Gift guide for musicians or music lovers
Maybe you thought of the perfect album to buy your friend, but after doing a little snooping, you found out that they already own it on CD or you maybe figure they’re already listening to it on streaming sites such as Spotify. Though this may be true, there’s something unique and special about owning your favourite album in a nostalgic format such as Vinyl or Cassette tape. Listening to the album becomes an experience and owning a retro, physical version can be very fun.
London is lucky to have a multitude of retro and current music stores, the most popular being Grooves, located at 236 Dundas Street. Other stores include The Village Idiot, located in Wortley village at 135 Wortley Rd; Speed City Records at 294 Springbank Dr; the newest addition to London’s vinyl scene, Runout Records, 122 Dundas St; and my personal favourite, the hidden vinyl store in the upstairs of the City Lights bookstore, at 356 Richmond St. The average record will cost anywhere from $10-35, but with some hunting, you can find quality used albums for as low as $5!
Why not get your friend an experience they’ll never forget? The chance to see a favourite band of theirs perform live at one of London’s many concert venues. This includes venues such as The London Music Hall, at 185 Queens Ave; Aeolian Hall, located at 795 Dundas St. and Budweiser Gardens which is downtown at 99 Dundas St.
With such a wide variety of concert venues in London, from indie spots, to massive commercial spaces, there’s bound to be many acts coming through town in the near future that will suit your budget and excite your friend to see them. If your budget allows it, why not also buy a ticket for yourself to go with them? Concerts are always better with company.
This can mean one of several things. This first is that of a musical education book. One that teaches the reader how to play an instrument. This would be a great gift if you know that your musically enthusiastic friend owns an instrument and that they’ve been dying to learn it but haven’t had an excuse to spend the time on doing so. The widest collection of music instructional books in London can be found at the Long and McQuade music store, located at 725 Fanshawe Park Rd.
The other is that of a biography, analysis of the industry, book written by a famous musician or any other book that discuss the art of music but doesn’t teach it. I would suggest checking out Attic Books located at 40 Dundas St. They hold a wide used selection of used books in this regard. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at an independent store, try Chapters, 1037 Wellington Rd.
Here’s a unique spin on this classic gift. If you have a friend who’s a musician, why not do some sleuthing and find out what small items they always need on hand when performing and put together a small care package. This could include, for a guitar player for example, strings, picks, a capo, small tuner etc. A drummer may need sticks, drum key (a tool used to tune drums) and ear plugs.
These little items may seem small but they are integral to a musician’s lifestyle and are annoying to go out and continuously buy. I would recommend going to John Bellone’s Musical Instruments at 446 York St or the Long and McQuade music store, located at 725 Fanshawe Park Rd. If you don’t know what your musician friend needs, ask one of the staff and they usually have specialists on hand that can help you in each given area to find the perfect items.
Once again, this is a great gift for the enthusiast who has “learn an instrument” on their bucket list but have lacked the motivation, until now, to do so. If your budget allows it, 1why not make a gift certificate entitling your friend to a few lessons at a music school near them. After completing the month, chances are, your friend will be hooked and they’ll continue to fund lessons themselves. If not, at least you helped them get one major item checked off their bucket list! There’s a great music school located very close to Fanshawe. It’s The Academy of Music located at 425 First St.