By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
Is there a broke-ass musician in your life? Well, if not, just look to your left and you'll find a guy named Danny in a band called Dirty Cherry who can't even afford a simple bar of soap. Now look to your right and meet Jake, a bass player with a chronic shortage of extra cash for fast food, basic cable, and other living necessities.
With so much goodwill and charity flying around during the holidays, you'd think maybe we could extend a little help to musicians in need. Go buy someone like Danny or Jake a special present. Here are the New Times's top ten Christmas gifts for the broke-ass musician:
1. Stockings: Not like the ones you hang by the chimney with care. Like regular socks. Have you ever seen a band kicking it backstage with no shoes on? Gnarly.
2. Muff Pedal: And you were worried there wouldn't be any good gifts on this list! These days, Electro Harmonix has a whole line of distortion pedal effects based on the original Big Muff Pi stomp box from the '70s, at a cost ranging from $40 to $80. What musician doesn't have use for a Muff Pi, big or little?
3. Condoms: Because, for some reason, they just spring to mind. And because they protect against groupie-transmitted VD.
4. Guitar Strings: They're always breaking, stretching, or getting old. And since a pack is pretty cheap, they're good for giving. Of course, your broke-ass guitarist may also need...
5. A Guitar: In particular, we've had our eye on a Paul Reed Smith SE custom hollow-body electric with tobacco sunburst finish. Come on, Carlos Santana plays this shit, man. And Sam Ash has them for $664, whereas they normally top a grand. The musician can dream, anyway.
6. Cigarettes: This one may seem like a joke. But it isn't. Cigarettes have gotten pretty damn expensive and broke-ass musicians simply cannot afford them.
7. Beer: Kind of like number six, only it's not that expensive — unless you're draining a few sixers at practice, a small pony keg at the gig, and a couple of tall boys for breakfast.
8. Gas: Getting to gigs and practice can drain the tank. And with the cost of oil on the rise again, prepaid gas cards are the perfect gift for the musician whose van is always out of gas.
9. Korg Kaosilator: WTF is that? Well, it's effin' awesome is what. A portable, travel-friendly, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use music-making device that lets you play keyboard by drawing, instead of learning those pesky modes and scales.
10. Taco Bell: This one shouldn't need further explanation. Your musician needs to eat. Especially drunk after a show.