steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

bargain bin booty!
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There are both things to love and hate about bargain bins.  On one hand, record labels don't receive royalties from bargain bin sales.  On the other hand, they're a great source for independent music you may not have picked up anywhere else.  And consider all the rare and out of print stuff that can be hunted down...  Well, Bargain Bin Booty! is all about the treasures that we've tracked down in these bins.  Moreover, everything was purchased for five bucks or less (that's Canadian dollars!Read ahead and writhe in sheer envy.a

ashesash.jpg (6296 bytes) Bargain Bin Booty One: Ashes' "Ashland" album
The "Ashland" album is an early (1993) collection of experimental ambient/synth stuff by Ashes, the now-defunct Italian band with a member of the legendary Sigillum S to its credit. Out on Verba Corrige, "Ashland" features beautiful silkscreen cover art and appears to have been released in a limited edition. The music itself is relaxing and meditative - the polar opposite of Sshe Retina Stimulants, the "other" Sigillum S side-project.  
Amount I Paid For It: $3.98 Canadian
Bargain Bin Booty Two: The "PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS" compilation
Released on the incredulously obscure Skooby Snack label from Vancouver, Canada, this was an excellent compilation of hardcore political punk acts from all over the world.  As far as I can tell, this was the only release that the label put out - way back in 1996.  With $2 of each copy going to Herstreet in Montreal, the release was a bulky little thing; it featured not only a professionally-mastered CD, but a big fat book of liner notes - most of which include lyrics, contact info, and political tidbits.  The most noticeable part of this release is the bands, many of which are now big on the hardcore scene - Anti-Flag, d.b.s. (RIP), Elliot, Render Useless, Seven Hate, Burning Heads, and Rhythm Collision make appearances.  And there's 24 tracks, too. Even if just for the moment when the Victoria-based Goatboy yells "Kill the fuck", this was a worthy (and affordable!) purchase.
Amount I Paid For It: $3.98 Canadian.
Bargain Bin Booty Three: Sucking Chest Wound's "God Family Country" album
"God Family Country" is a CD-reissue of a set of three 1990 cassettes released by tape collagist Sucking Chest Wound.  Frantically culture jamming religion, materialism, and  patriotism, SCW's tracks, like "Who Shot the Pope?", "A Sovereign Military Orger, and "Bring 'em To Their Knees", come from the Negativland camp of political musique concrete-ists.  Pressed in 1992, and happily donning the anti-copyright symbol, this is a full seventy-four minute journey into tape collage antics.  Not only that, after purchasing this cd at one store, I saw it for a dollar less at another - so maybe there's still hope for you bargain bin frequenters!
Amount I Paid For It: $4.95 Canadian
Bargain Bin Booty Four: Royal City's "At Rush Hour The Cars" album
"At Rush Hour The Cars" is one of folk-popster Royal City's wonderful albums, predating his most recent effort, "Alone At The Microphone".  With wonderful melodies and beautiful guitar playing, the album is one of the best on Toronto, Ontario's Three Gut label.
There's an interesting story behind how I got this one.  Two minutes after asking about the price of a noise comp, I weakly came back up to the cashier with this, expecting to be told the usual price of a used cd, ten dollars.  The cashier took it out of my hands and inspected it.  He looked at the front, then looked at the back, then opened it up and inspected the disc itself, before saying... "three bucks".  Whoa baby.  I suppressed my glee, so as not to appear as if I had been given a deal, and shelled out the money.  It was only after I had exited the store that I smiled, cheered to myself, and jumped a few times out of glee.  Success.
Amount I Paid For It: $3.00 Canadian
  Bargain Bin Booty Five: The "Noise Forest" Compilation
Ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  I AM THE KING.  I walked into the store, saw Noise Forest, saw the price, and immediately asked the cashier if I could listen to it. "Shit," he said, "this should be more expensive."  I asked why, even though I knew.  Noise fans die for noise comps from Japan, especially ones with names like Merzbow, Masonna, The Incpacitants, and Aube involved (put out by obscure Japan-then-France label Les Disques Du Soleil). He claimed he was going to mark it up if I didn't buy it, but I knew he was more interested in snatching it for his own. "Well, I want it," I said. And it was mine. Pure harsh noise, baby.
Amount I Paid For It: $4.95 Canadian
  Bargain Bin Booty Six: The "Commercial Ad Hoc" Compilation

Having heard a bit of this CD on the Brave New Waves radio station, I was enthralled upon finding it in the bargain bin of Vancouver's Zulu Records.  Commercial Ad Hoc is a collection of culture jamming tape collage pieces (read: Negativland) from a nice array of international sound artists.  While some of this is fun and rhythmic - including contributions by The Evolution Control Committee (of Rocked By Rape fame) and The Bran Flakes - most falls under the experimental ambient banner.  Tip top minimal offerings from Jörg Piringer and Youth Parade, and a mind-blowing ambiance of bassy electronics from Mr Meridies bring it home.  Thank you, Illegal Art, for one of the most memorable culture jamming compilations ever released.
Amount I Paid For It: $1.98 Canadian 

  Bargain Bin Booty Seven: Sonny And Cher's "I Got You Babe" 45
Forty-five rotations per minute.  Mint condition.  No skips, no scratches, no fuzz.  "I got you babe".  Enough said.
Amount I Paid For It: 50 cents Canadian

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