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Friday, July 31, 2009

Video Soul for the Weekend

We came across this interview recently, which some may have seen on Otis' Monterey Pop DVD. Although Mom has seen countless interviews with her late uncle Phil Walden, this one is particularly moving, considering it was later in his life when he was battling cancer. Still, his soul clearly shines and the way he expresses himself is truly poetic. It's worth sitting down and watching this weekend. May this kind of passion inspire us all to come out kicking to keep the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon!

Where the Antelope Play

Mom has been working on her Wyoming article all week for Houston County Magazine. And while she is trying to capture its beauty with words, Honeyshot finally sifted through over 2000 photos and uploaded some of her favorite images from the journey. Click here to visit her site and see the place that still has Mom's heart fluttering.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Candy Wants an Encore!

One of the Bragg Jam shows Mom missed because she was busy showering off the sweat from the Arts & Kids and helping Shuga D unload coolers from the truck was the stellar and much-talked about kick-off performance of the “Rabbi and Friends” at the Hummingbird. Not only did Mayor Robert Reichert duet “Blowing in the Wind” with City Councilman and “the Rabbi” Larry Schlesinger, but Councilwoman Nancy White joined the stage for a rousing performance of “Everybody Must Get Stoned.” Here are the “modified” lyrics:


They'll stone you when you’re tryin’ to be so good.

They'll stone you just like you knew they would.

They’ll stone you when they’re idlin’ the cars.

They’ll stone you when massagin’ goes too far.

But we would not feel so all alone,

City Councils must get stoned.

They’ll stone you when there’s garbage in the street.

They’ll stone you when a park’s not nice & neat.

They’ll stone you when you’re tryin’ to walk the dog.

They’ll stone you when you’re not at City Hall.

But we would not feel so all alone,

City Councils must get stoned.

They'll stone you when you’re ‘round the Council table.

They'll stone you when they know you’re bright and able.

They'll stone you when you’re spendin’ city bucks.

They'll stone you and then they'll call Chris Krok,

But we would not feel so all alone,

City Councils must get stoned.

They’ll stone you when you try to annex land.

They’ll stone you when you lend a helpin' hand.

They’ll stone you when the homeless are around.

They’ll stone you when Bragg Jam takes over town.

But we would not feel so all alone,

City Councils must get stoned.

They’ll stone you and they’ll say that it’s your end.

They’ll stone you but they'll seek your vote again.

They'll stone you and then say that you are brave.

They'll stone you when you’re diggin' your own grave.

But we would not feel so all alone,

City Councils must get stoned.

Bragg Jam Wuz Here

Her calves are still sore and there are blisters on her feet. That only means that despite the madness and responsibilities of Bragg Jam, Mom still had a chance to dance! She went to Church with the Lee Boys at the Patron Party. She rocked out with the ladies of the Moaners (and envied their killer pink guitar). She watched Floco Torres and Al K!ng whip the Hummingbird in a frenzy before City Council and Citizen Insane brought the crowd to their knees at 580 Cherry. Then it was on to the Cox Capitol Theatre to see Vex continue to declare themselves the punk rockers they will always be . . . And the night only got crazier as Mom pulled double-duty between T-Bird and the Breaks unforgettable show and Loose Change’s memory-awaking reunion. The beautiful chaos only continued from there . . . and lasted well into the morning.

The numbers are still being tallied, so expectations remain hopeful. Despite what the dollar amount will be, the success is evident. There were a couple of moments when Mom had to make sure her mascara wasn’t running when complete strangers approached her and told her how Bragg Jam was making life great . . . for everyone. There were families. There were hippies. There were veteran rockers. There were college kids. There were townies. And there was further diversity at every single show. That right there means something in Macon. It only gets better from here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let Your Love Affair with Macon Music Begin!

Bragg Jam! Bragg Jam! Bragg Jam! With Shuga D and Mom on the board of directors, that’s all I’ve been hearing around here. Well, it’s here. Finally! And maybe our house can somehow soon get back to normal (whatever that may be) when it’s all over.

You can find all of the complete details on Bragg Jam Festival 2009 at And visit the site, because not only did Mom bust her tail in helping create it this year, but there is a rockin’ jukebox on the home page that constantly plays a different rotation of Bragg Jam artists. Take a joy break and jam for a while. You can also go to the Concert Crawl page and download the official Bragg Jam sampler. All the goodies are there . . . local heroes Floco Torres, Al K!ing, City Council, Oh Dorian, Rolybots and more, plus our upcoming visitors . . . Cracker, Afromotive, T-Bird and the Breaks and more. There are also links to all of the artists’ websites.

