The Washington Citypaper’s Ally Schweitzer broke some unbelievable news yesterday: Georgetown will soon get a new record shop. No, not a CD store. A record shop. As in vinyl.
Well, it’s actually a little more than a record store. Hill & Dale—no relation to the upscale Lower East Side gastropub nor Hillandale, Md.—will specialize in new vinyl records, photography, and posters. The shop, currently under construction, is located in the 1,200 square foot space formerly occupied by Parish Gallery. Norton, a 44-year-old who lives near Politics & Prose, plans to host a grand opening during the first week of February.
(Hill and Dale is probably a reference to the grooves on a vinyl record.)
If you think this is a crazy idea, you’re right. It is. But it’s not completely insane. People still buy vinyl records. In fact last year vinyl records had one of the best years it’s had in decades, posting a 38% jump.
Technologically, vinyl was surpassed a long, long time ago, first by tapes, then by CDs. Despite claims by audiophiles that the sound was superior, the iron law of convenience-over-sound-fidelity meant it was relegated to a niche market starting in the 90s. But something seems to have shifted in recent years. Certainly the retro-hipster aspect of vinyl helped it along. But the appeal is growing beyond the types of people who probably had a college radio show. Continue reading
On May 14th, the indie rock band Vampire Weekend will release its third full length album: Vampires of the City. Stream it here on iTunes (you need iTunes installed, unfortunately) and preorder it.
Why, you ask? Because Rostam Batmanglij, whose multi-instrumental sounds join with Ezra Koenig’s yelps to form the core of the band’s sound, is a Georgetown native. His parents, Najmieh and Mohammad still live in the house he grew up in (Najmieh is a successful chef and author).
Yesterday the indie rock darling/pariah, Vampire Weekend, released its second album: Contra. Expanding beyond the anglo-afro-pop sounds of its first album, the band has delivered a much more layered and intricate product that has charmed the ever fickle rock press itching to unleash a backlash.
So what’s a two sentence album review doing in the Georgetown Metropolitan? Turns out the band’s keyboardist/guitarist, Rostam Batmanglij, is a Georgetowner. He is the son of Georgetown’s Mohammad and Najmieh Batmanglij. Mohammad is a successful Georgetown-based publisher and his wife is a well known chef and teacher specializing in Persian cuisine.
Like most DC-native rock stars, Rostam Batmanglij found his success only after moving away from the District (like the rest of the band he went to Columbia University and settled in Brooklyn after school). But his family is still here so show your fellow Georgetowner some love and pick up his new album today. (Or just listen below): Continue reading