Our Gift Guide from... 2011

Yep, it’s that time of year again. The time when Rockers like yourself ask “What can I give folks I love/feel obligated towards to show how much I care/have done my duty?” While holiday shopping should have a spirit of fun and be full of the joy of giving, often it quickly descends into the doldrums of “What could I possibly get this person? Gift card!”


Over the past few weeks we’ve surveyed competitors’ “Holiday Gift Guides” and let us be frank, most of them suck.  Fueled by their advertisers and encouraging readers to buy items like a $7000 TV in this economy seems, like, kind of out of touch with reality.  Luckily Rockerzine is far too small to have to kiss the bottom of big brother when it comes to our thoughts on gift giving, so when nearly a dozen of our staff came up with ideas for cool stuff to give and get it all came from the heart.  Here you will find cheap items, strange items, and awesome items for every person on your list including the most important one, you.  ‘Cuz what’s holiday shopping without treating yourself?


Click on a category below, or skip to the next page to scroll through the awesome.


For Your Rockin’ Pad

For Rocking Around Town

Because Some People Still Read Dammit

For The Boozing Rocker

For Those Who Love A Night At Home With The DVD Player

For Mommies, Daddies, And The Littlest Hipsters

For The Pet Set

You Still Buy Records?

Charities That Rock (and Give You A Cool Premium When You Donate):







Custom Record Clock – $60

For your favorite vinyl junkie. Plus you can pick the record of your choice. I wonder if David Lynch’s new release Crazy Clown Time is available on vinyl? .   – Amy Prohaska



Punk Cross Stitch – $4.50 patterns, $10 – $38 pre-stitched

How to be cozy and still punk rock?  Problem solved!  State your intent to retain your punk ethics in DIY chic with these handsome punk cross stitch samplers.  Choose from cheery phrases including “I Want To Be Anarchy”, “Gabba Gabba Hey”, or “Punk Rock Warlord”; or, if you’re looking for something a bit more edgy, try “Please Don’t Do Coke In the Bathroom”.  – Erin Amar


Bite Me Bottle Opener –  $10
While there will always be a cache of cool reserved for those who can nimbly pop the top off a longneck with a Bic lighter, this set of choppers with a detachable keyring takes portable bottle opening to new levels of gothic fabulousness. Plus it’s heavy and toothy enough to double as a makeshift self-defense tool. Gama Go’s website actually offers an assortment of affordable, rocker-friendly gift items, from a Flying V cheese grater to silicone coasters that look like old 45s. – Melissa Starker


Guitar knob magnets – $5
None of them go to 11, but these magnets featuring knobs swiped from Fender guitars are still pretty damn sweet, and you can’t beat the price. – Melissa Starker

Cassette Tape Measurer $7.95

Here is a great stocking stuffer for your favorite handy guy who measures and rocks! I wonder if you pull the tape out too far if you need a pencil to wind it back in?  .   – Amy Prohaska


Dolly Parton Portrait – $40

If that long promised trip to Dollywood doesn’t fit in your holiday budget this year, how about bringing Dolly to your home? Now if we can only find a matching Kenny Rogers portrait to go with it.  .   – Amy Prohaska

The Dead Celebrities Cookbook” by Frank Decaro – $13

Celebrities. They’re just like us. Except they are rich. And famous. And for the stars mentioned in this book—DEAD! Compiled by “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” contributer Frank Decaro, the recipes here will have you eating like everyone from Liberace to Farrah Fawcett and even Patrick Swayze.  – Keith Valcourt

Jello Biafra and Wendy O. Williams Throbbleheads – $19.95

Getting older often means Christmas gifts aren’t as exciting as they used to be.  The reason?  Lack of toys.  Thankfully the good folks at Aggronautix have put an end to that.  Imagine the good times you’ll have conspiring to smash the state with your own Jello Biafra throbblehead, or chatting about the best way to blow up a TV with queen of punk Wendy O. Williams?  Alternately, if you’re not the kind of insane person who talks to inanimate objects, you can just put them on the shelf and smile at them.  Either way, we won’t tell. – Erin Amar






Wallettes–  $6-8

Chicago crafters Ariel and Amanda give new purpose to outdated audio technology with this affordable gift option. With the addition of a fabric lining and zipper closure, cassette shells that once held dolphin songs, Handel’s Messiah, homemade mixtapes and other sounds are ready to hold your cash, change or business cards. – Melissa Starker


Ticket Stub Diary – $10

Do you know someone who is constantly going to shows and loves keeping the ticket stubs just to prove that they were actually at that cool show that everyone later talks about?  Now they finally have a place to preserve those memories. Imagine that on the coffee table!   – Amy Prohaska


Cassette Tote Bag – $13

Hey just because Webster’s Dictionary doesn’t think cassette tapes are worthy of being included in its latest edition, doesn’t mean that everyone else wants to forget about cassettes!   A must have for your favorite mix-tape gal.   – Amy Prohaska


