Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Being an Audiophile…For Cheap.

Thrifted Music Final

There’s much to be said about the abundance of knick-knacks, bric-a-brac and tchotchkes at the local thrift store, and of my growing personal collection of found oddities that could be described as such. But when it comes to thrifting for music, I never had much luck. Until this last year, that is.
In this special edition of Let’s Go Thrifting, I’ll share with all of you diehard thrifters the music I scored secondhand.

Now. Let me preface all of this by first describing my musical tastes. I enjoy many different artists in many different genres, so it’s hard to quite describe my preference. But…if we were to keep the story short it would sound something like… Hello. I’m Jackie and I like listening to girl-garage groups and Japanese pop from the 60’s, complaint indie-rock, DEVO and Lady Gaga.

So aside from finding the remnants of boy bands and one-hit wonders past, I’d never consider the average thrift store a viable option to expand my music library.

Thrifted Music Pile Resized
Good thing I was proven wrong!

The inventory so far:

On vinyl…
  • Marlo Thomas and Friends Free to Be You and Me
  • Nutty Numbers (a strange, strange assortment of songs from the renowned K-Tel collection)
  • Big Brother and the Holding Company Cheap Thrills (Cheap, yes! Costing less than $1, in fact)
  • DEVO Q:Are We Not Men? A: We are DEVO!
  • DEVO Freedom of Choice
On CD…
  • Belle & Sebastian The Boy with the Arab Strap.
  • Sebadoh Bakesale
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (self-titled)
  • School House Rock! Rocks (indie and educational!)
  • Growing Up Too Fast: The Girl Group Anthology (2 discs of heartbreak and girl drama…and it’s great)
  • The Go! Team Thunder, Lightning, Strike
  • The Honorary Title Anything but the Truth

And…funny thing. That last title wasn’t particularly for me. I took a chance on the unknown… buying it simply for the cover art.

honorary title album cover

Yes. That’s a panda. And yes, it just devoured someone. But wait…There’s more! This particular Salvation Army where I bought the CD had it sealed in their own personalized plastic sleeves. So imagine my surprise when I peeled back the plastic, pried open the case and found a bonus CD hiding in there…

Postal Service album cover

Nothing like a free album from The Postal Service! It’s so great. It’s almost like I knew that disc would be hiding in there, behind that drawing of the ferocious panda. So sometimes, just sometimes judging a book…or an album… is an awesome idea.

For five records and eight relatively non-mainstream CDs (from four different thrift stores, mind you) I paid about $18. Meanwhile, most chain-owned music stores (who never carry anything even close to the Nutty Numbers collection) somehow get away with charging that amount for one album…
So I suppose the moral of the story is that there is more to be said for thrifted music than just show tunes and Herb Alpert.


Turntable closed 1 resized
"We can dance if we want to!"

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4 comments:

Van said...

The first thing that caught my eye was Robert Crumb Artwork on that album! You've got a great collection from what I can see.

I'm a bad girl that snatches up albums based on the cover at times. Sometimes the music surprises me, sometimes it's really good!

I'm always on the prowl for Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, and anything blues and Motown. My collection of favorites continues to grow. I keep my rare Off The Wall record (case! ha! no record was in it) proudly displayed in my living room.

Jackie said...

I love R. Crumb. His art is a great addition to the album. For some strange reason, when it comes to album art I'm a complete sucker. I'll buy it up, knowing nothing or little about the band/record. And this is true for used record stores too, not just the thrift specifically. But I've discovered some great artist this way, oddly enough. Holly Golightly, Cibo Matto, The Go! Team. I always feel accomplished when this happens, lol.

A La Modern said...

I missed this post earlier - that's so cool that you were able to find all that indie pop/rock. I agree, it's hard as heck to find that stuff - I almost never look because it's always filled with so much mainstream stuff. Sebadoh's Bakesale, man that takes me back. And we had music from that B&S album at our wedding. Nice finds,and you inspired me to take a look next time at thriftstore music CDs...

Jackie said...

I guess it just goes to show that it never hurts to look. For years it seemed it was nothing but mainstream pop, classical and really bad complilations. This past year though, I've found a decent amount of quality lesser-known indie bands. Good luck!