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Holiday Gift Guide Filled WIth Musical Merriment

The holidays aren't all they're cracked up to be. The annoying obligation to buy the perfect gift and please everyone on your list...

God, this is a desperate time of year.

However, don't despair. We here at New Times are pleased to share our thoughts and suggestions about the best gifts to give the most troublesome individuals in your social or familial circles. Read on and relax. We've done the drudgery for you, and even matched them to people you may know.

See also: What to Buy Your Millennial for Christmas

The 60-something sixties survivor

We all know this type. The person who's penchant for tie-die and unceasing anecdotes about that trip to Woodstock which involved them ditching the car, walking the last twenty miles, skinny-dipping to wash off the mud, and suddenly becoming enlightened by witnessing Hendrix's replaying of the "Star Spangled Banner" as dawn came up. The story gets annoying all too quickly.

Try these:

Rolling Stones, Sweet Summer Sun, a Blu-ray that shows Mick and the boys returning to London's Hyde Park, the scene of their resurgence after the death of Brian Jones in the summer of 1969.

Jimi Hendrix, Hear My Train A'Comin, a documentary DVD that boasts tons of unreleased footage, Jimi's relentless riffing and actual footage from the Miami Pop Festival (which, in fact was held in Hallandale)

Move Me Brightly, a celebration on Blue-ray of Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday, if only he were here to share a toke today. Features the love and adoration of band mates and eternal admirers

Alternate choices

The Animals, The Mickie Most Years and More, five CDs boasting the original albums produced by Mr. Most, the man behind such hits as "House of the Rising Sun," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," "Don't Let Me Down" and numerous other anthems of the British Invasion.

Sly and the Family Stone, Higher, a CD disc anthology with both hits and rarities from the man who helped integrate rock with soul

Those five nerd guys who think the '70s were actually cool.

This person digs music from an uncool era before they were born: the 1970s. Like they're convinced that bell bottoms and polyester are the ultimate in fashion and that the Bee Gees actually became better after Saturday Night Fever. We know better of course and can attest to the fact that the seventies really sucked. Nevertheless, if they're on the list, you have to humor them.

Try these:

Tickets to see KC and the Sunshine Band January 24, at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. That's the way they like it... but boogie shoes not included.

Bryan Ferry, Live in Lyon, a concert on Blu-ray by the true king of cool, including several of his seminal '70s hits.

Alternate choice:

Yes, The Studio Albums, 1969 - 1987, a 12-CD set that packages all their essential efforts in one box. And if you really want to spring for something expensive, consider booking your buddy on the Yes "Cruise to the Edge" sailing out of Miami April 7 to 12. Both options should occupy them for awhile and get them out of your annoyance zone.

The sentimental fool.

Don't you get tired of trying to comfort that person who always seems to get so teary eyed with even the slightest mention of tireless do-gooders, people that adopt dozens of strays or people who tip exorbitant sums at Christmas time. We do, and frankly, we're kinda sick of the sentimentality. Give them reason to weep alone.

Try this:

You could do no wrong buying that softie on your list a copy of the DVD Springsteen & I, a series of filmed testaments recorded by fans from the world over in which they swear their love for the Boss and all things Bruce. Happily, the musician in question proves as amiable as you'd hope for, and the meet and greet scene at the end is bound to make even the most pessimistic person believe that even superstars will reward their devotees with kindness and appreciation. Be sure to include a box of tissues as a stocking stuffer.

Alternate choice:

Otis Redding, The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection, a CD collection of 70 songs from the greatest soul singer of them all. Play this when you're alone with your sweetie and you might be able to use those sentimental feelings to your own advantage. Just saying'.

The tireless social advocate who you kinda get tired of listening to.

This is the guy who always wears army fatigues and a stars and stripes head band, while constantly complaining that The Man had it out for the little guy. You could count him being at every protest rally, carrying a sign, arguing against taking the aardvark off the endangered species list, or for the rights of workers to wear speedos on casual Fridays. Really?

Try this:

Released! The Human Rights Concert, 1986 - 1998, a multi-disc set featuring Springsteen, U2, Jackson Browne, the Police, Jimmy Page & Robert Pant, Peter Gabriel, and practically every superstar of the past 30 years. Well, a good portion of them anyway. Nice to know that a worthy cause can attract such superstar support. Available on both DVD and CD, it's a sensational musical extravaganza. Perfect for both the indignant and the indifferent.

The musician you gotta impress because they're always trying to impress you.

He or she may be a good friend, but aren't you just a little bit envious of their talent and prowess? Don't you wish you could shred an axe just like they can. Wouldn't you love to be the next Beck, Page, or Clapton? OK, not gonna happen. But if you really want to impart your feelings of inadequacy and make them understand what it feels like to be in awe...

Try this: 

Crossroads, Eric Clapton Guitar Festival, a DVD and CD featuring some of the greatest guitar players in the known universe, including Clapton, Beck, Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy, and a whole host of others that will forever make your proficient pal feel like a hopeless amateur by comparison.

The music lover.

Try this:

Brett Rosenberg, a rocker from New England by way of Nashville sent me the two latest releases by his band Quichenight on cassette. Though you'll find cassettes at most shows these days, who the hell actually has a tape deck anymore? How does anyone listen to these cassettes?

A couple of weeks later, I received a package purchased on Ebay, a Playskool cassette recorder. I wondered: Who sent me this? A few days later, I got an email from Mr. Rosenberg asking me how I enjoyed the cassette. Ah, clever move. And, good stuff too.

The person at work whose name you drew from the Secret Santa list and yet you have no idea what they enjoy, other than taking a dozen cigarette breaks every day and drinking the last of the freshly brewed Cafe Cubano.

You drew their name and now you're stuck.

Try this:

A thingambob from Son of a Sailor Supply. No, this has nothing to do with Jimmy Buffett. In fact, as far as we can tell, it doesn't have much to do with anything -- not even music, but this stuff's cool. They offer handcrafted doodads, tchotchkes, artsy ornaments, baubles, jewelry, carvings, nicknacks, desktop decor and other items that look cute and clever, and make you look like you put a lot of thought and imagination into your gift choice. Check out the website sonofasailorjewelry.com. Maybe you'll make a new pal, and get a shot at the Cuban Coffee in return.

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