The Original 99¢ Song

David Ensminger salutes the music bins of dollar stores:

Flimsy toilet scrub. Check. Day old bread. Check. Offbrand toothpaste. Check. Sonny Sharrock CD. Wait. What?  In the relentless glare of the 99 Cent Only Store, which makes any face look blanched with a hangover, I grip this little gem by the uber jazz-noise guitarist buried in a heap of discount CDs tilting precariously forward on an overstocked shelf next to videotapes. Yes, those relics of the age of plastic, when John Hughes’ teenage angst movies filled living rooms.

This is beyond weird. Sharrock has played with everyone from Miles Davis and flautist Herbie Mann to hip producer Bill Laswell. He was obscure and legendary, not some used-up, no-name, cookie cutter musician. This CD represents agile, disruptive art in the aisle of discount city.