Holiday Gift Guide For Record Lovers And More
It’s time to get serious. Sure, holiday sales have been running since October, and you’ve already learned there are now 48 unnecessary covers of “All I Want for Christmas is You,” but now we are neck deep in the holiday season. We at Deep Cut want you to succeed. We want you to crush this holiday. We want each of your gift recipients to shed a single tear that catches the glint of candle light just as a light snow begins to fall on the handbell choir that has gathered to serenade the class of orphans that has come to the town square to pick out a kitten from an miracle litter at the humane society. And we want them to say ‘This [sob] is what Christmas means to me.” And if the gifts in your own stocking would earn the side-eye from the Goodwill donations rep, we’d like you to have some ideas for yourself as well.
Deep Cut Gift Guide
For the Record Lovers
If someone in your life has a vinyl habit, there are many ways to feed it. Some of our suggestions are:
Gravespeed Wood (eco friendly) Record Dividers: Whether your giftee has a moderate or huge collection, these wooden dividers make navigating records easy and, frankly, delightful. Plus they come in walnut (and birch), which we love. The materials are quality, the craftsmanship is excellent, and they look (pinched finger kiss sound).
Curated Bag of Records: This year, we and favorite record the The Government Center launched one of our favorite things of all times: A curated bag of records. Government Center owner Josh is the best music sherpa a person could ask for. So why should on the people of Pittsburgh get to benefit? How does it work? Choose a budget, mention words of inspiration (genres you like, artists, vibe), and Josh takes it from there. The result: A stack of records by artists you've likely never heard of that you are bound to love. We've been doing it with joy for years. Now it is everyone else's turn.
Onzow Zero Dust Stylus Cleaner: Be it a dirty record or a dusty room, sometimes your record starts to sound cloudy and you discover your record needle has donned a yarn coat somehow. This gadget makes it a breeze to get rid of that detritus.
Deep Cut Flip Record Shelves: These babies not only show off your album cover art, but they’ve got enough space for storage as well. Now you can store 10 - 15 of your favorite records with a hero display up on your wall in some beautiful hardwood.
Tablemates Isolation Mounts: These fantastic little platforms go under the existing feet of your turntable to reduce the vibration, keeping your records playing smoothly while those heavy-footed friends of yours go stomping around your hardwood floors.
Full Force Hi-Fi Slipmat: These cool cork slipmats give your turntable some flare while also keeping it earthy and grounded. There are a bunch of styles and each is a work of art. This is an instant upgrade regardless of your setup.
Deep Cut Turntable Coasters: Hand cut maple coasters featuring a vintage turntable design that goes great in any listening room. Great gift for the vinyl-interested or for those that just enjoy the aesthetic of vintage turntables.
Turntable Weight Stabilizer: This weight keeps your records extra stable by weighting them down to make for a better playback. Just a nicely designed, aesthetically pleasing weight that keeps things stable. Simple. Plus they look pretty cool.
Classic Vinyl LP Bag: Records are a weird size. They're big ol squares. And that means they are awkward in most bags. But not in THIS bag. Because THIS bag, the SELEKTOR Classic LP Bag is designed for records specifically. Made from nice material with a nice clean look, this is a great accessory to bring along to the record store, grab some albums you want to spin at your friends place, or...a third thing.
Christmas Albums: Yes, a lot of Christmas records are hokey. But some are amazing, and are delightful for the season. Look for Elvis, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and A Country Christmas. Vinyl Me Please has a good list. Oh, avoid that Johnny Cash record. It’s a bummer. You want our favorite recent release? Look no further than Amanda Shires - For Christmas. 11/10 perfect. (For those unaware, she is a spectacular Americana musician who is also a member of Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and married to Jason Isbell).
Record Subscriptions: We recommend with caveats: subscriptions are not for everyone. A friend signed-up, enjoyed the first record she received, but cancelled quickly when she started receiving esoteric, un-listenable records accompanied by bizarre, rambling messages. But these ARE great for people looking for new things who aren’t able to get to the record store as often as they would like. Take a look at Vnyl (tailored to your Spotify account), Vinyl Me Please, or Magnolia Record Club.
And if you are feeling very generous: Kit and Kaboodle: the good folks at Turntable Lab have put together a few soup-to-nuts turntable stereo starter kits that will enable your recipient to go from wall socket to vinyl grooving in four (?) easy steps. Go in with a friend or two, maybe, and open up a world of vinyl this Christmas.
Beautiful Wood Speakers: Our friends at Minfort have some really choice speakers and turntables housed in beautiful hardwood. Not cheap, but gorgeous, durable, and sound amazing.
Fun Audio Toy: Roland AIRA Compact J-6 Chord Synthesizer This seriously fun little machine allows even the novice to have fun with noise in a travel-sized package.
Best Local Flavor
Many cities have Christmas markets where local artisans and entrepreneurs will offer bespoke wares. Sometimes these are one-day affairs, like the Punk Rock flea market in Washington DC, so stop what you are doing and consult your local independent weekly. Some cities have longer-running market. The Portland Saturday Market supplied gifts to our family for several years, including chopstick fruit baskets, beverage can bracelets, and an honest-to-God full size , functional, handmade bow-and-arrow set. If you’re up Minnesota way, then you know to look no further than MPLS Craft Market for all their amazing events this time of year. They do not disappoint.
Flavor by Mail
Maybe you don’t live near a local market, or maybe your giftee lives far away. A gift subscription is a fun way for your friends and loved ones to enjoy new experiences. Here are a few that we’ve enjoyed:
Trade Coffee subscription has become our morning coffee lifeline. Curated beautifully, brilliant customer service, and not too pricey. Can you beat always having great fresh new coffee on hand? You cannot.
Saloonbox gives provides a fun new cocktail recipe (and the hard to find ingredients) every week. Like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh do for meals, Saloonbox does for fantastic drinks. Drinks with ingredients you’d never have on hand or that you’d buy for one use per year. Interesting flavor combos designed around your taste. For the cocktail interested, this is a win.
Nakedwines and Winc introduce us to new wineries every month, for about what you’d pay at the grocery store. Okay, wine of the month club, doesn’t sound too original, right? Well like a lot of these newer subscription services, it is more personalized, more flexible, and more enjoyable to use. We’re fans.
Book of the Month gives your giftee the choice of one of several recommended books each month. It is a real crowd pleaser for ravenous readers or a great way to re-spark the enthusiasm for those that just don’t read as much as they used to.
Lovely Home Goods & Decor
Every house needs shelving and tea kettles and candles every once in a while (or perhaps more often than that depending on the house). Here are some of our latest favorite products and places to get them.
Foundry Goods is a Minnesota shop and online store that sources “simple, useful and beautiful objects for the home,” and they’ve got us hooked. Warning, once you know this exists, you can’t unknow it. Good luck.
Stylish Electric Kettle: The Stagg EKG Electric Kettle is a stylish little art piece that will instantly upgrade the counter in any kitchen. Plus it functions exceptionally well. If your giftee is into tea, pour-over coffee, or loves beautiful home goods and is ever in need of hot water, this little beauty will go down a treat.
Wall decor: Try one of our Deep Cut Floating U-Shelves. They are stylish and pragmatic, holding everything from your favorite whiskey to your favorite books with a unique yet clean look.
But don’t forget…
Whatever you get and whoever you get it for, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and can spend time with the ones you love.
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