Taking Vinyl for a Spin: Gainesville’s Record Stores
In this world of instant gratification, the beckon for music is answered thanks to file downloads and online streaming. Brought to us by the wings of wi-fi, the MP3 has made physical audio formats virtually obsolete and in this new culture, it seems we’ve lost the appreciation of the album.
We’ve lost the masterpiece that comes with a collection of songs meant to tell a story, define an artist, or take the listener on a journey. We’ve lost the artwork that surrounds each vinyl; a carefully crafted cover that hugs each record tightly until it is unveiled to reveal its encrypted magic.
Lucky for us, there are underground heroes that serve to provide the members of this new age with such forgotten relics. And contrary to popular belief, the vinyl record is still made today and celebrated just as used albums are by dedicated collectors.
Here in Gainesville, there are two major stores that have experienced success in carrying out this task.
Hear Again Records, located on 201 SE 1st Street in Downtown Gainesville, opened in 2009 and offers an extensive collection of both new and used vinyl. Their standing motto is “retail or below,” emphasizing that their prices on new records will be at or below what you will find elsewhere, while still maintaining a quality collection of music of all genres and time periods.
Records are organized by music type and then alphabetized within the categories to make the shopping experience efficient if you know what you’re looking for, or easy to follow if you’re just browsing around. New releases are featured in a section at the front of the store and new shipments arrive daily to ensure you’re up to day with the latest tunes.
Just across University Avenue lies Arrow’s Aim Records, located at 10 N Main Street. Arrow’s Aim is another popular local vinyl provider that opened in September of 2012.
Owner Daniel Halal works with independent Gainesville record label No Idea Records to bring listeners everything and anything they are looking for from new releases to used classics.
Halal himself was an avid collector prior to opening the store and his hobby evolved into the establishment that has grown from its smaller original building to the location that stands today, housing over 10,000 vinyl records.
Arrow’s Aim not only shares its collection with the community, but it allows you to share yours with them. They will buy records you’ve had tucked away for too long, your favorite record you now have duplicates of, your family member’s old collection, or your own that you’re ready to pass along–they all have value.
The store recycles what you give so that customers can enjoy and the store can grow. This practice cultivates community and adds to what makes this business unique as well as Gainesville as a whole.
So in a world where the physical record is viewed as a dinosaur, there are local record shops that prove these formats are surely not extinct.
Hear Again and Arrow’s Aim give the Gainesville community more than enough to facilitate interest, dedication and appreciation for all sorts of records and the art they represent, so do your part and take one for a spin.