Local Current Blog

A local music lover’s guide to last-minute holiday gifts

I don’t know about you, but I will use any excuse possible to do my shopping online and in independent stores instead of facing the malls at this time of year. And lucky for us, we live in such a fertile music and arts community that there’s really no reason to patronize those overcrowded big-box and chain stores. With that in mind, I thought it’d be a good time to gather up a few locally grown, last-minute gift ideas–and if you hurry, you can even snatch up some of them without leaving the house.

All of the albums highlighted here are available at independent retailers in Minneapolis, including the Electric Fetus (which also has stores in Duluth and St. Cloud), Treehouse Records, Roadrunner Records, and Cheapo, and I’ve also included links for those available online. You can also order all kinds of Current and MPR swag online here.
 

For moms who liked the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack

On a budget: 

Get Trampled by Turtles’ accessible new full-length, Stars and Satellites, on either CD or vinyl.

If you’re splurging:

Make it a gift basket! Start with the Trampled by Turtles album and add in these folkie favorites: Ben Kyle of Romantica’s new full-length, Ben KyleKaty Vernon’s new ukulele-filled folk album Before I Forget; Peter Ostroushko’s The Mando Chronicles; and the latest from Garrison Keillor’s singing sidekick on A Prairie Home Companion, Andra Suchy’s Little Heart

 

For dads who buy every classic rock reissue

On a budget:

Easy! Get the latest Minnesota Beatle Project compilation, which features Fab Four covers by John Mark Nelson, Chastity Brown, Haley Bonar, and more.

If you’re splurging:

Grab all four volumes of the Beatle Project series, and throw in Minneapolis band Sleep Study’s debut, Nothing Can Destroy.

 

For the Doomtree fan in your life

On a budget, for girls:

Get her the Dessa lipstick. Proceeds from the sale of the go toward charity organization CARE. You can order it online, but if you’re in a pinch the full line of Elixery lipsticks are also available at stores around town, including Fifth Element.

On a budget, for boys and girls:

Pick up a copy of Doomtree’s new DVD.

If you’re splurging:

Book a whole Dessa weekend. Grab a pair of tickets to her show at Lutsen’s concert venue Papa Charlie’s and pair it with a hotel room and skiing package from the Lutsen Mountains resort, which sits about an hour north of Duluth on the North Shore.

 

For the more general hip-hop fan

On a budget:

Get them a locally made “Six One Two” t-shirt.

If you’re splurging:

Grab a copy of Zach Comb’s Headspin, Headshots & History: Growing Up in Twin Cities Hip Hop, and pair it with the new Greg Grease album, Cornbread, Pearl and G, a pair fingerless Atmosphere gloves, and a gift card to Fifth Element.

 

For the tattooed rockist who wants to know what happened to all the good, loud bands

On a budget:

Introduce them to the local rock ‘n’ roll scene with Bloodnstuff’s stellar self-titled debut.

If you’re splurging:

Start with the Bloodnstuff album and add in Bruder’s debut It’s in the Blood; Gay Witch Abortion’s Opportunistic Smokescreen Behavior; Birthday Suits’ new Wonderland 7″; and a gift certificate to punk and hardcore-heavy record store Extreme Noise.

 

For the Minneapolis scene vet who remembers when…

On a budget:

Grab that new Replacements documentary, Color Me Impressed, on DVD.

If you’re splurging:

Package the ‘Mats DVD with Bob Mould’s memoir, See A Little Light: A Trail of Rage and Melody, and new solo album, The Silver Age; plus a 7th St. Entry hooded sweatshirt or t-shirt.

 

For the art and music lover

On a budget: 

Order a screenprinted poster from Dogfish Media, like this one of a guitar merged with the Minneapolis skyline.

If you’re splurging:

Did you know most local concert photographers will make you a print of any photo you choose? Photog Leslie Plesser has a showing of framed work up right now at Republic in Minneapolis, but you can also contact her or other talented shutterbugs through their websites to get a print you won’t find anywhere else.

 

For the music fan who has everything

On a budget:

Book a tour of the historic theaters in downtown Minneapois via the Hennepin Theatre Trust. The admission fee is kept low and they’ll get to go behind the scenes of venues like the State Theatre and the Orpheum, where the backstage scenes in Purple Rain were filmed.

For just a little more:

Get them the new Cedar Cultural Center t-shirt, which was screenprinted by locals Big Table Studio.

If you’re splurging:

Get them a membership to First Avenue for 2013. The Platinum card covers unlimited entrance to all 7th St. Entry and Record Room events and Mainroom dance nights, and includes perks like free coat check, express entry, and exclusive pre-sales. If you’re working on a slightly smaller budget, they also have a Gold membership available at a lower rate.