Looking for record stores in Washington DC

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Chris Desjardin, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Chris Desjardin

    Chris Desjardin Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ware, MA
    Heading for a seminar in Washington DC this weekend. Are there any good record stores I can hit while I'm there?
     
  2. crassus515

    crassus515 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    See this thread:
    http://stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=135700&highlight=record+stores+washington

    Quick list of my favorites:
    -Smash Records-more indie/punk, decent new and used, in Adam's Morgan
    -Crooked Beat-indie slant, great new vinyl selection, decent used, also in Adam's Morgan
    -Orpheus: used to be awesome for used vinyl but it's going out of business soon and has been picked over somewhat. might still be some good deals though. In Arlington, VA
    -Joes Record Paradise-prob the best for used vinyl, very very limited new vinyl stock. in Rockville, MD

    All have their own website that can be found via Google. All are accessible via Metro save Joe's.
     
  3. phish

    phish the house that jack built

    Location:
    Biloxi, MS, USA
    Record & Tape Exchange
    9448 Main St. (route 236)
    Pickett Shopping Center
    Fairfax, VA 22031
    703-425-4256
    www.rtxrecords.com
    hours:mon-sat: 10-9 sun: 12-6

    Record & Tape Exchange is a very 70's feeling record store.
    Mostly Rock & Jazz from my first trip but I did find some good 80's electro and movie soundtracks. Apparently they have a pretty high turnover of buying and selling of semi to large collections of private owners. Just in the hour or 2 i was there two sellers came into the store to try and sell a good amount of vinyl. They also carry some cd's, cassette's and dvd's as well.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  4. Ere

    Ere Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    from the Washington Post this week

    Singing The Blues At Record Stores

    Sunday, September 7, 2008; Page B08

    The record side of Olsson's Books and Records in Old Town Alexandria is still kicking -- barely -- but employees won't admit that trouble lurks. When I asked whether the store was in danger of closing, a cashier responded, "Nah, that was just the one store downtown. The rent was too high."

    Meager stacks of CDs pushed far back against their shelves illustrated a different reality. The Washington area chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, just a month after it announced the closing of its Penn Quarter store. While rising rent was the final straw at that location, a series of problems -- rising property taxes, competition from the Internet and poor CD sales -- combined to exacerbate conditions for the struggling 36-year-old chain. Olsson's is "implementing a plan for successful restructuring" -- and it's not alone.

    Record stores throughout the Washington area are folding or reinventing themselves to remain solvent in a market in which the "single" trumps the album and the Internet is king. In recent years, we've lost DCCD, Yesterday and Today, Revolution Records, Yoshitoshi and Tower Records to the same afflictions as Olsson's.

    According to Almighty Music Marketing, approximately 1,400 independent record stores have closed since 2003, leaving 2,300 open nationwide and 25 open in the Washington region. In 2003, 16 independent record stores were open for business in the District; only nine remain.

    Thirty-year-old Orpheus Music in Arlington is next on the chopping block. When the store's lease expired last March, the building broke with Richard Carlisle, Orpheus's owner, so that a higher-bidding bar could move in. "My business was doing all right until this whole lease thing happened," Carlisle said. But, he added, "You've got to be a niche store to survive anymore. It's got to be totally indie, or vinyl, or have some clothes."

    Carlisle didn't leverage the Internet to bolster sales. Conversely, Bill Daly, owner of Crooked Beat in Adams Morgan, realized early on that he needed an Internet operation to maintain a lucrative business. Daly has been doing mail-order sales online since 1998. "Everything in the store is in the process of being listed," he said. "I have people hired who just come in and do stuff on eBay."

    While the store has already eliminated two CD racks and plans to lose a third, Daly says he sometimes earns three times the market value for items he posts online. The Internet has also expanded his customer base. He has sold vinyl records through eBay to customers in Sweden, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, California and Nevada.

    Additionally, distributors penalize stores with re-stocking fees, sometimes costing owners as much as 25 percent of what they originally paid for new releases if items don't sell or are returned. The fees hamper profitability and dissuade owners from taking risks on lesser-known artists.

    One bright spot in the D.C. record store scene is Red Onion Records and Books, which Joshua Harkavy opened a year ago on 18th Street NW. Harkavy's merchandise is almost exclusively used, and he has little interest in reinventing the way record shops have traditionally done business.

    "It's just a sad state of affairs what the music industry has become," he said. "I've heard from people who do deal with new stuff how difficult distributors can be, how you're competing with places like Best Buy and Target. You'd have to invest tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise if you want to have a good collection."

    -- Vinnie Rotondaro
     
  5. jdmack

    jdmack Active Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    If hunting through unsorted albums that sell for $3.00 and under is your thing, then the CD Cellars in Arlington and Falls Church, VA would be right up your alley. But you'll need a car.

    If you dig used classical vinyl, and you have a car, get thee to Second Story Books in Rockville, MD. There's hundreds if not thousands there for a buck a disc.

