Where to start for the geek or music lover in your life? Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered.
Socan’s “Music Loves Everybody” Knit Socks
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Vanessa Azzoli$17 Let’s start off the list with a charitable addition.
I just got an email from SOCAN telling me about these socks, and I couldn’t help but include them on this list. This would be a perfect gift for ANY Canadian music love on your list. Here’s what they had to say about them: “This year SOCAN is proud to introduce their “Music Loves Everybody” knit socks. Priced at $17 all proceeds from the sale of the socks go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, a non-profit charity that provides emergency relief services to the Canadian music community in times of personal or professional crisis.”
Grab a pair, here.
Star Trek Prop Communicator
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Derek Dresser$149.95 Beam in Christmas with the ultimate Star Trek Original series Communicator under your tree this holiday.
LEGO Millennium Falcon
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Peter Christensen$899.99 One of the largest LEGO sets ever, the updated 2017 Millennium Falcon is sure to excite Star Wars fans and LEGO fans while keeping you busy assembling the 7541 bricks over the holidays. Remove the canopy to reveal the 4-mini figure cockpit and remove hull plates to explore the intricately detailed inner workings of this iconic Star Wars favourite, including a the main hold and gunnery station. Interchangeable parts allow you to alter the Falcon’s exterior, and the included mini figures let you play out classic Star Wars scenes or enter the world of Episodes VII and VII. I’d be thrilled to find this under the tree this year because it would allow me to relive my childhood memories of hours-long LEGO-building sessions and perhaps, finally, play the role of Chewbacca.
Grab it, here.
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Derek Dresser$129 Gift idea for the car geek on your list! Automatic Pro connects to any car manufactured since 1997, when OBD port (On board diagnosics) was introduced. The Automatic Pro includes a cellular 3G support connecting the car to the Internet of things. Track vehicle health, trip details and more.
Grab it, here.
Victrola 6-in-1 Belt Drive USB BluetoothTurntable CD Player
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Vsem Yenovkian$139.99 My pick is this groovy 6-in-1 turntable. It’s the perfect gift for any audiophile. It can play any LP at 3 different speeds, along with CDs, and cassettes. Best of all it’s Bluetooth enabled. So no matter what era you collected your music you can now play your entire collection. Also if you ever wanted to get into the habit of collecting LPs (and you really should) this is the perfect way to start.
Grab it, here.
Belkin’s WEMO Mini Smart Plug
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Vanessa Azzoli$34.99 Looking to make your home smarter? This is a relatively inexpensive way to convert some plugs in your home to smart plugs. Simply plug it into an outlet and pair it with your home’s wi-fi, and you’re ready to go. There’s a simple-to-use app that allows you to power the plug on and off directly from your phone. Bonus: it actually works from a distance – which helps when you’re out for dinner and forgot to leave a light on for your dog (speaking from experience…). Double bonus: it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa AND Google home.
Grab it, here.
Lady Parts by Andrea Martin
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Krista Holmes$18.99 Hilarious read! I still think of her as the crazy Greek aunt from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it’s hard to remove that image from your mind while reading. However, the Beats portion of me recommends this book as it will entertain you in the great ways that any good book should….while giving you a chuckle at times, and then shedding a tear others.
Grab it, here.
Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Amber Healy$19 Yes, Rolling Stone isn’t what it used to be. It’s smaller, it’s possibly more political and obviously partisan, it focuses too much (I think) on fads (artists, technology and otherwise) that don’t matter and that stray from what many would perceive as its roots.
But Rolling Stone cannot be ignored when it comes to the history of music journalism. For many, the dream of working in music as a journalist starts with Rolling Stone. The writers here have made and broken careers and albums with a few clicks of a keyboard.
This book, released in commemoration of the magazine’s 50th anniversary, takes a deep dive into the magazine and the world around it. Some issued I’d like to see discussed likely aren’t – why women on the cover are photographed so differently than men, a subject that was the topic of my senior thesis in college – but for a history of the magazine we’ve all probably purchased and hungrily read at one time or another is a worthy read for music fans.
