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Olivia Rae James

Musician, songwriter, soundtrack and record producer T Bone Burnett has said that “The Secret Sisters echo and promise better days. They are a breath of fresh air.” And he should know, because Mr. Burnett produced the first two albums for this Alabama-born singing sibling duo.

The Secret Sisters – Laura and Lydia Rogers – have made some powerful fans in the music industry since their self-titled debut record from 2010. The sisters expect to release their third album in the spring of 2017, this time produced by singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Meghan Conwell

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

The Beauty Of Discovering Typos In Published Novels

Nov 30, 2016
Pixabay Images

When it comes to correcting mistakes in writing, author Joshilyn Jackson thinks grammar police are difficult to deal with. Still, she acknowledges that many writers, herself included, would be lost without them as copy editors.

The process of copy editing and proofreading has undergone a dramatic shift with the advent of the computer. There were once discrete stages in which specific people looked at different drafts of a novel, and changes were made incrementally.

“Back when it was done on paper, the copy editor’s changes would be made in colored pencils.” Jackson said.

Courtesy of NuEnsemble

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Photo courtesy of Alliance Theatre

New York’s loss was Atlanta's gain when Courtenay Collins decided she’d had enough of the crowds and moved back to the city.

So it’s no surprise that the performer’s Christmas show, produced with the Alliance Theatre, is titled “Home for the Holidays.”

Created with the Alliance’s artistic director Susan V. Booth, the production is based on Collins’ popular one-woman cabaret show and includes music, stories, crafts, and Collins’ charm and good humor.  

Myke Johns / WABE

It's an Atlanta holiday tradition going on its eighth year, and, this time, the annual production of "Black Nativity" is getting its audience in on the act.

This year’s production is giving local churches the opportunity to feature their own praise and worship teams and chorales on stage as an opening act to the show, as well as having them perform with "Black Nativity's" choir during the show.

In addition, the production is also releasing a cast recording of the show's soundtrack.

Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

The Vendome Press

Thanksgiving marks the traditional beginning of the season of celebration, and no one throws a party like event planner David Monn. He has planned parties at the White House for Michelle Obama and for the New York Public Library.

Monn is the author of a new coffee table book called “The Art of Celebrating.” And while most of his parties are splendidly out of the price range for most people, Atlanta arts and culture writer Gail O'Neill recommended this coffee table book to awaken our imaginations.

The Vendome Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Some people who stopped by Creative Loafing's Crafts & Drafts event at Atlantic Station also visited the mall's stores.
Hadj Cruz

Black Friday is this week. For years, it's been a day when sales attract shoppers to area stores.

More recently, it's had to compete with Cyber Monday. That's a day retailers offer big discounts online.

That takes money away from brick-and-mortar shops. This season, forecasts says holiday internet sales should rise at least 7 percent. 

City Lights: 'Moonlight'; 'Hamilton'; And More

Nov 23, 2016
Courtesy of A24 Films

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Joan Marcus / Courtesy of Atlantic Records

When best-selling novelist Joshilyn Jackson visited New York City just two days after the presidential election to meet with her agent, editor, publisher and others involved in getting her latest book published, she used part of the trip to see the Broadway play "Hamilton."

Jackson says, “‘Hamilton’ is a ground-breaking play by any measure, but it was especially meaningful and sobering and affecting in the wake of an election where how we’re going to treat our immigrants has been a huge point of contention.”


With the latest election cycle, the yelling matches at the dinner table might be louder, the passive aggression might be more sinister and the turkey might leave a bitter taste in your mouth this Thanksgiving.

So, for the Scadenfreudes out there, the Atlanta Film Society’s Cameron McAllister compiled this list of movies about very dysfunctional families that you can watch over the holiday.

From drug lord mothers to dead dads, you can relish that your family is not as bad as this. In the case that your family is as bad or worse, perhaps skip over these for the time being:

ATL Collective Covers Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours'

Nov 22, 2016
Ron Scott

Since 2009, a small showcase has transformed into an event that sells out at venues like Terminal West, Eddie’s Attic and City Winery.

Each month, ATL Collective unites musicians across Atlanta and sometimes across the country to cover a classic album in its entirety. They’ve covered albums like Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” and many, many more.

Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Robert Clark

Atlanta writer Topher Payne has a Hallmark card for us.

Over the summer, Payne had his television debut with his Hallmark movie "My Summer Prince." Speaking to "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes then, he hinted that he would be back on the network for Christmas and true to his word, he is back. Payne is the screenwriter of the upcoming Hallmark original movie "Broadcasting Christmas," starring Dean Cain and Melissa Joan Hart.

Jon Dean

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Jon Dean

There are a number of things that could reasonably be expected when a stand-up comedian starts a blog. But for it to be a fiercely feminist, self-critical catalog of thoughts on marriage, weight loss, health and her own faults is pretty extraordinary.

Atlanta stand-up comedian Jen Lenny's blog, “Journey to the Bachelor,” has featured some arresting writing as of late, deconstructing the layers of thought behind her desire to get married, her addiction to fast food, and her medical problems.

Iman Woods

In the musical “Big Fish,” the main character, Edward Bloom, sings “I’ve never been a man who lived an office life … I always been a man that said staying still is playing dead.” For Bloom, he can’t live an ordinary life, and indeed, the way he tells it, his life has been quite extraordinary – from befriending a giant to conjuring a full field of daffodils for his future wife.

But as Edward Bloom ages, his son wants to know the truth behind the tall tales.

mjpatter via Pixabay

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of re:imagine/ATL

At 16, filmmaker Sierra Isley’s IMBD credits are already quite lengthy.

Her web series based on the Percy Jackson young adult series received over 200,000 views on YouTube, and she has created book trailers, music videos and more.

She is also the director of an upcoming web series. Called "No Comment," the series is made by Atlanta teens for Atlanta teens.

Braves' Chase d'Arnaud Picks Up Guitar In Off-Season

Nov 18, 2016
Courtesy of Chase D'Arnaud

One rare off-season routine comes from Chase d’Arnaud, an Atlanta Braves infielder. He trades in his glove and cap for a guitar and microphone.

Growing up, D’Arnaud’s mother would put on opera recitals for the family – “It’s a very large Pilipino family, every recital consisted of 50 to 100 people,” he laughed—and it was his mother that encouraged him to sing.

Courtesy of Atlanta Photography Group

For the past few weeks, local artist Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier has been teaching an art class to four middle school girls. These girls are also the children of refugees and immigrants, living in the Clarkston area.

At the Atlanta Photography Group gallery, the class will present their work in an exhibit called “Juxtapositions” with the opening Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Leonard Cohen attends a listening party for his new album "Popular Problems" on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 in New York.
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Madeleine Peyroux Sings 'Secular Hymns' In New Album

Nov 18, 2016
Shervin Lainez

After playing at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Madeleine Peyroux and her band stumbled into a 12th-century French church.

“It had this immediate effect on me,” said Peyroux in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “You don’t have the opportunity to go in a 12th-century church in America.”         

Oddly enough, it was living internationally that led to her appreciation of American music – from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan.

Courtesy of Wonderroot

Local arts nonprofit WonderRoot's mission is to unite artist and community. Their recent initiative "Percolate" did that in a very literal way. In partnership with last week’s Facing Race conference, the organizers paired up 100 artists and 100 activists to go on coffee dates, where they were given a tool kit to aid them in discussions about racial justice.

City Lights: Madeleine Peyroux; Percolate; And More

Nov 18, 2016
Shervin Lainez

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski will perform the works of John Williams this weekend.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Modern Japanese landscapes and ancient Chinese poetry fill out this weekend’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert program.

The concerts open with a contemporary piece by Toru Takemitsu. “A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden” is one of the late Japanese composer’s most performed and celebrated works. The Atlanta Symphony’s Principal Guest Conductor, Donald Runnicles, called Takemitsu’s work “a meditation.”

Amy Harris / Associated Press

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Deborah Feingold

Alice Hoffman has written more than thirty works of fiction, including “The Marriage of Opposites,” “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” and “Practical Magic.” Her latest novel is called “Faithful.” In between appearances and signings around Atlanta, Hoffman stopped by WABE for an interview with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.”

via Pixabay

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":