Image courtesy of New Roads.
Image courtesy of New Roads.

Musicians Offer Christmas Gift Suggestions

Ho-ho-hold on for a moment - you still haven't found that Christmas gift you've been searching for? 

It's time to get Santamental.

If you can't quite figure out what to place under the tree of your special someone/friend/relative/wife/kid(s), then numerous members of the music industry have come to your rescue with some holiday gift suggestions that fall into the categories of music, books, TV, films and beyond!

FYIMusicNews put out the call and the responses were...interesting.  Some were contemporary...some delved into the past..some shamelessly self-promoted - and who is going to be the Grinch who is going to deny them that privilege?

Others were altruistic and the rest simply chose favourites that they simply think others will enjoy.

So, here's the first of a two-part list of participants who generously and graciously suggested gifts that keep on giving. An editor's note: some comments were edited for brevity - and when it comes to TV show suggestions, remember that they're available either as a DVD/Blu-ray set, or, if they're on a streaming service, as a subscription.

Cadence Weapon. - 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner and hip-hop entertainer

MUSIC

The House Is Burning - Isaiah Rashad - " Chill bangers that reveal layers with every listen."

BOOK:

Everybody - Olivia Laing  - "A wonderful series of essays about the nature of the body."

FILM:

Dune

TV SHOW:

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - "Possibly the most insane program I've ever seen."

 

Murray McLauchlan - Juno Award-winning songwriter, singer.

MUSIC:

Sad Hunk - Bahamas - "Really clever writing and unusual arrangements."

BOOK:

The Mirror and The Light - Hilary Mantel - "One of two books that dramatize the life of Thomas Cromwell and his relationship with Henry the Eighth."

FILM:

The Father -  Anthony Hopkins.  "Hard to watch but brilliant."

TV SHOW

Ted Lasso - "Darkly funny, interesting premise and really thoughtful character development."

 

Chynna Lewis - Toronto-based singer-songwriter

MUSIC:

Soft Thing (EP) - Loony Music

Dawn - Yebba

BOOK:

On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous  - Ocean Vuong

Big Magic -  Elizabeth Gilbert

The War of Art  - Steven Pressfield

FILM:

Minari 

Dune (2021)

King Richard

TV SHOW:

Insecure

Sex Education

 

Dave Monks (Tokyo Police Club/solo):

MUSIC:

We just took NOBRO on tour and they were amazing - they just put out a new single this week I think. If you like fun rock and roll and good songs, go and check them out and you know... buy all their stuff! 

 

Liona Boyd, Canada's first lady of classical guitar

MUSIC:

Voyage - Abba- ".The first two single releases, I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down, moved me to tears."

BOOK:

My Life So Far - Jane Fonda (Audiobook) - "I had no idea how difficult her early years were. I admire Jane for her honesty, generosity, and lifelong activism. Her romances with people such as her former husband Ted Turner are written about with great humour. I’ve listened twice to this book."

FILM:

The Romance of Astrea and Celadon - Eric Rohmer (2007). 

TV SHOW:

Luis Miguel, La Serie (Netflix.) - "Set in Mexico City, Acapulco, Beverly Hills, New York, Italy, Chile, Madrid etc., all places I have known well and has much to do with his abusive childhood, the recording studio experience and dishonesty in the music business. Most of the story, including the disappearance of his beautiful mother is actually true."

 

Jr. Flo  -  Keys N Krates 

MUSIC:

space 1.8 - Nala Sinephro  - "Such an edgy yet beautiful and emotional album.  Great music to take a walk with."  

BOOK:

Atomic Habits - James Clear -  "Has an incredible way of wrapping one’s head around becoming more effective at whatever you’re trying to become more effective at."

FILM:

Die Hard - "What other movie would you watch during the holidays?  I mean, c’mon!"

TV SHOW:

Curb Your Enthusiasm 

 

Ikky - hip-hop R&B artist and producer

MUSIC:

Certified Lover Boy – Drake

MoonChild Era - Diljit Dosanjh

BOOK:

Thinking, Fast and Slow  -  Daniel Kahneman

FILM:

Spotlight 

TV SHOW:

The Office (Box Set)

 

Clea Anais - Raleigh/solo artist 

MUSIC:

Notes with Attachments - Pino Palladino & Blake Mills

FILM:

Midsommer - "A trippy post-dinner lounging horror film. (not for kids!)

TV SHOW:

Maid - "A show depicting genuine family struggles, beautifully constructed. (Not for kids!)"

