Best Old-Fashioned Music Store
Kemp Mill Music
3743 Branch Ave., Temple Hills, Md.; (301) 899-2300
It’s an understatement to say that brick-and-mortar music stores are facing extinction, and the impending physical-music ice age has hit D.C. particularly hard. While Dupont’s Melody Records still serves urbane listeners with eclectic tastes, and there’s been a recent rise in hipster-minded vinyl and speciality boutiques, the old-fashioned, general-interest new music store is virtually extinct beyond a handful of mall FYE’s. Kemp Mill, once the dominant chain in the area, has whittled its empire to a single location in Temple Hills, Md. With a focus on hip-hop, go-go, and R&B, the last “real record store” (as per Kemp Mill’s motto) is a shop frozen in time with now-antiquated staples like cut-out bins, in-store signings, and those giant plastic security cases. It’s a welcome refuge for those who dread spending new release Tuesday in a Best Buy.