Thursday, August 27, 2020

Get Out! And Celebrate Record Day (In Socially Distant Safety, Of Course!)

Record Store Day

by Peggy Robin

It’s time to start venturing out again….as long as you can do so in a safe, socially distant manner. Let’s begin by observing an annual holiday – Record Store Day! -- that was supposed to have happened back in the spring -- just as it has done on the second or third Saturday in April for the past dozen years. But that was just when the pandemic started roaring across the country like a hurricane, and everything had to be shut down or boarded up. The record store/vinyl lovers’ community put their heads together (via Zoom, no doubt) and picked a new date, and it’s  the last Saturday in August – a date so many months down the road, it was bound to be safe!  

Well, here we are, a few days from that long-delayed date, and there’s no use putting it off again. Now the way forward is to celebrate on Saturday, August 29 – but be sure to do so safely, in a socially distant way.

Here are the rules and regs that will be in place for Record Store Day at the four participating record stores in DC (info courtesy of DCist): 

DC Participating Record Stores:

Joint Custody
1530 U Street NW
The shop will be open from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., and will only allow four customers inside at a time.   

Smash! Records
2314 18th Street NW
Unlike past years, browsing will be confined four stations specially stocked with Record Store Day titles. Five people will be allowed inside at a time, and are asked to wear gloves while shopping, which the store will provide. The shop will open at 11 a.m. and close at 9:30 p.m.   

Som Records
1843 14th Street NW
No more than four customers allowed in the shop at a time. The store will be open from noon to 6 p.m., and gloves will be provided.   

Songbyrd Music House
2477 18th Street NW
From 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., the store will operate on an appointment-only basis to allow for social distancing, and titles will be limited to one copy per person. Appointments are sold out, but they will welcome walk-up customers in the afternoon. Songbyrd will also host a special outdoor screening of the documentary Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine at 8 p.m. Reservations are available via their Facebook page.  

Note that gloves are provided for shoppers at three of the four stores. If you are a vinyl fanatic, you’ve probably been handling your LPs with gloves on all the while, to ensure that no oil from your fingertips gets into the sensitive grooves of your precious platters. Now there’s even more reason to handle your vinyl with gloves on!

And now for those who would rather stay home and observe Record Store Day remotely: Yes, you can order online! And while you’re at it, you can enjoy the spirit of the record store through streaming the movie, “High Fidelity” starring John Cusack as the owner of a struggling record store who understands music a lot better than he understands relationships. (2000, available on Amazon video.) Or maybe you would prefer the 2020 reboot, a streaming comedy series, with the record store owner gender-flipped, now played by Zoe Kravitz (10 episodes, on Hulu:  


Not into vinyl? How about black&white fur? Here’s another event you can celebrate remotely: It’s Tian Tian’s birthday today! This proud father of our newest panda cub has turned 23! He’s already enjoyed a fruitsicle birthday cake this morning – but you can read about the party here:

And you can get a really good glimpse of his 6-day-old cub (name and gender TBD) here:


Whatever you are celebrating today, we wish you a good one! 

The "Get Out!" events column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.  


  1. Peggy, Here’s the WAMU person who doesn’t like baby pandas….

    1. So I was picking on a poor, exploited intern! Probably forced by her bosses to put on an anti-cub face and go after someone much smaller and weaker than herself. Thanks for letting me know!