Phil Tayler had plenty to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day – and he isn’t asking for much this Christmas. He figures he’s already way ahead of the game.

Just a few years ago, Tayler unexpectedly found himself homeless in San Francisco after moving there from his native Buffalo, N.Y., to live with a relative, go to college and start a band. His relative kicked him out, leaving him to survive more than six months alone on the streets.

Today, he’s living his dream: fronting his own band, Future Leaders of the World. Powered by the radio-friendly first single “Let Me Out” (Hear here via iTunes), their GGGarth Richardson-produced album, “LVL IV” (Epic), has sold more than 30,000 copies since its Oct. 5 release.

“People have been through worst things than I have. I’m thankful to be supporting myself playing music,” Tayler said recently. “I’m just thankful to be alive and being able to feed my belly.”

In the tradition of Nirvana, Puddle of Mudd and Rage Against the Machine, Tayler’s passionate lyrics target injustice and corporate hypocrisy and even gives a little dig to popular music (“Kill Pop”).

Though his socially conscious songs reflect his struggles, Tayler says he’s not one to dwell on the past.

“My No. 1 focus is the band,” he said. “I’d like for us to one day to be a headlining band and have fans know every lyric on our albums. I’d like us to have our own studio some day, maybe even our own label.”

Beaming a day after receiving his first publishing-advance check, Tayler now has “money we can actually spend.” To celebrate, he helps ring in Pause & Play’s annual Get Me Music for the Holidays – a guide to help you shop for music lovers in your life.

BOX SETS: “The Nirvana box set might be cool,” Tayler said. “It has some bootleg stuff on there, which might be crap, but it’s still Nirvana. I’d also love to get that Miles Davis box. He’s a musical hero of mine. He was crazy. I can really relate to him.”

P&P recommends …