2009 is the 10th year for Bragg Jam and what an incredible long, strange trip it’s already been – and we’re not even to the signature events yet! As a Bragg Jam board member, volunteer and chair of marketing, Mom’s work with this year’s festival has been supersized. Heck, in addition to public relations, website, social media, print collateral and all things that fall under the marketing umbrella . . . she even cleaned the urinals at 580 Cherry Street, site of the Yuengling Stage that is being operated by Bragg Jam. It’s a sign of the times and the gauge of just how much this festival has grown. And although she and Shuga are worn out (they were both at 41 WMGT this morning at 5:45 a.m. for an interview!), every little bit has been a beautiful and exciting thing (especially Muddy Brown, the Ocmulgee Swamp Ape and Bragg Jam's new best friend). Here’s what Mom said when she was recently asked why she does it:

I've lived an entire life in the shadow of Macon's music past. This festival is Macon music's present. It's about creating and nurturing a sense of pride in our community. It's about honoring that musical past while creating and inspiring an entirely new and diverse scene that we can all share. This is my contribution to supporting local music and our shared community. Bragg Jam showcases our own artists, brings in new artists and exposes our audience to music they might not have heard before. It gives people a reason to come to Macon. It gives Macon a reason to show off. I can't think of any better way to show my sincere love and appreciation for Macon music - past, present and future. And thanks to the Bragg family and the founders of this festival, we've all been inspired to be a part of something special.

So there you have it. Bragg Jam is far more than open containers (which by the way, thank you Macon City Council for proving how our community can work together!). It's about creating a place we can all be proud of. Maybe, just maybe, Bragg Jam is our bridge to a a real deal entertainment district. In the meantime, as the hold lady says, please enjoy the music.

And it's why you might not hear from me and Mom for the next couple of days. Friday is the Patron Party and Music Auction. Saturday is the free Geico Arts & Kids on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, and Saturday evening is the Concert Crawl featuring 40 bands at eight different venues. Sunday, of course, will be Mom and Shuga D’s well-deserved day of rest.

Macon, make it worth it. This is your chance to show us what you’ve got. Bring it back to where it all began . . . and take us to the next level.

Peace. Love. And all things Macon music!

Candy Lou, Mom and Shuga D.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pluck Her Up

Go high brow - or at least get them in shape. Jessica (Mom) went to Jessica (Vineville Spa and Salon) for a little brow shaping this past Saturday. Truly an artist, Jessica put some umph back in Mom's natural arch and made her say "ahh" by cleaning things up nicely. Now Mom won't see a wild hair and fish for tweezers out of her purse while she's driving (have you ever noticed how visor mirrors amplify those sorts of things??).

Through Facebook, Mom got the $8 special. But I bet if you ask nicely and say you read about it on Candy's Land, they'll honor the deal. And tell Jessica that Jessica (and Candy Lou) sent you. Say it in your best French impressionist accent, and I bet you'll raise a brow . . . or at least make a few furrow.

Pho So Good

At the incessant pleading of Texas T, Mom finally found her way to Pho Saigon on Mercer University, and she can't wait to go back. She got her Pho to go - tender beef, noodles, sprouts, cilantro, basil and more, simmered in the delicious spice-infused broth. She also ordered their signature spring roll, which was more like a shrimp basil roll but without the basil (greenleaf instead). It came with an incredible peanut sauce that was so good, I bet I could lick my lips and catch a squirrels without even trying.

Her entire meal came in under $12, and she ate off of it gladly for two days.
To get the full effect of Pho, she does recommend dining at their quaint little joint. But no matter which way you eat your noodles, you're in for a treat. Pho sho.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lace up Your Sneaks and SHAKE with a Feeling!

Run, jog, walk, skip . . . or as the Big O would say, just let your backbone slip. This Saturday, July 18, the Moonlight Miles 5K Fun Run returns for the second year in a row, the first of several Bragg Jam signature events. Pre-registration is closed, but you can still participate in the 5K by showing up at Tattnall Square Park at 7:30, when festivities begin.

The race begins as the sun sets. At 9:15, runners will be on their mark and running in the moonlight as they complete the course. If it ain't different, it ain't Bragg Jam, so for those of you running . . . bring your dog, wear something crazy or just make your cross across the finish line dramatic.

And you don't have to need sneakers to enjoy the festivities. There will be field day-inspired games, music and movies playing on the outdoor screen in Tattnall Square Park. These events are open to everyone and free. Among the movies showing is Otis Redding documentary featuring his historic, spell-bounding performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Shake with a feeling. Run like the devil is chasing you. Or just come out to the park and get grass stains . . . at Bragg Jam's 13 WMAZ Moonlight Miles this Saturday!

