Universal Republic Records; Wireimage

Love the sound of Mad Men, True Blood and Gossip Girl? Here's what to give this holiday season

December 14, 2010 07:10 PM

Music brings drama and excitement to the holidays, as well as TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, Gossip Girl, Conan and everything on MTV. The people whose job it is to pick that music – Alexandra Patsavas (Grey s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Mad Men), Jimmy Vivino (Conan bandleader), Gary Calamar (True Blood, Dexter, House), Randal Poster (Boardwalk Empire) and Joe Cuello (MTV creative music integration) – are happy to help out this gift-giving season by revealing some of the best things to get for the music-loving TV fan on your list. Here’s what they’re recommending:

1. The Head & The Heart by The Head & The Heart: “Beautiful Seattle based group with soaring harmonies and so smart lyrics.”
2. Where We Are by Mackintosh Braun: “This Portland based duo creates gorgeous beat driven poptronica. You have heard it on Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl.”
3. Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello: “One of my favorite albums ever – ‘Beyond Belief,’ one of the most perfect songs ever written.”

1. Complete 50’s Chess Recordings by Chuck Berry: “This has it all – rock-and-roll poetry and killing guitar backed up by Chicago’s finest blues musicians of the 50’s. They may not have invented rock, but they did define it.”
2. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan: “A nuclear explosion whose fallout is still infecting us. My favorite Dylan band, too. Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Harvey Brooks, Bobby Gregg.”
3. Wake Up! by John Legend and The Roots: “The most important record so far this year. Old themes that are evidently new themes – arrested political development … and great musicianship.”

1. The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box: “In the world of film and music there have been several great marriages: Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Hermann, James Bond and John Barry … and most certainly Tim Burton and Danny Elfman. You can’t imagine what Jack Skellington and Eddie Scisssorhands would be like without Elfman adding the characters soul via his wonderful scores. This extravagant box set includes a hard cover book, USB flash drive and a plethora of music for the curious and curiouser.”
2. The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge Of Town Story by Bruce Springsteen: “If you are a Springsteen fanatic you will be in geek paradise. This massive box includes three CDs, including a remastered version of the original album and many outstanding outtakes, 21 unreleased songs among them. Also, 3 DVDs, including amazing concert footage from 1976-1978 when The Boss was arguably at his performing peak.”
3. Crazy For You by Best Coast: “If you’d like to feel the warmth of Los Angeles sunshine during the holiday season, check out this beautiful Lo-Fi mix of beach-punk-fuzz-pop.”

1. The Fire Below (Remixes) by Runaway: “Run out and buy whatever this one … and set it on your turntables as soon as possible.”
2. “The River” by CFCF: “I’m obsessed! The ‘Frozen Forest’ remix by the great Jacques Renault (that comes as a digital bonus!) is particularly addictive.”
3. Between Two Lungs by Florence + The Machine: “For those really naughty or really nice children, I recommend this just-released box set, which has almost enough extra unreleased Florence material to help make it through the holiday season.”

1. Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club: “These guys are labelmates of one my favorite bands, Phoenix, and are poised to break through this year. Creative, fun combined with credible songwriting make them a staple for 2011 playlists.”
2. Fashionably Late-EP by Donnis: “He’s a talented hip-hop artist whose lead single ‘Tonight’ was featured in My Super Psycho Sweet 16, Part 2. Donnis is versatile enough to share the stage with Matt and Kim or Kanye West.”
3. Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj: “Nicki has been on our radar at MTV for the past year and a half and possesses an incredible, direct relationship with her legion of fans. She is definitely what’s next in music and a breakout star and has the personality and skills to change pop music.”

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