FresnoBeehive.com

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

I’m soldiering through a taco throwdown hangover and have quite the busy day ahead, so please pardon my lack of full explanations on these. You don’t read the words anyway, you just look at the fliers, right? So here are the Five Things You Should Do This Weekend, in flier form … aside from, of course, stuffing your face.

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Fres-Know: 3-day weekend hangover edition

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TWO-DAY OLD NEWS: Fresno State beat Cincinnati in football … [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: … But its fans still suck at doing “The Wave.” [The Fresnan]

R.I.P.: After the game, marching band freshman killed in car accident. [The Bee]

NEWS: Fresno PD needs sensitivity training, says EEOC [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Fantasy football drafts (and local bloggers) boost economy [KSEE 24]

LISTEN TO THIS: The Daily Dues debuts its new podcast [The Daily Dues]

BLOGGINGS: A first-timer raves about roller derby [The Thinking Blonde]

GO TO THIS: The annual Reel Pride Film Festival is coming up. [Queer Fresno]

GOOD READ: 10 thing to know about the fall TV season. [The Bee]

[photo: Mark Crosse / The Bee]

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While the under-21ers mourn Starline

1. VISIT JAMAICA … WITHOUT LEAVING FRESNO
Fresno’s annual celebration of reggae music and Caribbean culture is this weekend. Jamaica My Weekend, now in its 13th year, is happening Sunday at the St. Therese Church Park. This year’s music lineup features a number of up-and-coming reggae acts: Luv Fyah, Arkaingelle, Malika Madremana, plus ska/reggae band The Whiskey Avengers. In addition to music, the festival will feature Caribbean food, vendors, a beer garden and more.

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Did They Just Say Fresno? Web comic edition

Fresno got name-checked recently in a Web comic called Bug. The guy behind it is from Wisconsin, so no, he’s not one of those cool local Web comic guys — but he still knew enough to mention us … and roller derby. We at The Beehive can’t help but love this.

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For the record: If Fresno needs another roller derby team, I’m down with calling them the Floozies. One the strip’s readers even designed a logo for the would-be team, which you can see here.

[thanks to Jason for the head's up]

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than stalking, Taylor Swift, who is in town for a sold-out Saturday night concert.

Before we get going, I also want to drop a plug for our Saturday Night Concert Flowchart that was in The Bee today. It’s fun. Also check out Music Roundup for other musical happenings around town. Now let’s start counting…

1. TRIP OUT AT AUDIE’S
Two trippy SoCal bands — Gram Rabbit and Spindrift — return to Fresno tonight for a gig at Audie’s Olympic. Between the two bands, expect a mixture of psychedelic, spaghetti western-tinged rock. Rad local band Strange Vine opens.

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To-Do Tonight … and the week ahead

First off, there a couple of rockin’ shows tonight for the all-ages crowd. At Chinatown Youth Center, Grave Maker gets hardcore. And Starline oughta be packed thanks to a big bill. Warped Tour-ish bands Drop Dead, Gorgeous and Sky Eats Airplane bring their tour to town, and buzzworthy rockers Paper Tongues were tacked onto the bill too.

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Weekend Rewind … has a case of the Mondays

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It’s not too late for a Weekend Rewind, is it? I’m running a little behind today. Here’s my weekend. Tell everybody about your weekend adventures in the comments.

FRIDAY
Stayed home and finally got caught up on the last few episodes of “Fringe” — and it’s gettin’ good. I’m not exactly a sci-fi fan, but this show definitely has me hooked.

SATURDAY
Trekked down to the Visalia to catch the roller derby showdown between NoTown Roller Derby and the V-Town Derby Dames. Fresno smoked ‘em — 146-71. Of that 146, Fresno scored 105 in the second half. Daaaaamn.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

When you’re not eating deep-fried fair food

1. GET A MONSTER MULLET
Have your heard? The Fresno Monsters — our new upstart hockey team — are 7-0. They’re also in town this weekend. Tonight, they take a page out of the Grizzlies playbook, with a zany promo. It’s mullet night and if you have a mullet (real or fake) you get in for $5.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

You should know by now that my top pick for the weekend is the Re:FUSE Fest. I’ve blogged about it. Wrote my column about it. Wrote another story about it. So just go!

