Stock, Stock Stocking on Heaven’s Door
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, you'd done no shopping and felt like a louse. That’s how things played out last year. But this year you promised that you wouldn’t surrender to apathy’s magnetic melody; that you wouldn’t find yourself at Target five minutes before closing with zero ideas and perhaps even fewer dollars; that you wouldn’t dox your mail carrier (again) because a package ordered 20 minutes earlier hasn’t yet arrived. But procrastination’s justification lurks around every corner. Music Connection knows this and our stocking stuffers feature* has your back. For 2023, such Noel nonsense will be The Ghost of Christmas Past’s problem.
* Pulitzer Prize nomination forms available upon request.
Ernie Ball Eagle Fleece Hoodie
Ernie Ball has been a go-to guitar string supplier for decades. All new for this year, though, is their Eagle Fleece Hoodie. Like the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, they’re available only in black and white. The Ernie Ball eagle logo on the chest shines like a beacon to other guitarists and the hoodie comes with enough pocket space to stash strings, an Ernie, a Ball and perhaps even an eagle. shop.ernieball.com/merch-store.html
$14.99 (two dozen)
No one likes to be a sucker. But virtually everyone likes to eat one. Moreover, there are few occasions when candy isn’t a welcome addition to any event. Next to Halloween, the winter holidays are the best thing to happen to candy since Willy Wonka. It’s debatable if eating one of these counts as practice, though. But more outrageous claims have been made in the past and surely will be made in the future. Perhaps even in this column. tinyurl.com/cwpk6n2h
Pluginz Fender Jack Rack keychain
Keys are important: both in everyday life and in music theory. This keychain can help you keep track of one kind. Guess which.
While it’s designed to hold physical keys, it seems reasonable that seeing what resembles a tiny Fender amp daily could serve as a reminder, potentially, of the importance of the theoretical keys. Whatever the case, it makes it less likely that you’ll lose either of them. tinyurl.com/2bas2dpa
Stacks of cash
Starting at around $7.99
Many musicians dream of stacks of cash in recognition of their many and varied contributions. Far fewer realize such levels of wealth health, of course. But you can make a golden impression and
help support the dream with blocks of remarkably authentic-looking stage money: phony two-sided currency used in film and TV production. There are countless sources, including stage money outfits such as PropMoney.com and Buzzprops.com. Naturally, stacks are also available from Amazon and eBay. Prices are typically commensurate with quality, so shop around. But also, don’t be a Scrooge. tinyurl.com/b7hn7fw5
Rise8 Studios drumstick utensil set
Holiday gifts don’t have to be practical. But it also doesn’t hurt when they are.
An audition didn’t go as well as you’d hoped? Your bandmates kicked you out because you lost your keys (see the Pluginz Fender keychain listing above)? You simply don’t like salad? Use this drumstick utensil set to pound-out your frustrations with a drumroll on a vessel of veggies. It’s not like produce doesn’t deserve it.
In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution
Published in mid-October to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the first commercial LP, this book looks at records from 78s to 45s and everything in between. Written by several in-the-know music folk (not to be confused with folk musicians), it also addresses the record-pressing process,
turntables and other such record-related issues. Is a book on records the same as a record on books? #RhetoricalQuestion. shorturl.at/gjrD6
COMIART bass guitar coffee/tea spoons
Starting at $7.99 (set of four)
Comiart bass guitar coffee/tea spoon sets are available in several colors, including black, blue, rainbow and gold. As with
the lollipops, nimble and nuanced argument would be required to qualify using these as practice. But it may ignite a caffeine-charged inspiration, which is at least a stir in the right direction. shorturl.at/diFHX
Music-themed holiday stocking
Some may say that this music-themed, 18-inch holiday stocking is too on the nose. But since stockings are worn on the feet, this objection is overruled on the basis of frivolity. Now: to matters at hand. Or feet. What musician wouldn’t enjoy waking up on Christmas morning to find this piece of haute holiday hosiery decking the halls? Most certainly would, but there’s at least one who wouldn’t. First name: The. Surname: Grinch. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend. shorturl.at/emnv3
Bluetooth headphone beanie hat
This tech-loaded lid is both warm and cool. Additionally, there are no earbuds that can fall out,
get tangled cables or, indeed, be ripped out at inconvenient times. Not that it’s ever convenient. Or warm. Or cool.
Guitar Center Lessons Acoustic Guitar Curriculum Book 1
Everyone has a friend or family member who owns a guitar but doesn’t know the first thing about how to play it. Every time they happen upon it, they renew the pledge to themselves that they’ll learn how to jam “This year for sure!" You can enable such promises with this book as an excellent starting point for budding musicians. It’s accompanied by online audio and is one of Guitar Center’s top-selling items. tinyurl.com/3fkpshxm
Miniature Eddie Van Halen and 1957 Les Paul Goldtop guitars
On Van Halen’s 1982 record Diver Down, the band included the diminutive ditty “Little Guitars.” As the name suggests, it was played on a miniature Les Paul lookalike. It might be hard to pull off “Eruption” on this little guitar, but EVH was fond of saying “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough.” Also note that actual 1957 Les Paul Goldtops command five- or even six-figure prices these days. That’s a conversion rate of 2,000 of these little guitars to one real one. Both are officially approved. tinyurl.com/29znkepu and tinyurl.com/35658t39