Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sign of the times

So a number of folks have been talking about the closing of DJ Hut here in DC. Obviously, this is a significant blow to all the DJs in the area, but as well for the music scene in some respect in my opinion. For as long as I've been in this city, DJ Hut (or 12 Inch Dance Records as it used to be known) has been a mainstay for all the area DJs, hip-hop, house, reggae/dancehall, whatever. I know the game has changed in terms of music sales (admittedly, in the past few years I can count the number of times I've shopped at DJ Hut on two hands,) especially for retail, but in addition to the city losing a point of purchase, we're losing a meeting place, a library, a town common, a musical oasis, all that. DJ Hut has been the place in DC (perhaps similar to a select couple other shops that have come and gone over the years) where you could go to hear the latest selections from the store staff and be able to test drive whatever was on the shelves and stay in the loop by grabbing the event flyers, etc.

DJ Hut had been the last store standing for some time now, so it's closing is particularly telling of where things are at.

For myself, I'd just like to say thanks to all the cats at DJ Hut and 12 Inch who over the years provided a spot for myself and everyone else in this area to come scoop the newest, freshest music. Thanks for keeping the doors open over the years through all the challenges that small businesses surely face in this city. But most of all, thanks for just being about the music and supporting the music community of DC. (I would be remiss to not give a shout to Capitol City Records which closed 2-3 years back and did a terrific job in cultivating the scene here as well.)

I'm also sorry that the business was not able to survive. I realize part of the reason they didn't survive is because cats like me didn't barely shop there in recent years, but that is what it is, just reality. Like I said, the game has changed. For some time I've been more inclined to shop and dig for more used than new music. But still, there is quality music being released in 2009, we just need to look for it sometimes, and this spot was one of the few places where you could find it.

Below is the official release issued from the DJ Hut staff at the beginning of April (looking at the date of this email, it's too bad it didn't come just a day earlier, things could be different.)

From: DJ Hut
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 16:15:05 -0400
Subject: We're Closing Down
DJ Hut friends and customers,

We have some sad and disappointing news to share with you. DJ Hut can no longer battle the dual headwind of the demise of the music retail industry and the economic downturn. As a result, we are forced to shut down the store and go strictly online at the end of April. Effective immediately, all vinyl records, CDs, DVDs and books will be liquidated at the rate of 20% off the regular price.

We would like to thank you for your support over the last 7 years at the store and we look forward to your continued support online.

DJ Hut Crew

Visit DJ Hut online/digital at

Finally (you still with me?,) just to spread a little love and a little music, I'm putting up some of the last few joints I picked up (that's right, purchased...on vinyl no less) from DJ Hut. I love these songs, and I love that I'm able to share them when I spin out and in this forum too.

Maino - Be Me
Y Society - Never Off
Alicia Keys - No One (Curtis Lynch reggae mix)