Buying a gift for a music lover can either be the easiest task or the hardest. Music lovers can be picky and particular (we all know that person), or they can be easily excitable and interested in a wide range of music-related activities. Here’s a list that might help with whatever type of music lover is in your life.

Local Record Store Gift Cards: You can’t go wrong with a gift card. It might seem a bit impersonal, but it lets people pick exactly what music they want. Remember the excitement of getting a Tower Records gift card in the ’80s and ’90s? If not, the more “mature” of us don’t want to know. Well, Oakland’s 1-2-3-4 Go! Records and Stranded both offer gift certificates and you’ll be helping your local record stores. Win-win.

Acme House of Music Instruments: If your music lover is into playing music, then you might think about buying an instrument from Acme House of Music. I’m not suggesting it’s easy picking out an instrument for someone. If he, she or they already play, that can be a very personal decision. But maybe it’s time to try out a new instrument or pick one up — a mandolin or a ukulele or a stylus synthesizer (what?)! The people at Acme are great and there are some real gems to be found there, so go check ‘em out.

She Shreds Magazine Subscription: For the woman in your life who plays bass or guitar, She Shreds Magazine is a gift she’s going to love. Or maybe your music lover is just a person who thinks Marnie Stern and Corin Tucker are awesome (which they are) and would want to read more about them. Get them started with the latest magazine which is all about great female guitarists. Not to be missed.

33 1/3 Book: Does your mother, brother, significant other or bestie have a favorite album? Do they like to read? Check out the 33 1/3 book series. Different writers tackle different albums with varying styles. You can read about the making of Paul’s Boutique and the havoc the Beastie Boys brought to Capital Records while recording that album, or you can read the seething take on Celine Dion titled “Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste.”

Monthly Vinyl: I love this concept of Vinyl Me, Please. I might be putting it on the list in the hopes that my family or friends see it and get it for me, but that’s beside the point. Once a month you receive a record, sometimes new, sometimes old, but always picked because it’s awesome and printed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. Along with the album you’ll receive an art print and a cocktail recipe. I know, I know, it’s somewhat precious and it’s not inexpensive. Don’t care, want.

Cassette Player: No joke. Cassettes may have hit the mainstream consciousness again with the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and its Awesome Mix Vol. I, but bands have been going back to cassettes with less fanfare for a while. Even Weezer put out their new album on cassette this year. It’s all about the analog! And the cheapness. Thing is, not everyone kept their old cassette players. No worries, head over to eBay, or swing by Econo Jam Records or VAMP – Vintage Art and Music for the People to see if they have one. It’s a must before the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel and Awesome Mix Vol. II come out and the prices rise again.

About The Author

Katie is the Music Editor at OL. She's a music geek, culture junkie, massive A's fan, and Oakland native. When she was six, she stood for five minutes with a felt pennant stuck under Chris Mullin’s armpit. Check out her Oakland music listings at, follow on twitter/instagram as @craziesthawk, or contact at

One Response

  1. Tracy

    Happy holidays!! VAMP also offers gift certificates! I will be open this afternoon (Monday) from 2-6ish (not usually open Mondays!), and Tue from noon til 6 for any last minute shoppers! Thanks for including my shop in the article! Great!!!!


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