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NPR: All Songs Considered Podcast by Bob Boilen

NPR: All Songs Considered Podcast

by Bob Boilen

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Host Bob Boilen spins new music from emerging bands and musical icons.


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+1 How Lenny Kaye, The Godfather Of Garage Rock, Illuminated 'The Psalms'

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 23, 2017


Lenny Kaye is an elemental force in music and a spiritually attuned diviner of sounds. On this episode, he walks us through his process and his inspirations including producing the new album by Jessi Colter

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Why SXSW Matters: The Best Of What We Saw, 2017

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 21, 2017


SXSW isn't a rock festival, a hip-hop festival or a global music festival — it's a big bundle of everything rolled into five spring-warm Texas days. For artists, the choice to attend can be an expensive risk, traveling from Taiwan, Mebourne, Brixton, Brazil, or Italy hoping to be seen and heard. But sometimes it pays off. We go there to find music we're unlikely to see in our own backyard, find something thrilling, then shout out our fervent support. 1. Fragile Rock: "Stay Felt (Live)," 2. Hard Proof: "Stinger," 3. Lizzo: "Worship (Live)," 4. Anna Meredith: "The Vapours," 5. Let's Eat Grandma: "Deep Six Textbook (Live)," 6. Grandaddy: "The Boat Is In The Barn," 7. Frances Cone: "Arizona," 8. Calliope Musicals: "1604," 9. Aldous Harding: "Imagining My Man," 10. Tribu Bahar?: "Made In Tribu Bahar?," 11. Allison Crutchfield: "Chopsticks On Pots And Pans," 12. Phoebe Brigers: "Smoke Signals," 13. Shame: "The Lick"

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SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Saturday

Author: NPR
Sun, Mar 19, 2017


SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Saturday Our final day at this great music festival leaves on me (Bob Boilen) and Stephen Thompson standing to talk about our discoveries for SXSW 2017

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SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Friday

Author: NPR
Sat, Mar 18, 2017


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Colorado Public Radio's Jessi Whitten convened on an Austin street corner Friday night to recap their favorite moments of the day.

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SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Thursday

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 17, 2017


SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Thursday - where bob is chased by a nearly naked man screaming to 'forgive yourself!' and where Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley talk about music that thrilled them.

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SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Wednesday

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 16, 2017


On this second full day at SXSW, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson talk about the music they saw in Austin including bands from the NPR Music showcase featuring PWR BTTM Sylvan Esso, Lizzo, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Big Thief and The New Pornographers.

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SXSW Late-Night Dispatch: Tuesday

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 15, 2017


On Day 1 of SXSW 2017, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson gather at 2 a.m. to talk about favorite moments from Tuesday.

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+1 Hey Bands, Why T-Shirts Matter, A Martin Atkins Minute

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 14, 2017


Funny man, former PIL drummer and music business advisor Martin Atkins looks at SXSW from a band perspective. It's the T-shirt that counts.

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SXSW 2017 Preview

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 13, 2017


For music lovers, South By Southwest can feel like Christmas, Mardi Gras, Spring Break and March Madness rolled into one. Spread out over five days and nights in Austin, Texas, it's a thrilling and exhausting musical endurance challenge, with fans often seeing upwards of 100 shows before the week is through. This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to share and discuss some of the artists they're most excited to see and hear as this year's festival kicks off.

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+1: Remembering Elliott Smith's Masterpiece, 'Either/Or,' 20 Years Later

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 10, 2017


This year marks the 20th anniversary of what many consider Elliott Smith's best album, Either/Or. To mark the occasion, Kill Rock Stars is releasing an expanded version of the late singer's record, with remastered versions of the original songs, live recordings and previously unreleased bonus tracks. On this week's All Songs Considered +1 podcast, host Robin Hilton talks with Smith's longtime friend, engineer and archivist for Smith's estate, Larry Crane. He's the one who put together the deluxe version of Either/Or. Through the course of the conversation, he shared a lot of personal memories about Smith, about his warmth and playful sense of humor, his feverish work pace and what it was like to be in the studio together.

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Alt-J, Elliott Smith, The New Pornographers, Girlpool, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 07, 2017


When we sat down to record this week's podcast, we were a little bleary-eyed after staying up late the night before to see the The Flaming Lips' show at the 9:30 Club here in Washington, D.C. But — between the band's confetti cannons, laser light show and the electric, rainbow-colored unicorn that frontman Wayne Coyne rode into the audience (we're not making that up) — it was well worth the loss of sleep.Regardless of our bleary eyes, we come to the table charged and ready to share the new music we're excited about this week: 1. alt-J: "3WW," 2. Girlpool: "123," 3. Hiccup: "Neverwhere," 4. The New Pornographers: "High Ticket Attractions," 5. The Magnetic Fields: "'81: How To Play The Synthesizer," 6. Joan Shelley: "Wild Indifference," 7.Elliott Smith: "No Name No. 5 (Remastered)," 8. Frank Turner: "The Sand In The Gears (Live)"

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+1: Resistance Radio: Darkly Reimagining The '60s Sound

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 03, 2017


A conversation with musician/producer Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) about creating an album inspired by an alternative universe in which Germany and Japan win World War II.

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Our Tiny Desk Contest Winner, Land Of Talk, Juana Molina, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 28, 2017


We kick this week's show off with the wild ride that is Tank And The Bangas, our unanimous pick to win this year's Tiny Desk Contest. They're from New Orleans and have the kind of playful, infectious energy that makes a band impossible to miss. You can hear their winning song, "Quick," in our podcast — but to really appreciate how special they are, you should head to our site and watch their winning video. We're also joined on the show by one of the judges for this year's contest, and the newly named host for WXPN's World Cafe, Talia Schlanger. Talia talks about what it was like watching the Tiny Desk contest entries and shares new music from the '90s shoegaze group Ride. We've also got long-awaited new music from the Canadian rock group Land Of Talk. After a stunning debut in 2010, the band largely disappeared, but frontwoman Elizabeth Powell has finally returned with a worthy followup, Life After Youth. We've got the first single from it, a beautiful ode to self-determination called "Inner Love."Also on the show: Bob drops a surprising new release from the Argentine singer and electronic musician Juana Molina; multi-instrumentalist Jay Som and the New York-by-way-of-Camaroon singer known as Vagabon both have new albums that perfectly blend wistful meditations with fuzzy guitars; and NPR Music's Marissa Lorusso stops by the studio to share a fantastic new cut by Bellows. 1. Tank And The Bangas: "Quick," 2. Land Of Talk: "Inner Lover," 3. Bellows: "Broken Skin," 4. Juana Molina: "Cosoco," 5. Ride: "Home Is A Feeling," 6. Vagabon: "100 years," 7. Jay Som, "1 Billion Dogs"

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Lana Del Rey, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Colin Stetson, Penguin Cafe, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 21, 2017


On this week's show: Music to cleanse the brain! 1. Shogu Tokumaru: "Lita-Ruta," 2. Penguin Cafe: "Contorum," 3. Tom Adams: "Sparks," 4. Lana Del Rey: "Love," 5. Violents & Monica Martin: "How It Left," 6. Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "Treasure Map," 7. Colin Stetson: "Spindrift"

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Guest DJ: Ryan Adams

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 14, 2017


Ahead of the release of his newest record, Ryan Adams sits down with NPR Music's Bob Boilen to consider his favorite love songs, including Springsteen, Dylan and Sonic Youth.

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Future Islands, The Black Angels, David Bazan, Jacaszek, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 07, 2017


It's starting to feel like every show this year is going to have music inspired or shaped in some way by social and political unrest. This week, that means a dark and gritty new cut about greed and corruption from The Black Angels, and singer David Bazan's (relatively) uplifting plea for empathy in his new song, "Care." But we've also got plenty of other music to lift you up, including the wistful but celebratory new song from Future Islands called "Ran," and an epic, shape-shifting rock cut from the Athens, Ga. band Oak House. NPR Music's Lars Gotrich and Marissa Lorusso stop by the studio to turn us on to a couple of their favorite new discoveries, including some pure pop joy from a New York group called Charly Bliss, and the Japanese experimental psych-rock band Sundays & Cybele. 1. Future Islands, "Ran," 2. The Black Angels, "Currency," 3. David Bazan, "Care," 4. Charly Bliss, "Glitter," 5. Sundays & Cybele, "Chaos & Systems," 6. Oak House, "Esque," 7. Jacaszek, "Soft Music," 8. Johnny Flynn, "Heart Sunk Hank."

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Jens Lekman Wants To Sing You A Strange Story

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 06, 2017


We premiere a very cheery-sounding piece of music from Swedish songwriter and singer Jens Lekman, though the story behind it is decidedly dark at the same time.

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On Horses and Beatles: A Conversation With Real Estate's Martin Courtney

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


"I feel like this is my lane, guitar-based pop music." Martin Courtney and his band Real Estate's fourth album In Mind, takes cues from one of the great albums of all time, The Beatles Abbey Road.

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Missy Elliott, Sampha, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 31, 2017


This episode of All Songs Considered covers the very ends of spectrum, from carefree celebration to soul-baring sadness. Hear new tracks by Missy Elliott, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, and more: 1. Valley Queen, "Stars Align," 2. Mount Eerie, "Real Death," 3. Nick Hakim, "Bet She Looks Like You," 4. Missy Elliott, "I'm Better (feat. Lamb)," 5. Young Fathers, "Only God Knows (ft. Leith Congregational Choir)," 6. A Winged Victory For The Sullen, "Metro Part Three," 7. Sampha, "(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano"

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How Laurie Anderson And Philip Glass Were About To Change The World

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


The performance artist reflects on Philip Glass' generous spirit, his perpetually fresh ideas and the grand experiments hatched in the lofts of SoHo in the '70s

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While My Guitar Gently Sings: A Conversation With Delicate Steve

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 26, 2017


Here's something rare these days: an instrumental guitar-rock record that's actually a joy to listen to. This Is Steve is by the artist Delicate Steve, otherwise known as Steve Marion, who plays all the instruments on this incredibly fun (and sometimes funny) album. On this episode of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen talks with Delicate Steve about the guitar music Steve loves, including music from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sly and the Family Stone, as well as the singers who inspire his lyrical guitar styles, which he describes as "cartoon rock."

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The Power Of Political Music and More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 24, 2017


On this week's All Songs Considered: Musicians face personal challenges, political uncertainty, the state of humanity — and rally.1) MILCK: "Quiet"2) Angel Olsen: "Fly On Your Wall"3) Charlotte Day Wilson: "Work"4) Jesca Hoop: "Memories Are Now"5) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: "Down (Is Where I Want to Be)"6) Tim Darcy: "Still Waking Up"7) Father John Misty: "Pure Comedy"8) Overcoats: "Hold Me Close"

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Songs For Hope And Change

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 17, 2017


Our first new mix of 2017 features songs that are both big and hopeful, and crushingly sad, from the politically charged music of Run The Jewels and Timber Timbre to the joyful bliss of Lowland Hum.

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+1: Sharon Van Etten On The Real-Life Inspiration Behind Her Role On 'The OA'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


The singer opens up about her debut acting role on the mysterious Netflix series The OA, the personal experiences that inspired her performance and how to cry on command.

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Our Top Discoveries From globalFEST 2017

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


Every January, we look forward to globalFEST, a one-night showcase of newly emerging and well-established artists from around the world. This annual event, held at Manhattan's Webster Hall, is where industry insiders and cool-hunters alike ferret out the next big global music acts on the touring circuit — the buzzed-about bands playing on this single winter night form the vanguard of what you're going to be watching at festivals and at venues across the country over the next couple of years.

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Interview: Julien Baker Signs To Matador, Shares New Song

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


We have a candid interview with Julien Baker, a young singer of sad, thoughtful songs. Her new song, "Funeral Pyre," is being released on the storied independent label Matador Records.

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+1: A Conversation With Comedian Hannibal Buress

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


Guest host and NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with comedian, actor and writer Hannibal Buress. Buress is known and loved for his brand of irreverent comedy and his gift for finding absurdity in the seemingly mundane. It's an audacity that informs not only his sense of humor, but also his taste in music. A hip-hop head from Chicago's West Side, Buress is a true rap omnivore whose tastes run the gamut from the uber-popular to the obscure.

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+1 Encore: A Conversation With Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood

Author: NPR
Sun, Jan 01, 2017


Bob chats with Radiohead's visionary guitarist Jonny Greenwood about the making of the band's newest record, A Moon Shaped Pool.

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+1 Encore: The Politics And Passions Of Roger Waters

Author: NPR
Sat, Dec 31, 2016


The bassist, singer and songwriter behind some of the 20th century's most iconic music goes deep into race, civil rights, prison reform, the troubled music industry and more.

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+1 Encore: A Conversation With Paul McCartney

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 30, 2016


Paul McCartney talks about his solo career-spanning compilation Pure McCartney, his creative process, how he stays inspired and why he sometimes thinks he should take songwriting more seriously.

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+1 Encore: Paul Simon Conversation

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


Paul Simon talks about his album, Stranger To Stranger, and why it may be his last, at least for a while. He also shares the new song, "The Werewolf."

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+1 Encore: David Bowie Makes His Dream Jazz Record

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 28, 2016


Three weeks before David Bowie released Blackstar, and three weeks before he died, I spoke with jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin and long-time friend and producer Tony Visconti about making what would be David Bowie's final album.

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Vikings Choice 2016

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 27, 2016


Our resident Viking Lars Gotrich recalls 2016 in feral metal, dystopian and ocean-mimicking synths and Afro-futurist pop cubism.

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Holiday Extravaganza 2016

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 21, 2016


Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst and more special guests join us for a steam engine ride to the north pole in this year's holiday extravaganza!

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+1: How PiL's Drummer Wound Up Digging Ditches

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 20, 2016


In this Martin Atkins minute, the former drummer for Public Image Ltd shares the story of how he quit the band at the height of its popularity, only to end up digging ditches for a living.

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Poll Results: All Songs Considered Listeners' Favorite 100 Albums Of 2016

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 15, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, we count down and talk about the poll's top 20 albums. You'll find those records below, along with a list of our listeners' top 100 albums.

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The Year In Music 2016

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 06, 2016


Our annual recap of the year's best songs and albums, memorable moments and other defining moments. 1. David Bowie - Lazarus 2. Anderson .Paak - The Season/Carry Me 3. Miranda Lambert - Sweet By And By 4. George Martin - A Day In The Life 5. Greg Laswell - Play That One Again 6. Beyonce - Sorry 7. Mitski - Your Best American Girl 8. Car Seat Headrest - Killer Whales/Drunk Drivers 9. Radiohead - Daydreaming 10. Anohni - Drone Bomb Me 11. Solange - Cranes In The Sky 12. Frank Ocean - White Ferrari 13. Wilco - Normal American Kids 14. Bon Iver - 715 Creeks 15. Adam Torres - Juniper Arms 16. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker 17. Crystal Fighters - Lay Low 18. Jane Sibbery - Everything You Knew As A Child 19. Frightened Rabbit - An Otherwise Disappointing Life 20. Let's Eat Grandma - Rapunzel

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All Songs +1: Peter Silberman On Compassion, Impermanence And Hearing Loss

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 01, 2016


Today's All Songs +1 podcast is a conversation with The Antlers' Peter Silberman on how hearing loss would eventually lead him to create his first solo album.

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Laura Marling, Weyes Blood, Sam Phillips, Peals, bed.

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 29, 2016


On this week's show: Songs about the indomitable human spirit. Plus, music plucked from a honey jar (seriously). 1. Peals, "Become Younger," 2. Sam Phillips, "World On Sticks," 3. Laura Marling, "Soothing," 4. Weyes Blood, "Used To Be," 5. bed., "Girl"

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Some Of The Best Songs We Missed This Year

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 22, 2016


Before being consumed by our year-end coverage, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton hit the pause button to catch up on some of the great music they missed this year. 1. Anthony Joseph - "Slinger," 2. The Frightnrs - "Nothing More To Say," 3. D.D Dumbo "Walrus," 4. Chris Forsyth And The Solar Motel Band - "Anthem I," 5. Africaine 808 - "Ngoni," 6. Lettuce - "The Love You Left Behind"

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The Songs Remain The Same, But All The Meanings Have Changed

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 16, 2016


When profound change happens in life, the meaning of the music you hear tends to change, too. On this week's show: Songs both light and dark in a post-election world. 1. Rubblebucket, "If U C My Enemies," 2. Alev Lenz, "Fall Into Me," 3. Sinkane, "U'huh," 4. Ty Segall, "Orange Color Queen," 5. Leonard Cohen, "You Want It Darker," 6. Lizzo, "Good As Hell"

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Guest DJ: Matty Healy Of The 1975 On Making Music From Now On

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 15, 2016


One of the most surprising records for me this year is the latest album by The 1975. My preconceptions of this band's music as simple, catchy pop have turned out to be so wrong. The album, called I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, is filled with ambient music, electronica and a good dose of '80s sheen. I wanted to talk to frontman Matty Healy about his influences. He's someone whom I'd met a few years ago when he performed a fascinating solo Tiny Desk concert. On this edition of All Songs Considered, he plays DJ and talks about growing up in a family where his parents, both English actors, shared lots of the music they loved.

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Guest DJ Nick Mason On Pink Floyd's Early Years

Author: NPR
Fri, Nov 11, 2016


As a gigantic 27-disc box-set history of Pink Floyd is released, the band's drummer discusses those early years and the other music that inspired him.

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Guest DJ: The Politics And Passions Of Roger Waters

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 08, 2016


Roger Waters plays DJ, sharing music by those he loves and talks about what draws him to songs. This conversation isn't about his time with Pink Floyd. In fact, over the course of this nearly hour-long interview, he didn't mention the band he left more than 30 years ago even once. We do talk with him about his upcoming own solo work, including his upcoming tour called "Us And Them." But at the heart of everything, this creative force behind some of the 20th century's most iconic music is politics, money, greed and ultimately hope. Mention the music of Billie Holiday (who was addicted to heroin) and Waters launches into an assault on what he calls draconian drug laws that vilify addicts instead of treating them. That leads to a discussion of corruption and greed in politics and more knotty issues than we could reasonably keep track of: The U.S. presidential race, the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the state of the music industry, the futility of war, Guantanamo, civil rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, prison reform and how Waters, remarkably, remains hopeful and optimistic in the face of all the despair and suffering he sees plaguing the world.

