on your doorstep each month- one chosen by Wax & Stamp and the other by a guest selector (think DJs, record label heads and artists). By the end of the year you’ll have 24 new releases to add to your record collection. Their focus is on new music, so if you’re looking for a classic, this probably isn’t the answer. However, if you want to keep abreast of the latest news in music but find the choice overwhelming, this will give you a helping hand”.
David Bowie - A New Career in a New Town
Keep the master close to your heart with this fantastic gift. This is how Rolling Stone sees it: “No period in David Bowie's career is more curious than the trilogy of albums he recorded in the late Seventies while living in Berlin's artsy Schöneberg district. They're defiantly uncommercial, stacking soundtrack-y, atmospheric soundscapes alongside pop songs, and they're bizarrely endearing – "The hin-ter-land, the hin-ter-land/We're gonna sail to the hinterland," goes one catchy-yet-strange passage in Lodger's "Red Sails." Stranger yet maybe, this era produced one of his most enduring hits, the anthemic "Heroes," which has been covered by everyone from Oasis to Peter Gabriel and Janelle Monáe. The period, defined by Bowie's collaborations with Brian Eno, was so far-out (even for the former spaceman) that it frustrated his record label and caused a slight dip in his popularity (all of his albums from this period have yet to be certified even gold), though the tales of Bowie's drug-and-alcohol-fueled romps with Iggy Pop and musical experimentation at the time have become the subject of multiple books. Now a new box set, A New Career in a New Town (1977 – 1982), is offering a freshly polished look at the time. It contains 1977's brilliant and sprawling Low and "Heroes" LPs, 1978's live outing Stage, 1979's avant-rock experiment Lodger and 1980's only slightly poppier Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), the last of which, recorded in New York, was intended as a return to commercialism, though it still reads like fractured pop”.
You can easily cast music to your speakers and enjoy music without interruption; it is compatible with Android, Windows and iOS and means you can listen to your favourite tracks wherever you go
Numark PT01 Touring Vintage Suitcase Turntable
This is a nice and well-priced turntable that should be top of the Christmas list! The manufacturers list it like this: “The Numark PT Touring turntable is a classically-styled suitcase unit that recalls the popular portable turntables from the past. PT Touring has a rugged case with a handle so you can carry it anywhere. It plays all your 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records, comes with a 45 RPM adapter, and it has built-in stereo speakers for convenient listening without needing to connect external speakers. In addition, it has RCA outputs for simple connection to home audio equipment and a convenient Auto-Stop feature kicks in when it reaches the end of the record. Plus with its USB port, included USB cable and downloadable EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software, converting analog records into digital files for archiving on your computer is a snap. PT Touring far surpasses the old suitcase turntables in versatility, however. It can also operate on its own built-in rechargeable battery—which means you can enjoy your records even if you’re not near a wall plug”.
Musician Tree Ornmanets
This is an American site but, if you think the tree is lacking that certain something; get onto their site and order your favourite musicians in decoration-form! These ornaments will make you the envy of all your mates – and lend your festive tree a special look and swagger.
A Classic Band Poster
A vintage poster of your loved one's favourite band is a thoughtful gift and one that will live with them forever. As we get more and more involved with the digital tide: it is nice to have a retro slice of music heritage hanging on the wall!
Personalised Favourite Song Lyric Soundwave Print
This is another great gift – like the personalised lyric one – that allows a single moment of music to be captured in a frame. It can be your choice moment from that favourite song – a gift that shows thought and will be appreciated and enjoyed by the music-lover in your life.
Amazon Echo Dot
Trusted Reviews tells you why you need this in your life: “AI assistants are the future, and every home ought to have one right now. They are capable of making your life so much easier, and al you need is to speak out commands and ask for basic information. No longer do you need to take out your smartphone just to perform basic tasks. Right now in the UK, the Amazon Echo is the closest we get to this without stepping into Terminator territory. The only problem with the Echo is that it will prove a little too big and expensive for some. Enter the Amazon Echo Dot – a smaller and more affordable alternative. The Echo Dot offers almost everything the larger Echo does, but for a third of the price. It also adds some crucial features such as Bluetooth and 3.5mm output, which weren’t available before”.
Public Enemy Action Figures
What do you mean you don’t need Public Enemy action figures?! Even if you are not a fan of the legendary Hip-Hop crew, this is a seriously original idea! Have Chuck D and crew in your life always with this stunning set of figures – with the members of Public Enemy looking at you from the shelf. This is a gift that could gain value in years to come – but you won’t want to leave them in the box, that’s for certain!
A Band T-Shirt
If you want an easy gift that you know you’ll get right; there are plenty of websites out there that can deliver great band T-shirts at a good price. It is worth browsing but (the T-shirt) is always a good and durable present for the serious, die-hard music fan!
Gwen Stefani - You Make It Feel Like Christmas
The Voice coach and sometimes No Doubt frontwoman was inspired to write a seasonal song while visiting boyfriend Blake Shelton’s Oklahoma ranch. That initial inspiration soon snowballed into a full-fledged holiday album; featuring six originals and six covers of Christmas classics.
