Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, June 24, 2024
<p>Andrew Schaer owner of Hear Again Music and Movies, returns from helping a customer. Hear Again Music and Movies is one of three surviving record stores in Gainesville, along with Hyde &amp; Zeke Records and Wayward Council.</p>

Andrew Schaer owner of Hear Again Music and Movies, returns from helping a customer. Hear Again Music and Movies is one of three surviving record stores in Gainesville, along with Hyde & Zeke Records and Wayward Council.

For some, it’s a simple click of a button. You hover the arrow over “buy,” click and music is immediately downloaded to your computer and transferred to your iPod where you can hear it instantaneously.

Others enjoy the experience of sorting through brightly colored album covers, feeling excitement as they find an album that triggers a smile, holding the disc in their hands and listening to the crackle as they lay the needle down on the smooth spinning surface.

Digital consumerism paired with the onset of MP3s has changed the face of the music industry. Amazon, iTunes and other media hubs make it convenient and cheap to purchase music. Pirating networks make it possible to access music without even having to pay.

While downloading music has forced many international record stores to close, three Gainesville vinyl hubs have not only survived, but prospered. Hear Again Music and Movies, Hyde & Zeke Records and Wayward Council provide vinyl LPs, other media and merchandise for Gainesville residents looking to expand their collections.

“I think there’s a certain amount of people who want to hear higher quality music,” Hear Again Music and Movies owner Andrew Schaer said.

Music experts agree that vinyl records have a higher sound quality than tapes, CDs and MP3s. This is due to the conversion from analog to digital. Digital recordings work by taking snapshots of sound from an analog signal. Because of these snapshots, not all of the soundwave is captured, and certain sounds can be lost.

“If something is recorded in analog, you want to play it back in analog,” Schaer said. “People should hear things the way they were meant to be heard.”

Schaer and Hyde & Zeke Records owner Charles Scales agree that vinyl is the top seller and hasn’t given any sign of slowing down.

“Vinyl outsells everything 12 to one,” Schaer said.

Schaer said people who solely purchase online music miss out of the education you get out of physically being in a music store.

“You come in here, and you see old and new — it’s a shopping and learning experience, and that’s what people appreciate,” he added.

Both Hear Again Music and Movies and Hyde & Zeke Records have had to change locations in order to house more merchandise and accommodate this niche audience.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Although all three stores are within a mile of each other, each has its own personality. Wayward is the rebel child, mostly offering punk and garage LPs. It also sells books, art and coffee. However, it is volunteer-based, only open sporadically despite the “open” sign and the hours listed as 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Hyde & Zeke Records, despite its lack of air conditioning, is a gold mine of affordable records from Lou Reed to The Smiths. If you brave the musty smell and search the heaps long enough, you can usually find a gem.

“We specialize more in used — that’s our market,” Scales said.

Hear Again Music and Movies is mostly new vinyls, in plastic, guaranteed not to skip.

“I am into virgin vinyl,” Schaer said. “The sound you get out of that is unmatched.” While Hear Again Music and Movies used to have a lot of used records, Schaer said he moved to carrying new vinyl to get away from the “pawn shop” feel.

“Every other person walking through the door wanted to sell me stuff,” he added. He said being in Florida, people tend to store records in garages. They often have mold, water damage and creatures living in the bins they are stored in. Sorting through and cleaning the records became too much of a task.

While Hear Again Music and Movies carries the classics, it also has the newest indie albums, and Schaer offers special order service and mail orders to customers looking for something out of the ordinary. It has a variety of posters, CDs and DVDs as well.

Schaer said the music industry recently started offering free MP3 downloads of albums purchased on vinyl. Those who want the music on their iPods will have the convenience of having a digital copy, while still having the high quality vinyl on hand.

“What the music industry is doing is trying to ease people back into vinyl,” Schaer said.

Schaer and Scales agree that Gainesville is responsive to record stores and local businesses.

“It’s no Portland, but it could be. Large portions of Gainesville want it to be,” Schaer said.

They both agreed that their stores are not dependent on students, as other Gainesville businesses are, but it’s not all older people that buy their products.

“I’m seeing a lot of younger people getting into vinyl,” Scales said. “A lot of people look at it as a treasure hunt.”

Andrew Schaer owner of Hear Again Music and Movies, returns from helping a customer. Hear Again Music and Movies is one of three surviving record stores in Gainesville, along with Hyde & Zeke Records and Wayward Council.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.