    J. D.
     
  6. Spyder

    Spyder Active Member

    Location:
    Davenport, FL
    [​IMG]

    DJ Hut is a must for vinyl

    DJ Hut
    2010 P St. NW
    2nd Floor
    Washington DC 20036
    202-659-2010

    ... tell them Spyder sent ya
     
  7. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    CD Celler in Falls Church, Va (close to DC) is one of my favorite stores for used cds.

    Good prices and selection.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  8. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    New record store.. opened about four-five months ago..in Arlington (off exit 69 on I66)..

    A LOT of JAZZ... can be a bit pricey.. has listening stations... also rock etc...

    Went there last week and bought Ellington's Afro Bossa on reprise tricolor for 10.99.. love the album

    thought I'd pass the tip

    http://www.bluegroovesoundz.blogspot.com/

    Not sure why this thread has died practically... Joe's Record Paradise has moved to Silver Spring..

    There are now two CD Game Exchanges left.. the traditional one in Silver Spring and one in Takoma Park...

    so stores for vinyl in DC area that I now of curretnly (please add)

    Falls Church: CD Cellar
    Arlington: CD Cellar, Blue Groove Soundz
    DC: SOM Records, Red Onion, SMASH, Crooked Beat, Idle Times (hardly worth it..), Melody (back to carrying lots of new vinyl)
    Silver Spring: Joe'S Record Paradise, CD Game Exchange
    Takoma Park; CD Game Exchange
    Rockville: Second Story Books Warehouse (hardly worth it)
     
  9. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Location:
    DC
    There's also the CD Depot in College Park. They mix used with new, and not many deals, but I still manage to get something every time.

    I like CD Cellar and Joes' Records Paradise the best.
     
  10. phish

    phish the house that jack built

    Location:
    Biloxi, MS, USA
    did they rebuild since they burned down? i had a buddy that worked there....
     
  11. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    they rebuilt the first time.. then burnt down again thanks to the pizza shop below which incredibly is still there even after causing two or three fires!

    they're gone.. maybe online only but they're gone since a while ago.. replaced by a computer fixing shop which requires $50 just to tell you whats wrong..grrrrrrrr
     
  12. phish

    phish the house that jack built

    Location:
    Biloxi, MS, USA
    ugggg... that stinks.... do you remember dj dub? he used to work there. real nic guy.
     
  13. Jay F

    Jay F New Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My old neighborhood. That used to be called 12 Inches (lots of jokes about the name in Dupont Circle, DC's first gayborhood), because it sold nothing but those big disco singles. I would go there on Sundays with my friend Freddy, the biggest disco queen I knew, so he could worship at the altar before going back out dancing.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2010+...code_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQ8gEwAA
     
  14. maraisdecygnes

    maraisdecygnes New Member

    Location:
    Princeton/NYC
    I like this store. When ever in DC I try to get out there on a afternoon for a few hours.

     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  15. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
  16. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
  17. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Location:
    VA, USA
    Any word on when it's closing up? I kind of agree with the above poster that it was pretty overpriced but I guess if it's an "Everything must go" kinda deal...
     
  18. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I think its closing in a few weeks.

    Most things were "overpriced" but they had the best physical stock in jazz and international music BY FAR. i hear it was also the best for classical...


    I will miss it.. lets be real..it will become a starbucks or burrito brothers or somethig like that.. there will no longer be any record store..


    in my opinion they started carrying vinyl again too late and made the mistake of not getting in to the used vinyl market..
     
  19. JA Fant

    JA Fant Forum Resident

    Thanks! All.
     
  20. JA Fant

    JA Fant Forum Resident

    Yesterday, I visited the CD Depot in Towson MD, as it close to where I am staying.
    Great selection, good prices and a few rare (OOP) finds!
     
  21. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Location:
    VA, USA
    Anyone know if there's anything good near the 9:30 Club? Or a Metro stop or two away?

    Gonna see a show in a few weeks and I'm thinking of just making it an all-day trip to DC.
     
  22. Strummergas

    Strummergas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Bumping this thread as I'm headed there this weekend. Any new developments since this thread was last updated? We'll be staying in Silver Springs but will be in DC proper a lot of the time as well.

    Thanks.
     
  23. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
  24. maraisdecygnes

    maraisdecygnes New Member

    Location:
    Princeton/NYC
    In May when in NVA I stopped at

    cdceller in Arlington (not Falls Church) & Record & Tape Exchange in Fairfax and had a good time at both places buying a few records, cd's and dvd's at both places. There are quite a few places around both to have some lunch. If you need anymore info feel free to ask.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  25. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Location:
    VA, USA
    CDepot in College Park is a 15-20 minute drive from the two Silver Spring stores mentioned above. I usually make a day trip every six months or so to hit each one.

    CD Cellar in Arlington is great--I really need to go more often. Ditto for Record & Tape Exchange, although their selection is a bit smaller and there's less turnover. As far as DC proper, your mileage may vary but I wasn't really impressed with any of them. I found a few things, but probably the best thing about it is getting some exercise because it's a nice walk to get around to each one. (Not recommended if you're gonna be standing at a concert for 3 hours later that day though!)

    If you're in the NoVA area, you might also wanna check out McKay's Used Books...huge CD selection.
     

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