In Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, set against a backdrop of Ethiopian restaurants and global boutiques lining the area's bustling 18th Street corridor, a conga line of shoppers traipsed up and down the thoroughfare with bagged vinyl under wing. The area is the Nation's Capitol's epicenter for Record Store Day celebrations with three of the city's seven participating independent music retailers situated on 18th Street and two more a few blocks away.
Ducking into Smash! Records late in the afternoon, the 30-year-old music store (formerly in Georgetown) is full. Lines spontaneously form before mostly combed-over crates of 7” vinyl up front and two bins of 12” vinyl in back beneath a Ramones poster. This is where the Record Store Day exclusives sit, a small portion of the nearly 500 limited edition vinyl released exclusively for the nation-wide event. This late in the day limited edition singles by Wanda Jackson and Julia Ruin, a double album by the Pixies and a ten-inch Ramones' “Meltdown” EP in blue vinyl are still available.
“This year we ordered a couple of crates worth of Record Store Day releases,” said Bill Allen, the store's self-described senior employee who himself has picked up Devo's “Live at Max's Kansas City 11/15/77” RSD exclusive. “Record Store Day is easily one of the biggest days we'll have all year,” Allen says from behind the store where a free snack buffet awaits patrons.