Culture, Baby

It's only Tuesday night yet it has been a week full of art and culture already. Yesterday between classes, I browsed the books and cds at Fopp, a small chain of independent record stores in the UK. It's really a cool store with about half the cds priced at 3-5 pounds. There's also a pretty good book selection in the 1-5 pound range. I may have gone a little overboard, so let's just say I'll be reading a lot in the next few weeks. But can I turn down "The Little Prince" for 1 pound? Apparently no. Although I set out to buy a Belle & Sebastian 2-disc collection, I ended up walking out with the new Magnetic Fields album.

Here's some interesting facts about Fopp: They used to have 105 stores located around the UK, but were forced to shut down during Summer '07 due to poor sales. Luckily, HMV, a much bigger UK chain, bought Fopp and reopened 7 of the 105 stores which were profitable at the time of closing. It's sad to know that one of the places in London that I have enjoyed and visited repeatedly has already died and risen from the dead. Close call.

In other music news, I read today in the gloriously free London Paper that London-based EMI announced it was planning to "make redundant" 1/3 of their employees. Why must the British use euphemisms like this? When Ford fires its employees, I feel like they're a bit more straightforward. Anyways, Robbie Williams and the Verve are protesting in a seemingly pointless protest. EMI can't employ people for charity. I think that I may need to revise my life goal of working in the music industry because every time I read about something like this (which is often), a little warning whistle goes off in my head. Hmm.

In uplifting music news, I also went to Rough Trade East on Monday for a free in-store with Lightspeed Champion. I predict that this guy will be embraced by the mp3 blogosphere and indie hipsters worldwide when his album comes out in a few weeks. True, he looks like the craziest indie kid you've ever seen (see video below) but he sounds great. Solid voice with solid guitar work, with fun splashes of violin and doo-da-doo's. I'm buying the cd when it comes out. I'm aware the video is weird, but I like the song.

Lastly, I saw "Swimming with Sharks" starring Christian Slater with Jared tonight. Besides MacBeth, I've never seen a play (as opposed to musical) on Broadway or in Theatreland (that's what they call it here...). I enjoyed it a lot, because I understood what was going on without mental acrobatics AND of course... the American accents. Christian Slater was great playing an asshole movie producer and the other actors were also pretty good, aside from terrible attempts at New York/American accents. When the play began, I thought the other main character, Guy, was a Hungarian immigrant strangely interested in making it big in Hollywood. No... they improved as the play went on and I was able to forgive them. Overall, very good and I would recommend it to others.

Not working Wednesdays is the best decision I've made in a while. Sleeping in. Night all.

Oh. And I am deeply saddened about Gtown's loss to Pitt. Sigh. I guess we needed a demoralizing loss for a little dose of reality.