PGH Music Mag’s Holiday Gift Guide 2012

We hear it all the time, “I just have no idea what to get them…”. Everybody and their mother has an opinion on what to get and every publication has products that they are pushing this year. Pittsburgh Music Magazine is no exception, but we would like to take a somewhat different approach. We will try to pigeonhole some of your loved ones into categories and maybe you will find something that is unique and just happens to fit that special someone on your list:

The Classic Rocker:
Being into music ourselves, we always appreciate music oriented gifts. If you have a collector on your list, a real cool place to head to is PopMarket. 28c24a3b0804a3dbfbfc3eea11567279 Popmarket is “the ultimate shopping club for music fans offering its members limited-time private sales on the world’s coolest music”. Membership is free. Wolfgang’s Vault always has some very unique stuff on the memorabilia end (although it can be quite pricey). 2006-05-01-Hemispheres-02 They typically carry a lot of items from the classic rock genre. Pete Townsend and Peter Criss and Jimmy Page came out with very interesting books recently that will keep any music lover glued to the pagespage book.

The Metal Maniac:
We would be remiss in pointing out that a permanent gift is always a great choice, and while we don’t reccommend any names on the skin, ink in the skin has a special meaning for many of us metalheads. If you are in the Pittsburgh tri-state area we have to point you to the best Human Production. tumblr_lwkymgK7SS1qzm60ro1_500 The award winning artists Ben, Mark, and Jesse do nothing but custom tattoo work to ensure that your loved one has something truly unique blended with a safe and super clean environment. For the metal historian, a great read is Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Metal Masterpieces. music_string6Precious Metal gathers pieces from Decibel’s most popular feature, the monthly “Hall of Fame” which documents the making of landmark metal albums via candid, hilarious, and fascinating interviews with every participating band member. Of course if you have a budding metalaller at home, a great intro to learning about where the genre came from is Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal by Ian CristieIan_Christe_-_Sound_of_the_Beast. Some other cool spots to hit up some bundles that include a t-shirt, cd, and sometimes poster, or DVDs would be from some of the coolest labels like metal-blade-records-logo_09Metal Blade or 250px-VictoryRecordsVictory Records which have great stores and awesome deals. One of the coolest tours to look forward to will be Between the Buried and Me with Coheed and Cambria and Russian Circlesbetween-the-buried-and-me-coheed-and-cambria-tour-2013. They will be hitting Pittsburgh February 7 at Stage AE and a pair of tickets to see them would provide memeories for a lifetime.

The Pittsburgh Fanatic:
It’s easy to pick up a Steeler shirt almost anywhere, but how abou something more uniquely Pittsburgh? Check out 3 Rivers Clothing that has quite a few great pieces including sweatshirts, tees, and our very own Pittsburgh Music Magazine teebads. They also run Brand 216 ClothingLine_GJfor those family members in Cleveland you don’t talk about while in SouthSide. LiveNow Streetwear has come out with their Pixburgh Realers Crewneck Image 1that is super cool (check out their new video here). And while we are on the clothing kick, we love Brandon’s stuff over at Pittsburgh based company Dead Bury Dead. The feel of a lived in tee with great designs, Dead Bury Dead deadburyhas a great story and awesome products.

The Style Conscious:
The hottest trend today seems to be the monthly sample box from various companies. One of the coolest and also most economical to come out is BirchBox for Men, Women, and now Home. birchbox-man-home-600x358-3You can get 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions and they will receive a box filled with samples of all sorts of goodies according to the types of products that most interest them. To really indulge someone check out Pittsburgh based Fluhme. TiffanyFluhme-aFluhme is a premiere cosmetics company dedicated to skin care.

The Impossible:
We all have that person on our list who is just impossible. Gift certificates seem to always please these unpleasable creatures, but to where? We would highly reccommend the Amazon gift certificate, Etsy Gift cards, and EBay has gift certificates. These sites seem to have something to please even those who have everything. For those a bit more adventurous try Design Tuscano The-Contortionist-Skeleton-Side-Tablefor the home, Uncommon Goods has some very unique and unusual stuffuncommon-goods, and last but not least you can always get them a gift to just mess with their fickleness such as the jellyfish_moodlamp (1)LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp!

The Activist:

For some people a gift for them is just not appropriate, they would much rather you consider their activism for others. If you are not exactly sure, and not comfortable enough to ask, here are some suggestions:
The Human Rights Campaign, HumanRightsCampaignseeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans. They have some awesome giftwear as well as memberships that will show someones support for equality for all people. For the animal lover The ASPCA 5882378does so much for all animals that a contribution really does make a difference. They also have giftwear and collectibles besides membership. For those concerned with the environment, check out Conservation International 1195729_300who partners with governments on local, regional, and national levels around the world to deal with high priority areas of concern. From Brazil to China, from the U.S. to Liberia, they engage nations in a common goal — to preserve natural resources for the benefit of all life on Earth.

The Dog or Cat Lover:

For the dog lover in your life there is a membership box that they can receive holding goodies and toys according to the size of their fur babies. Bark Box bboxis a welcome addition to the monthly box competition for your furry friends or your friends with dog kids. For those with cats in the mix Bestfriendboxbox has something for both dogs and cats.

We hope that you got at least one or two ideas from our list, or at least some entertainment. Good luck with your holiday shopping and when you are not burning through your credit and debit cards Pittsburgh Music Magazine will be here to keep you up on the latest and greatest in music.

