GIFT GUIDE 2009: $25 and Under

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$25 and Under

Bleach Reissue

$14.99 at Other Music, 15 E. 4th St. (betw. Broadway & Lafayette St.), 212-477-8150

It’s hard to believe that Bleach, the
first album that Nirvana released, is 20 years old. What’s most amazing
about this is that the album still manages to sound completely kick-ass
and totally relevant. With the newly-released and re-mastered edition
(available on CD or 180-gram white vinyl with brand new liner notes),
the album is joined by a live recording of a 1990 show in Portland,
Ore., that proves the band’s success was no fluke. Forget buying albums
from this year’s buzz bands for your loved ones: Whether they were
around for grunge or not, a gift of Bleach is a sure-fire way to make sure that the people who matter to you stay evil.

Jesus Briefs

$25, Yellow Rat Bastard, 483 Broadway (betw. Broome & Grand Sts.), 877-935-5728

are always saying that Christmas is losing its religious leanings, but
those people are obviously wearing very boring underwear. If they were
wearing the biblically-inspired skivvies from Piss &
Vinegar—available as briefs, boxer briefs or a crowd-pleasing jock
strap—they would realize that Christmas cheer is obviously religious
and easy to share (in this case, it also happens to offer excellent
support). So go ahead and spread it… holiday cheer, that is.

A Very Sunny Christmas

$17.99 at Best Buy, 60 W. 23rd St. (at 6th Ave.), 212-366-1373

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is
one of the most original comedies on television, but seeing its cast of
completely amoral characters do the unthinkable over and over again can
start to feel played out. The gang’s Christmas special—available on
DVD—avoids this fate by having some moments so outrageous that there is
no way to fight the hilarity. We are talking about some pretty crazy
things even by Sunny standards, including Charlie taking a
bloody bite out of the neck of Santa, a twisted Rudolph The Red-Nosed
Reindeer inspired claymation segment and a very naked Danny DeVito. Give this to a friend with a sense of humor, or, better yet, one who will let you borrow it.

Dirt Balls

$16 at Dylan’s Candy Bar, 1011 3rd Ave. (at E. 60th St.), 646-735-0078

don’t look like much when you first get them. Compared to the
cup-runnethover photo on the Dylan’s Candy Bar website, both the amount
of candy and the size of the garbage can-shaped container they come in
seem a wee-bit paltry for $16. But then you taste one, and resistance
becomes futile. Cookie pieces dipped in white chocolate and rolled in
more chocolate cookie crumbs, Dirt Balls sound like a sensory overload,
but the reality is something far more subtle and addictive. They have a
pleasing, crunchyyet-creamy texture, and a sweet, just-rich-enough
taste that takes a couple of samplings to precisely pin down. Then
again, that might just be our own flimsy justification for eating,
like, half a container over the course of an hour. Either way, they’re
really freaking good.

Beech Tree

$16.95 at Muji, 455 Broadway (betw. Grand & Howard Sts.), 212-334-2002 Hauling
a real Christmas tree up to your apartment is a pain, no matter how
nice those popup shops smell or how charming the visiting lumberjacks
who run them are. Our solution is Muji’s sad, Charlie Brown-esque tree (which our ladyfriends have
pointed out will double as a nice jewelry holder post-holidays). Big
enough for slight trimming but small enough to fit anywhere in that
dank hovel you call an apartment, the little wonder is sufficiently
cute to have yourself and cheap enough to give to a friend who’s all
bummed out about missing Jesus’ birthday in whatever backwater burg he
came from.

Punk Rock Bobbleheads

$14.95–$16.95 at

the season with one of the year’s most wonderfully weird
juxtapositions: the profane, thrashing and all-around nutso energy of
punk rockers G.G. Allin and Tesco Vee as channeled through that most
innocuous of kitsch memorabilia, the bobblehead. The dolls, distributed
by rock-and-roll collectibles company Aggronautix, are a little jarring
at first, but end up being a pleasing combination of the serene and the
psychotic. With its blood-splattered chrome dome and various
profanities carved into his nearly-naked body, the “extra filthy bloody
edition” of Allin looks ready to kill you, yet will only jiggle its
oversized cranium when provoked. The Vee doll may be flipping you off
pretty fierce (perhaps a preemptive response to any snide comments
about its kickin’ ABBA pants and matching clogs), but in the end, it’s
all head-nod and no bite. These twisted little beauties will be the
perfect fuck-theman complement to any punk rocker’s dashboard.