Mommies dearest

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“Diapers, candy and you name it in the mosh pit,” it’s all par for the course at a Candy Band gig, says guitarist Paula Messner, aka, Almond Joy.

Not so at metro Detroit’s first Mamapalooza on Sunday, May 1.

The four suburban Detroit moms will serve up their sugar-frenzied punk versions of kiddie classics like “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” to a different crowd — the mommies. This Sunday night, moms will tuck in their little darlings, leave the binkies and ba-bas at home, and head to Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak for a night all their own.

Three local all-mom acts — Candy Band, Jill Jack and the Mydols — will play. Joy Rose, lead singer of New York band Housewives on Prozac and Mamapalooza creator, will emcee. (There will also be a screening of clips from a documentary based on mom bands, as well as stand-up sets by mom comedians.)

Proceeds from the $3 cover go to the YMCA’s Interim House, a haven for victims of sexual or domestic violence.

Rose, a woman who admits she embraces the term “MILF,” has helmed three Mamapaloozas in New York City, and this year she helped spread the event to eight cities, from San Francisco to Nashville.

“I went to college. I went out in the world, but when I became a mom all I had to fall back on was some kind of stereotype from the ’50s of what a mom should be,” Rose says.

Mamapalooza is out to destroy that stereotype.

“Kids are just lucky because they get away with it. Moms need to scream and shout and make noise too,” says Judy Davids, guitarist for the Mydols.

Rose discovered her kindred spirits in Detroit after a recent national blitz of stories about moms who refuse to accept acts like Barney and the Wiggles as the only alternative for children’s entertainment. These rocker moms have been in People, the Wall Street Journal and on NBC’s Today Show.

But can Candy Band’s music — usually played for kiddies — work for a 21 and older crowd?

Hell, yes, Messner says. “If you didn’t know our music was a kid’s song, you’d think it was just a kick-ass rock song.”

Mother knows best.


At 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, at Memphis Smoke, 100 S. Main, Royal Oak; 248-543-4300. Or visit

Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]
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