Thanks to the folks at Monkeyclaus, the CLAW Anthem by Straight Punch to the Crotch is now available for download on the Monkeyclaus website. Just click on the album cover below. Thanks, Abel and Peter!
While we’re eagerly awaiting the numbers from the Blue Moon in order to determine our fundraising total for this past Tuesday’s CLAW 9, I wanted to let you know that Billy Hunt’s beautiful A CLAW To Remember: The Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers 2008 Retrospective is done! The lovely layout is by our friends at Alloy Workshop. You can buy your copy at Billy’s art opening at The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative on Friday, November 7th, starting at 6:00 p.m. This will be a CLAW-tastic art opening with wrestlers signing your copies (with their fists) and demonstrating how to safely dominate in the field of Ladies Arm Wrestling. After that, you can perhaps snag a copy at CLAW X: The Final Smackdown on November 11th behind the Blue Moon Diner. Check back tomorrow for the CLAW 9 Wrapup!
CLAW 9, the last regular tournament of 2008, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 14th, at the Blue Moon Diner from 8-10 p.m. Funds raised will go to Performers Exchange Project, one of Charlottesville’s only professional theater ensembles. Founded by Martha Mendenhall, Sian Richards, Jennifer Tidwell, Doreen Bechtol, and Kara Burke, PEP co-produced with Zen Monkey Project the performance art carnivals A Charlottesville Wunderkammer and Shentai. Two of PEP’s members are CLAW regulars (MC Rosie and Nurse Cheryl). PEP is currently working on a new original piece tentatively called America Transcendental, which will premiere in fall of 2009.
Check out the CLAW 9 lineup here. Celebrity judges are Daryl, Grady, and Satch from Live Arts and Permanent Lifetime Judge Jim Waive.
If you like to move your body, stay until 11 and break out to DJ Western Front.
**!Achtung! This is your last chance to see new wrestler blood before the magnificent CLAW X: Smackdown of Champions, which happens Nov. 11th.**
Deepak Singh, a local reporter for NPR’s WVTF, stumbled upon CLAW while walking by the Blue Moon Diner on Sept. 9th. He went back to his house to get his equipment and made this piece, which aired on Friday afternoon during All Things Considered, Sept. 26th. Thanks, Deepak!
I thought CLAW couldn’t get any more epic. But on Sept. 9, at CLAW 8, it did. It got epic-er. There was magic in the air, don’t you think? Or maybe it was the Ref’s new beardlet or MoJo’s pungent Musk by Jovan or Cheryl’s hairspray melting? At any rate we had cooler temperatures and a new outdoor grill and DJ Western Front spinning tunes before and after. There was Pitbull’s 91-year-old friend Shakti shouting in the front row. Then shaking her booty to the CLAW theme song…………. Oh and remember Jenny Johnson speaking poetry to a group of rabid arm wrestling fans? …..And Debbie Danger’s hand-shark? And Betty Rocker’s dissemination of baked goods? Ol’ Cocktease’s butt shimmy and feather-leaking problem. ………..And Missy’s safe sex endorsements and Kat the Great riding a child’s (my child’s) hobby horse….and Glamma Slamma’s personal paparazzi… and Sparkles’ sexy deely-bobbers….and Pitbull’s gentle dominance. Did you know that NPR and Virginia Living magazine were there? More on that in another post. And the place was squeaky clean by 11:00 p.m. with barely a cigarette butt in sight.
In all the madness, I am proud to say we raised $2, 074 for Kay Allison’s 20-year-old Books Behind Bars project. Kay writes to thank us:
Thank you soooo much for selecting Books Behind Bars to give some of the proceeds from your Wrestling Match on Tuesday night! It was a very special evening! You all are a very creative group!! Such powerful energy! . It means so much as the expenses of the rent, postage and dictionaries are a lot and as more of the men and women in prison find out that they can get free books from us, more and more letters come. We get over 500 each month and send five books to each one.
If you have time one day, stop by and read some of the many grateful letters that we have received. We have thousands of them!
Do thank everyone !
What’s the connection between lady arm wrestlers, prisoners, and literature? Who knows? It just so happens this CLAW will mark our third event for a prison-related organization, this time Kay Allison’s (of Quest Bookshop) Books Behind Bars, a 20-year-long project that buys and mails books to prisoners on request.
We’re also excited to announce that Jenny Johnson, a local writer and old school CLAW fan, recently won her way into the 50 Best New Poets anthology with a poem written about CLAW, called “Ladies’ Arm Wrestling at the Blue Moon Diner.” She will be reading this poem at CLAW 8. Please get there early, as we exceeded our 300-person capacity by 8:30 last time! It goes a little something like this:
Ladies’ Arm Wrestling Match at The Blue Moon Diner
On a red booth with Rose, right hand bracing a beer,
left elbow dismantling a pastoral, we shout into the throng—
In a leather body suit, Stiletto squeezes, insists, reconciles,
hazel eyes working overtime on the fist of her opponent.
Under the table there’s a penalty, “Left foot off the ground!”
A python en-circling her bicep, Sidewinder hisses like this: Sss Sss Sss
Then, Cheryl, golden as Carhartts, softening us,
“My grandma always told me if life gives you lemons
throw ’em away.” And so, we loosen. We shuffle off sore tendons.
Tuesdays. And insults cat-called out Chevy windows.
Clinking whiskey glasses, we wipe away sweat and
old flames who only leave muscles warm in daydreams.
Before the heat begins again, I have this vision
of a kid kicking up dust for hours in the road.
All I ever found in the gravel was the paper body,
what the gartersnake shed. Take off that old suit, tonight.
Even as your good arm shudders to the mat
like the waning crescent meeting the mouth of the Shenandoah.
In new skin, come back again and again. Own this acreage.
This new ground rippling under rolled sleeves.