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Top 10 Punk Rock Gift Ideas 2009

If you’re looking for a present idea for someone who’s way into punk rock, you know that a simple CD of whomever’s newest might not cut it (although if you want to go that route, you should choose one of the best punk albums of the year, or even of the decade). When I compiled this list, I tried to avoid simply making it a list of the latest albums to come out. Instead, here’s a list of great gift ideas for anyone on your list who’s into punk rock, and also a great list of ideas of things you might want to ask for.

1. ‘Let Them Know: The Story of Youth Brigade and BYO Records’ Box Set

Youth BrigadeBYO Records

BYO Records put out this set to celebrate 25 years of one of L.A.’s most influential bands (Youth Brigade) and the label they founded, BYO Records. The package includes a hardbound 108-page coffee table book, containing stories, anecdotes and rare candid photos, a DVD of the Let Them Know documentary, and a CD.

The best part of the CD is that, rather than simply repackage songs out of the label’s catalog, they enlisted a wide range of influential bands, both from their label and elsewhere, to cover those songs. As a result, you get great new versions of punk rock classics, played by bands like Youth Brigade, NOFX, 7 Seconds, Anti-Flag, Bouncing Souls, Alkaline Trio and way too many more to name.


2. ‘NOFX Backstage Passport DVD’

Fat Wreck Chords

When a band like NOFX has become masters of the art of DIY touring, what’s left? In this case, the band decides to throw themselves at the mercy of the road again by attempting a world tour to non-traditional places like Brazil, Russia, Israel, Malaysia and South Africa. More often than not, things don’t go smoothly.

Fortunately for us, Fuse TV sent a film crew along for the tour, which originally aired as a miniseries. This DVD set compiles all eight episodes (plus hours of outtakes), and takes the viewer on a trip that really lets you get to know the band (and their road crew), and casts a candid light on a group that rarely conducts interviews, but always has something to say.3. 2010 Slingshot Pocket Organizer

Slingshot Collective

If you’ve never seen the Slingshot, it truly is the punk rock day planner. I’ve been getting a new one every year, and it’s really my main organizational tool.

What makes it more punk rock than your typical day planner? Well, in addition to providing a calendar, day planner and address book, it also holds a contact list of radical leftist groups all over the world, information on dealing with the police and knowing your rights, and a listing of popular activist and alternative cultural holidays. Plus, proceeds help support the Berkeley radical newspaper, SLINGSHOT.

Plus, like I said, it’s a great place to keep track of show schedules, phone numbers, and everything else you need to be in the right place at the right time.

4. Crosley Suitcase USB Turntable


Back in the day, the suitcase turntable was the way to listen to your records. The turntable version of the boom box, we took these things anywhere we wanted to hang out, plug in, and listen to records. Today, Crosley is remaking these great pieces of equipment, and I use my Crosley turntable to listen to records in the living room. For being a self-contained unit, the speakers are surprisingly rich, and the whole experience of hanging out and playing records is positively organic.

An added bonus to their latest model is the addition of a USB port, which allows you to rip your classic records into MP3, then drop them on a player to take to places that records won’t necessarily hold up, like in the car.5. ‘Sid! – By Those Who Really Knew Him’ DVD

Sid ViciousVideo Music, Inc

Marking 30 years since his death from a heroin overdose, this is the first truly intimate documentary on the life of Sid Vicious. Many of those who were closest to the infamous Sex Pistols bassist speak publicly about him for the first time. Featuring previously unseen archive footage of Sid and interviews with folks like Jah Wobble (childhood friend and founder of PIL), Steve Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees), David Vanian (The Damned) and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, this documentary provides the most definitive look at Sid’s life yet.

In addition to the DVD documentary, this edition includes a 10-track CD of Sid performing live in New York.

You can view a trailer of Sid! here.


6. ‘I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir’ – Mickey Leigh and Legs McNeil


This is a book that has built up a special anticipation, ever since it was announced in 2006 that a Ramones biopic was in the works. When plans for the film were announced, all that was known was that it would be based on this upcoming book. Now we can finally get our mitts on this title, and get an idea of what we’re in for when (if?) the film finally gets made.

Penned by Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh, with contributions from prolific punk author Legs McNeil, I Slept with Joey Ramone shares the story of what it was like to grow up with a guy who became an unlikely rock star and a legendary punk pioneer who, with theRamones, would change the face of music forever.


7. Skeleton Crew Records Tie

Skeleton Crew Records

Whether we like it or not, there are times when decorum requires getting dressed up for an occasion. Sometimes that even requires donning the sadistic formal piece of ligature known as a tie.

In situations like this, I like to don my tie from Skeleton Crew Records. Not only is the label (run by Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance and Leathermouth) responsible for one of the greatest hardcore albums of the past 10 years, but wearing a tie with the labels logo discretely embedded on it makes me feel like an agent behind enemy lines, disguised in their uniform, fighting the system from the inside.

Plus, it’s just a pretty cool tie.


8. Flip Video Mino 2GB Flash Drive Camcorder


For a long time, quality video recorders were either bulky or expensive. This prohibited a lot of folks from owning or carrying them around. As technology advances, this is all changing. One of the results is this, the Flip Video.

About the size of an iPod, the Flip Video fits in your pocket, but it holds about an hour of video on its built-in drive (other models hold even more). It’s really easy to use, and allows you to instantly upload video to Youtube. Now there is an affordable, easy way to shoot house shows, concert videos and home movies, then share them with the world. I’ll be bringing mine to SXSW and to Warped Tour next year. Now the revolution just may be televised.9. ‘If It Ain’t Cheap, It Ain’t Punk: 14 Years of Plan-It-X Records’ (DVD)

Plan-It X

In 1994, Plan-It-X records opened up shop in Indiana with the goal of disseminating punk rock. They started releasing tapes (some of you may remember them) by Indiana punk bands for $1 each (which incidentally was the same price they paid to make them, so it was nonprofit endeavor). Now, 15 years later, the label is still going strong, selling punk CDs for $5 each, and establishing themselves heavily in DIY scene.

This documentary chronicles the life of a label that has made its mark by caring more about punk rock and uniting the scene than anything else, but it also has a lot of original footage of bands like This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, Japanther, One Reason, Operation: Cliff Clavin and more.10. Record Album Frame

Structural Industries

One of many reasons for collecting punk records is the for the cover art. The cover of a 12″ record is so much more of an artistic statement than the little cover on a CD insert.

These album frames allow record collectors to take these works of art and display them as actual works of art. As an added bonus, album covers can be swapped out on a whim, allowing for limited edition exhibitions, themed home gallery shows, or simply changing out the covers whenever someone wants a change, picks up a new rare record, or needs to hide a particularly offensive cover because grandma is coming over.


December 3, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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