I cannot tell a lie. I am a Christmas shopping procrastinator. There was one year that I waited so long to buy gifts that it was too late to do anything other than pull an all-nighter writing personalized limericks for every member of my family. The odes to my beloved Aunt Sue and Uncle Jim still hang above their toilet. Success! I think. But the Santa Muse cannot be relied upon to drop gifts down my mind’s chimney every year. So this shopping season, I’m turning over a new holly leaf and asking my beloved A&E-leaning colleagues what they want for whatever holiday it is they celebrate. Not that I’m planning on buying them anything, but because, you know, it just feels productive. And perhaps it can help you, dear reader, find gift ideas for the people you love who love the arts. Or perhaps this will inspire a wish list for yourself. Procrastinator’s tip No. 1: Make your own list first.
Cindi Moon Reed, A&E editor.
Hemingwrite writing machine. Sure, I could use a computer. Or an iPad. Or, hell, even a pen and paper. But what I really want is this distraction-free writing machine. It’s like a typewriter, but instead of typing on useless paper, it sends your precious words to the cloud. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be released until next Christmas. Price TBA, Hemingwrite.com.
Year’s subscription to Spotify. I’ve been listening to the free version of the music streaming service for a couple of years now. And I’m hooked: For the uninitiated, Spotify is like a magical infinite iTunes player, where (almost) every song is available. So it’s finally time to upgrade to the premium version, which nixes the ads and offers a few other perks, such as better sound quality and the ability to listen offline. $120, Spotify.com.
Taylor Swift’s entire discography. The songstress recently made news by removing her music from Spotify while mumbling something about not wanting to offer her life’s work to an experiment that doesn’t fairly compensate artists. Now I’m not necessarily a Swiftie, but I am guilty of free-music listening (see previous wish). And I want to make amends … by acquiring the full collection of girl-powered sugary pop-country confections. Besides, Christmas is all about getting stuff you’d never pay for yourself. $86.43, Amazon.com.
Camille Cannon, calendar coordinator.
Lyrical art sweatshirt. I already own (and adore) a Drake T-shirt from Rad.co, but now that winter’s chill has arrived, I’d like to slip into this sweatshirt from designer Fly Art. It depicts Edward Hopper’s famous “Nighthawks” painting against lyrics from Drake’s song “Girls Love Beyoncé.” Because I love her, too. $30, Rad.co.
Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests. I love SNL so much, I’m one case of needle phobia away from getting a Gilly tattoo. Instead, I’m hoping for this 800-page inside-look book, which was updated this year to include all the cast members, sketches and secrets since its first release in 2003. $21, Amazon.com.
Geoff Carter, senior writer for Vegas Seven and editor of DTLV.com.
Pieces by local artists Su Limbert, Stacy Rink or Jska Priebe. I’ll take works from any or all of them. Now that I think of it, getting pieces by all of them would be best. Limbert’s dark storybook aesthetic, Rink’s home-crafted kinkiness and Priebe’s clever pop culture subversions all complement each other nicely.
Gift certificates to Writer’s Block Book Shop. I don’t even know if Writer’s Block will offer gift certificates; as of press time their doors aren’t even open yet. But having gotten a sneak peek at the Downtown bookstore last week, I know I’m going to spend all of January lost in there. TheWritersBlock.org.
Tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles Love and O. Cirque comps practically fall out of the sky here, but free Love and O tickets are tough to come by. They’re the two shows I’m most curious about, but I’d see anything. Seems weird, living close to all these big-time shows and hardly seeing any of it. $79 and up.
Gold membership in D23, the official Disney fan club. They’re having a big convention in Anaheim in 2015—Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, by the way—and being a D23 member affords you special discounts. $80, D23.com.
A night of cocktails at 365 Tokyo, the members-only bar above Inspire. There’s a reason I call their star bartender Seong Ha Lee “one of my primary health care providers.” Individual memberships to Inspire are $200 a year, so let’s start there. Also: I would like to have said night of drinks with Britney Spears, because I wanna know what that’s like. And she’s paying.
Zoneil Maharaj, engagement editor and music columnist.
David Choe’s art book Snowman Monkey BBQ. Vandal, pervert, lunatic. David Choe is all those things. But he’s also an incredibly talented artist. His new book offers a decade’s worth of watercolors, photos (likely pornographic) and more. $60, UpperPlayground.com.
The Hutch Los Angeles’ Bootleg Concert Tees Gone Bad. Normally, it’d be embarrassing to rock knock-off gear. But this series by Bootleg are worth the confused reactions from strangers when they see Justin Timberlake’s face on a shirt that reads “Eminem” or Christopher Walken on a Die Antwoord shirt instead of Ninja. I’ll take either in XXL, please. $27, HutchLA.com.
Lissa Townsend Rodgers, senior writer and music columnist.
