Spin Cycle Owner Jason Grimes on Record Stores on Capitol Hill: "Is It Going to [Be] OK Up Here? I Think So."

After hearing yesterday's sad news about Everyday Music's impending move from the Oddfellows building, I decided it was a good day to pay my first visit to a place I've been meaning to stop by for the last few weeks--Capitol Hill's newest record store, Spin Cycle on Broadway (on the block between Thomas and Harrison). Spin Cycle has only been open for two months; it's a small shop dedicated in about equal parts to vinyl, DVDs, and video games, with a small selection of cassette tapes, and, in a somewhat unique twist, no CDs.

The vinyl selection ranges from new--currently on display are Shabazz Palaces' Black Up and Obits' Moody, Standard and Poor (the shop sources its new stock from Sub Pop and a range of other labels, like Light in the Attic, Matador, and Fat Beats)--and an eclectic selection of used classic rock, electronic, hip-hop, soul, and blues. Spin Cycle is run by owner Jason Grimes, who says he's had a lot of foot traffic since he's been open. He took a few minutes to chat with me about his new business.

SW: Why did you decide to open a record store in this particular neighborhood?

Grimes: I worked at a shop locally for a couple of years. I really love this neighborhood. I live here. It's a small vinyl section, but it turns over really fast. That's kind of one of the keys of the place--rather than having a huge selection to sift through, I try to keep it small and dense.

Why don't you have CDs?

When people hunt for CDs, they're looking for a CD. When people hunt for records, they're just looking for something cool.

I'm sure you've heard about Sonic Boom's Capitol Hill store closure and now the news about Everyday's move. What are your thoughts on that?

I can sympathize. Rent on Capitol Hill is terrible. I'll miss them. I like the fact that Capitol Hill is a destination for record shoppers, and it'll be a shame if that changes. The funny thing is, though, the little shops, you know, Wall of Sound is solid, Zion's Gate is solid. There is something about getting too big. I mean, I don't know what it is, I've never been big.

So hearing about those closures doesn't worry you?

It doesn't worry me, it saddens me. I hate to see the community weakened. I sympathize that it has to do a lot with location and rent. That was the case with Sonic Boom, that building didn't work out, it's the case with the Oddfellows building. Here on Broadway, I mean we've got big holes, whole blocks missing. But I was aware of that when I was putting my business plan together. So nothing's going to change my rent for the next so many years. Is it going to stay OK up here? I think so.

What makes you think so?

Just because I've lived here for a long time. I've lived up here for eight years, been slinging records and games for eight years. My regulars are my regulars. But we'll see.

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