By Taylor K. Long

While record browsing with a friend at Greenpoint’s Permanent Records last week, I found a copy of the Long Winters album, When I Pretend To Fall in the .99 section and realized that though I love it, I don’t own it in any physical form. The kind clerk informed me that .99 CDs were three for $1, so essentially I could pick out two more CDs for free. When deciding which CDs to get, I wondered, Should I pick something random and hope it’s good? What are the odds of something in the .99 section being good? There are things here that I like, should I go with something safe that I already know I like? Should I get something I might not otherwise want to pay full price for? There are many forces influencing the albums, films and books we choose, so here is a snapshot of the forces that drove me to buy the albums I bought that day (both for .99 and otherwise).

The Long Winters, When I Pretend To Fall

As mentioned, found in the .99 section, but the price certainly doesn’t reflect quality. This is my favorite album from the Seattle pop-folk-rock powerhouse (though The Worst You Can Do Is Harm is a close second), which makes it all the more weird that I don’t have a physical copy.

The Long Winters, “Scared Straight” (download)

Sea Ray, Stars At Noon

Also found in the .99 section. I remember this album from my time as a college radio DJ and producer. I played it pretty frequently, and I think I may have even seen Sea Ray during the CMJ Marathon one year. For whatever reason, I never took the time to investigate the band beyond that.

Sea Ray, “Quiver” (download)

Love As Laughter, Laughter’s Fifth

Third .99 section find. I heard Love as Laughter on Seattle’s alternative rock station’s local music show a few years back and became mildly obsessed with their early albums. I reviewed the band’s latest album, Holy, for Popdose. I don’t think I knew Laughter’s Fifth existed, or if I did, I only interacted with it in passing.

Love As Laughter, “Dirty Lives” (download)

The Replacements, Let It Be

Found in the used CD section. My knowledge of the Replacements is next to nil. I’ve talked about them a bit with T-Sides contributor Davis McGraw, and I was actually looking for Tim, which he recommended to me, but I couldn’t find it. They did have Let It Be, though, which has the only Replacements song that I already know (and love), which is “I Will Dare.”

The Replacements, “I Will Dare” (download)

The Byrds, The Notorious Byrd Brothers

Found in the used CD section. I have the kind of relationship with the word “psychedelic” where if you describe music with it, I will probably listen to it and probably like it. I was pretty certain I had seen the album cover of The Notorious Byrd Brothers on the excellent blog The Rising Storm, but I felt like I had seen David Crosby in the photo, or couldn’t remember if that was about the rumor that the horse replaced him, or if I was just confusing it with his being in the Byrds but then getting kicked out during this album. Either way, I figured, it’s the Byrds, why not! Turns out I did remember the album cover from The Rising Storm (note the first comment on that post).

The Byrds, “Goin’ Back” (download)

Van Morrison, His Band and the Street Choir

Found in the used CD section. A part of me feels like Astral Weeks is all the Van Morrison I’ll ever need. I certainly don’t expect anything to be as good as it, but I can’t help but be curious about the rest of his oeuvre. I figured, at the very least, that since this came out pretty soon after Astral Weeks did, it couldn’t be too bad.

Van Morrison, “Call Me Up In Dreamland” (download)

Thomas Function, Celebration!

Found in the vinyl markdowns. One of my best friends is obsessed with this album, and I trust her taste completely. Plus, marked down limited edition of 500 red vinyl! Prettyyyy, look at the colors, oooohh. And I like Alive Records, the original home of T-Sides favorite Two Gallants, though I was a bit disappointed there wasn’t a free mp3 download card inside. Get on it, Alive!

Thomas Function, “Sherman’s March” (download)