It was a Bratmobile/Heavens to Betsy split 7 inch that shook up my entire chubby, insecure junior-high existence. It wasn’t just the songs. It was the full tactile experience of vinyl, cover art, and lyrics. Sure, I can’t recall the most basic of daily tasks unless I scribble them down on a sticky note, but … first 7-inch record? C’mon now!
In an age of iTunes, podcasts, Spotify, and Mediafire (don’t judge me) it’s always deeply satisfying to watch the frequent headlines proclaiming the vinyl record’s big comeback. Our little resilient cockroach of recorded media formats keeps moving on, boggling music industry types and picking up new rabid supporters along the way.
Its mere existence is even the subject of the new exhibit “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” opening Saturday at the Miami Art Museum. This exhibit will explore the transformative power of the vinyl record from the 1960s on, and bring together artists who’ve worked with the subject as a medium.
For instance, exhibiting artist Xaviera Simmons’ previous work includes “How to Break Your Own Heart,” an installation consisting of a mass of classic jazz albums stapled to a wall and partnered with hypnotic, projected live performances of John Coltrane and Nina Simone. Another participating artist, William Cordova created the piece “Greatest Hits,” featuring 3,000 reclaimed
vinyl records that stretch floor to ceiling and are accented with scattered remnants of VHS tape, cigars, record covers, gourds, and pennies.
A panel discussion will kick off the night with Cordova and Simmons joined by MAM Curator Rene Morales and Nasher Curator Trevor Schoonmaker. A beer and wine reception and DJ Le Spam set will follow. When MAM closes its doors at 9 p.m., head to Lester’s in Wynwood for “Singles Night: A Record Party — Volume 3.”
Where: Miami Art Museum (101 Flagler St., Miami); Lester’s (2519 NW Second Ave., Miami)
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 17
Contact: Visit miamiartmuseum.org