Know Name Records to move store near heart of Dinkytown

Robyn Repya

Leaving its residential Marcy-Holmes location, Know Name Records is heading further down Fourth Street into Dinkytown taking over the spot left by the Last Stop CD Shop.

Know Name is cluttered with posters and flyers on the windows with constant music playing inside as customers flip through CDs.

But Know Name isn’t a run-of-the-mill record shop. With a large part of the store devoted to incense, smoking equipment, books and other knickknacks, the shop attracts an eclectic clientele.

“Everybody comes in here. It’s a weird place,” said Chris Valenty, store manager.

Since its inception 25 years ago, the store has accumulated a steady and loyal following. Near the cash register, the staff has taped up Polaroid photographs of some of the regular customers.

The name “Know Name Records” was chosen as a result of a contest held in 1977, said co-owner Jon Headley. The prize for the best name was $300, which was a lot of money back then, he said.

A catchy name for advertising purposes wasn’t a priority for Headley.

“If you’re decent to people, they’ll remember you anyways,” he said.

Valenty said he’s looking forward to moving to a more bustling location.

“We’re happy to be moving towards humanity,” Valenty said.

But some customers said they like the store’s current location exatly because that there’s not much else on the block.

“I like it because it’s next to the laundromat and our dryer just broke,” said Spencer Arne, a forest products engineering senior.

Arne said he likes the store’s wide variety of CDs in addition to its convienient location.

Although he likes the cozy spot in Marcy-Holmes, Headley said he’s optimistic about the new location.

“The difference is going to be extreme for us, because we’re going to have three times the space,” he said.

Headley has many plans for all of the new space. In addition to adding DVDs and jewelry to the list of products, Headley said, he also plans to expand the vinyl selection and add music equipment such as turntables and equalizers.

He said the extra space in the new store offers more opportunities such as possible in-store promotions on the weekends, featuring disc jockeys.

Headley said he looks forward to the friendly competition with neighboring businesses.

“We all do different things, that’s the beauty of it,” he said.

Valenty, an eight-year store employee, said he’s certain the store has something to offer the area.

“Were going to have the kind of music that nobody else has in Dinkytown,” he said.

Robyn Repya welcomes comments at [email protected]