Treble’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Bill McMullen Low End Pleasures t-shirtLow End Pleasures shirt

Artist Bill McMullen has had an impressive career that has seen him take visual art into both abstract and pop realms, most famously having designed album covers for the likes of Bad Brains and Beastie Boys. But one of his coolest works, from his Low End Pleasures: Unknown Theory exhibition, mashes up the design aesthetic of two iconic albums — A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory and Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. It’s emblematic of McMullen’s style, which plays with pop culture iconography, and also just super cool on a visual level. (Fool’s Gold; $25 at Fool’s Gold Shop) – JT

Lyrical ArtworksLyrical Artworks

When all else fails, something pretty to put on the walls will pretty much always make a great gift. And when that pretty something caters to the musically nerdy, all the better. Lyrical Artworks is an Etsy shop that specializes in attractive, typographic designs that incorporate lyrics to popular songs, and there’s a vast selection of great songs to choose from, including lyrics by Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, The National, Wilco, Ryan Adams, The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Al Green, The Beach Boys and a whole bunch more. There’s also a staggering amount of Dave Matthews Band, so… yeah. Well, anyway, the designs are cool, and we’d definitely put these up in Treble HQ. ($19.95 each at Etsy) – JT

Morrissey - AutobiographyMorrisseyAutobiography

There’s arguably no figure in popular music that inspires the simultaneous adoration and abhorrence that Morrissey does. Some fans are drawn to his presence as if he emitted a literal magnetic field. Others can’t hide their disdain. And it’s easy to see how it got that way. He’s one of the most important figures in popular music, having cultivated a singular identity of poetic sensitivity undercut with a razor wit — and c’mon guys, how awesome were The Smiths? But he’s also a prickly fellow, prone to harsh criticism of… well, everyone, really. And his recently released Autobiography is, oddly enough, perfect for either extreme. Because when it comes down to it, this is only going to enhance either the admiration or disillusionment that one will feel for him. Long, articulate, and chock full of phrases like “non-human sewer-rats with missing eyes; the loudly insane with indecipherable speech patterns; the mad poor of Manchester’s armpit,” Autobiography is Morrissey amplified, undiluted and unfiltered. Love him or hate him, it’ll be hard to put this one down. (Penguin; $21.67 at Amazon)- JT

Punk 45 bookPunk 45: The Singles Cover Art of Punk 1976-80

Soul Jazz Records has spent the last two decades releasing albums and projects that both highlight and expand the influence of genres such as funk, dub, reggae and ska, so it only makes sense that they take on the rich history of punk-rock as well. The collection includes full-size prints of singles — ranging from MC5 to Talking Heads to The Clash — and a variety of features, including interviews and articles. This book is sure to bring on the punk nostalgia, and to top it all off, Soul Jazz is releasing a series of compilations showcasing many of the singles from the book. (Book: £20; CDs: £10 each. Soul Jazz Records) – AK

Purple SnowPurple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound

The “Minneapolis sound” could refer to a couple of different movements — the raucous punk of The Replacements and Hüsker Dü being one of the biggest. But the Minneapolis Sound in this case is the funk style made famous by Prince (get it? Purple Snow?) and pioneered by the likes of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Purple Snow tells the story of Minneapolis funk before it became a blockbuster, through four LPs of classic Twin Cities jams and a book chronicling the history of a huge, and eventually famous sound, whose complete picture has rarely been seen by audiences outside of its city limits. This is the story of how an infamously cold place created something hot. (The Numero Group; $86.99 at Insound) – JT

Run the Jewels herb grinderRun the Jewels herb grinder

With i’s killer production and air-tight rhymes, El-P and Killer Mike’s Run The Jewels is definitely one of the best hip-hop records of the year, and probably the finest smoking soundtrack of 2013. So — if anyone in your life has equal passions for great music and high times — this Run The Jewels grinder is a perfect gift. And why don’t you throw in a Danny Brown lighter while you’re at it? ($40, Fool’s Gold)- AK

Soul Train bookSoul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation

With a noteworthy discography and a recent rise to mainstream popularity as house band/sidekicks on Jimmy Fallon’s The Late Show (and soon to be Tonight Show), it’s only a matter of time before members of The Roots pursue other forms of artistry. For drummer and co-frontman ?uestlove, who published his memoir earlier this year, one of those pursuits seems to be writing. We’re sure the memoir was great, but as music journalists we’re a little more piqued by his other project, a historic look on the influence that variety show Soul Train had on popular music. The title looks well-researched, is full of behind-the-scenes photographs, and is sure to please the music nerd in your life. (Harper Collins; $44.99 at Insound) – AK

Wu-Tang bicycleWu-Tang bicycle

2013 marked the 20th anniversary of Wu-Tang Clan’s iconic debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and, naturally, a lot of merchandisers are celebrating the occasion. Our favorite has to be this “Wu-Tang Brand” bicycle: a custom-fit, fixed-gear cycle with bullhorn handle bars, yellow and black flourishes, and Wu-Tang logos galore. It’s a dope-looking ride, and a hell of a way to sport your fandom — just do us a favor and make sure you park it inside. ($599, State Bicycle Co.) – AK

The xx singles boxThe xx 7-inch box set

Everybody likes to get vinyl for Christmas — don’t you? — and collectible, beautifully crafted (if somewhat impractical) vinyl is even better. The xx is offering just that in time for the holidays with reissues of their two full-length albums, XX and Coexist, as 7-inch box sets. Each song is pressed onto its own 7-inch single, with the band’s logo etched onto the b-side. They’re playable pieces of art, in a way, which makes it a little more special. But this is really the best way to absorb the band’s music — by soaking in each track invididually. (£55 at The xx shop) – JT

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