Lou Reed headphones – $400 (Lou Reed not included)
For your favorite Lou Reed fanatic, how about the Signature Audio Edition Lou Reed X10i, hi end headphones for the true audiophile. Wait, did you think we were going suggest Lou’s collaboration with Metallica, Lulu? ummm…no… .   – Amy Prohaska

Hilldun Bottle Cap Tripod –  $9.95
Let’s face it:  We’re not as young as we used to be, and neither are our livers.  But when you need that steady hand for a holiday family gathering photo op after your fifth, “I should have stayed home this year,” manhattan, this little baby will fill in nicely. – Will Kennedy





Music What Happened? 2nd edition by Scott Miller – $15 Autographed
I don’t care if you were a fan of Scott Miller’s breathtakingly clever pop bands (Game Theory and The Loud Family) during the 80’s and 90’s or not, this rocker’s book cataloguing the best singles of every year from 1950 – 2010 appears deceptively unthreatening, but be forewarned, it is completely hypnotic.  A must for any music nerd or music nerd in training, expect copious thanks from the gift recipient.  That is, once they come up for air. – Erin Amar

Ace Frehley: “No Regrets” – $17
Legendary Kiss guitarist finally breaks his silence and unloads on everything from his former band mates (Gene is a douche) to his sobriety and beyond. This no holds barred biography is a must read for Kiss fans or anyone who ever wanted to “Rock And Roll All Night” (*And Party Every Day). – Keith Valcourt

“Goodnight Keith Moon” by Bruce Worden & Clare Cross – $9
Take one part beloved children’s bedtime story, add in the ramshackle and tragic life of the wild man drummer for The Who. Then you have a great, laugh out loud parody book. Goodnight Keith Moon. Goodnight trashed hotel room.  – Keith Valcourt

If You Like The Sopranos by Leonard Pierce – $11
What says “Family” better than a comprehensive guide to all that influenced (and all that what was influenced by) HBO’s iconic mob series? – Andrew Osborne

If You Like The Terminator by Scott Von Doviak – $11

Or, if you prefer visions of robot apocalypse dancing in your head for the holidays, be sure to pre-order the science fiction edition from the If You Like gang! – Andrew Osborne

Image Comics:  Blue Estate – $8.99 (Vol. 1) or $1.99 (single issues)
Deck the halls with comic mayhem in the L.A. crime saga Pop Matters calls “one of the best new series this year.” – Andrew Osborne


Patron Tequila, 200ml size – $15
The first time I had a Patron cocktail I thought, “wow, this is yum” shortly followed by “wow, this is expensive” and “surely too expensive to buy for drinking at home.  But thanks to Patron’s mini-sizes this top shelf tequila is now an affordable luxury for you, or to give as a gift.  Because what says more perfectly, “I might like you better if we were drunk together” than fancy booze?  Answer: Nothing!  – Erin Amar

Wines That Rock – $50 for 3
For your favorite Rockin’ Sommelier (or Wino if you will). Got a Deadhead on your list? How about some “Steal Your Face Red” or if that special someone is more of a Police fanatic, why not try some “Synchronicity Red”?  Don’t forget some “Peace Love and Woodstock Chardonnay” for your baby boomer relatives.  Cheers! .   – Amy Prohaska



Criterion Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismaki’s Leningrad Cowboys – $44.95
Just in time for the holidays, Criterion comes through with the long-awaited DVD release of Aki Kaurismaki’s “Leningrad Cowboys Go America.” Chock full of deadpan hilarity and gravity-defying pompadours, the 1989 cult comedy about a Russian rock band’s U.S. tour is part of a three-disc set that also includes the 1994 sequel “Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses” and the concert film “The Total Balalaika Show.”  – Melissa Starker


Star Wars: The Complete Saga- BluRay Box Set – $100
What do we need to say here? It’s Star Wars! The greatest Sci-Fi film series in the history of the genre. So George Lucas has tinkered with these films too much. (No one needs there Ewoks to blink George!) But seeing these films in BluRay brilliance is awesome! Plus there are 3 discs of bonus features. Use the force, or your credit card and get this now! – Keith Valcourt


Barney Miller: The Complete Series – $85
Finally on DVD!! All 8 seasons of the classic cop comedy ensemble sitcom that starred a who’s who of TV legends (including Hal Linden, Max Gail and Ron Glass) are here. The best part you also get the complete first season of the Abe Vigoda spin off series “Fish!”  – Keith Valcourt


Rescue Me: The Sixth & The Final Season – $19

TV’s biggest asshole, Tommy Gavin (played by Dennis Leary) finally hangs up his fire hat after seven booze and tragedy fueled seasons. This box set of the last two define the term “Dramady” and remind you why the FX show was the best thing on TV in the past ten years.  – Keith Valcourt


Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Collection – $36

Who doesn’t love a little blood and guts with their eggnog? Packaged in a hockey mask, this huge box sets (available on either DVD or BluRay) features all of Jason’s finest (Parts 1 & 2) and not so much (Jason vs. Freddie) work. Perfect for clearing all those pesky in-laws out of your house.  – Keith Valcourt


Beats, Rhyme and Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest – $13

You realize less than 10 minutes into this fascinating documentary that hip hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest love each other, even though they really don’t like each other very much. First time director Michael Rappaport (yes the actor) captures the native tongue rap collective as they struggle to keep the beat alive. Word.  – Keith Valcourt





Misfits Diaper Bag – $32.00
Ever feel parenthood can be a bit… beige?  The antidote to all that pink and blue surely starts with toting the only diaper bag endorsing the musicians behind hits like “Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?”  Though some parents down the tot lot may not be sure of what to make of you, you’ll find out who the other cool parents at Gymboree are pretty darn quick.  – Erin Amar

The Pee Wee Herman Show On Broadway DVD/BluRay –  $15

Pee Wee Herman (Paul Rubens) and his playhouse pals reunite for a masterful re-staging of his classic kid’s show “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” live on the Great White Way. Seeing our favorite manchild interacting with Miss Yvonne, Chairy, King Of Cartoons and Cowboy Curtis makes us almost forget about that whole arrested in a adult movie theater thing.  – Keith Valcourt


Fresh Beat Band Placemats – $2

We had a great day … it was a super way … to spend some time together! So sing the irrepressible Twist, Kiki, Shout, and Marina of the Fresh Beat Band, a Nick Jr. confection that features four fresh-faced friends who love to sing, dance, and solve problems. Make yours a great day with this rockin’ Fresh Beat placemat, with its mouthwatering color palette and perky pop stars. Get yours for under two bucks on eBay.  – Eugenie Olson

Junk Food Rock and Roll T-shirts in kids sizes – $15

They look so sharp, and my kids get plenty of compliments on theirs.  Gone from The Gap and the Junk Food website itself, you can still to hunt down an Aerosmith shirt for your budding rock star at ThatsMyShirt.com (I like the HUGE Rolling Stones ticket myself), SweetNSourTees.com (I found a Hendrix shirt for my own left-handed guitarist here), trenditikes.com, and Shirts4Squirts.com.  Big kids, visit the original JunkFoodClothing.com website.  I kinda want the Run DMC zip-up or the Duran Duran ’84 tour shirt cuz I was too cheap to buy a t-shirt then, but I TOTALLY saw that show. I did. Really. – JoEllen Yannis


Cat DJ Scratching Deck– $40

For your favorite grooving kitty comes the cat scratch deck. Does little mitten get cat scratch fever? Here’s the purrfect scratch deck for your mix master kitten.   – Amy Prohaska


(or visit a real world record store and help keep record stores alive!)

Bad As Me by Tom Waits & 50 Words For Snow by Kate Bush – $9.99 and $12.85
This holiday season, I’m thankful two of my favorite old rockers are still putting out great albums so I’ll never have to learn the names of any American Idol contestants! Check out Bad As Me by Tom Waits & 50 Words For Snow by Kate Bush– Andrew Osborne

The Cars’ “Move Like This”  and “The Smithereens’ “2011” – $ 13 and $14 (downloads cheaper)

As the Editor of Rockerzine.com I can say with some authority that this was a stellar year for records by career rockers.  Two of my favorites: The Cars’ “Move Like This”  and “The Smithereens’ “2011” finds both bands rocking as hard or harder than they did in their prime, releasing records that are true to form, yet completely modern.  If you missed this pair, get them now! – Erin Amar




(and Give You A Cool Premium When You Donate):



I’ve always been a gift of giving type of guy, so I suggest you go to Kickstarter and find a project that gives away a swag premium appropriate to the person your buying for.  That way you’re giving your friend/family member something cool AND you’re helping out some young-gun artist type. – Ken Eppstein



For your favorite punk with a conscience, you can get a brand new Forever Strummer 10th Anniversary Calendar chock of cool photos of Joe or a t shirt featuring a hand written Clash song set list on it. Want.  Best yet, when you buy these cool gifts you’re actually contributing to a charity that helps people make music. Doesn’t get much cooler than that.   – Amy Prohaska

Charity Buzz
Celebrities: people want to meet them. But there are few charities that as part of their giving scheme allow regular folks with scratch to spare to pick up such perks as “Going Bowling with Cyndi Lauper”, or a “Guitar Lesson with Rick Steier of Warrant”. Sure at over $4000 Lauper may have been out of your league (we hope that price included shoe rental), but for a few hundred you can pick up time with Marshall Crenshaw, or Steve Earle (if you don’t get outbid). Though right now dinner with Judy Collins, and saying hi to Joan Baez look like steals, hanging with James Taylor is already nearly $3000. – Erin Amar