Yet another Toronto record retail mecca, the Record Peddler is shutting down forever on April 30. Since opening 24 years ago, the Record Peddler has been a key source for the latest cool indie and imported rock and roll, punk, pop and electronic music.
But with rising rents on Queen West and an overcrowded marketplace, owner Ben Hoffman decided against renewing his lease.
"The fact is that I'm not making any money here any more," explains the affable Hoffman. "But we're really just closing the store -- the operation is moving online. We've been dabbling in some e-business with our Web site, www.recped.com, and we'll see if we can develop it.
"I've spent half my life at the Record Peddler, and that's enough. I think Toronto has room for one or two decent independent record retailers, but there are way too many stores now chasing too few customers."
jazz in june
The information is still coming in, but here's what we know about the seventh annual JVC Jazz Fest. It will take over stages in clubs and concert halls citywide from June 15 to 24 and feature spiritual tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, the electronically connected Cinematic Orchestra, 23-year-old singing sensation Jane Monheit in her Canadian debut), Kenny Barron and Regina Carter, solo piano sets from Brad Meldhau and D.D. Jackson and many others. Best of all, most events are free.
For years, Richard Carson and his brother Hugh, an organizer with the Eaglewood and Northwinds folk festivals, talked about running their own folk club. When Hugh died, it fell to Richard to make their dream a reality with Hugh's Room (2261 Dundas West), a 200-capacity venue for acoustic music.
The gig schedule launches in style with a rare appearance by songwriter Jesse Winchester Saturday (April 21).
"There's really a need for a space like this in Toronto," explains Carson, "a place to play for mid-level folk artists who might not be able to fill Massey Hall.
"Also, speaking as someone in his late 40s, I can say it's hard to find the music I'd like to hear in the sort of place where I feel comfortable. We're licensed and we offer a full bistro menu, but we'd like Hugh's Room to be thought of more as a performance space."