GPB Loves Music

Credit: MARTA

MARTA is considering renaming five train stations in Atlanta. It's an effort to keep up with changes in the city and to reflect surrounding neighborhoods.

One station proposed to be re-christened: Bankhead. The area was named after the highway that ran through it, which was in turn named after an Alabama family. But the Bankhead name is perhaps more closely associated with the torrent of rap and hip hop that grew from Atlanta's Westside and nearby neighborhoods. So, what's in the name "Bankhead"?


Album Cover Photo By Art Rosenbaum

"Corridos" are a traditional form of storytelling through song, which became widely popular during the Mexican Revolution. They often tell stories of history, oppression, the common human experience and cultural heroes. These songs chronicle life (and sometimes death) in an easily shared and consumed format.

A new album by Athens-based musician and activist Beto Cacao carries on the tradition of this musical form. It's called Undocorridos: Songs of the Stories and Struggles of the Undocumented in the USA


Stills from Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury

Going from punk rock to the priesthood is not a common progression. Then again, Georgia band Luxury never followed the rules.

A new film called Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury follows the Toccoa and Athens group through their brush with death and, eventually, three members becoming Eastern Orthodox priests. The documentary feature makes its Georgia premiere at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta on Wednesday, June 19 and at Ciné in Athens on Thursday, June 20.


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.


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: Jackie Lee Young

Upon first listen, you may not realize that the dreamy indie-pop music of Philadelphia-based Japanese Breakfast was inspired by grief.

 

Michelle Zauner, the woman behind the songs, began the project while navigating her mother's battle with cancer, and mourning her death. Both of Japanese Breakfast's albums — 2016's Psychopomp and 2017's Soft Sounds From Another Planet — were an exploration of that pain and sadness. That does not mean the albums sound morose, though.

 

 

 


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.

 

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.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

The intensive care unit at Navicent Health’s hospital in Macon is like ICUs everywhere. Nurses and doctors constantly checking in on the seriously ill, all the while trying to keep the noise down. But there’s one sound you can’t escape.

The beeping. 


Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The centuries old art of busking — or performing in public places for tips — is currently encouraged in Decatur.

The city is trying out a program that makes it easy to get a permit and take art and music to the streets.


Grant Blankenship / GPB


Odds are good you have never heard of Emmett Miller. Not too long ago, neither had Ben Arthur.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Learning English is not easy.

That can be true even for immigrants to the United States who have had the benefit of the best education available in the countries where they grew up.

Now imagine you're a kid from a country torn apart by war or political unrest. You may be lucky to be literate in your first language. Taking a child like that from speaking no English to speaking the language well enough to go to high school is no mean feat. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Growing up at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, Jimmy Haney had one dream. To join the musicians he and his father heard on the radio at the Grand Ole Opry. He got his start on that road in the 1950s with an icon of Country Music, but it almost cost him his life. Haney tells his story in this piece from GPB Music and the Field Note Stenographers

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