Five Holiday Gifts for Your Metal-Loving Uncle

Alright, slacker.

There's no more denying it: the holidays are here, and you need to get on that shopping list. Luckily, Up on the Sun has caught gift guide-fever, and over the course of this week we'll be offering you suggestions for the entire family.

It's hard to forget your metal-loving uncle -- even if you kinda want to.

Here are a couple of musical suggestions to slide under his mini-Jack Daniels bottle-bedecked Christmas tree.

1. AC/DC Highway to Hell Playing Card Gift Set

Your uncle will always feel comfortable betting on black with this badass card set. Not only is the set officially poker sized with a smooth linen finish (not like those cheap cards you find in random record stores), but expect to check out 52 different images of the musicians on and off the stage. Pick them up on

Back Up Plan: Slayer metal keychain, so he'll always feel like a metal God when he sees it attached to his keys.

2. Mosh Potatoes Cookbook by Steve Seabury.

Your uncle probably used to grill up stuff for you when you were little right? Well, heavy metal and rock foodies are more common than you think, grilling up saucy slabs of meat by day and moshing by night. This cookbook dishes out 147 recipes. Think orange-tequila shrimp from Joey Belladonna of Anthrax, spaghetti and meatballs from Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, and cookies from Dave Ellefson of Megadeth. Other highlights of the book include backstage stories and notes about cooking on the road. Find it at Simon & Schuster and select bookstores.

Back Up Plan: Go with heavy metal memoirs. Hit up a bookstore for up-close-and-personal stories from such musicians as Dave Mustaine, Steven Adler, Sammy Hagar, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee, and Lemmy Kilmister.

3. Dimebag Darrell Miniature Guitar Photo Frame.

Your uncle can always feel in the presence of metal with these picture frames embellished with a 10" replica guitar from select music legends. Pantera's Dimebag Darrell is always a good bet, with the Flying V Dean Lightning Bolt guitar or the model with Pantera's signature fiery flames; but you can also find the photo frames with guitars from Metallica's James Hetfield, Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, and Guns 'N Roses' Slash.

Back Up Plan: Dimebag Darrell Guitar Picks. These will appease your uncle whether he plays the guitar or not: these ten premium guitar picks each have a vibrant color photo of Dimebag in action with his guitar, and can be used for playing or just mounted on the wall for show. Find them on Amazon.

4. Gigantour Tickets

Megadeth, Motorhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil round out the lineup for early 2012's Gigantour show. Trust us; this tour will be a celebration of metalheads spanning two to three generations, although it'll be hard to tell an age range among the sea of black t-shirts and dudes comparing lengths of their head-banging hair. Gigantour is scheduled for Sunday, February 26, at Comerica Theatre. Find tickets here.

Back Up Plan: Snag tickets to Machinehead, playing at the Rialto in Tucson on February 16. It's outside of the Valley, but the venue is intimate, particularly for a huge metal band like Machinehead. And if you're lucky, maybe your uncle will invite you along for the road trip. Find tickets here.

5. KISS Him Cologne

Yep. That's right; we already know rockers are marketing their names on everything from urns and caskets to board games and shot glasses. But now we've entered dangerous territory: fragrance. After all, who really wants to smell like a metalhead?

Luckily, this fragrance by KISS doesn't reek of mosh pit sweat and stale beer. It's smoky, it's spicy, it's woody. Think white pepper and anise, sandalwood and fir. It's the perfect cologne for the ultimate KISS fan--most likely right up your uncle's generational alley. Pick it up on Amazon or other fragrance Web sites.

Back Up Plan: The Periodic Table of Heavy Metals. Instead of contributing to that can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it but smells-like-a-rocker odor your uncle has always had, give him a look at the core ingredients of heavy metal's soul with this poster that supplies a table of 303 heavy metals--from AC/DC to Five Finger Death Punch to Zozobra--charted according to genre in the shape of the signature devil horns. Find it at Pop Chart Lab.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise