June, 2011 Archives

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Radness

June 20th, 2011 Permalink

   Scouring the weekly neighborhood flea market for castaway keyboards with her dog Tou Tou in tow, You Schaffner—the Tijuana songstress behind her wistful toy-pop alter ego Dani Shivers—opted, on this day, for an ice cream cone instead of an instrument. Prior visits to Tijuana’s sobre reudas—as the city’s roving secondhand markets are known—have proven […]

Dani Shivers Jason Thomas Fritz Tijuana witchhouse drag Dani Shivers Jason Thomas Fritz Tijuana witchhouse drag 

Scouring the weekly neighborhood flea market for castaway keyboards with her dog Tou Tou in tow, You Schaffner—the Tijuana songstress behind her wistful toy-pop alter ego Dani Shivers—opted, on this day, for an ice cream cone instead of an instrument. Prior visits to Tijuana’s sobre reudas—as the city’s roving secondhand markets are known—have proven much more fruitful. Walking its aisles, Schaffner bragged slightly about how little her Clapton-of-cheap-keyboards like collection had set her back.

It all started when Schaffner, the singer and one of the principal song writers of indie band Ibi Ego, set out to record a headful of fleeting melodies that often escaped her. Describing herself as, ‘very forgetful,’ Schaffner used a simple formula to remember potential songs by: a cheap Radio Shack microphone, toy keyboards, and her mother’s virus-ridden PC. She started recording in the DIY studio that doubled as her bedroom. But the disconnect between the song constructions that Schaffner imagined and the constraints of shoddy instrumentation produced unexpected results. She started exploring the possibilities within its limitations. ‘The songs are built with layers. It allows me to play a lot with the sounds, the forms,’ Schaffner said. And while her intentions were more polished, the low-fi, serendipitous ends she captured in her sonic note taking became the inspiration for her solo project, Dani Shivers.

‘The sound in my head is very different,’ Schaffner admitted. ‘The songs of Dani Shivers are more of an 8-bit version of what is really in my head.’ But the simple, imperfect versions of the scores in her imagination are a thing of beauty. Dripping with the nostalgia that only the toy Casio keyboards ubiquitous to childhood can evoke, Schaffner’s melancholic numbers capture perfectly those uncomfortable spaces between life’s transition where innocence fades and the heartbreaking truths of this world become apparent.

Sometimes Good Girls Do Wear White

June 19th, 2011 Permalink

  Tijuana’s gay pride celebrations turned 16 Saturday. The event has grown since its historic inception in 1995, when less 100 than brave souls partook in the festivities. This year’s parade feature a thousand participants, and wound its way through downtown, culminating at Plaza Santa Ceclia, Tijuana’s ‘gayborhood’ and the epicenter of the city’s gay […]

Jason Thomas Fritz Gay Pride Parade Tijuana 
Tijuana’s gay pride celebrations turned 16 Saturday. The event has grown since its historic inception in 1995, when less 100 than brave souls partook in the festivities. This year’s parade feature a thousand participants, and wound its way through downtown, culminating at Plaza Santa Ceclia, Tijuana’s ‘gayborhood’ and the epicenter of the city’s gay nightlife.

Ostrich Skin Boots in Stripe City

June 8th, 2011 Permalink

  By the thousands, supporters of the billionaire gambling tycoon and former Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon took to the streets of the city’s Zona Rio district yesterday to protest his arrest on weapons charges. Acting on an anonymous tip, the Mexican Army raided Hank’s sprawling compound in the center of city early Saturday morning […]

Jorge Hank Rhon Tijuana 

By the thousands, supporters of the billionaire gambling tycoon and former Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon took to the streets of the city’s Zona Rio district yesterday to protest his arrest on weapons charges. Acting on an anonymous tip, the Mexican Army raided Hank’s sprawling compound in the center of city early Saturday morning and found a cache of 88 weapons and over 9,000 rounds of ammunition. Although Hank is widely believed to be involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, and orchestrating the killing of crusading Tijuana journalist Héctor ‘El Gato’ Félix Miranda of the Zeta newspaper, his power and influence made him ‘an emblem of impunity in Mexico’ and seemingly untouchable. Today, federal prosecutors in Mexico City announced that they are charging Hank with possession of an illegal weapons arsenal.