Because of the relentless snow last winter, Urban Archaeology had to go on temporary hiatus. But come the spring rains, Durham’s streets became strewn with artifacts, like mammoth bones emerging from an ice melt. It was a trashpicker’s dream.

Since last fall, I’ve been collecting CDs (and one cassette tape!) that had been discarded in parking lots and by the road. They had been scratched and scraped, rained on and run over. Several of them appeared to be music mixes (“Various Rachel”), but a few were complete albums: Chingy, Streetz Calling by Future and The Best of the S.O.S. Band.

I still have an ancient portable radio/CD/cassette player that belonged to my great-aunt (now dead 16 years, and she had it for at least a decade), and I tried playing each one. Which ones survived the winter to play another day? Watch the video below.

Let’s just say digital isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Found music in the streets – Urban Archaeology from INDY Week on Vimeo.