The days of gifting the music lovers in your life with a copy of their favorite artist’s latest CD just doesn’t cut it anymore. In this rapid-fire, technological world, any self-respecting band fanatic surely already has it, along with any number of bonus tracks and remixes by the time the holidays roll around.
In order to really impress the sonically obsessed on your gift-giving list, dig a little deeper and look into the myriad of merchandise offered up by the world’s rock and roll heroes. Beyond the typical t-shirts and occasional baseball jersey, artist merch has evolved to include a dizzying array of products including everything from Snoop Dogg slippers to caskets emblazoned with images of legendary shock-rockers KISS, which comes in standard and premium models (KISS fans opting for cremation can even pick up an urn so their remains can rock on beyond the grave).
Traversing the wild world of the interwebs, we’ve corralled this collection of 25 branded and official pieces of awesome rock and roll band merch that will make you the coolest gift-giver of this holiday season.
Incubus Silhouette Longboard Deck – Even Incubus fans who don’t skate will get a kick out of this solid maple longboard emblazoned with an image of the band on the bottom. Pair it with this highly functional Incubus Horizon Metal Water Bottle, perfect for staying hydrated everywhere from the beach to your favorite music festival.
Blink-182 East Coast Pride Shirts –We first reported on these awesome shirts when they were first released back in November. To help raise money for victims of the devastating Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, the band has promised to donate 100 percent of the proceeds made from the sales of this shirt to the cause. It’s a great shirt for a great cause from a great band — what’s not to love? Give the gift of hope!
The Gaslight Anthem Flying Tire Belt Buckle – Earnest New Jersey blue-collar hard rock band Gaslight Anthem keep things heavy with the “Flying Tire” buckle, which is made of zinc and proudly lead-free.
Monopoly Metallica Collector’s Edition – Game night just got a hell of a lot cooler, thanks to this special Metallica edition of the classic board game. With game pieces including the Kill ‘Em All hammer, Black Album snake and St. Anger fist, the game showcases important places and events in Metallica’s world. You can really make it a party by breaking out the “Drink Em All” Solo cups to toast your awesomeness.
My Chemical Romance “CHEM” Hat – The Jersey alt-rockers keep it cool with this streetwear-styled dark blue snap-back baseball cap with grey bill that also has the Danger Days spider logo stitched on the side.
Slightly Stoopid Top of the World Nug Jar – Fans of this Ocean Beach, CA, band have a tendency to also be fans of high-grade, um, herbal medicine. This clear glass “nug jar” is etched with the cover art from the Top of the World album and features an airtight seal that will keep those “nugs” as fresh as the day they were harvested.
The Black Keys Dress Up Kit – One of our favorite things about these Ohio-based blues brothers is their profound sense of humor, which on full display with this curious item found on their webstore. While your parents might’ve dressed up as members of KISS back in the day, this kit allows you and your best friend to play dress-up as the Black Keys. Boasting “one pair of glasses kinda like Pat’s” and “one false beard vaguely suggestive of Dan’s real one,” this trippy little package looks great in any man-cave and will blow your grandkids’ minds someday.
The FLud x Mayer Hawthorne Tableturns Silicone Watch – This retro-happy soul man from the college town of Ann Arbor, MI, is as stylish as his is suave (he even has a namesake sandwich at California’s trendy Umami Burger restaurants). Now Hawthorne has partnered with the watchmaker Flud to create his own spin on their Tableturns line with a bright red heart, reminiscent of his debut heart-shaped vinyl single for the song “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out.”
Foo Fighters Die-Cast White Limo – Serious Foo Fighters fans will recognize the raging punk rock track “White Limo” from their latest studio album, Wasting Light, as well as the classic music video featuring Motorhead’s Lemmy behind the wheel of the song’s limousine. This die-cast miniature version of the limo lets you pretend you’re partying in the back with Dave Grohl and the gang as Lemmy drives you over a cliff. Good times!
Fun. Some Nights Varsity Jacket – The Number One hit single from this pop-powered New York trio has been reimagined across the back of this retro varsity jacket, which also features the band’s logo on the front. For the more socio-sexual expressive fans of the band, they have the “LGBTQ” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning) shirt, which states “It’s All Fun. And Gay ‘Til Someone Loses Their Rights,” with all proceeds from the shirt donated to Revel and Riot “to promote LGBTQ rights, awareness and equality.”
