The Null Device
NME/MTV2 art-rockers Franz Ferdinand's latest affectation is to decide that their next album will have the same title and artwork as their first, only in slightly different colours, and their subsequent albums' packaging will differ only by colour scheme. Which probably means that the Future's Burning compilation (a compilation of highly formulaic and stylised NME-favoured "indie"/"art rock"/"new wave of new wave" bands which, ironically enough, was dedicated to John Peel) would be an unofficial part of the series.
A comprehensive history of 1980s UK indie band Stump, probably best known for their surrealistic song "Buffalo" (you know, the one with the "HOW MUCH IS THE FISH! DOES THE FISH HAVE CHIPS!" chorus) on the C86 compilation, by former Stump bassist Kev Hopper. (Aside: I wonder how hard it'd be to find a copy of A Fierce Pancake.)
I went to see Derren Brown's show, Something Wicked This Way Comes tonight, at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden. It was pretty interesting.
For those not familiar with him, Brown is a mentalist whose act includes reading and influencing people using various psychological techniques. In this show, which went for about two hours and was in two parts, he did things including influencing volunteers to select specific cards/envelopes and "guess" things, presumably from suggestions he had subliminally planted. He also did an act in which he determined when people were lying. Five volunteers drew balls from a bag, and the four who got white balls (which was unknown to him) were told to lie in answering a question; Brown then determined who was lying by observing their body language.
During the second half of the show, he started off with a few fakir-like acts of physical endurance (hammering a nail into his nose and walking on broken glass). The best part was at the end, where he successfully "predicted" a word selected seemingly at random; and then, using video replays, demonstrated how he had done it. All I'll say is: pay close attention.
Derren Brown is performing until Saturday or so, and is (IMHO) well worth seeing.