Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Fifth Annual Holiday Shopping Guide

Happy Thanksgiving!

The holiday season is now officially underway, so here are some rock and roll-related ideas for yourself or those special people on your gift list.

A new and exciting version of The Beatles' 1 album just came out, in which each chart-topping hit is matched with a short promotional film created by The Beatles around the same time. The 27 tracks will be in new stereo and surround-sound mixes. There's a deluxe version that comes with over 200 minutes of Beatles promotional clips and a 124-page, illustrated hardcover book.

Graham Nash is about to release This Path Tonight, his first solo effort in 14 years. The 10-song CD is available for pre-order as part of an exclusive Amazon package deal that also includes a DVD that appears to have been filmed during Nash's last solo tour. 
 
In addition to selling instruments and accessories, The Music Room in Palatine has some fun stocking stuffers. There's a variety of guitar ornaments, as well as a set of four coasters that look like vinyl records. Each coaster depicts a different rock era; the early days in Memphis, the California scene, the British Invasion, and Woodstock.
   
If you don't mind getting up cloudy and early tomorrow morning, Black Friday Record Store Day offers a wealth of limited-edition vinyl treasures across every imaginable genre for avid collectors. Talk about a unique gift. This year, the list includes vinyl from The B-52's; Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie/Bud Powell/Max Roach; Phil Collins; Beck; Jeff Beck; Earth, Wind and Fire; Big Star; David Bowie; Ben Harper; John Lee Hooker; The Isley Brothers; Janis Joplin with Big Brother and The Holding Company; Les Paul and Mary Ford; Jerry Lee Lewis; The Kinks; and The Zombies. Supplies are limited and a lot of these records sell out quickly. See the official Record Store Day website for details. 
 
WXRT's Live From The Archives Volume 17, the latest in a series of CDs that feature exclusive concert performances that have aired on the FM station, will be available on Friday, December 4 at Target stores in the Chicago area. This year’s edition is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, with proceeds benefiting The City Project and the Logan Square Neighborhood AssociationThe songs include "Take Me To Church" by Hozier and "Ex's and Oh's" by Elle King, along with lesser-known but engaging tracks like Bob Mould's "If I Can't Change Your Mind," Wilco's "Box Full Of Letters," and Veruca Salt's "Seether. I still think WXRT should offer some sort of cool container for those of us who have collected the entire set.
 
The Fest For Beatles Fans annual holiday catalog has 32 pages of Fab Four inspired memorabilia, that includes cufflinks, bottle openers, lamps, socks, dice, dart boards, jigsaw puzzles, plush dolls, lunch boxes, pajamas, and umbrellas. If you’re not on the mailing list for the catalog, you can check out the Fest For Beatles Fans official website.
 
A number of new rock and roll biographies and autobiographies have been released recently, including Don't All Thank Me At Once - The Lost Pop Genius Of Scott Miller, Brett Milano's book about the Game Theory and The Loud Family singer-guitarist. For those interested in finding out all about Tom Petty, there's Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes. Elvis Costello penned Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink; Patti Smith gave us M Train; and Chrissie Hynde looked back at her career with Reckless: My Life As A Pretender.
 
You can purchase t-shirts, buttons, magnets, holiday songs, tour books, or other special items by checking out the websites of your favorite recording artists.
 
Concert tickets are always a nice surprise as a holiday gift, but don’t neglect the local clubs. Here in Chicago, we have an especially active music community that encompasses rock, jazz, blues, hip hop, house, soul, country, and classical. Just about every group has a website where you can buy its music in various formats. Support your local bands. The same goes for Chicago’s theatre scene, which ranges from Broadway-bound productions to the in-your-face work of storefront venues.

This holiday season, give thoughtfully, and give creatively.

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