I'm going through a phase of buying most of my music from charity shops. The downside is that CD cases are pretty bashed about, the choice is limited and the repertoire is not bang up-to-date. If you think about it, someone doesn't want the CD enough to give it a few cubic centimetres of house-room, so how good could it be ?
On the upside, they are £2.50 each and the money goes to good causes. I read them onto itunes for my ipod, toss the case and put the actual CD with a few hundred others in my car to relieve tedium on long journeys.
For example, yesterday I drove to Yorkshire and back for a bit of business, which is not a long journey by my standards. I made the following discoveries :-
(1) Dido doesn't need Eminem or Faithless to make a nice noise
(2) Alanis Morrissette is not bland, easy-listening - I think she's due a reappraisal.
(3) Do not play Fairground Attraction on tricky drives - you will sing so loud you will not be able to hear your Satnav and miss your turn-off (true story).
All these came from a single trip to the Oxfam shop, along with Coldplay's "X&Y", which is likely to be rubbish, because I can't believe I could have picked 4 out of 4 good ones for a tenner.
I haven't given up on new music, but while I'm waiting on Amazon sourcing a copy of The Arctic Monkeys' latest for me, I'm enjoying catching up on some albums that have passed me by over the years. You have to be a John Peel to listen to everything and fully appreciate it the week it comes out. Some people don't even try to keep up and miss whole decades of music, to the extent that they are still listening to the same 80s electro-pop they loved at Uni (you know who you are!).
btw I heard The Arctic Monkeys' version of Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" on the radio, which was truly exceptional. I may not have the patience to wait for the Amy Winehouse album to come to a charity-shop near me either.