Sweat Records, Kenny Millions, and Holly Hunt Talk Sweatstock 2013 and Saving Record Stores
|Photo by Ian Witlen|
But for the last six years, so-called "independently owned, stand-alone brick-and-mortar retailers" around the U.S. (and the world) have been banding together under the Record Store Day banner to, paraphrasing the immortal Beastie Boys, fight for their right to exist.
Since 2010, Little Haiti music shop and hangout Sweat Records has been leading the local struggle with Sweatstock, an annual one-day music festival and RSD blowout celebrating vintage vinyl, limited-edition CDs, indie music, artisinal grub, and free fun.
-Sweatstock 2012: Jesse Jackson, Arboles Libres, The State Of
-Sweatstock 2012 Review: Haochi Waves, Kazoots, and Plains
-Sweatstock 2013's Full Lineup and Set Times
Now in its fourth year, Sweat's fest and the shop itself don't seem to be on the endangered list. So we decided to ask a bunch of the major players if the inevitable extinction of the local music shop is all bullshit.
|Photo by Ronnie Rivera|
|Lolo with Sweat cohort Jsin Jimenez at Sweatstock 2012.|
Lauren "Lolo" Reskin
Owner and founder of Sweat Records
When we at New Times snickeringly ask, "c'mon, does the world really needs vinyl anymore?," Lolo's quick and simple answer is a nicer version of "yes, dumbass." She shoots back: "Does the world really need books anymore? There are still millions of people that would argue yes, and it's the same way for vinyl."
OK, so how about record stores like Sweat? Who needs 'em? "Anyone who has followed us throughout the years knows that we are not just a record store," Reskin points out. "We're one of the only all-ages event spaces in town, we're a vegan-friendly coffee bar, a meeting place, and we've created tons of resources for the local arts scene like SweatShopMiami.com."
And just maybe, she says, that's the way for music shops to stave off permanent eradication. "There are still a few stores around the world who can get by purely on sales. But most of the smaller ones that are thriving have had the smarts to become more of a community space and less of a strictly retail establishment."