Keeping the Beat in Adams Morgan

Crooked Beat Records in Adams Morgan

Cheap thrills: Catch artists like Secret Pop Band (above) at Crooked Beat Records, where all in-store shows are free. (flickr-rickr via Flickr)

I know my rock ’n’ roll and have written about it fairly extensively over the past 15 years.

Yet the people at Crooked Beat Records in Adams Morgan would likely put me to shame, especially concerning newer bands and the vinyl they produce. And that’s what the store trades in: vinyl.

Yes, with the advent of the Internet, record stores are fighting for their lives, but Crooked Beat gives vinyl record-buying renters a place to purchase their music where the employees more than likely speak their language.

[ Related: 5 Years Later, Red Onion Records Still Exploring the Vinyl Frontier ]

Crooked Beat Records originated in Raleigh, N.C., in 1997 and moved to Adams Morgan in 2004 (during the late ‘80s and into the ‘00s, the owner played in a Clash-influenced band in North Carolina). And today, it only sells vinyl – new, used and collectible. Well, that and a selection of T-shirts, some books and even a turntable or two, including this one: the Numark TTUSB. With this thing you can digitize your favorite record into that ubiquitous iPod you carry around. This process seems pretty revolutionary to me, because, while not a Luddite, I’m close. The store also offers both the occasional used turntable and in-store performance.


View Larger Map Crooked Beat Records
2116 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

OK, so the website is a little too old school for its own good and a few years out of date.

Luckily, their Facebook page is serving as the store’s de facto home. And it’s very busy, listing new inventory as it arrives. A February 18 post is typical, highlighting restocks of, among others, “Grimes, Cat Power, Girls, Department of Eagles, Yo La Tengo, Deerhunter, The XX, Pavement, The [sic] Pixies, The National, and Department of Eagles.”

The store apparently likes Department of Eagles.

They also list used titles from Led Zeppelin, the Yardbirds, Jimmy Cliff, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Chuck Berry, Joy Division, R.E.M., the Beach Boys, Alice in Chains, Nirvana and David Bowie. So it’s not just indie rock at Crooked Beat but a whole amalgam of popular music.

Check out their very impressive inventory.

Washington, D.C., and its surrounding environs, is home to many an indie rocker; believe me, I know. To all you hipsters who’re still lamenting the break-up of the Smiths all these years later or the downward trajectory of latter-day Modest Mouse, this is your place.

[ Related: Grab Your Best Che Guevara Shirt and Head Down to Comet Ping Pong ]

Store hours are Monday, 1:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m., and Sunday, noon-7 p.m.

Crooked Beat Records is located smack-dab in between the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro stop on the Red Line and the U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metrorail stop on the Green/Yellow Line.

Record Store Day is on April 20, so if you’re planning a day to go there, 4/20 would be a great time to do it.

Nah, scratch that. Why wait? Check it out today.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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