Are you a puzzled relative of a vinyl-loving, music-obsessed youth? Or are you a vinyl-loving, music-obsessed youth that is really trying to avoid another well-intended Coldplay T-shirt, even though you've told Uncle Pat that you haven’t liked Coldplay since your 6th grade boyfriend broke up with you at Hot Topic in 2004 while “The Scientist” played on the radio? Or, perhaps, your Uncle Pat is more vinyl-loving or music-obsessed than you, but you seemed to have drawn his name again in the family Secret Santa. Either way, this article may be of some assistance.
If I’m being completely honest, I, a vinyl-loving, music-obsessed youth, am writing this because I’m fairly sure my mom searches the internet regularly for my bylines, and I’m hoping she finds this and buys me a few of these things. That being said, I realize this is likely a helpful tool to make your favorite vinyl-lover beam during the holiday season.
A lot of people tend to think gift cards can be a cop-out in place of something more personal. But most vinyl lovers have a vinyl wishlist that could rival those comically long scrolls on which cartoon villains map out their evil plans and wishes. The process of going to the local record store and riding the crate-digging sled down your wishlist is one of the purest highs out there. That, combined with the satisfaction of knowing you supported your local record store, should allow you to set aside your anti-gift-card sentiments aside for a moment.
Alright, I understand that including a VMP subscription on a gift guide on the VMP website probably seems obvious at best, and like an ingenuine advertisement at worst. But hear me out: this is truly is the gift that keeps on giving of all gifts that keep on giving. I genuinely can’t count the times I’ve walked up to my door, defeated after a long day, and realized my monthly VMP package was on the stoop, transforming me from a garbage goblin into record-spinning ethereal elf. When the holiday season’s over, your favorite VMP member’s walls will still be filled with cool prints, their hands with tasty cocktails and their home with fire music.
And while you're at it, go ahead and get your loved ones a Classics or a Rap & Hip-Hop Subscription too.
After a lifetime of listening to everything on crumpled, earbuds that I’d lose or break like clockwork every three weeks, headphones were the biggest game-changers. Music I’ve been listening to forever had new depth; I listened to all my favorite albums through new ears and didn’t take them off for a full week. I still prefer not to take them off. Ever. Although I can’t speak to what I’m sure are similarly great headphones at a similar price point, these were the perfect combination of beautiful, high-quality and affordable. And, as someone who is highly destructive at every level, I can speak to their durability—believe me, they hold up.
If you need an impeccable argument on why this piece of Ikea furniture is the best thing to put your records on, check out this thorough and poetic ode to the Kallax. How many pieces of furniture have entire odes written in dedication to them? Clearly, we’re dealing with a superior shelf here. If you keep tripping over the milk crates on your floor and are ready to start stacking, the Kallax is a logical, affordable and beautiful next step.
Your turntable is the foundation to any of your record listening experiences. That being said, it’s easy to break the bank on a turntable, so you’ve gotta hit the sweet spot between quality and affordability. Whether you’re looking to upgrade from a basic all-in-one system or a quality, lasting entry point to turntables in general, the Pro-Ject Elemental is a perfect place to start when aiming for that price/quality balance.
Featuring writing from a bevy of music writers, Vinyl Me, Please's 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection book isn't like those other YOU NEED TO OWN THESE ALBUMS books. The selections here are conversation pieces, and feature picks you won't find in any comparable book (what other book like this has Clipse and the Doobie Brothers?). It's perfect for your coffee table.
Like headphones, a nice pair of speakers can really improve the way you experience your music. A pair of Kanto YU2 Powered Desktop Speakers are a great option for solid sound and depth that can still fit on top of your bookshelf. If you’re on the hunt for a balance of quality and the kind of space minimization that’s right for tiny apartments or dorm rooms, this pair of speakers will do your collection justice.
The perfection point of a gift lies at the intersection luxury and utility. Nothing beats getting something you will love and use but wouldn’t necessarily shell out for on your own. Cleaning your records may be a bit of a chore, but it can feel suave as hell with this sleek and extensive vinyl care from Vinyl Styl. The packaging and presentation are so stunning, the recipient of this kit will likely want display it next to their turntable.
Your loved one is at at the record store. Naturally, they buy a sizeable amount of records with their brand new record store gift cards. Everything’s peachy until the record store runs out of bags or they forego a bag in valiant effort to reduce waste. They’re walking out the door with what they thought they could handle, but just slightly more records than they can carry. They drop the stack, it goes everywhere, the records are ruined. Now they’re the laughing stock of the entire town, and you could’ve have prevented it by giving them a tote bag. These new Vinyl Me, Please bags are beautiful and functional but, if you’re looking for a little more whimsy, RedBubble sells one that looks like a turntable.
Let’s face it, showing off your records is one of the best part about collecting vinyl in the first place. We’ve all proudly flashed the cover of a new or favorite album to any friend, roommate, family member or guest that would bother to look. Those recipe book or tablet stands happen to perfectly fit an album, allowing you to proudly display a single album next to your turntable or indicate which record is currently spinning. This is also a useful tool if you, like me, are an organizational mess and are constantly putting records into the wrong sleeves.
Gifts with a handmade touch are both fun to create and give and special to own. Record dividers an organizational game-changer, and if you have the time and creativity, these plain, white dividers provide ample opportunities for collaging or personalization. Whip out stamps, stickers, magazine clippings, paint, feathers, other craft material, and get creative with dividers indicating genre, letter, year or any other system of record organization. Or, if you’re particularly handy, you could make your own wooden record dividers following this DIY Vinyl Me, Please tutorial.
You know it, I know it—the platter of your turntable is not aesthetically pleasing. You know what is aesthetically pleasing? Our new logo on this beautiful Slip Mat. I'm actually embarassed for you if you don't have one yet.
Amileah Sutliff is a New York-based writer, editor and creative producer and an editor of the book The Best Record Stores in the United States.
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