Diffused: What’s On Your Holiday Wishlist?
As per Webster, “diffuse” means “to pour out and permit or cause to spread freely," and that's what we do each week with this feature: disseminate a question to a bunch of cool artists and compile their answers for your reading enjoyment. This week, we're abuzz with holiday spirit, and as such, we asked our panel of rockers, "What's on your holiday wishlist?" The responses were as broad and at times stupefying as you might expect, and anyone shopping for these musicians might want to steer clear of the mall.
Todd Gautreau of Crushed Stars [Website | Facebook]
'Tuck Box - Nick Drake Box Set' is at the top of my list. Box sets conveniently come out around the holidays. Last year, it was Scott Walker; this year its Nick Drake. Since I dabble in design and have a background in literature, I easily fall for new packaging and liner notes, even when I already have most of the tracks. Nick Drake is one of those artists I tend to immerse myself in for a few weeks than set aside for awhile. Box sets are good for that. I have also found it is much less expensive to order these import sets directly from the European websites.
Lewis Watson [Website | Facebook]
I've asked everybody for some vinyls. Not any specific ones, but I'm making one of my bedroom walls into a vinyl sleeve wall, which should look pretty. (And then I'll listen to them, too, of course.)
Happy Fangs [Website | Facebook]
Happy Fangs is an ambitious duo, so we made a list: a black & white lava lamp guitar, a microphone that squirts rainbows, sherpas, more crowd-surfing fans, a night with Tim Burton, more black metal, automagic warpainter, the 1977 black & gold Pontiac Trans Am with screaming chicken hood (yes, as made popular in 'Smokey & the Bandit') and most importantly, Halloween for Christmas.
Mark Thresher of Forest Fire [Website | Facebook]
Soft light, wax, stimulants, the zoo, wines, slumber, a plane ticket to San Francisco, an empty room, a portrait of my biological father, enthusiasms in the New Year.
Tim Williams of Soft Swells [Website | Facebook]
1. The entire Tompkins Square Label catalog on vinyl. (I used to help them out with PR years ago when I lived in NYC and Josh continues to put out incredible stuff.)
2. Some sort of Will Oldham performance in L.A. in 2014. (My brother and I saw him at Joe's Pub in NYC a really long time ago. One of my favorite artists ever.)
3. One case of Ribena. (Dave Lynch, the English man who produces our records, got me addicted to the stuff, and I crave it every day.)
4. A year supply of breakfast burritos from Cafe Los Feliz -- not to be confused with Los Feliz Cafe. (Christopher Pappas, who is also in Soft Swells, took me and the lady there one day, and we haven't looked back.)
5. A mastered version of our new record that we just completed work on!!!
Okapi Sun [Website | Facebook]
1. Gear, gear, gear, gear.
2. Merch, merch, merch, merch.
3. Clothes, clothes, clothes, clothes.
4. Fur, fur, fur, fur (faux).
5. Tour van, tour van, tour van, tour van.
6. Legos, Legos, Legos, Legos.
7. Meet Ryan Gosling, Gosling, Gosling, Gosling.
8. Light show, light show, light show, light show.
9. Visit Jane Austin's theme park, theme park, theme park, theme park.
10. Socks, socks, socks, socks.
11. Get treated for coulrophobia, coulrophobia, coulrophobia, coulrophobia.
12. Sponsorship from Axe deodorant, deodorant, deodorant, deodorant (Dark Temptation).
13. Sponsorship von Rittersport Schokolade, Schokolade, Schokolade, Schokolade (Mint Geschmack).
14. Play Coachella.
John Baumgartner of Speed the Plough [Website | Facebook]
Holiday wishlist? Hmm, let's see. Any bill Elizabeth Warren proposes becomes law, automatically; Tyson Chandler stays on the floor for the rest of the season; bouillabaisse (often); play a show with Bill Callahan; Wayback Machine™ trip to Paris, 1969 for Monk's concert; lunch with Bryan Cranston; Toni's smile. That'd be a great start. God bless us everyone.
Nir Felder [Website | Facebook]
I've been in love with the sound of pedal steel guitar since I was a teenager and have been dreaming of learning how to play for years now. My birthday falls right in the middle of holiday season, and this year, I'm planning on taking the plunge and treating myself to one. They're wildly impractical for New York City -- too heavy to take on the subway, too big to fit in your tiny apartment. I guess my holiday wishlist would include some time to learn to play the thing, and for patience and forbearance from my lovely girlfriend who'll have to listen to me learning how to play it in our increasingly cramped apartment...
The New Royales [Website | Facebook]
A bottle of Aberlour's A'bunadh. Unless I could have two bottles. And a British first pressing of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' in Mono, with the inner groove secret song of course. Oh man would I like that.
Michael Martens of O’Brother [Website | Facebook]
What's on my holiday wishlist, you ask? Survival gear: knives, walkie talkies, water filters, go bags... anything to help me survive when this world goes to hell BECAUSE WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!!!!!
MisterWives [Website | Facebook]
We want to be home from tour for the holidays, wearing our Dr. Seuss onesies, sipping hot cocoa while watching 'Elf.' And a tour bus. And peace on earth. And the truth behind alien existence.
Jared van Fleet of Yellow Ostrich
I want someone to buy me a DNA kit and tell me everything that will eventually be wrong with me (23andme.com); a gift card for kiva.org, which is a platform for giving microfinance loans to individuals around the world; this guide to making analog synths (and a magical extra 15-20 hours a week so I can actually follow through with the projects).
John Petkovic of Death Of Samantha (and Cobra Verde) [Website | Facebook]
I just finished watching 'The Story of Film: An Odyssey,' and now I want to start all over again, if Santa would only cooperate. It's a 915-minute doc that just finished a 15-installment run on TCM. It traces the life and times of film through the eyes of filmmaker Mark Cousins -- whose idiosyncratic articulation and ambitious scope (imagine Werner Herzog, if he was from Northern Ireland) is as entertaining as the films he highlights.
Melle Dielesen of Mozes and the Firstborn [Website | Facebook]
Feast on the flesh of a little lamb, watch Ingmar Bergman's 'Fanny och Alexander' and celebrate New Year's Eve in total isolation with a very special ladyfriend.
Ryan Graveface of Casket Girls [Website | Facebook]
I'm not a fan of any holiday except for Halloween. That being said, it's become tradition for me to pick up a human skull every year around this time. Sounds strange, perhaps, but people are willing to let them go for much cheaper around Xmas. This year I'll be procuring my third Odd Fellows skull. The Odd Fellows skulls that I collect are engraved and quite lovely. Here's a pic of the first one I bought. The lore is that certain Odd Fellows members would leave their bodies to the lodge when they pass and they would engrave them and use them for ceremonies and initiations. I'm completely obsessed.