Here’s an idea for people who appreciate local music: Since 1997, rocker Chad LaMarsh has raised money for Bundles of Books, a charity started by his father to give books to underprivileged kids at Christmas. Last year, he marked the 15th anniversary by making a holiday CD with local musicians. An expanded version is available this year, featuring The Voice contestant Josh Logan, along with Lisa Guyer, MB Padfield, Chris Lester and many more. It’s $15 at chadlamarsh.com.
Speaking of Logan, he’s headlining a show at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on Dec. 30. Tickets for that are a perfect give, but get them before they sell out (palacetheatre.org).
Of course, a surefire way to support local music is to go see a band in a nightclub, where paying a cover is the exception, not the rule. Buy a CD at the merch table — or a T-shirt, hoodie, beer cozy, whatever. Do your part to keep the scene vibrant and original.
If you want a gift for the musician in your life, you can find some pretty cool stuff on hellomusic.com. Expensive items like a PRS Santana Edition guitar ($525) may be too much. But the GoGo Tuner TT-1 ($29) makes a great stocking stuffer for your favorite guitarist; it allows microphone or piezo (vibration) based tuning.
Rock fan readers will enjoy Linda Ronstadt’s well-written biography, Simple Dreams. Nothin’ To Lose, an oral history of KISS, was written with cooperation from Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons; both are available in physical and e-book format.
Musicians try their hand at fiction with Gray, a roman a clef from Fall Out Boy front man Pete Wentz that explores fame and first love. What Are the Chances is a first novel from Kenny Rogers that blends the country singer’s early career with a casino caper.
For the straight up fan, there’s a Bob Marley Survival Tour Tote ($49.95), KISS stainless steel water bottle ($12.95) or Metallica Monopoly board game ($39.95) at wildaboutmusic.com. For the new parent on your list, the site also has a children’s book based on a Joe Ely song, called Musta Notta Gotta Lotta Sleep Last Night.
For the heavy metal beer drinker — surely everyone knows at least one — pick up a bottle of Black Tongue Brew, made by Signature Brew for Georgia rockers Mastodon. The double black IPA can is available online at signaturebrew.co.uk if you aren’t able to find it at one of the many craft beer stores in the area. The brewery also makes a citrus wheat beer for British folk rocker Frank Turner called Believe.
For wine drinkers, Tool lead singer Maynard James Keenan is the force behind Caduceus, bottled in Arizona; Dave Matthews makes Dreaming Tree; and the band Train offers wine on the Save Me San Francisco label with names like Drops of Jupiter and Soul Sister.
Here’s a fun idea — for $199, Jammin’ Johns offers a toilet seat shaped like a piano, acoustic guitar or Fender Stratocaster. Go to jamminjohns.com.
Keep it simple with the just-released live DVD from new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rush — over four hours of footage from the band’s Clockwork Angels Tour. Or go to guitar heaven with the Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013. Recorded last summer in New York City, the two-disc set features festival founder Eric Clapton jamming with Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson and Vince Gill, among others, and performances from stars like John Mayer, Jeff Beck and rising star Gary Clark Jr.
Finally, there are two more local concert options. For old-school hip-hop fans, purchase tickets for Twista, the Guinness Book of World Records holder for fastest rapper; he performs New Year’s Eve at Milly’s ($50/$100, 625-4444). Country music fans can opt for Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line at Verizon Wireless Center on Thursday, Jan. 30 ($43-$73, ticketmaster.com).
Appeared in the Dec. 5, 2013 issue of the Hippo