One of the things i’ve done for at least the past four years is nursing hangovers with Forgotten New York. Forgotten New York is a website run by Kevin Walsh, a sleuthing, impassioned (and if you read his blog, rather crumudgenly) man who unearths the little specks of history that lies within New York City limits. He writes about the curves of lightposts in neighboorhoods in queens and the remnants of trolley tracks in Wall Street, and the architectural flourishes on 6 story office buildings and the marquees of Times Square’s old porn theaters. Whenever I get homesick for the city I can’t really have ever called my home, I read forgotten NY. If you’ve got any connection at all to that city, i’d strongly recommend giving it a look.
Ever notice how in used record stores, the racks of dollar2dollar5dollar CDs/records/tapes are always right up front, by the door or waaaaay in the back, next to the radiator and the mop and slop bucket? Probably this is because this music is the least valuble in the store, so putting it up front, where someone can walk out with it or in the back, where it can be pocketed easily, is just an issue of economics. At least in my head, though, there’s something of a degree of shaming involved in the placement. It’s attaching nametags to anyone who is browsing through these cheapo-racks that say “hi, i’m an uncommited record buyer, not a real fan, not someone who sought out this store. I’ll gladly buy some music, but its not important enough for me to spend a lot of money on.” I’m prone to exageration, so feel free to look at the previous sentence with that in mind, but those racks are some of my favorite places in record stores, especially because they’re often populated with EPs and singles, which don’t make the grand entrance that ALBUMS do, but often take care of a few back of the closet, not exposed to natural light, but just as exciting, B-sides. I figured I’d share a few of those, if for no other reason than to encourage you to give the dollar rack another shot.
This post was inspired, btw, by the rediscovery of a porch sitting, radiator dripping, certainly perfect Wilco B-Side that I had a copy of a few years ago, somehow lost, and have been searching for since then. If yer interested, it’s the first song on the most recent post of Red Admirable.