Atlanta music

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From Vincent Van Gogh to Charli XCX, many accomplished artists are thought to have synesthesia, or the blending of two or more senses. Atlanta-based sensory artist Siana Altiise also has synesthesia, and she feels compelled to use her unique perspective to create musical experiences meant to relax people.

Siana joined On Second Thought to share how she builds her meditative tracks based on both the psychology of attention and her personal experiences with synesthesia. 


Credit: Jeff Forney

Music Midtown begins Saturday! This year, 25 years after it first began, the two-day festival will feature acts like Travis Scott, Cardi B, Lizzo and Vampire Weekend. And on Sunday at 1 p.m., you can catch Atlanta locals, The Coathangers.

First, drummer Stephanie Luke and bassist Meredith Franco, two members of the garage punk trio, joined On Second Thought to talk about how they started playing music together, what it's like being an all-female punk band in the music industry and what "punk" means to them.

 


Credit: Eat Humans

The annual Music Midtown festival takes place this weekend. Through its 25 year history — it launched in 1994 — A-list acts like Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Elton John and Drake have all taken to the festival's stages.

This year, performing musicians include Travis Scott, Vampire Weekend, Billie Eilish and Lizzo. Atlanta native Faye Webster will be among them. First, she joined On Second Thought to talk about how, while still only in her early 20s, she's already released her third album — and to tell us about her musical journey along the way.


Georgia Public Broadcasting

2019 is a big year for Atlanta hip-hop duo EarthGang. Earlier this year, their label, Dreamville — that's rapper J. Cole's Interscope Records imprint — released a multi-artist album called Revenge of the Dreamers 3. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart.

And Friday, they drop their own Dreamville project into the world: the highly anticipated album Mirrorland


Brian Robbins / Robbins Photography

Whether it's the twang of a blues tune, the finger-picking of a folk song, or the shredding in heavy metal music, the guitar is central to our concept of popular music. But how does the design — the look, sound and feel — play into how a guitar becomes iconic?

Right now, the Museum of Design Atlanta, otherwise known as MODA, has an exhibition exploring exactly that. It's called "Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars" and it's on display until Sept. 29.


Credit: Casey Doran

Rose Hotel is not a hotel at all. It's a band. But that doesn't mean that their tunes won't make you dream, with their lo-fi, bedroom indie-pop sound. It's the music project of Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Jordan Reynolds. 

Rose Hotel's debut LP, called I Will Only Come When It's A Yes, is out today. There is an album release concert Friday at 529 in East Atlanta Village. First, Reynolds joined On Second Thought to add to our Georgia Playlist of songs written or performed by a Georgian. She selected "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" by Outkast and "Keep the Change" by Mattiel.


The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra

The Atlanta Jazz Festival gets underway this weekend. The annual event is one of the country's largest free jazz festivals. Among the featured is Atlanta-based band, The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Trumeter Russell Gunn leads the group. 

He stopped by On Second Thought to talk about the band's latest album, Get It How You Live and the group's natural mashup of traditional jazz, rhythm and blues and southern hip-hop. 


Credit: Gregory Miller

Even if you can't put your finger on it, Takénobu's music might sound familiar to you. That's because the "cinematic folk" from the classically trained Atlanta locals is frequently used on NPR shows and in video or film, including the new documentary 42 Grams.

 

Credit: Matt Correia

You may have heard Curtis Harding's voice before, perhaps without realizing it. That's because, for a number of years, he worked with a familiar Atlanta native: CeeLo Green. Harding sang back-up vocals for CeeLo and even co-wrote songs with the Grammy Award-winning musician, like "Grand Canyon" — which was a bonus track on CeeLo's 2010 album, The Lady Killer

After that and several other collaborations, Harding launched his solo career, applying his distinctive falsetto vocals to his own style of music, which he calls "slop 'n' soul."

Credit: Yana Yatsuk

Atlanta's own Black Lips is a band that keeps audiences on their toes, literally — which you'd know if you've ever landed in the mosh pit at one of their shows — and figuratively, given that the latest it-bag line from Gucci is named after band member Zumi Rosow. 

