Back in the day, Christmas shopping for music lovers couldn't have been simpler: just head on down to the record store, pick up the latest hot release or a rare collector's item, wrap it up with a Warehouse Music gift certificate and you were golden.
Now that the music business has evolved into a digital game, our options have basically been reduced to the dreaded iTunes gift card. Has there ever been a less exciting gift to unwrap in the history of Christmas?
No, not that we're aware of.
That's why we recommend getting a little creative with your music-related Christmas shopping. We realize that you're probably a little busy trying to find parking at the mall at the moment, so we've saved you the trouble of thinking by coming up with the following list of weird and quirky gift ideas for the (gasp) Last Christmas on Earth.
Truly, some of them are better to give than receive. Read on to see what we mean.
Satanism was never so warm and fuzzy! These officially licensed Slayer jumpers sold out in a hurry at the band's online store, but that's no cause for mandatory suicide. Just keep an eye on eBay - a few are bound to pop up between now and the 25th. Pick one up, and your favorite thrasher will stay warm as hell wearing this outrageous holiday blasphemy to midnight mass.
Honestly, it really feels like we shouldn't have to explain to you why everyone you know wants this. It's a Slayer Christmas sweater. Look at those festive pentagrams! Your Christmas is seriously bound to suck without one of these. It's this year's must-have accoutrement for the naughty-list set.
2012 was a big year for Rush. Not only did they release their first concept album in decades - and their best work in ages - with Clockwork Angels, but human drum machine/literary freak Neil Peart pushed the band into a new realm by novelizing the record.
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If that sounds a tad ridiculous, it's because it totally is. But Clockwork Angels: The Novel is also an easy, enjoyable read for fans of the prog-rock gods. Peart brought in longtime fan and sci-fi ringer Kevin J. Anderson to help flesh out the story, and the result is a lot better written than a novelized version of a 21st Century Rush album has any right to be. It's the ideal gift for any loved one who own a bass guitar with what seems like kind of a lot of strings on it.
Those funky-looking new ear-buds that come with the iPhone 5 that Santa's bringing your significant other might be better at staying inside his or her ears than the old ones, but they're still going to do precisely fuck all to keep your honey's head warm. That's where this high-tech beanie comes in.
Just plug this warm, knit cap into your favorite mobile device to listen to your latest Spotify playlist on the built-in speakers. Finally, a hat you can fill with the dulcet tones of Ke$ha's sweet, girlish voice! Anyone you give this fashion innovation to is guaranteed to love it during the winter months. If they don't, we recommend cutting them out of your life completely, because they clearly know dick about hats.
To be worthy of the little drummer boy himself, Justin Bieber, ladies must smell like a freshly shampooed unicorn that's been fed nothing but lavender for the duration of its magical existence. While that particular scent can be difficult to come by outside of Canada, the Biebs has done us a solid by having his peeps put together this intoxicating fragrance just for the ladies.
Whether or not Bieber has ever been allowed to smell a real woman is debatable, but whatever your girlfriend smells like currently, it's undoubtedly worse than this. Buy it. Sadly, there's no men's fragrance yet available from Justin because nobody anywhere wants one. Maybe next year.
Give a drummer a pair of drumsticks, and he's just going to break them in half on his china cymbal again. Teach a drummer to make his own drumsticks, though, and you'll be imparting a holiday lesson on the true value of musical craftsmanship. This handy DIY kit includes everything your favorite skin-beater needs to assemble his or her very own customized drumsticks, except for the glue.
Basically, it's a bag of wood shavings. Actually, it's literally a bag of wood shavings. It's kind of an advanced-level project, we guess, but the drummers in your life will probably still find it easier to complete than nailing the drum solo in "YYZ."
KISS' Gene Simmons may be Jewish, but you can bet your sweet bubbie that he celebrates the arrival of the Christmas buying season each year. The self-styled Demon has squeezed more dollars out of the children of the '70s than even George Lucas over the years, but here's a charming bit of KISS merch that's worth the coin.
Santa will have no choice but to fill this stocking replica of Gene's iconic dragon boots with only the best stuffers, like blood capsules, cash and Playmates. Any recipient of this gift is certain to rock and roll all (silent) night and party every (Christmas) day for years to come.
As Lil' Flip has repeatedly warned us, you can't truly be trill if you got no ice. That's why the rap fans on your Christmas list will be so grateful to receive this hip hopsicle ice tray for Jesus' birthday. Finally, they'll be able to keep their drank cold with ice cubes that are decidedly non-wack. The flexible rubber mold freezes water in the shapes of turntables, microphones, ghetto blasters and dollar signs, the universal symbols of hip-hop. If these cubes ain't chillin' in your gin and juice, you might as well reach for a 40, instead.
Got a pal who dreams about squeezing the clean-cut lads from One Direction between his or her thighs late at night? Give them a set of these over-sized pillowcases, and you can make that dream come true without fear of prosecution! Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis have all been given the body-pillow treatment at last, enabling millions of fan-girls to finally drool over their idols for real. In fact, we think it may be legal to marry these things in Japan, so leave room in your budget for a wedding shower gift, too.
May be prudent to pick up a set for yourself and stash 'em away in the attic for a few years, as well. Have you seen how much that New Kids on the Block sleeping bag your mom threw out is going for on eBay these days? Just think how much these innocuous masturbation aids will be worth by the time One Direction hits the road on its first reunion tour!
Does someone close to you own a cat that can't rap for shit? Maybe it's time to nudge Mr. Whiskers in a different direction. Who knows, your loved one's favorite feline may discover a knack for party-rocking on this excruciatingly cute turntable scratchpad. Hip hop already has its fair share of doggs; it's time for the kitties to get in the mix, naw'm sayin'?
Plus, your friends and family will love you even more for helping to ensure that their furniture will no longer be chopped and screwed by Michael "Fluff-thousand" Watts or whatever dumb fucking name they gave their stupid cat.
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For those friends and family members whose idea of a holiday tradition is to eat mushrooms and watch A Christmas Story for nine hours straight, the lunatics in the Flaming Lips have devised the perfect stocking stuffer: a three-inch silver trembling fetus ornament for ye olde Tannenbaum. The band is hawking these odd little trinkets on their website.
We're not entirely clear on the significance behind the eye-catching pewter infants, but perhaps the shiny fetus represents the celestial collective consciousness birthed by the group's balls-out performance of Dark Side of the Moon at Free Press Summer Fest. But why it exists is immaterial. Fact is, it's just about the weirdest fucking Christmas decoration that we've ever seen, making it a must-own for any Lips fans on your list.