Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, April 27, 2006





Take it like a woman
On the cover
On a small wooden rink toward the back of Castle Sports Club in Phoenix, 20 women race around on roller skates throwing large rubber balls at each other.

The balls are flying everywhere -- an exercise in learning to spot when a skater is coming up behind you. Skaters smash into walls and into each other. Every few minutes, someone takes a nasty spill onto the rink's starkly painted blue floor.

Outside this small circle, it's still largely a man's world. But inside, the women of the Arizona Roller Derby League are, literally, hell on wheels. They skate fast and viciously with the motto, "Get down and derby," they suffer broken bones and bruises and they often get into fist fights.

Local Limelight: Q & A With Devendra Banhart

Photo by Sebastian MlynarskiDevendra Banhart, a long time favorite of SPM, rolls into town this weekend. Go check him out -- we swear he's worth the $15. His music (and beard) never disappoint. Our apologies to all the deserving local artists out there -- this week, SPM had the opportunity to talk with one of the most dynamic and divisive artists in modern American music. Devendra Banhart has emerged at the forefront of the recent upsurge in neo-folk music, and his albums feature everything from experimental jams to simple ballads, complimented by Banhart's wavering singing.

Helping Out: Calling All Volunteers
                                                        Because ASU students are no longer required to fulfill community service hours, charities like Habitat for Humanity are struggling to find volunteers. Normally at this point in the semester, Louisa Ballard could expect students to come to her for help.

About Suffering: A Glimpse of the 'Invisible'
The film This Saturday, an estimated 30,000 citizens across America won't be sleeping at home in their usual beds -- not because they went home with someone from the bar, but because they are showing solidarity with the child victims of a war in Africa.

Remodeling: Haunted Past
This old operating room looks like it only contains a model of a skeleton and anatomy posters, but according to some of the people who work in the building, there might be something spooky there as well. The eyes of many sick and diseased men, women and children watched over ASU's Tempe campus from the school's Community Services Building more than 20 years ago, but some say that the spirits of these ill patients still roam its halls.

Top 5: Ways to stay cool this summer
1. Take a cold shower:
There should be two knobs in the bathtub, one marked "H" for hot and the other "C" for cold. Do not use the hot one. Turn the cold one on full blast. Take off your clothes. Get in and cool down. This same experience can be replicated in a swimming pool or at a water park but you'll need a bathing suit.

It's All Relative: No More Nap Time
I have a vice that I'm not proud of.

It could be worse -- thankfully, it's not drugs or alcohol. And although I am extremely fond of food -- chocolate and ice cream, in particular -- I don't think my eating has yet gotten to a compulsive level. I am an emotional sleeper.

Fashion: Actually, It's Pretty Easy Being Green

Photo courtesy of KRT Wire
Aveda is a Organic style often conjures up images of ill-fitting burlap sack clothing held together with hemp rope. But lately, organic has become a status symbol of sorts, and the fashion industry has gotten hip to this trend. Eco-friendly, sustainable style has moved into the mainstream, and many young fashion designers have found ways to marry style with alternative sustainable fabrics.

Edun, the clothing line founded by Bono of U2's wife, Ali Hewson, is 30 percent organic, and is constantly striving to hit that 100 percent mark. Los Angeles designer Karen Craven's line, Burning Torch, melds organic fabrics with vintage to create quirky, original, super feminine pieces. And these are just two of an increasing number of burgeoning designers with an eco-friendly mission statement.

Off Key: Clampdown
Last week in Northern England, a man was held for questioning after singing along to a song in a taxicab on the way to an airport.

Whether or not Harraj Mann, 24, was a good vocalist had nothing to do with it, although I'm sure after long days on the road, taxicab drivers would like to see plenty of their karaoke passengers held in confinement for indefinite periods of time.

Gadget Corner: Facebook Conquers the World
You thought that when you stepped away from your computer, you were safe from the dangerous procrastination tool (a.k.a social networking Web site) known as Facebook.

But with new Facebook Mobile, many of the functions of the site are available from your cell phone. Just activate the service by entering your phone number and carrier on the Web site, and text FBOOK (32665) to check the site.

Liner Notes: CD Reviews
When a band like Built to Spill, which has been a major presence in the indie scene forever, releases a new album, comparisons to older recordings are inevitable. The best way to place this album is to say that where their last album, Ancient Melodies of the Distant Future, was a pop gem, this album is a rock and roll adventure. While not every track is as driving as the urgent opener ("Goin' Against Your Mind"), for the most part, songs consist of up-tempo numbers with occasional huge jamming breaks.

What's Happening: Calendar
It's no secret that a certain member of the SPM staff has an affinity (a.k.a an addiction) for Sugar Free Red Bull. Regardless of our desire to promote this lifeblood, the Flugtag looks like some serious fun. The name means "flying day" in German, and that's exactly what will be going on -- if by flying, you mean plummeting off a 30-foot ramp into Tempe Town Lake.

From the Edge: Editorial
I love the "F" word. No, I'm not talking about the expletive for "making love," so popular in today's vernacular.I'm talking about feminism. To me, the word has a positive, and extremely important, meaning. It means I don't have to have kids if I don't want to (thanks Ortho Tri-Cyclen). It means my future employer cannot touch me or speak to me in a sexual way. It means I actually can have a future employer.

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