Atlanta’s Missing And Murdered: The Lost Children. Between 1979 and 1981, 30 Black children and young adults were murdered in Atlanta. 23 year old Wayne Williams was arrested and convicted of the murder of two adults, but was linked to the deaths of least 10 of the victims. Days after Williams was sentenced to two life sentences, the remaining cases were closed and were attributed to Williams, despite the fact that he never went to trial for those murders. In 2019, 40 years after the first murder in the case was reported, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the Atlanta Police Department was reopening the case, looking to give the families of those murdered much needed closure. This new 5 part docu-series look back on how ‘The City Too Busy To Hate’ found itself in the midst of a killing spree that still leaves emotional and psychological scars. Directed by Sam Pollard, it covers every base, speaking with the victims families, city and law enforcement officials, journalists and using a trove of exclusive archival material, police and court documents that raises serious questions about whether Williams acted alone in the murders. The series also looks at how the city’s growing Black economic and political empowerment may have played a role in its sluggish response to the growing number of murdered Black children. It’s a sobering look back at a crucial moment in one of America’s most vibrant cities. Atlanta’s Missing And Murdered: The Lost Children airs Sunday night at 8pm on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com or HBO Now for more information.
Chocolate Samurai by Fantastic Negrito. The Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter couldn’t shoot a traditional video for his new single, so he asked his fans to send in clips of what they are doing to keep themselves busy under quarantine. With clips from Milan, Sydney, his hometown of Oakland and all points in between, it shows people doing everything from creating art, cooking, exercising, social distancing and generally make the most out of a bad situation. The song and video gives us a much needed dose of positivity and shows just how connected we are in the world, regardless of location. Easily the best post-pandemic video to emerge so far. Chocolate Samurai by Fantastic Negrito is available now through all major streaming outlets and the video can be viewed on YouTube.
The New Abnormal by The Strokes. After doing a number of side projects, The Strokes are back with their first album in a 7 years. With legendary producer Rick Rubin at the helm, the group have balanced the guitar driven sound of the first two albums with the experimentation and outside influences of their most recent output. For a band usually associated with 70s guitar driven rock, there’s a decidedly 80s New Wave presence throughout, recalling some of the best work by Human League, Modern English and New Order. ‘Bad Decisions’ owes so much to ‘Dancing With Myself’ that Billy Idol and Tony James receive songwriting credit. By incorporating this new musical infusion, The Strokes have put together their most consistent and cohesive album since their debut. A solid and welcome return to form. The New Abnormal by The Strokes is available now on Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming outlets.
Walking Proof by Lilly Hiatt. For the follow-up to her critically acclaimed Trinity Lane, Lilly Hiatt looks at the world around her to craft a dreamy song cycle about friends, family and a Nashville in the midst of transition. Working with producer Lincoln Parish,
Hiatt forges a new sound that combines elements of traditional country, indie rock and little hints of pop into a sound that distinctively her own. She’s leading a new Nashville movement that includes artists such as Aaron Lee Tasjan and Amanda Shires, both of whom appear on the new album. With incisive songwriting, crisp production and vocals that sounds like she’s descended from Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris, Lilly Hiatt is the living proof that the Nashville sound is about to embark on a new course of greatness. Walking Proof by Lilly Hiatt is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.
Final Draft: The Collected Work Of David Carr. In the documentary Page One: Inside The New York Times, viewers got to see their long time cultural writer David Carr at his abrasive, salty best. When he passed away in 2015, the world of journalism lost one of its best writers and one of the medium’s staunchest defenders. His widow, Judy Rooney Carr edited this new book featuring Carr’s strongest works through his 25 year career. It features everything from his early pieces for The Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis; the Washington City Paper, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and finally, The New York Times. What’s extraordinary about Carr’s output is that he was able to cover unknown civil servants and rock n rollers with the same passion as political leaders, while tearing down those who try to move journalism in a new (and not necessarily good) direction. With a forward by Carr disciple Ta-Nehisi Coates, this is the definitive look at one of the last true giants of journalism. Final Draft: The Collected Work Of David Carr is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.