A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hmv

[URBAN NOTE] Seven Toronto links: flooding, weather, towers, plants

  • Rising water levels on the eastern beaches of Toronto are a growing concern. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Earlier this month, a poster at r/toronto shared photos of Toronto Islands flooding, here.
  • The City of Toronto is warning of flood risks near the Lake Ontario shoreline. CBC reports.
  • blogTO notes the unusually cold weather this May.
  • Urban Toronto looks at the Grenadier Square tower near High Park.
  • Toronto Life shares photos of the Tokyo Smokes cannabis shop, in the old HMV at Yonge and Dundas.
  • James Burt at Spacing identifies some invasive plants in the Toronto area.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: HMV dispensary, U of T suicide, GoT, real estate, Scarborough

  • r/toronto notes, via blogTO, that the old HMV at Yonge and Dundas is set to become a cannabis dispensary.
  • The University of Toronto is being criticized by students for its handling of recent suicides and its mental health policies generally. CBC reports.
  • blogTO notes that the Ralph Thornton Community Centre in Riverside will be throwing a Game of Thrones-themed festival in May.
  • New changes to the regulation of secondary suites may make things easier in the Toronto rental market. CBC reports.
  • Urban Toronto reports on two ambitious plans to densify Scarborough Centre.

[MUSIC] Five music links: Seventeen, HMV and Sunrise, lo-fi hip-hop, Aretha Franklin, Matthew Lien

  • Noisey looks at the deep interest of pop music with the age 17.
  • HMV stores have been saved in Britain, as they have been in Canada, by the purchase of many remaining stores by Sunrise Records. The Guardian reports.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how lo-fi hip-hop became such a popular genre for students to listen to as they studied.
  • Joshua Jelly-Schapiro at the NYR Daily writes about the grace drawn from religion that marks Aretha Franklin the musician.
  • MacLean’s introduces its readers to Yukon-based musician Matthew Lien, a huge star in Taiwan but still unknown in Canada.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Zoe Todd at {anthro}dendum writes about white hostility in academia, specifically directed towards her Indigenous background.
  • Architectuul writes about 3650 Days, a book celebrating a architectural festival in Sarajevo.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a proposal to look for Planet Nine by examining its impact on the local microwave background, legacy of the Big Bang.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing considers the relationship between the natural and the artificial.
  • This remarkable essay at Gizmodo explains how the random selection of locations on maps by cartographers can create real-world problems for people who live near these arbitrary points.
  • Language Log looks at a visual pun in a recent K-Pop song.
  • Conrad Landin at the LRB Blog bids farewell to HMV, a store done in perhaps as much by predatory capitalism as by the changing music business.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the impact of the federal government shutdown on Washington D.C.
  • James Kirchick writes at the NYR Blog about pioneering activist Frank Kameny and his fight against the idea of a cure for gayness.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle shares a recipe for a quick Asian peanut soup, with photo.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains why a particular lava flow has blue lava.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church, by virtue of its independence and sheer size, will be a major player in the Orthodox world.
  • Arnold Zwicky starts one post by noting how certain long-necked kitchenware bears a striking resemblance to extinct dinosaurs.

[MUSIC] Five music links: Hampsterdance, HMV and music, R. Kelly, Lady Gaga,

  • Leah Collins at CBC Arts tells the amazing and twisty story behind the ascent of the Hampsterdance from an obscure Geocities page in 1998 to global fame.
  • Barbara Ellen at the Observer, looking at the collapse of HMV, notes the decline of the old music industry, which was at least capable of rewarding some creators appropriately. How will musicians now earn their living?
  • Briana Younger at The New Yorker responds to the horrors being exposed in R. Kelly’s abuse of women and asks about the moral responsibility of the fans in consuming Kelly’s music.
  • Lady Gaga has apologized for her collaboration with R. Kelly on the 2013 duet “Do What U Want”, calling it an ill-thought reaction to her personal traumas of assault and pulling the song from streaming services.
  • Owen Myers at The Fader wrote a fantastic essay about the meme-worthy video for the Dua Lipa hit “New Rules”.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 11, 2019 at 1:36 am

[LINK] “‘It’s a big gamble’: Record stores sound off on Sunrise’s HMV takeover”

CBC News’ Haydn Watters reports on what the music retail industry thinks about Sunrise Records’ ambitious takeover of HMV stores across Canada. This does sound as if it could fail, badly.

