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Scene Points: Gift Guide

 by Chelsea Ide  published on Thursday, November 17, 2005



Since apparently we no longer have to wait until after Thanksgiving to purchase Christmas, Hanukkah and all other winter holiday presents, it's the perfect time to share the Scene Points Gift Guide.

Knowing what kind of music a person listens to is helpful if you're going to buy him or her CDs, but I can offer a few suggestions. Besides, giving money isn't as personal. Plus, if you give me money it goes to bills and then I don't get nifty things. Also, receiving gifts in lieu of cash makes it's easier to write thoughtful thank you cards.

Keeping your parents up-to-date on the latest musical trendsis hard, and sometimes a waste of time, but Christmas is the perfect time to try. So, for a classic rock 'n' roll dad -- the kind who listens to Boston and is convinced no one could ever create something to rival any Led Zeppelin album -- pick up the latest Mars Volta record, Frances The Mute. The Mars Volta creates a dense aural landscape and its progressive and experimental nature will surely appeal to the Zeppelin fan in your father.

Next is Mom. If your mom has some hip musical inklings (example: my mom introduced me to Green Day back when Dookie came out), but still kind of digs country, then she needs some emo or indie rock. If you think she'd like acoustic, kind-of-folky stuff pick up Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst was dubbed "rock's boy genius" after this disc came out. The lyrics are poetic and sullen (the latter will appeal to her country side). Plus, the disc features vocals from Emmylou Harris.

If your mom enjoys upbeat, pop-punk music, it'd be wiser to pick up the Tokyo Rose album New American Saint. The band members may be gritty Jersey kids, but they write rocking emo tracks in the vein of Saves the Day and Jimmy Eat World. While Mom and Dad will like that you're helping to keep them cool, your little brother or sister is going to appreciate your input the most. You're in college, in-the-know and the young'uns look up to you. If the younger bro or sis is entering the punk rock stage there are three things you can bet that he or she will want: 1. a pair of Chuck Taylors, 2. a copy of The Clash's influential album London Calling -- seriously, this is an essential for everyone and 3. either Kid Dynamite's self-titled disc, for the true punk rocker, or The Comeback Kid's Wake the Dead, for the soon-to-be hardcore kid.

While that should take care of your immediate family, in the event you have a snarky music writer in your midst, here's a few suggestions for him or her. First, buy the latest book by Chuck Klosterman, "Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story." He's a writer for Spin magazine and has one hell of a sharp tongue. His books (and column) are always a good read.

The second tip is one of the most important for shopping for music aficionados, unless they give you a list of CDs they want DO NOT BUY THEM MUSIC. That's how we end up with Story of the Year and Slipknot CDs that we're embarrassed to be seen returning. If you must, go the gift card route, then you can still show you know what they like without causing an awkward moment. And, finally, if that snarky rock writer is me, pick her up a "Law & Order" (any of 'em) DVD box set.

You can reach the reporter to get an address to sent sweet gifts to at

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