Sights and sounds abound for your gift-giving pleasure

Sights and sounds abound for your gift-giving pleasure

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We’re less than two weeks out from Christmas and sure enough, you still have no idea what to get a lot of people on your list, right?

When all else fails, books and music are usually a can’t-miss gift. Who doesn’t love a good coffee-table book? Fortunately, there are a decent number of new releases this holiday season.

First and number one on our wish list would be “The Disco Files 1973-78: New York’s Underground, Week by Week” by Vince Aletti, the first person to write about the emerging disco scene in the 1970s. Featuring photography by Peter Hujar and Toby Old, this book is a definitive and essential chronicle of disco’s rise and evolution. The book reports magazine articles, photographs, club charts and thousands of record reviews week by week.

Another must-have is “Michael Jackson: On the Wall,” which brings together for the first time the works of more than 40 artists inspired by Jackson as a subject. If stadium rock is more your speed, Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is a massive 400-page collection of rare artwork, previously unpublished images and documents unearthed from the vaults of Atlantic Records. This is the only official book ever authored by the living members of these titans of 1970s rock.

For a more laid-back option, check out “Arthur Elgort: Jazz,” a visual love letter to the genre by the eponymous fashion photographer who followed his favorite musicians with his camera around clubs in New York City.

If the rebellious nature of country music stirs your interest, take a look at “Johnny Cash at Folsom and San Quentin,” an expansive book of photography by Jim Marshall documenting Johnny Cash’s prison concerts at Folsom in 1968 and San Quentin the following year.

For cutting-edge fashion, “Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years,” is a chronicle of Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren and their long careers of cerebral, witty and rebellious design and fashion history, richly illustrated throughout.

For high-fashion aficionados, check out “Hermès Pop Up,” with paper constructions expanding on the luxury brand’s scarf designs in this pop-up book.

How about gifting a book on the culinary ins and outs of Philadelphia by local foodie Irene Levy Baker? “Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia” guides readers to the restaurant hot spots in the City of Brotherly Love that includes the sweet and spicy stories behind 90 of the Philadelphia area’s best restaurants.

If holiday-themed songs are on the radar this season, there are a number in notable Christmas albums just waiting to get stuffed into stockings. The diva herself, Diana Ross (Miss Ross to most of us), has released “Wonderful Christmas Time,” a remixed reissue of holiday originals and cover songs that first came out in 1994, but have been unavailable since then.

Out country singer Chely Wright has released “Santa Will Find You,” an EP of all original holiday songs that dig deep into her folk, country and torch-song roots.

On the R&B/pop side of things, singer-songwriter Jessie J has unleashed “This Christmas Day,” featuring remakes of classic songs including collaborations with Boyz II Men and Babyface. 

If these holiday offerings don’t brighten up the spirits of you and your loved ones, well, good luck roaming and scouring the packed shopping centers and big-box stores.

Happy holidays. 


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