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What Was It Like To See Pink Floyd In 1966? Joe Boyd Knows

Author: NPR
Mon, Nov 07, 2016


This week a gigantic Pink Floyd box set is released. What's remarkable about Pink Floyd Early Years 1965-1972 is that its 27 discs cover only the band's first seven years! All this week we'll think pink with some of the people who were there. On Friday — the day this collection is released — we'll talk with drummer Nick Mason about those early years. On Tuesday we talk to Roger Waters about his upcoming projects and politics. But we thought we should start with a man who, 50 years ago, witnessed and participated in those very early days. Joe Boyd was an American working for Elektra Records in London in 1966, and the group played early shows, before it had released any recordings, at the UFO Club, where Boyd was an owner. He'd go on to produce Pink Floyd's first single, "Arnold Layne." Joe Boyd is a critical figure in the British folk music scene and global music scene. If you love Nick Drake then you can thank Joe Boyd. His book White Bicycles paints some great images of making music in the '60s, including stories of Pink Floyd. He also has a podcast that's quite brilliant called Joe Boyd's A-Z where he goes through his remarkable record collection in alphabetical order, making insightful musical connections and telling personal stories. We suggest Pink Floyd fans listen to the episode on the letter I, for "Interstellar Overdrive."

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After 38 Years Of Silence, A Legend Of Folk Music Sings

Author: NPR
Fri, Nov 04, 2016


Imagine being a singer — in this case, a singer of traditional British folk songs and murder ballads, songs of love, hate, revenge, redemption and tragedy. And as the singer of these songs, you get pretty well known in the circles of folk music in the 1960s and 1970s.Now, imagine a broken heart robs you of your ability to sing. For 38 years, your voice — once beautiful — falls silent.This is the story of the great Shirley Collins.But this tragic tale has a happy epilogue, because Shirley Collins is finally singing again. She has a new record called Lodestar and she is our guest on All Songs Considered.I listened to Shirley Collins' music as a teen in the heyday of British folk music. I own records by The Albion Band, which she put together with her then-husband, Ashley Hutchings. Her songs were a huge influence on American singers as well — and one of those singers, so many years later, is Colin Meloy.If you listen to The Decemberists, you know how much Colin loves a good tale, and a good murder ballad. In fact, he released an EP of Shirley's songs about 10 years ago. So, on this edition of All Songs Considered: "Colin and Collins," a conversation with Shirley Collins and Colin Meloy.

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All Songs +1: Our Most Memorable Tiny Desk Jazz Sets

Author: NPR
Thu, Nov 03, 2016


Patrick Jarenwattananon has been the backbone of our jazz coverage almost since NPR Music started in 2007. Patrick came to us as a 22-year-old intern and shortly after began covering legendary and rising jazz luminaries like a veteran journalist. His writing for A Blog Supreme captured the spirit of the jazz community and was a rich resource for thoughtful coverage on this living American musical culture.Recently NPR Music changed the way we cover jazz, with our wonderful member station WBGO taking the lead.Sadly, Patrick is no longer working at NPR Music, but PJ (as we call him) turned me and our listeners on to so much music, and a good deal of it through the jazz artists he brought to the Tiny Desk.So on this +1 edition of All Songs Considered, I asked Patrick to come back and talk to us all about some of the legends and up-and-comers he brought to our offices. You can hear the full conversation and music with the listen link above, or watch the featured sets below.

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Guest DJ: AURORA On Her Love Of Heavy Metal And Leonard Cohen

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 02, 2016


I first saw Aurora in a small club in New York City three years ago. She was just 17 years old, but her performance was mesmerizing. Her frail, blonde figure mirrored her enchanting voice and words. The young singer from Norway put out a dramatic and beautiful record earlier this year called All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend.On this edition of All Songs Considered, Aurora — now 20 years old — plays DJ, choosing songs that inform her life and music. Some mirror the emotions in her own music, like Leonard Cohen, Enya and the mechanical, organic music of Wintergatan. She also surprised us by showing her love for metal music, including Mastodon.We had an emotional conversation. Aurora is all about touching hearts and expressing her feelings through song. Below are some edited quotes from the interview, though it's best to give a listen to the full show so you can fall in love with her music and her passion for performing and connecting with fans.

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Priests, Kevin Morby, James Chance, Crystal Fighters, Fialta, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 01, 2016


If you're looking of a break from the relentless assault of gut-churning news headlines, you've come to the right place! For this week's show Robin Hilton thought he'd send a little bit of good cheer into the world with some big, joyful group sing-alongs that celebrate life and all its gloriousness. The first burst of light and love comes from the London-based band Crystal Fighters and its anthem to how momentary and magical life is. It's followed by Fialta, a group from California with a simple message: We're all in this together. Oh, Bob Boilen has some songs too, including the gloriously chaotic sax-noise of James Chance and a new cut from singer Kevin Morby about the preciousness and fragility of life. Bonus: NPR Music's Lars Gotrich stops by to share songs from two of his favorite D.C. bands — the punk group Priests and Flasher, a band that sounds like Smashing Pumpkins if they made a new wave record. But first up: The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House. 1. James Chance: Melt Yourself Down 2. Priests: Pink White Noise 3. Flasher: Destroy 4. Crystal Fighters: Lay Low 5. Fialta: Do The Best We Can 6. Kevin Morby: Beautiful Strangers 7. Biosphere: Sweet Dreams From A Shade

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A Conversation With Anderson .Paak And Knxwledge

Author: NPR
Thu, Oct 27, 2016


On this week's +1 podcast, NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with singer and rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge about their new collaboration under the name NxWorries.

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Run The Jewels, Flaming Lips, John Prine, Sad13, Laura Burhenn, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 25, 2016


In this week's All Songs Considered, we feature three solo projects by some of our favorite bandleaders, a solo artist's duets record, and new music from some familiar faces, or more accurately put, some familiar Lips. The Flaming Lips are back with a new album, Oczy M?ody, inspired by a Polish book that Wayne Coyne owns and finds phonetically fascinating (even if he doesn't understand any of the words). We've also got Run the Jewels, a duo that's all about the words and whose new single speaks to urgent issues of race relations. Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds) and Kyle Morton (Typhoon) each have quiet solo records that tackle life's preciousness, how the small things sometimes matter most and the tangles we amass. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz went the loud route; Bob found one of the lyrics a little offensive, but that didn't stop Robin from playing it. We also hear from John Prine. He turns 70 this month and has recorded his highest charting record yet. For Better, Or Worse features a high spirited, often funny collection of cover tunes sung by a brilliant songwriter whose battle with cancer only seems to make him stronger. Every time I hear his Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn cover I laugh, and that's where our show starts.

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All Songs +1: Join The Black Parade: My Chemical Romance And The Politics Of Taste

Author: NPR
Mon, Oct 24, 2016


Sunday is the 10th anniversary of My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade, a defining album for both the band and a generation of pop-punk fans. A decade later, NPR's Daoud Tyler-Ameen is still processing what it means to love this record, and what its impact says about the culture around it.

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+1: How David Bowie's Songs Became The Musical 'Lazarus'

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 21, 2016


On this week's +1 podcast: A conversation with Henry Hey, the orchestrator, arranger and musical director for Lazarus, the off-Broadway musical set to the songs of David Bowie. Lazarus only ran in New York for six weeks last winter, and the songs weren't available for anyone to hear outside of those live performances until this week, when Columbia Records released the cast recording of Lazarus, along with three new songs Bowie wrote and recorded for the musical. The tracks, written during his Blackstar sessions, were among the final recordings Bowie made before he died of liver cancer on Jan. 10. To understand Lazarus, you first have to know about the 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth. Bowie starred in the movie as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who travels to earth in search of water for his dying planet. He starts a tech company, gets rich and uses the money to build a spaceship to transport water back home. But before he can take off, the government catches on and arrests him. After years in captivity, he's eventually freed, but left a lonely, broken alcoholic. Bowie always wanted to revisit his role in the film and conceived of Lazarusas a sequel that picks back up with his alien 40 years later. Though time has passed, Newton, played in the musical by Michael C. Hall, hasn't aged. But he's still addicted to alcohol, binges on Twinkies, and television. Set to a mix of Bowie's back catalog, Lazarus follows Newton as he tries find his way back home. Henry Hey worked closely with Bowie on arranging and orchestrating the songs for the stage. In this conversation, he talks about how he and Bowie reshaped the music to tell the story and what it meant to work on the iconic singer's final project.

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EL VY's Song Against Trump, New Conor Oberst, Kristin Hersh, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 18, 2016


For as much as the election has dominated the news this year, the political cycle hasn't invaded the world of All Songs Considered. But this week we've got a remarkable cut by the band EL VY that's all about Donald Trump. "Are These My Jets?" is from 30 Days, 30 Songs, an online compilation album that features a new song by a new artist every day for the final thirty days leading up to the election. (For the record, NPR is not endorsing any candidate. We just like the song!) A couple of other things about this week's show: NPR Music's Lars Gotrich joins us to talk about the stellar return of the band American Football, a beloved '90s group that's putting out its first new album in 17 years; and another popular artist from the '90s, Kristin Hersh (who you may know from the band Throwing Muses), is back with an incredible double album full of sonic wonders. All that plus a new single from Bob's favorite band of 2013, The Blow, and the ruminations of singer Conor Oberst.

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Pusha T And Rivers Cuomo Join Zeds Dead, Amber Coffman, TOY, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 11, 2016


This week's show features new music from Amber Coffman, a tribute to a friend and a collaboration between Rivers Cuomo and Pusha T. Plus: Reports of the guitar solo's death were greatly exaggerated.

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Solange, Gillian Welch, Cuddle Magic, Major Stars, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


We've got a lot of sounds on this week's show, from Solange's powerful meditation on being black in America, to the gentle folk of Gillian Welch. But some sounds are a lot louder than the others. 1. Solange: Tina Taught Me, 2. Solange: Don't Touch My Hair, 3. Cuddle Magic: Trojan Horse, 4. Major Stars: Unlearn, 5. Purling Hiss: 3000 AD, 6. Gillian Welch: Acony Bell (Demo), 7. Black Honey: Hello Today

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All Songs +1: John Paul White Sings The Song That Changed His Life

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 30, 2016


This past week I was at the 17th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference in Nashville, listening to and having conversations with musicians. One songwriter and singer I've admired from the world of Americana during this decade is John Paul White, whom you may know as a former member of the duo The Civil Wars. White's new solo album, Beulah, came out in August, and it's a quiet, poignant work. Over the past few years I've been talking with musicians about a song that changed them, a song that perhaps inspired them to pick up a guitar or write a song of their own. I put out a book called Your Song Changed My Life, which examines those pivotal moments for 35 musicians, and while at AmericanaFest I had a chance to talk to White about his song, his moment of discovery in music. We had that conversation in front of a few hundred people in the Country Music Hall of Fame's Ford Theater. The conversation was one of the most thoughtful ones I've had on the subject. Frankly, it ended in tears for me — and many in the audience — when White performed John Prine's seminal anti-war song "Sam Stone." On this week's All Songs Considered +1 podcast, hear a conversation and performance from John Paul White.

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Brian Eno Sings, New Dirty Projectors, Leonard Cohen, Savoir Adore, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Bob kicks things off with a big surprise: Brian Eno is singing! The ambient pioneer and producer hasn't released a vocal record in years. But he was lured back into the studio to record a new track by the Portuguese rock band The Gift. It's called "Love Without Violins" and Eno says it's one of the only times you'll ever hear him utter the word "love" in a song. Robin follows with a cut all about those late-night hours when you're alone with your thoughts and fear the worst about yourself. Appropriately enough it's called "Savages" and it's from Savoir Adore, the Brooklyn-based musical project of Paul Hammer. Also on the show: Bob is so overwhelmed by the insanely warped sounds of a new Dirty Projectors song that he scarcely notices its profoundly bleak lyrics; Australian singer Julia Jacklin has a searing, slow-building rock anthem to an old flame; Leonard Cohen turns 82 and celebrates with some of the darkest music of his incredible, 50-year career; And the folk-pop duo Johnnyswim covers what they call one of the sexiest songs of all time: Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."

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+1: Danny Brown Shares New Song, Talks Nas And New Album

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 22, 2016


On this week's +1 podcast, Timmhotep Aku premieres "Rolling Stone," a new song from Danny Brown, and talks with the Detroit rapper about his upcoming album, Atrocity Exhibition.

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Nine Artists To Watch For At AmericanaFest 2016

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 20, 2016


NPR Music is headed to Nashville for this week's AmericanaFest where we'll be checking out some of the newest and most promising voices in roots music, along with a few veterans. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks with NPR Music contributors Ann Powers and Jewly Hight about some of the artists they're most excited to see this year.

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Peter Gabriel, Nick Cave, King Creosote, L.A. Salami, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 13, 2016


The gang's finally back together! And by gang we mean hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, who find themselves in the studio together for the first time in a month. With the summer break finally over, the two return with this week's essential mix, from both veteran artists and new discoveries. Robin opens the show with an epic, trance-inducing piece from Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote, who calls it a "plaintive, hymn-like lament of frustration and debasement." Bob follows with a profoundly dark new song from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds called "Jesus Alone." Also on the show: Peter Gabriel writes an ode to what he sees as the heroics of whistle blower Edward Snowden; Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker) a fantastically textured new song called "Fear Less;" London-based singer-songwriter L.A. Salami (his full name is Lookman Adekunle Salami) has a remarkable debut with lyrics that recall the densely layered poetry of Bob Dyla and a strange and wacky new cut from Cloud Becomes Your Hand, a New York-based band with a sense of humor and adventure that reminds Bob of Devo. 1. King Creosote "You Just Want," 2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Jesus Alone," 3. Peter Gabriel "The Veil," 4. Nick Murphy "Fear Less," 5. L.A. Salami "Going Mad As The Street Bins," 6. Cloud Becomes Your Hands "Hermit"

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All Songs +1: A Film On Nick Cave And Coping With The Loss Of His Son

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 12, 2016


There's a new film featuring Nick Cave and the first chance to hear his thoughts since his 15-year-old son fell from a cliff. We talk to director Andrew Dominik.

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+1: Grandaddy Is Back! Frontman Jason Lytle Talks About New Album, Shares Two New Songs

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Ten years after Grandaddy's last album, the Modesto, Calif. band has released two new songs. Singer Jason Lytle reveals the emotional turmoil behind his return to the band's signature distorted pop.

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New Sylvan Esso, Sharon Van Etten, R.E.M. Acoustic, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 06, 2016


When we settled into the studio for this week's All Songs Considered, a clear theme quickly emerged: We had a whole lot of music by artists we already adore! This includes a rare acoustic demo by R.E.M., a glorious new electro-pop cut from Sylvan Esso, a heartbreaking tribute song from Sharon Van Etten and more.This year marks the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.'s 1991 classic album Out Of Time. To mark the occasion, the band is releasing a deluxe version of the album that includes early acoustic demos of every song, including the one Robin Hilton kicks this week's show off with, "Radio Song." Stephen Thompson follows in the same spirit with Sylvan Esso's brand new "Radio," a somewhat retro synth thumper that mixes the band's signature dance pop with singer Amelia Meath's searching, often melancholy vocals.Also on the show: Sharon Van Etten's stirring tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, Fla.; English poet, playwright and rapper Kate Tempest and a fabulous kiss-off from the Phoenix, Ariz. band AJJ. Plus, John K. Samson, lead singer for The Weakerthans, returns with a sentimental new song that has Stephen thinking of happier days.

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All Songs Rewind: Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 30, 2016


This week: the moment it all went wrong, relived in vivid detail. Members of the All Songs Considered crew share stories of hope and heartache as they remember some of the bands they've broken up with over the years and why. NPR Music's Daoud Tyler-Ameen joins hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for the discussion. Context is everything here, so the three narrowed their picks into four basic categories: bands you swore off entirely and never looked back; bands you simply grew away from with age; bands you no longer follow, but you still remember the good times; and bands you'll stick by no matter what. Prepare for pride-swallowing tales of joy and pain, smooth jazz and second-wave emo, outrage and, ultimately, redemption.

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+1: The Beatles Are Live And Sounding Better Than Ever

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 25, 2016


On this +1 edition of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks with producer Giles Martin about his remarkable efforts to salvage the only three professional recordings ever made of The Beatles performing live. Giles explains how he was able to take the analog tapes of the band's Hollywood Bowl shows from 1964 and 1965 and make them sound so much better. Giles Martin is the son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin.

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All Songs Rewind: The Worst Songs Of All Time?

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 23, 2016


Note: With hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton away this week, we've got an encore presentation of The Worst Songs Of All Time, from Feb. 2014. Guitarist, actor, writer (and former Monitor Mix blogger) Carrie Brownstein joins us, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, to do something we don't normally do: Talk about the songs we really, really don't like. Our mission at All Songs is to bring you our favorite musical discoveries of the week. But after Stephen wrote his Good Listener column examining Starship's widely reviled hit single "We Built This City," we watched the comments pour in like an out-of-control fire hose, and got to talking about all the songs that drive us bonkers. It was so much fun we decided to continue the discussion here, with a look at some of the contenders for worst songs of all time, and why they stick in our craw. These are the relentless earworms — the songs you can't escape once they're in your head — or the annoying novelty songs. "The Candy Man," anyone? We also look at songs that take themselves too seriously, songs we used to love until they were ruined by a bad personal experience and more.

