DC: Mid-Week Derby Party Mix, from DJ Mister Sister

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DC: Mid-Week Derby Party Mix, from DJ Mister Sister

There’s a solid chance that you recognize regular derby DJ, Mister Sister, either from his music-mixing, or from his many NSO appearances at playoffs and games throughout the years. How did he get the name? Here’s the story from the man himself: “About six months before I tried out for roller derby, I had started taking hormones for my transition. When I tried out, the league wanted me to stop taking hormones if I wanted to skate competitively, and I just wasn’t going to do that.

After being given the option of stats or referee, since I wasn’t making any team, I decided to learn to referee.  I really didn’t want a uber douche misogynistic name.  The feminist still left in me was just repulsed by dudes already doing that.  I wanted a name that told people exactly who and what I am without me even having to explain any further detail.

I have a friend named Kat Prosser, that I’ve known since I was in 6th grade and I got into contact with her again through roller derby networking.  We were catching decades up and I was telling her about my transition.  I had already bounced ideas for my real name off of her but I still hadn’t really figured my derby name yet. At some point, she was about to go to bed and she said “Goodnight, Mister Sister.”  I said goodnight, thinking nothing of it.. and then I said to myself, “Holy shit, there it is.”

“I wanted a name that told people exactly who and what I am without me even having to explain any further detail.”

It worked for him on so many levels that all he needed next was to find the niche in roller derby that worked for him. And if recent history is anything to go by, it looks like a major in music with a minor in NSOing these days.

Actually, Mister Sister got involved in DJing for roller derby for reasons that many of us are likely to be sympathetic with: he didn’t like what he was hearing. But how many of us are likely to act on the thought “Wow. I could do better than this.”? Mister Sister did. Almost by accident after starting with other plans on his mind.

“No one really knows this but I’ve been a DJ long before I got into roller derby.  When I was a kid, I used to play with two cassette tapes at the same time to try and sync them.  Little did I know, that mash-ups would catch on decades later or I would have made them long before anyone knew what they were.

But how many of us are likely to act on the thought “Wow. I could do better than this.”? Mister Sister did.
…I don’t think that I started DJing in roller derby until I was recommended to DJ at 2012 Western Regionals in Richmond, CA.  …hearing other DJs at so many tournaments and bouts I’ve worked as a jam timer that I just got sick and tired of listening to incredibly poor song choices.  Some people might say that I’m just as susceptible but they can’t say that about me all the time. I’m always going to grow as a DJ, learn new music and give you something different every time. A DJ has to consider the entire demographic of your audience, no matter where and what you are spinning music at. It’s not about you, it’s about them.”
One huge advantage of having a DJ involved in a tournament who knows the game from the inside, is that they have the potential to consider tune-matching game play. And certainly, Mister Sister is one of those rare few DJs:
“I’m busy watching how the game is unfolding right in front of me before I consider for my next block of songs.

There have been times that it is just too perfect, such as Suzy Hotrod striding into the turn and through the pack as you hear the opening bars to “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by the Eurythmics.

“I do like to play certain songs at the beginning of the half to set the tone…and let people have their lives handed to them for the rest of the night.”

A few people thought that I commiserated with Denver Roller Dolls at D1 Sacramento before a halftime.  I played “Wobble” by V.I.C. (which I play frequently during halftimes) and they have a choreographed stomp of their own to it.   I assure you that was not planned.  It was perfect though.

I do like to play certain songs at the beginning of the half to set the tone…and let people have their lives handed to them for the rest of the night.”

If you’ve been lucky enough to catch his work in person, you’d probably have been at the Craneway Pavilion, The Armory and the Memorial Auditorium for events such as the Golden Bowl Tournament or Sacramento WFTDA Playoffs last year. Or else you may have been at the Sacramento Rainbow Festival as well as a number of local bars, nightclubs and events across Sacramento and the Bay Area.

“I would love to play some huge bouts at RollerCon. Vagine Regime bout, especially. Team SeXXXy. Gramercy Refs. Co-Ed Cripplers. NAACP. Maybe even be a guest DJ for leagues located outside the state of California, if I can get out there.  I want to go overseas and watch some roller derby.  I hear a lot of people would lose their minds for a battle between Agent Meow and myself.”

Roller derby, you have a challenge – can you make this set of dreams come true?
So there have got to be some down-sides to the derby DJ’s job. We pushed him to name a tune that he could manage without ever hearing in a derby context again. The answer? “if I gotta pick one, it’s very likely Europe – The Final Countdown.” And after a hefty flashback to many many final jam moments past, I’m inclined to agree.
By | 2015-02-26T21:08:44+00:00 February 26th, 2015|Online writing|Comments Off on DC: Mid-Week Derby Party Mix, from DJ Mister Sister

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