We’re well into December, which means holiday shopping season is in full swing. Still have some shopping to do? We can help!
Throughout the holiday season, we’re sharing gift guides aimed at different groups of people, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. So far we’ve covered what to get for the Home Cook, Kids (and Parents), Techie, and DIYer on your list.
This week, we have a gift guide for music lovers. Whether they’re a music fanatic or a musician themselves, we have some ideas for what to put under their Christmas tree.
Here’s our guide to pitch-perfect gifts for music aficionados.
Tired of tangled headphone cords? Want to move parties to the patio seamlessly? Need mood music for moonlight picnics? How about mountaintop tunes for your next big group hike? All this and more is now easier with the growth in wireless audio.
Despite the vinyl resurgence, most audiophiles also enjoy digital and streaming music. So it’s fitting that the related tech is advancing steadily.
|With its surge in popularity over the last year, there’s no avoiding the usefulness of the Fitbit. From the Zip, which tracks your steps, calories, and distance, to the Apple Watch-like Surge, there’s a Fitbit for everyone. The happy medium seems to be the slim and lightweight Flex, which is affordable and functional – it’s even got the sleep tracking capability.|
|Fitbit’s smart scale tracks your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI, and connects to your Fitbit data through the free Fitbit app for iOS and Android. The Aria is available in both black and white for the design-focused fitness buff.|
|The second option for a smart scale is the Taylor Smart Scale. It’s extremely accurate, and connects to your smartphone through Bluetooth to track your weight. It even allows you to set goals and track progress within the scale’s user interface. Or, you can connect the data with our next suggestion.|
|The app that tracks your eating habits and calorie intake also serves as an aggregator of data. It can sync with both your Fitbit and your Taylor Smart Scale to create a cohesive summary of your fitness goals and progress. Accessible from both your smartphone and your desktop computer, My Fitness Pal is easy-to-use and effective in helping you track data and get fit.|
|Once you step up your cardio (gotta put that Fitbit to work!), it might be worth upgrading those old Walkman headphones. The Jabra Sport Plus model is wireless, so there’s no concern about tangled cords. For tunes, you can listen to iTunes or Spotify through Bluetooth from your smartphone, or if you don’t feel like hauling any extra weight along, the headphones can connect to FM radio.|
|If you still haven’t been able to kick the habit, new technology will soon be available to help you out. The Quitbit lighter tracks your cigarettes to help you better understand your habit. The accompanying smartphone app allows you to view your smoking trends and cigarette spending, and lets you share with friends (in case peer pressure helps your efforts!). You can even limit your cigarettes by pre-setting your smoke times – the Quitbit will only allow you to light up at the scheduled time.|
|The Smartmat is the world’s first intelligent yoga mat – or, it will be. Though the exciting new product isn’t available for purchase yet, it is in final stages. Funded through Indiegogo, the mat is intended to teach the user yoga. An accompanying app guides the user through yoga classes, and the responsive mat gives the user verbal instructions on how to improve their form. Namaste, technology.|
|If you’re kicking up your cardio, it’s worth investing in a blood pressure monitor. The QardioArm is compact, easy to use, and dependable. Nothing should stop you from living life to its fullest.|
|The Netatmo allows you to view info about your home’s condition, right on your smartphone. It will tell you what to expect in terms of temperature, humidity, indoor air quality, noise pollution, and monitors CO2. When the air quality deteriorates it chooses the right time for you to ventilate your home or room. Plus, you can personalize the settings to keep you comfortable.|
When we think of the top albums of all time rarely does the mind include music created in the past three decades. We all too often go to the birth or Rock & Roll in the ‘50’s or the decade of love. It’s a shame really. While I cannot argue that music over the course of the last three decades has seemed to hit a creative plateau there are a few bright shining points of light that we must pay attention to. One of those points of light is Nevermind by Nirvana.
