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The Double Take: Dollar Bin Records That Need to Be Owned By Someone!

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I sift through many a dollar bin and find upteenth tons of absolute junk.  I’ve already described a few instances here and here, but there are even MORE examples of vile filler that detracts from my perceptive attention.  However, there are a few classic gems that make me take note and cause me to wonder “hey, what’s the deal here?”.  Folks, it’s easy to determine why someone would have tossed their nineties R&B single collection, or even why they let that All-4-One classic drivel go.  However, the toughest part of the job of a music rummager is trying to determine why someone would willingly allow great records to drown in mostly worthless quagmires of dollar bins.  I am here to stand up and defend some excellent records that I saw in a cheap bin recently and felt that they deserved better than the ol’ push off the table.

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Efficient Dollar Bin Shopping: Record Labels

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Happy New Year!  If your vision is not too blurry then welcome to my first post of 2010.  And oh, if you really want to know, my resolution this year is to go commando more often.

There are many times when one just feels inspired to try out some new music but may not be willing to spend a lot of money to do so.  One can satiate this desire for some fresh tunes by surfing around for some mp3s or perhaps flipping on their favorite college radio station.  When one is away from a computer or radio, though, one is more likely to stumble into their favorite music store and hope for the best.  This is where the lottery of the dollar bin comes in, and I usually take my chances a few times a month with varying success.  Decisions on what to buy primarily come from the album cover, band photo (if there is one) and song titles on the back of the cd.  However, what can one really discern from such information?  Unless the clothing and facial expressions make a band’s sound obvious, one usually can’t tell if the stoic, awkward poses mean the band is trying to be aloof or if they just don’t take good photos.  Album covers are the worst deceivers in whether a record is good or not, for whether or not the band tabbed a good artist (or even made a good artistic choice) has nothing to do with the music contained on the disc.  Therefore, dollar bin shopping usually ends up being a total crapshoot.

Although one can’t really control the odds one has in a monetary lottery, one can take a more educated approach when shopping for cheap, castoff records.  This usually involves getting to know your record labels.  Granted, there are tons of them out there that have formed, spat out an assortment of goodness and garbage, and then promptly disappeared.  There is little chance that one will ever get to know all of them intimately, yet there are certainly a group of 10 or 20 that one can pin down as preferable to the buyer.  Since record labels usually try to diversify their band lineups so that they don’t rely on one particular sound for success, it can be difficult pinning down which labels will be automatic favorites of the buyer.  However, through some strategic research and a little effort on learning label history, one can use record labels to their advantage.  Therefore, here is my advice for using record labels to help assist in dollar bin shopping:

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