There's nothing quite like a fresh wool garment—or a new box of tunes—to brighten the holidays. Good records, like a high-quality piece of wool, are both built for heavy rotation, timeless gifts that give longer than any Home Depot card ever will. So when doing your Christmas shopping this year, why not pair the two?
Here we've twinned some of the season's best musical gifts with a cheery selection from the Pendleton catalog. Of course, any of Seattle's myriad record stores will be only too happy to help you pick a perfect record for every entry on your list. And the staff at downtown's Northwest Pendleton store (1313 Fourth Ave.) will ensure that your friends and family are warm this winter. To get you started, here's a cheat sheet for the music-loving folks on your list who like to stay cozy while rocking out. We've even tossed in a stocking stuffer for good measure.
The Music: Even if your pops has already heard Brian Wilson's brilliant re-creation of the Beach Boys' Smile, the band's recently issued The Smile Sessions box set is still essential. It's a treasure trove of 101 tracks that pull back the curtain on the creation of the aborted record as the band coaches and kibitzes in the studio. You'd think one would tire of "Heroes and Villains" after 41 takes, but it just makes the final version seem that much more magical. Sit down and listen to every track with your old man and chuckle at all the discoveries—like Wilson pausing during "Our Prayer" to poll his brothers: "You guys feel the acid yet?"
The Pendleton: True story: The Beach Boys used to perform under the handle "The Pendletones," a nod to the popular wool shirts surfers wore in the '60s. Pendleton's checkered and plaid shirts are coveted items at thrift stores throughout the Northwest. But go straight to the source to pick up the reissued Pendleton Board Shirt. It will come in handy while Pop gets to know all 26 goose-bumping versions of "Good Vibrations."
Something to Fill His Stocking: If Dad still hasn't finished the bottle of Fireball you got him last year, you need to look down the shelf. Way down the shelf. Pick up a fifth of Canadian Hunter whiskey. Dad will drink it with vigor after you tell him it will put hair back on his head.
The Music: You can't go wrong with a gift subscription to local music-subscription service Rhapsody. For $10 a month, you're giving her access to 13 million tracks. 'Nuff said.
The Pendleton: If you're a guy, don't bother trying to guess in this department. But there won't be any frowns when she opens that heavy box and sees a gigantic wool Pendleton blanket. These things are kryptonite to an evening chill.
Something to Fill Her Stocking: Stick a jar of Harvey's Hot Buttered Rum Mix in Mom's stocking. She'll love you for it. Plus, she's gonna need something sweet to cut the harshness of Pop's Canadian Hunter. Be sure to ask her to make you a milkshake out of any post-holiday leftovers.
The Music: The frustrating thing about Light in the Attic, Seattle's crate- digging reissue label, is that they always make you feel like a dumb-ass for not having their most recent find in your collection already. Lately they've unearthed forgotten gems from Betty Davis, T.L. Barrett, and Kris Kristofferson. And now they've partnered with Rhino Handmade, which reissues collectors' editions of albums with deluxe packaging, for the new re-release of Bobby Charles' 1972 self-titled album. It is guaranteed to be in heavy rotation in big bro's Walkman just as soon as he cuts this disc to tape. Smooth, humble jams just don't hit this hard anymore.
The Pendleton: True story: Jeff Bridges wears a Pendleton cardigan in his role as The Dude in the Coen brothers' cult classic The Big Lebowski. And the smart-thinking folks at Pendleton are cashing in with a supposed replica, The Dude Shawl Cardigan. It doesn't look much like the Dude's sweater when they're viewed alongside each other, but by itself, nobody will notice the difference.
Something to Fill His Stocking: Dorian Lynskey's new(ish) tome, 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, From Billie Holiday to Green Day, could be a galvanizing force. Disgusted by the current state of protest music, he won't return from his bedroom until he's written the "Ohio" of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Music: With Tumble Bee, Laura Veirs is the latest in a long line of rockers getting in on kids' music's little red wagon. Veirs' "I wish had a river to skate away on"–style melancholy isn't the right medicine to put baby to sleep, but it qualifies as music your kids will dig that won't annoy you. Get the little one excited by taking him/her to see Veirs' show at the Vera Project at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
The Pendleton: Unlike cotton, when wool gets wet, it still keeps you warm. Which is why a merino crib blanket is all kinds of critical.
Something to Fill the Stocking: Another bottle of Canadian Hunter, because gifts for babies are never actually for the babies.