Bitch in a Box: Queer Music Gift Guide

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This month, we’re putting together a series of feminist gift guides. They're a way to highlight fun stuff we love and creators we're excited to support.

If you're shopping for a music lover this year (or yourself), there are so many other ways to sonically please besides CDs or an iTunes gift card. While this gift guide is perfect for the giftee whose interests lie at the intersection of all things queer and music, it's a great guide for any audiophile! 

Punk's Print's Not Dead

Sometimes a punk just needs to stay in for the night! Here are some great books to keep you company on cold nights. Shotgun Seamstress, Osa Atoe's zine for and by black punks, is now collected all in one amazing book available from Mend My Dress Press. It's chock-full of profiles of artists, musicians, punks, and iconoclasts of today and yesterday alongside real talk about racism, homophobia, and classism within so-called progressive spaces—no punk bookshelf is complete without it. Speaking of which, Shotgun Seamstress contributor Brontez Purnell has a new graphic memoir out (and we do mean graphic in the NSFW sense). The Cruising Diaries traces his early days in Oakland, CA and follows the Gravy Train!!!! member through the good, the hilarious, and the cringe-worthy. Lastly, Cristy C. Road's graphic memoir, Spit and Passion, which follows her adolescent love for Green Day and emerging queer identity, is another must for anyone who felt like a teenage misfit. Check out our interview with Road here!

An image of the David Bowie box set, Tegan and Sara boxset, and Sleater Kinney boxset. They each show the different packages for the collections.

Go Big

That's right—box sets. For the collector or analog-lover on your list, there are several box sets and re-releases you will want to consider. For starters, David Bowie released a two LP (or three CD) collection, Nothing Has Changed this year. Spanning 2014 to 1964, the collection works its way backwards so you can appreciate the Starman's work in reverse. Gifting for a Tegan and Sara fan? Pre-order So Jealous X. Sixty dollars will get you not only a remastered So Jealous, but a bonus CD, DVD, and a beautiful book! Lastly, if you really want to make a splash, you'll want to invest in the deluxe Sleater-Kinney box set. When Sub Pop announced a special colored vinyl set of the band's work, it sold out immediately. You're still in luck though, and can pre-order the $125 vinyl collection that comes with a book of unreleased photos, a “Bury Our Friends” 7-inch, an art print, and more. Pair this with a some S-K reunion tickets and you'll be the Best Santa Ever.

Four tshirts in a grid. A yellow Thao & Mirah tshirt, a purple THEESatisfaction shirt; a white Against Me! T shirt, and a dark green Hooray for the Riff Raff t shirt

Tee Up

If you know your giftee's tastes—aesthetically and musically—grabbing a band's t-shirt is surefire gift to please. The real fun is playing detective to find out their t-shirt size. Just visit the website of their favorite band or artist (or of the record label)! Here are some of our faves: Mirah and ThaoTHEESatisfactionAgainst Me!, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.

Hit Up Etsy

One way to support independent craftsters is to head to Etsy. Simply type in your giftee's favorite artists in the search box and you'll find portraits, embroidered lyrics, shrinky dink earrings, silk-screened pillows, and other quirky tributes. Some of our favorites include this Grace Jones print from pairabirds, who has several other awesome music prints; a Queers button set from thepbrebellion, and a Blondie baby onesie from monofaces (which everyone needs at least one of).

If You're Totally Stumped

Shopping for the person who has everything? Check out these gems that they're sure to be missing. Red Hot, who uses pop culture to raise AIDs awareness, teamed up with Yep Roc records on a tribute to Arthur Russell with acts from Hot Chip to Blood Orange to Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Great jams and a great cause! Or pick up Turning, a DVD/CD package and bring Antony and Johnsons' 2006 tour to your living room. For historian buffs, pick up Lavender Country, a re-released 1973 work by Patrick Haggerty that's considered to be the first country album by an openly gay artist. Lastly, all gifts go well with a pack of Feminist Playing Cards.


Give the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Want to keep the music love going throughout the year? Give a gift subscription to Tom Tom and She Shreds. Not only will you stay up-to-date with contemporary musicians, you'll also get tips on starting the drums, bass, and guitar. Plus you'll be supporting independent, feminist media (which we're pretty big fans of here at Bitch Media.) And like Bitch, they have some sweet merch of their own! If you're looking for more ways to inspire future musicians, seek out your local Girls Rock Camp and donate today! (Girls Rock Milwaukee logo, pictured right).

Make a Mix

Mixes are the homemade pie of music—and they last longer! Plus they're perfect for when money is tight but you still have a lot of love to give. Get inspired with some mixes from Autostraddle (See: 15 Queer Female Hip Hop Artists You Should Know) or browsing the archives of Bitch's weekly feminist mixtapes. (Illustration via A Pale Landscape

Read the rest of our gift guides here


by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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