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All Songs +1: How Aaron Dessner Unknowingly Rescued Lisa Hannigan

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 18, 2016


I've missed Lisa Hannigan. Five years ago the Irish songwriter and singer made an unforgettably beautiful record called Passenger. She came by to play a Tiny Desk Concert that year and then I waited sometimes impatiently for five years, it was tough, I miss her sad delicate songs. Well it turns out the five year gap wasn't something she did with intent. On this +1 edition of All Songs Considered I talk with Lisa Hannigan about how this happenstance collaboration, how it unlocked her writing block and the mechanics of making this long distance musical relationship work.

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Bon Iver, The White Stripes, Ed Harcourt, Lambchop, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 16, 2016


This week on All Songs Considered, we return from break with new music by some of our all-time favorite artists, including a wildly different sound from Bon Iver, a previously unreleased White Stripes song and a remarkable new direction for the Nashville art-folk group Lambchop.Also on the show: The Neutral Milk Hotel-inspired LVL UP, an arresting instrumental from Swans percussionist Thor Harris and Ed Harcourt's searing indictment against political corruption.But first, Robin digs into a little gift from Bob: a Twinkie! Playlist: 1. LVL UP, 2. Bon Iver, 3. Lambchop, 4. The White Stripes, 5. Thor & Friends, 6. Ed Harcourt

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Blood Orange, NAO, Joyce Manor, Factory Floor, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 09, 2016


This week, we've got a surprise: Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton both went on vacation and left the All Songs studio unlocked. Apparently neither one of them uses two-step verification, so it took only a very minor effort for a couple of highly skilled NPR Music team members, Daoud Tyler-Ameen and Saidah Blount, to hack into the elaborate system of tubes, funnels and hamster wheels that feed podcasts from our microphones into your earbuds for a very special takeover edition of All Songs Considered. Daoud last visited the show to play some foot-stomping power-pop, and Saidah was our copilot for this year's South By Southwest festival preview. Together they dissect new music from California punks Joyce Manor, sounding more fleshed-out and anthemic than ever; slow-burning electro-soul from London songwriter Nao; a hip-hop track by two South Asian MCs that's as funny as it is uneasy about our current political moment and more. (And because Daoud and Sai grew up in the '80s and '90s, reference is made to JNCO jeans, black lipstick, the old THX logo theme and the end credits of the 1995 Power Rangers film. Things get ... specific.)

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All Songs +1: A Conversation With Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 04, 2016


On this week's +1 Bob chats with Radiohead's visionary guitarist Jonny Greenwood about the making of the band's newest record, A Moon Shape Pool

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New Mix: Regina Spektor, Lowell, Angelica Garcia, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 02, 2016


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and guest host Stephen Thompson play new music from Regina Spektor, experimental rap from Clipping, which features Daveed Diggs of Hamilton, and a great synth track from singer-songwriter Lowell.Bob starts the show off with a song from the 22-year-old guitarist and singer Angelica Garcia that he cannot get out of his head. Orange Flower" is a playful, foot-stomping rock track and Garcia's very first single. Stephen shares "Umpqua Rushing," a song about a river in Oregon by the group Blind Pilot, who he has been following for almost a decade.But first, it's Stephen's birthday, which means it's time for the NPR Music team to surprise him with a cake made of ice cream and Twinkies. Obviously.

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All Songs +1: Sofar Sounds Wants To Bring Your Favorite Musicians To Your Home

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 29, 2016


In this week's +1 podcast, Bob Boilen interviews Rafe Offer of Sofar Sounds, which brings artists and fans together for shows in small, intimate spaces.

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New Mix: Wilco, Sleigh Bells, The Julie Ruin, JEFF The Brotherhood, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 27, 2016


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, we play new music from old favorites Wilco, JEFF The Brotherhood and Sleigh Bells. We also share songs from artists we've only just found out about: Bob introduces us to the young, Singapore-based Linying and our intern Sophie brings us Globelamp.Robin points out that the very sad "Play That One Again," from Greg Laswell's album Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet, has its roots in real-life heartache: Laswell wrote the song in the wake of a divorce and while watching a parent suffer. In a track from Sleigh Bells, we hear the band grow out of their noise pop sound and into something a little more muted.But first, it's Robin's last day before vacation so he says goodbye for now and eats one too many packs of Smarties.

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Newport Folk 2016 Preview: Patti Smith, Flight Of The Conchords, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 19, 2016


On this special All Songs Considered episode, host Bob Boilen talks to Jay Sweet, the executive producer of the Newport Folk Festival. The two talk about the artists they're most excited to see, from the 20-year-old newcomer Raury to Flight Of The Conchords, Rayland Baxter, Margo Price, Joan Shelley and many more.

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All Songs +1: Amanda Palmer And Her Dad Discover Each Other In Song

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 18, 2016


For years, Amanda Palmer has been a provocative artist. But on her new record, she finds kinship with her father Jack — and gets to know him as they cover songs from his generation and hers.

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+1: My Cell Phone Rights At Shows Vs. Yours

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 15, 2016


We recently asked people what they think about new technology that can disable their phone cameras or otherwise lock away their devices while at concerts. The poll we put up was prompted by Apple's announcement of a patent on tech that would forcibly disable cellphone cameras at specific locations and by another company called Yondr that makes pouches to hold and lock away people's phones during shows.Now the results of our (relatively unscientific) poll are in and they surprised us.A slight majority said they're fine if their phone's camera is disabled (52 percent, to 48 percent who objected). And another slight majority (51 to 49 percent) said they're okay locking their phones away in a pouch that automatically locks shut while in a concert venue. By a wide, two-to-one margin, respondents further said they'd still go see a show even if they knew their camera phone would be locked up or disabled, though some said it depends on the show. Only 51 percent of respondents said they even want to take photos or videos at shows.On this +1 edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton talk about the poll results and weigh in on the debate with their own arguments for and against granting people full access to their phones during concerts.

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+1: Kishi Bashi Talks About New Album, Shares New Music

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 13, 2016


Kishi Bashi recently stopped by NPR's Washington, D.C., headquarters to announce his new album Sonderlust, which is due out Sept. 16 via Joyful Noise. It includes the lushly layered "Say Yeah," a rapturous mix of '70s soft rock, disco and synth pop. Hear that and more highlights from the album on this +1 edition of All Songs Considered.

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A Lot Of Songs About Ice Cream

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 12, 2016


On July 15, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring July National Ice Cream Month, and called "upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities." As this week marks that momentous occasion's 32nd anniversary, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton see it as their civic duty to do an entire show about ice cream. To make this week's playlist, we asked you to tell us about your favorite songs and memories of ice cream. What we got was a lot of wonderful stories and a mix that includes everything from colorful cuts by Louis Prima and Jonathan Richman to Van Halen, Syd Barrett and plenty of novelty songs. But before we get too deep in the show, we attempt to make ice cream in the studio with the help of Allison Aubrey of NPR's The Salt. Featured Tracks: 1. Jonathan Richman, "Ice Cream Man," 2. Michael Hearst, "Ice Cream," 3. Louis Prima, "Banana Split For My Baby," 4. The Hungry Food Band, "Ice Cream Sandwiches," 5. Podington Bear, "Ice Cream Sandwiches," 6. Syd Barrett, "Love You," 7. Sarah McLachlan, "Ice Cream," 8. Van Halen, "Ice Cream Man," 9. Tom Waits, "Ice Cream Man," 10. Blur, "Ice Cream Man," 11. Weird Al Yankovic, "I Love Rocky Road"

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Daniel Lanois, Deap Vally, Nonkeen, Pinegrove, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 05, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, we share new music from legendary producer and ambient pioneer, Daniel Lanois, and from the friends-for-life trio Nonkeen, whose new album comes in the aftermath of a "freak carousel accident." Also on the show is a shout-along emo track from Montclair, N.J.'s Pinegrove and a psych-pop track about never wanting to go outside from Morgan Delt, who recently signed with Sub Pop.But first, we take a moment of silence for the Weeknd, who lost his microphone, and explain to our intern that not everything on the Internet is real. 1. Nonkeen "Glow," Daniel Lanois "Heavy Sun," 3. Half Waif "Turn Me Around," 4. Pinegrove "Old Friends," 5. Morgan Delt "I Don't Wanna See What's Happening Outside," 6. Deap Vally "Royal Jelly"

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Your Favorite New Musicians Of 2016 (So Far)

Author: NPR
Wed, Jun 29, 2016


It's only June and this year is already jam-packed with remarkable new artists who've released some of 2016's most memorable music. These are artists who released their very first songs or first full-length albums so far this year.Last week we asked for your picks for the best new artists from 2016's first half. We tallied the votes and have your top 10 listed below, alongside quotes that some of you submitted with your votes. The artists you picked cross genres, from the scuzz-y slacker rock of Lucy Dacus to the tender country music of Margo Price. But the thing that links them all, what you told us matters most to you, is a sense of authenticity.But first, Bob and Robin share their favorites: the wound-tight, propulsive sound of Weaves and the quiet, textured tunes of Ry X.1. Big Thief, 2. Margaret Glaspy, 3. Overcoats, 4. Whitney, 5. Maggie Rogers, 6. Lucy Dacus, 7. Mothers, 8. Margo Price, 9. Honeysuckle, 10. Japanese Breakfast

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New Mix: Bellows, Cornelius, Keaton Henson, A-WA, The Wild Reeds, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 21, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered we come full circle. Robin Hilton opens the show by looking back in time with a weird, psychedelic track by Cornelius from his long out-of-print, newly reissued album Fantasma. If the song doesn't justify itself, Bob Boilen provides an argument for looking back with a song by The Wild Reeds called "Everything Looks Better (In Hindsight)."Also on the show: We also play an electro-folk track by the Israeli sisters A-WA and a new song by Tiny Desk veterans Bellows. But first, Robin and Bob talk knee surgery.

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All Songs +1: Hozier Meets Tarzan, A New Song, Video And Conversation

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 16, 2016


We have a new song and an interview with Hozier. The song is a love song for the film "The Legend of Tarzan"

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The Tallest Man On Earth, Lisa Hannigan, LP, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 14, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered mix, we play songs about longing, loss, and healing, with premieres from The Tallest Man On Earth, pop singer LP and more.Co-host Robin Hilton opens the show with "Strange," a track LP wrote after realizing that what unites is how strange and wonderful we all are. Host Bob Boilen follows with a psychedelic track by two teenaged brothers from Hicksville, Long Island who go by the name The Lemon Twigs. We also hear from singer Adam Torres for the first time in nearly a decade and share a song by Charles Bradley that connects Black Sabbathwith James Brown. Plus: One of Robin's all-time favorite singer-songwriters, Chris Staples, is back with another heartbreakingly beautiful album called Golden Age, and we play a brand new song from The Tallest Man On Earth. We end with a song for those we've lost, "Prayer For The Dying" by Lisa Hannigan.But first, Robin tells us that he can, in fact, see stars from his house in the suburbs, shares why he loves letting his dog out right before bed and how it all ties in with this week's mix: 1. LP: "Strange," 2. The Lemon Twigs: "As Long As We're Together," 3. The Tallest Man On Earth: "Time Of The Blue," 4. Adam Torres: "Outlands," 5. Chris Staples: "Relatively Permanent," 6. Charles Bradley: "Changes," 7. Lisa Hannigan: "Prayer For The Dying"

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All Songs +1: A Conversation With Paul McCartney

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 10, 2016


Of all the musicians on the planet, you'd think Paul McCartney would have, by now, figured out this whole songwriting thing. But as he tells us in this week's +1 podcast, "You never get it down. I don't know how to do this. You'd think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever really know how to do."The occasion for our conversation with Paul McCartney is a new box set out today, Pure McCartney, that compiles 67 songs from his nearly five decades as a solo artist. But over the course of this forty-minute discussion, McCartney opened up about much more, from his memories of working with John Lennon to his creative process, how he stays inspired and why, as he tells us, he sometimes thinks he should take songwriting more seriously.Paul McCartney spoke to us from the Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex. You can listen to the full interview with the link above or read edited highlights below.

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Songs On Letting Go And Believing In Yourself

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 07, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, we play songs about facing fears, being true to yourself and not worrying about what everyone else thinks, plus a new song from Angel Olsen and a conversation with her about her surprising new sound.Robin Hilton opens with an introspective pop gem from the Portland, Ore. band Ages And Ages inspired by the ephemeral nature of nearly everything. Bob Boilen follows with a sonic adventure from the Asheville, N.C. folk group River Whyless.Also on the show: Bed., another Portland band, has an ode to being free and escaping the comforts of home; The D.C. band Paperhaus has a fierce new single with some mind-blowing drumming and singer Hannah Georgas takes a simple piano ballad and turns it into a syncopated wonder with pulsing horns.But first, Bob settles back in after a month on the road while Robin tries to put on a new face with a coffee mug that might just change his whole outlook on life.Playlist:1. Ages And Ages: "They Want More"2. River Whyless: "All Day All Night"3. Angel Olsen: "Intern"4. Bed.: "Billy Joel"5. Paperhaus: "Silent Speaking"6. Hannah Georgas: "Waste"

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+1: Sean Lennon's Surreal Ode To Michael Jackson's Pet Chimp, Bubbles

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


Sean Lennon's latest collaboration is with Primus bassist and lead singer Les Claypool. They're calling themselves the Claypool Lennon Delirium, and their new album is a collection of trippy, psychedelic space jams called The Monolith Of Phobos (a reference to a large rock discovered on Phobos, a moon orbiting Mars).Most of the songs are celestial meditations with surreal lyrics about space exploration or drugs. But one track, "Bubbles Burst," offers a more personal reflection from Lennon about his memories of Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. Lennon and Jackson were friends and, as a child in the mid-1980s, Lennon would hang out with Bubbles at Jackson's Neverland ranch.The song itself is a plainspoken description of how Jackson acquired Bubbles and what it was like living at Neverland. But a new video for "Bubbles Burst" adds an unsettling twist, portraying Jackson as grotesque and demented.For this week's +1 podcast, we spoke with Lennon about how he came to write "Bubbles Burst" and how he wants people to feel when they see the video.

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The Worst Songs Of All Time? (Encore Presentation)

Author: NPR
Tue, May 31, 2016


This week on a very special edition of All Songs Considered ... guitarist, actor, writer (and former writer for NPR Music, at her Monitor Mix blog) Carrie Brownstein returns. She joins us, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, to do something we don't normally do: Talk about the songs we really, really don't like.Our mission at All Songs is to bring you our favorite musical discoveries of the week. But after Stephen wrote his column examining Starship's widely reviled hit single "We Built This City," we watched the comments pour in like an out-of-control fire hose, and got to talking about all the songs that drive us bonkers. It was so much fun we decided to continue the discussion here, with a look at some of the contenders for worst songs of all time and why they stick in our craw. These are relentless earworms — songs you can't escape once they're in your head — or annoying novelty songs. "The Candy Man," anyone? We also look at songs that take themselves too seriously, songs we used to love until they were ruined by a bad personal experience and more.Please direct your "Dear Idiots" letters via email to allsongs@npr.org.

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The Monkees, Esm? Patterson, Adia Victoria, More

Author: NPR
Tue, May 24, 2016


On this week's episode we've got one of the sunniest bands of all time, mesmerizing music from the Sahara and an elegy to growing old.Co-host Robin Hilton gets things started with a sweetly sad song from Matt The Electrician, a pop-folk singer based in Austin who no longer has anything to do with his own hands, while host Bob Boilen follows with Esm? Patterson, a singer with roots in folk music and a new album that stretches into the world of gritty rock.Also on the show: The Monkees celebrate the band's 50th anniversary with a new album that includes the bubbly pop song "You Bring The Summer;" singer Adia Victoria sings sultry blues with a distinctive voice and the Algerian band Imarhan has an incredible debut album of Tuareg music.But before we get to any music, Bob explains how he ended up flat on his back on a train platform.

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All Songs +1: A Conversation With Paul Simon

Author: NPR
Thu, May 19, 2016


Paul Simon has a new album coming out and it's wonderful. Titled Stranger To Stranger, it's his thirteenth solo release and he told me he it could be his last, at least for a while. For this week's +1 podcast, I sat with Paul Simon at NPR's New York bureau to talk about the new record, but more specifically to talk about a single song on the album, the puzzling and quirky opening cut, "The Werewolf." Paul Simon walked me through the song, the thousands of decisions he had to make and the minutia of songwriting that I think makes his music complex, conversational and memorable. This entire song was inspired by a sound, and from that sound Paul Simon had to find the subject and characters. What he came up with is a scary tale of where he believes we are in the 21st century.

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The 1975, SOAK Covers Led Zeppelin, A Home Demo From My Morning Jacket, More

Author: NPR
Tue, May 17, 2016


This week's essential mix from All Songs Considered includes a surprising, electronic, mostly instrumental cut from The 1975 — a British group known more for its brash Top-40 pop and rock — an intimate home demo recording from My Morning Jacketand a spare, moody cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" by the Irish folk singer known as SOAK.Also on the show: A new studio recording of "Some Day We'll Linger In The Sun," the heartbreakingly beautiful song by Gaelynn Lea that won this year's Tiny Desk contest; A troubled love story from singer Haley Bonar and mangled, electronic rock from the Toronto-based band Holy F***.But before we can even think of playing any music, Robin needs to pound his seventh cup of coffee of the day and welcome Bob back from his week on the road.

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+1: This Week's Number One Song

Author: NPR
Fri, May 13, 2016


Earlier this week we asked you to tell us what your favorite song is right now — the one track you can't stop listening to. Maybe it's something from one of the big releases, or maybe it's something from a lesser-known artist off everyone's radar. Or maybe it's an older tune.On this week's +1 podcast, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen is away, but co-host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to talk about the one song NPR Music listeners say they can't get enough of right now.

