Music nerds can be hard to buy for, mainly because they almost certainly already own pretty much any record you can think of getting them (and many you wouldn’t have ever heard of, obviously). But never fear, because there are still plenty of music-related consumer items on which you can spend your Christmas budget to impress the geekiest of music geeks. Here’s a selection of ideas, from fancy box sets and music books to retro listening devices and an Iggy Pop action figure. (No, really.)
This Scott Walker box set $52 (or $199 for the super-deluxe vinyl set), Amazon
Look, any music geek worthy of calling themselves such a thing loves Scott Walker, because he is weird and crazy and many kinds of amazing. This box set collects his output from 1967-1970, when he was still a reasonably straightforward crooner (instead of the strange and wonderful experimentalist he’s become in his later years), and it’s worthy of a place on the shelf of anyone who loves music.
This T-shirt $23, Etsy
Because it’s hilarious and because it will be a fun way to start arguments with people on the subway who insist on bailing you up to say, “Hey, you know that’s not Michael Jackson, right?!”
This Leonard Cohen print $56, Etsy
The lyrics to the great man’s songs (specifically, those off his 1967 debut album), “distilled” into a word cloud. Yes.
A subscription to the Pitchfork Review $45 if you get it before December 15, $50 thereafter
Because at a time when more and more publications are going online-only, it’s encouraging to see a digital music magazine spawn a print quarterly. Plus, the first issue includes Simon Reynolds on ’80s music magazines and a feature on Otis Redding. More info here.
Morrissey’s Autobiography $22, Amazon
It’s finally out here, so why deny yourself — or the music geek in your life — the, um, pleasure of reading his autobiography?
This Lee Hazlewood Industries box set $180, Light in the Attic Records
Who knew that Lee Hazlewood ran a label in the 1960s? OK, well, your music geek friend may well know this, but either way, they aren’t gonna have every single thing released on the label during its five-year history, which is what they’ll find when they open up this crazy deluxe box set. And there’s a 172-page book, just for good measure.
Iggy Pop action figure $16.56, Amazon
No, honestly, I swear that this is a real thing that you can buy.
An actual Walkman
Tapes are back in fashion, don’t you know. This will let your übergeek friend wander round Bushwick to their heart’s content while listening to the Perfect Pussy demo and the latest stuff from Tranquility Tapes and Not Not Fun, etc. Sony doesn’t make them anymore, but you can find them pretty easily on eBay.
Lemur $49.99, iTunes
Seriously, we live in a pretty amazing time for music production. Get a copy of Ableton or Logic or Cubase, and you can do on your laptop what would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to do even a decade ago — and the advent of the iPad has opened up even more possibilities, especially around MIDI control. This is a port of the software that was used to run Lemur’s proprietary touch controller, which used to cost a shitload of money — the iOS app does pretty much everything the controller used to do, for only $50. What a time to be alive.
This 17-disc Can deluxe vinyl box set £274.99, Mute Records
Why yes, I would like this for Christmas. Thank you kindly.