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“Who hasn’t been on a disastrous date or two (or ten) in D.C.?” asks Holly E. Thomas today over at Refinery 29, a style and shopping website with an outpost dedicated to the District. In order to help singles navigate the treacherous local dating scene, Thomas interviewed some highly available bloggers—-including the Washington Post‘s Chris Richards, who is both a gentleman and a pop critic. Still, I’m not sure Richards’ answers paint a totally accurate picture of what one’s in for on a date with a record critic; his ideal date involves a lot of walking, and he gets ready for a night out by listening to a song about smelling nice. Which, sure, is a little weird, but come on—-when you’re dating a critic, you’re probably going to get worse than that. So I asked a handful of local music scribes—-who probably still check out vintage personals in the Trouser Press—-about their dating habits. If you want to date any of these folks, you better be able to recite The Fall’s discography in order.

Who he is: Ryan Little, writes for Washington City Paper and Express

Where he’s from: Richmond, Va.

What obscure record from 1970-1974 do you play while preparing for a date? Anyone who knows me well will tell you I simply don’t leave the house without spinning the A side of Neu!’s first LP.

How soon is too soon to start ranking your best dates of the year? I usually let my date know by the end of the night if they’ve made it into the top five.

Ryan Little
Where you’re from:

Born in Richmond, VA; Live in Washington, DC

What obscure record from 1970-1974 do you play while preparing for a date?

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I simply don’t leave the house without spinning the A side of Neu!’s first LP.

How soon is too soon to start ranking your best dates of the year?
I usually let my date know by the end of the night if they’ve made it into the top 5.

Who he is: Matt Siblo, writes for Washington City Paper and DCist (He’s engaged. Sorry ladies!)

Where he’s from: Staten Island, N.Y.

How would you describe the perfect date: 1) seminal; 2) angular; 3) jangly; 4) plangent; or 5) iconic? Proto-seminal.

How soon is too soon to start ranking your best dates of the year? Haters gonna hate, but I find a ranking every fiscal quarter helps to keep things in perspective.

Who he is: Ramon Ramirez, writes for Washington City Paper. Married.

Where he’s from: Austin, Texas

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? I buy her whatever she wants because we’re in a record store and everything is $5 because everything must go. I also write down the titles of interesting releases so I can later pirate them on the Internet.

Which Arthur Russell production best matches your personality? Sounds of JHS 126 Brooklyn: “Chill Pill” (1984).

Who he is:
Benjamin R. Freed, former Arts Desk gadfly and incoming associate editor of DCist.

Where he’s he from: Glenmont, N.Y.

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? I’d like to think I’m “dating up” by being with someone who’s got better taste than me, so probably something for myself. But I’m more than happy to get my S.O. that out-of-print Tangerine Dream EP she’s been eyeing.

How would you describe the perfect date: 1) seminal; 2) angular; 3) jangly; 4) plangent; or 5) iconic? None of those. My perfect date would be trenchant.

Who he is: Michael J. West, writes for Washington City Paper, Washington Post, Downbeat, TBD. Married.

Where he’s from: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Which Arthur Russell production best matches your personality? Oh, I’m “Wax the Van,” head to foot.

How would you describe the perfect date: 1) seminal; 2) angular; 3) jangly; 4) plangent; or 5) iconic? Angular. Also, harmonically intriguing.

How soon is too soon to start ranking your best dates of the year? This is a trick question, since as you know, date-ranking includes all rendezvous beginning in November 1 of the previous year. So by late September your list should really be starting to take shape.

Who she is: Valerie Paschall, co-music editor at DCist

Where she’s from: Virginia Beach, Va.

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? There are several factors involved in this decision. How well is the date going, for one thing. If he can’t quote at least 10 Pavement songs word for word and he’s never heard of Elephant 6, then things aren’t looking so good for him, especially since I dressed as Elephant 6 for Halloween. Chances then are that any jewels in the crates are mine all mine. Unless he’s uninformed but excited and the chemistry is stellar. In which case, he’ll get a copy of Mission of Burma’s Signals, Calls and Marches or My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless for education purposes. If he appears to be on par with me as far as over obsessive music consumption (and…isn’t a dick—-this is key) I’d want to demonstrate my approval and to find an original pressing of Sandanista! by the Clash or else any Flying Nun release that he doesn’t yet have. Of course, I’m not trying to break my bank and I’m not above being the recipient of some sweet New Zealand post-punk imports circa 1983. Just saying.

How soon is too soon to start ranking your best dates of the year? Much like concerts and albums, it’s never too early to mentally flag a date that sets the bar for other dates for the rest of the year. I’ll start keeping a tally in January, but I’ll wait until the final week of the year before compiling anything definitive.

Who he is: Chris Klimek, freelance writer, boxing instructor

Where he’s from: Topeka, Kansas

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? Never on a first date.

Which Arthur Russell production best matches your personality? Um, “I Like You!”

How would you describe the perfect date: 1) seminal; 2) angular; 3) jangly; 4) plangent; or 5) iconic? Unhurried.

Who he is: Joe Warminsky. Writer. I’ve been married for nearly 10 years, so I’m not sure why I’m answering these.

Where he’s from: I live in D.C.

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? I can’t remember the last time we were in a record shop at the same time. Maybe that’s why we’re still together.

How would you describe the perfect date: 1) seminal; 2) angular; 3) jangly; 4) plangent; or 5) iconic? Jangular. Like if Dolly Parton did a remake of “Islands in the Stream,” but with D. Boon instead of Kenny Rogers.

Who he is: John Foster, designer/author and record label A&R man

Where he’s from: Rockville, Md.

What obscure record from 1970-1974 do you play while preparing for a date? I only listen to records influenced by 1970-1974, not the actual records themselves.

You and your date slip into a record shop. Do you buy something for yourself or your date? If it looks like it is headed towards a drawn out soul crushing car crash of a relationship (my favorite kind) littered with torrid nights chasing each other with switchblades and family secrets, then I buy Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville” and The Afghan Whigs “Gentlemen” and listen on an endless loop.