These gifts will cause any music lover to happily break out in song
MOVE suggests DIY, online and physical gifts any music lover will enjoy
Dec. 08, 2015
Shopping for a music-obsessed friend for the holidays can be difficult when you don’t know exactly what kind of music they like or what they already own. If you’re tired of secretly keeping track of your friend’s iTunes wish list so that you can get them the perfect CD, MOVE has some alternative suggestions for music-lover gifts.
Concert tickets This one is basically a given. It’s not too hard to find affordable concert tickets in a college town, and Columbia is no exception. The Blue Note is a fun yet affordable venue, with upcoming acts that include Tech N9ne, Alison Wonderland and Yellow Claw. The University Concert Series also offers some interesting events, such as violinist Ray Chen and the MU Concert Jazz Band. If you play it right, this can double as a present to yourself if you get two and promise to accompany your friend.
Mix CD Mix CDs are my personal favorite gift to give of all time. They are personal, meaningful, creative and incredibly cost effective. You also don’t have worry about if the giftee already owns the item you’re giving them. The perfect mix CD must include an instrumental, something upbeat, something acoustic, a cover and a song that can be belted through an open car window. You can also never go wrong with including a song by the giftee’s favorite band — the more obscure, the better, because they’ll know you care enough about their obsessions to listen beyond their hits. Top it off with a theme or a custom cover and you’re set.
Vinyl Vinyl records are great gifts for all kinds of music lovers. Obviously, classic vinyl exist for fans of older genres, but with the recent revival of the turntable, newer music can also often be found on vinyl. Contrary to popular belief, the giftee does not need to own a record player for this to be a great present. If the recipient doesn’t own one, get a record-sized frame and gift them together as a classy decoration. With stores selling records just a quick walk from campus, such as Hitt Records, Vinyl Renaissance and Slackers. This is also an especially easy gift to shop for in the Columbia area.
Spotify subscription This gift speaks for itself. Most music lovers already use Spotify, but Spotify Premium is an upgrade that essentially allows the subscriber to listen to whatever they want on Spotify whenever and wherever without ads. Ensuring your friend that they will not hear an online radio ad for car insurance for the next year is a gift in itself. If you like no-nonsense, gift-card-type presents, this is your best bet.
DIY options Maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of money on merchandise to give to a friend and would rather make something yourself. If you’re familiar with their favorite artist, choose a particularly good lyric of theirs to start. Then, the world is your oyster — you can make a mug, a canvas, a card, a journal or anything that comes to mind with that lyric drawn creatively on it. If you go with a mug, you can make the gift even better by placing other treats like candy, earphones or an iTunes gift card inside of it.
Wireless speaker If your friend has to battle with a roommate or several over what song should be playing, help them establish dominance with a wireless Bluetooth speaker. While speakers are often expensive, it’s not too hard to find one of these under $100, such as the $50 Insignia portable speaker. These speakers are easy to use, effortless to set up, and because of their wireless status, they are incredibly easy to bring home and back over breaks.
Hitt Records T-shirt In case your friend already has an extensive vinyl collection and you can’t fathom purchasing them any more, instead support their enthusiasm with a T-shirt from Hitt Records. There’s nothing to back up one’s music-loving status like a shirt supporting a locally-owned, independent record store. The shirts are available to buy online, so you don’t even have to make the journey to Hitt Street.
Favorite band’s merch One of the best parts about a concert is getting a soft and stylish T-shirt from your favorite band. Recreate the feeling by perusing the giftee’s favorite bands’ online stores. The stores often have deals around the holiday season, so normally pricey items of clothing will be cheaper. Also, you can never go wrong with a good poster. If you’re completely at a loss for what to give to someone who loves music, a poster of their favorite artist or band is something that will stay on their wall for a very long time.