Thrift Store Treasures

Where do music freaks go to “scratch the itch” now that most record stores have gone away?

Thrift stores.

The fact that MP3’s have pretty much made CD’s irrelevant, as far as the current, and casual, consumer of music is concerned, in addition to the economy being in the tank, makes thrift stores the ideal location to scrounge for a few treasures. Like the Island Of Misfit Toys, thrift shops are where CD’s that nobody wants anymore go to die. But just like the toys from that aforementioned sad little Rankin and Bass Island, someone out there will appreciate them again, eventually.

I’ll make the thrift store rounds about once a month to check out new inventory. Where I live I have 6 or 7 good sized stores all within a 15 mile radius of each other. I can hit all 6 in about an hour. Most of the CD’s are crap, naturally. Justin Beiber, chanting Tibetan monks, a dozen Pretty Woman Soundtracks, National Geographic ‘Sounds Of The Wild”, the list of shite goes on and on. But, every once in a while, I’ll find some great ones. As a matter of fact every month I’ll find at least 5 great ones, on a good month 10 or more, all at a buck a piece.

Part of it is the hunt. I miss it, and this monthly excursion fulfills that. But the physical thing is still important, to me, so when I stumble across something good I get a little rush. It’s a great way to re-discover the music of your youth, as the majority of stuff you’ll find will be at least 2o years old, or more.

So once a month whether you like it or not I’m going to recount my thrift store findings with you, and I’m gonna start now. Here, then, are my most current cheap-o acquisitions.

Neds Atomic Dustbin, God Fodder: A bit of grebo, a bit of Madchester, a bit of punk, but overall a very melodic early ‘90’s wonder that I haven’t listened to in years.

The LA’s, self titled: This album has been praised up and down since it was released over 20 years ago, and has a retro ‘60’s feel to it, not unlike Dukes Of Stratosphere, but maybe not as cheeky. It’s a great album even though the architect, Lee Mavers, is a bit of a self important twat.

The FIXX, Reach The Beach: Best cover award !A sentimental favorite from the ‘80’s. You all know them from One Thing Leads To Another, and maybe Saved By Zero, but there’s so much more than that here. Now that decades have passed the ‘80’s baggage has lessened and I can appreciate it as a damn fine, unique pop record.

Space, Spiders: Unclassifiable, this: Retro, spy soundtrack music, house and electronica elements, lounge, weird and funny. What genre would you call that? The ‘hit’ from the album was Female Of The Species.

The Blue Nile, A Walk Across The Rooftops: I’ve always wanted to check these guys out, and got my chance today for a measly $1. Everyone that I know that has listened to them, and every critic who’s written an essay on this album, or this band in general, praises these guys from the rooftops, pun intended. According to the majority of the reviews on Amazon A Walk Across The Rooftops is a peerless wonder of sonic brilliance. I’l have to let you know, as I’ve yet to throw it on. From what I’ve reads it is a perfect late night album.

Frank Black, self titled: Funny I found this as I’ve been in a maniacal Pixies mood these last weeks. I haven’t ever really heard much from Black’s solo career, but decided to pick it up and it’s pretty fantastic! His version of the Beach Boys Hang On To Your Ego is re-imagined as a speedy new wave classic and Los Angeles, along with at least 7 more, easily rank among his best, Pixies or no.

Not bad for $6, IMO.