Toronto’s Sunrise announced last week it will be taking over 70 HMV stores in malls across the country, with the aim of having them up and running by midsummer and turning a profit by next year.

If it works, it’s a boon for the industry, said Spencer Destun. But he’s got his reservations. Destun runs the last surviving Sam the Record Man location at Belleville, Ont.’s Quinte Mall. Since opening in 1979, he said, he has seen about eight or 10 chains come and go — and his store is all that’s left of Sam the Record Man.

“It’s very tough to operate a store in a profitable manner today because the market is shrinking,” he said.

“I can’t even imagine the amount of organization and work that’s going to take. Thank God they have some experience in the marketplace.”

Sunrise currently has 10 locations in suburban Toronto and rural Ontario. Destun said he can’t think of another instance in any industry where a business has tried to “tenfold their increase.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Sunrise Records to move into 70 closing HMV locations”

I am glad that, as reported in David Friend’s Canadian Press article at the Toronto Star, there might be some kind of music retailer in Canada, at least for a time.

Sunrise Records is placing a major bet on Canadian music sales with plans to move into 70 retail spaces being vacated by HMV Canada.

The Ontario-based music retail chain has negotiated new leases with mall landlords across the country.

Sunrise’s expansion gives the company a quick foothold in the Canadian music scene just as the industry’s largest retailer closes shop. Stores will begin to open this spring after HMV liquidates and removes its signs.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get a lot more stores open,” Sunrise Records president Doug Putman told The Canadian Press in an interview.

“We think there needs to be a great outlet across Canada to buy music.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] On the survival of the HMV flagship store at Yonge and Dundas

blogTO’s Phil Villeneuve shares the good news that HMV is committed to the survival of its Yonge and Dundas space for music, in the broadest sense.

The music industry in Toronto is ever-changing, but 2016 was a particularly difficult year for HMV.

The Eaton Centre location announced its imminent closure when its lease came up for renewal, which was the same story at the Bloor Street store. A company that was once ubiquitous in Toronto is now down to a handful of stores.

It leaves many wondering about the future of 333 Yonge St., the 4,000 square foot flagship store near Yonge and Dundas. It’s been around for 30 years and can’t help but feel like a bit of a vessel for movie merch and bargain bin pop cultural items.

Nick Williams, the president and CEO of of HMV Canada has a status update about the store and the main message is that it’s not going anywhere.

“Every time we have to close a store or move a store we get lots of letters and emails from our core consumers who don’t like that change,” he says. “The reality is the problem in some of our downtown markets, the rental markets are so prohibitive for retail in the malls.

“The big landlords and Cadillacs of this world command such high rent that we just get to the point where we can’t afford to pay them anymore. Our business model doesn’t allow us to.”

Written by Randy McDonald

December 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “HMV at the Eaton Centre to close”

NOW Toronto‘s Matt Williams reports on the impending closure of HMV’s Eaton Centre store.

Now’s the time to stock up on all your Bob Marley posters, Sopranos DVD box sets and goofy Avengers action figures. hmv Canada recently announced that it won’t be renewing its lease at the Eaton Centre, and right now the entire store is on sale.

The news isn’t a huge shock: digital streaming continues its rise, and while vinyl sales haven’t overtaken CD sales yet, the latter is falling every year as the former steadily grows – and hmv stores are stocked with a lot of CDs.

But hmv Canada attributes the closure to its “long-term real estate strategy,” which has seen stores open and close across the country over the past decade. It can’t be cheap to rent out a space that large in Eaton Centre.

In the company’s official statement, Chief Financial Officer Harvey Berkley brings up another factor. “Unfortunately, the high real estate costs for this property have made it challenging to operate a profitable store. Given hmv Canada operates its 26,000 square foot flagship location across the street at Yonge and Dundas, [closing the Eaton Centre location] was a sensible decision.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Beyond the Beyond notes that electronic newspapers just don’t work.
  • blogTO notes that the Eaton Centre’s HMV is closing.
  • Crooked Timber notes that it will be shifting to moderated commenting.
  • D-Brief notes a new sharp image of Eta Carinae.
  • Dead Things notes that some monkeys are apparently making stone tools.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Le Tigre’s new pro-Clinton song, “I’m With Her”.
  • The LRB Blog is critical of Britain’s hostility towards refugee children.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a new historical atlas of Tibet.
  • The NYRB Daily examines Assange’s reasons for using Wikileaks to help Trump.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that New Horizons target 2007 OR10 has a moon.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the reasons for Ecuador’s clamping down on Assange.