Spreading “La Epidemia”: Ill Nino Announces New Tour Dates

Latin metallers ILL NINO are gearing up to spread a little holiday cheer this winter and have announced a ten city run. Their latest tour begins November 30th in Dallas, and they will hit New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before making their way to South America in support of their recent release Epidemia, which was released on October 22nd.Colorado’s ARCANIUM will be joining them on the US dates. See a full listing of tour dates here as well as below.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Epidemia, now is your chance! Epidemia is available via CD or MP3 through AMAZON’s “Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Sale” or through the Victory Records webstore. The album will also be available throughout the holidays on the FYE Metal Endcap for $9.99, where you will receive a FREE limited edition Decibel “Best Metal Of 2012” vinyl sampler featuring tracks from PATHOLOGY and GOD FORBID with purchase.

ILL NINO TOUR DATES:

November 30, 2012 | Dallas, TX @ Trees
December 1, 2012 | Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
December 2, 2012 | San Antonio, TX @ Back Stage Live
December 6, 2012 | Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
December 7, 2012 | Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
December 8, 2012 | Lawrence, MA @ The Claddagh Pub
December 11, 2012 | Caracas, VE @ Moulin Rouge
December 12, 2012 | Santiago, CL @ Club 334
December 14, 2012 | Buenos Aires, AR @ Groove
December 15, 2012 | Sao Paolo, BR | Via Marques

CMT Edge Gifts Music Fans with a Free Digital Sampler via Amazon

Discover bold new roots artists with the CMT Edge 2012 Sampler available as a free digital download now on Amazon.com. CMT Edge has curated 16 tracks across Americana, roots, bluegrass and classic country genres from new and noteworthy artists including Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Trampled by Turtles, Elizabeth Cook, Turnpike Troubadours, Lord Huron, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Corb Lund, Lindi Ortega, Chris Knight, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, The Lone Bellow, Charlie Mars, Lilly Hiatt, Daniel Romano, Robert Ellis and Ronnie Fauss.

Download the 16-Track CMT Edge 2012 Sampler FREE on Amazon.com

Track Listing
1. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Alabama Pines
2. Trampled by Turtles – Midnight on the Interstate
3. Elizabeth Cook – Gospel Plow
4. Turnpike Troubadours – Gin, Smoke, Lies
5. Lord Huron – Time to Run
6. Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale – I Lost My Job of Loving You
7. Corb Lund – September
8. Lindi Ortega – The Day You Die
9. Chris Knight – In the Meantime
10. Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons – Laura
11. The Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody
12. Charlie Mars – Let the Meter Run
13. Lilly Hiatt – Young Black Rose
14. Daniel Romano – Middle Child
15. Robert Ellis – Westbound Train
16. Ronnie Fauss – The Night Before the War

About CMT Edge
CMT Edge takes listeners to the edge of country, where roots artists like the Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons are earning critical acclaim, strong sales and multiple Grammys. Written with a lively and trusted voice, this blog spotlights musicians who write their own music and pursue their careers on their own terms. The focus reaches beyond Nashville, allowing avid music fans to discover Americana, bluegrass and classic country from across the U.S. and around the world. With audio and video embeds, along with exclusive content like Concrete Country and in-studio performances, CMT Edge will guide readers toward their discovery of bold new music. Visit online at CMTEdge.com.

Merchandising Madness: What’s Cool and What’s Tool

Recently, an article from Metal Insider regarding strange merchandise from legendary band Slayer, piqued interest.  Some of the choices were depicted as bizarre and others possibly just intriguing.  It begs the question, “When is the band just pocketing money and when is it actually providing for the fans?”.  Much of this would depend on the individual, thus making for an opinionated debate.

The ultimate gods of merchandising of course are KISS.  It is well known that Simmons and Stanley typically put their names on anything, from coffins to potato heads.  One of our favorites, actually here in the office, just happens to be the Gruntz Dressed to Kill KISS collectibles (shown below).  Still, what makes these collectible over a potato head, or the ultimate collectible, a coffin?

KISS Gruntz Dressed to Kill figures in the PMM office

A plethora of wines have been produced lately with mainly classic rock groups as the benefactor.  The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, even AC/DC have signed on to wine their wares.  Vince Neil is no stranger to lending his name to liquor, having a tequila brand and wine label.  Of course, Sammy Hagar made a small mint when selling off his Cabo Wabo Tequila and Maynard from Tool has a very legit wine orchard in Arizona (enough to have a whole documentary about it).

Other oddities include: Durex  marketing their condoms using bands from JLS to Slayer. Rammstein apparently has their own lines of sex toys.  Having seen them in concert numerous times, this actually makes a lot of sense.  Bill Wyman of the Stones endorses a metal detector.  Mastadon have a “horn” to drink from and Motorhead has a beach ball (We must confess this is in the office also- when we think Lemmy we think beach!).

Perfumes, pasta sauces, sodas, energy drinks, if the money is there the bands will come.  The line of action figure type replicas are very collectible and can increase in value rather quickly.  Motley Crue, Lemmy, Slash, Iggy Pop, Ozzy, Hendrix, Morrison, and Metallica are just a few who have been immortalized in plastic.  The bobblehead industry is booming too.  Just “head” on over to Amazon or any number of websites to check out the various bands that are represented.

Jerry Only-Misfits bobblehead in the PMM office

The bottom line is that consumers want these products.  If they did not no one would be putting the money into manufacturing the trinkets and toys and who knows what.  Let the consumer beware and judge.  If someone loves KISS so much they want to be buried in a KISS coffin, so be it.  As rock n’ roll collectors ourselves, the variety beyond the usual tees and posters is exciting and also an opportunity to laugh.  With the market for song distribution so confusing these days let the bands make the money where and when they can.  And let us put the debate to bed.  Hey, where are my Misfits slippers anyhow?