Cheap is Chic Chat: Pizza Deliverance

Today Mom had lunch with her Mentors Project of Bibb County protege and pal Anika, who is selflessly spending her summer as a volunteer at the Davis Homes' Community Center. They went to one of Mom's favorite downtown lunch spots - Jennoely's Olde Style Pizza on Cotton Avenue. Not only are their pizza pies delicious, you can't deny their deal of a lunch special. For $3.96 per person (tax included!), you get two slices of pizza and a drink.

Mom always opts for the veggie, which has broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, onions and grape tomatoes, and Anika went with the supreme. They also offer meat-lovers, pepperoni and cheese choices on their lunch special menu. In addition to their pizza, they serve salads, wings, calzones, bread sticks and other pizzeria specialities.

You can call 478.744.9880 to place your carry-out or you can go to the counter and have a friendly conversation with co-owner Phil, who takes orders and runs the register, while his wife and business partner pushes pizzas in the exposed kitchen. These two have fought the good fight of being indie business owners in downtown Macon, and they continue to deliver an exceptional product to the hungry local lunch crowd.

Dine-in at one of their tables or high-tops and enjoy your meal while catching up on the community that comes through the door or just zone out to the national news, which is always playing on the restaurant's tube.
They don't offer delivery, but they do offer price deliverance . . . times two, plus a drink (including root beer!).

P.S. Anika isn't as square as her shirt says.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Recap: Milestones, Homegrowns and Second Sunday at Sundown

What a weekend it's been in Candy's Land. First and foremost, it's time for celebration. It was one year ago this past weekend, that Shuga D asked Mom to go to a Tom Petty concert and the two of them have been rocking and rolling ever since. They did their own sweet things to celebrate, and among them were a rose on her pillow and some of the most beautiful, brightest and practically ultraviolet Gerbera Daisies she's ever seen. Thanks to Shuga D's mama for helping Mom on her own reveal . . . which included side-by-side baby pics of the lovebirds when they were both teething their two front teeth. He's eating a popsicle and Mom, well, she's sucking on an onion bulb (you know the one we're talking about, Aunt Fran!).

On Saturday, Mom and Shuga D applauded another mileston. Downtown's favorite renaissance man Tony Long turned 70. They were there for his surprise party at the Cox Capitol Theatre, which has been officially dedicated to him. If it hasn't been for Tony's vision, passion and the ability to bust balls, downtown Macon would not be anywhere near where it is today!

Finally, Mom was able to buy local and organic this weekend at Macon's City Market on the Green - tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peaches and basil were among her purchases. They will be mostly consumed this evening at Washington Park, where Second Sunday Gospel Brunch has been moved for now to 6 p.m. to beat the heat. The sundown show will feature the Holy Ghost Tent Revival.

If all of that doesn't say amen, then you aren't sitting in the right pew. Shout out to those who get out and give our city some love!

Reading Rainbow

Remember the days of having a list of books your school required for summer reading? Well, Mom was the bookwormish nerd who liked that type of thing. Here's her summer bedside/back porch reading recs right now:

Out Stealing Horses by Per Peterson: Just finished on the back porch this weekend. An incredible book based in Norway, written by a Norwegian author extraordinaire and translated by Anne Born. Mom's cousin Amantha and her husband Nick gave her the book for Christmas this year and she counts it among the best gifts she could have received.

French Women for all Seasons by Mireille Guiliano: A light read for summer (and spring, winter and fall) suggestions in eating, drinking and being merry. This is the same author of French Women Don't Get Fat, which, in Mom's mind, is the best "diet" advice out there.

Once You Step in Elephant Manure, You're in the Circus Forever by Ed Grisamore: The nonfiction on the fictional-like life on Payne City local Durwood "Mr Doubletalk" Fincher written by Macon's own Gris. It even comes with a Durwood DVD - edited by our own Bright Blue. A local collaboration on one of the most colorful Central Georgians there is!

Sweet Treats

Mom has never been one to look a gift pony in the mouth - especially when they are treats this sweet. She has received some special tokens in the last couple of weeks that truly show thoughtfulness and were worth sharing. Just Jill was cleaning out her attic and gave her a vintage Candy's Land game board, circa seventies. Lil' Miss Bibb didn't leave her summer affairs with NYC without a box of Buttercup cupcakes for her friends. And Mom's pop? Well, he gave her that stun-gun you see here in the red box. Nothing says love like good friends, sweet thoughts and a daddy who still makes sure his daughter is armed and dangerous.

