Best Record Stores in Washington, D.C.

April 13, 2015 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

A gradual evolution of the way people consume music has made record stores an increasingly rare breed. But those who love the nostalgia of vinyl and the crackling sound of a record player have afforded record stores their own unique niche. In recognition of Record Store Day, taking place on April 18th, here are some of the best D.C.-area record stores where you can find great music.

Crooked Beat Records

2116 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 483-2328
www.crookedbeat.com

If you’re hunting around for that hard-to-find vinyl record, you’re likely to find it at Crooked Beat Records. This store specializes in offering independent label music, as well as music that’s released by major labels, but is considered outside of the mainstream. Here you’ll find genres including indie, rock, punk, classic reggae and soul. You can buy new and used LPs, domestic and imported. Crooked Beat Records even has its own in-house label of the same name to help expose artists to the store’s customers—two of its top sellers are produced by the label. Crooked Beat has plans for three releases on Record Store Day.

The Record Exchange
8236 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 21701
(301) 495-0766
www.recordexchangeofmd.com

Here’s where you can trade in all of your unwanted music, movies and even, video games. The Record Exchange is an environmentally-conscious establishment that aims to reduce, reuse and recycle. This family-owned and operated business has established a reputation for great customer service among its clientele. The Record Exchange buys all manner of entertainment media, including vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, iPods, DVD and CD players, and even turntables and other electronics. The store says that they buy all day, every day, and will make an offer on almost anything and everything. They also offer services like disc repair for CDs, DVDs and video games, as well as turntable needle replacement and vintage video game repair.

Joe’s Record Paradise
8216 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 585-3269
www.joesrecordparadise.com

Joe’s Record Paradise is another great place where you can offload all of your old vinyl and walk away with a few bucks. This establishment carries all manner of music, from blues, country, classical, hip-hop, bluegrass, rock, r&b, soul, jazz and disco, to folk, go-go, doo-wop, punk, gospel, cajun/zydeco, popular, reggae and even the spoken word. Just about every genre conceivable. Joe’s will recycle your used LPs by sending them “back to Nashville” to be reincarnated into new vinyl. They even recycle the covers.

Related: Best Indie Rock Bands In Washington, D.C.

Som Records
1843 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-3345
www.somrecordsdc.com 

If you’re looking for “som” records, then you’ve come to the right place. At Som, you can buy, sell and trade new, used, imported and rare vinyl records in a range of genres including rock, soul, disco, funk, samba, salsa, electronica and blues, to name a few. The shop boasts “the most varied selection of new and used vinyl in D.C.” Customers give Som’s online auctions a 100 percent positive feedback rating.

Trax On Wax
709 Frederick Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
(410) 869-TRAX
www.traxonwaxrecords.com

Dubbed as Baltimore’s only “true” record store (since they don’t sell DVDs, CDs or games), Trax On Wax offers new release, pre-owned, limited edition and reissue LPs. They also sell music-related items like turntables and record players, as well as T-shirts and posters. Featured music artists include legends like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, The Who and The Doors. Trax also offers LP to CD conversion.

Related: Best Places To Discover New Music In The Washington, D.C. Area

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com..