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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

This weekend: Roller derby, roller derby and more roller derby

If you see packs of roller derby girls skating the Fresno streets this weekend, don’t be scared. Fresno is just the center of the roller derby universe this weekend.

The Fresno Convention Center is the site of the inaugural Roller Derby Nationals Competition, organized by USA Roller Sports and hosted locally by NOtown Roller Derby.

The tournament starts Friday and runs through Sunday, making for three days of fast-paced, hard-hitting action. Teams from the around the country will converge on Fresno with hopes of national glory.

This is a coup for Fresno and the Central Valley, which is already a hotbed for roller derby action. There are four bouts on Friday, six on Saturday and four more on Sunday. Tickets cost $20 per day and $50 for the entire weekend. Kids 7 and under are free.

For more info — including a fancy interactive tournament bracket — go to the USARS Roller Derby website or NOtown Roller Derby’s site.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than seeing our local “Voice” contestant Rudy Parris in Visalia or ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro at the Tower Theatre.

1. DO SOMETHING HALLOWEEN-ISH
With that unfortunate Halloween-falling-on-a-Wednesday thing, this weekend promises to be full of slutty nurses roaming your neighborhood bar. We’ll be back with a full rundown of Halloween happenings, but here are a few top options. The party at The Standard is pretty big each year. King Sugar‘s Eureka Burger show makes the list off the flier alone — but they’ve got cool ska flavors too. And who doesn’t want to parade their dog around the Tower District?

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Tonight: Ume, Ozmosis Happy Hour and more

If you’re looking for cool live music tonight, the place to be is Audie’s Olympic in the Tower, which hosts Austin rock band Ume, whom I’ve heard a lot of good things about. Two strong local bands back them up — Light Thieves, the new cool-indie-rockers-of-the-moment in Fresno and Style Like Revelators, a quality bluesy-rock band.

 

Hella shameless self promo here, but my Ozmosis Happy Hour #2 is tonight at Swiggs. There’s sports on the TVs, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co’s “Steal the Shirt” night and lots of giveaways — including tickets for this weekend’s NOtown Roller Derby bout and Sergio Romo bobbleheads courtesy of the Fresno Grizzlies.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to checking out the Simonian Farms old town and the Baeza concert.

1. SWING BY AUDIE’S
Let’s all give a round of applause for local band Old Tire Swingers, who recently completed a five-month tour that circled the country and put 15,000 miles on its tour van. Now, the group plays its homecoming show at Audie’s Olympic on Saturday with equally-cool local band Poor Man’s Poison, plus Copper & Glass and direct-from-North Carolina, Deep Chatham. Old Tire Swingers play old-time string music and bluegrass, but its members have a history in rock bands, so they’re trying to get people to recognize it’s not just overall and straw hat music. Read my interview with Old Tire Swingers for more. [Tickets]

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The ladies of NOtown: Professor Harmsworth

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The hard-hitting, sharp-skating women of NOtown Roller Derby start their home season this weekend, squaring off against the High Country Hellcats (Sonora) in two Saturday night bouts at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

This week, we’ve been helping you get to know some of the team through our Ladies of NOtown series. This is the final installment, starring Professor Harmsworth. We already met Hurricane Huckaby, Spanky Sample, Pookie and Buggie Smalls, so if you missed any those, go read ‘em.

FYI: The winner of our ticket giveaway was Maribel. No more free tickets, but remember you can buy them in advance at brownpapertickets.com and save a few bucks.

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The ladies of NOtown: Pookie

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The hard-hitting, sharp-skating women of NOtown Roller Derby start their home season this weekend, squaring off against the High Country Hellcats (Sonora) in two Saturday night bouts at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

This week, we’re helping you get to know some of the team through our Ladies of NOtown series. We already met Hurricane Huckaby, Spanky Sample and Buggie Smalls. Next up is Pookie. Oh, and this is your last call to enter for free tickets (see below) — 5 p.m. is the deadline to comment.