I’ve also written a lot about all the other big live music events of the weekend, which is a pretty busy one. Try here or here for a refresher. So for ‘Five Things’ this week, I’m going to give you some different stuff, OK?

1. ‘WHIP IT’ WITH FRESNO’S DERBY GIRLS
Go check out “Whip It,” the new roller derby themed movie — Rick Bentley gave it an A-, btw — and you might see the ladies of NoTown Roller Derby skating around. They’ll be around Edwards at 7 p.m. tonight trying to spread the word about local roller derby. Their next bout is in Visalia against the Derby Dames on Oct. 10.

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What’s on your fourth-quarter anticipation list?

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In my column today, I’m talking about pop culture happenings to look forward to in the last few months of 2009.

On my list: “Dexter,” New Super Mario Bros Wii, new albums of Jay-Z and Brother Ali, “Community,” roller derby movie “Whip It!” and some retro Air Jordan XIs.

But I’m just one dude who likes hip-hop, serial killers, Joel McHale and kicks. Odds are pretty high that your tastes aren’t like mine, so give a shout out to what you’re looking forward to as ’09 winds down.

Weekend Rewind: Braggin’ Rights edition

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For me, it was a weekend of regional sports rivals and family visiting from the Bay Area. Where did your weekend adventures lead you? Tell us in the comments.

FRIDAY

  • In Central Valley grudge match #1: I Saw the Grizzlies duke it out with Sacramento. It was a close one (much like the entire series), but the Griz came up a little short in the end, 4-3. Overall, Sac took the five-game series, 3-2. Boo.
  • Stopped by ever so briefly at the Ms. Soulflower Michael Jackson tribute at Palomino’s. It was packed with people sweating it up on the dancefloor.

SATURDAY

  • Who knew you can’t go bowling on a Saturday afternoon in Fresno? Both Sierra Lanes and Cedar Lanes had waits of at least an hour to get a lane.
  • NoTown Roller Derby went up against Bakersfield’s Diamond Divas, in another Valley grudge match. Fresno clobbered Bako 143-90. The bout had been pretty close, 87-79, before the NoTown ladies turned it up in the third period.

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The Ladies of NoTown: Midori Sour

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout Saturday against The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield.

We’ve already met Kyra Practor, Clarifer, Karma Kaze and Suzy Sweet Knuckles.

We finish our series by introducing you to Midori Sour.

VITALS
Real Name: Julia Costa
Age: 26
Number: 415

QUESTIONS
How did you get involved in roller derby?
Kim Burly invited me to a practice, I went and was hooked!

How did you come up with your derby name?
My favorite drink, had to keep it G-rated for the kiddies.

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The Ladies of NoTown: Suzy Sweet Knuckles

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout Saturday against The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield.

We’ve already met Kyra Practor, Clarifer and Karma Kaze.

Next we introduce you to Suzy Sweet Knuckles.

VITALS
Real Name: Camille M. Barba
Age: 26
Number: 26

QUESTIONS
How did you get involved in roller derby?
When the former owner of the league (my dear friend Jenn Balint), told me she was starting a team. She asked me if I was interested in joining. I, of course, wanted to find out about how, what and when it would start and that she could count me in.

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The Ladies of NoTown: Karma Kaze

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout Saturday against The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield.

We’ve already met Kyra Practor and Clarifer. Next we introduce you to Karma Kaze.

VITALS
Derby Name: Karma Kaze
Real Name: Amy Elliott
Age: 35
Number: 7

QUESTIONS
How did you get involved in roller derby?
Four years ago my friend Robin (aka Susy Snakeyes) was asked to lead a practice for a fledgling new Fresno Roller Derby team. She needed a place to stay, and asked me. Of course I said yes. She said “Good, cause I brought my extra pads, and you’re going with me.” I’ve been skating ever since, I was hooked!

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The Ladies of NoTown: Clairifier

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout Saturday against The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield.

We’ve already met Kyra Practor. Next we introduce you to Clairifier.

