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June Records

Posted by Melody Lau / Posted on June 27, 2012

June RecordsJune Records is the latest record store addition to College St., and it's taking over the old Ammo Video space. Located between local favourite Soundscapes and the new thrift store/record store Of A Kind is June Records, a space that hopes to add to the College strip, rather than compete with existing businesses.

"Our curation will be completely different," promises owner Ian Cheung, who runs the shop with partner Dennis Reynolds. "We don't have any plans to sell any magazines, because we don't need another store that has Wax Poetics on their walls; in fact, we'll probably walk down the street to Soundscapes and buy a copy."

June RecordsWith no intention to carry magazines, concert tickets or vintage clothing, June Records focuses instead on new and used vinyl. The store opened their doors on Friday but will continue to fill their walls with artwork (from local artists) and their shelves with inventory leading up to an ambitious grand opening in August. Cheung already has tentative plans to pull bands together for a full weekend celebration.

June RecordsCheung, a managing employee at Kops Records for the past two years, has had the idea of opening up his own since he began working at Kops. Having learned everything he wanted, "and then some," adds Cheung, from the Queen West store, Cheung began scouting out locations in the city and settled for College Street after realizing the Annex was too expensive.

"We don't want to carry CDs because our favourite record store is down the street," says Cheung, about Soundscapes. "We want to offer something different and draw more people to this strip."

June RecordsAn exciting addition to the store will be the backroom work area which has yet to be unveiled at the time of the soft opening. The room will provide seating and tables, and will be offered to local artists, musicians and creative folks who need to rent out a space for work purposes. Whether you want to hold meetings, produce zines or hold small events, Cheung hopes to help out as many local artists as possible with the free space.

"One of our motivating pushes is that there's all this stuff happening in DIY culture right now and it's a great time to record albums and make art," explains Cheung. "The record store will fuel things going on in the Toronto scene."

June RecordsCheung will even consider going the extra mile for artists that he believes in, and help them create cassettes, adding that "if people want to send us a demo and give us artwork, we'll consider working with them and we'll even help cut all the sleeves, but only small batches at a time."

"I might hate myself for saying this a year from now because it might be too much work but we would be doing it just to help people out.."

June Records

Discussion

26 Comments

David Hobbs / June 27, 2012 at 03:32 pm
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best record store run by the best dudes! don't even bother shelving the mayfield records - leave them behind the cash for me.
wtfskies / June 27, 2012 at 05:05 pm
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hmm... i ride by this every day and i've never noticed it...
lol / June 27, 2012 at 05:24 pm
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Good luck to these guys but the whole Idea of a "curated" record store is ridiculous. The whole idea of a record is digging and finding that special record that has been stashed away for years… the mountains of backstock, not some overpriced record than I can get on disogs for 1/10th the price… now excuse me as I curate my lunch
Bob But Not Doug / June 27, 2012 at 06:12 pm
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I'm gonna check this place out, but I have a feeling I'll look at the prices and stick with thrift stores.
Tommy / June 27, 2012 at 06:13 pm
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Record stores are kinda getting saturated at this point, aren't they?
dnr / June 27, 2012 at 08:06 pm
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I'm kinda hoping that the prices are not out of control. But being on college means high rent and well......the prices at Kops were high.

Simon replying to a comment from Bob But Not Doug / June 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm
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Hey Bob-- I can pretty much guarantee that you won't be missed or wanted. People who would rather pay pennies for junk at thrift shops than spend money to buy quality goods in real stores rarely restrict that attitude to their record-buying, and their appearance, tastes, attitudes and hygiene tend to reflect it. People like you are a drag and a real deterrent to the kind of customers one wants, and any sensible business would far prefer that you avoid them.
Chris / June 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm
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I live in the area and the lack of signage (just the rather hard to see sign in the window) makes it look like its still under renovations.
Wayne replying to a comment from lol / June 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm
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"The whole idea of a record..." Assuming that your idea of record collecting is the same as everyone else's, now there is a truly ridiculous idea. Also, don't slam the prices until you've been in there and seen them. I've picked up a couple albums here already and I found the pricing to be very competitive. I enjoy digging through piles of LPs at garage sales and finding hidden gems as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day it's just about getting the music I want on a clean, quality pressing, and I can get that at a store like June.
Gul Jassad / June 28, 2012 at 12:29 am
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Looking at all of this bullshit vinyl record collecting make me wonder if the neo-Luddites who do this will be collecting old VHS tapes next because they believe that the inferior picture quality and sound make it better than DVD? Will they be raiding BMV for old VHS and Beta tapes because, according to their uninformed ignorant truthiness-laden belief, 'analog is warmer than digital'? Do these people know what fracking century they live in, and are they aware enough to live in it? Or, would they all be better off living in the past where most of them belong?
lol replying to a comment from Gul Jassad / June 28, 2012 at 12:55 am
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wow ur an idiot…..vinyl is alive and well… many rock and dance records come out these days on VINYL ONLY…..vinly is love, vinyl is coming u can hold in ur hand… ur comparison to VHS is retarded
Seriously out of touch replying to a comment from Gul Jassad / June 28, 2012 at 08:02 am
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Vinyl sales are experiencing a boom right now in case you didn't know. It's growing by huge percentages compared to the digital format in the last few years and CD sales are going down big time. Also, vinyl these days comes with a digital download, so you still get both. Plus, I consider it more a collector's item as well because the artwork is much bigger and yes it does sound good. Get with the times. VHS will never make a comeback - that's just stupid.
June Records / June 28, 2012 at 11:06 am
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Normally I don't engage in these discussions, but this morning I will give it a shot.