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The ladies of NOtown: Buggie Smalls

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The hard-hitting, sharp-skating women of NOtown Roller Derby start their home season this weekend, squaring off against the High Country Hellcats (Sonora) in two Saturday night bouts at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

This week, we’re helping you get to know some of the team through our Ladies of NOtown series. We already met Hurricane Huckaby and Spanky Sample. Next up is Buggie Smalls. Oh, and be sure to read all the way to the bottom if you like free stuff.

VITALS
Real name: Geri Blum
Age: 32
Position: Pivot/blocker/jammer
Number: 666
# of years playing roller derby: Four

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The ladies of NOtown: Spanky Sample

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The hard-hitting, sharp-skating women of NOtown Roller Derby start their home season this weekend, squaring off against the High Country Hellcats (Sonora) in two Saturday night bouts at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

This week, we’re helping you get to know some of the team through our Ladies of NOtown series. We already met Hurricane Huckaby. Today, we meet Spanky Sample. Oh, and be sure to read all the way to the bottom if you’re interested in free tickets to Saturday’s bout.

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The ladies of NOtown: Hurricane Huckaby

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The hard-hitting, sharp-skating women of NOtown Roller Derby start their home season this weekend, squaring off against the High Country Hellcats (Sonora) in two Saturday night bouts at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

As we’ve done in years past, we’re going to introduce you to members of all the team all week. We start with Hurricane Huckaby.

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Beehive Birthday 7: Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

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OK, guys. We’re a day away from Beehive Birthday 7 at Rotary Playland. I know it’s a soggy day today, but the forecast is clear for the party. Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed.

A few of the key details: The party runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free. Rides are unlimited for everybody once you’re in. Keep reading for all the fun and Fresnocentric things we have planned and the long list of prizes you could win. We hope to see you there!

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Beehive Birthday 7: It’s this weekend!

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Hey y’all, we’re just a few days away from Beehive Birthday 7. If you missed the previous announcement: The party is at 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday at Rotary Playland. We’re envisioning an after-hours party at Playland, fit for both kids and adults.

We’ve added some Fresno-centric twists to a few of the rides, set up a beer garden, recruited some familiar faces to join us and, of course, we’re going to be announcing the ValleyWho winner.

Things are starting to take shape on our end, so I thought I’d fill you guys in:

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While you’re figuring out that last-minute Halloween costume.

1. LIVE LIKE A NEANDERTHAL
Neanderthals — one of Fresno’s favorite party bands in the late ’80s — has a reunion gig Saturday night at Fulton 55. If it’s anyting like that Wild Blue Yonder reunion, you can expect a big ol’ crowd. [Tickets]

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The Week Ahead: Bass Monsters, roller derby, lots of music and lots to eat

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TONIGHT: Looking for live music this evening? You’ve got two very distinct and very good options — Sub Pop Records rockers Obits, who make a tour stop at The Cellar Door in Visalia and Italian surf/rock group Surfer Joe and his Boss Combo, who are at Fulton 55 with local faves The Neptunes.

ALSO MAKING TOUR STOPS THIS WEEK: Buster Blue w/ David Dondero (Thurs. at Fulton 55), Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys (Thurs. at Audie’s Olympic), Parachute (Fri. at Fulton 55), George Lynch and Lynch Mob (Fri. at Orange Blossom Junction), Little Caesar (Sat. at Starline), E-40 (Sat. at Tulare Fairgrounds), John Vanderslice (Sat. at The Cellar Door), Y & T (Sat. at Tower Theatre) and The Fixx, Wang Chung and Naked Eyes (Sat. at Chukchansi).

LOTS TO EAT THIS WEEK: I’ll expand more on this tomorrow — but I want you to start saving space in your stomach as soon as possible. Thursday is the Taco Truck Throwdown. The Fresno BBQ and Fun Fest runs Thursday-Sunday and the Fresno Greek Festival is Friday-Sunday, with food as one of its main attraction.

