99% of dollar store record bins are garbage; the rest is pure gold
During a chilly afternoon in downtown Saskatoon this past spring with some time to kill, I decided to sift through the dollar bins at The Vinyl Exchange. After an hour and seeing nothing but multiple copies of Joan Armatrading records, I began to lose hope of finding anything unique.
Just as I was nearing the end of the eighth crate, my fingers came across what I thought might be some UK hard house 12″ single. Turning it over, my eyes widened upon seeing the label imprint: Homestead Records. Known for releasing albums by bands such as The Ex, Big Black, and Dinosaur Jr., I knew I had struck gold.
Uzi’s Sleep Asylum is the best record I’ve ever bought randomly…ever.
Each song is filled with tape effects, murky layered guitars, creative bass lines, and powerful alpha-female singing. Upon a quick Google search, I discovered the band only cut this 12″ EP and broke up before it was even distributed by the record label, leaving it undersold and unremembered. This is an oft-told tale of tragedy for many groups, especially when the songwriting is as interesting as Uzi’s minimal output.
It’s always nice to be reminded that when browsing through dozens upon dozens of crates, never to be discouraged when 99% of it is garbage. You need patience and dedication, and need to know it’s possible you won’t find a single album worthy of your time. Or you may luck out and find something as amazing as Uzi’s Sleep Asylum for $1. Happy digging!
– Featured photo from Flickr user “eloy probeta” – Creative Commons.