VITALS
Real Name: Claire Avila
Age: 33 ( Think I’m the oldest on the team. Ugh!)
Number: 101

QUESTIONS
How did you get involved in roller derby?
I was invited to come to a practice by a former skater named “Who Farted.” I fell in love!

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The Ladies of NoTown: Kyra Praktor

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We know you love to meet your local roller derby team, so we’re introducing you to five more members of the NoTown Roller Derby squad this week, just as did back in May.

The team is back home this Saturday, taking on The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield. Central Valley bragging rights will most certainly be on the line at Fresno Fairgrounds. Doors open at 6 p.m.

We’ll start our series today with Kyra Praktor.

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Know the ladies of NoTown: Hari Kari

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout tonight against the Prison City Derby Dames.

We’ve already met Ivory Gretts, Ziggy Skullbust, Lotta Leadpipe and Pookie.

Our series ends with Hari Kari.

VITALS

Real Name: Monica
Age: 27
Position: Jammer (Co-Captain)
Number: 51/50
Years Experience: Two

QUESTIONS
When and why did you get involved with roller derby?
It all began three years ago in August. I saw it and just had to join. I didn’t want to be a “roller girl” as much as I wanted to play roller derby.

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Know the ladies of NoTown: Pookie

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout this Saturday against the Prison City Derby Dames.

We’ve already met Ivory Gretts, Ziggy Skullbust and Lotta Leadpipe.

Now here’s Pookie.

VITALS
Real Name: Christina Lewis
Age: 21
Position: Blocker and Director
Number: 49
# Years Experience: 13 years roller skating, 3 years roller derby

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend …

Just remember the sunblock …

1. GET FUNKY: Spoken Funk is going down tonight at the Tower Theatre — a mix of poetry, comedy and music put on by the folks behind Black Light Poetry.

Pretty awesome that an event that started on the Palomino’s patio last summer has worked its way up to the Tower. Read a little more about it in my weekend music roundup.

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Know the ladies of NoTown: Lotta Leadpipe

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout this Saturday against the Prison City Derby Dames.

We’ve already met Ivory Gretts and Ziggy Skullbust. Now, here’s team co-captain Lotta Leadpipe, who you may have seen in The Bee this morning too.

VITALS
Real Name: Ashley Schuller
Age: 25
Number: 1085
# years of experience: Second season

QUESTIONS
When and why did you get involved with roller derby?
I got involved when my sister in-law (who was involved with derby) came back from having my nephew, Cary. One day we went to the Clovis Cal-Skate and she was so excited. I was naturally athletic and had a strong competitive streak. My brother just wanted to see my face squinched up like I’ve eaten a lemon when I get mad. *lemon face*

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Know the ladies of NoTown: Ziggy Skullbust

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All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout this Saturday against the Prison City Derby Dames.

Yesterday, you met Ivory Gretts. Today, here’s Ziggy Skullbust.

VITALS
Real Name: Lakisha Jernigan
Age: 20
Position: Jammer
Number: 7:30
# Years Experience: 1

QUESTIONS
When and why did you get involved with roller derby?
April of 2007 is when I saw the Smog City Roller Grrls promoting one of their upcoming bouts on the news so the following weekend I went to the bout and was immediately drawn in. I’ve always been pretty athletic so I figured I can totally do this. Also, you get to hit people! Who doesn’t want to do that without getting in trouble?

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Know the ladies of NoTown: Ivory Gretts

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It’s time for you to meet another batch of Fresno’s wheelin’ ladies of roller derby.

As we did last season for the Smog City Roller Grrls, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout this Saturday against the Prison City Derby Dames.

Today, meet Ivory Gretts.

VITALS
Real Name: Randee Maier
Age: 29, and holding
Position: Blocker
Number: >1
# Years Experience: < 1

QUESTIONS
When and why did you get involved with roller derby?
I started in October 2008. A friend was talking about roller derby in Fresno. I had no idea what it was and didn’t know how to roller skate but I thought it sounded like fun. I looked the team up, sent a MySpace message, and started that week. It was the best random decision I’ve ever made.

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