- Acoustic Music
This holiday is like no other before it, in that many people have been deeply financially impacted by this unprecedented yea. Consequently, giving gifts might not be an option for some, perhaps a strictly-budgeted one for others. And for those who haven't been severely impacted, their gift could mean the world to someone less fortunate in their life.
Now is the time to dig deep, forgo the novelty bullshit on Amazon, and give the things needed and missed by your loved ones. Here's a guide on how to do it for the music-lovers in your life, and how to do it local first!
For the Makers and Players: If you've been reading this music section for the past year, you know that this writer loves to complain on behalf of artists about just how expensive it is to be a musician, and how hard it is to keep it up when making a profit off music is difficult, to say the least. This pandemic year, with the loss of consistent paying shows, it's fair to assume that burden's become even heavier for many of Utah's musicians. So how can you help ease the burden?
There are several local options, including Acoustic Music (857 E. 400 South), a local guitar stop that's been slinging the finest in acoustic guitars and accoutrements for more than 40 years. They offer gift cards, so whether you can only afford to give your music-maker enough for a new set of strings, or enough to cover a new rig or repair (available in the shop), it's a worthy consideration.
And if you're thinking "gift cards are so lame!" (even though they're not), don't worry—you can spice it up by adding a dazzling handmade guitar pick to the gift by heading over to @bummer_honeys on Instagram. There, local musician Courtney Lane sells their spin on the resin jewelry trend by peddling sparkling, lustrous resin picks they make alongside a selection of jewelry. Give your friend a cool pick and support a local musician in one go? Okay!
For those who lean electric, there are still more options. While Squarewave Sound doesn't operate out of a storefront anymore, their Instagram @squarewave.sound is a wealth of buying and trading of electronica gear, from keyboards to mixers and audio equipment for the synth-head in your life. On their site squarewave-sound.myshopify.com, one can browse products and call in to ask for availability.
For your heart's dearest shredder, Guitar Czar (5979 S. State) offers everything a rock 'n' roll-minded person needs—electric guitars, amps, effects pedals and more, plus gift cards which are available at guitarczar.com. Next door at Salt City Drums (5967 S. State), one can find the drums one needs to fill out the 'fit, or just get another gift card, available at saltcitydrums.com. And once your friend the musician has their set-up ready to go? Local electronic musician Passive Tourist recommends the Roland Go Mixer for easy music streaming from one's phone to Instagram or Twitch—which, as one can gather, is the mode of performance to have a handle on this pandemic year.
For the Fans: Anyone who loves music has got to know at least a few of the local spots for snagging records, but you don't just have to stop at vinyl-shopping. When in Ogden, make a pit stop at Lavender Vinyl (123 25th Street, Ogden) for a gift card or some of their stock of band merch and local vinyl, or browse and buy online at lavendervinyl.com. If you're farther south in the Utah County area, take a gander at 3hive Records (50 E. 500 North, Provo), who are indeed selling gift cards online and in-store, and may even still have a few of their special tees in benefit of Velour if someone on your list wants to rep the venue that made Provo great. The shop also has a selection of record players and accessories available online (shope.3hive.com) and music-y coffee table books for your coffee table book collecting friend.
In the Greater Salt Lake Metropolitan Area, of course, there are many offerings: Diabolical Records (238 S. Edison Street) has a diverse stock, with many local offerings, cassettes, store-branded swag and gift cards; Randy's Records (157 E. 900 South) is famous for its largest (has this been checked recently though?) collection of records around; Albatross Recordings & Ephemera (315 E. 300 South) is the perfect spot to browse both expertly curated records while picking up some cocktail accessories, since it's housed at Boozetique; Peasantries & Pleasantries (807 S. 800 East) is the 9th & 9th neighborhood's by-appointment-only (on Instagram @pleasantlyslc) boutique record store with rare and über indie selections of records, CDs and tapes. Heavy Metal Shop (63 Exchange Place) is, of course, the place to get the iconic hoodie essential for any SLC devotee.
And if it's just something a bit more niche, a bit more wacky? Browse local recordings taken down on tape, bootlegs or oddball found cassettes collected, released and sold by Far Out Cassette Club (@faroutcassetteclub on Instagram, faroutcassetteclub.bandcamp.com), whose dedicated tape efforts City Weekly profiled a few months ago. Or, visit local DJ-centered label FountainAVM (fountainavm.com/shop) to browse tapes, records, and tees created by and in commemoration of DJ sets and music experiments by recognizable local names and recordings of live sets past.