Sometimes Santa Claus doesn’t deliver. Give him some slack; the guy’s got a busy schedule.
That’s where you, the city of Boston, and a couple extra bucks come in. If your boyfriend has more band shirts than button-downs or your mother’s record collection never stops growing, you’re in luck. Consider this your holiday shopping checklist for the record aficionados and rising musicians. Best of all, everything’s in the three-digit price range or less. Go forth, children, and snag last-minute gifts that scream I’ve Totally Spent Weeks Trying To Find The Perfect Gift For You And This Is It.
WHERE TO GET IT: Q Audio, 5 Brookline St., Cambridge
WHY: The sleek, modern, manual Project Debut Carbon DC is a big step up from your clunky Urban Outfitters record player. If you ever run into issues, bring it back worry free. Audio Q fixes any record player malfunctions in a heartbeat, from tricky rewiring to swapping parts.
WHERE TO GET IT: Deep Thoughts JP, 138 South St., Jamaica Plain
WHY: Drown out family arguments with special edition splatter vinyl by Thee Oh Sees. But if you’re looking for ’70s psychedelic jams instead modern garage rock riffs, move to the next aisle. Deep Thoughts JP has just about everything.
WHERE TO GET IT: Store 54, 16 Harvard Ave., Allston
WHY: The joy of Store 54 isn’t finding exactly what you’re looking for, but finding what you didn’t know you needed. The hidden cove holds treasures that change overnight. Our favorites? The old CD section where rarities (Parliament! Unwound!) or mainstream hits (Missy Elliott! Nick Drake!) are only a couple bucks.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Audio Lab, 36 JFK St., Cambridge
WHY: Stop listening to music out of your laptop speakers. The Audio Lab has HQ sound system parts (like, you know, Triangle speakers) which can be installed directly in your home. It’s like hearing music for the first time… again.
WHERE TO GET IT: Mr. Music, 128 Harvard Ave., Allston
WHY: Dying to have a ’60s tube amp but can’t afford to drop that much dough? Us too. Time to pick up the FuzzBubble-45 by Analog Alien, a simple pedal whose tones allow for flexible haze control without numbing the fuzz. Wait for one of Mr. Music’s helpful sales to chip even more dollar signs off the price.
WHERE TO GET IT: Mike’s Monster Guitar, 896 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
WHY: The best teachers are those who don’t take themselves too seriously. Meet Mike. The owner of Mike’s Monster Guitar just next to Central Square offers lessons during store hours for only $25 a half hour. Considering the shop is like a living room and he’s played in countless bands over the last 30 years, it’s a hell of a bargain.
WHERE TO GET IT: Vivant Vintage, 318 Lincoln St., Allston
WHY: Not everyone knows how to play music, but everyone can appreciate it. For the music lover in your life who was born in the wrong era, Vivant Vintage has the apparel you’re looking for. Don’t be surprised to find authentic tour shirts from Joan Jett’s 1980 tour or The Beach Boys’ 1963 tour, both in mint condish.
WHERE TO GET IT: Squishy Sandwich Art
WHY: Louis Roe, the genius behind Squishy Sandwich Art, one-upped Boston’s show documentary game. Instead of photographing live sets, he draws them—and he draws them well. From doodles of Screaming Females at Great Scott to sidestage sketching the Front Bottoms at House of Blues, his work looks best when framed on a music aficionado’s wall.