Why are all of Van Morrison’s non-Moondance, non-Astral Weeks albums out of print? I don’t foresee a need to hear Hard Nose the Highway this week or anything, but I don’t like that copies of the damn thing cost as much as low-end digital cameras.

This is only a serious issue insofar as it affects Into the Music, one of the best albums of 1970s.

The Simpsons Movie…

was a joy, actually. My friend Chris, who only makes the most hilariously ill-founded criticisms of films (X-2 “needed more Magneto” and Casino Royale suffered because Bond played Hold ‘Em), thought it focused too much on the family and not enough on the ancillary characters. I disagree, and I’m the type of smart-ass fan who never re-watches the mawkish, lesson-teaching first season of the series. All of the family moments here actually worked – the Homer/Marge stuff was as touching as anything in your top-shelf romantic comedies.

Shop smart, shop S-mart

Back when I lived in the suburbs, on those not-uncommon Tuesdays when a bunch of desirable crap was released, I’d tumble into the trusty Volvo and motor over to Best Buy. They price stuff down to a truly ridiculous degree on release day. But I live in DC now so at lunch I walked to a local, overpriced CD store. One thing I wanted was sold out, but the new New Pornographers album was still available for a discounted $14.

As luck would have it I had to take a trip to Virginia around 8, so I hit up the old Best Buy. There was the New Pornos album: Ten bucks. There was the album I couldn’t find before, M.I.A.’s new one, for $8, so I felt like I made my money back. And here was season 10 of South Park: Only $33! It had been $46 at the DC store. I paid my money and laughed at the suckers back in our nation’s capital.

The trip to Virginia took me to a bar a block away from CD Cellar. I stop in for old time’s sake and there’s the South Park season box… for $29.99.

Now, arguably I could have gone to these stores in the reverse order and saved like ten dollars. But it’s such a hassle to get out of town that it didn’t occur to me. And now I don’t want to leave again: It’s like the suburbs are mocking me for trapping myself in the Kingdom of Overpriced Luxury Items.

Fun weekend

Whew, the first weekend in DC since August lurched into view, and it was a fun one – a trip to the movies, an impromptu 2 a.m. trip to the Jefferson Memorial (I’d forgotten how Deist the quotes they’ve engraved on the marble are), an expensive dinner with friends, a birthday party, a 10 a.m. Democratic debate, and a trip to Video Americain which might soon result in me seeing David Cronenberg’s rare Shivers.

I am slowly plodding through the 5th Harry Potter novel. Having ripped through books 1-3 in around 100 hours I came into some work and a trip and read a few other books for possible reviews and interviews before getting to 5. Golly, Rowling lovers her non-expository silly dialogue, doesn’t she? In book 1, which has to introduce every single character before getting to Hogwarts, we’re at school by page 100… in 5 I think it took 220 pages to get there. Also, someone needs to make a “phantom edit” of these books and slice out the house elves guff.

Now I got worry

Hrm. Anyone know what it means that the packages I gave a Los Angeles post office last Friday are being tracked as “accepted”? What does that mean? They haven’t been shipped, or what?

Fun fact

Neko Case goes on tour with a coterie of loud-talking douchenozzles who intermingle in the crowd and ruin the performance. Weird gimmick.