Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harper's Bizarro

It was only March of 2011 and there was Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest already in the used CD bin at Other Music. How did that happen? It had done so well in the 2010 year-end polls! I ended up loving it, too.

But someone's loss is my gain. And while that’s the principal behind Used CD Bins, you usually have to do some digging to get any gold.  Not so this time, but that’s Other Music for you.

My local music store - no longer in business – had a huge selection, so you had to do a lot of digging. And even so, most of the time you wouldn’t find anything. Their batting average was, at best,.215. After a while, I decided that it wasn’t worth it.

Mostly because I didn’t want to be the guy (even though I already know I am the guy) that you can see through the store window as you pass by on a sunny day, on your way to having a life, while he’s/I’m going through those cruddy bins. You want to scream “Get a life (you cheap bastard)!” at him/me. But I’m there anyway.

On the other hand, Other Music’s selection is smaller, and yet its batting average is at least .400. Win, win, right? Well, no. Other Music has its own set of issues.

When you really think about it, what does it mean that I end up buying so many used CDs from Other Music?  Basically, what they – those hip young customers of Other Music – are saying to me is Old man, your music is lame. That’s why we get rid of it. Which means that I’m lame because I buy it. I mean, is it ever cool to take other people’s rejects? Of anything?

So let me offer my rationale/defense for this pathetic pastime, disguised as a Theory:

The Bizarro Theory:

In a nutshell, it’s this: Used CD bins serve as portals to the Bizarro world.

I admit it’s a stretch but hear me out. What do you usually find in the typical bin anyway?
  • Obvious Crap makes up the vast majority of the CDs. You have to wonder why people bought them to begin with. Mundane Theory: They were gifts, from people who didn’t like them. The music sucked. It got returned. Weird Theory: These people really don’t like music, and they hadn’t yet accepted this about themselves. (Who can blame them?) So they bought a random CD to find out. And they found out. My advice? Treat them like lepers. (Trust me. Jesus was wrong on this one.) Anyway, these CDs don’t get to the portal. They don’t go anywhere. They just sit there forever until another gift giver/music hater comes along.
  • Popular -and thus less obvious - Crap makes up another significant chunk. The buyer wised up a little too late.  My advice: Laugh at them for believing the hype, just to show off how cool you are. But first try to con them out of some of their obviously disposable income. These CDs don’t get to the portal either. They actually get bought by other morons. Take their money, too.
  • CDs I Already Own. These CDs do go through the portal. It’s just that I’m a schmuck for not waiting little longer for them to show up. I end up paying good money where, if I just waited a bit, I could have gotten them cheaper. Or, I can blame it on Bizarro Jaybee. Did I not mention Bizarro Jaybee? Well if there’s a Bizarro world, there’s got to be a Bizarro Jaybee, right? Come on! Try to keep up. Anyway, Bizarro Jaybee showed up a little late on these.
  • The Ones I Buy.  Bizarro Jaybee – stupid and not very good looking, but somehow successful with women – buys CDs, hates them and returns them to Other Music, where they slip through the portal. I go there and buy them. Ipso Facto. Case Closed. E pluribus unum!

I suppose that I should be holding up my end of the bargain and selling the records I hate, so that Bizarro Jaybee can have something to listen to, but it takes me way too long to hate something.  (Not an issue with people, though.) 

But when I really really think about it, I realize that Bizarro Jaybee hates music!

You know what they call people in the Bizarro World who hate music?


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