== Vinyl format ===
Vinyl is a personal choice, there's nothing wrong with digital music or any form of music. If you don't like vinyl, you can opt to not get records. Some of us love records and want to keep the format alive for many reasons (that I will not delve into here). All I can say is that it's something many people enjoy as a listening and lifestyle choice.

== Prices and College Street ==
As for pricing, rent prices, etc. If you think the prices at shops like Kops are high, then you "may" find a better deal here and there thru hours of digging at garage sales and thrift stores. Part of the efforts of all record stores are to bring good prices to all customers, but the curation, grading and evaluation, and yes rent, does add a bit to the price versus finding it elsewhere. But what's the value of your time? If we do the hunting for you for those gems isn't there some worth there to save you some effort? That's something you have to decide.

As for having a College Street location (or any major strip location), accessibility to people who live in Toronto has a value. Sure rent is cheaper in the middle of nowhere, but what culture of people are into vinyl? It's mostly inner city, and those people appreciate accessibility and understand a dollar or two may be associated with that. That being said, we make every effort to be competitive with the Internet, other stores, etc. We cross reference most of our collectible titles with sites like Discogs, eBay, etc. It's a lot of work to find great vinyl for our customers, nobody is getting rich doing this, we do this because we love music, vinyl and inner city culture. It's something that comes with a lot of sacrifices.

== Signage ==
Chris, we're not "officially open", we did a soft launch last Friday stating clearly that we're still a work in progress. Our grand opening is some time in August. But as for the sign, our sign is being made and should be installed either today or tomorrow! The sign was also behind schedule and that was a bit beyond our control, we tried to have it ready for the soft launch, but it's kind of in the hands of the sign makers. We also didn't want to compromise quality so please let us know when it's up if it was "worth the wait". We definitely want to "add" to the look and feel of the neighbourhood, respecting that is very important to us.

== More stuff every day ==
We also brought in all the PA gear needed for in stores at the back of the shop. So, more and more will develop weekly (daily), we're working as hard as we can to get everything ready but it all takes time energy and money. We're also working with artists for the wall space which we're sharing with local independent artists to profile music culture related work. So the walls are being worked out and more records will be on the walls very soon!

== Efforts ==
On a last note, my parter Dennis Reynolds wasn't mentioned in this article, but he's as much a part of June Records as I am. I didn't write the article so again, I had no control over that. But it's important that his name be mentioned because he has been working very hard to make this all possible.
Thom replying to a comment from Gul Jassad / June 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm
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You comparing vinyl to VHS is honestly sad...the quality of a vinyl pressing will always trump some mp3 download; and here you seem to infer that a vinyl is crappy quality. The experience of sitting down to enjoy a particular album is completely lost on portable/personal mp3media. I am personally fucking pumped for this new store in my neighborhood; as everytime I visit soundscapes I must sqeeze through the bookshelves to explore their record selection (which is a skimpy selection at that). Can't wait till June is fully open in August.
Gul Jassad replying to a comment from Seriously out of touch / June 29, 2012 at 09:35 am
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The ONLY reason it 'sounds good' to you and everybody else here is because NONE of you have ever bothered to talk to people (sound engineers & hobbyists) who know all there is to know about stereo systems. Nor have any of you obviously taken the time to read any magazines about this; if any of you did, you would know what's what as far as sound is concerned, and wouldn't be tossing CD's over a cliff based on bullshit truthiness about analog vs. digital.

@Thom: For the record, I have sat down to enjoy a whole album by myself (listening to a CD on a DVD player pumped through the speakers of my TV set, unfortunately, as I've not really bothered to get speakers), and I've loved what I've heard a lot more than what I used to hear through the stereo systems my mother and father had. I've also listened to music through an MP3 player (an iPod) and I've enjoyed the experience; if you hadn't it's probably because you've had a crappy MP3 player and shitty headphones instead of a good one. As I said before and above, researching A/V magazines and also online sources (hobbyist sites devoted to home theater would be a good place to start) will help considerably, rather than the bullshit truthiness you and everybody else these days believe.
Bob But Not Doug / June 29, 2012 at 11:30 am
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Wow. Didn't mean to crap in anyone's Cheerios.

