The entrance to Truth Vinyl in Arlington is low-key. Right now the only thing identifying it is a poster taped to the window.
“I worked in advertising for thirty years,” owner Ric Delzell says, sounding tired before a turn toward enthusiasm. “I wanted to do something different. To me this was personal.”
It would be difficult for Delzell to’ve picked a location more. quintessentially Arlington: across the street from J. Gilligan’s and just a short walk from UTA. The store fits right into its location, feeling more like an old Arlington landmark reopening after an extensive renovation than a store just getting off the ground. Inside is a collection of some 50,000 records (a mixture of vintage and new releases), a lounge area, a stage for live performances, a listening area, and a backroom Delzell describes as a “vinyl humidor” in which he intends to restore older high end records for serious collectors once the store is completely open.
“In a city of 500,000, there’s not really a place to buy vinyl,” Delzell says. (Forever Young Records in Grand Prairie is the closest shop of note.) He intends to fill that gap next month at the store’s grand opening, tentatively scheduled for October 1. At a soft opening Friday, the store showed a lot of promise.
Truth Vinyl’s atmosphere deftly balances old and new, giving off an art-deco-meets-Silicon-Valley vibe. The clientele was divided into two major groups: young, curious passersby who noticed the store and decided to check it out, and the old guard of Arlington music who probably put the soft opening of a new record store on their calendars weeks ago. For that bunch, Four Wheel Drive by the Canadian rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive sat on a display shelf near The Best of Bread.
One thing that old guard probably noticed was how neat the place was, as Delzell found the “junky, disorganized feel” of most successful record stores overwhelming.
Delzell is right about one thing, for sure. Arlington needs a record shop. Not exactly so people can have a place to get vinyl, so much as people can know what vinyl they should get. If you know exactly what you want, you’ll probably just order a record online. But a record store like Truth Vinyl is where you go to find something you didn’t know about, and for that to happen, the two halves of Delzell’s clientele need a place to interact.
Young collectors need to be trading favorite artists with old-school rockers, debating the merits of The Mountain Goats and Warren Zevon. Truth Vinyl at 300 E. Abram St. Ste. 190 could be just the place for that, once it opens. Whether or not you know what you’re looking for, I’m sure someone will help you find it.
This is FrontRow intern Alec Petsche’s first dispatch.