Candy Lou loves you!

Welcome the New Addition to the Candy's Land Crew!

Let's say it all together now: AWWWW! Meet Munson, the new boy in Bright Blue's life. She adopted the bulldawg mix a couple of weeks ago and her life has been beautiful chaos ever since. He is ham sandwich of love for sure. His Auntie Texas T has been helping Bright Blue with diaper duty, i.e. housebreaking. Uncle Shuga D rolled around on the sidewalk with him outside of Luigi's. And Mom has just been giving the hunk of love all of her love every time she sees him. I'm trying not to be jealous when she comes home smelling like puppy breath.

Munson Shadden is just another wonderful reason that you should adopt and not shop. Us mutts bring a variety of heart and soul (and DNA) to your life that no pooch with papers can provide. And we need you now. The City of Macon Animal Shelter is over-crowded and your home might have room to spare. And who wouldn't want to wake up to a face this cute?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If You Wannna Make the World a Better Place . . .

Take a look at yourself, and then make a change. I can't tell you how many times Mom sang that to herself growing up. And how often she still gets those lyrics stuck in her head when she looks in the mirror.

Our world has changed . . . and he changed anyone's world who had a record player, eight-track, cassette and CD player in it. It hit Mom today as she ran home for a quick bite and caught some of the live memorial coverage coming from the Staples Center that he is truly gone. Mom's generation is of those who moonwalked, Thriller danced and learned that we truly are the world alongside the undisputed King of Pop. How lucky we've been that technology came with him.

Motown's Barry Gordy just said, "Michael Jackson is a star who went into orbit and never came down." He then declared to a standing ovation, "He is the greatest entertainer that ever lived."

And true to an entertainer of that magnitude, the world never stopped watching.

It was Michael Jackson's beat that brought even our little town together three years ago when we first took on the "Thriller" dance in downtown Macon. Here's looking forward to October when we do it again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Who Let the Horses Out?

This Wyoming video makes us laugh . . . Until Mom and crew had to chase the horses over two miles down the road! Talk about wild women and loose horses - or is it the other way around?

Muddy Brown Makes His PSA Debut

We're down to just a couple of weeks for Bragg Jam Festival 2009 on July 25! The Swamp Ape has made his rounds on the internet. Now Muddy Brown can show you how he gets down! Check out Bragg Jam's PSA . . . created with love and sweat by the folks of Candy's Land (Bright Blue, Texas T, Shuga D, Appletini and Mom).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

She's Back in the Saddle Again

Sorry for the delay, but it took a week for Mom to recover from her wonderful adventure out West and come to grips with the reality that when she looks out the window, there wouldn't be endless terrain, big blue skies and a cow pony for her to get around on.

In addition to some minor EST time re-adjustment, her heart ached for the open spaces and pure country living paces she experienced in her five days away.
But thank goodness for me, Shuga D and the rest of the Candy's Land crew to remind Mom that there is no place like home, even if it was back to fast-pass business from the moment she set her cowgirl boots off the plane. And finally, after a pedicure, long weekend and a road trip with Shuga through the local country that reminds her that she still has the soul of a Georgia girl, Mom is back in the Candy's Land saddle again.

Although her trip provided her with some much appreciated respite, she was actually there on business. Her assignment that she gladly accepted is to write an article for Houston County Magazine on her experience of the real deal working ranch owned by Warner Robins Supply President Mark Bayer.
So, in a couple of weeks, Candy's Land will give you a preview of the article. But until then, here's a little taste of her personal experience:

Mom's seen some long driveways in her life. In fact, her dad has one of the longest she knows. But to drive through the dust of one that seems to be the road that goes on forever and be surrounded by such beauty that you don't care if it ends, this was Mom and Honey Shot's first glimpse of Dakota Ranch. It was rolling, endless, blue sky country with foothills of the Rockies as its framework. The smell of sage and sandalwood gave the gardenias Mom's known all her life a run for their money. And the deer and the antelope . . . well, they played. And played. Mom had never seen an antelope until Wyoming. And here they were with twin babies, proud papas and fleets of mamas that could run like the wind.

Days were spent bunked at the Bayers' ranch cabin. Breakfast was cooked on an open fire with a literal chuck wagon holding the supplies. Biscuits came into being in a cast iron pot, topped with hot coals and later sopped up with syrup. Mom and Honeyshot spent their evenings staring at stars that seemed so close you could touch them and tracing the silhouette of Squaw Mountain from their sunset scene on the back porch.

