Friday, April 17, 2009
Ok, this is the obligatory Record Store Day post. But before I get into the various Record Store Day celebrations going on around town this Saturday, a story in yesterday's Toronto Star reports on the woes of one record store owner, Peter Genest of Hits and Misses(860 Bloor St. West), and how the City of Toronto wants Mr. Genest to pay a $555 license fee in order to be permitted to sell second-hand goods. The article recants the general confusion surrounding this fee to sell-hand goods and whether a record shop like Hits and Misses falls within that category. Toronto councillors Rob Ford and Howard Moscoe were asked their opinions about the situation and both agreed that it was a cash grab, quoting Ford saying "If they want to put people out of work it's a good way of doing it." From my layman's perspective, the whole licensing issue seems like such a grey area - I wonder whether any of the other record stores in Toronto have such a license. Sonic Boom? They deal with a lot of second hand inventory, but on the other hand they have just as large, if not larger stock of new inventory. Simply, I think most of the indie record shops (at least the major ones like Rotate This, Soundscapes, Criminal Records, Sonic Boom) in Toronto should be exempt from the license fee since they do not deal exclusively with second-hand goods. It's hard times to be a record store owner these days - it's difficult enough that digital downloads (legal or illegal) are drawing customers away from the physical music format. A license fee, like that imposed on Mr. Genest, is almost like a nail in the coffin. I for one will be rooting for Mr. Genest and all record stores this coming Saturday and celebrate Record Store Day wholeheartedly - just hope I can snag a limited edition Record Store Day release or two. Once a music geek, always a music geek.
Ok so rather than retype all the Record Store Day celebrations happening this Saturday around Toronto, check out Eye Weekly's rundown which covers Sunrise Records, Criminal Records, Sonic Boom, Penguin Music, and Soundscapes.
Rotate This is also taking part in Record Store Day and will be offering 10% off everything in the store.
Outside of Toronto? There are other Canadian cities participating in Record Store Day.
"Ah man, that's great. That's the fun thing about workin' in a record store - you get to play crappy pap you don't even wanna listen to." --- Barry (Jack Black) in High Fidelity