BASS MONSTERS: The next in what’s become a movement of big electronic dance music events in Fresno this year? Saturday’s Bass Monster tour stop at Crest Theatre with headliner DJ Reid Speed. I wrote a feature story in Sunday’s paper about the current boom in local electro events, most of which are aimed at rabid younger crowds.

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The Ladies of NOtown: The Clarifier

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The ladies of NOtown Roller Derby are back in action Saturday night, hosting a bruising bash at the Fresno Fairgrounds vs. the OC Roller Girls.

It’s always fascinating to get to know the ladies off the track, so we’ve asked a few of the NOtown gals to slow their roll and answer some questions for The Beehive.

We’ve already introduced you to Rita Ville, Lucky Eddie and Pookie. Today, we finish our series with The Clarifier.

Remember: Saturday’s bout is also a chance to help Fresno Bully Rescue.

VITALS
Real Name: Claire Avila
Age: 35
From: Fresno
Number: #101
Position: Blocker and Jammer

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The Ladies of NOtown: Pookie

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The ladies of NOtown Roller Derby are back in action Saturday night, hosting a bruising bash at the Fresno Fairgrounds vs. the OC Roller Girls.

It’s always fascinating to get to know the ladies off the track, so we’ve asked a few of the NOtown gals to slow their roll and answer some questions for The Beehive.

Our series started Monday with Rita Ville and continued Tuesday with Lucky Eddie. Today we get to know co-captain Pookie.

Free stuff alert: You can enter to win tickets to Saturday’s bout here.

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Win tickets to NOtown Roller Derby

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UPDATE: Congrats to our winners — Leann, Chris and Mallory. Hope you all have fun.

ORIGINAL POST: While we’re happily introducing you to members of NOtown Roller Derby all week, we still think the best way to get indoctrinated into the world of Fresno roller derby is face-to-face.

That’s why we’re giving away tickets to Saturday night’s bout against the OC Roller Girls at Fresno Fairgrounds. It’s a derby doubleheader that’s headlined by a match-up with NOtown’s All-Stars and OC’s Wheel Housewives (clever, right?)

Speaking of clever: You’ll need to bring some of your own to win tickets. Just leave a comment telling us what would YOUR derby name would — for example, NOtown skaters have names such as Hari Kari, Mick Dagger and Betty Rocker. We did this last year and it was fun, so check that if you need inspiration.

Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Thursday. We’ll pick three winners at random and give them a pair of tickets. Winners will be notified by e-mail, so include a real one and check it. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past month. Full rules below.

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The Ladies of NOtown: Lucky Eddie

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The ladies of NOtown Roller Derby are back in action Saturday night, hosting a bruising bash at the Fresno Fairgrounds vs. the OC Roller Girls.

It’s always fascinating to get to know the ladies off the track, so we’ve asked a few of the NOtown gals to slow their roll and answer some questions for The Beehive.

Our series started Monday with Rita Ville and today we talk to team co-captain Lucky Eddie.

Keep an eye out for more Ladies of NOtown features this week, as well as a chance to win tickets to Saturday’s bout.

VITALS
Real Name: Karen Saldana
Age: 28
From: Fresno
Number: # str8edge
Position: Pivot Blocker Jammer (PBJ as we say)

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The Ladies of NOtown: Rita Ville

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The ladies of NOtown Roller Derby are back in action Saturday night, hosting a bruising bash at the Fresno Fairgrounds vs. the OC Roller Girls.

It’s always fascinating to get to know the ladies off the track, so we’ve asked a few of the NOtown gals to slow their roll and answer some questions for The Beehive.

We’ll start our series with Rita Ville.

Keep an eye out for more Ladies of NOtown features this week, as well as a chance to win tickets to Saturday’s bout. You could buy them for $10 in advance at SBI Boardshop, Twee Boutique or online at Brown Paper Tickets. They’ll cost $12 at the door. A portion of the proceeds benefit Fresno Bully Rescue.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than seeing that little ol’ musical over at Saroyan Theatre …

1. MAKE THE BLUES YOUR MUSE
Blues at the Muse in the third installment of the concert series at Fresno Art Museum that has brought us Rock the Muse and Jazz at the Muse. For the blues version, there are performances from Joe Walton and the West Fresno All-Stars giving us a taste of the west side’s blues legacy, plus Joel Pickford & The Hell Hounds, who will surely be raising hell. Money raised helps the museum. Advance tickets here.

