As we circle the parking lots, wait in the never-ending lines, push through an ungodly amount of people, we might ask ourselves, "Why do we even have to give gifts for Christmas?" It's a fusion of several pre-Christmas winter traditions ranging from the Roman Saturnalia to the demanding poor in Colonial America, forcing richies to give them food and money.
Before the days of Nordy's and Toys R Us, people made gifts for each other. Creative types all over the world still are making unique and homemade gifts that are pretty darn amazing. Like, way better than knitted woolen socks or macaroni art (sorry, Son). We sifted through the crap on Etsy and handpicked some of the coolest music-themed items to gift.
Embroidered Hip Hop Lyrics
Oh, the irony! There's a few of these bad boys floating around Etsy with lyrics from Dead Prez (above), Grandmaster Flash and Afroman. Of course, they have a few from other genres, but what fun is that? Buy this pre-made because it's a hell of a lot easier than explaining to your grandma why you need her to embroider, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa."
Another reason we should save record stores. Vinyl is extremely versatile. Aside from, you know, playing music, records can be melted down and warped or cut into fun shapes. Etsy has a ton of re-worked vinyls such as clocks, jewelry, and purses.
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Sheet music: so simple, so beautiful. There are a ton of up-cycled sheet music projects on Etsy that range from the earthy bracelet above to the glamorous sheet music metal cuff bracelet. It's even cool as a background for prints. Beethoven in electric orange headphones? Bitchin'.
Band shirts are probably the most common piece of music memorabilia out there. As such, there are probably ten zillion other people out there with the same Pearl Jam shirt as you. Set yourself apart from the crowd with a re-fashioned t-shirt of your favorite band. Etsy shop lexicomanic out of Hollywood has several beautiful reworked punk and classic rock shirts.
Altoids Portable Amp
Is this even possible? Thank the rock gods-- yes. This portable amp has a 10x gain with built-in speaker and headphone input. It also works as an MP3 player speaker. This bad boy runs on a 9-volt battery and can fit in your freaking pocket! The amp is available in multiple flavors and there's even a DIY Altoid amp kit.
A Unique Instrument
Stera Instruments out of Louisville specialize in some of the weirdest guitars out there. The Mountain Goat Skull two string, listed above, is made with a mahogany neck, Bubinga on the fret board, and a coffin-shaped head. "Be the hit at your next cult gathering with this Mountain Goat Skull 2 string!" Stera also has a metal lunch box ukulele, an ammo box electric guitar and more. Click here to see more unique instruments.
Elvis Piggy Bank
The resemblance to Vegas-era Elvis is uncanny. By the time Elvis started wearing capes, he could fit a lot into his belly and now you can put a lot of pennies in this pig version of the King.
Sheet Music Stand
This olive wood and walnut sheet music stand is just gorgeous. It's also $3,850 and costs $430 to ship within the US, so only buy it for someone you really love. Find some less expensive varieties here.
DJ Baby Shoes
Okay, so your baby doesn't know how to spin just yet, but you can give him a head (foot?) start with these leather shoes!
iPod Charger Made From Household Objects
They have some pretty innovative iPod chargers out there: classic novels charger, driftwood charger (above), rotary phone charger, and a Nintendo NES controller charger. They make that little white cord look like a piece of crap.