It’s not always easy shopping for the music lover in your life. If they’re fanatical enough, they’ve generally already bought themselves the things they’re really dying for. The old fallback of a few records? Who knows what they want? Can’t go wrong with a gift card, I suppose, but what better way to say, “I dunno?” We’re here to help. Here are a few ideas for music-related gifts that might just pleasantly surprise that special, confounding consumer of music. Click photos for links.
1. The Gramovox Floating Vertical Turntable
For a while there, it was tough to find ANY new turntables. But with the resurgence of vinyl over the past 5+ years came the proliferation of turntables. Some of them are crap. The cheap-o portable ones at Target? Crap. There are luckily some good ones available from reputable manufacturers now, very much modeled on the classic turntable, with perhaps a USB connection for ripping digital copies. Then…there’s this. A whole new way to do it. Looks amazing, a piece of art, American made, with built-in speakers, and not that much more expensive than an average, quality record player.
It’s a very stripped down indie rock holiday special from Pullman Standard, in the form of a slightly older single, “Happy Holidays To All.” A pretty melody and harmonies over some shimmering acoustics, and of course…the sleigh bells. In these dark times, a simple message of good will might help keep things in perspective. Listen below. We’re revisiting this 2013 song on the occasion of Pullman Standard’s impending new release, Diamond Hearts. You can hear a preview at the Soundcloud link at the bottom. We will have more on that album soon.
Every month, the OurStage community (that’s you) listens and ranks the songs competing on OurStage.com. Once those songs get to the Finals stage, five grand prize winners are selected. Those winners get featured on the ‘OurStage on Amazing Radio’ show, broadcast to hundreds of thousands of music fans around the world. Last month’s show is streaming now. Below are the top five that you’ll hear on this month’s show, along with other favorites from the charts.
Another feel-good groove from Yonas, this time featuring Roscoe Dash and Sammy Adams. The track is called “Roll One Up” and it hinges on a mellow guitar riff, the kind you might expect from, say, Ben Harper, another dude who’s maybe rolled a few up. The guest spots are tight, and you can catch a little Roscoe Dash perspective in the behind-the-scenes video below.
Yonas is also hitting the road, see below the video for dates.
An early frontrunner for Christmas song of the year, this is Louisville Kentucky’s The Deloreans with their dark take on “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch,” from the beloved Dr. Seuss adaptation The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The song was originally performed by the impressively named Thurl Ravenscroft, best known as the voice of Kellogg’s Tony The Tiger, in his trademark deep baritone. In order to approximate the imposing lowness of the original, The Deloreans, our onetime Artist of the Month, seem to have slowed down their recording, and in doing so have surpassed the swing and swagger of the original to create something much darker and foreboding – almost Gregorian. The song will appear on the new compilation Louisville Does Christmas, from This Man Records.
New York City’s Danielle Helena recently released the video for her song, “Falling” and complimented it with an affecting acoustic performance at the live Soul Sessions at Renaissance Hotel Midtown. The official video, directed and edited by Julie Gratz, is beautifully composed, and the layered final track presents a stark contrast with the spare live version – highlighting the strength of the singer and song. Both versions are below.