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The Toronto Record Store Day guide

April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, marks the fifth annual Record Store Day, a celebration of independent music boutiques that makes it socially acceptable to shamelessly purchase all the seven-inch singles and vinyl you ever dreamed of.

Yesterday, we told you what we’ll be listening to in honour of the occasion, and today we’ve turned our attention over to what to see and what to buy. The official Record Store Day website offers a complete list of the special records you can find and, of course, Pitchfork has posted a list of their Top 45 Records that you’ll be lucky to get your hands on tomorrow.

Here in Toronto, our most dedicated CD and vinyl (and cassette, for that matter) institutions have no lack of action planned. Click here to check out a list of local stores that are participating, and read on for a few highlights:



Sonic Boom (782 Bathurst St., #ANX)

This cavernous Toronto music showroom has this to say: “We’ll be celebrating Record Store Day 2012 with tons of exclusive releases, give-a-ways (record players, headphones, LPs).” They’ve also put together an absolutely stacked lineup of (mostly local) bands who’ll be playing at their Bathurst and Bloor location in the Honest Ed’s building. Here’s the lineup:

1 p.m. – ARMY GIRLS
2 p.m. – THE DARCYS
6 p.m. – FRESH SNOW
7 p.m. – LIONESS
9 p.m. – DIEMONDS

Sonic Boom is also issuing an exclusive, limited-edition seven-inch single that features local sludge-punks Metz covering Sparklehorse’s “Pig” on one side, and a track by Toronto-based krautrock experimentalists Fresh Snow on the other. Take a listen here:


Soundscapes (572 College St., #COL)

Soundscapes is hosting an in-store performance by one of our favourite indie-pop breakout bands of the year, The Elwins. The band just announced their first tour yesterday, and they’ll warm up for it with a 7 p.m. set in the centre of this College Street institution. Soundscapes opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and they’ve posted an extensive Record Store Day inventory list right here.


Rotate This (801 Queen St. W., #QNW)

Queen West’s infamous music curators are being somewhat cagey on their exact plans, but they did send out a few cheeky Record Store Day-inspired tweets this afternoon:

“American Record Store Day!! It’s tomorrow, and goddamn, we’re celebrating the shit out of it! #statutoryholiday #declareit!”

“We’re open at 11am. No jostling please. We have a ton of stuff, but only 1 copy of the one thing that you really want. #calmdownplease

“Also, all staff have been instructed to respond to any phonecalls that start with “Are you gettting…” with “No, zero”. #muaha


Play de Record (357 Yonge St., #DTN)

This Yonge-Dundas-area shop is offering up a myriad of deals, including special in-store discounts on records, limited edition releases (by bands such as Pharcyde, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and more), and even a chance to tinker with some of their best DJ hardware (Apc 20, Traktor S4 and S2, Native Instruments Maschine). Owner Eugene Tam tweeted that a new shipment of titles is arriving tomorrow, just in time for the big day.


Sunrise (336 Yonge St. and 784 Yonge St., #DTN)

Sadly, you’re too late to score Sunrise’s rare vinyl test pressing of Jack White’s solo album Blunderbuss (they gave it away at a store event last night). Both the Yonge-Bloor and Yonge-Dundas locations of this chain will throw open their doors an hour earlier at 9 a.m., but word is the early opening is strictly for Sunrise ID card members. All Sunrise stores are giving away free, limited-edition gift records with purchases, while supplies last. These include K’Naan’s 7 seven-inch vinyl cover of Bob Dylan’s “With God On Our Side,” and samplers from Decca, Death Row, and Coachella.


Hits & Misses (799 Queen St. W., #DTN)

Queen Street’s best punk and metal outpost maintains a blog where they regularly post extensive lists of their new stock, and for Record Store Day, they’re opening an hour early at 10 a.m.


Kops Records (229 Queen St. W., #QNW)

This vinyl boutique is holding a weekend-long sale consisting of: 50 per cent off all $1 seven-inches, 30 per cent off all Value Bin (dotted) vinyl, 20 per cent off all vintage LPs and 45s in the store, and a select sale on new vinyl titles.


Neurotica (642 Queen St. W., #QNW)

Scott Cramer, owner of this Queen West emporium, told us he’ll be holding a fairly extensive sale on his store’s mostly vintage vinyl. Expect discounts of 30 per cent all vinyl, DVDs, books, and Blu-Rays. Also, all CDs will be 50 per cent off.


Penguin Music (256A Queen St. W., #QNW)

Queen and John’s Penguin Music, located downstairs in the Black Market boutique, will be holding a buy-one-get-one-free sale on all their used CDs.


Vortex Records (2309 Yonge St., 2nd floor. #MID)

Yonge and Eglinton’s upstairs music boutique has a huge list of Record Store Day titles on its website, and they’ll also be offering 40% off used records when you spend $20 or more on used vinyl.


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