 

Valley, (Rob Laska, Mickey Brandolino, Alex Dimauro, Karah James)  - Toronto indie-pop band and UMC and Capitol recording artist

MUSIC:

The Golden Hour - Kacey Musgraves (Vinyl Edition)

BOOK:

Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music  - Dave Grohl

A Promised Land  - Barack Obama 

FILM:

The Truman Show 

Harry Potter (box set)

TV SHOW:

Apple TV subscription to watch Ted Lasso

Netflix subscription to watch The Office

 

Cleopatrick (Luke Gruntz, Ian Fraser) - Cobourg, ON, hard rock duo

MUSIC:

Yuletide Bangerz  - Jonwayne (Bandcamp) - "A collection of the absolute illest holiday beats."

 

Lindsay Ell, country singer-songwriter and Stoney Creek Records recording artist

TURNTABLE:

Crosley Record Player - "The best way to listen to music is on vinyl is the Crosley Record Player. It's compact so it can fit in any space and it sounds great!" 

BOOK:

Think Again  - Adam Grant

Untamed  -  Glennon Doyle

 

MacKenzie Porter  - Country singer-songwriter and Big Loud Records recording artist

MUSIC:

Star-Crossed - Kacey Musgraves

Southeastern - Jason Isbell

The Marfa Tapes  - Jack Ingram, Jon Randall and Miranda Lambert

FILM:

Sound of Metal

Garden State

Basketball Diaries

TV SHOW:

Queen's Gambit - (Netflix)

Dave

Dexter: New Blood 

 

Lindsay Dunn, Music journalist

MUSIC:

Skeletons - Brothers Osborne -  "A must-have for any music fan, this album came out late 2020 but it still is my favourite album of the last year. From the lyrics to John Osborne shredding on guitar on Muskrat Green, this is a beautiful piece of art. Must listen: Old Man's Boots!" 

The Gibb Brother Songbook, Vol. 1 - Greenfields. - "The impact that The Gibb Brothers had on music is remarkable. This album gives new life to some of their best work, with voices like the iconic Dolly Parton to Brandi Carlile singing alongside Barry Gibb."

BOOK:

All In: An Autobiography - Billie Jean King.     "Billie Jean King took on the tennis establishment and went game, set and match. It's heartbreaking, yet inspiring, to read about the discrimination she faced and overcame. She broke down so many barriers for women in tennis  - but also for members of the LGBTQ+ community. A perfect read for the times we find ourselves in and so inspiring!" 

FILM:

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar - "There are multiple cameos in this movie that will have you spitting out your eggnog in laughter." 

TV SHOW:

Ted Lasso - Apple TV - "There are two seasons of Lasso, but the first season has a lot of hilarious moments. Given the last two years, I think we all could use a laugh."

 

Shawn Austin - Vancouver-based country music singer-songwriter and Local Hay/Big Loud Records recording artist.

HEADPHONES:
Sony 1000XM4 - "To listen to great music, you need some great headphones! The Sony 1000XM4’s are the way to go especially when travelling."

BOOK READING DEVICE

Kindle -  "Any Kindle is a game-changer and must-have."

GIGANTIC TV SCREEN

77-inch SONY A80J

TV TECH:

Philips Hue Sync Box + Gradient Lightstrip"I've always been a tech nerd and gadget junkie so I tend to gravitate to the extremes when it comes to electronics. To make the TV show experience even better, you need to check this out. You’ll wonder how you ever watched anything without it."

 

Jadea Kelly - L.A.-based Canadian singer-songwriter

MUSIC:

Shape & Destroy - Ruston Kelly (Vinyl edition) -  "Ruston is my favourite songwriter from Nashville and he just released this album.

BOOK:

People You Follow  -  Hayley Gene Penner  -  "Hayley is Canadian and also lives here in LA. She played one of my Canadian showcases and read an excerpt from this book."

FILM:

Father of the Bride 1 

Father of the Bride 2

TV SHOW:

Mrs. Maisel

Sex Education 

 

Tennyson King - indie folk singer-songwriter

MUSIC:

Gold-Diggers Sound -- Leon Bridges. "Amazing songwriting, smooth vocals and a great album to listen to when cruising on the road."

BOOK:

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life  --  William Finnegan. "An amazing book about travel, adventure and surfing. The search for waves, pre-internet and before some of the famous surf spots were even discovered. It makes you want to pack your bags, ditch your technology, and just hit the road in search for the most beautiful beaches, islands and waves."

FILM:

Only Lovers Left Alive - "A campy dark comedy about living as vampires and how living forever might not be the best thing. It has some hilariously dark humour courtesy of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston."

 

Birds Of Bellwoods – each of the band members gave a recommendation, names noted below...

MUSIC:

White Buffalo EP - Crown Lands - "Great songwriting combined with expansive melodies and hooks give the listener a unique experience that only this band can provide." - Dylan.