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Guest DJ: Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo

Author: NPR
Tue, May 10, 2016


It's hard to imagine an artist who works harder or cares more about what their fans think than Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. For the past 20-plus years he's been a tireless and meticulous songwriter who maintains incredibly detailed spreadsheets with hundreds of titles for songs that don't yet exist, and lyric fragments organized by word and syllable count. He obsessively studies the intricacies of other well-loved pop songs, cataloging every element, trying to understand why they work and how he can make his own songs better.With every note Cuomo agonizes over, he's thinking about the complicated relationship he's had with Weezer's fans. For some, the band has never lived up to its 1994 debut release, the self-titled "Blue" album, and that weighs heavily on Cuomo. And even though plenty of critics and fans think Weezer's latest record, the self-titled "White" album is as good as anything the band has done, that hasn't kept Cuomo from fretting over every review.On this week's show, Rivers Cuomo joins us to share some of the stories behind the band's new record and to play some of the songs by other artists he's loving now. He also talks about what it's like to reach middle age, have kids and how he stays inspired to write songs that still resonate with young people.

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+1: The Season Of Surprise Albums, From Beyonc? To James Blake

Author: NPR
Fri, May 06, 2016


It really started nearly two weeks ago when Beyonc? surprise-released her monstrously good record, Lemonade, via an album-length video shown on HBO. Drake followed a few days later when he unloaded 20 new songs on fans with the epic album Views. Then Radiohead teased out some video clips — and eventually a new song called "Burn The Witch." James Blake quickly followed on Thursday with three unannounced songs and, a few hours later, a whole new album with 17 stunning tracks. A bit later on Thursday night, Chance The Rapper popped up on the Jimmy Fallon show with a new song and announced that his new album would be here on May 13. Now, as we close out the week, Radiohead is back again with another new song and news that a full album is coming at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, May 8.On this week's +1 Podcast, All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Saidah Blount and Jacob Ganz to talk about why artists are resorting to stealthy tactics, what the deluge of surprise releases means for the way we listen and which ones we're spending the most time with.

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Suuns, Autolux, Adult Jazz, Mutual Benefit, Let's Eat Grandma!

Author: NPR
Tue, May 03, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton explore some warped musical territory with a little help from one of our friends: producer and musician John Congleton. John turns us on to the deliberate, unrelenting music of Montreal's Suuns, a record he was excited to produce.Also on the show: Bob can't stop listening to the dark humor of teenage psych-pop duo Let's Eat Grandma, Robin takes us into the fractured world of Autolux and changes things up with the tranquil Zen of Mutual Benefit and closes the show with the searching, deconstructive music of Adult Jazz.

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Moon Hooch, Summer Cannibals, PUP, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 26, 2016


We've all been dealing with so much unhappiness over the last week that hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton wanted to kick of this week's All Songs Considered with some celebrations. Bob leads off with some great pick-me up music from Moon Hooch. Robin continues to explore his love of "shrug rock" with a hilarious new song from the band PUP.Also on the show: Robin plays music from Sage and Ry X. Bob keeps up the energy with a new song by Sego. Like The Moth & The Flame, whose "Young & Unafraid" was on last week's show, Sego recently relocated from Provo, Utah to Los Angeles. Bob closes out the show with a premiere of Summer Cannibals' new song, "Simple Life."Looking ahead: On May 2, Bob and Robin will speak with Carrie Brownstein at a book event at Sixth & I in Washington D.C. The next day, Bob will be at the Lagunitas brewery in Chicago with Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea and everyone's favorite GLTTRD band, PWR BTTM.

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+1 Remembering Prince, The Utopian

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 21, 2016


Prince was one of those rare musicians who continued to connect with people decades after the start of his career. As NPR Music's Ann Powers tells All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, Prince had a unique vision of a perfect world, one that challenged gender and sexual norms, one where love was the only rule. He also devoted his life, his studio time and his time on stage to making deep and lasting connections with his audience — and to making sure his audience connected with each other on the deepest human levels.

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New Music From The Avett Brothers, The Low Anthem, Deerhoof, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 19, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton kick off the show with back-to-back premieres from upcoming albums by beloved bands. Robin leads with a frenetic new song by Deerhoof, originally written for the HBO series Vinyl, that will appear on its album The Magic, out June 24. Bob follows with "Ozzie," a song The Low Anthem wrote as a tribute to legendary shortstop Ozzie Smith that will be on its new album Eyeland, out June 17.Also on the show: Robin shares The Avett Brothers' new track "Ain't No Man" and The Moth & The Flame's wonderfully moody song "Young & Unafraid." Bob plays a song from the wise-beyond-his-years Jaye Bartell and closes the show with the heavy yet sweet music of Muscle and Marrow.

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All Songs +1: Sturgill Simpson Talks About His 'Guide To Earth'

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 15, 2016


Sturgill Simpson's 2014 album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, took a lot of people by surprise. While the song forms were firmly rooted in Nashville traditions, the stories he told and observations he made were more like something from a metaphysical self-help guide, with existential meditations on death and dying, religion and the never-ending search for a higher purpose.For his follow-up, A Sailor's Guide To Earth, Simpson finds even more ways to surprise. In fact, the Kentucky-born singer completely dismantles the well-established conventions of country music and reassembles them with psychedelic synths and guitars, Motown horns and cinematic strings, often all in a single track.A Sailor's Guide To Earth is also a concept album. Simpson wrote and recorded it for his son, who was born in 2014, just a month after Metamodern Sounds was released. As Simpson tells us in this interview, he wanted A Sailor's Guide To Earth to be "a pure and beautiful thing," detailing the ups and downs of his own life so his son could one day know him better.

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New Mix: The National Covers The Grateful Dead, Free Cake For Every Creature, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 12, 2016


It's a big week for Bob Boilen! He celebrated his birthday earlier in the week and his first book, Your Song Changed My Life, comes out today. He celebrated on the show today with some wonderful pop music by the band Free Cake For Every Creature and a beautiful Grateful Dead cover courtesy of the National. While Bob leaves the studio to celebrate, Robin plays a joyous cut from the Nobility and an atmospheric track from the supergroup Minor Victories.Also on the show: NPR Music's Lars Gotrich drops by to play some rich guitar music from William Tyler, Bob plays guitar-meets-sitar duo Dawg Yawp and Robin closes out the show with some jolting rock from Yak.

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All Songs +1: What Song Changed Your Life?

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 07, 2016


Is there a song that changed you? A song that altered the course of how you think about life, changed what you do and how you do it?

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New Mix: Weezer, The Jayhawks, Colin Stetson, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 05, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a mix of new songs by veteran artists and shiny premieres from up-and-coming bands. Robin leads off the show with a cut from the country-folk flavored alternative rock group The Jayhawks, while Bob wheels out a premiere by the Australian band Oh Pep!. Robin follows with new music from one of his most beloved bands, Weezer, a group that put out his favorite album of 2014, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, and returns with another solid collection of new songs, including the Beach Boy-inspired "Endless Bummer," which you'll hear alongside more new music from singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy, a heavily cathartic rock song from the Toronto four-piece Greys and an excerpt from saxophonist Colin Stetson's re-imagining of G?recki's Third Symphony

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All Songs +1: A Conversation With Explosions In The Sky

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 31, 2016


Members of Explosion in the Sky talk about the challenge of making The Wilderness, the most adventurous record yet from an already sonically mind-bending band.

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New Mix: Explosions In The Sky, Parquet Courts, Wire, Told Slant, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 29, 2016


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, Bob helps Robin Hilton out of his annual NCAA March Madness depression after his Jayhawks lose yet again. Bob plays a mind-obliterating track from Explosions In The Sky. Robin introduces us to new music from punk veterans Wire and a new song from Frankie Cosmos but they all seem to simply taunt his loss.We also hear a magnificent new song from Told Slant that features Felix Walworth, the drummer for Eskimeaux, Florist and Bellows. Then there's more explosive sounds from Parquet Courts and a new song by rhythmic sound effect master Walker Lukens. Robin closes out the show with a song by The Glands, one of his favorite bands from Athens, Ga. in tribute to lead singer Ross Shapiro, whose death was announced late last week.

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All Songs +1: Hear Ryan Adams and Bob Mould Play Music And Talk About Everything Under The Sun

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 24, 2016


There's new music from Bob Mould. His latest album, Patch The Sky, comes out March 25. One of this legendary musician's biggest fans — from his punk days of H?sker D? to the land of Sugar and his prolific and exciting solo records — is musician Ryan Adams. And as a fan and friend, Ryan invited Bob to his PAX-AM Studio and pressed record.So for the next hour you'll hear Bob and Ryan play music and hear a sprawling, geeky and fun conversation. Sometimes it's about Bob's record, other times it's about Metallica bootlegs, caveman sounding lyrics, favorite cereals, fasted band, how the revival of vinyl helps make better, more focused records, praying, the quietness of church, zombies, Einst?rzende Neubauten, noise rock and recording/mixing/soundboards.

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SXSW 2016 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 23, 2016


After six days of little sleep and a lot of music, the All Songs Considered team is back from Austin with a bucketload of bands and discoveries to share. On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to share their favorite finds and memorable moments, from the stadium presence of Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb and party brass band Lucky Chops to the dark, moody folk of Edith Crash and the kick-ass rock and roll of Seratones.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: The Weekend

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 21, 2016


All Songs host Bob Boilen gathers Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley for their final roundup of the festival.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Friday

Author: NPR
Sat, Mar 19, 2016


Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton wrap up their evening on a busy street with All Songs contributor Stephen Thompson.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Thursday

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton speak with All Songs contributors Katie Presley and Stephen Thompson about their favorite St. Patrick's Day discoveries.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Wednesday

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 17, 2016


Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson to relive their Wednesdays in Austin.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Tuesday

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


Our first day at SXSW 2016. Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley talk about the bands we discovered today, including Lucky Chops, Thelma and the Sleaze, and Charlie Bell.

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SXSW 2016 Music Preview

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by Stephen Thompson and NPR's Music Saidah Blount for a look at a handful of bands we can't wait to see at SXSW this week.

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All Songs +1: Iggy Pop & Josh Homme Talk 'Post Pop Depression

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 11, 2016


There's new music from Iggy Pop and that's a pretty big thrill.Post Pop Depression is a collaboration with Joshua Homme from Queens of the stone age. What you hear is more crooning and thoughtful Iggy then the image in your minds of a stage diving unpredictable punk.Iggy pop and Joshua Homme are at NPR west in Culver city...Their album is part of our first listen series so...you can listen to it all there...I wondered how they came to find each other

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New Mix: Sturgill Simpson, Beth Orton, Julianna Barwick, Damien Jurado, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 08, 2016


This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton talk about Sturgill Simpson's more rock-inspired sound and how parenthood inspired Simpson's new LP, A Sailor's Guide To Earth. Bob also plays some great, guitar-driven rock from Weaves and Heron Oblivion.Also on the show: British singer-songwriter Beth Orton returns to her electronic-folk roots and Damien Jurado winds down his trilogy of concept albums. Plus we've got new music from singer Julianna Barwick, from electronic producer James Hinton under the name The Range and a cartoony, horror-inspired song from producer John Congleton and his new band The Nighty Nite.

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+1: The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Winner

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 04, 2016


On this +1 podcast we interview the winner of the 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. Gaelynn Lea's submission was so remarkable – as Robin Hilton says, he watched hundreds of submissions, and Gaelynn's music cut through all the noise and rose, beautifully, to the top. We learned a lot more about this remarkable musician after we dug deeper into her music and her personal story. We talked with Gaelynn about how she came to play violin, how she wrote her winning song, the unique challenges she faces in making music and how she became musical friends with Alan Sparhawk of Low.

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New Mix: Music From M. Ward, Nothing, Marissa Nadler, A Chat With Mitski & More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 01, 2016


This week on All Songs: The best new songs of the week, an interview with Mitski and a first look at some of the great music we'll hear at SXSW 2016.

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New Mix: Breakthroughs By Car Seat Headrest, The Coathangers, Big Thief, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 23, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share songs from a trio of bands on the verge of releasing breakthrough albums. Bob starts the show strong with a jaw-dropping new song from Car Seat Headrest called "Vincent." Robin follows that up with a song by Big Thief and later shares a new song from the best album yet by The Coathangers.We also get a new track by sibling duo Follin, featuring the leaders of Cults and Guards; NPR Music's Daoud Tyler-Ameen drops by to share the lovely pop-punk of Tancred and Robin takes us out on the densely layered electronic music of Tim Hecker.

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All Songs +1: French Cooking And How A Tour Manager Could Save Your Life

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 19, 2016


How can the French culinary phrase 'mise en place' save your band's life and make anyone's life a whole lot better?

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New Mix: A George Harrison Tribute, Fantastic Negrito, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 16, 2016


Hear a tribute to George Harrison, plus new music by Fantastic Negrito, Black Mountain and more on this week's mix from All Songs Considered.

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New Mix: Shearwater, Lily & Madeleine, Eskimeaux, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 09, 2016


On this week's All Songs, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share songs of power, protest and passion, including a cut from Shearwater's "angriest" record to date, the urgent rock of the Ukrainian band Phooey! and singer Kevin Morby's fervent if exasperated attempt to make sense of police violence. Plus, we've got moments of pure beauty from the sister duo Lily & Madeleine, singer-songwriter and producer Gabrielle Smith, a.k.a. Eskimeaux. And resident Viking Lars Gotrich pays us a visit with deep cuts from Bandcamp.com, including and the twee-pop group Naps, and Robin explains why he's certain he's really just a brain floating in a jar on Bob's desk.

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All Songs +1: Andrew Bird Gets Personal

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 05, 2016


"These are just the strongest melodies and the strongest ideas that occurred to me over a three to four year period, distilled." That's the great violinist, lyricist and singer Andrew Bird on the subject of a project he's excited though a bit apprehensive talking about, his new album Are You Serious. That album, which comes out on April 1, is the most personal album he's ever made. Andrew Bird's lyrics are often a kind of cryptic code, wordplay about the human condition, but on Are You Serious he reveals more about his own life including a blossoming relationship between two relative introverts and the birth of their son. In our conversation, we hear excerpts of four songs from Are You Serious and dive into the process of writing and playing with his extraordinary band, which includes Blake Mills on guitar, Ted Poor on drums and Alan Hampton on bass. The record also includes Fiona Apple playing a romantic in a duet with Bird the skeptic. Here's the album's opening track, "Capsized." You can hear the whole interview above, and read highlights below.

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New Mix: Santigold, Macklemore, PJ Harvey, Iggy Pop, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 02, 2016


On this week's All Songs Considered, we've got several new favorites including Bob Boilen's No. 1 discovery of 2016 so far, Lucy Dacus. Robin Hilton shares songs by several artists he thinks are about to release their best albums yet, including Santigold and Ane Brun. Also on the show: Iggy Pop brings back his Bowie-inspired swagger with help from Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, French musicians Adan Jodorowsky & Xavi Polycarpe channeled their recent breakups into a big '70s-flavored pop song, PJ Harvey returns to her original rock sound and electronic artist Ital Tek reflects on his love of guitar drones and distorted electronics. Plus, rapper Macklemore asks a lot of difficult questions about race and responsibility in the song "White Privilege II."

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Our Top Discoveries At globalFEST 2016

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 27, 2016


On Sunday, Jan. 17, globalFEST, one of America's premiere showcases of musical talent from around the world, once again took over the three stages at Manhattan's Webster Hall. To discuss the evening's performances and insights, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music's Piotr Orlov, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre and Rob Weisberg of WQXR (who also hosts WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise). In this week's podcast, above, they revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.

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New Music From Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, A Bowie Cover From Glen Hansard, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 20, 2016


It's our first show with new music in 2016! After nearly two months of best-of's, holiday and Sweet 16 specials, we get back to doing what we do best and love most: playing great new music. On this week's All Songs Considered, we share a new song by Tiny Desk alum Laura Gibson, AURORA(one of Bob's favorite discoveries from CMJ 2014) also new music from Lucius, Ray LaMontagne, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (produced by tUnE-yArDs Merrill Garbus) and a cover of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" by Glen Hansard recorded lived during the All Songs Considered Sweet 16 party

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16 Number One Songs From Our First 16 Years

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 06, 2016


All Songs Considered is celebrating its Sweet 16 this month, so to mark the occasion on this week's show we're counting down our favorite songs from each of the past 16 years

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Viking's Choice 2015: The Year In The Loud And The Weird

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 29, 2015


At this point, it's basically tradition: The last show of the year is dedicated to the loud, the fast, the heavy, the cosmic and the sublime. A.K.A., when All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and I talk about metal, punk and a broad definition of experimental music. Maybe you've listened to some of these outliers in my Viking's Choice column or even on the podcast — they definitely stick out like a sore, headbanging thumb.

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The All Songs Considered Holiday Spectacular, 2015

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 21, 2015


Every year around this time we like to take a break from our usual musical discoveries and get together with old friends for what we call the All Songs Considered Holiday Spectacular, a seasonal special done in the tradition of old-time radio. After deciding he's had enough of the season, Bob storms out of the studio and finds himself taking a Dickensian journey, with visits from some old friends, including Carrie Brownstein, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Ben Folds and more. So gather your friends and family around the warm, crackling podcast listening device of your choice and take a journey in sound with us. Just click the audio link at the top of the page. You can also get this episode in the All Songs Considered podcast.

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All Songs +1: David Bowie Fulfills His Jazz Dream

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 17, 2015


It's long been a dream of David Bowie to make a jazz record with a big band. On Jan. 8, 2016, Bowie's 69th birthday, we'll hear his dream realized. The path to ? (pronounced "blackstar"), Bowie's 25th album, is filled with chance meetings with all the right people, but the two main characters are his long time friend and producer Tony Visconti and his new found friend/saxophonist and band leader Donny McCaslin.

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Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums Of 2015

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 16, 2015


You never entirely know what you're going to get when you ask listeners to rank their favorite albums of the year. But the results of All Songs Considered's 2015 listener poll may be the most diverse we've seen in ten years of doing these lists. From Kendrick Lamar's hip-hop masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly and the dense harp-poetry of Joanna Newsom, to the effervescent pop of Carly Rae Jepsen, soul singer Leon Bridges and the immense jazz album The Epic from Kamasi Washington, listeners showed a lot of love for a broad range of sounds.

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All Songs +1: What Does It Mean To Be A Rock Star?

