Checking out the back cover of the Georgia Straight is a weekly ritual. For years, the paper has run a full-page A&B Sound ad there, where you can find out what's new in this week. It's a glorious 11 x 17 spread of thumbnail album covers and at least a couple substantial lists of newish stuff on sale for dirt cheap.
The ad's gone missing for the last few weeks. It's been replaced by a campaign for some new vapourware Yaletown "residences and Cityhomes"*. I can't find an A&B ad inside the paper either, though this week there's an HMV full-pager on the inside front cover (for the new Norah Jones album).
So is this it? I remember my pal Shawn from Zuckuss [MySpace] assuring me that things were still going strong at A&B. I believed it at the time, but subsequent visits have shown that they just aren't bringing new stuff in. I've had to buy things like The Decemberists' The Crane Wife and Blood Mountain by Mastodon at HMV—not because they were cheaper, but because they were simply in stock. Maybe A&B's well and truly done for. The whole act of buying CDs at a store, or even buying CDs at all, seems kind of quaint nowadays.
Or maybe the Straight's dropping me a hint to quit blowing my cash on music and instead drop my wad on one of those Cityhomes.
*The registration form at the web site has a field saying "I can't wait to..." and offers the choices "Move in" and "Add to my investment portfolio." I love this town!