Best Record Store
Red Onion Records & Books
1901 18th St. NW; (202) 986-2718
You could fit its square footage inside the living room of a 14th Street loft. There’s a small counter, a few tables for used CDs, two small main rows of vinyl divided into rock, soul, country, folk-rock, etc. At any given time, there are more milk crates ready to be flipped through: obscure mod, obscure late-period Gene Vincent, rare Paisley Underground, your last housemate’s New Order phase. Owner Josh Harkavy gets the most out of his basement space; there isn’t a genre he isn’t deep on—including new stuff. That means he’ll have the latest Underwater Peoples jam, the brand new Best Coast 7-inch, that Joanna Newsom triple LP at a reasonable price. But the store is best experienced as a treasure hunt. On one night, a guy popped in, nosed around, and then asked for the soundtrack to The Stunt Man, a forgettable 1980 Peter O’Toole satire. The man said he’d been searching for the LP for forever. Within a few minutes, Harkavy pulled out a copy.