Rock the holidays: Gift ideas for fans of Dayton music

Buying official band merchandise with a local hook by acts like Guided By Voices and Hawthorne Heights will ensure you find a unique gift that’s not available at your neighborhood box store while also supporting homegrown talent.
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Buying official band merchandise with a local hook by acts like Guided By Voices and Hawthorne Heights will ensure you find a unique gift that’s not available at your neighborhood box store while also supporting homegrown talent.

Credit: Don Thrasher

It can be particularly difficult to find the right gift for that rock music fan in your life. Even if you have a firm grasp of his or her tastes, it’s hard to know what’s already in their collection.

That said, buying something with a local hook will ensure you find a unique item that’s not available at your neighborhood box store. Buying official band merchandise, or merch as it’s known in the game, is also a nice way to support homegrown talent during this unusual holiday season.

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Here are a few recommendations for music-related gifts with Dayton ties that you can purchase online.

Behind the scenes at Guided by Voices virtual concert at The Brightside in Dayton, Ohio
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Behind the scenes at Guided by Voices virtual concert at The Brightside in Dayton, Ohio

Credit: Libby Ballengee

Credit: Libby Ballengee

There’s plenty of merchandise available for the Guided By Voices fan on your shopping list. The Dayton-group’s latest album, “Styles We Paid For,” is being released on Dec. 11. It’s GBV’s third full-length of 2020 and you can order it and other releases at www.rockathonrecords.com. The band also has branded apparel such as sweatshirts, socks and ballcaps for sale at www.guidedbyvoices.com. The site, which also has shot glasses, coffee mugs and other items, is currently offering a special holiday sale with everything reduced 15 percent. Prices range from buttons for $1.70 to a variety of hoodies temporarily marked down to $38.25.

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Hawthorne Heights has always had a solid merch game. Some of their top items include a branded team jacket in the style of a high school letterman jacket and a baby onesie with the phrase, “I’m not crying, I’m emo.” The band’s Web store also offers its signature Amado Gold Coffee and holiday themed COVID masks. This season, Hawthorne Heights is also offering four different seasonal packages, starting with a simple “Emo” beanie and holiday card for $39.99. The most expensive is the $99 package, which features the beanie and card along with two T-shirts and the Hawthorne Heights Team Jacket. The jacket alone sells for $49.99 so that’s a pretty good deal. Buy at hawthorneheightsstore.com.

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For more than a decade, Dayton-based instrumental rock band Team Void — Luis “El Muerto” Lerma (lead guitar), El Bean “Infinity” Lerma (bass) and Jon “Johnny X” Mercier (drums) — has been delivering rock, pop and punk with a hint of surf. CONTRIBUTED
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For more than a decade, Dayton-based instrumental rock band Team Void — Luis “El Muerto” Lerma (lead guitar), El Bean “Infinity” Lerma (bass) and Jon “Johnny X” Mercier (drums) — has been delivering rock, pop and punk with a hint of surf. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

There has always been an undeniable style to local instrumental rockers Team Void, from the band’s signature Mexican wrestling masks to its eye-popping album and poster graphics. Not surprisingly, the Dayton-based act has applied that artistic touch to a wide variety of merch items. There are the standards like T-shirts, buttons, poster reproductions and coffee mugs, but Team Void has gone much deeper. The group’s online store also includes pop-art inspired pieces such as an A-line dress, which sells for $43.36, an oversized floor pillow for $51.84 and a scarf for $24.52. While it is currently sold out, the group was recently selling a shower curtain. You can find Team Void gear at teamvoidmusic.com.

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The coronavirus shutdowns changed things for Rad Girlfriend Records, but the Gem City’s mighty punk rock label still managed to put out some powerful releases this year. The most recent is “Midwest Duress,” a six-song, 7-inch split between label head Josh Goldman’s band the Raging Nathans and Illinois group Reaganomics. The record drops on Friday, Dec. 4. Other recent offerings from Rad Girlfriend include the debut from Dayton-based Houseghost in late October and the early November release of a two-song single from new studio project Moral Mazes. You can purchase these and others releases, as well as T-shirts, at radgirlfriendrecords.com.

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at donthrasher100@gmail.com.