Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Power Jammers (it's not what you think)

As some of you know, I do a half-hour to an hour-and-a-half podcast with Johnny Deep and Señor Macho Solo called "Power Jammers." Before my literary friends worry (or assume based on my behavior dancing at the Bennington student center...or anything else I say), hardcore pornography has nothing to do with the name.  A "power jam" is an actual derby term. I was about to explain it, but here's a Derby News Network explanation, courtesy of our Jeff the Ref and Dump Truck:

Inspired by the derby maneuver from which it received its name, the Power Jammers podcast is all about ranting unopposed about roller derby, pop culture, and the bizarre character flaws of its hosts. 

The first podcast we ever recorded together was in the sweltering interior of my old Chevy Malibu. While the Boston Derby Dames were giving one another awards in a state park, Freddie Buse, Macho, Johnny and I, were recording our thoughts on the past season and what to look forward to at the next bout. It was a pleasant, if humid distraction, as we were widowers without a thing to do for thirty minutes. The ladies were busy and not everything is our business. It's just science.

Using a hand-held recorder, we sat in my car with the windows up to cut down on the ambient noise of volleyball and talking skaters. Before we could get to the meat of any issues, we were interrupted by a state trooper who pointed out the "No Live Parking" sign located in front of my car. He eyed us suspiciously, asking what we were up to. Confident that all of our pants were on, I answered him.

"It's a podcast," I said.

"What the hell is that?" he asked. Our explanation of what a podcast was and why were doing one convinced him we were not up to any shady activity and he left us to our work. Before he turned away, he had a look on his face reserved for a dad who had hoped his sons were in the backyard practicing their baseball swings, only to discover them wearing capes and fighting their friends with foam swords. I miss that officer. I also miss foam swords.

Much better.

Over the next year, we started publishing these little sound-bytes about derby, many of them can be found linked on last year's bout previews on Bostonderbydames.com. However, it's only recently that we were able to start getting around to sprucing up the format into something that is palatable to the general masses. Which brings us to powerjammers.net. It's not a perfect site, but we're messing with the format now, and trying to come up with an experience for roller derby fans throughout New England. Boston's our homebase, but we don't feel there's been enough nods to those leagues around us who are giving it their all. 

Our current "studio" is the Dread and Pelvis dining room in lovely Arlington, Massachusetts. The hosts and guests sit together in a literal round-table discussion.

The most recent podcast (split into two parts) brings you news about ECE, interviews with Lois Carmen Dominator  and Hayley Contagious of Boston, a new segment with a Boston ref who knows the rules better than we ever will, and gives bout and event listings for the month of February. Over time, we're going to branch out to cover more derby news for the region. The two parts are about forty minutes each, but it's because we have so many people on and we though you'd like to get their thoughts on upcoming events before those events were history. In the future, we're making these smaller. The podcast can be downloaded by going here

I'm hoping to get people to write articles for the site, as well as shoot video and participate in interviews. Also, anyone who wants to help out with coding the site is welcome to contact me. And anyone who wants to ask questions that will be used on the podcast can email them to questions@powerjammers.net.

Well, that's it for today. I've got some more stuff to write and a bout on Saturday.

Keep it smooth, 

Pelvis Costello

UPDATE: Man, Power Jammers looks good.

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