Deadmau5 Mini Speaker – The controversial EDM sensation has been quick to capitalize on his popularity with a slew of licensing agreements, putting his highly recognizable “Mau5head” on everything from baseball caps to ear buds. We were especially taken with these mini-speakers, which look pretty cool while pumping out your favorite Deadmau5 remixes.
Steve Aoki/Dim Mak x Tokido Record Tote Bag – L.A.’s superstar DJ/crowd-surfer/champagne dispenser has partnered with the Japanese lifestyle brand to make these snappy tote bags, perfect for keeping it green on your next trip to the grocery store. It’s also designed to fit 12-inch vinyl albums, so support your local record store while you’re at it.
Third Man Records Portable Record Player – Given the current revival of vinyl records among hipsters and audiophiles alike, finding something to play them on is another story entirely. Jack White’s always enterprising Third Man Records label have come to the rescue with this portable branded record player that comes with a convenient USB output to rip your wax favorites to MP3.
The Killers Hoodie – Stay warm with your favorite band of sexy Mormons during the winter months with this snuggly deep blue hoodie featuring the band’s “Palm Moon” logo on the front. A keychain/bottle opener with the Sam’s Town logo on it is a great stocking stuffer for any Killers fan on your list.
Thirty Seconds to Mars Hurricane Bunny Mask – Back in 2010, Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars released the bizarre and kind of disturbing music video for the song “Hurricane,” loaded with sexual and S&M imagery throughout the clip. The band has the mask worn by a woman in the video for sale, with the band’s logo etched on the front and a song lyric on the inside. They also state that the leather “comes from cows raised for beef,” and are manufactured in a “facility consciously trying to limit their carbon footprint with use of 52 solar panels.” Keep your kink green!
Skrillex Track Jacket– Hardcore Skrillex fans can show allegiance to his growing dubstep army with this hooded and limited edition track jacket, subtly emblazoned with his tree stripes logo on the left breast as well as on the woven inner label.
Linkin Park Limited Edition Snowboard – These California alt-rockers and snowboard company Signal have come together to make this limited board for their OG series. The all-mountain twin shape freestyle board features dual-independent sidecuts. As an added attraction, boards signed by the band are shipped at random, but not guaranteed.
Garbage Jewelry Bundle – Shirley Manson and the boys of these ‘90s favorites are back in the game, and not a moment too soon. They look out for their female fans with this bundle of an earring set and necklace boasting their “g” logo in silver.
Rise Against Earlobe Plugs – This Chicago punk band know their audience, resulting in their own branded plugs for fans who indulge in the body modification trend of earlobe-stretching. But these plugs aren’t for newbies, as the smallest size they come in is “00,” or 3/8ths of an inch, which is ten sizes up from the smallest gauge.
AWOLNATION 2012 Scarf – The emerging electro-rocker helps stave off the cold with this scarf designed to “keep the necks of even the coolest hipsters warm” and comes with the band logo and very stylish tassles at each end.
Victory Records Hardcore Holiday Sweaters – The Chicago-based hardcore label gets all the way into the holiday season with a whole series of awesomely ugly holiday sweaters boasting bands like Otep, Close Your Eyes and Continents. Most of the designs also come as t-shirts for those warm weather holiday locales.
Two Door Cinema Club Futball Onesie – These rocking good lads from Northern Ireland know that kids are the future, so they get ‘em while they’re young with adorable onesies for the youngest 2DCC fans out there. Sadly, there is no branded pacifier to go with it – yet.
No Doubt Push and Shove Speaker Box Set – Many No Doubt fans have grown up with Gwen Stefani and the guys, so now they have followers who like them have very grown-up responsibilities and kids. Now they can use some of that adult income to finance their reggae-rock fantasies with this deluxe and limited edition (only 2500 are being produced) set that’s loaded with extras. From the box being an actual set of speakers to more fun stuff like guitar picks, postcards and 24-page booklet, it also boasts three bonus tracks of acoustic versions and a remix.
Green Day Uno! Dos! Tre! Coaster Set – Green Day fans can spice up any holiday party with these fun and colorful drink coasters featuring graphics from the band’s recent three-album trilogy. Take it a step further and throw in the “Smoking Guns” drink koozie with 21st Century Breakdown images.
Muse Booty Shorts – Female Muse fans can show their allegiance to the band in a pair of these eye-popping booty shorts emblazoned with the Muse logo on the front. Guys buying for their girlfriends can complete the sexy look by adding this “Burnout Girlie Tank” screened with graphics from the band’s album The Resistance.
For more great gift-giving ideas, check out yourholidayhints.com.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local