There is an old episode of That 70’s Show where the Foremans hire Hyde’s stoner pal Leo (played by Tommy Chong) and his contractor buddy (a cameo from Richard Karn, aka “Al” from Home Improvement) to renovate their basement. The pothead contractors do their thing, much to Red and Kitty’s dismay, moving everything in the basement two inches to the left. I was reminded of this episode when I visited the new Sonic Boom on Bathurst today, right around the corner from their old space on Bloor. I had to wonder if the contractors who oversaw the relocation called their creation “Sonic Boom, Two Inches to the Left.”
So why the big move? Well, apparently being on the Bathurst side of the intersection wasn’t going to be good enough for Dollarama, which bought the space from its landlords–who apparently didn’t give the now-former tenants a chance to make a counter-offer. Sure, a large storefront on Bloor Street is prime real estate, but something tells me the folks at Dollarama Inc didn’t do their research on this one. Not only is Honest Ed’s diagonally across the street, but there’s another fairly large store around the corner called Pay Less For Everything. Once their new location opens, it’s bound to face stiff competition. Hey man, if the area starts to become known as the “Flea Market District,” I’ll be the one moving–and more than two blocks away, this time!
The new Sonic Boom space, which used to be a fitness centre, is right next to Honest Ed’s on the southwest corner of Bloor and Bathurst. Although it’s very similar in size to the old one, the layout has been altered slightly. Instead of being behind the counter when you walk in, it’s now on your right, and the shelves are now parallel, instead of perpendicular, to the entrance–which came in handy on my first visit, since I could easily see where they stuck the Metal section. Because the place used to be a gym, there are mirrors running along the top of all the walls, which looks a little strange now. (I’d imagine that they used to be full-length under the previous tenant, but I wouldn’t know. I don’t work out…)
As far as I can tell, they haven’t reduced their inventory; they still offer the largest selection of new and used metal CDs in Toronto. The big change is that the downstairs space that used to hold vinyl–and the occasional in-store performance–isn’t a part of the new location, thus, they’ve opened a new vinyl-only store in Kensington Market. I haven’t been, but I was never that impressed with their record selection to begin with. Now that Hits ‘n Misses is right next to Rotate This, I buy most of my vinyl on Queen West.
(On that note, I came across a neat find in the “Cheap 7″s” bin at Rotate today. An old Status Quo 45 of their 1983 hit “Ol’ Rag Blues” b/w “Stay the Night” had no price tag, but I picked it up for a dollar.)
However, when it comes to CDs, it’s usually safe to say that if Sonic Boom doesn’t have it, you won’t find it in TO. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any copies of the new 40 Watt Sun. I’m gonna hafta order it direct from Metal Blade…