“[…]I just consider music to be the most powerful medium. I’ve never really gotten chills from a painting before and I’ve never really gotten, you know I’ve never been moved by a piece of pottery[…]Music for me is just the most dramatic it always has been ever since I first heard my favorite bands I just had the strongest connection emotionally with music and past experiences.” Mat Devine, Kill Hannah, taken from a 2008 TasteitTV.com interview in Brussels, Belgium.
For me, music is a comfort, a release, a revelry, and a gift. It is also intangible, which begs the question, how do you re-gift something so amazing that cannot be wrapped in paper or tied up with a bow? Here are five ways to give your friends the gift of music.
Mixed tapes/CDs – Go through your musical library and make a list of your favorite songs. Arrange them on a recordable CD and give a copy to your friends. It’s that simple. Or it could be more complicated. You could make a list of all of your favorite songs from the 1990’s or all of your favorite love songs. Use a graphics program (anything from Microsoft Paint to Adobe Photoshop will work) to print cover art for the jewel cases and labels for the CD. You can buy labels made by Memorex and they come with a free software program for easy layout and design.
Your favorite CD – Purchase a copy of your favorite CD and give it to a friend. This one really is that easy. And it is especially meaningful if your favorite album is hard to find. Too many favorites to choose from? Track down a greatest hits album from one of your favorite bands and offer that as a gift. And make sure that they know why they are receiving this particular gift of unsolicited music.
iPod or other mp3 player – This one is probably to be reserved for your more special friends as it is kind of a costly gift but an mp3 player loaded with songs you think your friend will enjoy is a gift that keeps on giving, so to speak. Unlike a mixed CD, if they come across a song in your specially crafted playlist that they don’t care for, they can delete it and replace it with one of their own that they do like.
Musical gift cards – Spend $20 on a gift card to a local music store or for iTunes downloads. This is especially useful for gift recipients like myself with widely eclectic tastes in music (which apparently make us harder to shop for than if we were exclusive to one genre…or so I have been told). Plus, if you give a gift card from a local, independent store, you are helping to keep them open so that others may continue to receive the gift of music.
Concert tickets – I’ve saved my favorite (therefore “the best”) for last. From the dawn of time, music was intended to be a social experience. People all the way back to Cro-Magnon man have sat around the campfire, singing together or watching as others performed with singing and dancing. So, I maintain that the best way to experience music is to experience music live and in person, performed by the person or persons who created it. Whether you buy your friend a ticket to see their own favorite band or buy a pair of tickets so the two of you can go to see your favorite band, the gift of live music is, I think, one of the best ways to share music.