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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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The heart of Vinyl collecting and music

Julio Rodriguez
Javier Arellano, holding the vinyl Ultra Punk Droogs by punk band the Hat Trickers.

After briefly moving out of his parent’s house in the ‘90s, Javier Arellano was just trying to make ends meet and wasn’t even thinking about collecting records, but as a kid, it was his world.

Arellano grew up going to many record stores like Licorice Pizza Records and Middle Earth Records, both of which used to be located in Downey, California.

Six years after finishing high school, Arellano opened his own record store called Trash City Records. He’s just one of the many die-hard vinyl fans helping usher in a new era of the music platform.

The way people have consumed music has drastically changed and one form of music listening that has managed to become more popular than ever is the vinyl record.

Vinyl records at one point were the top way to consume music before CDs and digital streaming came along. However, as the advent of CDs came in the ‘80s, vinyl sales declined.

Starting in 2007 however, came a vinyl resurgence where renewed interest in vinyl buying became more prevalent. By the 2010s it was beginning to outpace CDs in physical sales.

While vinyl as a whole never went away, it has shown to become more and more popular, especially among collectors.

Arellano’s first memory of having a vinyl came in the late ‘70s when he was six and someone gave him a Kiss single. He used to listen to it constantly on his all-in-one record stereo and it was something he grew to love as a kid.

As Javier got older, Hollywood was the main place to go to see shows and he has seen a significant number of bands over the years.

“[My friends and I] would take the bus when we were like 15 or 16 and it was like two hours one way to Hollywood and that’s where everything was at, at the time,” Arellano said.

Javier opened up his record store, Trash City Records in Monterey Park, in 1998, when he was 24 years old. He named his store after the song Trash City, by musician and former Clash member Joe Strummer.

The idea of opening up a record store came when he was 18 and it dawned on him when flipping through records.

“That was the place I was like, the happiest always. Like, no matter what. So I’m like, shit, imagine if I had my own record store, I’d have to be here every day,” Arellano said.

Despite having no money when it opened, the store was successful enough to be open until 2007. However, during that time, the advent of Napster and digital-music consumption hurt store sales overall.

The store’s opening was the best time of his life and he maintains friendships from back then to this day.

Despite this, Javier doesn’t miss running the record store too much as he feels working at the library gives him a similar experience when it comes to learning about the books that are on the shelves and the people that walk through the door.

“Like most people, I think maybe [people] don’t get to do what they want in life sometimes and I was able to do that in my twenties when I was able to enjoy it. I miss it a little but I have my records. I listen to records just about every day,” Arellano said.

With his love for music, Javier loves to travel for music and most recently in October, visited Japan. While there, managed to see his favorite Japanese punk band The Hat Tricker, a band that aesthetically is similar to the characters from Clockwork Orange.

He met the lead singer of the band Clockwork Kenji and ate dinner with him. Javier praises Kenji as being a total artist, though and though.

It’s bands like the Hat Trickers that are why he likes the Japanese music scene. He likes that they give it their all. An all-or-nothing culture as he calls it.

“A lot of the bands I listen to, they may not be like the best players but you can hear the passion and spirit through the music. I think that makes up [for] a hell of a lot for the lack of musicianship,” Arellano said.

Javier hopes to travel to other places for music, around Europe, France and Germany and he also hopes to travel to Mexico City and Spain.

Javier’s collection of music spans not only through vinyl but also CDs and MP3s. From a rough estimate, he owns about 800 LPs and 1000 7-inches and that’s only accounting from his personal collection.

Overall for Javier, music has been a part of his life from the beginning and it has given a lot to him.

“To me, record stores have always, or music and records have always provided. They’ve done everything for me,” Javier said.

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About the Contributors
Joel Carpio, Managing Editor
Joel Carpio is the Managing, Co-Sports, & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks, he enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and is an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Kings, and LAFC. He is planning on transferring to San Diego State University and earn his bachelors degree in Journalism. In the future he wants to be a sports broadcaster.
Julio Rodriguez is the Multimedia Editor for Talon Marks. He loves to spend his free time watching anime and movies. His goal is to pursue working at Fox News.
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The heart of Vinyl collecting and music