The Exclaim! Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts for the Folk Fan

The Exclaim! Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts for the Folk Fan
Illustration by Ben Shannon
The holiday season is only a few weeks away. Before you rush off to pick up some presents, make sure to check out Exclaim!'s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, which we will be rolling out in daily instalments this week.

Here you'll find some ideal gifts for the folk and country music fan in your life — some history lessons from iconic Canadians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, more history lessons in the form of music from Bruce Cockburn and Wilco, and some lifestyle accoutrements like the innovative Mason jar adaptors.

The Exclaim! Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts for the Folk Fan

Joni Mitchell, In Her Own Words: Conversations with Malka Marom
(ECW)



Sure, there are other Joni Mitchell biographies but this one is different. After a chance encounter at Yorkville's Riverboat in 1966, Mitchell and writer, singer, TV host and award-winning documentarian Malka Marom struck up a long-lasting friendship that led to the series of candid, in-depth conversations in 1973, 1979 and 2012 that make up the bulk of this new biography. It touches on Mitchell's childhood in Fort MacLeod, surviving childhood polio, Mitchell's famous love affairs, giving up her daughter in 1965, and her struggles with Morgellons (a rare and misunderstood disease). Throughout, Mitchell and Marom try to crack "the creative process, in all its fullness"; the book also includes supplemental interviews, photographs, and reproductions of Mitchell's paintings.
Sarah Greene

Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars
(Blue Rider Press)
By Neil Young



If you thought Canadian folk legend Neil Young's first foray into memoir writing, 2012's Waging Heavy Peace, was frivolous and incomprehensible, you're not alone: the book was panned by critics and readers alike. But Young is taking another stab at getting his life down in words with Special Deluxe, which chronicles his Canadian childhood, life on the road and biggest passion (next to rocking out and environmental sustainability): his collection of vintage cars.
Matthew Ritchie

Bruce Cockburn Rumours of Glory
(Harper Collins/True North)



Celebrated Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn is ready to reflect on a storied career in his autobiography, Rumours of Glory. Providing an intimate look at both the artist's personal life and music, the book also looks at his global concerns: environmental issues, war atrocities and human rights. The memoir will also be accompanied by a box set of the same name, chronicling Cockburn's career over nine discs. Alongside classic catalogue favourites, a number of previously unreleased tracks will be included.
Calum Slingerland

Wilco What's Your 20: Essential Tracks / Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014
(Nonesuch)



Whittling Wilco's songs down into a greatest-hits collection seems fairly futile, since so many are alt-rock gold. Still, for those unaccustomed to the sweet sounds of the Chicago-based band (and shame on you), the 38-song, 20th anniversary collection What's Your 20: Essential Tracks will act as a perfect primer. Fans in the know will be more interested in Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, which compiles all of the band's hard-to-find gems into a four disc box, saving you time and money to put towards a trip and tickets to their six-night residency at Chicago's Riviera Theatre this December.
Matthew Ritchie

Mason Jar adaptors



A folkie just wouldn't be a folkie sipping from a Starbucks mug or a Nalgene bottle — it's mason jars for you! But what to do when that pesky lid gets stuck, or that wide mouth ends up pouring whiskey all down your best fringed jacket? You need a Cuppow canning jar drinking lid. Pick your ideal colour and style, and — finally — drink from your mason jar with grace and impunity.
Stephen Carlick

Bob Dylan and the Band
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

(Columbia)



This is it — the first monumental bootleg rock record, in all of its glory. In the summer of 1967, Bob Dylan retired from public life, chilling in upstate New York with his mostly Canadian backing band. They recorded old standards and wrote new ones, lo-fi, gritty, sounding drunk and high and in love. An bootleg labelled The Great White Wonder began making the rounds, featuring some of these recordings and people lost their minds. Eventually more songs circulated, unofficially, officially, in reverential whispers but never like this, nearly 140 blemished takes over six discs. The Complete Basement Tapes. At last.
Vish Khanna

Need more holiday gift ideas? Then check out our other sections on music, merch, videogames, movies and books, as well as gifts for the "urban hipster," hip-hop fan, metalhead and cineaste in your life.