Thursday, November 22, 2018

Rock And Roll Holiday Gift Guide

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of this blog. Even if you’re not located in the U.S., it’s never a bad idea to take a few moments to consider the things you’re grateful for.

It’s also that time of year when indie newspapers and major publications offer holiday gift guides for their readers. Their choices are usually aimed at those with special interests or hobbies. It’s a great way to discover items you won’t encounter in your local department store. With that goal in mind, here’s the somewhat annual (I’ve missed a few years) Broken Hearted Toy Rock And Roll Gift Guide.

For the vinyl lovers in your life, choose from the limited-edition releases coming to record stores tomorrow only for Black Friday Record Store Day. It’s not as massive as the April version, but there are lots of choices in every imaginable genre. Keep in mind, the earlier you get there, the better the selection.

The Beatles’ White album is now available in various 50th Anniversary editions that include previously unreleased tracks and other bonus stuff, depending on how much you want to spend.

The Rolling Stones put together a collection of vintage songs by their favorite blues artists, titled Confessin The Blues. It’s available as a two-CD set; a Volume 1 and Volume 2 LP set, or a special 5x 10 vinyl bookpack + six art card prints. Stones guitarist Ron Wood created the art for the cover.

And don’t forget to support your local bands. If you’ve seen one you really like in a club, chances are they have stuff you can download or order on their website.

You can treat the comedy fans on your list to tickets to the Saturday Night Live: The Experience exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications on State Street. Walking through the costumes, artifacts, and reconstructed sets kept me smiling, and occasionally laughing out loud. It runs through December 31.

The Stern Pinball company plans to market a new pinball machine based on the early days of Beatlemania. According to an article by Ryan Smith in the Chicago Sun-Times, there will be 1,964 machines in the line, including a 100-run Diamond Edition that could rake in mega dollars from ultimate pinball machine fanatics.

Rock and roll books are always a great choice, and since they’re often visually oriented, you’ll want to give the real thing and not a Kindle version. Here are a few recommendations;

Artist/writer Bill Morrison of Mad Magazine fame has crafted a fun graphic novel treatment of The Beatles’ animated movie Yellow Submarine. It’s published by Titan Comics.

Unstrung Heroes: Fifty Guitar Greats You Should Know by author Pete Braidis casts a spotlight on musicians who aren’t as well known as Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix but are still noteworthy. Profiles include Pat Travers, Steve Hackett, Tony Hicks, Martin Barre, Bruce Cockburn, and Richie Furay.

Classic Rock Photographs From Yesterday And Today combines Jim Summaria’s photographs with Mark Plotnick’s copy. According to Amazon, the book compares famous artists in their prime to how they’re performing now.

It Must Be Art: Big O Poster Artists of the 1960s and 70s finds authors Michael Fishel and Nigel Suckling honoring the gig posters created by the Big O Posters company in swinging London. As you can tell by the cover, this is some eye-popping work.

Monty Python member and Spamalot co-creator Eric Idle has a new book out titled Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – A Sortabiography. Guaranteed to break the ice at naughty parties. Nudge, nudge, know what I mean?

Also, be sure to check out the Facebook pages and websites of your favorite artists for exclusive music, apparel, and other items. Record label websites like Bloodshot, Yep Roc, and Fruits de Mer are always worth shopping, and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame website has lots of inductee and exhibit memorabilia. Pledge Music, Go Fund Me, and other crowd funding sites are a good way to support your favorite artists and pick up autographed items. And you never know what rare treasures you’ll discover on eBay.

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