Alright, alright, stop sending hate letters to Intern Ralph demanding that we jump start the defunct Store of the Week post.  It isn’t Intern Ralph’s fault, he’s just a big sensitive man whom we’ve propped up in front of the gates to take the majority of your slings and arrows and we couldn’t appreciate him more for it.

We’re frantically busy right now throwing together a slew of new releases that will, we promise, blow your mind and sometimes, just sometimes, some of our favorite columns fall to the wayside.

That said, we got in contact with one of our favorite record stores from The Great White North, Soundscapes in Toronto, and badgered them in to answering a few of our favorite questions.  These guys and gals have been great to us from the get-go and we couldn’t be happier to shower them with a bit of praise.

Take it away gentlemen:

STORE OF THE WEEK: Soundscapes, Toronto, Ontario

1.  Store Description, history…etc-

Soundscapes opened it’s door almost 10 years ago in July 1999.  I had been working as an accountant but got tired of punching the calculator, so I quit my cushy office job and decided to open a music store.  Soundscapes is known for its eclectic selection of music that veers to the more overlooked and offbeat artists of the past and present.  We carry all the usual genres of music but also have unique sections for Psych/Garage, Prog/Art Rock & the British Invasion.  We also have one of the best selections of music books & DVDs.

2.  What is your favorite record right now?

My favorite record is the self-titled debut release by a band called Surf City.  Last January when I was in Auckland, New Zealand, I ventured into the local record shop and asked them what the best local music was and they handed me this CD.  It recalls the urgent, jangly guitar sound of the classic Flying Nun bands like The Clean.

3.  What is your favorite LITA release?

There are so many great releases on the label but our favorite is undoubtedly the Jamaica To Toronto series and specifically the initial Jamaica To Toronto compilation.

4.  Favorite record to play in the shop?

Whenever we play Karen Dalton we see customer’s jaws drop and inevitably field the question “Who is this singer?”

5.  What is the best in-store performance?

So many highlights including Feist & Broken Social Scene, last March, Bon Iver performed long before his most recent success.  One of our most unique in-stores was a book signing by Eddie Shaw of The Monks so we’re excited about your upcoming reissue of Black Monk Time.

6.  Funniest story about the shop?

Many years ago Little Steven Van Zandt of the E-Street Band stopped by and bought up half of our Psych/Garage section, much of which we later heard him play on his radio show.  But the thing I remember most about his visit was the site of his plumbers crack as he was browsing for music.  Yes, even rock gods are human!

Thanks guys!

Soundscapes Official Website

Soundscapes on Myspace