"I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that."
If you're feeling like Lucy Van Pelt, we're not here to open up a psychiatry booth. But we might be able to help in the gift suggestion department. Because A Charlie Brown Christmas wouldn't be the same without the music of Vince Guaraldi, here are some of our favourite ideas for Canadian indie-themed musical gifts and more. After all, when all else fails, give what you really want and if it loves you, it will come back. Or something like that.
1. Bait and switch. Upgrade your family and friends to Canadian indie. Is your dad into country? He'll love Corb Lund or Lindi Ortega. Does your brother like Nickelback (our condolences)? Give him Arkells. Grandpa has the blues? Turn him on to catl. Grandma's into music from the 40s? We recommend Jill Barber and Belle Plaine. How about some Elliott BROOD goodies? Folk, hip hop, electronic, world, pop, 13 Days of Christmas by some great PEI bands...there's a Canadian indie upgrade for every genre, and you don't have to stand in line outside the Apple store to get it. (**Disclaimer: these suggestions are for representative purposes only; they're a mere fraction of all the bands we love.)
2. I made you a mixtape. Minimal budget? In the spirit of suggestion no. 1, make your loved ones a mixtape of free (and at least partly if not all Canadian indie) music. And then guilt them later into buying the album(s). Here's a few for starters:
- Zunior compilations
- Paste Magazine Holiday Sampler 2012 (28 songs!)
- Dine Alone Records Holiday Sampler
3. CBC Radio 3 merch. Also your chance to drop heavy hints that you'd love some R3 merch for yourself. And if your recipients aren't into Radio 3 quite as much as you, they might like some CBC Retro.
4. Good for one live show. Remember how much your mom loved those coupons you made for her when you were a kid? You know, "Good for one vacuuming." Make a grown-up version: "Good for one live show." We're not talking about $200 tickets to a megarena in the nosebleed section. We're talking about taking your SO or friend to your local small venue that supports Canadian indie artists. It will be remembered way longer than those fuzzy socks or box of Ferrero Rocher.
5. A Diamond is forever (or at least 12 months). Canadian indie bands catl. and The Pack a.d. have both recorded at legendary producer Jim Diamond's Ghetto Recorders. You can see more female talent from around the globe in the Girls of Ghetto Records 2013 calenders. $20 in the US and $30 outside of the US. Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check or money order to Ghetto Recorders, P. O. Box 2533, Detroit, MI 48202 USA.
N2D photographer Russ Gordon's photo of The Pack a.d. is Ghetto Recorders' calendar image for December 2012.
"Look, Charlie, let's face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know." Or maybe Kenny Loggins...