In June of 1989, Nirvana had released their debut studio album Bleach through independent, Seattle based label, Sub Pop. The album was a received well critically but did not chart in the US. Ironically, it was re-released in 1992 due to the success of Nevermind. It debuted at #89 on the Billboard 200 that year. Bleach is currently Sub Pop’s #1 selling album of all time with sales of just over 1.7 million units.
Last year I wrote a blog leading up to Vinyl Record Day about the resurgence of Vinyl. At that time I wrote about vinyl being pushed to the brink of extinction by a superior (that is of course up for debate) technology, the CD. The Cassette, followed by the CD, followed again by the MP3 seemed poised to make vinyl a thing only found at flea markets and yard sales. Then a funny thing happened. Vinyl sales started to increase. Of course, these increases were never going to threaten the digital industry giants but it was an increase none the less.
Since writing that blog last year and not surprisingly, vinyl has further accelerated its growth rate, perhaps even more than some had expected. As reported by Billboard (US), vinyl sales were up 53% over the same period last year in Quarter one. To many, this is simply amazing! To the writer and our Buyers, it’s what we both hoped for and anticipated. Again, borrowed from Billboard (Thanks guys!), vinyl sales have increased 260% since 2009 selling an astounding 9.2 million units. Of that 9.2 million albums sold, some titles recorded sales of over 100,000 units. The Beatles “Abbey Road” and Bon Iver’s “For Emma Forever Ago” were two of those albums. I’d like to mention that both of those are available at your local London Drugs! Billboard’s top 5 titles for 2015 year to date are as follows: (also available at London Drugs).
Recognizing the trend before it really took off, our Audio/Video buyers here at London Drugs pushed for our stores to be a leader in North American vinyl sales. (Admittedly, they’ve been long time, avid vinyl supporters which most certainly played a part). Starting in 2012 with Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, we have since grown our total catalogue to over 700 titles! When in your local London Drugs you can browse through approximately 450 titles. If that store doesn’t satisfy your hunger, you can go online and peruse through roughly 250 additional titles. I’d also like to add that we will ship your online vinyl order to you free when you spend $25 or more all throughout this summer!
I can talk about vinyl for hours. Some of my best memories from my early years were playing vinyl with my dad and listening to him talk about tracking down a rare album. It is a unique, organic sound that cannot be replicated, it’s also a physical experience that digital simply cannot replicate, starting with the hunt for a title, the purchase and anticipation of playback, the opening, and the physical playback while simultaneously enjoying the album art and liner notes. If you don’t understand what I mean, stop by your local London Drugs and ask a Service Specialist to spin some vinyl for you. It should all make sense shortly after the needle drops.
Unlike the audiotape and compact disc (RIP), records have not only managed to fight off extinction, they’ve actually had resurgence in the past decade. Whether it’s the pleasure-inducing sound of the needle drop or the warm, rich sound that analog provides, there’s just something special about putting on a record. The vinyl selection at London Drug’s pays tribute to an entire lifetime of records, ranging from 1930s blues to present-time psychedelic rock. Here are five albums you didn’t expect to find while shopping at LD.
Do you have plans for August 12th, 2014? If you don’t stop by your local London Drugs and join in the activities as we celebrate Vinyl Record Day!
Wondering what Vinyl Record Day is? The folks at www.vinylrecordday.com said it best:
“No less important to the purpose of preservation is the goal to establish a national day to enjoy our favorite music. Perhaps most important of all, Vinyl Record Day is to not lose touch with what is individual to us, yet is shared by millions worldwide; the ability for music to remind us that regardless of national news, or personal daily challenges, we attach fond memories to our music, nothing else connects us to friends, family, and special times as the songs of our personal soundtrack. Vinyl Record Day is August 12; the day Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. “
They are considered precious treasure to many collectors when they are awarded gold or platinum status, but they aren’t your typical treasure. However, vinyl records are as close to gold for many audiophiles who love to hunt down their favourite titles. READ MORE