While there is certainly truth in the old adage about it being better to give than receive, that doesn’t mean that finding gifts doesn’t come with its own set of headaches. Finding the perfect gift for a loved one doesn’t need to be an added stressor during this already hectic time, though, especially if you have a music lover in your life. We here at WAMM have come up with a short-list of music-related gift ideas that will hopefully help you find the perfect gift you’ve been searching for.
While it’s true that accessing music has never been easier, millions of Americans are returning to the technology of yesteryear: the iconic vinyl record. Yes, the sound quality is inarguably better than anything you will hear from streaming, but there is also something magical about holding a physical piece of music in your hand and being able to study the art work, liner notes, etc. Thankfully, Memphis has some of the finest record stores on earth to make your shopping easier. Shangri-La and Goner Records are both local institutions that boast a wide variety of new and used titles, especially from regional artists. In fact, visitors from all over the world regularly flock to each in the hopes of getting their hands on a coveted record to fill out their collections. Having opened last year, River City Records may be the new kid on the block, but the Main St. shop is also worthy of a visit.
Stax, Sun, Rock N Soul, the Blues Museum, Graceland…The list of world-class music museums in Memphis is one of our greatest treasures, but these cultural institutions are too often ignored by us locals. Look, I get it…Parisians probably aren’t regularly lining up to see the Louvre either, but a couple of tickets to any of these amazing museums might be the nudge that someone in your life needs to (re)discover these monuments to musical greatness. Also, most of these museums also have great gift shops attached, so you may just be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned musician or someone just beginning their musical journey, Memphis has several great options for instruments. For guitarists and bassists, it doesn’t get much better than the Memphis Guitar Spa and Ferner Fine Instruments in the Broad Avenue Arts District. The long-standing Memphis Drum Shop is one of the finest in the industry and has served some of the greatest drummers in the world over the past few decades. For a less specialized experience, check out the Midtown Music Shop, Xanadu Music & Books, and Yarbrough’s Music, all of which have a diverse selection and affordable options.
Time and again, researchers have concluded that people are happier with experiential purchases over material ones, so maybe this is the year to give someone the gift of live music. From arena-packing stars like Lizzo at the FedEx Forum to more intimate shows like Buddy Guy at the Orpheum, 2023 is shaping out to be another great year for live music in the M-Town. Don’t forget annual festivals such as Mempho and the Beale Street Music Fest as well!
You might also be interested in: Memphis Blues Bars