My third Christmas shopping guide looks at some of the top music box sets available in 2018. I previously looked at Black Friday's Record Store Day and the best new indie records. This post includes ornate albums that I have passed on for different reasons, but remain enticing. Treasures from my personal collection are also evaluated. Not only are there indie music and classic rock box sets, but also new and used ideas that have value for fans on different budgets.
The holiday season is upon us, which means that millions of people are looking for the best gift for the music fans in their lives. For the vinyl-inclined, you can find a quick guide to Record Store Day’s Black Friday selections here. For less exclusive picks for fans, new music is always a great gift. These ten new indie albums make great Christmas gifts in 2018. There is something for everyone, including R&B, psychedelic rock, and French pop.
Christine and the Queens are an emerging act who are flirting with international superstardom. When I saw that the French group was coming to WXPN’s Free At Noon, I jumped at the chance to catch them at the University of Pennsylvania’s intimate World Café.
Record Store Day celebrated its Tenth Anniversary in April. The initiative, which offers exclusive releases to independent music shops, offers a Black Friday shopping spree to music nerds just in time for Christmas. The 2018 Record Store Day Black Friday list was recently released, offering another fun collection of albums.
The 2018 remake of A Star Is Born is defined by incredible talent. The artistry goes beyond the big screen, however, as A Star Is Born’s soundtrack boasts one of the best original music compilations for a film in recent memory.
It is easy to take the little things for granted. Even ones we enjoy daily. Great songs or the right cup of coffee become ordinary when they are always around. Music is important to me. Elton John is one of those musicians. Tom Petty was another. When Petty died a year ago, I learned to treasure artistry. That lesson came full circle on Elton John’s Farewell Yellowbrick Road Tour.
I love traveling. I hate flying. It can be a terrible experience. Cramped quarters, the usual full day that it takes for my ears to pop, and lack of sleep will hamper any enjoyment of being on a plane. Before I set foot in an airport, I stock my phone with a special flying playlist to cope with airplane anxiety. A few songs always make their way onto the list.
Aretha Franklin passed away today. The 76-year-old singer was more than her moniker alluded to. The Queen of Soul sang gospel, R&B, and even opera. She was not just a singer, but an individual whose voice blew away millions.
Instead of making things easier, the Internet has made it difficult to find a source for good new music. There are so many platforms that it is hard to narrow down the crazy amount of music that is out there in 2018. Whether it is rising talent or established artists who I have missed out on, I am always looking for fresh music. I listen to a lot of Adult Alternative and Indie, so Philadelphia’s WXPN is my most reliable source for interesting artists. I also listen to a few podcasts to supplement my perpetual curiosity. The podcasts that will help you discover new music are more than just playlists. They offer song deconstruction, live performance, and in-depth interviews.