Heading north through Tijuana on the Via RÃ¡pida, getting gas for $3/gallon, crossing the border, driving on the I-805 in San Diego.
A few weeks ago, the progressive Tijuana magazine ZETA published a candid interview with Pepe Mogt (Fussible). In the interview, he expresses his outrage that fellow Nortec Collective member Roberto Mendoza (PanÃ³ptica) individually trademarked the name “Nortec” as his own:
Nortec isn’t something between just the five of us. Nortec is part of the same people of Tijuana that made it possible to define the sound and its own cultural movement. Nortec is a sound. Nortec isn’t a brand, nor is it something that belongs to one person alone, or a specific group of people. At least to those of us in the collective it’s ours in the musical sense, but Nortec came from many people that gave an aesthetic and musical life to this movement; and if we have to mention names, we’d say Torolab, Acamonchi, Ãngeles Moreno and an uncountable group of others. (Translation of Pepe Mogt’s comments in ZETA)
Mogt describes the name Nortec as an abbreviation of “NorteÃ±o Techno.” He clarifies that the collective registered the name “Nortec Collective” for international distribution, but says he’s unsure of the legalities in Mexico. He says this all came out of nowhere; he was notified on paper and hadn’t yet spoken to Mendoza.
Another collective member, P.G. Beas (Hiperboreal), blogged about the controversy. He confirms the group had no plans to tour in 2008 as each member works on individual or duo projects.
I haven’t the least idea of Robert Mendoza’s plans with his band named Nortec PanÃ³ptica Orchestra. The use of the name Nortec like this pisses us off; it’s already disingenuous that a band that isn’t the Nortec Collective uses the name Nortec. It’s obvious that no one in the collective knew that Robert Mendoza would register the name Nortec in Mexico as his own. This would seem obvious, but in some news it wasn’t made clear. Another thing that would seem obvious, but I’d like to underline it, is that we have said a thousand times that without Tijuana, Nortec simply wouldn’t exist. It would be nothing. (Translation of P.G. Beas’ blog post)
The first time I met someone in person after first meeting online, I approached David at a bar on our way into a Beth Orton concert. It was quite a date for two straight guys. He later introduced me to a few other bloggers, Xoloitzquintle, HP and Cindylu. All four bloggers have unique perspectives on Mexico and the U.S., leading to some fascinating conversations.
Having spent quite a bit of time in Tijuana, I’ve spread my photos across various Flickr groups. When one of those groups decided to have a face-to-face meetup, I was excited. It would be the first time to meet Flickr contacts in Tijuana. And if past experience was any guide, it had promise.
I couldn’t make the 4 p.m. Friday gathering time, but knew they’d be at Playas de Tijuana until sunset. I arrived around 6 p.m. and cautiously walked to the meeting place with my gear. I wandered about a bit looking for a group with cameras, taking a few photos along the way.
Approaching the group, I recognized a few of them from their photos. After brief introductions, it was a relatively quiet walk along the beach. Noesh, even smaller than her “chiquita pero picosita” tagline, tripped over her son and Vanezia’s son at the water’s edge. Unbeknownst to me, I was at the front of a meta chain. I did my best to impress them with my Spanish, even though everyone is likely bilingual. It was a beautiful sunset and nice to chat a bit with these Tijuanenses.
Following the walking tour, Isha.Net* created a new group for Flickr meetups across Baja California. I’m looking forward to future meetups and the chance to meet those who weren’t able to make this initial gathering.
Tijuana is never quiet. The city’s soundtrack of bustling traffic and barking dogs syncopates with the surrounding beats of banda and hip hop. Bright blue, green and orange homes punctuate a sea of gray cinder block.
But beneath it’s sun-dried skin, boys like Benjamin step into adolescence. Not ready to venture out into the world alone, but old enough to want it. A quiet and restless awakening.
Music: Perfidia (instrumental) by CafÃ© Tacuba
Second to family, the best part of Tijuana is the food. My mother-in-law is always cooking, always serving. Always. Seriously, she doesn’t stop. From the moment someone walks in the door, some sort of food already warm on the stove will be placed in front of them whether they’re hungry or not. It’s a beautiful thing. Lucky for me, the food is quite good :) She’s famous for the after-dinner line “Hago unos hotcakes? Should I make some pancakes?”