Last night, we decided to venture into downtown Austin during this crazy time known as SXSW. Normally we would avoid any night life during this week since dealing with the SXSW crowd is terrible and the parking sucks. Since we have never gone to see a Texas Roller Derby match before, what better time than now, right? If you don’t know about Roller Derby, the Austin league is a revival of the roller derby leagues that popped up in the 60′s and 70′s. Women, with very catchy nicknames, participate in this sport for fun, camaraderie, and local fame.
It is very fun to watch even if you don’t know the rules. The rules are easy to pick up and the emcees do a good job at the start of the bout teaching the crowd. Once you do pick up the rules, you will find yourself discussing “jam” strategies with the people around you. “Why did she end that jam early? She could have gotten two more points.” Etc. Etc. The action is fast paced but the penalties can drag out the game. To add spice, during certain penalties, a wheel is spun to determine the penalty fate of the perpetrator. The women will end up arm wrestling, pillow fighting, tug-of-warring, or some other entertaining feat.
If you get a chance to see a roller derby bout, you should definitely do it. Here in Austin, they only come around about once a month so check out the schedule.
Afterwards, we walked over to Threadgill’s World Headquarters to see Hayes Carll. See how well we plan these things… roller derby action at the Palmer Events Center and then walk two blocks to Threadgill’s for some live music. Hayes Carll is a great Texas red dirt musician who punctuates his set with some very funny stories. The temperature was just right for this outdoor show. With Austin’s skyline in the background, it was great to be experiencing Austin at it’s best. You can enjoy a bit of Stomp and Holler by Hayes Carll: