Local Current Blog

A holiday gift guide for local music lovers

I don’t know about you, but the thought of stepping into a shopping mall this weekend with everyone losing their minds over last-minute holiday deals makes me want to curl up on the couch take a big old nap. Shopping for records and other musical paraphernalia at local stores, however? That I can handle.

If you’re shopping for the music fans on your list, there are plenty of options at locally owned and independent stores here in the Twin Cities. Read on for plenty of Minnesota-made suggestions, with a little something for everyone.

For the mom who has every Mumford and Sons album

On a budget: Get the new Trampled by Turtles album Live at First Avenue, which is available on both DVD and CD.

If you’re splurging: Make it a gift basket! Start with the Trampled by Turtles album and throw in Taj Raj’s new EP, Fine Hearts Alive, Frankie Lee’s Middle West, and tickets to Pert Near Sandstone’s Winter String Band Gathering at the Cedar.

For the audiophile, crate-digger, or collector

On a budget: Grab the CD version of the Numero Group compilation Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, which digs into all the great funk and soul bands that were active around the time Prince’s career began.

If you’re splurging: Get Purple Snow as a vinyl collectors’ set, which includes four records and a deluxe hardcover book that tells the stories behind the songs on the compilation.

For dads who buy every classic rock reissue

On a budget: Easy! Get the final Minnesota Beatle Project compilation, which features Fab Four covers by the Suburbs, Zoo Animal, Actual Wolf, Gary Burger of the Monks, and more.

If you’re splurging: Pick up a copy of Hopkins-born photographer Jimmy Steinfeldt’s career-spanning concert photo book, Rock ‘n’ Roll Lens, which includes shots of Twin Cities concerts by acts like Madonna, U2, Rod Stewart, and Prince.

For the hip-hop lover

On a budget: Pick up one of Zach Combs of Kanser’s three books: The historical Headspin, Headshots & History: Growing Up in Twin Cities Hip Hop, his sci-fi novel When Bees Enslave Ants, or his latest, most personal collection of stories, Living in Lyrics. All three titles are available at the Electric Fetus.

If you’re splurging: Head to Fifth Element and assemble a little gift basket. Ideas: The new Prof beanie hat, a “Hip-Hop Lives in Minneapolis” t-shirt, the new Lizzo album, Lizzobangers, and a subscription to Wax Poetics.

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 hurry 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 DVD (also available as a digital download) or grab the new Doomtree scarf.

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 Minneapolis scene vet who remembers when…

On a budget: Pick up Jim Walsh’s new photo-heavy book on the Replacements, Waxed Up Hair and Painted Shoes.

If you’re splurging: Pair the ‘Mats book with the Suburbs’ new album, Si Sauvage, the Replacements EP Songs for Slim, and tickets to the Run Westy Run show coming up at First Avenue on December 27.

For the fitness enthusiast

On a budget: Grab Koo Koo Kangaroo’s new workout DVD, House Party, an hour-long exercise routine/collection of high-energy music videos.

If you’re splurging: Get this amazing Prince-inspired “Minnesota Nice” hoodie for them to throw on post-workout.

For the grandparents who love classic country

On a budget: Pick up a copy of the Cactus Blossoms’ new album Live at the Turf Club.

If you’re splurging: Pair the new Cactus Blossoms record with their self-titled debut.

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.

If you’re splurging: Get them a gift card for one of the Cities’ many record stores. Ideas: Hymie’s Vintage Records, Treehouse Records, Roadrunner Records, Eclipse, Fifth Element (for hip-hop fans), Extreme Noise (for hardcore punk fans), or the Electric Fetus.