Since moving to London my cultural consumption basket has shifted heavily towards concerts and gallery exhibits – just back now from Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, aka “the crack.”
Movies are usually my top entertainment choice, but I still find £9.50 for a ticket (almost $20 in today’s frail dollars, vs. $6.50-9 in NYC) pause-makingly high. Concerts, on the other hand, cost a little more than films – £10-15 usually for the kind I like to see – for what seems like a greater relative utility, as the difference between listening to a CD and attending a live concert is quite a bit larger than the (not small) difference between watching a DVD and going to the movies.
Last month I went to two very different concerts: the lyrical Simone Dinnerstein performing the Goldberg Variations at Wigmore Hall (see Slate and NYT reviews of her recording) and the flamboyantly talented Andrew Bird at Koko. Unfortunately at Wigmore Hall, the combination of a long day and the fact that I’ve been using a recording of Dinnerstein’s Goldberg Aria as my wake-up alarm – in other words, hearing her playing is always followed by my hitting the snooze button – led to my nodding off during some of the quieter Variations… still lovely though. Might change my alarm to a little Pearl Jam instead though.