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Joey Rubin
Holiday Gift Idea

The 2006 Alt/Indie Rock Gift Guide

Got a scraggly-haired indie rocker in your midst? Have no idea what to give them for the holidays? I sympathise. My mother has the same problem.

In order to help her and you I've put together a list of goodies that not just I want, but many other tight pants-wearing, good-tunes craving dudes and dudettes may as well.

Pablo's Half the Time

What? You haven't finished your holiday shopping? Uh-oh. You better hurry over, then, to my review of Pablo's debut album Half the Time. Read that baby and see if Pablo, a Brooklyn-based 5-piece with an intimate sound, is the gift you've been looking for while not knowing you were looking for it. Because I hate to brag but I think it might be.

For other gift ideas, check out these recent album reviews:

Holiday Gift Idea: Julie Doiron Woke Myself Up

Woke Myself Up, Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron's first album in two years, is an interesting take on the oft-attempted guitar/vocalist solo work (and not only because she shares many tracks with her old band Eric's Trip). The songs on Woke Myself Up are often introspective and at many points very affecting in this way -- but Doiron also isn't afraid to add quirkier sounds and surprising elements to her personal tunes (like jangly choruses and dark, ephemeral verses, for instance).

Food on My Mind (Oh, and Music)

I don't know about you, but with Thanksgiving looming (and Thanksgiving dinner only 24 hours away!), I'm already daydreaming about pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes (not necessarily in that order). Mmmmm. Oh, God, how I pine.

Um, anyway, I've been drooling so much, in fact, that I've been trying to make all today's work food-related. For instance, I've been googling food items along with alt and indie rock items. And, surprisingly, I've ended up in some interesting places. Like Stereogum, for instance. At some point, I ended reading every single post in which they mention indie rock and food together. And, boy, what I have learned!

Supposedly, music writer Kara Zuaro has a book due out on Hyperion in the spring of 2007 that is being billed as an indie rock cookbook. According to a post Stereogum put up last February, the book will feature actual recipes that actual indie rock bands actually recommend. I don't know how many of the suggestions from bands including Belle & Sebastian, Superchunk, Death Cab for Cutie, the Decemberists, the Violent Femmes, NOFX, the Walkmen and My Morning Jacket will be edible, but they definitely will be... published in the spring in a cookbook.

Unfortunately, you won't be able punctuate your Thanksgiving meals this year with these indie rock dishes (side question: what makes a dish indie?), but there probably is time enough to add "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: An Indie Rock Cookbook" (the book's full title) to your roster of Myspace friends.

Joey Rubin

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