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 07, 2015


In this installment of The Martin Atkins Minute, the professor, producer and former Public Image Ltd. drummer wonders what it means to be a rock star in a world flipped on its head. It's a world where Dunkin' Donuts is selling chicken sandwiches, Burger King is peddling glazed donuts, friendship is measured by numbers on a Facebook page and the only thing you can count on is change. Produced by Martin Atkins, Brad Pack and Gabriel Labrador. Mastered by Brad Pack. Foley effects by Gabriel Labrador.

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The Year In Music 2015

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 02, 2015


The All Songs Considered crew looks back at the highlights in 2015 with a focus on the music we loved most including Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar, Girlpool, Jason Isbell, Sleater-Kinney, Missy Elliott, Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Joan Shelley and Adele.

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New Mix: Missy Elliot, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, PWR BTTM And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 24, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered we share a track from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Leon Bridges premiered on the All Songs blog. And after a 10-year hiatus from releasing new music, Missy Elliot is back in action with a song that makes us realize just how much we missed her. Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play a batch of fun and funky tunes, starting with the glitter-infused queer punk band PWR BTTM. Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn flexes his voice as Made of Oak, Public Service Broadcasting return to the Cold War for a follow-up EP to The Race For Space and we hear a song off the debut record from Mothers.

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All Songs +1: Adele Mania

Author: NPR
Fri, Nov 20, 2015


As Adele's 25, finally arrives, we take a look back at the week when anticipation for her third album — which may debut to record-breaking sales — peaked with a mobbed concert in New York. NPR's Saidah Blount describes a scene involving ticket scalping in large cash denominations.

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Music For Healing

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 17, 2015


Music can provide a space for healing, feeling and thought. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, including at a show in that city's Bataclan concert hall, we were compelled to play music with a meditative tone, songs that allow space and time for reflection. A tune Bob Boilen found himself playing all weekend was by Hiya Wal ?alam, a band featuring members from Tunisia, Palestine and Sweden. It's culture-blending music and perfectly pensive. Robin Hilton's choice of a song by pianist Goldmund gave him some space for moments of solace as the news unfolded this weekend.

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All Songs +1: Danger Mouse Is Starting His Own Record Label

Author: NPR
Thu, Nov 12, 2015


Brian Burton has good taste. As Danger Mouse, he's won five Grammy Awards and worked with everyone from the Black Keys to Gorillaz to Adele. Now the musician, songwriter and producer is adding another impressive project to his resume: his own record label. Burton's new label, 30th Century Records, is releasing its first album, a compilation of songs by relatively unknown artists, on Dec. 18. On this week's +1 podcast, host Bob Boilen talked to Burton about learning what it takes to make a label great and what made him decide to start a label of his own and then listened to two of the songs from his upcoming compilation, by the artists Sam Cohen and Nine Pound Shadow.

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New Mix: An Emotional Rollercoaster With Grimes, Money And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 10, 2015


This week's All Songs Considered is an emotional roller coaster. Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton start off mellow with the sweet, acoustic Many Rooms, only to pull the rug out from under it with a monstrously good tune from Grimes. Then we've got intricate Ethiopian accordion rhythms from Hailu Mergia, a piece full of anguish and beauty from the Manchester band Money and a thick, shoe-gazey song from Shmu to close out the whirlwind of frenzied feelings.

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All Songs +1: The Carrie Brownstein We Never Knew

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 04, 2015


On this week's +1 Podcast, we talk with Carrie Brownstein about her new book, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl and look back at the highs and lows of her time with Sleater-Kinney, and the talk about the future of the band.

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Show Takeover: The Milk Carton Kids

Author: NPR
Mon, Nov 02, 2015


After tricking hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton into abandoning the studio in search of the world's most complicated latte, Los Angeles folk duo The Milk Carton Kids commandeer the mic and take over this week's show. Singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan have released four albums, the most recent of which, Monterey, came out in May of 2015. On this week's show, The Milk Carton Kids cover all the bases, from Cecile McLorin Salvant's sultry "Look At Me" to Superhumanoids' thrumming electronic, "Anxious and Venice" and Kacy & Clayton's Zeppelin-esque, "Dyin' Bed Maker." Plus an aspirational playlist of great guitar tunes from Jim Campilongo & Honeyfingers, Blake Mills and Julian Lage.

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All Songs +1: A Musician's Nightmare

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 30, 2015


Martin Atkins is trapped inside a nightmare that has claimed the lives and careers of so many musicians who came before him. The temptations, the distractions, the legalese, oh, the terror! And just when he thinks he's finally safe, the torment begins again, stuck in a frightening endless cycle. Atkins, a drummer, producer and professor, weaves the terrifying tale of any musicians' personal horror in this spooky Halloween installment of The Martin Atkins Minute.

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New Mix: Weezer, Mike Milosh And J. Viewz, Savages, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 27, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered, Weezer is back with an insanely catchy new single that takes on everything from sexism to religion, filtered through Rivers Cuomo's playful sense of humor. Marlon Williams puts his choir boy-meets-punk rocker touch on country music, King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard brings us back to the sunny '60s and Savages forcefully reminds us that love is the answer. Also on the show: We call up Mike Milosh of Rhye, who explains his part in a collaboration with j.viewz on "Don't Pull Away," a song Milosh says was written in part as a message to his wife after a grueling year of touring. "Don't Pull Away" is part of the DNA Project, a venture by j.viewz to document the entire process of creating a record from start to finish.

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All Songs +1: Discussion with Neko Case and John Grant

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 23, 2015


Listen to this conversation and you'll feel like you're sitting in an airport lounge eavesdropping on Neko Case and John Grant, two smart, funny mutual admirers.

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New Music From Beach House, Chairlift, CMJ Discoveries And More

Author: NPR
Wed, Oct 21, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin starts the show with a question: What bands have you discovered and fallen in love with from commercials? His first pick, Chairlift, has come a long way since its 2008 ad for the Apple iPod Nano. Bob's first pick, Stolen Jars, is one of his CMJ 2015 favorites and has also been featured in an Apple ad. Share your picks in the comments. Also on the show: Bob shares some of the other CMJ acts he loved this year, like the childlike Weaves and the engrossing Bayonne. Bronze Radio Return, one of Robin's SXSW picks from 2013, is back, bringing big, buoyant pop. And Beach House returns quickly, with Thank Your Lucky Stars arriving just two months after its last album, Depression Cherr

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+1: The Madness Of Never Ending Format Changes

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 16, 2015


The way we listen to music evolves constantly. From wax cylinder recordings all the way through to today's streaming services, formats have come a long way. What's next? What does this unending metamorphosis say about the music industry? And what does any of this have to do with Robert De Niro? In another installment of our series The Martin Atkins Minute, Martin Atkins, the Public Image Ltd. drummer-turned-professor of music business at the SAE Institute, explains it all, from the strange newness of emerging formats to how vinyl records made such a resurgence that they ended up in Whole Foods.

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Diet Cig, Hamilton Leithauser & Paul Maroon, Georgia And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 13, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen is getting excited for the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and Robin Hilton is just plain getting excited. Bob shares some of the things he's most eager to hear at the festival, like Georgia's one-woman musical melee and two vastly different bands with Upstate New York connections: the innocent Florist and gritty Diet Cig. Robin pushed through a listening funk and finally found some songs he loves: Hamilton Leithauser and Paul Maroon of the Walkmen reunite, Motel Beds bring pop music to the wee morning hours with "4AM" and Twin Limb offers up an accordion-based breakup anthem. Get excited!

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+1: The Hazards And Humor Of Making Explicit Music

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 09, 2015


The musician and provocateur known as Peaches has just won a Polaris prize for the Best Canadian Album of the 2000s. Music fans selected her sexually charged debut release The Teaches Of Peaches in an online poll over albums by Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and Feist, among others. Peaches is currently on tour with Meg Remy, the sole member of a band called U.S. Girls. Both musicians make provocative music, with graphic and sometimes disturbing imagery. It's the kind of songs that can you leave you blushing, or make your heart pound. On this week's +1 podcast, Peaches and Meg Remy talk about why they're drawn to graphic music, how they navigate the hazards and humor of performing live, and how their songs sometimes affect people in uncommon ways (the podcast itself contains a fair amount of profanity and sexual subject matter, both in conversation and music). As they tell All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton, sometimes listeners get the wrong idea.

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New Mix: Bob Dylan, Frank Turner, Daughter And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 06, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Robin share a few of their favorite things: choice tunes from cherished artists. We've got all the bases covered, from a devastating song about dementia from Daughter to an energetic anthem from Frank Turner on the power of positivity. Toss in a Bob Dylan bootleg, the long-awaited return from electronic artist St. Germain, a propulsive new track from Bill Ryder-Jones and, from rapper Big Boi and the duo Phantogram, the best collaboration ever inspired by an Internet popup ad. The only things missing are the doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.

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+1: Mark Ronson On Making Something Old New Again

Author: NPR
Fri, Oct 02, 2015


On this week's +1 Podcast, we talk with producer, DJ and musician Mark Ronson about the allure of vintage sounds and why he chose to build his career around making the old sound new again.

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New Mix: Psych Pop And Gritty Rock From John Grant, Dilly Dally, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 29, 2015


Good luck getting these tunes out of your head. Host Bob Boilen kicks off this week's All Songs Considered with new music by Pell, a rapper and songwriter who garnered well-deserved attention for his first mixtape, and is back in a big way with production help from TV On the Radio's Dave Sitek. That's followed by a bizarre and relatable introspection from John Grant, a twisting Beatles-esque tune from the Danish trio Slaughter Beach and the "Misguided Light" of Younghusband. From there we enter the enchanted forest of the mind of Marian McLaughin and co-host Robin Hilton leaves us with "Desire" from Toronto outfit Dilly Dally.

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+1: Why 'Hamilton' The Musical Works

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 25, 2015


On paper, the musical Hamilton sounds like a joke. But as NPR Music's Timmhotep Aku tells us in this week's +1 podcast, "Maybe you shouldn't judge things on face value." Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda takes a snooze-worthy subject — the history of America's financial system — and mixes it with florid period costumes, 2 1/2 hours of Broadway theatrics and a whole bunch of hip-hop songs. But even the most skeptical audiences are being won over in droves. On this week's +1 podcast, we talk about why the unlikely hit works.

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All Things Considered Host Ari Shapiro Plays DJ

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 21, 2015


Ari Shapiro started his career as an intern for NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg; he went on to become a White House correspondent, among other high-profile roles. Now, he's one of the hosts of NPR's evening news program All Things Considered. In his spare time, Shapiro also sings with the artful, playful pop group Pink Martini. On this edition of All Songs Considered, he joins hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to discuss his love of musicals, the powerful voices that draw him in, and why Paul Simon's Graceland never gets ol

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+1: The Three Biggest Winners In Nashville This Week

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 18, 2015


On this week's +1 podcast, we go to Nashville where host Bob Boilen has been making new discoveries at the Americana Music Festival, and attended the Americana Music Awards ceremony. Boilen chats with co-host Robin Hilton about this year's three biggest winners: Lucinda Williams, Sturgill Simpson and Shakey Graves.

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AmericanaFest Preview: Lucette, Whitey Morgan, Oh Pep! And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 15, 2015


NPR Music is in Nashville all this week for the 16th annual AmericanaFest. So the newest episode of All Songs Considered offers a big bundle of music from some of the acts who are playing the festival that the team is most excited to see. Before leaving D.C., Bob called up NPR Music's Ann Powers and NPR Music contributor Jewly Hight in Music City to talk about what Americana means, and who its newest and most promising voices are. The playlist they ended up with has grit, rock, folk, pop, fiddle, honky-tonk and everything in between: the perfect primer to an eclectic, evolving genre and the festival celebrating it.

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AmericanaFest Preview: Lucette, Whitey Morgan, Oh Pep! And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 15, 2015


NPR Music is in Nashville all this week for the 16th annual AmericanaFest. So the newest episode of All Songs Considered offers a big bundle of music from some of the acts who are playing the festival that the team is most excited to see. Before leaving D.C., Bob called up NPR Music's Ann Powers and NPR Music contributor Jewly Hight in Music City to talk about what Americana means, and who its newest and most promising voices are. The playlist they ended up with has grit, rock, folk, pop, fiddle, honky-tonk and everything in between: the perfect primer to an eclectic, evolving genre and the festival celebrating it.

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All Songs +1: The Martin Atkins Minute - The Blackberry Jam Scam

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 11, 2015


Are you a musician looking to be heard? If so, give a listen to the first segment of a new series we're calling The Martin Atkins Minute. This episode the Blackberry Jam Scam.

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New Mix: JR JR, Thunderbitch, Chris Walla, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 08, 2015


This week's show is split much like some of our favorite records: The A-side is loud and fast. The B-side is slow and quiet. Co-host Robin Hilton kicks things off with Thunderbitch, a raucous side project from Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard. We quickly follow with bursts of infectious ear candy from the Louisiana-based art pop group Givers and a re-tooled JR JR (until recently known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), before slowing things down slightly with the transfixing singer Jill Andrews. Then it's time to take a deep breath and breathe in the light of our B-side, mixed by host Bob Boilen. We start with two projects from the Icelandic electronic artist ?lafur Arnalds, one a collaboration with experimental pianist Nils Frahm, the other a stunning new interpretation of music by Chopin. We close with a surprising ambient solo album from former Death Cab For Cutie member Chris Walla and an enchanting new album from Malian kora player Ballak? Sissoko and French cellist Vincent S?gal.

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All Songs +1: Sharon Van Etten Interviews Low's Mimi Parker

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 04, 2015


Today, on our All Songs +1 podcast, we're doing something a bit different. It's a conversation between two people we love, Sharon Van Etten and Mimi Parker from the band Low, about being a mom and being in a rock band.

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Encore Presentation: Guest DJ John Congleton

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 03, 2015


This conversation with producer John Congleton remains one of our all-time favorite discussions about music, life, and why we love the songs we love. Since we originally posted it in the fall of 2014, Congleton has gone on to produce new albums by Franz Ferdinand And Sparks, Lower Dens, The Heartless Bastards and more. He's also won a Grammy for producing St. Vincent's stellar self-titled album. It's Congleton's first major music award, but not likely his last: The 38-year-old remains one of the most sought-after producers making music today. Before we hit the rush of late-summer and fall releases, this week All Songs Considered hits the pause button and shares this October 2014 conversation with John Congleton, for those who may have missed it and those who want to recall his inspirational words.

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Don't Know BOOTS? Here's Why You Should Listen Now

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 27, 2015


BOOTS is the most interesting new artist I've heard in 2015. I first discovered his sound by hearing his production on the FKA twigs album, a record filled with an ever-fascinating, warped and twisted sound. You may have first encountered him writing and producing songs on Beyonc?'s self-titled 2013 album. I just recently heard his new album Aquaria, and his mix of sounds, ranging from Bowie to Reznor to hip-hop was so original that I felt compelled to talk with him. So: Meet Jordy Asher, a.k.a. BOOTS.

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New Mix: Foals, Telekinesis, Julia Holter, Rodrigo Amarante, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 25, 2015


This week's episode of All Songs Considered is a journey of sound. Bob has a new favorite noise app, so he and Robin Hilton go on a sonic expedition that includes a spring walk, a gaggle of purring kittens, and a rolling rain storm (thunder optional). As if kittens weren't enough, Bob and Robin also have six new songs to share, including a British band, a Scandinavian band that sounds British, and an American band that sounds Scandinavian. All that, plus some dramatic baroque pop and the imagined soundtrack to a drug lord's childhood.

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All Songs +1: The Return Of Bikini Kill

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Bikini Kill, the feminist punk band at the forefront of the '90s riot grrrl movement, are about to reissue something few people have heard. The group's very first demo, Revolution Girl Style Now, is coming out not only in its original cassette format, but also on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. For this week's +1 podcast, Bob Boilen and Katie Presley talk to Bikini Kill founder Kathleen Hanna.

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New Mix: Deerhunter, YACHT, Youth Lagoon, GEMS, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 18, 2015


Bob Boilen is back after several weeks for this week's episode of All Songs Considered, and at least part of this week's show is Robin coming to terms with Bob's new beard. After moving through the stages of denial, grief and anger, Bob and Robin finally find acceptance by sharing new music that, as Robin puts it, "hits them just right, including The Front Bottoms, Beach Slang, GEMS, YACHT, Deerhunter and Youth Lagoon.

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All Songs +1: Memories Of Columbia House

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 14, 2015


Columbia House (actually, the company that has owned Columbia House since 2012) filed for bankruptcy this week, which will mean a great deal to those who were music lovers in the 1980s and '90s, and probably close to nothing to listeners under the age of 30. Columbia House was a mail-order music warehouse, which used cheap (or free) LPs, then 8-tracks, then cassettes and CDs to rope customers into its full-price subscription service. For this week's All Songs +1 podcast, Robin (who, like millions of other Americans, has Columbia House to thank for his Hootie & The Blowfish collection) is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Piotr Orlov, who was a Columbia House employee in its '90s heyday. In this freewheeling discussion, the team talks about the nuts and bolts of the Columbia House model (it's been called "the Spotify of the '80s"), how young music fans tried to work the system, and how Stephen somehow missed the massive reach of Columbia House altogether.

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Remembering Sean Price, Plus Girl Band, Diane Coffee, Bikini Kill, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 11, 2015


This week, the All Songs team picks songs that sound like revolutions. Bob Boilen is out, so co-host Robin Hilton is joined by Katie Presley in D.C. and Timmhotep Aku in New York. The trio shares big, smashy music that lets Robin engage in his once-yearly purge of emotion. The show opens with a remembrance of Sean Price, the beloved Brooklyn rapper who died last weekend at 43. The revolution in Price's music is that he described his life as it actually was, resisting the urge to inflate his own ego or polish his circumstance to make for a slicker image. From there, Robin has two songs that contain an album of material each, Katie has an activist punk time capsule and a shiny, groovy treat from Brooklyn, and Timm has some sly R&B from a singer trying to pass his heartache off as automotive nostalgia.

