Holiday gifts for the rock n’ rollers in your life

We are not always the easiest animal to please some say, but really we are as simple to figure out as microwave popcorn.  The rock n’ rollers in your life consume all things that have anything to do with music and the lifestyle.  The hardest thing about us is that we usually go out and get what we want so fast you never have a chance to get it for us.  So, unless you are going to creep on our Amazon Wishlist and hope we don’t snap up some of those goodies before the Holidays hit, may Pittsburgh Music Magazine suggest some easy as one, two, three gifts that the music maniac in your life didn’t know that they wanted but will absolutely love:

1.  Off the beaten path box sets:

I love quirky box sets that not only have cool tunes, but some extras thrown in that a consumer would not expect.  Jack White’s Third Man Record’s is offering The Paramount Records Wonder Cabinet Available at thirdmanstore.com.  ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ “an epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder” features 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists, 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images, 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio, 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book , 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography, a handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware, and a first-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive.  Cool stuff, but It’s a bit pricey at $400.  If you have a metalhead in the fam, like yours truly, head on over to The Metal Blade Store and check out the amazing prices they have on box sets up to 60% of As I Lay Dying, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, and much more.

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2.  Alcohol…need I say more

Now unless your rocker has had to swear off (no shame in that my friends), a sure fire way to many a bleeding rebels heart is through his or her throat.  You could go the boring route and buy the case of beer you know they like or the bottle of liquor they always drink or you could go high class.  Recently, one of my best friend turned me onto Tequila.  I’m not talking about ‘To-Kill-Ya’ that we all have had some ‘nights best left forgotten’ drinking.  These are high quality tequilas that taste and go down like nothing you have ever had before.  Let me recommend the best-o-the best: Dobel Tequila is a blend of Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo tequilas which have been gently filtered and give the tequila an incredible Diamond Clarity and crispness that is unlike anything that has crossed my palate.  It’s the purity combined with the complexity derived from the aged tequilas makes Reserva del Maestro Dobel a completely unique experience.  I would have never believed it had it not been for my buddie’s Tequila Bar in his establishment and a unique taste test experience.  This is a small batch tequila that is hand crafted, aged in oak casks, and then get this…hand labeled and numbered.  We wrote the company and they were kind enough to offer our readers a FREE recipe book at this link.  Trust me on this one it’s a sure fire winner…and make sure they crack it open with you!

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3. Something from “their band”

We all have our favorite bands.  Some of us have one and some of us have so many we can’t count.  The thing is whomever you are into, these days there a plethora of off the wall memorabilia and collector items that can be found relatively easily all depending on how much you want to search.  Luckily the internet is truly your friend here.  First, check the band’s website because they often have the cool stuff right under your nose.  Also, check Amazon because they have some pretty cool stuff as well.  But pages like Etsy, EBay, Rockabilia, and Rock N Roll Action Figures to name a few have some hidden gems within them that are sure to please.

Regardless, Happy Holiday, be safe, and I hope my wife is reading this (hints, hints!!!)

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International SXSW Performing Artist The Away Days Release New Single

Istanbul’s dreamy indie rock quartet, The Away Days are at the beginning of a beautiful dream. They’ve been added to the roster of amazing bands to see at this year’s South By Southwest Music Festival. Their shimmery guitars and melodic hooks place them in the global community of indie rock and SXSW will put them up on the global stage. They’ve already drawn the attention of The Guardian, KEXP and other international press and adding to that the release of “Dressing Room” off their debut EP How Did It All Start will surely turn the spotlights their way. With frontman, Oguzcan Ozen’s voice perfectly balanced between croon and moan and the catchy, heart-swelling anthemic music behind it, “Dressing Room” is a tune that won’t soon be forgotten.

Take one spin through Etsy’s many artists from Istanbul and you’ll see beautiful craftsmanship and gorgeous work. It’s an easy assumption to make, then, that the city would abound with well-crafted, detailed indie rock, an art form that often goes hand-in-hand with this type of craftsmanship. While indie rock quartet, The Away Days, surely fit the bill, they are a minority in the Istanbul scene. No matter. The Away Days have gained some recognition in their hometown, but their sights are set on the global stage. This dreamy indie rock band is more at home with the likes of shimmery guitars and melodic hooks associated with UK bands like The Foals and The Maccabees, hail from the global community of indie rock, rather than a local scene.

The Away Days have impressed with their debut EP How Did it All Start. They plan to tour The UK at the start of 2013 and will start recording their debut record with Jag Jago, producer of The Maccabees’ latest record.