Deep down to my core, I’ve always been a bit of an adventurer. I, like the Goonies, am always in search of grand treasures and a One-Eyed Willy or two. Often I have looked for treasures in people’s toolboxes, pockets, or medicine cabinets, and nothing can stop my quest for shiny stuff. Or my quest for corn syrup. I really, really LIVE for drinking straight corn syrup. On top of my simian-like penchant for shiny object hunting, I also love a good bargain. Couple those two things with a crippling gambling addiction, and that’s how I explain a couple recent purchases which defy all logic and basic common sense.
Through whispers from an old friend of mine, I rediscovered my desire to purchase a multitude of media-related items from a newer media retail store, known throughout the Kingdom Of Denver as TradeSmart. This fantastic and massive marketplace is home to enough new and used books to fill a library, plentiful stacks of vinyl records, an endless supply of DVD and Blu-Rays, skateboards, video games, Hot-Topic failed items, and row after row of used CD’s. As a purebred hunter and gatherer, I prefer to hunt down my prey instead of clicking Buy” on something featured on amazon or clownporn.com. The thrill of physically finding the rare stuff instead of just having some robot dig it up out a warehouse is an adrenaline-soaked explosion of joy. The deterioriating economy has trimmed back my retail hunting grounds a lot like McDonald’s trimming down the rainforest. Many moons ago, my old favorite place to shop was MediaPlay, which housed the same sort of collectables, and specialized in carrying rare tentacle anime and hentai Robotech remakes. Several years back, MediaPlay disappeared, as an early casualty of the internets and lazy-ass shoppers. A huge void filled my soul much like the $11 million dollar bridge that was erected soon after it died linking the now-empty shopping center to the mall.
As I wandered each aisle bright-eyed as a newborn calf, I stared glassy eyed at every possible grouping of movies and music, slightly tearing up. My heart flittered about in my chest as I flipped through dusty copies of The Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Loggins. Then, from the corner of my eye I noticed something even more intriguing. The Ark Of The Covenant Of Used Crap soon lay before me. They had boxes of 50 used and incomplete CD’s in a box for purchase for the low, low non-negotiable price of $9.99. This box contained purely random magic in the form of a 6 lb. lottery of ticket. I knew in my gambler heart I had to get one. I bought it knowing full well that more than likely it contained 3 Insane Clown Posse albums and 47 copies of Chumbawumba’s Tubthumper. I felt happier and more manly than Indiana Jones standing on top of that hill pointing a rocket launcher at the Nazis. I could not wait to get home and stab that bitch open and tear into the surprises that awaited me. I just made sure to keep my eyes closed tight just in case the spirits inside the box came out to melt the shit out of my captor’s faces.
This box contained some seriously amazing stuff. There was Goldfinger, No Doubt, Stroke 9, 77 Jefferson (which was an awesome find, by the way) and several more albums of really good music. I was blown away by the value of getting a huge amount of good music for the cost of a single album download on Zune. Like a junkie just getting a taste of black tar for the first time, obviously I was going to do it again. The only problem is that the next time that I bought a couple more boxes, that is when they started shoveling CD’s straight from the dumpster into the next groups of Bargain Music Boxes. I got a total of two more, and out of 100 possible discs, there were 0 cool ones. There’s a lot of variety with the amount of genres, although each of them are the extreme worst possible example of their respective genre. Lots, if not all of them are still sealed in their nuclear safe plastic packaging, untouched and never originally purchased. Here are a few shining turd jewels from the pile of absolutely unsellable music.
5. Briliante- Self-titled debut album, Briliante. (1999)
I may not be the most hip person around, but if I was a lucky enough to be a record producer, I’m not sure if I would sign three silly ten year old girls to a record contract. The records tracks are mostly sung in Spanish, but occasionally in English, which is very scary and confusing to me. Upon my first listening, these songs could be mistaken for the very music that plays as the It’s A Small World” ride at Disneyland comes to life and starts murdering everyone inside the park. It takes the best of cowbell heavy mariachi music and gives it a large helping of vocals that resemble three small chipmunks on high doses of ephedrine. Even though I absolutely hate this album, I still can’t help but be happy as I listen to this cheery and purely insane music. I have absolutely no idea what they are singing about, I just know they are singing at a pitch high enough to send nearby bats smashing into walls. The songs in English (all two of them) are strange trance style tracks that were undoubtably written on a Playstation 2’s Music Generator. But you have to give these little girls some credit. At least there’s no sexual innuendo in their songs in English but I can’t (and won’t) vouch for the Spanish tracks. From what little Spanish I know, in their songs they are mostly bemoaning Clearasil and having periods.