Listen, I love record stores. I spend money at Sonic Boom, Kops and Rotate. But I don't have a whole lot of disposable income to spend on records, so a lot of the time I have to take my chances at thrift stores (where you can get lucky; in the last month or so I've found good copies of LPs by Miles Davis, Sly and the Family Stone, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Stitt and Lee Perry). I wish this store the best of luck.
Gregory / June 30, 2012 at 09:12 am
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Wooooooooow. Haters really gonna hate.
I wish them the best of luck and will surely give
Them a shot, just like every record store in this
Great city. More record stores the better. Record collecting
Is like an addiction to some, and the more dealers
To feed that need the better.
To June Records: disregard the hateful comments here,
The people are angry about something else in their lives
And just chose to take it out here. Peace
Tamara / July 5, 2012 at 10:59 am
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Nice to see you guys pop up! I can't wait to come by and check you out. Also, please do ignore the comments, we got a lot of flack too. One person called us crazy and another claimed that Of a Kind is "run by suburban 905ers" just proof that angry people on the internet are illinformed and impotently miserable. Best of luck!
angularnoise replying to a comment from lol / July 18, 2012 at 03:24 pm
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hey lol,

June Records has a Discogs claim that 95% of their titles are equal to or better than Discogs pricing. I've personally tested this theory (at the store) and it is indeed true. So if you don't know what records go for, you really shouldn't go shooting your mouth.
Samantha / August 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm
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June rules. The guys at June Records are really 'hands on', they tend to their records and customers in the most accommodating fashion and it is all genuine (I have a sixth sense for fakers). Their vintage prices are so good I can't handle it. I could go on and on about their fabulous prices and great selection but frankly that's all on par with other record stores. What June offers that no one else does is that they remember your name and your particular (in my case particularly narrow) tastes in music. (By my second trip they knew my name and were pulling Stones records with out me having to ask.)

I'm sick of the record stores where the employees are all attitude and no substance. The guys at June are so knowledgeable they could easily carry a 'too cool' attitude but they don't. At first I was turned off by their lack of color or decoration but now I see that it is because they are focused on the records and the customers not their superficial identity on the record store spectrum.

So if you will just look past the complaints about the way it looks and hypothesizing about the prices, you will meet two people who really know where it's at.
Jordan / November 1, 2012 at 01:25 pm
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I'll keep this short. I just returned from June and I loved it. Carefully curated, moderately priced and the guy working today (Dennis, I think) was unbelievably nice. I will recommend this place to my friends as well as return as a customer.
thatdude / March 4, 2013 at 08:19 pm
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Woah, I'll just skip over the vinyl discussion.

I like June. It's new, so its selection of used records is not that impressivd. The rock and pop section is particularly unimpressive. They also call their used records "Vintage" which just makes me chuckle. Their used and new records are mixed together but are nicely catalogued in spacious shelving units that are a joy to flip through unlike Rotate's unorganized dump or Soundscapes' neck bending exercise reissue shelves.

Still, what they do stock is usually in excellent condition and reasonably priced. They also have a healthy selection of rnb, some imported and rare records. I live nearby and they do bring in interesting records constantly. Assuming business stays steady I foresee this store becoming a great little record store. It's already my personal favorite due to owners' attention to detail.

One thing I'd love to see is a sonic boom style new arrivals bin. I'd drop by more often if I didn't have to flip through all your shelves every single visit.

Thanks guys!
thatdudeagain / March 5, 2013 at 01:27 am
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As for the vinyl discussion, I shall restrict myself to two sentences: it's not surprising to me that vinyl ownership is on the rise given that one's music is no longer even a file on the hard drive. Music is a highly personal experience which lends itself beautifully to ownership and collecting; a quality that is seems to often be overlooked.
Another Dude replying to a comment from thatdude / June 14, 2013 at 01:21 am
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They have always had a new arrivals section. It's across from the front desk. One side is new records, and the other side is used records. Both are constantly changing. They also post the more interesting stuff on their website (without fail) every week. Are you sure you don't just walk passed the arrivals bins?
r / April 23, 2014 at 04:24 pm
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what the dif between this and grasshoppers store? vs kops ? vs she said boom and that store under honest eds?
David / April 26, 2014 at 11:20 am
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Classic rock, blues, country, anything originally recorded for vinyl usually still sounds great in that format, minus the compression, sound filters and remixing. The big covers with detailed linear notes + pictures you can actually read and see are also a big plus. Many of the covers are works of art.

Older used vinyl can have a lot of static, wearage and so on, but are a cheap and fun musical format for newbies looking for a deal.

I buy cds and new vinyl and thoroughly love and respect both. Sounds like this store has respect, credibility and a good ethos. I look forward to going ther.

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