Backspin: It’s what DJs do

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It’s Saturday night and you’re going to unwind by going to your favorite club. Oh joy! Eventually you’re at that club. Hurray you! But then you hear “You’re not on the list.” Oops! You’ve been caught in a lie. Plus, those words can really hurt your self-esteem when you’re trying to get into a show for free. So you say, “I’m with the DJ.” Good move! Those words will surely allow you to move past that mean bouncer who’s trying to take your money and prevent your free entrance into Dance City. But then you hear “I don’t care.” Oh no! Some more words that can super-duper hurt your already fragile self-esteem. This is no good. Fortunately for you That Other Paper’s Michael Williams got access and was able to sit down with DJ and Backspin Records co-owner Eric Wallenstein (aka DJ Mijora y Minora). Hopefully you won’t break a sweat when reading this one.

courtesy Backspin’s MySpace page Backspin’s old location on Burnet Rd 

That Other Paper You have a pretty massive collection of records. Do you remember your first record?

Eric Wallenstein My first record was by the Rock-afire Explosion Band, that animal band that played at Showbiz Pizza. I didn’t even have a record player at the time, but that was my first record. I got more involved with collecting records once I got to high school and started listening to punk and going to more shows.

TOP You’re co-owner of Backspin Records with Zach Douglas. How did you guys come up with that name?

EW We wanted a name that referenced vinyl. Backspin is what DJs do, so we went with that.

TOP Backspin, huh? I like the lingo. I’m not very well versed in the world of records. I only have some because people say they’re cool now. What kind of advice would you give to somebody who wanted to start a record collection? What should they look for in a record player?

EW First of all, a record player requires a receiver with either a phono input or a preamp. A lot of the new receivers only have auxiliary inputs, so you’ll have to purchase a separate preamp if this is the case. You can find older refurbished record players that tend to last longer than the newer models.

TOP This might seem elementary, but what is the proper way to clean and store records?

EW You can usually just use a soft cloth to wipe the record if it gets dirty. You want to try to keep the records upright and in plastic sleeves to protect from dust. They don’t like to be stacked on top of one another, and they don’t like extreme temperatures. This could cause them to warp. Also, they don’t like moisture.

TOP Sounds more like Gremlins. This might sound elementary again, but why are some records bigger than others?

EW Right, there are different sizes of records. Basically an EP record (extended play) is usually going to be either seven inches or 10 inches. An EP usually just contains a few songs while an LP (long play) record is 12 inches and contains much more music.

TOP I’ve noticed that records have this number etched into them. What is that?

EW That’s the matrix number.

TOP Speaking of movies, have you seen Shaun of the Dead?

EW Yes.

TOP Do you feel comfortable being around all of these lethal weapons? I guess it makes you feel pretty safe?

EW I don’t know if a record would really be able to do that much damage. They’re like light Frisbees. You’d need to get a shard stuck in a soft spot to do anything. See, look. [He tosses a Missy Elliot LP in my direction.] They’re pretty light.

TOP Whoa, careful. Are you trying to attack me with a Missy Elliot record?

EW Ha, yeah – that Missy Elliot record is a weapon.

Backspin Records
4631 Airport Blvd, Ste 110-A • Austin, TX 78751

See Eric this Saturday Catch Eric this Saturday, July 12 at 8pm at ColdTowne Theater (
4803 Airport Blvd), where he’ll be the celebrity monologist at Stool Pigeon. You can say you’re with the DJ, but that might not get you in.