The Official Justin Lamb Gift Guide

Whether you’re a musician, podcaster, reader, or just a cold person in the winter, there is something for everyone!

1. Music – Renee Rapp

I’ll admit, I didn’t find that much new music this year that wasn’t Taylor Swift, but when I did, I was very excited about it and I wanted to share two of those albums with you here.

First up is Renee Rapp‘s debut album, Everything to Everyone. Renee is an actress on the critically acclaimed HBO show The Sex Lives of College Girls and now has an epic pop album out. The only problem with this amazing feat is the fact that there’s only seven tracks and it’s not a full hour long album. Go check it out and let me know what you think. My favorite tracks are the more lovestruck, heartbroken, gentle songs, In the Kitchen and What Can I Do.

2. Music – Mint Green

The other new artist I found this year I wanted to share was Mint Green. I don’t know much about them except that they are from Boston and they have a few previously released tracks prior to their debut studio album, All Girls Go To Heaven. With two leading female fronts and competing and harmonizing vocals, I was hooked. Add in the fun indie rock vibe that’s reminiscent of the band That Dog from the 90s and I am very happy with this entire album and the wide range they show throughout. Favorite track might have to be Make Me Stay with its fun guitar and bopping beat.

3. Musicians and Audiomakers – Zoom H1n Handy Recorder

I love this little recorder. I have three of them and one is their first generation model from over a decade ago and it still works! Whether you are just recording yourself write songs at home, recording lyric ideas in the car, or using it for ambient noise in the park (all things I have done), it is the perfect companion for anyone who writes songs, makes music, makes podcasts, or just likes to record themselves. With just a small microSD card, you can record dozens of hours without worrying about space. If you want a higher quality file, you can switch over to WAV from MP3 and get some stuff you can dig into on any audio rig.

4. Podcasters – Headphone Clamps

If you have ever sat across from me for a podcast recording, you know I have a lot going on. Wires, cables, mics, computers- there is a lot on my desk. I saw these at a store on Black Friday and had to get a couple of them. I love them. They are so simple and easy to clamp on, then you just turn them inside and those pesky headphones and cables are out of sight and out of mind. I recommend them to anyone who is tired of their cables and headphones chilling on the desk between records.

5. (future) Podcasters – Mic Setup

A lot of people reach out to me for recommendations on how to start a podcast. I always stress a few major points to consider, two of the most important being a decent mic and a consistent release schedule. Then, I give them a long PDF and they decide making a podcast is too much work. If you’re not going to shy away from your good idea, though, and you want to get started with great equipment on the cheap, this condenser mic package has everything you need to get started. I would personally recommend you use a USB Audio Interface as well, but that’s cause I am a little snobby. If you’re ready to pull the trigger or want to talk more about your idea, reach out to me and tell me about it!

6. Beverages – WellBeing Brews & CBD Waters

With Dry January right around the corner, you are likely feeling tempted to stock up on NA beverages for the month and I think you should indulge in that desire. I have partnered with WellBeing Brewing to get you 10% off non-alcoholic beer, as well as their CBD Sparkling Waters. Just use code FRIENDREQUEST at checkout and you’ll be ready to go! From stouts to ambers to IPAs to wheat beers and more. WellBeing Brewing is one of the best NA breweries out there and they are hassle-free when it comes to getting your order to your door. Check them out and get your Dry January on!

7. Jackets – Zero Xposur Puffer Jacket

What’s a gift guide without some form of clothing, right? This one is pretty simple. I found this jacket and it was a good deal and it has been great. It’s nice and light weight and keeps me super warm without being bulky. I really like it. That’s it. Go check it out.

8. Books – Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

I’ve read 17 books this year! That may be a record for me! This one is one of my favorites for a billion reasons. It’s written by a therapist, Lori Gottlieb, and she discusses the lives of four different clients of hers. As they go through their own struggles, she begins to see a therapist for the struggles she, herself, is going through. I sobbed twice during this book and I cannot recommend it enough. It fully encapsulates the experience of the therapist and the client and holds up a mirror to you, the reader, as you place yourself into the shoes of the people you are reading about. Ugh! It’s so good!

9. Books – I’m Glad My Mom Died

My mother is not dead, I am not a woman, nor do I have an eating disorder. That said, I somehow still related so much to the sentiments of this book. Author Jennette McCurdy was not on my radar at all. I have never seen iCarly, as I was already aged out of it when it came along. The way this is written, though, is both easy to read and encapsulating. These little micro-chapters help you keep the pace of the book and hold your interest consistently. As a writer, I was amazed by this book. How someone is able to go through the timeline of their entire life and pull out all these micro-stories that make them the person they are and structure them together in such a cohesive way is awe inspiring. There’s a reason this book has exploded and been recommended on every list.

10. Games – Where Should We Begin

What would the holidays be without a fun game night? This game peels past the surface banter you might usually find at parties and gets to the core of who we are as people. Not a game for people scared of vulnerability (unless you’re ready to face that fear). Esther Perel, famous relationship therapist, put this game together and helps people tell stories about themselves with thoughtful prompts that cover a wide range of topics and events. HINT: All of the sex-based questions are separated and you can shuffle them into the deck or leave them out, especially if you’re playing with your parents or in-laws.

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