Immaterial music formats will take over. Vinyl will disappear. (Or become contraband in some dystopian future.) And still, the world will survive.
"But," says Michael-John Hancock of ANR (otherwise known as Awesome New Republic), "there are physical artifacts that have history to them, that keep you connected to the rich and inspiring physical world. Quality vinyl seems to satisfy that use as much as great big old books."
So WTF? Let's save the record store and it's contents, kids! Check the cut for ANR's response to Crossfade's Sweatstock and Record Store Day questionnaire.
Crossfade: Is the record store going extinct? If so, why should we save it? And how?
Michael-John Hancock: Yes, but communities will always need meeting places like cafes, record stores, book stores, etc. Best thing to do is become an all-in-one business that focuses heavily on the meeting place aspect.
Does the world really need vinyl? Or CDs for that matter?
We're at a time when we could abandon a lot of physical waste (especially entertainment products) and go full digital. But there are physical artifacts that have history to them, that keep you connected to the rich and inspiring physical world. Quality vinyl seems to satisfy that use as much as great big old books.
What's the purpose and importance of a place like Sweat Records aside from hawking pieces of playable plastic?
Helping to connect the dots among different aspects of the community; creative, active, etc. And setting a great example for and inspiring the youth in our area.
With digital music sales surpassing physical music sales for the first time in 2012 (and hard-copy sales set to decline by almost 80 percent by 2016), how optimistic are you about the future of the record store?
I'd say the glass is half full. But it is definitely not full anymore, and that water will eventually get consumed or evaporate.
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If people don't particularly care about the survival of music shops, should they still come to Sweatstock? What will they get out of the experience of eight hours at the corner of NE Second Avenue and 55th Street on April 20, 2013?
Free live music by a substantial amount of their neighbors. Whatever happens within the industry of music, people should never stop caring about the music and the musicians who make it. Some of that music is often what shakes you out of the dark, the frustrating, or just the mundane.
Sweatstock 2013. Saturday, April 20. Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami, and Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 2 p.m. and it's free. Visit sweatrecordsmiami.com.