Top Ten Christmas Gifts for the Broke-Ass Musician

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 that maybe we could extend a little help to musicians in need. Go buy someone like Danny or Jake a special present.

See the cut for Crossfade'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. 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 here! This is for the guitarist in your life. These days Electro Harmonix has a whole line of distortion pedal effects based on their original Big Muff Pi stomp box form the 70s, ranging anywhere from $40 to $80. Besides, what musician doesn't have use for a Muff Pi, big or little?

3. Condoms Because for some reason, they just sprang to mind. And because they protect against groupie-transmitted VD. Of course, those musicians may not wear them, because they protect against groupie-transmitted VD. Which everyone knows is good for your rocker cred.

4. Guitar Strings Because they're always breaking, stretching, getting old. And packs of them are pretty cheap, which makes them good for giving. But, nothing's cheap for a broke-ass musician. 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. For you musicians, of course. Come on, Carlos Santana plays this shit, man. And Sam Ash has them for $664, when 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 goddamn expensive, and broke-ass musicians, who by and large love chain smoking, simply cannot afford them for themselves.

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. Whatever kind of musician your musician is, they'll appreciate this.

8. Gas Card Right now we can almost hear you snickering. Or saying, "this guy's an asshole." But it's a better gift for the broke-ass musician than you may think. Getting to gigs and practice can drain the tank, and with the cost of oil on the rise again, well, you can see where that's going. Pre-paid gas cards are the perfect gift for the musician who's van's always out of gas.

9. Korg Kaosilator WTF is that? Right? That's what you're asking. Well, it's f'n awesome is what. A portable, travel friendly, easy to learn, easy to use music making device. See that pad? Basically let's you play keyboard by drawing, instead of learning those pesky modes and scales.

10. Music Apps That's right, anything you want to do, there's an app for that. Apple wasn't kidding with that shit. PocketGuitar, which turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a virtual guitar neck, Chordmaster, which puts a massive chord library at your fingertips, Cleartune, which is a digital tuner, and Pianist, which is like PocketGuitar but for pianists, are al prime examples of great gifts for anywhere from $0.99 to $4.

Bonus Gift! Taco Bell ... This one shouldn't need further explanation. Your musician needs to eat. Especially drunk after a show.

Rock Kulture-Miami presents I'm Broke and It's Almost Xmas Rock-N-Art Show. Friday, December 16. Vinyl & Kai, 1131 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $5. Rock Kulture's also promising $4 domestics, $5 imports, $3 shot specials and $15 buckets.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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Christopher Lopez