It’s the holiday season in 2011 and what is everyone talking about? How shitty the economy is, how poor we all are, and how it isn’t looking to get any better. Basically, we should all be happy with some coal in our stockings because we can’t afford our own gas bills. But, while looking at our bank account or the news might make things look bad, the reality is that we will still end up buying some presents for our loved ones, and we will still probably get some in return.

And, why not music or music related items for Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate? For one, the recording industry could sure use a holiday bump, as they continually look for new ways to turn a profit. But, you’ll find that many of the items below actually benefit charity, which doubles the amount of giving you can accomplish through a single purchase. So, check out our little list of music and music-related items for you to ask someone to get you for the holidays, or purchase for a loved one yourself.

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two [Deluxe Version]

Nothing says Hanukkah like a badass special edition from the Beastie Boys. The deluxe version of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two contains Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the entire album and all accompanying remixes, all in both standard and 5.1 audio, their amazing music videos from this album, and a hardcover 130+ page book containing exclusive behind the scenes photos of the making of Fight For Your Right Revisited. The collection is out on Record Store Day, November 25th, in local independent record shops, but pre-orders will get you an official Beastie Boys Stuyvesant Physical Ed t-shirt. Just sayin’.

Where can I get this? At the Beastie Boys’ online store, right here.

Beat L.A.

Alright, this may be a little regionally biased, but this new compilation, tiled Beat L.A., actually holds enough treasures that any region can get behind it. The concept is that a bunch of current L.A. bands, like No Age and Crystal Antlers, cover a bunch of older L.A. bands, and release the results for charity. The charity is Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), who are helping rebuild Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake that took place there. Thus, you can both help the planet and buy something neat for a loved one in one go.

Where can I purchase this? Order it digitally from iTunes here and look for it at your local record shop on Record Store Day, November 25th.

Carpark Records Free Holiday Album

Yeah, you read that right. Free. All you have to do is go to a record store, grab one of these badass LPs (which include contributions from Dan Deacon, Toro Y Moi, Cloud Nothings, and more), and try to fool someone by giving it to them as a present. Or, you know, just keep it for yourself. That’s what we would do.

Where can I find this? Your local independent records store.

The Cure – Bestival Live 2011

On December 6th, The Cure will release a double-disc live recording of their Bestival appearance, a complete 2 1/2 hour performance by the band. Among the songs included: “The Lovecats,” “Close To Me,” “Friday I’m In Love,” “Just Like Heaven,” and on and on. A great gift for an older sibling (or even your parents?), The Cure sweeten the deal by making the collection a charitable affair, with all proceeds going to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust. You, basically, giving the gift of The Cure is like giving presents to two recipients. Santa would be proud.

Where do I buy this? At The Cure’s digital store, right here.

DRC Music – Kinshasa One Two

Worlds collide when Damon Albarn, Dan The Automator, and more team with Congolese musicians on this one-of-a-kind album that will use its proceeds to benefit OXFAM. We recommend the deluxe vinyl edition, which includes “double vinyl pressing in gatefold sleeve, with 14 x 300x300mm art cards housed in their own presentation sleeve. All encased in rigid slipcase. Includes unique code to access download of the album plus three bonus tracks.” Yeah, sounds pretty great.

Where do they sell this sort of thing? You can pick this up at the Warp Records online shop, right here.

FAC. DANCE: Factory Records 12″ Mixes & Rarities 1980 – 1987

This is something that can turn any old fashioned holiday gathering into a party event. FAC. DANCE – Factory Records 12″ Mixes & Rarities 1980 – 1987 is out now on double cd or vinyl, compiling rare singles from the label’s early days of dancefloor singles. Perfect for the music snob in your family, or ask for it if you want a party album that will impress all you guests with your impeccable taste.

Where do they sell this? Get it at the Strut Records site, here.

Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo [Deluxe Edition]

One of this year’s best and most enduring albums has been Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring For My Halo. Recently, Vile unveiled a brand new EP, titled So Outta Reach, which is included in a bundle with the original LP as a deluxe edition. So, you get the LP on vinyl, plus a 12″ with five new songs and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Downbound Train.” Not a bad deal if you ask us.

Where can I find such a thing? Shop at the Matador Records online shop, right here.

of Montreal – Cassette Box Set

An of Montreal fan’s dream come true. All ten full-length albums from the influential Athens group available on cassette, packaged together in a very cool box. Get classics like Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? and The Sunlandic Twins along with early releases like The Gay Parade and Cherry Peel. Casettes have sure made a comeback in recent years and this collection will surely be an asset to any collection. But note, this release is limited to 500 and when they are gone, they are gone.

Where do they sell this? Right here at the Joyful Noise Recordings store.

Panda Bear – Tomboy [Deluxe Vinyl Box Set]

One of the most divisive albums of the year is now available in a limited (5,000) LP box set that is loaded with extras like remixes, a cappella versions, and instrumentals. Plus, you get a 16-page book. In addition, add the fact that the proceeds from the sale of this collection benefit the American Cancer Society. Cool music for a cool cause. You can’t go wrong.

Where is it at? You can order for a very reasonable price at Insound, here.

She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas

She (Zooey Deschanel) and Him (M. Ward) go from making albums of primarily original material to covering some classics and some lesser-known Christmas tunes. Yeah, a Christmas album for Christmas may seem cliche, but this is something you will be glad to have around when your parents try to put on the John Denver Christmas records, again. Give “The Christmas Waltz” a test spin below. Plus, bundles of the CD or red vinyl physical can include She & Him mittens and winter hats. Score!

Where can I order this? At the Merge Records store.

She & Him – The Christmas Waltz by MergeRecords

Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream and Gish [Deluxe Editions]

Relive what many people consider to be the best years of Smashing Pumpkins’ career with the deluxe editions of Gish and Siamese Dream. Both include tons of previously unreleased or alternate tracks, never-before-seen band photos, and annotations from Billy Corgan on each song. Both releases are also being rereleased on vinyl, without all the bonus stuff, though.

Where would someone get such a thing? Smashing Pumpkins website has a bunch of options for you, so check it out here.

U2 – Achtung Baby [Super Deluxe Edition]

Well, the bad news first. It appears as if they have already sold out of the Uber-deluxe version of this, which contained a pair of sunglasses modeled after Bono’s or some shit. But the good news is that there are still plenty of packages and ways to experience Achtung Baby, U2’s classic album that recently underwent a reissuing. For our buck, look into the Super Deluxe Edition, which contains “six CDs, including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions and four DVDs, including “From The Sky Down”, Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material, in addition to a 92-page hardback book and 16 art prints in a wallet.” Yeah, they don’t toss the words “super” and “deluxe” around lightly.

Where in the world do they have these? The U2 store, which you can check out right here.

The White Stripes 7″ Reissues

For the holidays, Third Man Records is reissuing four singles from The White Stripes that have long been out of print: “The Big Three Killed My Baby” b/w “Red Bowling Ball Ruth,” “Lord, Send Me an Angel” b/w “You’re Pretty Good Looking (Trendy American Remix),” “Candy Cane Children” b/w “Reading of the Story of the Magi”, “Silent Night” and “Hello Operator” b/w “Jolene.” These are perfect for the Jack White completist in your family (every family has one), or for any one with an inclination towards rare vinyl. The “Candy Cane Children” one might be particularly season-appropriate, as what Christmas is complete without Jack White reading you “The Story Of The Magi”?

Where do I get it? Shop online here at the Third Man Records store.

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