Whenever the latest album dropped it would cause a sensation among myself and my friends as we would eagerly arrange to meet at 10am outside McDonald’s (no cellphones meant no latecomers) so we could grab a breakfast combo and bolt over to HMV to queue with every other teeny-bopper in town in order to get our dirty little paws on that pristine CD all shiny in its cellophane packaging. On receipt of that glorious case we would dash to the chosen house (usually the closest to avoid any delay), rip open the packaging and listen to every second in desperate hope that there might be a hidden track if we just let it keep playing a little bit longer (thank you Alanis).
I feel for the young’uns of today. They have missed out on the magic of those tangible experiences. Gone are the days where saving your allowance for such exciting purchases was such an achievement. Cold, hard-earned cash doesn’t exist anymore. In order to please one’s ears, the youth of today has to go searching for Mum or Dad so they can approve use of their credit card before executing the 3 boring clicks it takes to download a track to the computer.
All that said, there are still a few music stores who have roughed it out in the age of the web. Combining the store experience with some social media savvy, these guys look to be sticking around for a while and that makes this grownup very happy…
Sonic Boom | 782 Bathurst St. Toronto | @SonicBoomMusic
These guys are a Toronto staple and are the longest standing, independent record store in the city. This is a personal date favourite for my significant other and I as we are working on building our vinyl collection, and on a day when we have nowhere to be this is the perfect place to waste an hour or two. Factor in an array of cool, quirky gift ideas, greeting cards, and the weird and wonderful window displays and it’s no wonder that Toronto is holding on to this gem. Check out their Twitter feed for info on new stock and general coolness.
Soundscapes | 572 College St. Toronto | @SoundscapesTO
Another Toronto staple, Soundscapes was founded by Greg Davis to highlight and promote local talent and obscure, classic rock, as well as acting as a ticket outlet for local indie concerts. Check out their Twitter feed for news on upcoming performances and ticket info.
She Said Boom | 393 Roncesvalles Av. Toronto | @shesaidboom
Alongside shelves of CDs and vinyl focusing on alternative, jazz, electronica, reggae and roots, this neighbourhood fave also houses a stack of used books ranging from fiction to poetry to religion. This is where you need to go to get a real culture fix. Check out their tweets for new inventory and the latest on city happenings.
Vinyl Records | 321 W. Hastings St. Vancouver | @vinylrecords_ca
You’ll find everything you need to get your record on right here. With over 50,000 vinyl records in stock it’s unlikely that you’ll walk away empty handed. Not only do they sell ‘em but they buy and trade also – perfect if you’re looking to revamp your collection. Check out their tweeting for musical suggestions and inspiration.
HMV Canada | Various locations across Canada | @HMVCanada
Although not as prevalent as in my day, these music giants still have 111 stores open across Canada. They have fought to maintain a continued presence in the market with various strategies including their recent partnership with the Juno Fan Fare program, giving hope that they may just prove us all wrong and keep the old-school music buying experience alive. Join their 11,000 Twitter followers for news on new releases and general, friendly banter.
What’s your favourite music store in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.