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All Songs +1: Laura Jane Grace And Lauren Denitzio On Surviving In Punk

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


The outspoken leaders of the bands Against Me! and Worriers discuss gender identity in art, being a punk musician in 2015 and the new Worriers album Imaginary Life, which Grace produced.

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Guest DJ: Sylvan Esso

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 04, 2015


This ... Is The Show: Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, the singer and electronic artist behind the music of Sylvan Esso, join All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to play some of their favorite songs by other musicians. There's jazz from The Lounge Lizards, Icelandic experimentalists M?m, Kendrick Lamar's "Hood Politics" and much more. In fact, they brought so much great stuff to hear, we never had a chance to play any of Sylvan Esso's own music. But you can you can hear plenty in our archives, including a fantastic Tiny Desk concert. Bob and Robin were in NPR's D.C. studios and the band was at WUNC, in its home base of Durham, N.C. The distance meant we couldn't see them and they couldn't see us. That's not unusual, but what was unusual is how technology seemed to fail us. So as our conversation unfolded — or attempted to unfold — things fell apart pretty quickly, which made for some awkward, albeit funny, moments.

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Guest DJ: Leon Bridges

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 28, 2015


Leon Bridges grew up listening to Usher, but his music suggests influences a generation removed. The Texas singer pairs irresistible pop charm with tightly-executed song structures. But his throwback act is no mere nostalgia trip. In fact, Bridges explains in our interview that he never intended to write soul music. He grew up a voracious and diligent listener, drawing as much from the neo-soul of Ginuwine as from the guitar work of Crosby, Still & Nash. Singers overshadowed by the likes of Sam Cooke — Arthur Alexander, Roy C. — were central to his musical education. It was only after he had written many of his best songs that friends noted echoes of the past.

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Jason Isbell: Newport Folk Festival 2015

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 27, 2015


Hear Jason Isbell perform at the Newport Folk Festival 2015 Jason Isbell, lead vocals & guitar Sadler Vaden, guitar Jimbo Hart, bass Derry DeBorja, keyboards Chad Gamble, drums Set List: 1. Palmetto Rose 2. Stockholm 3. Something More Than Free 4. 24 Frames 5. Codeine 6. The Life You Chose 7. Speed Trap Town 8. Cover Me Up 9. Children of Children 10. Alabama Pines 11. Different Days 12. Super 8

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All Songs +1: Josh Ritter Song Premiere/Interview

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 27, 2015


Josh Ritter tells the tale of a "risky teen" and a Bible school intervention in the lead single from his forthcoming album, Sermon On The Rocks.

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New Music From Wilco, Night Beds, Lianne La Havas, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 21, 2015


We kick off this week's All Songs Considered with new music from Wilco. The band surprised fans by dropping a new album out of the blue late last week. It's called ... wait for it ... Star Wars, and Wilco is letting everyone download it for free from the group's website (for a month). But don't let the playful name fool you. Star Wars is one of Wilco's trippiest, most inventive and surprising releases in 20 years of making music.

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All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 17, 2015


Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton think about the first song you should play for a newborn.

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Guest DJ: SOAK

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 14, 2015


Before We Forgot How to Dream is one of my favorite albums of 2015. It's by an artist you may not yet know, but I'm hoping you'll fall in love with her. Her name is Bridie Monds-Watson, better known as SOAK. Today SOAK plays dj on All Songs Considered playing music by Pink Floyd, Crazy Frog, R.E.M. and Bon Iver. And of course we'll play her thoughtful songs.

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All Songs Rewind: The Legacy Of The '90s

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 08, 2015


This retrospective charts the birth of grunge, the commercial rise of hip-hop, a batch of gutsy female songwriters and a few goofy one-hit wonders we'd mostly forgotten about. This episode is also Ann Powers' debut as a member of NPR Music, and she and Stephen Thompson join Bob and Robin to take a look back at the decade of flannel and spice.

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All Songs +1: Beach House Talks About Their New Song

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 01, 2015


There's a new album coming from Beach House, the dreamy Baltimore-based duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. That album, called Depression Cherry, comes out on Sub Pop on Aug. 28. Today we get to hear a first song from the album, called "Sparks," and Bob Boilen interviewed Beach House about it.

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Our Favorite New Artists Of 2015 (So Far)

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 30, 2015


This week marks the mid-point of 2015, and the All Songs Considered team is ready to take stock. On this week's show, we share our favorite music from debut albums released in the first half of this year. It's only June, but we picked the music we're already eyeing for our year-end lists in December.

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Guest DJ: Courtney Barnett

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 23, 2015


Melbourne guitarist and singer Courtney Barnett has been an NPR Music favorite since I caught three of her performances at New York's CMJ Music Festival in 2013. Her blend of witty lyricism and deadpan delivery made for two excellent EPs, and this year a full-length that will surely end up at the very top of my year-end list, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett just wrapped up a sold-out tour in support of the album, and I invited her to stop by between D.C. shows to act as our Guest DJ for this week's episode of All Songs Considered. I saw both of Barnett's shows at the 9:30 Club, and the crowds were full of younger fans, but also many of their parents. It's clear from the music she picked to play on our show that her musical sensibility, like her sound, spans decades. The influential artists Courtney Barnett discovered as a kid — Australian folk and rock bands, Wilco, Talking Heads — came to her through family and friends young and old, in school and at shows. Words are often at heart of those songs. It's no surprise for someone who writes such amazing, conversational lyrics, but Barnett is huge fun to talk to, and she was excited to talk about the music that the loves, not just the music she makes.

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Guest DJ: Kate Tempest On The Power Of Words

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 16, 2015


London poet, playwright, and hip-hop artist Kate Tempest was Bob Boilen's favorite discovery from the SXSW festival this year. Her gripping performance style and obvious commitment to connecting deeply with her audience led Bob to her stunning 2014 record, Everybody Down, a searing but empathetic character study of three young Londoners. We asked Tempest to be our guest DJ on this week's episode of All Songs Considered to find out the story behind her stories. Unsurprisingly, the songs by other musicians that she chose to play point feature sharp, contemplative lyrics and artists who have never compromised their work in the name of popularity or commercial success. From a life-changing experience with the rapper RZA to the Dylan that woke her up to the power of words, the music Tempest talks about on our show is all about the ways music can break down walls to communicate directly with whoever's listening.

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New Music from Dan Auerbach, Joan Shelley, Beauty Pill, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 09, 2015


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, we've got an album announcement from a new band featuring Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and song premieres from Widowspeak and Joan Shelley. We've also got an incredible story, one that surrounds the latest release from D.C. band Beauty Pill. The album, Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, was made following bandleader Chad Clark's brush with death, but Clark doesn't just tell his own story on the album's songs. The song we play on the show, "Steven and Tiwonge," is a profound tale of two more real-life people that's every bit as urgent and meaningful as Clark's own struggle

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All Songs +1: The Art Of Streaming

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 05, 2015


Much has been written about the technology behind music streaming services, and about how much they cost (or don't) for listeners and make (or don't) for artists. But what about the actual, daily experience of listening in the age of the stream? For our show this week, Bob is joined in the studio by Jacob Ganz, who created Streaming At The Tipping Point, an NPR Music series about streaming services and how they're changing the way we find, consume, own and archive our music. The conversation takes on what we gain and lose when we have an unprecedented amount of music at our fingertips, but none of it is tangible. Both Bob and Jacob tell stories of physical album artwork leading to musical discovery (Bob's of Led Zeppelin, Jacob's of Portuguese artist L? Borges), which leads to the question, how can a forward-looking digital service preserve the best parts of the past? We've got some ideas — Spotify can thank us later.

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New Mix: Six Songs For The Energy-Deficient

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 02, 2015


The amps on All Songs Considered this week never dip lower than 11. Bob is joined in the studio by a sleep-deprived Katie Presley, who just moved across the country in a packed truck and has the road trip anthem to prove it, along with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, who brings us a brooding, multihyphenate premiere and a small explosion of rocket-fueled punk. Bob has the return of a beloved songwriter we've missed for several years, and a perfectly-named debut. These songs don't all have light subject matter — a terrifying bout of sleep paralysis informed one of this week's artists and another track grapples with identity and familial connectedness — but their energy never flags. It's shaping up to be a summer of music brewed at full strength.

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New Mix: Six Musical Discoveries You Can't Miss

Author: NPR
Wed, May 27, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob is joined in the studio by NPR Music's Katie Presley and Jacob Ganz and the crew sets its sights on discovery. None of the musicians featured in this episode have ever been played on All Songs before — we set out to find artists aiming for different musical targets than we're used to. We found a piercing look at anxiety in the face of romantic revelation, an R&B/dance hybrid that spans more genres than it does minutes, an unflappable retort to unforgivable behavior and a song that sounds like the soundtrack to an '80s prom ... for ghosts. Nobody else is doing what these six artists are doing, and we can't wait to see where each of them goes from here.

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All Songs +1: Kimase Washington

Author: NPR
Thu, May 21, 2015


Even if you don't know anything about jazz, it's quite possible you've heard the music of saxophonist Kamasi Washington: That's him on the latest albums by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus. But that's only the very tip of his iceberg. His new album The Epic, just released on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label, is a 3-CD, nearly three-hour effort performed by a 10-piece band, strings and a choir. For this week's All Songs +1 podcast, Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music producer Patrick Jarenwattananon, who works on the Jazz Night In America radio show and webcast series, to discuss the new album

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The Songs That Make Us Cry

Author: NPR
Tue, May 19, 2015


What song makes you cry? It could be "Adagio for Strings," but it could also be "Highway to Hell." As you'll learn on this week's All Songs Considered, the music that gets us weeping can have as much, or more, to do with association than with composition. Last week we sent out a request for songs that make our listeners cry. After reading (and sniffling) through more than 7,000 responses, we've pulled ourselves together and are ready to share a few.

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All Songs +1: How Music Can Really Save Your Life

Author: NPR
Fri, May 15, 2015


While they're not splitting open a person's chest and massaging their heart back to life, musicians and the songs they make may actually be saving lives. At least that's the consensus we gathered from the thousands of stories and comments we've gotten in the past week from listeners in response to two recent posts — one about songs that make you cry, and one from our Good Listener advice column that fielded the direct question, can a song really save your life? For this week's All Songs +1 podcast, we're joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, who writes our advice column, The Good Listener, to help unravel the healing powers of music.

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All Songs Considered: From Perfect Pop Anthems To Saxophone Punk

Author: NPR
Tue, May 12, 2015


On our show this week, bigger is better. We start with a pop anthem and feature a set of artists all leaning into or newly discovering their boldest, most attention-grabbing music yet. Some, as in the case of a frontman gone solo and a bilingual saxophone-heavy punk band, deliver precisely the momentous sounds we'd expect. Others used the pull of memory, a desperate four-month stretch of insomnia, or a single shared microphone and two minutes of trippy ambience to level up their sonic ambitions. Maybe we were drawn to more epic sounds this week because it's Robin's last before he hunkers back down into the nest of infant-rearing, or maybe it's because summer is in the air — whatever the reason, turn your speakers to 11 and open the windows.

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All Songs +1: Songs That Remind You Of Mom

Author: NPR
Fri, May 08, 2015


In honor of Mother's Day, we asked listeners to tell us about the songs that remind them of mom. We got thousands of stories and song suggestions, way more than we could ever publish here. So for this week's Plus One podcast we've also put together a list with some of the most-mentioned tracks and a few of the memories listeners shared about them. Host Bob Boilen also calls up his own mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day and talk about the music she loves.

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Nine Creative Musicians You Should Know

Author: NPR
Tue, May 05, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered, we grapple with the alchemy of creation — the myriad ways a musician gets from blank page and empty studio to a full sound and lyrics that ring true. The seven songs on the show (one is a collaboration between a drummer and a pair of remixers) follow on that theme: Each posits a means of making magic out of circumstance. For one group, the key was stripping away ambition and returning to a single voice. For others, sparse hometowns, the ghosts of previous albums and mysterious romantic entanglements provided the spark needed to reach forward into the dark and, as sung by Jeen on "Everywhere I Go," burn it bright.

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All Songs +1: 'Baltimore'

Author: NPR
Fri, May 01, 2015


When we asked listeners to tell us about a song they turned to this week — one that spoke in some way to weighty events unfolding around the world and how they felt — we weren't sure what we'd get. Would it be mostly songs of solace? Songs of grief, or anger? While there's plenty to reflect on, the number one thing on people's minds seems to be Baltimore. And the song people mentioned most was Randy Newman's appropriately titled song, "Baltimore," or more specifically, jazz singer Nina Simone's oddly beguiling version, recorded in 1978. For this week's Plus One Podcast we take a look at the song and why it resonates so powerfully nearly 40 years after Randy Newman first wrote it.

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An All Songs Listening Party: Boston-Berklee

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 28, 2015


Why do we like falsetto so much? Why is melody the single most important part of a song? And why does country music move (or repel) us? These are just a few of the questions that popped up during our All Songs Considered listening party in Boston with the Berklee College of Music last week at the Red Room of Club 939.

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+1: Why We Like The Music We Like

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 24, 2015


On this week's mini podcast: Is some music too simple — or too complicated — to enjoy?

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Hear Brand New My Morning Jacket, Sharon Van Etten, Conor Oberst and more

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 21, 2015


On today's All Songs Considered, we're hitting you with several premieres, beginning a heavy cut from My Morning Jacket's latest studio album, The Waterfall. On "Believe (Nobody Knows)," front man Jim James seeks meaning and truth in an uncertain world, while hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton consider a life of possibilities.

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+1: Our Record Store Day Must-Haves

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 17, 2015


On this week's Plus One (our new, mini podcast), hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by Ben "Super Fan" Kessler to talk about the vinyl Record Store Day releases they're most excited to get.

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New Mix: Built To Spill, The Milk Carton Kids, Brown Bird, Protomartyr and More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 14, 2015


All Songs Considered hosts Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen bring you this week's essential listening, including new music from Built to Spill, The Milk Carton Kids, Brown Bird, Protomartyr and more.

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Your Song Of The Week: Kendrick Lamar's 'King Kunta'

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 10, 2015


Bob Boilen and I thought we'd try something new this week: a second All Songs Considered, a mini-podcast. We start with a ten-minute conversation about a song our listeners say they couldn't stop playing this week: Kendrick Lamar's "King Kunta," a track that is both insanely catchy and profound. To help us unspool the song's multiple layers of meaning, it's many cultural and historical references and its funk-inspired grooves, we asked NPR Music's Timmhotep Aku, a writer and producer who covers hip-hop and R&B, to join us. You can hear and download our conversation with the listen link above. You can hear Kendrick Lamar's song below:

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Passion Pit, Franz Ferdinand with Sparks, MNDR with Killer Mike, The Sonics and White Reaper

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 07, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered we talk about the secrets to being happy and how they relate to a euphoric new track from the electro-pop group Passion Pit. We'll hear the first song from Franz Ferdinand's collaboration with one of Bob Boilen's favorite bands from the early '70s — the wild, strange and playful duo Sparks. Together, as FFS, they cordially invite everyone to "piss off!"

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Ryan Adams, Jamie xx, The Civil Wars' Joy Williams, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 31, 2015


All Songs Considered hosts Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen play this week's essential new songs, including Jamie xx and Joy Williams of the band The Civil Wars, and a classic by Ryan Adams.

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SXSW 2015 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 25, 2015


After a week of 16-hour days and little-to-no sleep, the All Songs Considered gang is back from Austin with a slew of musical discoveries from the 2015 South by Southwest music festival. On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to share their favorite finds and memorable moments, from the brutal and strange rock of Dublin's Girl Band and the bizarre J-pop group Mahousyoujo-ni-naritai, to the quirky-comical pop group The Prettiots and the interstellar vibrations of Golden Dawn Arkestra.

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SXSW 2015 Nightly Dispatches: Saturday

Author: NPR
Sun, Mar 22, 2015


Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson, Ann Powers and Katie Davis wrap up our final day at SXSW 2015, discuss our highlights and are lulled by the music of Torres. Our final South by Lullaby

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SXSW 2015 Nightly Dispatches: Friday

Author: NPR
Sat, Mar 21, 2015


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley discuss the rainy day wrap up of bands here in Austin incuding Juce, The Family Crest, Howard, Torres, Natalie Prass, Cristina Valentina, Summer Cannibals, and some Japanese electro-pop.

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SXSW 2015 Nightly Dispatches: Thursday

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 20, 2015


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stepehen Thompsona and Katie Presley talk about their discoveries from Thursday's SXSW including Soak, Girl Band, Ibeyi, Count This Penny and more. We also present another South x Lullaby with Mynabirds

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SXSW 2015 Nightly Dispatches: Wednesday

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 19, 2015


Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers to talk about discoveries and favorites from this years SXSW Music Festival. Highlights include music from our showcase including Courtney Barnett performance of much of her new album. Also Stromae and Shamir and TV on the Radio. Plus we lull you to bed with a South by Lullaby from the duo who made my #1 album of 2014, Luluc.

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SXSW 2015 Nightly Dispatches: Tuesday

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 18, 2015


Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley gather round for a look at Day 1 at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Highlights include the UK poet and rapper Kate Tempest and the Austin big The Golden Dawn who mix Sun Ra with Sly Stone. And before we all go to bed we're joined by the beautiful musician Tom Brosseau for our very first South By Lullaby.

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SXSW 2015 Music Preview

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 17, 2015


If you love music as much as we do (we really love music), there's a good chance that this is one of your favorite weeks of the year. This is when the massive South by Southwest music festival and conference bubbles up and spills over into the streets of Austin, Texas. For five days, live music pours out of every alley, doorway, club, restaurant and street corner. Whether it's sensory overload or total nirvana, March 17-21 is all about discovering some new band or sound that sets your ears on end. NPR Music is heading to SXSW with big hopes and plans to discover and present new music we love. In preparation for our trip, we listened to thousands of songs by the bands who will be in Austin. On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and NPR contributor Katie Presley to share some of the early discoveries they're most excited to see and hear, from the comical Canadian punk band Needs and English rapper Little Simz to Icelandic singer-songwriter Kaleo and the sparkling twee-pop group Kero Kero Bonito.

