Mobilians scrambling to find that last-minute gift for the music critic on their list can call off the search. Publisher Rowman & Littlefield International may have the perfect stocking-stuffer for enthusiasts who just can’t get enough musical rankings.

The music world today is filled with a variety of lists and charts. From guitarists to albums to songs, a seemingly endless collection of lists have been created to rate the best and the worst. Even the average music enthusiast typically has a mental collection of music lists in his or her head. Music writer Jim Beviglia (“American Songwriter”) has taken this concept to the extreme with his “Their 100 Finest Songs” book series. So far, Beviglia has already provided top-100 lists for the songs of both Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Now he’s focusing on rock gods The Rolling Stones with his new book, “Counting Down The Rolling Stones: Their 100 Finest Songs.”

(Photo/Wikipedia) Jim Beviglia’s new book about The Rolling Stones includes thorough commentary.

(Photo/Wikipedia) Jim Beviglia’s new book about The Rolling Stones includes thorough commentary.

Many may wonder how Beviglia managed to pen 200 pages based on a list that could have been printed on a single page. Beviglia provides the reader with an impressive exposition of each song on his list. He is extremely thorough with each song’s explanation. His commentary often includes a plethora of information such as the song’s backstory, lyrical analysis, production notes and much more.

Of all the book’s aspects, Beviglia’s casual tone tends to be especially appealing. He lacks the haughtiness that sometimes plagues books of this type. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Beviglia’s ratings, the history this music writer provides is guaranteed to please both the amateur and the professional music critic.

Return of the Christmas Band
For five years, a collection of local musicians came together at the Alabama Music Box to spread their unique version of Christmas cheer with what came to be simply known as the Christmas Band. After Alabama Music Box closed, these musicians decided to use 2014 as a hiatus year. This only fueled the group’s Christmas spirit, until it could not be held back any longer.

Christmas 2015 marks the return of the Christmas Band, which has evolved into The Merry Widow Christmas Band. The band will be performing seasonal music at The Merry Widow (51 S. Conception St.) on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m.

This group has recruited Symone French Cobb to provide lead vocals. The 12-piece group will also include a horn section featuring Jerry Bates (baritone), Brad Huddleston (tenor sax) and Matthew Taylor (trumpet). In addition to the Christmas sounds, those in attendance are invited to participate in the Olde Towne Eggnog Drinking Contest.