Here’s what $139.26 gets a motivated scavenger at the just-about-dead Tower Records on lower Queen Anne, where all records are 70% off, all hip-hop records are $1, and all DVDs are 60% off. Tons of local stuff (the slightly sad consequence of Tower’s having been a national chain that seemed inordinately committed to selling releases by local/regional artists among its vast catalog, perhaps to its detriment in the end) and a fair amount of weirdo imports remain.
Though I’ve been hearing rumors of its imminent dissolution for almost 10 years, the fact that Tower is actually closing does seem kind of sad. Still, I can’t get too emotional about the passing of a big chain like this, however much better it was than most of the others, and however much time I have spent in its aisles over the years (as a teenager in Nashville, I had almost no other optionsóTower was my Sonic Boom/Easy Street/Scarecrow Video; that doesn’t make it Sonic Boom or Easy Street or Scarecrow, which is part of why I moved to Seattle to begin with…).
For more heartfelt ruminations on Tower’s collapse, read this piece by a soon-to-be-erstwhile TR (not Teddy Roosevelt) employee who is also a really smart, funny bloggournalist, and also this one, by the great Ann Powers (the best!), who references the very location whose bones I was picking just last night while the great storm of ought-six raged outside.
Brand Nubian-Best of
Scritti Politti-The Boom Boom Bap (single)
Bonnie Prince Billy-Cursed Sleep (single)
Graham Coxon-You and I (import single)
Graham Coxon-Standing On My Own Again (import single)
Paul Williams-Someday Man (Japanese import)
Bob Dylan-Masked and Anonymous Soundtrack
Lee Hazlewood-The Cowboy and the Lady
V/A-Reaching For the Best Northern Soul compilation
Damien Jurado-Postcards and Audio Letters
King Kong-The Big Bang
Alan Price-A Price on His Head
People’s Choice-Golden Classics
V/A-Sur La Mer Samp-Le-Mer (5RC compilation)
Gary Reynolds and the Brides of Obscurity-Instant Happiness
Screaming Lord Sutch-Hands of Jack the Ripper
Sea of Love Soundtrack (notable for Tom Waits version of title song)
Thee Emergency-Can You Dig It?
Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands-Snake in the Radio (already own it, bought as a gift)
Psapp-Tiger, My Friend
Steve Turner and His Bad Ideas-s/t
The Gossip-That’s Not What I Heard
Laura Veirs-The Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae
v/a-Angel of Ashes (Scott Walker Tribute)
Sandie Shaw-Puppet on a String
Beastie Boys-Ill Communication (I’ve never liked this album, but for $2 I’ll try again)
Afrika Bambaataa-Beware (The Funk is Everywhere)
Goldie Lookin Chain-s/t
Friends and Crocodiles (BBC)
My Name is Bill W (James Woods is incredible in this movie!!!)
Gangster Number One
I probably wouldn’t have bought a lot of these had they not been so drastically marked down (Paul Williams is an obvious exception), but then, I probably wouldn’t have been there if Tower wasn’t going out of business, so, as my erstwhile colleague Josh Feit might say, burn on everybody.