Local Music

One Last Record Store Day Hurrah for Sweat Records' Current Location

Record Store Day, the one part Comic-Con, one part Black Friday audiophile extravaganza, had a festive feel this past Saturday at Sweat Records. The Little Haiti shop earlier in the week had announced that a rent increase was forcing the Miami vinyl-boom pioneer to relocate. So this would be one last hurrah in a space that neighbors the iconic live-music dive Churchill's.

More than a hundred people were already waiting in line on the sidewalk when Sweat's doors opened at 8 a.m., manager Emile Milgrim said. They braved the early morning to get first dibs on collectible vinyl pressed especially for Record Store Day. "The most popular were The Crow soundtrack, the Lost in Translation soundtrack, Death Grips, and Bingo Hand Job [an alias for an R.E.M. secret live show]," Milgrim said.

One of the early birds was Mike Sarasti, who arrived at 6:45 but still wasn't early enough to snag the Pelican seven-inch he wanted. "I decided to wait in line after finally getting a good record player," he said. Some of the treasures he grabbed were "an old Green River album that was recorded with some Pearl Jam members, and Mono, a postrock group." Sarasti trekked across town to Technique Records for further crate-digging and then spent the late afternoon nursing a beer at Churchill's, where a lineup of bands — including Richie Hell, Palomino Blond, and Butterfly Snapple — took the stage to celebrate Record Store Day.

As Suzi Analogue ended the matinee of live music, Rat Bastard wasn't worried about Sweat's upcoming move. The longtime Churchill's staple was also up early to purchase a Residents album, along with a record by Acid Mother Temples and an Iggy Pop seven-inch. He seemed to have the inside scoop on where Sweat would be located for the next Record Store Day. "It'll be down the street at a better place. They'll have parking and a bigger stage [for live music]. The rents are getting higher, so something will probably move in that makes more than records — probably a store or a fucking restaurant."
Sweat owner and founder Lolo Reskin didn't talk as if anything was promised. With the ink not dry on a new lease, she wasn't ready to confirm or deny any news on the next location or the moving date. "I have no idea what the future holds, so today was enjoyable by itself. I seem to say it every year, so maybe I'll say it next year too, but this was definitely the best Record Store Day ever."

As DJ Oly spun salsa records in the late afternoon, about 50 people were lurking, browsing, and purchasing vinyl at Sweat. Complimentary empanadas both vegan and non sat on the counter for consumption, while mostly hipster shoppers relished the space for what some believed would be the last time. But five-year store employee Ale Campos said there wasn't a nostalgic air to the day. "A lot of people didn't know about the move. A lot of people came just because they wanted to be a part of Record Store Day. There are more record stores in Miami now, but people like to come out here and show support."
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland