Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Free CD Giveaway: Because Stupid Should Hurt (Or at Least Cost)

A week or two ago at the CD Cellar, I did one of my trademark dumb things yet again -- bought a CD I already own (Feist's Let It Die).

Here, you can see both copies in my poor attempt at a Sleeveface:

Yes, I know the head tilt is all wrong, but it was a pain trying to set it up by myself.

I could probably bring it back for a store credit (especially seeing as how I most likely bought both copies from CD Cellar locations), but I (like many) believe that "Stupid Should Hurt."

So I'm going to do a free Feist CD giveaway: If you want the CD, leave me a comment in this entry by 11:59PM EDT, next Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

On Wednesday, June 25, I will randomly select a commenter (I still have my D&D dice around here somewhere) from the entries received (one entry per person), and do a followup blog entry announcing the winner, to whom I will mail the CD at my expense.

I'm hoping that this will force me to be more organized when it comes to my CD collection, though an unintended consequence may be that I'll never buy another Throwing Muses or Stereolab CD again, because I just can't be certain.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Used CD Store Shuffle

It'd been a while, but I went to the CD Cellar on Sunday (actually, both locations -- Clarendon and Falls Church -- more on that in a sec).

While I was there, I experienced yet another occurrence of the Used CD Store Shuffle (note: also occurs in bookstores), where you're working your way down the table, and someone is coming at you from the other direction, and eventually, you'll get a section or two apart.

Obviously, if you're right next to each other, you'll get in each others' way, so then you skip over a section or two, then when it's "safe," you come back from the other direction.

Anyway, I was in Clarendon and did some damage (though I didn't find any Pulp CDs, which were high on my list), then went to the Falls Church location -- here's what I ended up with:


* Banco de Gaia, Farewell Ferengistan
* Belle and Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
* Dressy Bessy, Electrified (from the 1 buck bin)
* Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
* Kaiser Chiefs, Yours Truly, Angry Mob
* Mazzy Star, Among My Swan
* Stereolab, Emperor Tomato Ketchup
* Throwing Muses, House Tornado
* Pete Yorn, Day I forgot

Additionally, not only did I nearly get my car trapped in the back parking lot of the Falls Church location (guided out only by the kindness of a stranger -- though I'm fairly sure that what I did was a topological impossibility), but the Mazzy Star album? Already own it.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Scavenging the Cooling Corpse of Tower Records

When we last left my very manly Sunday (two weeks ago), I was on my way home from the canceled Over the Rhine show at Jammin' Java.

Driving home on Route 7, I passed by the Tower Records and saw the "Going Out of Business" sale signs:


I'd thought they'd already been liquidated, so feeling a powerful mix of nostalgia, curiosity, and bargain lust, I pulled a U-turn.

I hadn't been to that particular Tower in a while, but I always liked going, especially when I worked in Vienna, because:
  • It was open until midnight
  • The listening stations were okay (they lacked a fast-forward, though). It was where they would showcase their featured CDs, which were usually loss-leaders and thus, relatively non-overpriced
  • The magazine section, of course, was pretty good
  • It was two doors down from the Ranger Surplus Army-Navy store.
So I'd spent my fair share of time and money there in the past -- though there were plenty of occasions where I would just go in, browse for a little bit, grab a free City Paper and leave.

They were in their last 10 days (which means they're toast now), and as the sign said, "Sorry, we have NO new releases":

No New Releases

Inside, the shelves were pretty bare:


CDs were 60% off, DVDs 50%, magazines 90%. This, of course, meant that for the first time, Tower was selling reasonably priced merchandise.

The bare shelves and the fixtures tagged for sale made it a pretty depressing scene -- you can check out the DCist article that came out a week after I went (Tower Bids Final, Low-Priced Farewell), as well as the Post article (For Tower Records, End of Disc) -- they both have the tone and substance captured pretty well.

My purchasing calculus went like this: At 60% off, it made new CDs slightly cheaper than trying to buy them used. Not sure if they still got SoundScan credit, though.

I could have waited a few more days to get a deeper discount (20%, as it turned out), but I didn't feel like losing out, especially after an hour or so scavenging.

I ended up buying 10 CDs. The first two were 2 bucks each; the rest averaged around 7 bucks per, so the final damage was about $66:


I pretty much stuck to artists with whom I had at least some familiarity, and I ended up with:
  • Dada, How to Be Found
  • Banco de Gaia, You Are Here (At 2 bucks, I took a flyer on it. There are a couple of good tracks on it, I'm going to have to give it a deeper listen.)
  • Durutti Column, The Best of (This one's for you, Biffko. Well, figuratively, anyway.)
  • Josh Rouse, Subtitulo (I think I actually read the Pitchfork Media review for this one, which savages it, but I have one of his other albums and saw him open for Cowboy Junkies, so I got it anyway.)
  • JunkieXL, Today
  • Air, Moon Safari
  • The Heartless Bastards, All This Time (I'd first heard about them on All Things Considered; I was listening to this in the car during the drive; it's really good)
  • The Donnas, Gold Medal (I can't be certain from the spine, but I'm pretty sure that's it) Update: Okay, I was completely wrong; The Donnas was a previous purchase from the CD Cellar; that CD is Mojave 3, Puzzles Like You
  • The Charlatans UK, Simpatico
  • Shonen Knife, Genki Shock (Come on, it's Shonen Knife)
So it was a pretty fruitful trip.

I'm going to miss Tower, though vulturing the liquidation sale brought me back to New York, where across the street from the Tower records at West 4th, there was a Tower Clearance Outlet that had some really random stuff (including dirt cheap pr0n DVDs -- score!) upstairs. It used to be a staple of my NYC visits.

Anyway, I wonder what's going to end up in that space.

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