Treble Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday season is here. You can hear it in the horribly mangled lyrics to Christmas carols in commercials for “doorbuster” sales. You can smell it wafting from eggnog lattes. And you can see it on your neighbor’s brightly blinking light display. And that means we’ve all got a lot of thinking to do about the perfect, pretty good, or hell, we’ll even settle for adequate gift for our loved ones. If those loved ones are music fans, however, there’s no shortage of cool options for music, merch or accessories for that fan. We’ve assembled 18 of our favorite items this year in an effort to help you on your way toward knocking out that shopping list early. And if you feel like keeping one or two for yourself, we won’t judge. Step this way, into the Treble Holiday Gift Guide 2015 showroom.

Neko Case box set

Neko Case – Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule box set

When Neko Case’s 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was reissued on vinyl for Record Store Day, it gave a few lucky fans the chance to own a piece of her back catalog on vinyl. The rest, though? That’s been a little hard to find. Anti- is doing fans a solid by releasing all of her studio albums, plus the Canadian Amp EP, on vinyl. Six out of the eight albums in the box have been either out of print (like the essential Blacklisted) or never before released on vinyl (like debut album The Virginian). This is pretty much at the top of our lists, and if it’s not on yours, you’re either a serious collector, or… well that’s the only reason we can figure. ($199; Anti)

holiday gift guide 2015 hunger

Carrie Brownstein – Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir

From Excuse 17 to Sleater-Kinney to Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein’s life has touched some of the most important artistic and social movements of the recent past. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl dives into Brownstein’s personal journey into artistry and is an intimate, comedic memoir that Kim Gordon says “everyone has been waiting for.” ($16.77; Amazon)

holiday gift guide 2015 record player

Third Man Children’s Turntable

Jack White has been known to do a lot of absurd stunts involving vinyl, but in the long run it’s for the greater good. One of the things his label, Third Man, offers is a portable children’s turntable, depicting a fun record-faced mascot, Manny. There’s no reason not to start your kids off early on their road to vinyl obsession, and it’s even better that they have a cool, kid-friendly record player on which to begin that potentially expensive but ultimately rewarding road to obsession. And if you feel like starting your kids off as hip as possible, Third Man also just released a new Courtney Barnett 7-inch, which features a cover of a song by The Boys Next Door, who later became The Birthday Party. ($89.95, Third Man)


SwansWhite Light from the Mouth of Infinity/Love of Life box set

Every Swans album that was released on vinyl before they broke up the first time went out of print well before Michael Gira reconvened the band for their 2010 comeback, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky. In fact, they went out of print long before that, but Gira and his Young God imprint are rectifying the major gaps in the marketplace with some high-profile reissues of past Swans records. Last year, Swans re-released debut album Filth, and in December they’re releasing a box set featuring their 1991 masterpiece White Light from the Mouth of Infinity and its follow-up, 1992’s Love of Life. It marks the first time these records are available on vinyl since the early ’90s, and the packaging is gorgeous. Just look at it! They’re a pair of post-punk/goth/industrial classics, and they’re being delivered in an even more beautiful package. ($60; Young God)

holiday gift guide 2015 meow

Meow the Jewels swag

Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels know how to make some quality merchandise, but they’ve outdone even themselves promoting this year’s charity remix LP Meow the Jewels. The haul includes some fantastic t-shirts, as always, but perhaps a more interesting gift for a feline-loving hip-hop head would be the “MTJ cat bowl” or the “Cat and Mousepad,” which are both practical and stylin’. (Prices vary; Run the Jewels)

holiday gift guide flexi

Decibel flexi discs

Decibel Magazine has been consistently giving a good name to extreme music press for more than a decade, but they’ve also done a great service to their readers by including a series of exclusive flexi discs with new issues. There’s a long list of back issues that feature these flexible, paper thin vinyl curiosities, which include rare tracks by Godflesh, Pallbearer, Toxic Holocaust, Exhumed, In Solitude, Pentagram and many others. Individual back issues with discs are available to order, or you can sign up for a subscription, and let the metalhead in your life get a monthly gift of heavy, but flexi, new music. (Price varies, Decibel)

Unwound Empire

Unwound – Empire Box Set

It’s no secret that post hardcore legends Unwound are a staff favorite around Treble, so we’ve been pretty stoked on The Numero Group’s vinyl reissue series of the punk group’s catalog. This year saw the end of that re-issue campaign in the form of Empire, a box set combining Unwound’s penultimate LP Challenge for a Civilized Society and final double LP Leaves Turn Inside You, as well as some rarities and collectibles. ($45 for 4X LP, 55 w/ bonus LP; Numero Group)


Sub Pop flask

There’s no shortage of ways to smuggle hooch into public places, but it’s more punk rock to do it with a flask that wears your cred on its literal sleeve. Sub Pop, whose merch game has been on point for more than two decades, sells a handsome flask with its iconic logo imprinted on it. It’s made of stainless steel, too, so it can take a licking at a semi-legal warehouse show and won’t spill a drop. You do have to remember to screw the top back on, though. That’s on you. ($30; Sub Pop)

Roforofo FightFela Kuti vinyl reissues

Fela Kuti’s back catalog is pretty tricky to track down on vinyl. Some of those original pressings are both hard to find and really expensive, so special acknowledgement goes to Knitting Factory for getting those albums back in print. This year, the label reissued six titles—Roforofo Fight, Everything Scatter, Alagbon Close, Na Poi, Fear Not of Man and Beasts of No Nation. Improve your holiday with the gift of an Afrobeat pioneer. (Price varies; Knitting Factory)

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