Smash's Matt Moffatt // Photo: Cristina O'Connell

Hunt the Stacks: Our Record Store Day Picks

Music lovers everywhere know that the second weekend of April is nothing short of a national holiday. Since 2007, musicians have banded together for Record Store Day (RSD) to release exclusive vinyl pressings that can only be purchased on that day, leading hardcore fans to queue up in the early morning hours to hunt the stacks for these new and exclusive editions. With no shortage of record stores in the area, we chose some of our favorite spots in the DMV worthy of a visit on Saturday, April 13. Read on for the juicy details, including when each spot opens on RSD and what’s up for grabs.

Hill & Dale
This Georgetown record store is a bit of a hidden gem, solely due to its location in Canal Square just off the beaten path of bustling M Street. The interior is just as stunning as their genre-spanning record collection, with bright white walls and industrial ceilings flanked by posters and photos, which the store also sells. This tucked-away oasis of sound and visuals is a must-visit on RSD. Opens at 10 a.m. 1054  31st St. NW, DC;

Joint Custody
While adding to your vinyl collection is obviously the point of RSD, you can still take the opportunity to shop small in other ways. U Street’s Joint Custody is the perfect stop for that. In addition to vinyl, catch the store’s collection of vintage T-shirts, outerwear, hats and accessories. You can browse their site now for an idea of the kind of retro finds available, with everything from Indigo Girls to Public Image Ltd. Opens at noon. 1530 U St. NW, DC;

Mobius Records
This Fairfax City spot is known for its robust collection of new and used records in addition to hosting in-store shows with local bands. RSD is no exception, as the store will host DC ska band The Pietasters in honor of the reissue of their album Willis. As motivation to queue up early and grab your faves from the RSD list, enjoy a collaborative beer produced with Capitol Riverfront-based brewery Bluejacket and hotdogs served up by Red Apron Chef Nathan Anda. Opens at 9 a.m. Food at noon and music at 1 p.m. 10409 Main St. Suite D, Fairfax, VA;

Purple Narwhal Music & Manga
This Rockville-based gem was created to celebrate a combined love of manga and music into one convenient location. They’re opening an hour early in celebration of RSD, so come grab your picks early and stick around to peruse their collection of anime, magna, graphic novels and more. Opens at 11 a.m. 822G Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD;

Record Exchange Silver Spring
This downtown Silver Spring spot is located right next to The Fillmore, making it the perfect place to swing by before catching a show. Their floors are lined with old records and provide a perfect photo op, and don’t miss the bins of $1 records in the back to rifle through for a true treasure hunt. Opens 11 a.m. 8642 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD;

Records & Rarities
Not all RSD celebrations have to start as the sun rises. The relatively new pair of record stores (with locations in Tysons Corner and Springfield) will team up with Union Stage for a late-night celebration featuring the likes of Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Diamond D and more. Keep the celebration of music going into the night after you visit the Records & Rarities location of your choice. Tickets start at $25. Show at 10 p.m.
Union Stage:
740 Water St. SW, DC;
R&R locations: 6769 Springfield Mall Dr. ​Springfield, VA; 1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Tysons, VA

Smash! Records
This spot has been around since 1984 and continues to supply the District with punk and alternative records from its current storefront in Adams Morgan. Alongside those selections, you can find original and vintage clothes, music merch, and other outside-the-box goodies. Opens 11 a.m. 2314 18th St. (second floor) NW, DC;

Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House
If you also balk at the idea of getting up early, even in the name of new records, you can make the a.m. better by stopping by the multiuse music haven in AdMo for coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches and more treats. Plus, they’ll be announcing onsite activities closer to the date, so keep an eye on their website. Opens 8 a.m. 2475-2477 18th St. NW, DC;

For more on RSD 2019 and lists of releases, visit RSD selections vary by location; visit individual websites beginning the first week of April to see what the store of your choice is stocking.

M.K. Koszycki

M.K.'s entire life revolves around music, whether it be scouring Twitter for the band of the moment or catching a live show at one of DC's many venues. When she's not at a gig, find her hanging out with her golden retriever, drinking beer with friends or re-watching Twin Peaks for the hundredth time.