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Best Record/CD Store Miami 2008 - Sweat Records
Sweat Records is a hub of Miami underground culture. After the store opened in 2005, hurricanes soon damaged it and drove the shop from its original NE Second Avenue location. After a short homeless stint, it was back and in business farther up the street, in a back-patio annex of Churchill's Hideaway. The spot was buzzing but cramped, so earlier this year Sweat moved into new digs — right next door. Done up in trademark aqua and purple, the location is spacious but still cozy. Comprising prodigious bins of CDs and vinyl, the stock is an eclectic mix — everything from Malian guitar pop to German techno to the latest hyped assembly of skinny British guys. Most CDs sell for $12 to $15. One blues/rock disc that's flying off the shelves these days is Attack and Release by the Black Keys, which goes for $15. If you like vinyl, Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire's double LP sells for $21 and comes with a free MP3 download. And you can expect to find basically every release currently in print by local artists; if something's not there, they'll smilingly get it for you; they'll also offer coffee, tea, snacks, and free wi-fi. The place even has a dizzying array of casual, in-house social activities (even a science club). Sweat wants you to stay awhile. And we hope it stays in the neighborhood for a long time to come.