In 2009 we did hit upon something different: he asked me to buy him a few albums that I thought he might like. Now, I have very little idea what music floats his boat, but he sent me a list of the sorts of things he was enjoying and left it entirely up to me. I can't remember everything I bought him that year, but I think it included the first Maximo Park album (he already had and liked "Our Earthly Pleasures"), something else and the Mumford & Sons album. Now, I'm not really much of a fan, but that last one in particular proved to be a real hit with my brother.
It was an experiment that worked well enough that we tried it again the following year: I bought him the first Band of Skulls record , Nick Drake's "Byter Layter", Cat Power's "The Greatest" and the Mt Desolation record. Again, I think Nick Drake and particularly the Mt. Desolation albums were a hit, so on the whole it was well worth doing.
I think I gave him vouchers again in 2011, but this year he asked me for some music. Hmm. Now, I've not actually bought that much music this year, so I had to do a bit of head scratching. After a couple of weeks thinking about it, we came up with the following:
"Django Django" by Django Django
"Jake Bugg" by Jake Bugg (Nottingham's 1st number one in decades)
"Diamond Mine" by King Creosote and Jon Hopkins (the extended edition)
...and an album that he specifically asked for by Inlet Sound.
Now, I've no idea if he'll like any of that stuff (although I think he'll be all over the King Creosote album and perhaps the Jake Bugg)... but it will be fun to find out. Hopefully for both of us.
Christmas isn't far away either, so perhaps I'd better keep my thinking cap on.... if anyone has any suggestions, then please feel free to add them below. Whilst we're at it, I'm also after gift ideas for my elder brother, his wife and two kids and for both my parents. Oh, and for my wife.....