The book Beyond Fashion by Charles James. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent show of the American couturier’s work revealed the sophisticated engineering that created his sumptuous gowns. The companion volume features photos of his glamorous work, as well as sketches, chronologies and materials from James’ extensive archives. $50, Store.MetMuseum.org.
Sleater-Kinney’s Start Together vinyl box set. One of the best rock bands of the ’90s and “the aughts,” Sleater-Kinney recently announced that they would be reuniting for another album and tour in 2015. To celebrate, Sub Pop is releasing a box set with all seven of the band’s albums remastered on vinyl, along with a hardcover book and limited-edition print—and, of course a limited-edition 7-inch single, because they’re punk like that. $125, SubPop.com.
Amber Sampson, assistant web producer.
The Walking Dead Compendium, Volume 1. My recent comic book kick explains why Las Vegas librarians know my face. Robert Kirkman’s zombie masterwork lives at the top of my wish list. To spare myself the library treks, I’ll ask for an anthology and burrow into my book cave this season. $36.41, BarnesAndNoble.com.
Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Paper Weight. I’ve never been one for babysitting, but I wouldn’t object to supervising a dragon egg. I mean, really, the gift speaks for itself: It’s a freaking dragon egg. Sure it serves as a paperweight and won’t be hatching anytime soon, but it sure gives the office something to gawk at. $45, Store.HBO.com.
Game of Thrones House Targaryen Banner Necklace. I’d be lying if I said I ever stopped loving Daenerys Targaryen. The Khaleesi stole my heart—and ruthlessly ate it—the moment I first laid eyes on her. So how do you swear your allegiance to the Mother of Dragons? You rep House Targaryen around your neck. Now to locate my richest relative. $98, Store.HBO.com.
Jason Scavone, DailyFiasco editor, Vegas Seven associate editor and pop culture guru.
Batman: Seasons 1-3 on Blu-Ray. To say I’m excited about the complete Batman TV series finally coming out in all its Adam Westian glory would be to ignore the Burgess Meredith Penguin T-shirts and Louie the Lilac pajamas I own. Also, I know who Louie the Lilac is. It was a custom job. Stop judging me. Released this month, the box set includes all 120 episodes, several hours of extras and a replica Hot Wheels Batmobile. The only things you’ll need to buy yourself are a copy of the ’66 West-starring movie (usually under 10 bucks at your favorite big-box stores) and a genuine knock-off white-painted Cesar Romero mustache. Finally, I can retire the set of bootleg DVDs recorded off TV Land that I bought from some sketchy eBay seller years ago. $175, Amazon.com.
Faith No More’s “Motherfucker” on 7-inch vinyl. For a band that cranked out as much brilliantly weird material as Faith No More did, they somehow got pigeonholed as a one-hit, rap-rock wonder. If Linkin Park was a thousandth as brilliant as Mike Patton and his band of oddballs, no one would be complaining about nu-metal to this day. “Motherfucker” is the first new single from the band in 17 years (which, in comparable terms, is like two whole Tool albums), and presages an April full-length. It’s also the most exciting music news since Jack White’s angry rants about the Black Keys went public. There aren’t many geniuses left in rock, and Patton is absolutely one of them. This is as big a can’t-miss record as there’s ever been. (Please note the last thing I said would be a can’t-miss is The Phantom Menace.) $6, ZiaRecords.com.
Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Valentine’s Day “Beyond Belief” recording. Ben Acker and Ben Blacker’s loving homage to radio drama, The Thrilling Adventure Hour is to podcasting what The Hudsucker Proxy is to film. With, you know, significantly less Jennifer Jason Leigh. The best of its recurring vignettes is “Beyond Belief,” wherein comic Paul F. Tompkins and actress Paget Brewster play Frank and Sadie Doyle, a thinly disguised Thin Man-esque couple who solve paranormal mysteries. Thrilling is recorded monthly at Los Angeles’ Largo, but while these gigs feature a mixture of their other recurring stories—“Sparks Nevada Marshal on Mars” or “The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam”—the Valentine’s show is pure, uncut “Beyond Belief,” and it is awesome. The only trouble is tickets are sold out, so if someone can get a bead on Stubhub ducats, that would be grand. $30, Largo at the Coronet.
Galactus Bottle Opener. Finally, something that combines your two great loves: cosmic-level nerdery and hooch. Go ahead, try not to say “I am Galactus, devourer of hops!” every time you pop a fresh brew. Try it, I dare you. $18, MidtownComics.com.
The World of Ice & Fire hardcover book. I know, all right? Look, I know. All the Game of Thrones overload is getting unbearable. I get it. Still? Gimmie. It’s not yet as annoying as the Great Zombie Ubiquity of 2010. And besides, I already know most of the characters in the Thrones series. I need to be confused by trying to keep track of another 473 imposing players on the Westeros scene. It’s how I feel alive. $50, BarnesAndNoble.com.