The Queen Is Dead (Deluxe Remaster)
The iconic Manchester band has reissued their classic L.P. with fully-restored version of The Queen Is Dead as well as a number of B-sides and rarities. It also comes with a previously-unreleased live album, recorded in Boston in August 1986 - and a D.V.D. featuring Derek Jarman’s The Queen Is Dead film.
Smokey Robinson - Christmas Everyday
This fantastic set from the Miracle man is an Amazon exclusive, featuring three originals; including the title track - which he first recorded way back in 1963 on Christmas With the Miracles. Covers include Robinson’s take on Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas.
Nonda Zus HD Car Music Adapter
FM, 3.5mm AUX cable and Bluetooth connection to support all car types; regardless of year, make or model...Make and answer calls hands-free to ensure your safety while driving...Sleek, modern design to fit any car interior.
On their website; Audioquest explain why this is such a popular choice: “Launched in 2012, press and public alike have enthusiastically embraced AudioQuest’s multi-award-winning DragonFly USB digital-to-analog converter/preamp/headphone amp as the rare audio product that bridges the gap between die-hard audiophiles and mainstream music lovers. DragonFly plugs into a computer’s USB port to bypass the computer’s compromised audio circuitry and deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful sound to headphones, powered speakers, and complete audio systems. Small, affordable, easy to use, and remarkably effective, DragonFly was named Stereophile’s 2012 “Computer Audio Component of the Year” and 2012 “Budget Component of the Year;” Tone Audio’s 2012 “Digital Product of the Year;” Computer Audiophile’s 2012 “Computer Audiophile Product of the Year;” AudioStream’s “Greatest Bits;” and What Hi-Fi?’s 2014 “Product of the Year.” Perhaps most memorably, DigitalAudioReview.net’s John Darko quipped: “A DAC with the DragonFly’s performance at the DragonFly’s price point is as rare as rocking horse sh*t.” We couldn’t have said it better”.
Steepletone Bluetooth Brighton Cream/Beige Retro 1950s-style 3-Band Portable Radio
This is how the product is described: “EW AND EXCLUSIVE BLUETOOTH VERSION OF THIS EVER POPULAR CLASSIC. Steepletone Brighton 1950's Portable Bluetooth Retro Style Rotary Radio Manufacturer's Description Reminding us of the stylish and much adored radios from the 1950's and 1960's the Steepletone Brighton 3 band retro radio manages to capture the romance and familiarity of yesteryear whilst still giving top quality performance that you would expect from today's radio players. Sounding simply superb the Steepletone Brighton retro radio receives FM, MW and LW (long wave is great for picking up the cricket and the BBC world service), and can be powered via the mains electric (power lead supplied), or for portable use by using 6 x 'C' size batteries (available separately) Further features of the Steepletone Brighton retro radio include: Strong and stylish carrying handle, rotary on/off/volume control, rotary tone control for bass and treble, direct tuning, easy to read dial scale with rotary tuning, push button band selection, beige plastic finish, built in ferrite antenna for MW and LW bands and telescopic aerial for FM (4-section/50cm long). The Steepletone Brighton retro radio also comes with a 1 year warranty”.
The Beatles - The Christmas Records
This is another fantastic Beatles-related gift and one that is appropriate for this time of the year. The press-release assesses it in these terms: “During the height of Beatlemania, from 1963 through 1969, the Fab Four recorded and released holiday messages and songs on flexi-discs for their loyal fanclub members. Those rarities are now being widely released for the first time as a boxed set of colored vinyl singles in sleeves with the original flexi-disc artwork along with a 16-page booklet featuring notes on the recordings and reprints of the band’s National Newsletters, which were sent out to fanclub members with the holiday flex-discs. Note: Four out of six of the singles are one-sided. This is more of a collectors’ piece than a traditional Christmas album”.
Focusrite iTrack Pocket
It’s as simple as connecting your phone, opening the app and hitting record! You can use the built-in microphone for vocals and acoustic guitar or hook up your electric guitar or line level instrument via the input jack. High-quality audio, effects and instant mastering – you’ll be a YouTube star. Capture your performances with a high-quality stereo microphone that fits in your pocket...KeepiTrack Pocket on you, take it anywhere and connect your phone every time you have a great idea...Record straight into Garage Band, iOS Camera App; iMovie, Rode Rec; Loopy HD and Tape.
Astell & Kern AK70
The AK70 is Astell & Kern’s latest portable Hi-Res Audio player. It sits just above the company’s entry-level AK Jr, although entry to A&K’s post-iPod audiophile world costs just shy of £400 and the AK70 is priced at a not-inconsiderable £500. It is a great investment and terrific piece of technology that is worth the money – even as a Christmas gift!
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Consequence of Sound were excited when this set was announced: “The Automatic re-release features the record freshly mixed by original producer Scott Litt and engineer Clif Norrellin in the brand new Dolby Atmos format. This is the first time Atmos has been used to mix commercially available music, and the new tech promises to “[transport] the listener inside the recording studio with multi-dimensional audio.” The four-disc Deluxe Edition includes a bonus disc of 20 never-before-heard demos from the recording session, including the previously shared mythical lost track “Devil Rides Backwards” and the unreleased recording “Mike’s Pop Song”.