R.E.M.

R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s hit record “Automatic for the People” was released 25 years ago. In 1992, the album hit #2 on the Billboard 200 charts, and became certified 4x platinum in the United States. The record is getting an anniversary re-release, out tomorrow, November 10. We talk with Athens’ own Mike Mills, R.E.M.’s bass player.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.'s iconic album, "Automatic for the People." We asked R.E.M mega-fan and Athens-based music reviewer Jordan Stepp to share an appreciation of the album. She talked about two of her favorite tracks: "Drive" and "Sweetness Follows." 

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has appeared in “That 70s Show,” “Fargo,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and many times on “Law and Order.” But he may be best known for his stand-up comedy specials, and two seasons of "The Jim Gaffigan Show." We catch up with him ahead of a live show in Atlanta this weekend.

On Tuesday Atlantans voted for a new mayor and other important city positions. We analyze election day results with Andra Gillespie, Professor of Political Science at Emory University. And Greg Bluestein, Political Reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Athens music scene is legendary and always booming. Since it became famous for launching bands like R.E.M., the B-52s, and countless others, it has only grown in the number of bands, talent, and musical quality. Some Athenians are documenting the music and history of that town's scene. 

On October 5, 1992, R.E.M. released its eighth studio LP, Automatic For The People, exemplifying a rare instance in which a band's most thematically somber material also becomes its most commercially successful. Even with no touring behind it (save for a memorable performance at the VMAs), the album went on to sell over 18 million copies worldwide, spawning such massive singles as "Man On The Moon," "Everybody Hurts," and "Drive."

Kevin Schlot / Flickr/CC

A burglary at a popular music venue in Georgia has rallied prominent musicians to provide a reward.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Sgt. Jim Schultz says the 40 Watt Club in Athens was burglarized in the early hours of Friday. A talent buyer for the club, Velena Vego, says more than $20,000 worth of house equipment was stolen. Vego says the electronic equipment has the club's information engraved.

Courtesy of Mike Savino

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia Playlist from musicians playing at Bragg Jam in Macon this weekend, July 28-29. Today’s picks come from banjoist Mike Savino, also known as Tall Tall Trees. He’s performed with groups like Of Montreal and Kishi Bashi. He brings us music from Jerry Reid and R.E.M.

Tall Tall Trees' Bragg Jam performance will be at the Bearfoot Beer Garden this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Kayne Lanahan founded the Stopover Music Festival seven years ago. She left New York City for Savannah after a successful advertising and marketing career. Since then, she’s become a loud pulse in Georgia’s bustling music scene. We asked her to add to our ongoing series, the Georgia Playlist. She chose works by R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel.

On today’s “Two Way Street” we talk with Rodger Lyle Brown, the author of “Party Out of Bounds: The B-52s, R.E.M. and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, Georgia.” It’s the story of how Athens became the center of the rock and roll universe starting around 1980 and continuing for almost 20 years.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

When they were both kids growing up in Macon, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills and classical violinist Robert McDuffie bonded over Hardy Boys books and shared records.  When they weren't making music together at church, anyway. 

"When my family moved here from Atlanta in 1971 my parents were looking for the best musical program in any church here," Mills said. "And the church that they found that had the best musical program was run by Bobby's mother."

The friends listened to records or watched TV together Sunday nights after church. That changed in their teen years. 

Trevor Young / GPB

On this week’s “Two-Way Street” we sit down with celebrated musicians Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie. Working in genres that rarely intersect, the two lifelong friends have both achieved great success in their musical careers.

Wikimedia Commons

Singer Kate Pierson has been a staple of Georgia's music scene since the early 1970s. She is a founding member of the B-52s. She has also collaborated with the likes of R.E.M., the Ramones, Iggy Pop and many others. Her first solo album was released in 2015. She adds two songs to our Georgia Playlist, a couple classics from James Brown and Little Richard.

R.E.M.

R.E.M. made the world listen. Formed in 1980, the quartet out of Athens, Georgia exploded the old idea of what pop music is all about. The 25th anniversary edition of the band’s iconic “Out of Time” album is set to be released in November. A 2014 MTV documentary explores the band’s Georgia roots.