Thrift Store Haul

I stopped at the Moiliili Community Center’s thrift store a couple of Saturdays ago to look for some steals. I don’t hit the thrift shops as much as I once did, since I’m in a decluttering phase right now, but good deals on CDs I am always on the lookout for. Also a working Pentax K-1000 or Olympus OM-1 to replace my old gear, both cameras of which I somehow busted the light meters on. And good vintage video game stuff if I can get a good price. That’s not as easy nowadays as it once was.

Nothing in electronics or photography, but I picked up a cookbook (about which I may write later), one of those fundraising cookbooks where people affiliated with an organization contribute some favorite family recipe, and sales of the collection raise funds for the organization.

Four good scores in CDs, though. Each of these for a buck, and each in excellent condition, including CD inserts.

U2. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000, Island). I’m very familiar with this album, of course, but I didn’t have any of the songs, so a buck, less than the price of one digital track, for the whole album is a steal, especially with the CD and insert in such great shape. This was the first of my purchases to be imported into my iTunes, and I gave it a good two or three listens immediately. It’s such a beautiful album. Although I think The Joshua Tree will always be their masterpiece, the band is at its utter best on this album. And the end of “Walk On” is still among my top five U2 moments ever. That would be a good post in the near future. Spoiler: number one is Bono climbing the scaffolding at the US festival during the extended interlude on “New Years Day.” Or was it “Sunday Bloody Sunday?”

The Pogues. Peace and Love (1989, Island). One of the best things about a one-dollar price on CDs is that you can take flyers on bands you’re vaguely familiar with but have never really paid much attention to. Of course I know who the Pogues are and of course I have friends who are rabid fans, but the band has only been in my peripheral awareness for ever and ever. I totally dig the whole Irish folk-punk sound, of course, and have admired the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the Dropkick Murphys for quite a while. Not to mention Hothouse Flowers, the Waterboys (actually Scottish, I know), and Celtic metal bands like Cruachan and Skyclad. I even suspect most of them either influenced or were influenced by the Pogues. The Pogues just never fell into my earbuds or into my lap until a few weekends ago, so here was my chance. And it’s quite good! My research tells me they got a little bit away from their traditional sound and moved more into a contemporary punkish rock sound with this album, but it’s got a great sound and I do recommend it. One dollar was a steal.

Exodus. Force of Habit (1992, Capitol). As you know, I love me some early thrash. Exodus was among the pioneers of the form, contemporaries of Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer (the “big four” of thrash). In fact, Kirk Hammett was the founder of Exodus, although he never recorded with them before Metallica recruited him to be their first lead guitarist. So Exodus has always been the sorta sidenote in thrash history, probably nobody’s favorite but liked well enough. I have the first album, Bonded by Blood, but wasn’t going out of my way to get the rest unless, as it did a couple of weekends ago, the occasional CD fell into my lap for a good price. Force of Habit is everyone’s (including guitarist Gary Holt’s) least favorite Exodus album, but you know? It’s actually pretty good. It’s a leeeeetle slower than the work the band is famous for, and it has a couple of strangely conceived covers (the Rolling Stones “Bitch” and Elvis Costello’s “Pump it Up”), but it has some tasty thrash drumming by John Tempesta, some snarly vocals by Steve “Zetro” Souza, and great riffing by Holt. And of course, always that lovely, fat, bottom end. It feel optimistic but sinister at the same time, like a lot of good thrash. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I got this for a buck; it’s actually much better than Bonded by Blood. And now I really wanna see Exodus in concert.

Twelve Girls Band. Eastern Energy (2004, Platia Entertainment). I’m least familiar with this band, who has performed in Honolulu to the delight of everyone I know who went to the show. Twelve young Chinese women playing traditional Chinese instruments, in a mostly folk-contemporary style. It’s got to be at least interesting, at least worth a buck to give it a spin, right? I haven’t gotten to it yet, so I can’t say. I’ll probably spin it sometime this week. It’s taken me this long, nearly three weeks, just to get to the Exodus album, which I’m spinning right now for the second time. This CD, in terrific shape, comes with a concert DVD as well, so although I can’t comment on the music just yet, I’m greatly looking forward to the exploration, as soon as it comes up in my queue of my too-much-media-to-consume stack. There’s a cover of Coldplay’s “Clocks” here, which could be interesting, and a cover of Enya’s “Only Time,” which seems like a natural choice.

There’s actually a thrift store on campus where I work, but it’s as far away from my office as it could possibly get and still be on campus. I walk by it all the time when I do post-work evening walks. It’s only open four hours in the middle of the day, three days a week or something like that. So it’s been tough to get to, although I may make another effort at the end of September.