Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Vancouver drummer doesn’t miss a beat



When Michael Shaffer’s band Everyone Disappear! split up in February, he didn’t miss a beat.

Along with a former bandmate, Logan Cheshier, 19, of Estacada, Ore., Shaffer put together a new band.

The 20-year-old Vancouver drummer put an ad for musicians on Craigslist and found vocalist Vinny Win, 20, from Portland, and lead guitar player Serafin Lara, 23, from Alaska. The four musicians make up Above the Broken and play post hardcore music.

On Nov. 3, the band played at the Branx in Southeast Portland, where they released their first EP, titled “Sins EP,” which was recorded at Stand Alone Recordings in Portland.

By day, Shaffer works at the Dollar Tree distribution center and uses most of his earnings to support the music. The band plans to tour the Northwest then head south and do more of the same. They hope with hard work and dedication to one day make it onto a label.

“We are just a group of kids who are pursuing their dream of being in a full-time touring band playing for everyone who loves us as much as we love playing for them,” Shaffer says.

The band’s next gig is Nov. 30 with Jaime’s Elsewhere at the Hawthorne Theater, 507 S.E. 39th Ave., Portland. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased from a band member or and are $12 at the door.

Find out more about the band at its Facebook page.

— Ruth Zschomler

Local dancers offer ballet twist for the holidays

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is not the first ballet that comes to mind for the winter season, but Hope Garcia knows it’s a story everyone can enjoy.

“There’s a lot of comedy for families, but there’s a love story for more romantic people, and the plot has something for everybody.” Hope, 16, is one of the five ballet dancers from Clark County in the production.

The ballet differs from the Shakespeare play, focusing on Theseus and Hippolyta, whose marriage in the forest is disrupted by the discord between Oberon, king of the fairies, and Titania, queen of the fairies, as they fight over the boy Titania has adopted into her court.

“I am one of Titania’s fairies, who attend to her, and her changeling boy,” said Hope. She performs a lullaby dance with the other fairies to help the queen and the boy fall asleep.

Hope has been with the Portland Ballet since her freshman year at Camas High School, though she has been dancing in Vancouver studios since she was a child.

“What makes ballet different than other dance styles, it’s very formal with a strict vocabulary of steps,” Hope said. “There’s a lot of stylized mime used. In modern ballet, it’s evolved into using everyday hand gestures.”

The production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is also unusual in that all the dancers are younger than 22.

“We are all in elementary, middle and high school, and it’s a very professional production, especially for those so young,” Hope said.

Other dancers from Clark County who will be performing in the ballet are Hope’s sister Annie Garcia, Samantha Baybado, and Dori and Libbie Pollard.

The Portland Ballet performs “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 26-27 at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall, 1620 S.W. Park St., Portland. Tickets are $35, $25 for seniors, $15 for youths, with discounts at the 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 performance. Call 503-452-8448 or visit

— Ashley Swanson

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. Have a story you’d like to share? Call Ruth Zschomler, 360-735-4530, or email