San Diego CityBeat music editor Peter Holslin camped out in Tijuana a month or so ago, bent on exploring the nouveau scene at La Mezcalera and Indie Go and getting to know the new faces of bordertown electronica like Maria y Jose (above) at the Guacamole Music Fest. Word of his technotronic adventures has since spread all the way to Brooklyn.
"In Zona Centro, the downtown district in Tijuana, a city on the U.S.–Mexico border just south of San Diego, DIY-chic is all the rage. La Mezcalera, a mezcal bar and nightclub that’s regarded as the city’s own Studio 54, is decorated with Simon Says consoles and old LPs. Indie Go, one of four bars that sit in the hipster enclave Callejon de la Sexta, masks its plywood décor with deep-red lighting, a wall-sized mirror, and the all-encompassing thud of a techno beat.
"As for La Bodega Aragón...well, it’s just DIY.
"One Friday night in May, the tiny club’s walls were still sticky with wet paint. Bartenders served drinks in the kind of plastic cups you’d find at a house party. The P.A. system was scratchy; the microphone cut out intermittently. Worst of all, the lighting was installed incorrectly. Instead of lighting up the performers onstage, a machine’s flickering red, green, and blue lights blinded the four dozen college students in the audience."