Know Name Records to close

The store’s other location, at 6009 Portland Ave. S., will remain open.

by Mike Enright

If an independent Dinkytown record store falls and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Know Name Records, sandwiched between The Library Bar and Magus Books & Herbs along Fourth Street Southeast will soon be closing its Dinkytown branch.

Sitting in an empty store Monday night, long-time manager Chris Valenty said the store, which has been in the business district for more than a decade, is set to close around Dec. 20 due to lack of business.

“Our lease is ending in February, and rent is just ridiculous here,” he said. “Students don’t buy CDs anymore.”

Know Name Records’ other location, at 6009 Portland Ave. S., will remain open.

Independent stores can no longer compete with the popularity of downloaded music and major stores such as Best Buy and Target, which can sell CDs cheaper than Know Name can buy them, he said.

“I think, basically, independent record stores are going to be gone soon,” said Valenty, who will soon be out of a job. “I think it’s pretty bleak.”

The big stores don’t offer a unique aesthetic or personal service, he said.

“Record stores are all about workers forcing weird music they like down your ears,” he said, while listening to Gregor MacKenzie and the Misanthropes, a local band.

At neighboring CD Warehouse, employee Jayde Quigley said she had heard rumors about Know Name going under.

Despite being a competitor, it is sad to see another record store close, Quigley said.

“I think it really sucks,” she said. “They were the little guys, and I like to see more little guys open, and not close.”

Any time another local store packs up it’s a concern, Quigley said, and not just for CD Warehouse, but for any small business in Dinkytown.

“These little stores and the people that shop at them are what give a sense of community,” she said.

But many students asked about the pending closure seemed relatively unconcerned.

Matt Kalina, a first-year student, said he had never

heard of Know Name Records, and he didn’t think it shutting down would affect him very much.

“I don’t really care,” he said. “It kind of sucks, but it’s just the changing of the industry. People will adapt.”

Kalina said the last time he bought a CD was during the summer and probably at Best Buy.

“But it’s the only one I’ve ever bought in my life,” he said.

Kalina said he downloads most of his music, and CDs he gets usually come from friends or family.