5 pop-related gifts for the music lover in your life
The Weezer Cruise. The new kids in the music-cruise business this year are the power-poppers of Weezer, who will be floating from Miami to Cozumel on Jan. 19-23. "I think, I sink, and I die," Rivers Cuomo will sing in "Undone (The Sweater Song)" at some point during the four-day trip aboard the Carnival Destiny. Weezer aside, there's an impressive 16-band alt-indie-rock bill, with '90s rockers Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh meeting the new '90s-obsessed band Yuck. Philly connections: Fishtown's Free Energy and Gene Ween of the iconoclastic New Hope duo Ween. ($799 for a double room, $499 for a quad; www.theweezercruise.com.)
Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label. It's a coffee-table book nearly as big as a coffee table, befitting the ambitions of the most successful rap label of all time. Founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, Def Jam's artists included LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Slick Rick, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, and the Roots. Picture book and oral history, it has essays by hip-hop historian Dan Charnas and former label publicist Bill Adler. (Rizzoli, $60.)
R. Crumb, The Complete Record Cover Collection. This slim volume fits into a cardboard sleeve thick enough to hold a three-LP box set and gathers up album-cover art and music-related ephemera by the dazzlingly gifted alt-comic artist Robert Crumb. The most famous cover: Big Brother & the Holding Company's 1968 LP Cheap Thrills. But there are plenty of other country, blues, and old-time music renderings - in, as always, questionable taste. A sketch titled "Musical Ecstasy at Age Four" shows Crumb listening to polka music on the radio in 1948 on the porch of the family home in West Philadelphia. (W.W. Norton & Co., $27.95.)
Boddie Recording Company, Cleveland Ohio. Chicago reissue label Numero Group specializes in the works of long defunct labels that captured the aspirations of should-have-been stars, or one-hit wonders. The label has outdone itself here, gathering up the life's work of Thomas and Louise Boddie (pronounced BOH-dee), who released hundred of albums of homegrown funk, soul, vocal group R&B, and gospel for 35 years, starting in the late 1950s. (www.numerogroup.com; $50 for 3 CDs, $60 for 5 LPs).
15 Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol. The season's most unconventional boxed set is a beautifully packed "art and sound" collection curated by Warhol associate Jeff Gordon. It's a 3-CD, 4-LP limited-edition set that includes sixteen 12-by-12-inch silk-screen lithographs by such notable artists as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Factory denizen Ultra Violet. Dylan contributed his Self Portrait album cover painting, plus a recording of "When I Paint My Masterpiece," and Smith pitched in with a recording of "Edie," her poem about Warhol glamour girl Edie Sedgwick, plus an accompanying lithograph. (Deluxe silk-wrapped edition $20,000; regular box $600; or for less you can visit the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and see the accompanying exhibition through Jan. 8. www.fifteenminutesonline.com.) - Dan DeLuca, Inquirer music critic