Love something? Pass it on.

There is a certain Christian festival looming on the horizon, one often associated with the giving of gifts.

Most of us don’t need more stuff. Many of us are struggling with finances.

So here’s a gift idea that is economical and personal:

Find some good music on Bandcamp that is “Pay What You Want” and released under an appropriate Creative Commons license. Pay what you can, and download it.

Take five (or ten, or twenty) tracks you think your recipient would like and put them on a USB stick, or even burn them to a CD. Write some liner notes, just a sentence or two for each track on why you like it or think the recipient would. Be sure to include information about the music, and links to the musician’s other work on bandcamp or elsewhere.

Pop the USB stick (or CD) in some cheap-and-cheerful wrapping paper, and you’re done.

My music is available at and I would be delighted for you to use it this way. Others may not be: check for an appropriate license, or contact them and ask if it’s OK to pass a track or two on to friends like this.

It turns out Steve Lawson had this idea a few years back, and I’ve cribbed it. Whoops! He’s happy to have his music shared in this way, though, so good news, right? I asked Moss and Jones too and they like the idea.