Music

Grant Blankenship / GPB

You probably saw the photo. 

A woman with her right hand raised in a fist, her left on the autobiography of Malcolm X. That was Mariah Parker. 


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Today’s Music Minute features a controversial artist known for always speaking his mind.

On this day in 1977, Kanye West was born in Atlanta.

Kanye’s vocal support for president Trump and recent comments about slavery being a ‘choice’ have garnered a lot of negative reaction on social media.

In the midst of that controversy, Kanye released his eighth studio album, Ye, which includes this song, titled ‘No Mistakes."

 

 

Today’s music minute features Atlanta artist Andre 3000, who doesn’t produce much music anymore. But when he does, it’s still special.

The song, titled “Me&My"(To Bury Your Parents), was a suprising release last weekend. It's one of two track dedicated to his deceased parents

André’s mother died one day after his birthday in 2013.  His father died the following year.

 

Turns out Andre doesn’t just do vocals: he also plays bass clarinet.

“Utility conductor” isn’t his real title, but it might as well be. Officially, Stephen Mulligan is assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. That means he conducts educational and other community performances, leads the ASYO, studies all the ASO’s main concert repertoire, attends all rehearsals, and stands ready to jump onstage at a moment’s notice if a scheduled conductor falls ill.

JD Scott

Elizabeth Tiscione was just 21 when she won the position of principal oboist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

If you’re looking for Tool, you won’t find it here.

As with “Mer de Noms” and “Thirteenth Step,” released in 2000 and 2003, “Eat the Elephant” is A Perfect Circle. This is Billy Howerdel’s band and the former guitar tech for Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer) plays the majority of the instruments. The music isn’t going to have that kick-you-in-the-balls edge when released April 20 via BMG Music.

The music of Macon based band Mani exists at a nexus of styles.

The vocals are pushed deep into the mix of their first real release, icanthearwhattheyresayingbutithinkigetit, the better to focus on their mix of world music, math rock, noise and psychedelia.

Guitarist Zach Farr said the project started with his composing and recording on his own until a live band, featuring drummer Steve Ledbetter, started to jel sometime around 2013.

 

BIOGRAPHY.COM

Today, officials at the state capitol will honor the life of Civil Rights and labor activist Cesar Chavez, who was born on March 31st.

Chavez dedicated his life to improving conditions for hundreds of thousands of farm-workers, who suffered under poor working conditions and low wages.

As the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Chavez was a fierce advocate for agricultural reform.

 

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Jeff Roffman

You’ll usually find Alcides Rodriguez in the woodwind section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This weekend, though, he’s putting down his clarinet and picking up percussion – as the soloist in Ricardo Lorenz’s Concerto for Venezuelan Maracas and Orchestra. Does the idea of a maracas concerto sound preposterous? GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw asked Alcides Rodriguez how a pair of shakers can hold the audience’s interest for a quarter hour.

Interview Highlights

On the tricky technique

Frank Ockenfels

Los Angeles musician Phoebe Bridgers is only 23 years old. But she’s already toured and collaborated with artists like Ryan Adams and Julien Baker. She has a NPR Tiny Desk Concert, and was also featured in an Apple iPhone commercial in 2014.

Snarky Puppy

There’s one thing you notice when you see Snarky Puppy. The Brooklyn by way of the Texas band is huge! They have 20-plus rotating musicians, most of whom fill the stage at a live show. The jazz-fusion group will likely crowd the Variety Playhouse stage in Atlanta, where they play two sold out shows this week. Producer Trevor Young caught up with Snarky Puppy’s Mike League and Marcelo Woloski last month.

 

Today’s music minute honors the woman who inspired one of the most powerful protest-anthems of the Civil Rights movement, "We Shall Overcome"

The song is based off of lyrics written by composer Louise Shropshire, who was born in 1913.

Her original song, ‘If My Jesus Wills’, was adapted by folk singer Pete Seeger in the 1940’s.  

Neighbor Lady

We add two more tunes to our ever-growing Georgia Playlist. Merideth Hanscom plays with the Athens-based group Neighbor Lady. They perform at 529 Bar in Atlanta tonight [Jan. 31]. Hanscom brings us tracks by Deerhunter and Omni.

Tim Wilkerson

Mozart’s Magic Flute is a great first opera for children. In additional to magical instruments, it’s got a prince on a rescue mission, a funny but lonely birdcatcher, a high-strung Queen of the Night, wild animals and trials by water and fire.

Eric Gales

In the 1990s, blues guitarist Eric Gales was hailed as a child prodigy. With his left-handed playing technique, many compared the Memphis, Tennessee musician to Jimi Hendrix himself. Gales’ latest record is called ‘Middle of the Road,’ released last year. He’ll perform at Terminal West in Atlanta tomorrow night [Jan. 5] at 9 p.m. Producer Trevor Young caught up with him last week.

Heidi May

Henry Rollins is a man who wears many hats. Perhaps best known as the frontman for the legendary 80s punk band Black Flag, Rollins now boasts a prolific career across radio, television, and the live stage. We catch up with Henry Rollins ahead of an appearance at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on January 7.

Cindy Hill / GPB

Think Christmas music and there are sounds that probably jump to mind. 

There's Bing Crosby, Vince Guaraldi, maybe Handel's "Messiah." Well, as it turns out, one of the oldest African-American musical traditions is also tied to Christmas.

That's the Ring Shout, still performed by the Geechee and Gullah people of the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

Don't know the Shout? Meet the McIntosh County Ring Shouters. We caught up with them introducing their music to children at a recent Savannah Music Festival Musical Explorers concert.  

Dust To Digital

Gospel musician Washington Phillips has been shrouded in mystery for decades. The Texas-based artist recorded only 18 songs in the 1920s, which were lost to obscurity until recently. Atlanta-based Dust-to-Digital revived his music into a new collection called “Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams.” That release was nominated for a Grammy Award. 

Christmas is the one holiday of the year that has the most music associated with it. Sometimes that’s a good thing. And sometimes it’s a bad thing. We wanted to get a good list of the best songs and the songs to avoid over the holidays, so we talked Chester Phillips, the director of athletic bands at Georgia State University.

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