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New Mix: Villagers, Joanna Gruesome, Young Fathers, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 10, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered, we look at one of life's immutable truths: Nothing's ever easy! Or, at least some things are way harder than they need to be. That's part of the message in the new kiss-off song that opens our show, "Hot Scary Summer," from the upcoming Villagers album Darling Arithmetic. Also on the program: Host Bob Boilen shares startling, hodgepodge sounds from both Edinburgh's Young Fathers and the London-based band The Very Best. Co-host Robin Hilton delivers a bracing, joyful rock cut from Joanna Gruesome. We take a walk through vast mansions of curious sounds from electronic producer Eskmo's new record SOL, and the "Slow Breathing Circuit" from Inventions, a duo featuring Eluvium's Matthew Cooper and Explosions In The Sky guitarist Mark Smith. Plus, NPR Music editor Jacob Ganz stops by to share a classic from one of his all-time favorite bands, Broadcast.

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Bj?rk, Torres, Boots, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 03, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered, we get heavy — heavy lyrics, heavy themes — as hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton explore the meaning of life, even breaking it down to the atomic level, with existential music from English folk singer Bill Fay, Bj?rk and more.

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Lord Huron, Metz, Patrick Watson, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 24, 2015


It may be freezing on the east coast, but on All Songs Considered this week, we've got the hottest tracks to keep you out of the cold. At the top, North Dakota songwriter Tom Brosseau tells a heartbreaking story about a boy abandoned by his mother. Patrick Watson returns with a vast and beautiful sound that explores the distinction between humanity and technology. In between that pair of longtime All Songs favorites, Lord Huron rides in with an upbeat new track, Soley goes dark, Portland's Summer Cannibals turns up the heat and we get a harder and louder sound from the Toronto based noise rock trio METZ. But first, a track from Robin's past that will take you to Ram Jam heaven, much to Bob's chagrin.

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New Mix: Sufjan Stevens, Alabama Shakes, JEFF The Brotherhood, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 17, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered we reflect on age and time, how we make sense of the world as we all grow older, and how it all ties in to the artist who opens this week's show: Sufjan Stevens. Stevens has been busy with numerous projects since releasing his insane masterpiece, The Age Of Adz, in 2010. But he's back with his first official studio album since then, the lovely and intimate Carrie & Lowell. We've got the first single from the album, "No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross." Also on the program: JEFF The Brotherhood teams up with Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson for some red blooded rock and roll, The Alabama Shakes get amped up and explore new sonic territory and we premiere a new electrified cut from Waxahatchee. Plus: the shape-shifting and utterly infectious sounds of Happyness and British poet/rapper Kate Tempest.

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Love Songs You Love To Love

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 12, 2015


In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked our listeners to name their ideal romantic song. After receiving over a thousand replies, we tallied the results, listened, swooned (and sometimes scratched our heads). On this week's show, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton count down the top 10 and share a couple of their own favorite love songs.

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New Mix: Toro Y Moi, Courtney Barnett, Pops Staples, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 03, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered, we start the show with new music Bob's been waiting for two years to hear: the great first single from Courtney Barnett's debut full-length album. Don't miss the video for "Pedestrian at Best" off her album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Also on the show: Chaz Bundick is back with a Toro Y Moi track that's all '70s-flavored electro-disco dance jam. We also share the last recordings of Pops Staples, which he gave to his daughter Mavis before his death in 2000. NPR Music contributor Katie Presley offers a cut from the loud-and-proud Texas punk party band Purple, Robin takes the show for an acoustic turn with the Brooklyn trio Howard, which leads into Bob's selection of a new song by Other Lives called "Reconfiguration," from the band's upcoming album Rituals.

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New Mix: Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Laura Marling, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 27, 2015


On this week's All Songs Considered we hear from some favorite veteran artists and incredible newcomers, including Modest Mouse's first new record in eight years, Death Cab for Cutie's first record made with an outside producer, and the shattering young psychedelic rockers Sunflower Bean. Also on the show: Folk singer Laura Marling goes big and electric; we hear the unimaginable voice of Israeli songwriter Asaf Avidan from his first official U.S. release and the 19 year-old twin sisters who write and record as Ibeyi.

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New Mix: Dan Deacon, THEESatisfaction, Jackson Scott, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 20, 2015


This week on All Songs Considered: Our favorite electronic artist, Dan Deacon, is back with another playfully infectious dance party, one he recorded on the road during his most recent tour. Also, NPR Music contributor Katie Presley joins us with a hypnotic groove from the Seattle-based duo THEESatisfaction and a slow-burning jam from New Orleans singer-songwriter Kristin Diable. We've got a funktacular space-jam from the London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting; the unbelievable throat-singing of Canadian, Polaris Prize-winning singer Tanya Tagaq and woozy, blown-out guitar psychedelia from Jackson Scott. But before we get to any of that, Robin shares a special moment with the one artist who makes him feel so very alive and ready to conquer the world: Billy Joel.

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Discoveries From globalFEST 2015

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 13, 2015


The news headlines weren't always easy to read last week, between the mass shootings in Paris and the relentless violence in Nigeria. But over the weekend, in New York City, some of the most remarkable global music groups in the world converged for a moment of musical solidarity. They came from as far away as Senegal and as close as Texas for the annual globalFEST, one unforgettable night of rapturous dancing, musical meditation and kinship. As Leonard Bernstein once famously said, "This will be our reply to violence: To make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before." Host Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre, and Rob Weisberg of WQXR (who also hosts WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise) join Bob Boilen to revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.

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A New Mix For The New Year: Panda Bear, The Go! Team, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 06, 2015


In case you missed it, we took a rocket ride to outer space for the holidays. But this week your hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton re-dock at the mother ship Earth to ring in the new year with a new mix: We've got premieres from The Go! Team and The Amazing, new music from Panda Bear's upcoming album, Jessica Pratt and more. But first, our journey back home led us through an unexpected wormhole that resulted in a time warp: As this week's show opens, we find ourselves back in the year 2000, standing before the very first episode of All Songs Considered, "a music show for your computer!" That's right. This year we celebrate our 15th birthday at All Songs Considered. To mark the occasion, each week we'll look back at the past decade and a half and share some of our favorite memories and highlights. We'll also be asking you to share some of your favorite moments. In the meantime, enjoy this week's mix and, as always, let us know what you think in the comments section.

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Viking's Choice: The Best Loud And Weird Music Of 2014

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 30, 2014


"I thought I'd kick you in the pants." And so begins our annual conversation with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich about the year in metal and what he sometimes calls "outer sound." It's a nebulous grouping of experimental music that may leave you puzzled and/or delighted. Join us as we look back at the best weird and loud music of 2014.

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Bob And Robin's Holiday In Space

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 22, 2014


In 2012 we — Bob and Robin, your two intrepid All Songs Considered hosts — celebrated the season by renting a cabin in a snowy woods for a holiday party that nobody came to. Last year we took a road trip to the nation's heartland to discover the true spirit of the season, but never made it (a blizzard left us snowed-in at a cheap motel). This year, through a series of unexpected events, we find ourselves hurtling through outer space, on an urgent musical mission. Join us as we take a rocket ride to the stars, grow homesick for the holidays, and find comfort from a few special guests and friends, including Angel Olsen, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, our favorite spaceman (Dan Deacon, of course), and more.

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Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums of 2014

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 17, 2014


We love hearing what our listeners think are the best albums of the year. It's a fun way to see how our own picks line up with our audience's, and a chance to discover some surprises we may have missed. (There are always surprises we missed). For 2014, our listeners decided St. Vincent's stunning, self-titled release, which came out way back in February, was the best album of the year. No other record came close in our annual poll. St. Vincent had twice as many votes as the next closest contender, Alt-J's This Is All Yours. Beck's gorgeous, meditative Morning Phase came in third, while FKA Twgis' strangely transfixing LP1 and Jack White's bone rattling Lazaretto round out the top five. Below you'll find a playlist with the Top 25 albums chosen by our listeners, along with a more comprehensive list of the top 100 albums. If you'd like to head over to your favorite local record store and go on a shopping spree, here's a downloadable PDF of the Top 100. Thanks for tuning in with us this year, and for being the greatest listeners we could ever hope for!

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All Songs Considered: The Year In Music 2014

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 04, 2014


How will we remember the music of 2014? All Songs Considered starts off NPR Music's year-end coverage by discussing themes that surfaced again and again: new discoveries, best live shows, saddest records and missed gems. All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson to reflect on what made 2014 a standout year in music. From established artists like Beck, St. Vincent and Weezer to new acts like FKA Twigs, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso and Luluc, 2014's releases were varied and surprising. Some, like the beautiful albums by Beck and Luluc, made an impression while keeping the volume low; others, including the sophomore album from the hip-hop duo Run The Jewels, made a noise that was impossible to turn down once it arrived like a buzzsaw in October. And then there are the pop juggernauts who bookended the year: Beyonc?, whose self-titled album came out late in 2013 but echoed through most of this year, and Taylor Swift, who wiped the floor (sales-wise, at least) with every other album released in 2014. This is just the beginning of our year-end extravaganza. Next week NPR Music will share lists of our favorite albums and favorite songs, as well as individual lists from Bob, Robin, Stephen and Ann. What defined your year in music? Let us know in our comment section below and vote for your favorite albums of the year in our listener poll.

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Guest DJ Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 25, 2014


Decades ago, the potent folk songs of Cat Stevens inspired All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen to pick up acoustic guitar. Now known as Yusuf/Cat Stevens, the singer visits the All Songs studio for this week's show to discuss his path to music and share songs that inspired him along the way. Yusuf/Cat Stevens' most recent album, Tell 'Em I'm Gone, features reworkings of a number of classic blues songs and originals. The record also includes collaborations with super-producer Rick Rubin and harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. Tell Em I'm Gone is his first album since 2009.

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Sleater-Kinney 2.0: The Band Talks About Its First Album In 10 Years

Author: NPR
Thu, Nov 20, 2014


Following an eight-year hiatus after touring its last album, The Woods, Sleater-Kinney is back together. Earlier this year, the band put out a box set which included remastered versions of all seven of its albums, as well as a hardcover book featuring previously unseen photos. Included was an unlabeled 7-inch record with a new song, "Bury Our Friends," which turned out to be more than a one-off reunion. Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss had recorded a full album, No Cities To Love, which will be out on Jan. 20.

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New Mix: TV On The Radio, Caribou, Discoveries From Iceland and More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 18, 2014


Earlier this month, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland to attend the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival. Kevin Cole and the crew from NPR member station KEXP were there to broadcast and record bands at the festival. The lineup included bands from around the world, but Airwaves is a rare chance to hear bands from Iceland itself — about 150 of them were on the bill, and Bob and Kevin pick three standouts here. Robin Hilton shares a track from TV on the Radio's latest album, Seeds, which the band (and Robin) believes to be its best yet. Bob offers up a pulsing track from Caribou, whose album Our Love, its most dance-able, attracted a more enthusiastic response than any other stage of the group's 10-year career, if the show Bob saw last week is any indication. Robin closes the show with a gorgeous ambient cut from A Winged Victory For The Sullen's new album, Atomos.

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Guest DJ Dave Grohl

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 12, 2014


This week, Foo Fighters releases its latest project, Sonic Highways. Why "project" rather than album? Sonic Highways is more than just eight new songs. It's also an eight-part documentary currently running on HBO. Together, the album and film series look at the intersection of geography and music. It's what Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl calls a love letter to the history of American music. The band wrote and recorded each song in a different city. Grohl interviewed local musical icons in each place and wove the stories he heard and the history of each location into his lyrics. The first stop in the band's musical journey was Chicago, followed by Grohl's former hometown, Washington, D.C., then on to Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle and New York. When Dave Grohl stopped by the NPR studios in Washington, D.C. to talk about Sonic Highways with us, he reflected on growing up in the area, on what it was like to see his favorite bands play the 9:30 Club and how the city's complicated and controversial history shaped his world view and the song "The Feast and the Famine," which was recorded at Inner Ear Studio in the D.C. area. Grohl also explained how some of the other songs for Sonic Highways came together and talked about the local musicians that inspired them.

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Bryan Ferry Shares New Songs And Stories From His Upcoming Record

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 04, 2014


It's been more than 40 years since singer Bryan Ferry started making some of the freshest, most original rock music of the early 1970s in the band Roxy Music. Ferry was 26 years old when the group formed in 1971, but his unexpectedly mature croon was a potent counterpoint to the glam and eerie electronic rock the group made. Later, as a solo artist, Ferry found entry points to cover both '60s rock hits and standards from the 1930s. His music has been a combination of all those things ever since. Bryan Ferry is now 69 years old. His voice is a bit deeper and even more alluring. His latest (and fourteenth) solo album, Avonmore, comes out Nov. 18. He recently sat down to chat about the record and his life of music with All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. Speaking from member station WNYC in New York, Ferry talked about his love for sad music, why he'd like to see his songs turned into a Broadway musical and how he was inspired to become a musician after hitchhiking to London to see Otis Redding play.

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New Mix: The Velvet Underground, Belle & Sebastian, Grouper, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 28, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton shares the first single from Belle & Sebastian's upcoming album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, out Jan. 20. If they're looking for it, "The Party Line" would give those girls what they want — it's a surprisingly bouncy song from the veteran Scottish band. Bob Boilen's week was devoted to the CMJ Music Marathon, where he saw more than 60 bands perform. You can hear songs by ten of his favorite discoveries from the New York-based festival here. Four of those songs are on the show this week, including an upbeat but dark song from the British trio Happyness, a grinding track from post-punk band Protomartyr, Japanese prog and punk rock from Bo Ningen and gorgeous vocals and instrumental harmonies from teenage Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora. Robin also shares a gorgeous, spare song from Grouper (Liz Harris), whose forthcoming album, Ruins, is available to stream in its entirety in our First Listen series. And finally, it's difficult to believe that it's been more than a year since Lou Reed's death. A new reissue of The Velvet Underground's self-titled third album is packaged in a six-disc box set that includes previously unheard live recordings and a newly remastered version of the album. Robin plays a live version of "I'm Waiting For The Man" from the set, The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.

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New Mix: Sleater-Kinney, The Flaming Lips, Elle Varner, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 21, 2014


The band Sleater-Kinney (Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss) is back together, and we're all pretty excited at All Songs Considered! After an eight-year hiatus, and nearly ten years since releasing their last album, Carrie and company have announced a new, upcoming record and a brand new song called "Bury Our Friends." The album, No Cities To Love, is due out Jan. 20. NPR Music's Lars Gotrich joins hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton talk about the new album and to share music from Philadelphia-based punk band Cayetana. The group will perform at NPR Music's showcase during the CMJ Music Marathon. Next, NPR Music's Frannie Kelley (Microphone Check) shares music from R&B singer Elle Varner, who will be headlining NPR Music's live concert showcase during this week's CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Bob follows with an upbeat sing-along song (complete with hand claps) from Australian indie band Immigrant Union. Robin continues with The Flaming Lips' trippy, distorted version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," from the band's upcoming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover album, A Little Help From My Fwends. On a quieter note, Bob shares a song by folk artist Teddy Thompson, off the new album, Family, which he made with his parents, Linda and Richard Thompson, and sister Kami Thompson, among other family members. Robin closes the show with a gritty but wistful cut from Southern California-based GRMLN's upcoming album, Soon Away.

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New Mix: R?yksopp, Hozier, Deerhoof, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 14, 2014


Host Bob Boilen kicks off this week's show with a buzzing song from Toronto-based The Rural Alberta Advantage's new album, Mended With Gold. Inspired by the track's killer percussion, Robin Hilton shares the neurotic, upbeat "Paradise Girls" from Deerhoof's upcoming album La Isla Bonita, out Nov. 3. Alt. Latino's Felix Contreras joins Bob and Robin in the studio to discuss Helado Negro, an artist who caught Bob's attention opening for Sinkane earlier this month. Felix and Bob share a lush, spacey cut from the singer's new album, Double Youth. Bob takes things in a different direction with Hozier's nod to R&B legend Jackie Wilson, "Jackie and Wilson," followed by English punk-duo Sleaford Mods' stark rant, "The Committee." Next, Robin gets lost in a gripping ambient track from Bing & Ruth's provocatively titled upcoming album, Tomorrow Was The Golden Age. We close the show with a dreamy cut from Norwegian electronic-duo R?yksopp's final album, The Inevitable End.

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This Guy Probably Recorded A Song You Love

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 07, 2014


This is simply one of our favorite conversations we've ever had on All Songs Considered. Maybe you know John Congleton, maybe you don't. But chances are his production credit is on a record you love. It might be the newest Angel Olsen record or the St. Vincent album, or a record by Earl Sweatshirt, David Byrne, Lower Dens, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Bill Callahan, The Mountain Goats, Modest Mouse, The New Pornographers, Swans. The list goes on and on. John Congleton is a 37-year old musician, producer and engineer with a passion for bringing the best out of the artists he works with. This conversation with John Congleton is as much a philosophical look at life and appreciating sound as it is a geeky look at what a producer does. In a long conversation that touches on his work with some of the musicians listed above, Congleton shared his own mantra as a producer and listener, which was inspired by the example of one of his heroes, the late, great BBC radio DJ, music journalist and taste maker John Peel: "Any time he ever hears a piece of music that he doesn't like, he just assumes it's his problem." It's a great philosophy that takes music listening and criticism beyond the judgmental, number-driven rating system that often defines it. Near the start of the conversation, John Congleton said, "Art that doesn't challenge [me] is not interesting to me. I'm intoxicated by the stuff that I don't understand, 'cause at the end of the day I — if I get something out of that, I'm a better producer, I'm a better listener, I'm a better everything." Amen! Congleton has a lot more good advice and experience to share with producers, musicians and listeners alike. By clicking the audio link on this page, you can hear this Texan talk about why ZZ Top formed his idea of a good band, how his father influenced his musical taste and some of his new solo recordings. Read highlights from the interview below.

