The Definitive Holiday Gift Guide for Geeks 2017

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 ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light 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.

Logo Initials 72x40


Star Trek Prop Communicator

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand Hip Ampersand Logos by Derek Dresser

$149.95 Beam in Christmas with the ultimate Star Trek Original series Communicator under your tree this holiday.

Complete your away team kit with the part prop replica and part Bluetooth communicator the ultimate smartphone accessory Crafted by taking 3D scans of screen used props and using authentic materials to create a unique Bluetooth speaker complete with sound effects. The perfect gift for any Star Trek Geek.
Made by The Wand Company the Bluetooth Communicator comes complete with tactical carry case and stand. Grab it, here.

Logo Initials 72x40

LEGO Millennium Falcon

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand 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.

Logo Initials 72x40

Automatic Pro

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light 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.

Logo Initials 72x40

Victrola 6-in-1 Belt Drive USB BluetoothTurntable CD Player

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light  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.

Logo Initials 72x40


Belkin’s WEMO Mini Smart Plug

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light  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.

Logo Initials 72x40


Lady Parts by Andrea Martin

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light 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.

Logo Initials 72x40


Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolli­ng Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light  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.

Logo Initials 72x40

Marshall Stockwell Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light  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.

Logo Initials 72x40

The Unquotable Trump by R. Sikoryak

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand_light  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.

Grab a copy, here.

Vinyl Collection Puzzle

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand 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 ampersandampersandampersandampersand_lightampersand_light 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 ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand 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 ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand (+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.

Logo Initials 72x40

Roku Express

Rated ampersandampersandampersandampersandampersand 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.



Liked it? Take a second to support Vanessa Azzoli on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment