The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 24, 2013

Post-holiday gratitude: Mankato's calendar is filling up once again

By Tanner Kent
The Free Press

— The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is — well — a somewhat desperate time in the world of arts and entertainment.

The colleges are on break. Artists are unavailable. Writers are on vacation. No one answers the phone or returns emails.

And not to mention, the majority of social events that take place in south-central Minnesota during the holiday season involve a lutefisk dinner or a Nativity. In some cases, both.

Jesus and lutefisk are fine entertainment fare, but neither is exactly ripe for newspaper coverage. Hence, my extreme delight to have, once again, a full complement of goings-on to share with readers.

I have so many, in fact, that I couldn’t resist a sharing a few bulletin board-type items:

Skating MAD

Warning to the Dames of Anarchy: The MAD Girls are coming to town.

After nearly a year of recruiting, practicing and fundraising, Mankato’s official flat-track roller derby team has announced a six-game schedule.

“A lot of us have been working on this for six months,” said Tamra Sundboom of the MAD Girls. “Now, it’s finally here.”

The season opens Feb. 23 with a road bout against the aforementioned Dames of Anarchy, which are based in Mason City, Iowa. Next is the MAD Girls’ first-ever home match against the Goosetown Roller Girls of New Ulm on March 30 at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Additional games include road matches in Grand Rapids, Mich., St. Cloud and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The MAD Girls will have a second home match on May 4 against the Moose Lake Mafia.

The MAD Girls are also hosting a fundraiser, “Rockin’ for Rollin’,” at 9:30 p.m. on Friday at the What’s Up Lounge in Mankato. The concert fundraiser includes four bands — Rhythmaplex, Old Towne Ghosts, Turned Out TV and Revilwen — for a $5 cover charge.

Rodes teams with Tweten

Mankato’s Shelby Tweten has recorded her first-ever studio effort — and she’ll perform the song on Feb. 2 at Buster’s in Mankato.

Tweten, a Mankato high-schooler who made headlines for her emotional rise to finalist status during season 11 of American Idol, recorded the song with Jerry Rodes, a rock duo fronted by Nathan “Jerry” Rodes Stone. The song, “For All of Time,” appears on Jerry Rodes’s self-titled album that will be released Feb. 14.