Turnup Underground Records offers more than everyday music

Brianne Carlon

Turnup Records opened in August and is located at 257 N. Water St. in Kent. The record store is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday .

Credit: Ben Breier

Unique shelves, drawers and newsstands filled with CDs and records line the vibrant purple and lime green walls. Artwork hangs sporadically, giving the space a funky New York City feel. Thumping music pours from the boom box near the cash register.

Butthole Surfers, Blondie and Kiss are a few of the names that you can find amidst the shelves of records and CDs at Turnup Underground Records, the recently opened independent record store on North Water Street.

Owner Scott Davidson opened the store Aug. 19 with the goal of making underground music available to the Kent area, he said.

“I just got the idea because it seemed like Kent needed it and no one else was doing it,” he said. “There is good music out there you don’t hear on the radio.”

Some of the music is well-known, but most is underground, he said.

“In my opinion, attitude is what makes it underground,” Davidson said.

The store buys and sells not only CDs and records, but also books, art, videos, clothes, posters and magazines.

“I even have a thrift drawer with random stuff,” he said.

Davidson has a wide range of music in his collection.

“The newer stuff is targeted at students and the older vinyl is for anyone who collects it,” he said. “I try to get as much local music as possible.”

Davidson said Kill the Hippies is his favorite local band, and he sells a lot of their stuff.

The merchandise is pretty cheap, he said.

“I try to keep it really cheap and rarely go over $14 on a new CD,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else is selling the unopened stuff for as cheap as I am.”

The prices are awesome, said Megan Raybuck, junior fashion design major.

“Most places tend to overprice since there are only three record stores in Kent,” she said. “But they don’t here. There is a Madonna record in good shape for two bucks.”

However, there needs to be more merchandise, Raybuck said.

“I am sure they are just waiting for people to come sell their stuff,” she said.

The store also accepts merchandise donations, Davidson said.

“I am trying to build up more hip-hop,” he said. “I definitely want to have it available.”

The store also has a comfort vibe to it, Raybuck said.

“There was a cat in the windowsill when I walked in,” she said. “It made me feel like I could go around and touch everything.”

Davidson said the cat is only staying temporarily.

The art featured on the walls also is temporary. Davidson will be hosting a closing reception Oct. 23. It will begin at the store and then feature bands, including the Planet The, at the ECC (directly across from Turnup Records). The show is open to the public.

Contact feature correspondent Brianne Carlon at [email protected].