“The best feeling on earth is to be surprised by something you never expected to find in a book store. The second best feeling on earth is to be surprised by something you never expected to find in a record store. If it something used, or rare or out-of-print all the better. And, honestly, what are the chances of something like that happening in a chain store. I can spend three hours going through the stacks at a place like Sound Garden. It is never time wasted.”
— David Simon
Spin.com has an online list of America's 15 Best Indie Record Stores (all the shop info is correct as of April 15th, 2011) and TimeOut has details about London's best record shops. For those in or near Toronto, blogTO posted their pick of the best vinyl record stores in Toronto last October.
This past weekend was also British Isles show time in Toronto and I didn't load up on much food or many DVDs this time around but the one purchase I'm very excited about is our brand new multi-region DVD player! And it's just in time too because only last week the region 2 copy of By Any Means with Charley Boorman: Ireland to Sydney that I'd ordered from the U.K. showed up and I didn't have any clue how we were going to watch it!
Several years ago I got hooked on Long Way Down and Long Way Round, the motorcycle travel documentary series Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor did together, and I've had my eye on By Any Means for some time but it's never been released in region 1 format, meaning North Americans without a multi-region player were out of luck. However, recently I couldn't resist the sale price of £2.99 at amazon.co.uk despite my lack of a multi-region player. Worst case scenario, I figured I could watch it the next time we're in Dublin.
Now I don't have to wait and I've already ordered a couple of other region 2 DVDs—By Any Means: Sydney to Tokyo and British spy show Spooks (otherwise known as MI5 in this part of the world) season 9. From the vague things I've heard online I suspect I'm not going to like what they do with the Lucas North character but I'm trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible until I've caught the show in its entirety. Meanwhile I'm rewatching season 8 to refresh my memory.
In book news, next week will mark the paperback release of The Lighter Side of Life and Death and along with it, chapter one of My Beating Teenage Heart. I'm finally, finally going to post the first chapter to my website on the eve of the release (April 25th) so if you want a peek stop back then, this will be the working link for Chapter One of My Beating Teenage Heart, but not until the twenty-fifth!