Let's face it: 2016 has kinda sucked. But it's not too late to make it suck slightly less. Try consoling your family and friends with the greatest holiday gift of all: the gift of music. Or, if you want to really surprise them, get them some random music-related swag they would never think to ask for — like a death metal–themed butcher's apron or a teddy bear for ’80s pop fans.
Here are L.A. Weekly's picks for the 12 greatest music-related holiday gifts money can buy. You're welcome, weary shoppers.
The Man Who Fell to Earth Original Soundtrack Deluxe Box Set
Forty years after The Man Who Fell to Earth was released, its singular soundtrack is finally available. The film, of course, is the one that solidified David Bowie’s already quite alien status to the general public. The 25-track digital/CD album, created by The Mamas & the Papas’ John Phillips and Stomu Yamash’ta, with some additional licensed material, also is available in a limited-edition deluxe box set with a 19-track double LP version of the soundtrack, a can’t-stop-staring-at-it, 48-page hardback book of striking Bowie images, and notes from the film’s editor. —Lily Moayeri
Total Chaos: The Story of The Stooges as Told by Iggy Pop
The 350-page coffee table tome Total Chaos: The Story of the Stooges as Told by Iggy Pop is both definitive and unique. Definitive because Jeff Gold, noted rock music memorabilia collector, along with Johan Kugelberg, have gathered items such as posters, recording contracts, letters, reviews and oh so many images, both familiar and rare. Unique because they took many of these pieces to Iggy himself and had him hold forth on each one for a first-hand account of his experiences from as far back as his teenage years. —Lily Moayeri
Gremlins Original Soundtrack on Reactive Vinyl
Mondo, master of collectible TV, film and comic-book art and memorabilia, has once again breathed fresh air into a pop culture classic, this time presenting Jerry Goldsmith’s wickedly silly score for Gremlins, one of cinema’s most famously bleak Christmas movies, in a beautiful novelty vinyl release. The designers of this double vinyl went all out trying to connect to the Mogwai/Gremlin mythos and stuff it with nerdy-nostalgic Easter eggs. If you get part of the vinyl wet or expose it to light, the design changes (like a Hypercolor tee). The double vinyl goes on sale Nov. 30. —Jonny Coleman
Death Metal Swimsuits
Need a gift for a lady in your life who loves sunny days at the beach but also loves showing off her passion for the dark art of death metal? Clothing designer, model and heavy metal fan Tanza Speed started creating her own swimsuits to wear her favorite album art proudly, and is now doing limited runs for others to do the same. If your lady prefers other forms of fashion, Speed Clothes also makes leggings, dresses, tops and accessories featuring cult favorite acts such as Sodom, Possessed, Dark Funeral and Nunslaughter. —Jason Roche
Shinola Audio Runwell Turntable
The re-popularity of vinyl is not news, but what is the best turntable on which to play your platters? High-end brand Shinola introduces the newest product in its well-received Runwell series and its first Shinola Audio product, the snazzy Runwell turntable. Created by former Audeze mastermind Alex Rosson, who teamed up with legendary turntable builders VPI, the Detroit-made turntable is ready to use right out of the box. You have to move quick on this one, as it is limited to a run of 500, with an even more limited, special-edition, super-sexy black turntable available starting Black Friday. —Lily Moayeri
Lionel Richie Teddy Bear
Do you want to get your child a cuddly plush bear for Christmas and also instill in her or him a subconscious fear of Lionel Richie? From the screen-printed image of Lionel’s face across the chest of the bear, to the lyrical passage “Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?” stamped across the bottom of its feet, this bear will do a great job of terrifying your child and giving him/her Lionel Richie–related nightmares long before they see a single frame of the music video for “Dancing on the Ceiling.” —Jason Roche
More gifts (100% Lionel Richie–free) on the next page ...
Sun Ra Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection, Vol. 1
Jazz giant Sun Ra was one of the most versatile and prolific recording artists of the 20th century, with a catalog spanning everything from late-’50s bebop and doo-wop to more avant-garde compositions and the mind-expanding, Afrofuturist jazz for which he is most revered. Among his rarest recordings are a series of singles only ever released on 7-inch 45s, often in very limited runs. U.K. label Strut Records has begun collecting these singles and just released the first volume of a planned two-volume reissue set, covering the years 1952 to 1961, in three formats: 65 tracks on three CDs, 35 tracks on triple vinyl, and 20 tracks on a set of 10 45s. It's full of fascinating stuff, especially Sun Ra's early collaborations with vocal groups such as The Cosmic Rays and the Screamin' Jay Hawkins–like "space age vocalist" Yochanan. - Andy Hermann
Behind the Paint: The Story of ICP and the First Six Joker's Cards audiobook as read by author Violent J
For many folks, the holiday season means many hours of traveling. Help your loved one get through all that driving and flying with the story of pioneering horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, as told in the calm, soothing voice of ICP's Violent J. Each chapter from the original book is expanded upon with additional tales of Juggalo mayhem, musical chaos and Faygo. As Violent J himself says, “That's the best product Psychopathic has put out, aside from music, in fucking years.” —Jason Roche
Pink Floyd Album Art Pint Glass Set
This four-glass set adorned with the album covers of Pink Floyd classics Atom Heart Mother, Animals, Dark Side of the Moon and The Division Bell isn’t quite as beautiful as the infamous poster featuring body-painted nude models. But it will still look very eye-catching on top of your favorite Floyd fan's bar and, at 16 ounces, will contain plenty of his or her favorite beverage to consume while revisiting some of the greatest albums in rock history. —Jason Roche
Cannibal Corpse Butchered at Birth Butcher’s Apron
With their second album Butchered at Birth, death metal gorehounds Cannibal Corpse solidified their standing as one of the most brutal-sounding bands in existence, and pushed the boundaries of good taste with an album cover splattered with blood and guts. This Butchered at Birth butcher’s apron proves that even the most brutal death metal bands can cash in on their classics with an eye for commerce that would make Gene Simmons proud. —Jason Roche
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Ableton Live Classes at Point Blank Electronic Music School
For those who are more interested in making music than consuming it, buy yourself or a loved one a course in Ableton Live from the U.K.-based Point Blank Electronic Music School, which is hosted in Los Angeles at Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake. The course is a hefty $2,195 but taught by local experts and worth every penny. If you don't love your loved one that much, you can also buy them the first part of an installment plan. —Jonny Coleman
Leonard Cohen Complete Studio Albums Box Set
In a year marked by loss (Bowie, Prince, David Mancuso, Sharon Jones, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, the list goes on), it’s only natural to want to be comforted by the things, people and artifacts of people you love. So, for those who want to remember Leonard Cohen, you should pick up this box set, which includes all of Cohen's studio albums from 1968 to 2004. It was released in 2011, so if you want to round out his full studio discography, you’re still going to need to pick up Old Ideas, Popular Problems and this year’s You Want It Darker. —Jonny Coleman