Record Store Day hopes to save independent stores

Yesterday and Today Records is unassumingly nestled in a small space in a shopping plaza off Bird Road. However, every inch of Yesterday’s single room is covered with vinyl recordings, ranging from the Beach Boys and The Who to more obscure artists in genres ranging from psychedelic to gospel.

Owner Evan Chern, a Miami music scene veteran, is passionate about his store, frequently making recommendations to customers, allowing them to listen to records before purchase, ordering requested albums and meticulously ensuring his products are in good condition. He explained his love for vinyl recordings, saying they sound “better, more natural, warmer” when compared to digital music.

It is this passion for music and personal attention that Record Store Day is helping save. Record Store Day began April 19, 2008, when independent record stores across the country banded together to promote themselves by releasing several special vinyl and CD recordings and hosting exclusive in-store artist performances. Record Store Day is now an annual event celebrated on the third Saturday of every April.

This year, stores nationwide will host a variety of performances and offer limited-edition new and live recordings by legends like Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan, mainstream mainstays like Jane’s Addiction, Iggy Pop, and Depeche Mode, and more recent indie rockers My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie and Cold War Kids. In addition, stores are prepared for mass giveaways of LP samplers, patches and tote bags.

While Yesterday and Today will be offering a 10 percent discount for Record Store Day, several other independent music stores are participating in the Miami area, including Uncle Sam’s Music and Sweat Records.

Uncle Sam’s Records on Miami Beach is the last of three Uncle Sam’s stores in the South Florida area. However, its unique vinyl and digital music, apparel, accessories, and knowledgeable staff have kept the store operating. Owner Lisa Teger-Zhen commented on the stores appeal, saying, “If you want an album that will totally change your life forever, like it did for me when I was younger, come to us.” Uncle Sam’s first celebrated last year’s Record Store Day, which resulted in a bump in sales.

This Saturday, Uncle Sam’s will be open from 10 to 2 a.m. They’ll host a live performance by self-proclaimed “shake-a-billy” Miami native Rachel Goodrich in the store at 3 p.m., provide food and drinks throughout the day, and will be selling Record Store Day releases as well as handing out giveaways.

Record Store Day coincides with Sweat Record’s four-year anniversary, so expect the celebration in Little Haiti to be extra special. Along with special record sales and giveaways, Sweat will host performances by UM grad and electronic wiz Panic Bomber, Rachel Goodrich, and a variety of local DJs. Sweat will also have kegs, wine and its traditional vegan cupcakes to complete the festivities which run from 6 p.m. to midnight (although the store opens at noon). Owner Lauren Reskin co-founded Sweat to “cater to the community and carry local music.” She remains committed to that mission statement by selling local music (including WVUM-approved artists) along with national vinyl and digital recordings, organic coffee and vegan snacks. Students can stay informed about local events by joining Sweat’s mailing list via sweatrecordsmiami.com. Reskin summed up Sweat’s appeal, saying, “It’s nice to go into a place where it’s clearly meant for you.”

If you go:

Yesterday and Today Records
9274 S.W. 40 St., Miami, FL 33165
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Uncle Sam’s Music
1141 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
10 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Sweat Records
5505 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137
12 p.m. – 10 p.m. (they’ll be open until midnight for concerts and such)

April 15, 2009


Kevin Coleman

Contributing EDGE Writer

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Record Store Day hopes to save independent stores”

  1. carrie weiss says:

    I have been going to Evan’s store for years…It seems that this store has become even more precious with each passing year. If you want to step back in time than by all means go have a look at this fab store… I have to admit that I like the artwork on the album sleeves as much as the music inside. I have never seen a used record store where the owner handles each album with love and care like Evan does. I also like testing his knowlege of groups gone by!

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