For 20 years, founding members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley have been making unruly garage rock, rockabilly records, and sometimes, they can sound like old country crooners. They are currently on a short U.S. tour, but will return to Atlanta just in time to hit the stage on the first day of the 2019 Shaky Knees Music Festival, which begins Friday, May 3.


Credit: Jeff Forney

With a curled lip and a graveled voice, Atlanta-based band The Coathangers will tell you what they think. Their gritty garage music incorporates influences that range from early punk to the golden oldies of rock 'n' roll. And yet, their lyrics are undeniably modern. The trio's new album, The Devil You Know, features songs that address current social issues like drug addiction and gun control.

We asked two members of The Coathangers, Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel, to add to our Georgia Playlist of songs written or performed by a Georgian. Their picks? "Frankenstein" by Subsonics and "Bad Kids" by Black Lips.


Paul R. Giunta / Invision/AP

When it comes to hip-hop, Atlanta boasts some big names: CeeLo, T.I., Ludacris, André 3000, Big Boi, Killer Mike, and the list goes on...and on. And there are always new chart toppers coming out of the Southern capital all the time. But that wasn't always the case.


Luis Sandoval, Simon David

An upcoming documentary aims to highlight Atlanta soul musician Lee Moses for a new era. The documentary, "Time and Place," focuses on Moses' life and the soul scene in Atlanta during the 1970s. The documentary takes its name from Moses' solo album. The album has become a staple of Southern soul despite not finding commercial success when it was released. 

 

Filmmaker Simon David stopped by "On Second Thought" to discuss the documentary and how it traces Atlanta's soul scene through those who remember it. Doris Moses, Lee Moses' widow, also joined the conversation.

 

Today's show featured stories on Georgia artists Lee Moses and Grammy-nominee David Harris, who worked with artist H.E.R. on her self-titled album. Peter Sagal also previewed "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" visiting the Savannah Civic Center this week.

Peter Sagal, host of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me," is the author of a new book on the impact of running on his life. "The Incomplete Book of Running" captures Sagal's meditations on joy, hardship and returning to the Boston Marathon after the bombing in 2013. He stopped by "On Second Thought" to discuss the book and the live taping of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" at the Savannah Civic Center on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Andre M / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia has been a major player in the music industry. Atlanta especially is a mecca for rap, hip-hop and R&B. Notable artists come here to record, and Georgia has been home to a number of famous names, including Ray Charles, Arrested Development, T.I., Ludacris and heavy metal band Mastodon.

 

Now, state legislators are working to make Georgia an even bigger hub for music and entertainment. Recently, Georgia Rep. Erica Thomas announced plans to co-chair a newly created Georgia Entertainment Caucus. She joined "On Second Thought," along with Grammy Award-winning music producer and engineer Matt Still, to discuss the caucus' potential impact.

 

Today's show explored the week in Georgia politics, the realities of exploitation and abuse revealed in Lifetime's new R. Kelly documentary and music from Georgia artists.

It’s been a busy week in Georgia politics. The state has a new governor, and a new legislative session is underway in the state House and Senate. GPB Politics Reporter Stephen Fowler has been under the gold dome covering the action and stopped by "On Second Thought" to provide a recap of the week.

2018 is almost in the history books, which means it’s time to look back at the music and artists that moved us over the past year.

 

Georgia, and especially the city of Atlanta, had several artists who had major success this year.

 

 


Tena Clark
Tena Clark / Tena Clark Website

Atlanta-based Tena Clark is a music producer, songwriter, Grammy winner and now memoirist. She chronicles her childhood in rural Mississippi in the new book, "Southern Discomfort."

Clark spoke to us about her new memoir, her mother's musical legacy and meeting Stevie Wonder for the first time.


This weekend, thousands of music fans will gather at Central Park in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward to attend ONE Musicfest.

 

Organizers say it’s the Southeast’s largest two-day, urban progressive music festival.

 

Georgia Playlist: Hamilton Park

Apr 16, 2018
Courtesy of Hamilton Park

Self-proclaimed "last real R&B group" Hamilton Park adds two songs to our growing Georgia Playlist.