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ASSKICKING ROLLERQUEENS

Silly me. Here, I thought that the Tucson Roller Derby was merely an excuse for women who are bigger and scarier than me to skate around in circles and knock the living shit out of each other. But, get this--it turns out there's an actual sport going on there. You know, with, like, scoring and stuff.

Add to that the fact that the ladies of the TRD--who love a party as much as any asskicking rollerqueens--are celebrating their first full year of existence this month, and you get the inaugural Tucson Roller Derby Wheelies. Billed as "A Skater Awards Party and Punk Rock Prom," it's sure to be way hipper than your own prom, where there were no roller derby girls and no punk rock (wearing Chucks with your tux doesn't count, bub, no matter how many times you justified it to your horrified parents by saying, "But mom, it's totally punk rock!"). And, unlike your own prom, there will be no king or queen. There will, however, be performances from three of Tucson's finest punk bands--The Knockout Pills, Shark Pants and Absolute Fucking Saints.

The Tucson Roller Derby Wheelies awards ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., and will be followed by the live music. Admission is $3 for the public, and free for sponsors, volunteers, and those with an invitation. For more information, see our City Week section or call 622-8848.


SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT

Not only am I not so good at math, I'm also too lazy to get out a calculator to let you know exactly how many shopping days are left till the birth of our Lord and Savior. Still, I'm pretty sure it's coming up awfully darn quick, and you're not even close to checking off everything on your shopping list, are you? Just as I thought.

Might I suggest that you stay as far away from Wal-Mart as possible, and only venture to the malls when absolutely necessary? After all, that's where you'll find that copy of Halo 2 for your little brother, and that Shrek 2 DVD for sis'--it's sort of unavoidable. But for all those people you have no clue what to get, why not take a stroll up and down Fourth Avenue this weekend, during the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair? Grandma really needs some new wind chimes, after all (you can never have enough), and who doesn't love those delicious Arizona-grown pistachios? Well, those unfortunate few who are allergic to nuts, I suppose, but everyone else simply loves 'em. And there are plenty of delightful diversions from your psychic shopping meltdown at the Street Fair that you just won't find at the malls--street meat (i.e. outdoor food vendors) and live music among them.

This time around, there will be three stages of live entertainment: the Winsett Outdoor Performance Center (316 N. Fourth Ave.), the North Stage (at the corner of East Fifth Street and North Hoff Avenue) and the FAMA Main Stage (at the corner of East Seventh Street and North Hoff Avenue). Just to give you a sampling of some of the musical treats that await you, here's the weekend's schedule for the FAMA Main Stage:

Friday, Dec. 10: La Cerca (noon), Central Park West (1 p.m.), Nancy McCallion and Friends (3 p.m.); Saturday, Dec. 11: Spirit Familia (noon), Cathy Rivers (2 p.m.), Molehill Orkestrah (3 p.m.); Sunday, Dec. 12: Jane Crowe Band (noon), Batucaxe (2 p.m.), Greyhound Soul (3 p.m.).

Best of all, the whole shebang is free. (Aside from the windchimes and pistachios, anyway.) See ya there.


TOP OF THE LATIN POPS

Comprising three South American dudes who relocated to Miami, Volumen Cero is one of the up 'n' comers on the Rock en Espanol scene, currently residing at the top of Latin Rock charts for six weeks running with their single, "Autos." The band began life as Orgasmic Bliss (I mean, we all did, but that's what they called themselves) but changed their name in 1997 for a Telemundo contest in which they were one of the finalists. After releasing their debut album and becoming the only band to ever appear on tribute albums for both the Cure and Caifanes, the group was signed to Warner Music Latina. Their second album for the label, the recently released Estelar, has garnered spots on MTV and MTV2, as well as rave reviews from every corner of the music press, with New York's Newsday calling them "the United States' most accomplished Latin rock band."

Volumen Cero perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Dec. 11. Apocalypsis open the show at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8, available in advance at the front desk of Hotel Congress. For further details, call 622-8848.


NOT RADIOHEAD

British trio Muse combines the paranoia of Radiohead, the vocal stylings of Thom Yorke and the dramatic flair and sonic layering of Radiohead. So, basically they're sorta like Radiohead, except they're not. The difference between the two bands, then? Muse is performing in town this week, and Radiohead probably never will.

Muse appears at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, for an all-ages show on Monday, Dec. 13. The Exit opens at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance at the venue, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 321-1000. For more information, call 733-6262.

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