Chulita Vinyl Club: all killer, no filler, just women


Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club

Raquel E. Alonzo

Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club
Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club

In the recent decade, vinyl records have been making a comeback.

Compact discs are in the past, while records and record players slowly ease their way back onto the shelves where they once belonged.

Claudia Saenz aka DJ Teardrop, founder of the Chulita Vinyl Club, has inspired many women across Texas to come together and share their passion for music through their own personal record collections.

Saenz took charge in the DJ booth of “The Bang Bang Bar” at 119 El Mio Dr., celebrating its one-year anniversary on Friday, Feb. 5.

The decorations adorning the bar’s interior include antique furniture, a disco ball over the dance floor, various decade-specific knick-knacks and a game room which holds arcade games, pool and darts.

Saenz is a good friend of Phanie Diaz, Girl in a Coma drummer and one of three owners of “The Bang Bang Bar,” and Saenz quickly seized the chance to DJ there.

“I was so excited about it,” Saenz mentioned about the bar. “I mean, just

Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club
Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club

the décor and everything around the bar is so amazing. I love it. It’s a chill hangout place.”

Chulita Vinyl Club originated in Austin, TX as a “basis of empowering women to be a part of something and to create and have confidence in their passion for music.”

Saenz wanted to become a DJ growing up and had owned a collection of records. As a female, however, Saenz found it difficult to break through into the music industry.

Saenz gathered a few girls together, along with their record collections, to play around town at bars, venues and even open for bands.

“It’s all girls, all vinyl,” Saenz simply stated.

Chulita Vinyl Club has many members and women all over Texas contribute to their records. Everyone brings his or her own style with their collections.

“So Phanie, she was DJing earlier, and she has her own sound like garage rock, punk rock, a mix of everything. We may have nights like a punk night or new wave night, or we will have a strictly cumbia night or strictly soul night.” Chulita Vinyl doesn’t carry any one specific genre; rather, it carries any genre that belongs to each woman’s collection of records.

“San Antonio’s the best place to (play a mix of everything) because we can go to cumbia first, then you can put on a Piñata Protest record and people enjoy it at the same time.”

“It’s hard to accept, but it is really hard being a woman in a male dominated world,” Saenz confessed.

Not many people play vinyl records in the DJ industry today, and when they do, male DJs outweigh female by a landslide.

“I don’t think I’m going to change the world with this vinyl club or anything,” Saenz stated, “but I definitely think that it creates a spark of empowerment that we sometimes lack. If you can be a part of something like this, be a part of a collective with girls, it could grow into something more.”

Saenz has different chapters in San Antonio, Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, and she plans to have a chapter in Dallas soon for Chulita Vinyl Club.

Visit the Chulita Vinyl Club at their Facebook page for more information, including how to join.