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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Weekend Forecast: Four Ways to Support Macon Music

I’m going to borrow a line from a special man in Mom’s life, her dad, 2003 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductee Alan Walden who likes to say, “If you love Georgia music like I love Georgia music, lemme hear ya one time!”

I can’t hear you. Let’s try this again. If you love MACON music like I love Macon music, lemme hear ya one time . . .

I still can’t hear you.
That’s because all ears aren’t always on us. In fact, our local music sometimes falls deaf on oftentimes local ears. Not to say Macon doesn’t have its music advocates. Look around and you’ll see the same scenesters and supporters at just about every show. God bless them.

And not to knock North Macon, but here we go: unless it involves imported cover bands of kitschy cowboys or double-shots of baby’s love, the treasures of the local music scene remain unnoticed unless Marco’s or Grey Goose Players Club starts booking these bands on a regular basis. If only the Local 478 could get a showcase at the IHCC.

We’ve spent enough time fretting how to attract the elusive North Maconite. In Mom’s opinion, we’re wasting too much effort on standing water, when their horses don’t want to drink. For her, the real question is how do we create a music scene that isn’t confined to a weather vane? Notice how we tend to capitalize North Macon as if it’s a region. Well, people like music in East Macon, West Macon and South Macon, too. Let’s not just focus on building a music community, but a community of music.

With that said, there remains an under-utilized audience that Mom has high hope will come around soon. Thanks to the efforts of the College Hill Corridor Commission, NewTown Macon and Mercer University, there are at least three events this weekend that should be big red circles on intercollegiate calendars. The best part is they are targeted at Townies, too.

1. Macon’s Midnight Rider on Friday: The first of a monthly trolley pub crawl begins its route at 8 p.m. and runs until 2:30 a.m. For $5 you get unlimited trolley rides throughout the night. Participating establishments are Wagers, CJ’s, Powerstation, BJ’s Billiards, Red Eye Tavern, Hummingbird, Rookery, Cox Capitol Theatre, Shamrock, Club Synergy and Envy. Macon’s new D.D. sensation Zingo will offer the flat rate of $20 with a trolley wristband. Two trolleys will run – one begins at Wagers and the other starts in downtown.

2. Bearstock on Saturday: Presented by Quadworks, the Campus Activities Board of Mercer University, the second annual all-day concert festival begins at noon on Porter Patch on the Mercer University campus. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s headliners are Gym Class Heroes and Chester French. With two stages going all day, other acts include Needmore, the Vettes, City Council & the Paper Street Band, The Key, oh dorian, Rolybots, The Less, Floco Torres and Al K!ng, Abby Owens, Ocean is Theory, Copacetic and Gran Trizz. You can find all of the music on Myspace Music.

3. Gospel Brunch on Sunday: You’ve heard me preach about this before (see “Can I Get a Witness?” in archive). It usually takes place on Second Sunday, but due to Easter, it was held over to this Sunday. From noon to 2 p.m., bring your blanket, chair, picnic basket or all of the above to the waterfalls of Washington Park. Michael’s on Mulberry will be selling bloodies and mimosas, as well as $5 boxed lunches. This Sunday, St. Francis, the new outfit of Macon musician Scott Baston, will perform. Usually, I’m there with my tail wagging, but since I’m in bandages with a lampshade around my head, we may have to wait until next month. But you can bet your bottom dollar Mom and Shuga D will be there singing its praises.

And now for the fourth. The finale. Actually, the encore:

4. Otis Redding: I’ve Got Dreams to Remember: After a successful year-and-a-half run, the award-winning exhibit will close at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 19. The exhibition features many Redding personal items, including family and performance photos, hand-written lyrics and more. Some of the favorite items Mom marveled over are a handwritten press release issued by her late uncle Phil Walden, an Asian-scripted album cover and a photograph of her cousin Philip in a sailor suit, skipping alongside the Redding sibs. The exhibit was already extended once, so if you haven’t had a chance to see it, or if you need to go back and soak it in, this is your last chance. It will soon be replaced by Nashville Portraits: Photographs by Jim McGuire (

Above is a picture of a young Otis Redding with his whippersnapper managers brothers Phil and Alan Walden.

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