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The Brew City Bruisers are one tough team.
The Brew City Bruisers are one tough team. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)
Even the really rad skaters wipe out.
Even the really rad skaters wipe out. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)
The jam.
The jam. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)
Three cheers for the Beerleaders!
Three cheers for the Beerleaders! (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)

The Brew City Bruisers could kill me features a series called "Switch Shift" that requires the editors to work a few hours at a job that's very different from their usual work. For example, managing editor Bobby Tanzilo worked as a used record shop clerk, senior editor Drew Olson flipped burgers at George Webb and I was a magician's assistant for master illusionist David Seebach.

For about a year, publisher Andy Tarnoff and I have chatted about the possibility of me taking a "shift" as a member of the Brew City Bruisers female roller derby team. This sounded like fun to me, and I even picked potential names: Molly Ringworm or Molly McBlooder.

So with all of this in mind, my kids and I went to the last Brew City Bruisers' bout on Saturday night.

It was my sons' first time seeing live roller derby -- I had seen a bout once before -- and, as always, the bad asses-on-wheels put on an entertaining show and a great fight despite their losses. (In the first half, the Brew City Battlestars lost to the Steel City B-Unit, 124 to 195; and in the second half, the Brewcity Allstars lost to the Steel City Steel Hurtin', 45 to 168.)

However, while watching the bouts, I came to the conclusion that there is no way in hell I could hang with these surly rollers.

My mediocre skating skills -- developed solely during the ‘80s at Waukesha Skateland -- are not going to help me in the least. These grrls are competitive speed demons with a crap-ton of talent and skill. Sadly, I came to the conclusion that if I attempted a single lap with my sub-par skating abilities I'd end up extra-flat roadkill in fishnets.

Maybe Molly Ringworm will lace up in the next life.

Wesley Tank perfors as the rapper Stumblesome. He will release his first film on Friday.
Wesley Tank perfors as the rapper Stumblesome. He will release his first film on Friday.

Five questions for filmmaker Wesley Tank about "In Clamatore"

Local musician and filmmaker Wesley Tank will release his first feature film, "In Clamatore," on Friday, Aug. 13 at the Alchemist Theater, 2569 N. Kinnickinnic Ave.

The show starts at 9:30 p.m.and admission is $5.

Tank, who is also known as the rapper Stumblesome and the lead singer of Atari hip-hop band Antler Antennas, recently gave me the low-down on his first movie and more. When did you start creating "In Clamatore?"

Wesley Tank: The first dialogues started emerging from my pen in 2005. We starting shooting in July of 2007 and finished shooting in June of 2008. I finished editing in July of 2010.

OMC: What is the film about?

WT: Letting go versus holding on. Nature and community. Tales the wind in each season of a post-post apocalyptic parade of ghosts. A son has died, but it's not about grief. It's about people responding to their environment and their relationships. It's about going into a world and it's about the post-film experience. It's about light reflecting from the screen to your retina, and the way you feel when you hear the sounds.

OMC: Where was the film shot?

WT: Nearly everything was shot in abandoned homes in the backwoods of Spring Green and Dodgeville.

OMC: What did you learn from making this film?

WT: I discovered myself. I learned and continue to learn what art manifests. I got a deepened connection to nature. I also learned what the film was about.

OMC: What are your goals for this film?

WT: My sincerest hope is for its messages to console and heal the collective consciousness of our seemingly perilous planet. That is, via distributor, film festival, world tour, the Internet, achievement of some sort of controversial cult status and providing an anchor for my career so that I may be allowed to make more films.

I am toying with the idea of putting the distribution rights up on eBay for a minimum bid of $1 million plus royalties. Or releasing it for free on t…

Tegan (left) and Sara bring their emo-flavored pop punk to the Marcus Amphitheater.
Tegan (left) and Sara bring their emo-flavored pop punk to the Marcus Amphitheater.

Checking in with Tegan Quin

Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quin return to Milwaukee on Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Marcus Amphitheater's side stage. The last time they performed here was on March 25, 2010, at the Riverside Theater.

This time, the sisters Quin are on tour with fellow pop punkers / emo rockers Paramore, as well as New Found Glory and Kadawatha. The bands are on tour together until the end of September.

Recently, I interviewed Tegan and asked her a few Qs. Just like the last time we spoke, she was genuine, likable and insightful. So how's the tour?

Tegan Quin: It has been really good. We haven't opened for anyone in a long time -- it has been five years -- so it's fun to open the show and just play for an hour.

OMC: Are you working on a follow-up album to "Sainthood?"

TQ: Yes. We're also working on a DVD right now that we hope will come out by the end of the year.

OMC: And you're releasing a vinyl box set on Aug. 31. Are you a big record fan?

TQ: Yes, we really have an appreciation for vinyl and are very pro the resurgence of it. My mom and stepdad were into it and so we grew up with it and have always done a small run of vinyl.

I recently spoke to my stepdad and he's shipping me all of his vinyl from the late ‘60s to the early ‘90s, so I'll get it around the same time we're releasing our vinyl box set.

OMC: Is there any new material in the box set?

TQ: Yeah, there are some previously unreleased demos.

OMC: "Sainthood" was a collaborative writing effort between you and Sara, more so than your other albums. Do you think the next album will be as collaborative?

TQ: Yeah, we've continued to collaborate a lot and send songs back and forth to each other. I really like the process.

OMC: What do you do during your down time while on tour?

TQ: We're kept pretty busy with in-store appearances and such, but also, we read a lot and bike a lot. We have more time than usual because on this tour we d…

This house draws a lot of attention to itself, and yet, it feels desolate.
This house draws a lot of attention to itself, and yet, it feels desolate.

What's up with the creepy puppet house?

I drove by this peculiar house with the large paper mache children in the store front window hundreds of times in my life, but today, I stopped the car and knocked on the door. Nobody answered.

It looks as if at one time the house -- located at 3702 N. Richards St. --  was a business, perhaps a tavern, but it appears as if currently it's occupied by a private residence. With a little digging, I learned it was built in 1922 and was most recently purchased in April of 2005.

Someone obviously arranged the front window into this creepy but artistic scene, and these paper mache figures -- that actually might be puppets -- have been in the window for at least a few years.

The house and yard are well maintained, but I never see anyone coming or going. I am totally intrigued by this property. Anyone got info?