BOOK:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series  -  Rick Riordan -  "I’m absolutely hooked. It’s light, it’s fun, it’s Harry Potter without the whole… you know. Buy it for Christmas and you’ll get through the whole thing by New Year." - Stevie

Flow -  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.    "It helped me find stillness in the chaos that surrounded me over the past year: partly a self-help book; partly a review of humanity without feeling too preachy." - Kintaro.

FILM:

Good Time  -   "The holidays are all about family, and no family is perfect. This is one of the most captivating, heartbreaking, apocalyptic looks at relationships. Incredible soundtrack too. The Safdie brothers are geniuses." - Adrian

TV SHOW:

Get Back  - Peter Jackson - "It really pulls the curtain back on half a century’s worth of speculation about the Beatles day-to-day processes of making music." - Chris

 

Sheila Hart - Common Deer vocalist

MUSIC:

Heaven or Las Vegas (1990) - Cocteau Twins.  "Lush vocals, soaring guitars and shoegaze-y tones create an album mellow enough for summer, but introspective enough for snowy winter listening. Take this one on a forest walk."

BOOK:

Architects of Self-Destruction: the Oral History of Leftover Crack - Brad Logan and John R. Gentile.   "Deep-diving into one of the most beloved bands from my youth, this book entertains and disgusts, just like Leftover Crack."

FILM:

Cruel Intentions (1999)  "Most recently viewed during my post-second vaccine haze. Totally problematic in hindsight, but the '90s soundtrack, outfits, and perfect casting make this dark comedy a perennial comfort watch."

TV SHOW:

Succession  - "Satire about an ultra-wealthy media family tearing itself apart. What's not to love?" 

 

Noelle - pop R&B artist signed to Wax Records

SPEAKER:

Bose SoundLink Mini II speaker

MUSIC:

24K Magic -  Bruno Mars (Vinyl Edition)

BOOK:

In Another Time  -  Jillian Cantor

Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails - Alex Day, David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald

 

Alyssa Reid, Edmonton-born singer-songwriter

SPEAKER:

Bose Soundlink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker

BOOK READING DEVICE:

Kobo Libra 2 (e-reader)

TV STREAMING SERVICE:

Apple TV

FILM ACCESSORY:

Dash Popcorn Maker 

       

Manny Blu - Nashville-based country-punk artist

TV SHOW:

The Housewives of the North Pole - "As a fan of most of the Real Housewives editions, you can’t go wrong cuddling up on the couch this holiday season with this new series.

 

Martha And The Muffins - Mark Gane and Martha Johnson

MUSIC:

Music For 18 Musicians - Steve Reich -  "Take an album that you haven’t listened to for a long time, set an hour aside, and listen to the whole thing, as albums were meant to be heard, preferably while in a reclining position with the lights off.  Check out Music For 18 Musicians by Steve Reich and allow yourself to zone out".    

BOOK:

Saga Boy - Antonio Michael Dowling.  "Dead honest in its telling, the true story of a young black child wrenched from his life in Trinidad to find himself, literally overnight, in the alien climate and culture of Northern Ontario and his subsequent decades-long search for love and identity. "

FILM:

Minari  -  director Lee Isaac Chung. "About a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm during the 1980s in search of their own American Dream.  Beautifully told, acted and photographed. Loved the grandmother!"

TV SHOW:

Succession -  "Who doesn’t enjoy vicariously watching the ultra-wealthy destroy each other through toxic family relationships? You may find it a challenge to decide who the most repulsive character is. "

 

Kele Fleming - Indie folk-pop songwriter

MUSIC:

Singer-songwriter Art Block (London, UK,)

Avant-garde electronic composer and songwriter Norrisette (Manchester U.K.P)

Dreampop goddess Jody Glenham (Vancouver, B.C.)

BOOK:

Rememberings - Sinead O' Connor. -  "I loved it! It was painful and inspiring and profound to read all at the same time. Her writing style was also liberating and conversational. While I was reading the book, it's as if she was alternately whispering and screaming directly in my ear."

FILM:

The Magnitude of All Things - Jennifer Abbott.  "A relatively new Canadian film described as 'a cinematic exploration of the emotional and psychological dimensions of climate change.' When I wrote my last album, The Song I'll Write for My Whole Life,  I feel like I was unknowingly writing the soundtrack for this film, and the soundtrack for the rest of my life. This film shows in pictures and stories the grief and joy for Mother Earth that I carry in my heart every moment of my life."

TV SHOW:

Nine Perfect Strangers   - "The glossy and glamorous veneer of good health and wellness that unravels through the course of the show to reveal the shadow side of human dynamics is fascinating!"

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