The main purpose of the journey was the annual cattle branding. Branding is still the law in Wyoming, and as much as it hurts, it is necessary when your main business products wonder a range the size of a small country.
The day before the branding, Mom saddled up her cow pony, which was then hauled an hour from the main ranch to where the cattle was currently grazing on the uninhabitable Laramie Plains. During the drive, the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees as they climbed into a higher elevation. Three jackets layered, Mom found herself in the saddle, in the sideways rain, searching for cattle and living out her cowgirl dreams. As much as Mom loves describing the ordeal, she still doesn't believe anyone will believe how rough and tough she was required to be . . . and how she still loved every minute of it.

They left the ranch the next day at 4 a.m. Yep, and by 6 a.m. Mom was back in the saddle and in full work mode. This time, they were surrounded by cowboys. And we're not talking the urban variety. Or the spaghetti Westerns. Or the Marlboro men (nobody smoked anyway!). These were the guys who have been lucky enough to grow up under the great skies of Wyoming, mostly where they were now, in Wheatland, about an hour north of Cheyenne. These were the guys whose livelihood depended on every cattle cry. And oftentimes those cows take greater precedent than their own children . . . which is why most of them were still single and hadn't walked that line yet.

Because the cows had been pushed in closer to the pens the day before, the actual drive didn't take too long. But Mom was part of something special that horse lovers like herself have spent an entire lifetime dreaming of. There was no show ring. They was no jump course. There were no judges, satin ribbons and fancy gear. This was the real deal - what horse and rider were meant for all along. And once again, Mom loved every minute as she and her gelding BJ flanked the herd and pushed them toward the pens.

But once the corral was in site, that's when Mom said a whoa and just watched. That's when the loud whooping started. When the lassos began slapping against the sides and the cows bunched up into an organized stampede that seemed to know where it was suppose to go. But the part that got mom? The part that made her shake her head and stream tears? The amazing oneness of those horses and riders. It was like watching an old Western in real life. Except those stunt doubles only wished they could ride like that. What happened well over 100 years ago was happening in front of her right then - cowboys were being cowboys and their horses were nothing less than an extension of their being. In all of her years riding . . . in all of her years showing, training and her daddy shelling out tons of money for her to ride right . . . She's never seen riding this good. She's never seen riding that real.

Out of the saddle and hours of hard labor later, Mom was covered in dust to the point she felt grit in her teeth every time she talked. The group branded well over 300 calves. Mom's job was to chalk them on the face after an injection was administered in their ear. No, it wasn't pretty. And yes, it hurts. But it's the way of life for the cows and the cowboys who love them. And there is no doubt that there is love there when both lives depend on each other.

One of the best meals Mom's ever had - which will go down in the history of fine dining experiences - was after the last calf was branded and made it's way back to the udder of its mama, the chuck wagon opened up and Linda Bayer and her crew served up a pot of mule deer stew, beans and rice, corn and cold beer. On top of that, fresh made pies by a Wheatland local and retired cowboy, were served as dessert, where Mom tasted rhubarb for the first time (and loved it!).

You would think Mom and Honeyshot would have been tuckered out to the extreme after a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call and a full day of rough and tough labor. But not these cowgirls. Poor Patrick, the Dakota Ranch foreman, was tasked to taking them out. And he did so to a dance hall over an hour away in Cheyenne. Mom and Honeyshot may have had a little trouble with the two-step, but the Georgia peaches made their presence known in the honkey-tonk and were grateful to Mr. McGuire for the authentic Cheyenne nightlife experience.

"Uncle" Jack actually let the cowgirls sleep in the next day. But there were still miles and endless miles of the ranch to see, and so they were up and at it again as soon as the black coffee set in. More and more of Mother Nature's beauty was discovered. More sage was smelled. More antelope were spotted. And more and more were the cowgirls feeling at home on the range.
Mom and Uncle Jack went for an evening sunset ride on the main ranch grounds. They clicked their horses to the tops of hills and overlooked the overwhelming natural grace. It just happened to be Sunday. And Mom couldn't have been in a better place of worship.

Even the rattlesnake on the ride home didn't deter Mom's cowgirl fun. In fact, for her, it was a notch on her fear factor belt as she immediately recognized the rattle and her horse Hillbilly neatly side-stepped it as if it was puddle and he didn't want to get his hooves wet.

There are more and more words to write on Mom and Honeyshot's Western Adventure. It's going to take a while for the two of them to quit longing for the range . . . and hopefully, it's in them enough now where they don't have to.