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PAUL CRUTCHER


It’s that time of year again. Early November brings out two kinds of people.

Some of you have already found the holiday music channel on Sirius/XM and are gleefully singing along with Bing, Nat, and Peggy Lee. If decorations aren’t already up, you at least have the boxes and bins perfectly sorted along with a sturdy ladder, gutter clips and replacement bulbs ready for installation. You are holly, jolly and proud.

The second camp WILL NOT STAND for this. “What about Thanksgiving?” you shout as you stroll the aisles of local Uptown merchants or big box stores who have had Christmas decorations up since late August. You relish the thought of family gathered around the table like that Norman Rockwell painting.

Regardless of when you begin your decorating or celebrating, it’s not too early to begin thinking about gifts to give or receive. Amazon opened up advanced Black Friday deals this past Monday. That’s right, 25 days early for those who are counting. Gift giving has become a strategic endeavor with online merchants heavily competing for your hard earned holiday budget.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Before the internet, we still had ways of getting items of interest before the people that mattered. That’s right, I’m talking about the Sears Wish Book and the J.C.Penney Christmas Catalog. These were magical publications when I was young. I would flip to the back section where the toys were located and dog-ear pages that held the good stuff.

Tonka trucks, G.I. Joe, Electric Football, Stretch Armstrong, Evil Knievel (and his Stunt Cycle), Tyco Slot Race Tracks – these were the kinds of items that garnered my attention. There was no guarantee my parents would complete the transaction, but at least a kid can make a wish list.

And that’s what I want to do for the rest of this column. Not for me. This is for those of you who love good music. Allow me to make a few suggestions for your holiday wish list that won’t break the bank this year.

1. “Gus & Me” by Keith Richards ($10)

Based on the relationship with his jazz musician grandfather, “Gus & Me” is a sweet children’s story written by the aging Rolling Stone guitarist. Richards’ daughter – Theodora Dupree, does illustrations for the book. Available at www.audible.com

2. Record Album Art Frame (12.5 X 12.5) ($10)

Maybe it’s time to take that favorite Beatles, Beastie Boys, or Beyoncé album and hang it on the wall as a conversation piece. Album art is cool and the price is right. You can find these frames at various retail locations, including Target.

3. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface ($9.99)

If you are buying for anyone between the ages of 12 and 25, this is a go-to album for 2016. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are breakout indie sensations and have been near the top of the charts for most of the year. Get this for a young relative and you will be deemed the “cool” one. Available on ITunes, Amazon, and other music outlets.

4. Muscle Shoals – DVD ($9.99)

This is the story of Rick Hall and the FAME recording studio located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This is one of the best music documentary films ever made. The stories, artists and especially the songs recorded in this small community made a lasting impact on music history. You won’t be disappointed.

5. Sony ZX Series On-Ear Headphones ($16.99)

The ZX series features 30mm drivers for powerful sound with lush bass response. Reviews are 96 percent positive with a 4.4 out of 5 star rating. Available at online retailers including www.bestbuy.com

Paul Crutcher is the broadcast specialist and XLR Radio general manager at Lander University. He can be reached at paulcrutcher68@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at@PaulCrutcher.