If you would like your release to be reviewed by Tim Kabara, donate it to your local thrift store.
The Best of Silly Wizard compilation implies the existence of additional Silly Wizard records. This means that a band name I thought I had made up has been taken for quite a while and I had no idea. This group has been in operation since 1970, it turns out. They are from Scotland. They play folk music. To be honest, I was hoping for something sillier, more Wizard-er. But oh well… not a big risk at 99 cents. This cassette marks the end of a glorious run at a local thrift store of odd and interesting items acquired, some fellow traveler cleaning house. The more recent used media wave there has been every Christmas album ever recorded by anyone. But I am a patient old salt. One cannot control the sea of thrift. There is feast and there is famine. I will be patient and wait for the next wave. It will come.
One of the great recent tragedies of the local thrift scene has been a policy shift to not selling “used” formerly blank VHS tapes. I guess they dumpster them? You can get them on Ebay where they are listed as “sold as blank” but it is not as fun. I never pass on these, as each is its own accidently curated and spliced/edited piece of someone’s history, an accidental video mix tape. When I find one with a language other than English all over it? Especially exciting. This tape turned out to be tourist promo video for Gunkanjima Island, which was engaging and spooky. The real gold? USA wresting from a broadcast in another country with subtitles and promo ads in the native language between bouts.
Local thrift stores, I implore you. Bring “sold as blank” back!
My parents got divorced right after I graduated high school, in the spring of 1994.
As I plotted out the summer of my senior year, I realized a friend’s parents were away on vacation, week by week, for the entire summer until college.
As I went from weeklong house party to weeklong house party, this soundtrack was ever-present. I never had to buy a copy, someone had one. They would put it on, dim the lights, offer me a clove cigarette.
Stumbling upon it for a few dollars and giving it a spin in 2023 unlocked many memories.
At my high school, in the early 1990s, there weren’t enough underground folks to separate up more formally. So, we sat together in the cafeteria and hung out together on campus. The Punks, the Goths, the Grunge Rockers, the Industrial kids, those heading to Art School… the other students nicknamed us “The Dark Crowd”.
This soundtrack is like that cafeteria table. The Cure sitting with Pantera sitting with My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult sitting with the Violent Femmes. A neat thing that used to happen, as is mostly the case here, was that bands would release new material or previously unreleased covers of their favorite music, their favorite bands (here, Suicide, Poison Idea, and Joy Division get that treatment) on these OSTs.