The Aging Rock Scenester
Any metropolis is crawling with them — the perpetual scenesters who use the restorative powers of rock and roll to reverse Time's endless trudge to oblivion. What started out as an ironic trucker hat to wear at nu-redneck O'Brien's gigs a decade ago is now hides an actual lack of hair. But hold your scorn, young whipper-snappers: this thirtysomething man is, perhaps, propping up what's left of the music industry, thanks to his old-school tendency to actually spend money on music. From buying cassettes at gigs, to forking out for the vinyl box-sets of albums that the younger skinny-jeans set would download for free, this dude may be one of the last people who still gets music-related items as gifts. So whether you're finding a coal replacement for his stocking, or getting ready to max out some plastic for something that will be on display in his living room (next to signed-and-framed Funhouse LP), here are some suggestions for a dying breed:
†‡† CD-R (DISARO RECORDS CDR034) | $5.00 | This holiday season, why not give the gift of witchhouse to someone you love? What's great about this new special-character-dependent genre is that it involves cheap-o burned CD-R's from labels that aren't real labels and that instantly sell out. Which means that, whatever record you order, it'll be paydirt for your scenester pal when, a few months from now, his CD shelf is now stuffed with some honest-to-sold-out blog fodder: "Oh, you guys didn't pick up the †‡† [pronounced "Ritualz"] CD back when it came out in November? You snooze, you lose!" Dude will thank you later.
Disaro | firstname.lastname@example.org | myspace.com/ffdisaro.
ION AUDIO USB PORTABLE TAPE-TO-MP3 PLAYER | $49.99 | So a few years ago, your pal got one of those USB record players, with the intention of digitizing all of those vinyl rarities he always wanted to be able to rock out to on his iPod. But that shit's a lot of work, especially when even the rarest rare vinyl has already been digitized by the blogerati, which means the next frontier of rarity-digitizing will be on cassette. With the last Walkman having passed through a factory floor, why not give your pal a boutique Walkman that will allow him to preserve all those sweet demos and beer-soaked practice tapes he's been sitting on for decades?
Newbury Comics | 332 Newbury St, Boston | 617.236.4930 | newbury.com
ORANGE JUICE, . . . COALS TO NEWCASTLE (6 CDs + 1 DVD) (Domino) | £45 — err, $69.99 | The way everyone keeps crowing about the recent digital unveiling of the Beatles discography, you'd think this shit was previously unavailable or something. But any cool music person needs a new Beatles collection like they need to be told that putting Trout Mask Replica on at a party will clear the room. Forget that noise, and instead invest in a one-stop-shop, complete catalog blowout like the recently released box set containing all musical notes ever conceived by Scottish post-punk geniuses Orange Juice. OJ's discography basically sounds like if got the chance to listen to the Smiths for the very first time again, which is basically the equivalent of Ponce de Leon discovering the Fountain of Youth for your average aging music fanatic.
ELECTRICAL GUITAR COMPANY STANDARD GUITAR | $2200
| If this dude isn't in a band, he either has been, or has been . . . in his mind. For gear aficionados, it's no longer enough to have something that sounds and looks cool — the newest trend is in artisan equipment, made by hand in small batches for those who appreciate style and don't want what everyone else has. In the world of guitars, the hottest star of one-at-a-time instrument-making is Electrical Guitar Company of Pensacola, Florida, where founder Kevin Burkett keeps busy making his all-aluminum guitars and basses for an ever-expanding clientele of in-the-know rockers. If your pal wants to play a show and be bum-rushed after his set by dudes wanting to know where he got his axe, drop a few G's on an EGC.
Electrical Guitar Company | P.O. Box 17958, Pensacola, FL | 850.261.2514 | electricalguitarcompany.com.
— Daniel Brockman