If there’s one trend that’s always stuck around and hasn’t foundered, it’s vinyl. Music just doesn’t sound the same coming through computer or phone speakers and it definitely lacks the warmth and soothing crackle that vinyl offers when spun on an old-school record player. We know buying (and collecting) vinyl has become a hipster trend but for some, it wasn’t ever a trend in the first place–it was just how one bought music.
As someone who got their start in the Toronto music industry, I know first-hand just how important it is to support local businesses and keep buying records. I mean, let’s face it, the music industry just ain’t what it used to be!
Every year there’s one day to celebrate vinyl and the record stores and even though we don’t think one day a year is enough, we’re super excited for the return of Record Store Day 2018! Many of the best record stores in Toronto will be taking party and celebrating the occasion with special promotions and performances. Keep reading for where to go on Saturday, April 21st aka Record Store Day 2018!
Tiny Record Shop
This Queen East gem, Tiny Record Shop, is seriously tiny (measuring in at 77 square feet) but that doesn’t make them any less mighty in the record world. Because they are a smaller store, they really take pride in every record they stock and it shows–this place is known as one of the best curated record stores around! This year on Record Store Day, don’t miss their afternoon of live music starting at 12pm till 3 featuring Toronto-based bands like Jaunt and Tallies!
Not only is Antikka a badass record store, they’re also a super cute cafe serving top-of-the-line coffee, espresso and tea. This year on Record Store Day, Antikka’s opening bright and early at 8am for your shopping convenience. Plus check out Toronto-based bluegrass group, The Delaware String Band that will be playing from 12-3pm! Did we mention that they’re serving $2 drinks ’till noon? See you there!
A Toronto institution, Kops Records is known for always have a supreme record collection to pick through and this year you don’t want to miss their Record Store Day deals. Shop at any of their 4 GTA locations for exclusive LPs and 45s, get 15% off all new vinyl. Plus, at their Bloor Street location you can score some VHS tapes for just $0.25 each!
Sonic Boom is a Record Store Day legend here in Toronto with their always insane band lineup, sweet giveaways and all the exclusive records they can get their hands on. Get there early to avoid crowds but that’s part of the fun right? This year they’ve even partnered with Sistering Toronto and ask all who attend to bring a non-perishable food item, plus all proceeds from their raffle go to Girls Rock Camp!
Stained Glass Records
(Photo from Now Magazine)
Your go-to for all things heavy metal, Stained Glass Records is where it’s at for Record Store Day 2018! Starting at 3pm, don’t miss their in-store live show featuring Cauldron as well as their after-party at Henderson Brewing in the Junction with performances by Command Sisters, The Riot Police and more!
A College Street landmark, Soundscapes is known for their knowledgable staff and top-notch selection. This year on Record Store Day, get ready to shop the special releases they’re bringing in and score yourself a deal with all of their Arts & Crafts vinyl on sale!
This super cute new vinyl shop, Pop Music, recently opened in East Chinatown on Gerrard and you can’t miss their very first Record Store Day! Opening at 8am sharp (bring your coffee!) get ready to shop exclusive deals and be surprised with the goodies they’ve ordered just for you, the fans!
Honourable Mention: We know no round-up of the best record stores in Toronto would be complete without Rotate This but since they didn’t have anything major to share for their Record Store Day plans, we’ll tell you what they told us: They’ll have new releases.
Happy Record Store Day 2018!
(Story by Assistant Editor, Blair Stutz)