Season's Givings | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Season's Givings

Find the perfect gift for the music lover on your list



The world of music sometimes seems like an impenetrable fortress of “cool.” Thinking you have to track down the coolest music, the coolest instruments or the coolest gear can make finding a gift for a music lover seem daunting. So, instead of focusing on the hippest and the shiniest, this list of gift ideas is catered to the geek, the beginner and the explorer. Whether they want to learn a brand-new instrument, revel in a past album by their favorite band, or nostalgically cover the songs of that video game they played every Saturday morning, you might just find the perfect present right here. Happy holidays!


Furry Plush Headphones, $24.99 
It’s a catch-22: Headphones and earbuds do nothing to keep the chill away from hearing holes, while earmuffs keep ears nice and cozy, but their lack of tunes makes life borrrring. These warm, furry headphones provide the solution and also give the wearer a cute disguise as a white or black cat, or a bear. The headband is adjustable for optimal comfort, and the headphone jack is compatible with just about any device that plays music, whether it’s an iPhone or Nintendo 3DS.

Kentucky Mandolin, $219 
The ubiquitous acoustic guitar might be the obvious choice for aspiring musicians, but you can help them find their way to a more unique sound by surprising them with a lovely-sounding mandolin. Its eight strings may look intimidating, but each “pair” is played as one, so really, the user plays only four strings (compared with six on a guitar). Those string pairs create a sound that’s sparklingly beautiful and warm, and the instrument’s smaller size makes it comfortable to hold while playing. Also, if the recipient has any violin experience, transitioning to mandolin will be a cakewalk—the open strings’ pitches are the same as on a violin: G, D, A and E. Acoustic Music also has many other instruments in stock, in a variety of prices and sounds. Acoustic Music, 857 E. 400 South, 801-531-7066,

Murder by Death, Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? Special Edition, $25 
Ten years ago, this Midwest gothictinged Western-rock band wove an epic tale of corrupt oil tycoons, the devil, something called a Killbot 2000, and the desert in all its terrible glory. In celebration of the 10th anniversary Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? the band is reissuing a gorgeous two-disc vinyl version, which features old photos, a retrospective letter from frontman Adam Turla, five new songs, a digital download and wicked artwork, all in a fancy mirror-board jacket. Pair with a bottle of straight Kentucky bourbon to make the perfect gift for any Murder by Death fan.

JVC Car Stereo, Model KD-R330, $58 
An old car can get to the point where it feels like a familiar friend, but its well-loved radio might leave a lot to be desired in terms of sound and capability. For drivers who want their on-the-road singing to get a worthy accompaniment, this JVC stereo is an extremely budgetfriendly choice: The KD-R330 model is on sale until the middle of December at local car-stereo purveyor Sound Warehouse. It’s Bluetooth-ready and comes equipped with a CD player and an auxiliary input so an iPod can be plugged in and played through the car speakers. This model will fit in most cars, either as-is or with minimal additional hardware. Sound Warehouse, Multiple locations,

Zelda Double Ocarina, $114 
A Zelda fan who’s into cosplay or just wants to learn how to play the haunting “Song of Storms” will be enchanted by this ceramic double ocarina. Its additional holes give it a two-octave range, as well as the capability to play sharp and flat notes—there’s no limit to the Hyrulian tunes that can be played, from “Saria’s Song” to the “Song of Time.” And with its glazed blue exterior, complete with a tiny Triforce on the mouthpiece, it looks just like the real deal. The ocarina comes with the Zelda Songbook Volume 1, a protective bag and a fingering chart. There are also less-expensive versions available if you don’t have as many rupees to spend.

Spin-Clean Record Washer MK II, $79.99 
Digging through record-store bins can yield unexpected, but often dusty, treasures. Make her life easier (and your apartment a heck of a lot cleaner) with this bathstyle record washer. It comes with residue-free cleaning fluid, lint-free drying cloths, rollers and record brushes. It’s easy to use and accommodates a variety of record sizes: All she has to do is remove the top, fill the reservoir with water, put in the brushes, add the appropriate amount of cleaning fluid and then insert the record and give it a few spins to remove dirt, gunk, fingerprints and other grime. Graywhale, Multiple locations,

Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses, $65 
This set of two musical glasses is sure to impress at any holiday gathering and, even better, will appeal to any wine or music lover. The sandblasted lines along the side of the glass mark the levels of liquid needed to create each pitch in a complete A major scale. All he has to do to wow everyone at the dinnertable is run his finger around the edge of the glass to produce a clear, ringing tone. Best of all, for the music to continue all night long, the wine (or any beverage) has to be drunk, refilled and then drunk some more …

JamPack Quick Start, $129 
If your favorite music lover feels called to pour out their soul over a guitar, this kit will let them hit the ground running. It comes with a soft case, an accessory pouch, a strap, a tuner, two guitar picks and, of course, a full-size acoustic guitar, all for a beginnerfriendly price. They’ll be picking their favorite Johnny Cash song or Jimmy Page lick in no time. Local guitarcentric store Guitar Czar also offers a free initial instrument adjustment. Guitar Czar, 2953 E. 3300 South, 801-466-8666

Twitter: @VonStonehocker