Grab it, here.
Marshall Stockwell Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Christa Sampson$299.95 Marshall portable Bluetooth speaker. Who wouldn’t want to blast their tunes from a speaker that bears the same name and look of the amps used on stage by their favourite band? Sign me up! It gets good reviews for sound quality and you can use it to charge your devices too, but the price is a little steep.
Pick yours up, here.
The Unquotable Trump by R. Sikoryak
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Shane Alexander$20 I found this the other week when I stopped by Guelph’s big bookstore, The Bookshelf. It was placed in the front of the store, in plastic. Wasn’t able to open it, but by the looks of the cover, it was worth finding out more of this marvellous make. Apparently 25% of net proceeds will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Vinyl Collection Puzzle
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Amber Healy$30.74 For those who enjoy puzzles on cold winter nights, or sunny afternoons, or are just looking for a way to put together their own collection (geddit?), check out this nifty piece (ha!): a 550-piece puzzle featuring a photo of an album collection. This seems like one of those puzzles you’d want to glue together once it’s been completed and hang it up on the wall – above your stereo and turntable, of course.
If the pieces were shaped like guitars or pics or amps or something, it’d be cooler, but that probably wouldn’t work, logistically.
Get one, here.
Pat McGrath Labs // Mothership III: Subversive Palette
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Christa Sampson$158.91 Is anyone aware that you can now buy makeup on Spotify? Well, now you can via the merch page for artist Maggie Lindemann. I actually didn’t know who Maggie Lindemann was until I read up on this, but she is the current muse of world renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath, hence the collaboration. There are various lip and eye products available, but my favourite is the Mothership III eye shadow palette. Although tied to a musical artist, the names for some of the shades in this collection will also satisfy your inner geek: Gigabyte, VR Pink and Astral Ghost Orchid to name a few. Just like the lyrics in Lindemann’s song “Pretty Girl” – “Somedays I’m broke/Somedays I’m rich”, you need to be rich to splurge for this and will be broke afterwards. Kudos to Spotify for branching out in their merch offerings; however, the information regarding ingredients and animal testing by Pat McGrath Labs is a little sketchy, so for that and the price I would rate this a 3/5.
Grab one, here.
True North: A Life Inside the Music Business by Bernie Finkelstein
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Krista Holmes$16 Amazing. I love it on so many levels; not only because I love many of the artists that he references throughout the book, but because it is a back door into the history of the Canadian music scene. His book appeared in my Amazon feed at the right time – when I was ready to give up on the industry. Grab yourself a drink, and read what passion, energy and a whole bunch of gumption did for this Canadian music legend.
Get it, here.
“Long Time Running” and “A National Celebration” DVDs from The Tragically Hip
Rated (+100) Hip Ampersand Logos by Amber Healy
$19.99 It’s ok if you’re still heartbroken over the loss of Gord Downie. It’s ok if you’re limiting your listening of their music and still can’t bring yourself to open the copy of Gord’s “Introduce Yerself,” announced in September and released a week after his death.
But when you’re ready… the band is releasing regular and deluxe editions of both the Kingston concert and the “Long Time Running” documentary, just in time for Christmas. There’s the complete remastered vinyl box set too, but that’s been sold out – as has the commemorative case filled with just air for the moment – for ages.
You need to visit The Hip’s merch store, here.
Rated Hip Ampersand Logos by Vanessa Azzoli$39.99 The Roku Express is a great place to start for people who are coming into the world of streaming on their TV for the first time. (Also… where have you been?)
It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and gives you access to all the major streaming services such as Netflix, Google Play, YouTube and more. And because we’ve all been so accustomed to using a remote for all our lives, it’s easy to figure out. So, if you’re looking to cut cable – finally – do it with this. You’ll adjust just fine.
Get yours, here.