For Christmas, What do you Get the Music-Loving Acquaintance who Already has Nothing?

Categories: Fiesta!

4. Spotify Sorry, but these ads show up every two or three list items unless you're an RFT Music Premium subscriber.

Flickr user Asim Bijarani
4. Services. Because I am a blogger and my girlfriend is an erstwhile East-Asian Studies major, we've sworn this year to to spend zero dollars on our Christmas gifts for each other. I know how this sounds, but rest assured: We are exactly cheap enough not to chicken out and do the O. Henry thing at the last minute.

As part of my side of the deal, I am attempting to do the impossible: Tag, organize, and find album art for her enormous iTunes library, which is partially East Asian in origin. I'm just getting started, and there are probably 500 Unknown Albums with three unnamed J-Pop songs in them still to go. If you don't have a lot of money, but you do have a prescription for Ritalin and something like 30 hours on your hands, this is not a bad idea.

Flickr user AdamL212
5. Memorabilia is a perennial winner, and it's the best one I've settled on. My brother is one of a few die-hard Blind Melon fans born after 1990, so last Christmas I found an old record store display for one of their albums and jumped on it. Most of the inventory in that Sam Goody where you shopped in 1994 is worthless; all of the ephemera -- the posters, the end-caps, the VHS promos with two sullen hosts talking about the new Candlebox album -- has become valuable. Thanks, internet.

The weird thing: As people have moved their music collections (and shopping) onto computers, albums themselves have become memorabilia, divorced from the music that's on them. Which brings me to my real point: If you settle on a mint-condition vinyl copy of Wings At The Speed of Sound when you're shopping for me, this year, don't worry. I'll love it -- it was so thoughtful of you to remember I already owned Back to the Egg -- I'm just not sure I'll ever actually listen to it.

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