Barry Jive and the Uptown Five
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Barry Jive and the Uptown Five

The first edition of CBC Radio 3’s new series, Searchlight, is forcing the Canadian Record Buying Public to throw down over the #1 Independent Record Store In Canada.
“In this digital era of music, it is a very real possibility that the indie record store may go the way of the dodo,” says CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence in a press release. “We want to shine a light on all the great stores across the country that are making a go of it, in the spirit of independent rock ‘n’ roll, and surviving against the odds.”
Toronto no doubt has a solid batch of contenders, places with just the right combination of radsauce and flippant smugness to make you comfortably uncomfortable going in. These include (but aren’t limited to, lest you were considering breaking out your self-righteous beatsticks of justice) usual suspects like Soundscapes, Kops, Criminal Records, She Said Boom!, Rotate This, Penguin Music, and the new-ish and website-less (likely because they are too busy upping the punx) Hits & Misses.
The nominations process is open throughout the long weekend until midnight Tuesday, when proper voting beings. Final results will be in on April 19, just in time for International Record Store Day. Aside from being awarded a pretty sweet cred-loaded title, the winning store will have a CBC Radio 3 broadcast live from the shop along with an in-store session with some local flavour of the week.
While it might seem easy for Toronto to crumple the competition with our healthy stable of snotty stores, we still have to beat out Zulu Records in Vancouver, End Hits in Ottawa, Meow Records in Prince George, Atom Heart in Montreal, Fred’s Records in St. John’s, Taz in Halifax… etc. etc. So get your geeky noms in via [email protected].
Photo of the since-relocated Penguin Music by n0wak.