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Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

The staff at Curbside put together a holiday gift guide for you to appease all your book worms and music lovers. These unique gifts are sure to please even your pickiest loved ones!


Red Velvet Underground by Freda Love Smith (Agate/Midway)
This drummer-turned-columnist's memoir is an excellent gift for lovers of rock music, vegetarian (mostly) recipes, and road trips.

Can't recommend this book enough.


Shanghai'd Soul - Episode 4 (Numero Group)
One of our top-sellers. Each of these soul tracks was sampled by some of the biggest names in hip-hop from Kanye to Kendrick to Common to Cudi.

Excellent gift for hip hop heads and R&B lovers.


Organize Your Own edited by Anthony Romero (Soberscove)
Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements features new work by contemporary artists, poets, and writers that explores the question of what “your own” might mean, this book connects some of the concerns dealt with in the 1960s and ’70s to the conversations and social movements around racial justice happening today.



Richard Edwards, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset (Joyful Noise Records)
On this debut solo LP, Richard Edwards (of Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s) bears his wealth of gifts are on full display. This dual LP comes in Lemon Yellow and Cotton Candy Pink, with bonus track on translucent yellow flexi-disc.

Lush melodies and charming lyrics, the perfect gift for folk fans.


The Empty Bottle edited by John E. Dugan (Curbside Splendor)
Revisit one of the best rock clubs in America. Along with candid photos of bands from the Flaming Lips to the Sea and Cake, there are interviews and anecdotes galore. Writer John E. Dugan spent two years on this store favorite. Don't miss out!

If you're looking to give an experience, we have that covered too!  As a 16" on Center box office, you can pick up tickets for live music venues including The Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall, SPACE Evanston, & The Promontory. 

If you're looking to give an experience, we have that covered too!

As a 16" on Center box office, you can pick up tickets for live music venues including The Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall, SPACE Evanston, & The Promontory. 

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes by Anne Elizabeth Moore and Haxel Princess by Cherry Glazerr

Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes released on Tuesday. Every day, heinous acts are perpetrated on women's bodies in this political economy—whether for entertainment, in the guise of medicine, or due to the conditions of labor that propel consumerism. In Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, award-winning journalist and Fulbright scholar Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the global toll of capitalism on women with thorough research and surprising humor. The essays range from probing journalistic investigations, such as Moore’s reporting on the labor conditions of the Cambodian garment industry, to the uncomfortably personal, as when Moore, who suffers from several autoimmune disorders, examines her experiences seeking care and community in the increasingly complicated (and problematic) American healthcare system. Featuring illustrations by Xander Marro, Body Horror is a fascinating and revealing portrait of the gore of contemporary American culture and politics.

Clementine Creevy, musician and Transparent actor, created Cherry Glazerr when she was 14. Back in 2014, much-loved Cali imprint Burger Records released Cherry Glazerr’s intoxicating debut Haxel Princess. The New York Times called ‘Grilled Cheese’ one of their Top Songs of 2014. Haxel Princess is back in print thanks to Secretly Canadian Records.

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month

We're so excited about National Poetry Month, that we are offering 20% off all Curbside Splendor poetry titles, including Artifice Books for the entire month of April. 

That means you can pick up Sara Woods's Wolf Doctors, and write your own poetry thanks to her writing prompts like:

Write a poem on paper made of someone else's hair. Become a nobel-man. Get real good at hopscotch.


A teen romance about a love triangle between Lake Superior and two of Jupiter's moons. Feel free to pick any two moons you like! My favorite are Callisto and and Ganymede.

So get in here and celebrate reading and writing poetry!

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

See You In the Morning by Mairead Case and Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset by Richard Edwards

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy lately. I haven’t had time to sit down and enjoy anything for a while, so I read lit mags on the ‘L’ and listen to music on my phone. When I’m in transit, I don’t always get the chance to process every crafted detail of media I’m ingesting. With these pieces, I had no choice but to put everything on hold and focus on the art.

When Richard Edwards makes an album, he always advises you to “listen to it loud.” When Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset arrived on Tuesday, I ran home to play it and it hasn’t been off my record player since. The Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s frontman’s first solo album is the result of the aftermath of his divorce and a stomach ailment that caused the cancellation of a sold-out Margot tour. Richards doesn’t deviate from his past work, but this album is solo; it’s truly his creation. His instrumentals are more orchestral than his previous work, but his lyrics are tight as ever, yet abstract. I sat down and binged on lines like:

Come to see me here in Chicago

I’ll pick you up from Logan Square station

Come to see me down in the ghetto

And I’ll break my brain all over you again.

- from “Lemon”

See You In the Morning by Mairead Case is a lucid dream in the real world. Case’s unnamed narrator doesn’t hold back in the way she sees the world. The story is simple; the ambiguous narrator describes the world around her as she navigates school, work, her friends, and her own sexuality. The prose manages to be free and ambient without coming off as twee or sentimental. As I sat down to read, I was in the narrator’s view of the world, and happily forced to accept it.

These are works that demand your attention. You have no choice but to sit down and take in the entirety of the artists’ work.

LEMON COTTON CANDY SUNSET is out 3/31 from Joyful Noise Records.

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati and The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

For this week’s book & record pairing, we’re taking you around the Adriatic Sea. 

When Beirut’s Zach Condon left his New Mexico home at seventeen to travel Europe, he came back with a new appreciation for Balkan folk music that help shaped Beirut’s signature sound. Condon’s second full length album, The Flying Club Cup, hones in tighter than his debut with a brass heavy sound.

Watch Beirut play through The Flying Club Cup in the feature length film by La Blogotheque sessions. As Condon proclaims “All I want is the best for our lives my dear / And you know my wishes are sincere,” you can tell that he means it.

Follow Orfi through the levels of the afterworld in search of his love, Eura in this pop-culture heavy graphic novel. Dino Buzzati was the Italian master of the avant garde. With Poem Strip, Buzzati rewrites the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but in his contemporary setting, Milan in the1960s. Poem Strip reads both nostalgic and current thanks to Marina Harss’s 2009 translation from the Italian. It’s easy to get caught up in the story, but you’ll want to read again and again for Buzzati’s art.

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

Joe Meno’s Office Girl and Strand of Oaks’s Hard Love

When it comes down to it, these pieces are about people who need to make art to communicate. Meno’s OFFICE GIRL centers around art-school dropouts, riding around on bikes and recording the sounds they stumble upon. Sounds a bit like Strand of Oaks’s single “Radio Kids” if you ask me.

The Onion’s A.V. Club said OFFICE GIRL is “a charming and unpretentious hipster love story destined to be the next cult classic.” These characters, Odile and Jack take in the Chicago terrain, dealing with love in the best ways they can. Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks is someone who knows how difficult that can be. Showalter’s 2013 album HEAL was written to help him deal with his marital infidelities, but with HARD LOVE, he said, “I’m sick of being the sad white guy with an acoustic guitar. We’re done with that shit.” He speaks of love with a crucial simplicity. Showalter, like Meno, knows sometimes the best way to communicate is through what comes simply to you.

HARD LOVE is out 2/17 from Dead Oceans Records.