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Weekend Rewind: Fashawn, NoTown says FresYES and Patrick Contreras Day

Happy Monday to you all. I hope everybody had as fun of a weekend as I did. It was packed with local stuff. Here’s my rundown. Add your own adventures in the comments.

FRIDAY
Went to Greek Fest. It was yummy. But we don’t need another post about that.

Then I darted over to Star Palace for Fashawn’s big show. Nearly 700 people showed up to see the young rapper’s first local show of the year, many of them crowding up close to the stage and rapping along. If there was a show where you looked at Fash and said, “This kid is a star in Fresno,” it was this show.

Here are some videos of Fashawn and co-headliner Curren$y. (NSFW language)

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Fresno Derby Rumble: Meet one of the Huntington Blvd. Harlots

In preparation for Saturday’s NoTown Roller Derby FresYES Fest, we’re introducing you a member of each Fresno-inspired team — The Shaw Shankers, The Fulton Maulers and The Huntington Blvd. Harlots.

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They’ll battle tournament-style for ultimate NoTown bragging rights. So we wanna know about their Fresno-inspired monikers and their local pride.

We started with Kim Burly of The Shaw Shankers, then Cherry 3.142 of The Fulton Maulers and now we finish up with Sgt. BombHer of The Huntington Blvd. Harlots.

How did your team come up with its name? Our artistically creative Fresno fans came up with our team name Huntington blvd Harlots. It’s spastastically amazing!

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Many of these shouldn’t be a surprise, if you’ve been reading the site this week …

1. GET GRIZZLY WITH FASHAWN
Rapper Fashawn – the biggest national artist we Fresnans can call our own right now — is doing his first local show of the year tonight at Star Palace. He’s celebrating the release of his new mixtape, “Grizzly City 3,” (which is out via download today). He’s also got another buzzy hip-hopper coming to help out — Curren$y. Expect a big crowd.

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Win tickets to NoTown Roller Derby

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UPDATE: Congrats to our winners — Matt H. and Monica. Enjoy this Frestastic event! Thanks to everyone else for the great names. It was a hoot reading ‘em.

ORIGINAL POST: We’ve been introducing you to NoTown Roller Derby members to lead up to its FresYES Fest on Saturday — where the ladies will split up into three Fresno-themed teams (The Shaw Shankers, The Fulton Maulers and The Huntington Blvd. Harlots) and battle it out.

We’re also getting a couple readers in to see some hard-hitting derby action FREE.

Just leave a comment below telling us what YOUR roller derby name would be. The NoTown gals have names like Betty Rocker, Suzy Sweetknuckles, Karma Kaze and Darth Brawl. So get creative.

Deadline to enter is 3 p.m. Friday. We’ll pick two winners at random and notify them by e-mail, so leave a real one and check it. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. Complete rules are on the jump.

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Fresno Derby Rumble: Meet one of the Fulton Maulers

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In preparation for Saturday’s NoTown Roller Derby FresYES Fest, we’re introducing you a member of each Fresno-inspired team — The Shaw Shankers, The Fulton Maulers and The Huntington Blvd. Harlots.

They’ll battle tournament-style for ultimate NoTown bragging rights. So we wanna know about their Fresno-inspired monikers and their local pride.

We started with Kim Burly of The Shaw Shankers and today we’re meeting Cherry 3.142 of The Fulton Maulers, a recent Fresno transplant from England.

How did your team come up with its name? I’m now a proud member of the Fulton Maulers (insert growl here). I believe our very own Lucky Eddie came up with our name.

How is your team gonna show its Fresno pride this weekend? I don’t want to give too much away, you’ll have to come see us play to find out! But, we are wearing all aspects of the nature of Fresno, on our sleeves so to speak.

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