Best Second-Hand Vinyl
Best: Your grandparents’ attic
2nd Best: Red Onion Records & Books
1901 18th St. NW, (202) 986-2718
Finding a stash of Folkways vinyl in your grandparents’ attic is the ultimate second-hand vinyl score, but Red Onion Records & Books is the next best thing. The District has seen a welcome resurgence in vinyl spots recently (Smash and Crooked Beat should get awards just for continuing to keep the golden age of punk alive in their stacks), but Red Onion owner Josh Harkavy outhustles them all. Don’t let his laid-back demeanor fool you—since the store opened in December 2006, he’s become the area’s savviest vinyl hunter. In the last few months, offerings have included recordings from primitive guitarist John Fahey and the lost D.C. funk of Wicked Witch—no DeBarge, no Who filler here. The Adams Morgan shop may be small (there’s barely a sign) and is sometimes obscured by Lauriol Plaza crowds, but Harkavy quietly puts up the best stacks around.