566 St. Clair West, 416-651-3874
Remember how easy it was to find an after-party even, like, five years ago? If you're feeling a little out of touch in the nightlife department, get reacquainted this Caribana by hitting this St. Clair West music hot spot. Not only will you find a solid variety of sweet sounds to bring back to the comfort of your own digs, but with all the flyers moving through, it's also your hookup for live gigs and, of course, the after-hours reggae scene. Owned by Sylvester Walters and his brother Richard Walters (aka solo artist Wally Rich ), this nearly 30-year-old neighbourhood record shop has made a name for itself - and gathered a faithful and multi-generational clientele - by selling the hottest hard-to-come-by reggae and vintage imports gleaned from contacts all over the world. (This kind of stock means you never know who you'll see rummaging through the stacks; it's a favourite haunt of visiting Caribbean artists.) So whether you're looking for the freshest roots rock, R&B, calypso, soca, lover's rock or dancehall - or just a good party - this is where you'll find it.
The Walterses' picks: Knock Out Ska compilation by Treasure Isle Records, including Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, Monty Morris, the Skatalites, $19.98; Oldies But Goodies Vol. 1 compiled by Studio One, $16.99; Mother's Choice, a mix of classics from the 70s and 80s distributed by S & W records, $13.98.
Look for: Caribbean films and concert footage DVDs, the future launch of an e-commerce website (www.swrecords.com) and special Caribana deals.
Store hours: Monday to Thursday 10:30 am to 8:30 pm, Friday 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday 10:30 am to 8 pm, Sunday 12:30 to 5 pm.