Holiday Gift Guide: The Music & Film Lover

For our second instalment of holiday gift guides, may we present you ideas for the music & film lover!

Under $25

1) Yes – tickets to concerts can cost you less than $25. This is especially true when you get your tickets from our favorite record shops, Rotate This and Soundscapes, who cap those nasty surcharges at no more than $3 per ticket. Every music lover loves being exposed to new and exciting music, so why not give the gift of a live show, and maybe even your own fabulous company!

2) (New) vintage band tees are back and hotter than ever. This Jimi Hendrix one is from, believe it or not, H&M. We’ve all got our favorites and I doubt picking out one for your music lover would be too hard. Right now, I’m seriously coveting this one. ($17.95)

3) Many die-hard music fans keep their ticket stubs. Often times, that means they are buried away in different boxes in different homes. Help bring some order to your music lover’s life by gifting a ticket stub journal.  I’ve got all of my concert ticket stubs, in fact, I still have my ticket to my first concert ever: Aerosmith’s Big Ones tour in 1993 :) ($14.95)

4) Record albums are often beautiful and under appreciated work of art. Help showcase a music lover’s favorite album by gifting these record album frames . ($15 or 2 for $20)

5) For those music fans (like Kelly and I) who wish they had the skills to join in on impromptu jam sessions, a harmonica is the perfect gift. No talent necessary to be your own rock star.  (from $20)

Under $50

1) Magazine subscriptions are the gifts that keep giving and there’s a perfect magazine for everyone’s interests. For the music lover, consider Rolling Stone ($38), Spin or NME. Movie lovers would love Empire, Filmmaker and Total Film.

2) For those talented people out there who love music and actually know how to play an instrument, this DIY ukulele set comes complete with all of the parts to put together a home made instrument. I’m thinking sing-a-longs throughout the holidays..! ($48)

3) Personalizing smartphones with fun cases are great gifts for everyone and there seems to be an incredibly large selection of music-themed ones out there. I particularly love the look of a classic acoustic guitar. ($48.30)

4) A membership to Rdio is truly a gift of music. Rdio is an online repository of millions of artists and albums. Accessible by mobile phone or online, a membership offers unlimited access to any music you could possibly wish for. Best yet, it’s all streamed so there is no need to download. (from $4.99/month)

5) For those that have turntables, collecting vinyl is likely a hobby nearing obsession (and/or bankruptcy). Pick out a classic or new favorite album as a present. I recommend visiting Of A Kind, a cute vintage and record shop with an incredible curated collection for sale.  Their current collection is posted on their website if you want to check it out ahead of time.

6) The North by Northeast Festival and Conference is an exciting week in Toronto. Usually in Early June each year, emerging artists and major-label bands perform on any of the 50+ stages in the city. Last year, over 800 acts performed.  NXNE has an incredible deal going on until Christmas: 2 all access wristbands for the 2013 festival for only $50. You can’t go wrong.

7) I discovered the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema earlier this year and loved it so much it got its own post.  Memberships to the theatre are a mere $33 and give holders special discounts and access to the documentary festival experience all year round.


1) If you’ve got a film lover on your list and some money to spend, a membership to the TIFF Bell Lightbox or a package for the 2013 Hot Docs Festival will give the recipient something to look forward to for months to come.

3) For the true music lover, vinyl can’t be beat in terms of authentic sound quality.  Fortunately, record players are back in full swing, from the hip (but likely low quality) versions sold by Urban Outfitters to the real sound machines sold wherever you would typically by stereo equipment (Long & McQuade, Future Shop, etc.)

4) For the person who wants their music on the go, a great pair of headphones would be a real treat.  Headphones come in a huge range of prices and the sound quality varies immensely.  Bay Bloor Radio has an expansive selection of high end noise-canceling and studio quality headphones.

5) If your music lover is interested in making music as well as listening, why not gift some lessons?  From the beginner to the advanced, check out what’s on offer in your area at the Canada Music Academy.

6) Finally, for the television lover, a PVR helps ensure they never have to miss one of their beloved programs again.  Available wherever electronics are sold, and often, through your cable provider.

Tomorrow’s gift guide will focus on ideas for the person who seems to have everything – stay tuned!


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