4. Mountain Saddle Band- The Ballad Of Kitty Jo. (2009)
(Note: This is a rare signed copy by every member of the band …which brings the value up to -$2.99). The cover of this CD is initially what grabbed my attention. Two cowboys staring out at the sunset on a ridge holding hands as they lead a really tired-looking single horse around. This is true Western Romance looks like. I was hoping it was a collection of cheesy cowboy songs written to swoon other cowboys while out on the range. But it’s not. There’s mostly weird a cappella monotone cowboy rapping tracks with really, really stretched and forced rhymes. This music does not make me feel like I’m out in the Wild West, it makes me feel like I’m throwing up behind the Waffle House again. The stuff these freaks refer to is totally alien to me. What in the hell is a hashknife girl”? That sounds like these guys are having one hell of a time coming up with something interesting to talk about. I wonder if these guys are just making this crap up to distance themselves from their day jobs as trash collectors from Detroit.
If you want to feel good about yourself, your country, and your future, you might just want to saddle up and ride with the Mountain Saddle Band and have a great time.”
Oh lovely. These guys think they are the Wyld Stallyns.
3. Yungstar ““ Throwed Yung Playa (2000).
What’s more fun than listening to a world famous rapper rapping about “bitches, shootin’ dope, killin’, pimpin’ hoes and bonin’ Helen Keller”? Listening to some shitty no-name rapper rap poorly about “bitches, shootin’ dope, killin’, pimpin’ hoes and bonin’ Helen Keller”. I think Yungstar was trying to set a world record for how many fake arcade cabinets he could photoshop onto a single album cover. It sounds a lot like an off-key M.C. PeePee Pants from Aqua Teen trying his hardest to be taken seriously by anybody. Many tracks consist of him trying to defend his title of Second Worst Rapper On Earth” against his other terrible rapper buddies. He spends 15 minutes on a track talking about how he is the first rapper sponsored by Big Lots! and has tons of wonderful real world advice like all da best hoes is at Wal-Mart”.
Bonus! There are 22 awe-inspiring tracks to be had and enjoyed by the three people who bought this album.
Bonus! Inside the jacket there is an order form to buy Yungstar hoodies for $89.00. Or you could just make your very own with puffy paint pens bought from any craft store and look less pathetic.
Bonus! This album has a special place in my heart, and I will relish taking it up to the mountains for use as a trap-shooting target.
2. The Art Ghetto– Slumming (2003)
Holy shit, this music is seriously the worst. This affirmation is coming from a music listener who enjoys tunes written by the likes of G.G. Allin, A.C., and Wesley Willis. This music is so incredibly bad, Planned Parenthood should hand copies of this album to teenage girls instead of giving them the morning after” pill. Upon listening to the tracks on this CD, I attempted to try to do some basic research on these guys and they have no Wikipedia entry or a facebook profile. They do have a poorly maintained myspace page you can all check out if you are masochists at http://myspace.com/theartghetto. There are no tracks from this particular disc on that page, but at least you can get a taste of what happens when a couple of trained apes are set loose in a recording studio. The funniest joke of this whole thing is the idea of two trashy white people starting a band, making an album and naming it Slumming” like they are from Compton. The music, words, and singing are so gut-wrenching that I’m not sure if this is just a sick joke on the rest of us. This is what Captain and Tennile would sound like if they were both drunk and dropped on their heads nonstop until the age of eighteen. There are no copyright notices on the inside of the jacket, however, they have reprinted about 40 times all over this sleeve, album and liner WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO COMPROMISE OUR PRINCIPLES AT ANY TIME” because printing something about illegal duplication would prove to be a paradox of sanity. Dear Art Ghetto: I’m sorry, but I don’t think anyone will ever illegally reproduce your music, let alone willingly listen to it.
They have a song on this album that is a lot like ICP’s Miracles” called Why”. But instead of asking simple questions about magnets (how do they work??) and heredity, it asks why we have to do annoying things like diet and ride exercise bikes. It’s a shame they didn’t put some thought into this song and ask themselves why they willingly decided to create the world’s shittiest band.
1. A Happy Mothers Day To All Mothers: Sweet Mothers Songs ““ Various (1998)
I remembered seeing Disney’s Aladdin for the first time on mushrooms when I was eight. The part when they got to the giant tiger cave thing that growled and talked shit to Aladdin totally freaked me out, man. I thought that thing was totally like, in front of my face and was going to gnaw my nose off or something. Then, its tongue fell out and totally became a staircase. Then I just ate another pound of mushrooms and pretended to be the Hamburglar from McDonaldland in my room for the rest of the night. No matter how hard I tried, nobody would arrest me regardless of how often I pulled down my pants.
That’s the fond memories this music brings to me. I’m not entire sure why they decided to lay out the album art in a way that automatically makes me think of the sexual offender registry. This really confuses me as where the mothers” theme of all this really fits in. There are classified ads printed on the inset of the sleeve where I can order sardines, chow mein and cricket equipment in Brooklyn, NY in 1998. Ironically, those are always products I associate with eating tons of mushrooms and watching Aladdin.
If any of these albums I described excited you or interested you, I would like to extend my offer to you that I am willing to sell all of them. I also have 95 other ones that are just as incredible. I am selling each CD for $9.99 so I can buy another, uh box….or two. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure you all just got a sneak peek of Christmas gifts you should all be expecting.
TradeSmart is down at Wadsworth and Crestline in Littleton. Throw “˜em some business and support them for being such a kickass store.