The Old Lady is fixing to hit the highway, with lots of stops along the way. She likes to share her perspective on the places she passes through and she figures, why not start right where she lives? Too often people discount the place they live as ordinary but if they would step outside of their routine, slow down, and focus they would find that there are sights to be seen that are worth sharing.
Here’s what the Old Lady likes in downtown Valdosta, Georgia:
Street sculpture is always fun. This one has a dual purpose: you can chain your bicycle to it.
Old buildings offer architecture that is outdated both because of changing styles and because nobody will pay the price of hiring artisans to do this kind of work on commercial buildings anymore.Old decorative details are always intriguing.
The ruins of buildings offer their own ethereal beauty.
And in conclusion, the irony of this image speaks volumes.
Valdosta, in extreme south Georgia, July, nighttime. Temp: about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity: about 90 percent.
Red Door Records. Free show. Thanks, Jessica. Love the new location; the parking lot scene is much more urban and better lit.
First up: The Caution Children, from north Florida. Singer: “This one’s in the key of F, it runs about 5 minutes and 30 seconds, and it’s got a couple of time signature changes.” They play melodic ambient hardcore, and he does some interesting things with the mic and with one of the guitar players’ heads. Listen to them here: https://myspace.com/thecautionchildren/music/songs
Next: Gillian Carter, also from Florida, more hardcore than melodic. They call themselves post punk. I guess that’s pretty accurate. A sample: https://myspace.com/gilliancarter
The afterparty was at the Ashley Street Bar, which of course is now on Baytree Road. Cody Gibson was playing when the Old Lady walked in, high powered country. She couldn’t find any links to his music other than with the Southern Gentlemen, and they weren’t in attendance tonight just some dude named Kevin on keyboards who was very good.
Then Mylo Ranger, with a big multilayered alt-country-rock sound that occasionally slid into blues. The same Kevin that played keyboards with Cody Gibson joined them on sax, and again was very good. Who is this guy? Hear Mylo Ranger at http://www.myloranger.com/#!music/c10tw
SUPPORT LIVE LOCAL MUSIC. IF YOU DON’T GO, IT WILL GO AWAY.
There is a forgotten place in the remote Upper Coastal Plain region of Georgia, a place that does not even exist on most road maps.
But if you drive through Brooklyn you can’t miss it because of an artist whose name may be unfamiliar but whose work stands out. Stands out on the highway, that is.
Floria Yancey is one of the last of a breed, a primitive roadside folk artist whose spirituality and painting are inextricably intertwined.
An ordained minister as well as an artist, Yancey’s church and gallery are marked by an exhibit of fading road art which acts both to catch the passing eye and to send it down the right road to Heaven.
Ordained minister as well as artist, Yancey’s church and gallery are marked by an exhibit of fading road art which acts both to catch the passing eye and to send it down the right road to Heaven.
The Old Lady first met the Reverend Yancey after a wrong turn got her lost while she was looking for a nearby prison to try scheduling a blood donation event there. She stopped by again about a month later when she began a fearful drive up to Atlanta to see about her Mother who lay ill in Piedmont Hospital. That day she asked Rev. Yancey to pray for her Mother. The Reverend unlocked the small ramshackle church and took her inside where they stood together before the simple altar holding hands while the Reverend called for the power of God to help the Old Lady and her Mother. A blood transfusion got Mother out of the hospital a few days later, a transfusion of blood that could well have come from one of the Old Lady’s rare successful events. That is, one of the few where somebody actually did donate blood. The Old Lady was fired from that job very soon afterward, but counted the experience a gain for her Mother’s sake.
Seven years later, on the afternoon of Palm Sunday, the Old Lady stopped in Brooklyn again on her way to another job. The signs along the road had fallen into disrepair, and the church and gallery were deserted. In despair, the Old Lady was fixing to move on down the road when the Reverend Yancey rode up in the shotgun seat of a fine car filled with family. The Old Lady reminded the Reverend of that day seven years before. “I thought you looked kind of familiar,” she said, holding the Old Lady’s hand.
Further along the highway that day, the Old Lady passed Jesus on the road toting a cross. (See http://www.oldladyandpurpledragon.com/holy-week-pilgrimage-part-one/ )
Another hot summer night at the Old Lady’s favorite house venue in Valdosta, Elder House. Another crammed lineup. Another stoked crowd.
It just doesn’t get much better than this.
Hot Barrel 45 got the ball rolling with originals that are intricate, both melodically and rhythmically, as well as heavy.
Artifacts threw some slamming hardcore at an in-your-face audience.
The host band, Hall of the Elders, was impeccable as always.
In Life’s Wake ground out some major metal.
Meridian, a hardcore band from New York, wrapped up the show just before midnight.
Meridian’s lead singer gave a shout out to Reese, one of the Valdosta kids, who responded to a desperate Tweet and let the band crash at his place.
This is what the Old Lady really likes about this local metal scene: these people really care about each other, and take care of each other. The music may sound raw and mean, but there’s love in this scene, y’know what I mean?
It’s sum-sum-sum-sum-summertime, the perfect season for outdoor music festivals and fun in the sun. But if you want to party hearty and still hang all day and night, the Old Lady has a little advice for you:
DRINK WATER. Seems obvious, so why isn’t everybody swigging H2O? Because beer is better, of course. But here’s the deal, kids: if you’ll chug a full bottle of water between every two or three beers you can stay upright longer and feel better the next day.
EAT FOOD. Another obvious tip, but easy to neglect. Carry some high protein snacks in your pockets, like nuts; they’re cheap and salty and will make you want to drink more water. Chunks of raw cucumber and watermelon will actually help you tolerate the heat better (this is Chinese medicine, proven over the centuries). Chips… well, if you just won’t eat anything else, okay at least it’s something, but make it corn chips or something multigrain. Here’s the bottom line, kids: if you keep some food in your tummy, you can actually drink more beer before you pass out or throw up. The Old Lady should know. But…
DON’T EAT BEFORE YOU PERFORM. Eat earlier in the day, but nothing during the hour before your band goes on. The Old Lady never eats right before she performs (you say you didn’t know the Old Lady performs? “There’s a lot you don’t know,” snapped the Old Lady peevishly, “whaddya think, I spill ALL of my secrets here on this dadgum blog?”). Food in the stomach weighs down your mind, your vocal cords, and your body. Save that burger until later, to celebrate your stellar performance.
WEAR SUNSCREEN. At the recent Elderfest the Old Lady photographed some tattoos that were more faded than they should have been. Protect your investment in ink with sunscreen. Sunscreen on the rest of you will prevent sunburn (it will NOT keep you from tanning, chickies!); sunburn dehydrates you and keeps you from partying on into the night.
IF THERE IS A LAKE JUMP IN IT. Immersing your body in the nearest body of water helps cool you and invigorate you. Take advantage of it!
The Old Lady wants everybody to have as much fun as humanly possible, so think about these tips and take care of your body so you can mosh like a mo-fo. LISTEN TO THE OLD LADY!