The 99 Cent Bin

August 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

Generally speaking, a good used music shop has the expensive eye-candy that you’ll never be able to afford, the fair priced stuff, and the dirt cheap stuff that is priced as such for reasons like: it’s cheesy; it’s really common; or it’s so uncommon that no one knows what it is and therefore doesn’t care. The 99 cent bin is one of the more satisfying sections in any music store. You may have gone in looking for that rare single initially, but the store usually doesn’t have it and if they do, you usually can’t afford it, but the 99 cent bin is a little treasure hunt that you can afford.

Most people are interested only in instant gratification and usually these are the sorts who don’t often go into music shops without a good idea of what they want. Some people are snobs and are looking exclusively for pristine copies. If this doesn’t apply to you, then the 99 cent bin is a good place to feed your thirst for new music, for little money and this is especially true, if like me you enjoy digging through things. I will tell you, the 99 cent bin is cheap because there is a lot of crap in there, but there are also those gems from small bands nobody knows and the staples that almost everyone owns (except maybe you, which is why you buy it for 99 cents).

My recent foray into the 99 cent bin left me satisfied having found 4 cds worth buying. I wasn’t expecting to find a copy of Mansun’s Six. You can’t even find that here anymore new in the shops. Nor did I expect to find the now defunct Seattle band The Divorce’s There Will Be Blood Tonight (incidentally, they make me think of early Treble Charger with some new wave clichés). A single of “Writing To Reach You” by Travis was picked up for the b-sides. Idlewild by Everything But The Girl was a chance purchase, based mostly on Tracey Thorn’s voice, but an unfamiliarity with the era, however, that’s the beauty of the 99 cent bin–if it sucks, well who cares it was less than a dollar. As an aside, Idlewild doesn’t suck.

Say “yes” to the bargain bin, although, it may not be an honour to be tossed there yourself as an artist, it certainly benefits people like myself when someone I like has been.

Stay gold.


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