2423 18th St. NW
Friday, Oct. 18
There has been a resurgence of rock n’ roll in pop culture. Bands beginning with “the” have been ruling radio and MTV for almost a year now – The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives and The Vines. The garage-rock look of vintage Ts, Chuck Taylor’s and classic Levi’s decorate the mannequins and shoppers at Urban Outfitters.
The only thing missing is your friendly neighborhood independent music store. Where else will you find out who will be the next big thing in rock music? Luckily, DCCD in Adams Morgan occupies that spot in Washington, D.C.
Sure, it might be easier to get the latest releases at Tower or download the tracks off KaZaA, but it’s the experience of shopping at DCCD that is worth the Metro ride to Adams Morgan.
Getting off the Woodley Park Metro stop on the Red Line, I walked across the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge following Calvert Street into the heart of Adams Morgan. Autumn seemed to have struck this neighborhood before Foggy Bottom as leaves crunched under my shoes while I passed the townhouses lining the street. The narrow sidewalks and numerous restaurants were fairly quiet as the rush hour traffic made its way out of the city.
DCCD is located diagonally across the street from Felix and on the same block as Tryst and Madam’s Organ. A barrage of publicity posters for concerts and albums greeted me as I walked into the store’s lobby and postcards and handbills for upcoming shows littered the card table by the door.
Walking up a small flight of stairs I entered the main room of DCCD. Three fully-stocked rows of CDs and a small section in the back of the store beckoned me to start my search.
DCCD is known for its large selection of local and indie artists, but you can also find albums for most mainstream acts. The store even carried a few albums by – gasp – ‘NSYNC. I knew I would be sticking to the rock section, but I was curious to see what else the store carried.
There was a small section for rap and hip-hop. The back of the store featured the international, electronic and experimental/avantgarde sections. Also in the back of the store was a small selection of vinyl LPs and seven-inch vinyls. I didn’t even think seven inch vinyls existed anymore because the last time I saw one, I was singing along to “Oh, won’t you come and dance with me” after ballet class in pre-school.
On one side of the store there is a large selection of used CDs. The most popular “used” artists I saw were Whitney Houston, Smash Mouth and Bob Marley.
No CDs caught my eye while browsing the racks, so I decided to look for earlier albums of some of my favorite bands. “Turn on the Bright Lights” by Interpol has not left my CD player since I bought it a month ago. So what could be better than another CD of my new favorite band? I only found Interpol’s latest album in the racks, so I turned to a hopefully friendly DCCD employee.
If you think anyone who works in an independent music store is condescending and pretentious like John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity, you might just have to change your opinion. The employees at DCCD are extremely helpful. I found out that Interpol does have two previous albums, but they didn’t have any of the CDs in stock.
So instead, I picked out the new CD from Apples in Stereo, The Hives
“Barely Legal” and an album from D.C. indie rockers Q and Not U.
While I was waiting for my credit card to be processed, I noticed a collection of autographs decorating the wall by the cash register. With its fairly close proximity to the Black Cat and 9:30 Club, it’s no wonder rock stars stop by DCCD to buy a CD or two. DCCD is also open until midnight Monday through Thursday and until 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, so there’s no excuse to stop in after the bars close or the concert ends.
I usually find better prices at Tower, but I might just have to make DCCD one of my regular shopping stops. If only to be one of those customers who employees greet by name and offer the new Pearl Jam single.