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New Mix: Thom Yorke, Robert Plant, Aphex Twin, Trent Reznor, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 30, 2014


This week's All Songs Considered kicks off with a pair of anniversaries. This year marks the 30th anniversary of classic mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, which inspires Robin Hilton to reminisce about rock concerts gone comically wrong, and then to invite listeners to submit their own "Spinal Tap moments." Next, Bob Boilen shares a live recording of an inventive new song from Robert Plant, who performed over the weekend at Brooklyn Academy of Music in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nonesuch Records. Bob continues with a track recommended by The National's Bryce Dessner, who collaborated with French artist Mina Tindle on an upcoming album titled Parades. The gorgeous track, "Taranta," was inspired by the tarantella, a kind of traditional Southern Italian dance. Robin changes gears with "Nose Grows Some," the edgy closing track from Thom Yorke's surprise album Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. NPR Music's Otis Hart continues in the same vein with music from Aphex Twin's excellent new album Syro, the artist's first full-length solo effort in 13 years, as well as a track from London-based dance-pop duo The 2 Bears. Next, Robin selects an unnerving song from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' incredibly creepy soundtrack to the movie Gone Girl. Bob closes the show on a slightly more upbeat note, with a gentle, dreamy track from Jon Hopkins' upcoming EP, Asleep Versions, featuring vocals from Raphaelle Standell.

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New Mix: Damien Rice, Leonard Cohen, Caroline Rose, Afternoons, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 23, 2014


Do you find yourself saying "no" more often than not? Robin Hilton does, which is why he kicks off this week's All Songs Considered with L.A.-based Afternoons' joyful sing-along, "Say Yes." Next, Bob Boilen recaps his recent trip to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, discussing some exciting new discoveries and selecting a rockabilly-tinged tune from Caroline Rose called "Blood on Your Bootheels." A nod to "These Boots Were Made For Walkin,'" perhaps? Robin continues with a quieter song from Damien Rice, whose new album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy, is set to be released Nov. 11. On a similar note, Bob selects a brooding number from Leonard Cohen's new album, Popular Problems, which was released just days after Cohen's 80th birthday. Joined in the studio by editor Lars Gotrich, the hosts introduce the noisy title track from Maryland-based Two Inch Astronaut's upcoming album, Foulbrood. After falling into a daze of '90s nostalgia, Robin closes the show with a track from shoegazey noise pop band Medicine, whose new album, Home Everywhere, comes out Oct. 28.

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New Mix: Radiohead's Philip Selway, Daniel Lanois, Bedhead, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 16, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton kicks off the show by meditating on the perils of old age, and insisting that he still wants to be Daniel Lanois when he grows up. Cue "Opera," a powerful cut from Lanois' upcoming solo album, Flesh and Machine, and an unparalleled headphone listening experience. Bob Boilen introduces Italian electronic band Niagara with a driving track from the band's sophomore album, Don't Take It Personally, released last week. Next, Robin offers a killer song from Cleveland based mr. Gnome, whose new album, The Heart of a Dark Star, he has been eagerly awaiting since hearing their set at SXSW in 2011. Following a raw, unsettling song from Neuroplasticity, a left-turn of a sophomore album by the artist Cold Specks, editor Jacob Ganz makes a guest appearance to discuss an old favorite: '90s slowcore band Bedhead. The band is reissuing its complete recordings in a box set titled Bedhead 1992-1998, which features a previously unreleased cover of The Stranglers' classic, "Golden Brown" that's about as energetic as the subdued Texas band ever got. We close the episode with a track from Philip Selway's excellent solo album Weatherhouse, which, unlike side projects from Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, sounds distinctly un-Radiohead-like.

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New Mix: Karen O Goes Solo, Lowell, Meatbodies, Bellows, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 10, 2014


On this week's show we share music from the intimate and raw new solo album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O, warped garage rock from Meatbodies and several new discoveries, including two music collectives, one from Sweden and the other from Brooklyn.   After briefly enduring the torturous sounds of our Tiny Desk piano tuner, we kick the show off with the gritty, driving rock of Meatbodies, fronted by Chad Ubovich, a singer, guitarist and bassist known for his work with Mikal Cronin and the band Fuzz.   We follow with a cut that's been out for a while but only recently found its way to us, by a band called Amason (pronounced amazon). The group is part of the INGRID artist collective founded in Stockholm by Lykke Li, Peter, Bjorn & John, Teddybears and others. Amason has a new album due out in early 2015, but in the meantime we've got a cut from their 2013, self-titled EP, featuring members of Miike Snow, Gustav Ejstes (of Dungen), singer Amanda Bergman (of Idiot Wind) and more.   Also on the show: The gorgeous voice and transfixing sounds of Saint Saviour; A moody, reverb-soaked rock cut from Money, a band that sells out shows all over England but is only now finding its way to the U.S.; Insanely catchy, empowering pop from Lowell; The bedroom recording project of Oliver Kalb, a singer with an arresting voice who records under the name Bellows, with help from The Epoch artist collective; And finally we close out with Karen O's surprising acoustic album, a collection of songs she recorded eight years ago but is only now releasing.

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New Mix: The Smashing Pumpkins, Tennis, Ex Hex, Gemma Ray, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 02, 2014


We kick off this week's show with a moody rock romp from Ex Hex, a group based out of Washington, D.C., featuring Mary Timony (Helium, Wild Flag), Laura Harris and Betsy Wright. We follow with the mysterious voice of Gemma Ray, a deluxe reissue of a Smashing Pumpkins classic, the enchanting Icelandic singer ?l?f Arnalds and more. The Smashing Pumpkins reissue is the band's polarizing Adore. Originally released in 1998, some fans rejected the album for having more subdued moments and electronic textures than the group's earlier records. But now, more than 15 years later, many consider it a classic. The deluxe version has more than 100 tracks, including outtakes, demos and previously unheard songs. We play the opening cut, "To Sheila." Also on the program: the ethereal sounds of Montreal-based singer Sea Oleena; Azure Ray's Orenda Fink is back with a new solo album, a sometimes haunting examination of death and dying and Denver-based pop duo Tennis pushes itself in new sonic directions with an album produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Jim Eno of Spoon and songwriter Richard Swift.

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New Mix: Weezer, Lucinda Williams, Sufjan Stevens, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 26, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton returns from vacation with "Back To The Shack," the fantastically hard-rocking first single from Weezer's upcoming Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Bob Boilen follows with Sufjan Stevens' take on Arthur Russell's "A Little Lost," from the upcoming tribute album to the late New York cellist and composer, Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell. Later in the show Bob and Robin premiere three tracks: Brooklyn-based duo Buke and Gase's "Seam Esteem," Lia Ices' mesmerizing "How We Are" and a brand-new love song from Lucinda Williams, "Stowaway In Your Heart," from her upcoming double album Down Where the Spirit Meets The Bone. Also in the mix: hip-hop innovators Shabazz Palaces' shape-shifting "#CAKE."

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Guest DJ Ty Segall

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 19, 2014


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, prolific fuzz-rock mastermind Ty Segall joins host Robin Hilton to share some of the music that shaped his new album Manipulator and a behind-the-scenes look into his recording process.

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Guest DJ: Smokey Robinson

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 12, 2014


On this episode of All Songs Considered, legendary R&B singer Smokey Robinson joins host Bob Boilen to share some of the songs and events that shaped his career as well as songs from his new duets album, Smokey & Friends.   Smokey remembers a series of musical milestones in his life: Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops", whom he remembers seeing for the first time when he was ten years old; Sarah Vaughan, the first singer he ever remembers hearing; the first record he ever bought, the Spaniels' 1953 hit "Baby, It's You." Alongside these influential artists he plays some of the most famous songs he performed with the Miracles, including "I Second That Emotion" and "Got a Job."   Smokey & Friends, which is out next week, includes collaborations with artists like Miguel, John Legend and Cee Lo Green on songs written by Robinson (some that were originally performed by other artists, like Marvin Gaye). In the show, you can hear his duets with Elton John, Mary J. Blige and James Taylor. Does revisiting his own classics so many years later make him feel nostalgia? No, he says. "I've been doing concerts now for over fifty years," Smokey says. "Every night [the songs] are new to me."

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New Mix: Foxygen, Lily & Madeleine, Fat White Family and more

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 05, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, who kicks off the show with a premiere from the folk pop sibling duo Lily & Madeleine. "The Wolf Is Free" highlights the sisters' subtle harmonies. Bob follows that up with the new single from California's wild card ensemble Foxygen; "How Can You Really" floats on a lilting beat and sneaks in an understated chorus that will be lodged in your head for days to come. Next the hosts get a call from NPR Music's Ann Powers, who has recently become enamored with a young Nashville singer named Adia Victoria. Her new single (and only available recording) "Stuck In The South" was released a few weeks ago and has sent ripples through the Nashville country scene. Later in the show the hosts play "Runaway," the infectious pop-rock track from Self's new EP Super Fake Nice and a raucous number from London's Fat White Family called "Is It Raining In Your Mouth?" Stephen takes us out with up-and-coming EDM star Porter Robinson's "Divinity," featuring sweet vocals from Stars' Amy Milan and enough joyous bounce to make Stephen grin.

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Join Fences, Zola Jesus, Sun Kil Moon, Frazey Ford

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 29, 2014


Just off the train from the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Boilen jumps at the chance to share a song by The Oh Hellos, his favorite discovery of the weekend. On "The Valley," the Texas band thunders and strums its way to a glorious sing-along chorus. Robin Hilton follows that with a premiere from Frazey Ford, whose soulful voice reinforces the celebratory mood of "September Fields." Bob takes us in a different direction with Sun Kil Moon's devastating "Carissa," Mark Kozelek's autobiographical account of the freak accident that killed his cousin. Feeling the need to brighten the room a bit, Robin plays Fences' bouncy pop tune "Arrows," featuring a guest verse from Macklemore and production by Ryan Lewis. Later in the show, Bob shares GOAT's "Hide From The Sun" before Robin plays new music from the full-throttle, jangly, punk rock trio Spider Bags. Bob closes out the show with Zola Jesus' "Dangerous Days," a high-powered dance-rock tune that gives him the energy needed to pick up his suitcase and get home for some much-needed sleep. If you want to hear more from the Newport Folk Festival, we've got sets from Jenny Lewis, Jeff Tweedy and lots more at our Newport Folk hub.

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The Rentals, Perfume Genius, The Bots, Zammuto, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 22, 2014


Note: This version of the podcast corrects a mistake we made with The Rentals song. The correct song is "1000 Seasons." We kick off this week's episode of All Songs Considered with the sludgy, shoegaze-y sounds of Whirr, a band started by Nick Bassett, bassist for one of co-host Robin Hilton's favorite acts of 2014, Nothing. We follow up with a new track from The Bots, two young brothers from L.A. whose "All I Really Want" is a two-minute sugar rush of high-powered pop-punk. Later on the show we welcome NPR Music's Daoud Tyler–Ameen and Jacob Ganz to the studio to play some of their favorite new tunes. Daoud opts for "Explanation," a punchy rock number from Ohio trio Delay, while Jacob plays Perfume Genius' surging new track "Queen." Daoud and Jacob stick around as Robin puts on "Hegemony," a super-melodic, percussion-heavy track from Zammuto, the project of The Books' Nick Zammuto, recorded in a Vermont shed. Finally, Bob rounds out the show with a premiere from long-dormant rock group The Rentals, called "It's Time To Go Home" that features Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius on vocals. Taking the words to heart, the studio empties out with the last ringing chord.

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New Mix: Robert Plant, Jeff Tweedy, Sarah Jaffe, Sinkane, The Bug, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 15, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob kicks off the show with The Juan MacLean's "A Place Called Space," an ecstatic dance-rock number from the group's upcoming album In A Dream. Seeking to find a subdued yin to Bob's euphoric yang, Robin premieres London producer The Bug's "Void," the opening track to his upcoming album Angels and Devils.   Following The Bug's stark soundscapes, resident classical music guru Tom Huizenga appears at the studio door, life-size cut out of opera singer Maria Callas under his arm, to play a composition by the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry called "French Guitars." The piece, which features The National's Bryce and Aaron Desner, has no prescribed tempo or time signature — instead, the musicians count time using stethoscopes strapped to their chests.   The show continues in a more fist-pumping mood with premieres from folk singer-turned-experimental artist Sarah Jaffe and electro-funk maestro Sinkane, along with Robert Plant's "Rainbow" from his upcoming release lullaby and...the Ceaseless Roar. Last, blessedly safe from the blazing noon sun outside, Bob takes us out with "Summer Noon," a sweet and airy song from Tweedy, the new group led by by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and featuring his teenage son Spencer on drums (Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 plays piano and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius sing on the track). The song will appear on Tweedy's album Sukierae as well as the soundtrack to Richard Linklater's film Boyhood.

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Cat Power With Coldplay, Brian Eno, Broncho, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 09, 2014


This version of the July 8, 2014 episode includes a correction. Robin says, "I'm an idiot. Broncho's name is pronounced 'BRAWN-cho,' not 'BRAWN-koh.'"  Bob says, "An intern could have done better."

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New Mix: Cat Power With Coldplay, Brian Eno, Broncho, The Wytches, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 08, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered: After some speculation on Pink Floyd's just-announced album The Endless River, Robin kicks off the show with Broncho's "Class Historian," which he describes as the most immediately catchy song he's heard all year. Not to be out-catchied, Bob retaliates with Rubblebucket's "Carousel Ride," from the band's upcoming release Survival Sounds. Full of explosive synthesizers and melodies made to climb the charts, it gives Robin a run for his money. Bob also plays Brian Eno and Karl Hyde's trance-inducing "DBF," from the pair's recent LP, High Life, and follows that with the gentler yet equally hypnotic "Lonestar," by the Baltimore duo Peals (which is led by members of Future Islands and Double Dagger). Keeping the peaceful mood going, Robin plays "The First Time," the tranquil opening track to singer-songwriter Matt Kivel's Days of Being Wild, released today. Bob and Robin close out the show with Coldplay and Cat Power's unexpected collaboration "Wish I Was Here," from the soundtrack of Zach Braff's upcoming film of the same name. After such a frenetic first half to the show, "Wish I Was Here" is the slow, soothing finale. When it's over, everyone is ready for a cuddly nap.

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Bon Iver, Luluc, White Fence, Freddie Gibbs, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 01, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered we've got new music from Bon Iver, Luluc and White Fence, plus a look at a few of our favorite artists from the first half of the year. After ruminating on the challenges of potty-training with co-host Robin Hilton, Bob Boilen kicks off the show with a brand-new track from Bon Iver that appears on the soundtrack to Zach Braff's upcoming film, Wish I Was Here. Featuring a mantra-like vocal loop and pulsating drums, 'Heavenly Father' possesses the intimacy of For Emma, Forever Ago while also exploring new textures as well. Next, Robin premieres "Small Window," a gorgeously understated track from the folk duo Luluc. Later in the show Bob and Robin put in a call to NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas and Frannie Kelley in New York City to play some of their favorite songs of the first half of the year; Anastasia chooses the Belgian chameleon Stromae (whose name is an inversion of the word "Maestro"), playing 'Ave Cesaria' from his recent release Racine Carr?e. Frannie opts for 'Broken,' a cut from Pi?ata, the collaboration between the raw-voiced rapper Freddie Gibbs and the meticulous DJ and producer Madlib. Later, Bob and Robin also lure NPR Music's Lars Gotrich away from his desk and into the studio to shine some light on the state of metal in 2014: Lars plays 'I Will Run,' a melodic hard-rocker from Chicago's High Spirits. Robin wraps things up with White Fence's 'Like That,' the first tune we've heard from the California garage-rockers upcoming record For the Recently Found Innocent. With its catchy chorus and falsetto vocals, it takes Robin to a place of peace, and if only for a brief moment, he forgets whatever dirty diapers await him at home.

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Discussion: The Year in Music (So Far), 2014

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 24, 2014


On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to recount their favorite music from the first six months of 2014. They spin the ferocious punk energy of Perfect Pussy, the magnetic vocals of Broken Twin, absurdly catchy electro-pop from Sylvan Esso and much more. Bob opens the show with a cut from his favorite new band of 2014, the San Francisco-based seven-piece group known as The Family Crest. The band makes music on an epic scale, with stunning vocals and a multitude of instruments. Stephen then beats Robin to the punch to claim Perfect Pussy as his favorite new band of the year, with the song "Driver," two minutes of howling vocals and surging guitars from the Syracuse band's debut album Say Yes to Love. Later in the show Robin returns the favor by snagging Sturgill Simpson as his biggest surprise of the year. "Turtles All the Way Down" finds the country singer examining cosmic questions with his heart-wrenching voice and classic country arrangements. Also on the show: A fuzzy rock number from the often-hushed singer Angel Olsen; The German band The Notwist has Stephen's favorite song of the year in "Kong;" The band Nothing rumbles and shakes with glorious noise-rock; Damien Jurado's flamingo-tinged "Silver Timothy" explodes into a synth-fueled jam and much, much more.

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New Mix: Tom Petty, Lana Del Rey, Adult Jazz, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 17, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered: Red-blooded rock-and-roll from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, a dramatic and cinematic turn for singer Lana Del Rey, the off-kilter, genre-bending sounds of Adult Jazz and more. Co-host Robin Hilton, riding high on a wave of caffeine and nostalgia, kicks off the show with "American Dream Plan B," a straight-ahead guitar-rock cut from the upcoming Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album Hypnotic Eye. Bob Boilen opts for something a bit more subdued with Sean Rowe's "Madman," the title track from the singer's new album, out Sept. 9 on ANTI-. The accompanying video, which premiered on All Songs TV, follows the folk singer on a recent tour as he brings his beautiful baritone to strangers' homes across the country. Also on the show: We premiere a startling new cut from the Leeds-based band Adult Jazz. The song "Hum," from the band's upcoming album Gist Is, is a strange, epic journey through off-kilter soundscapes. Bob shares Lana Del Rey's "Shades Of Cool," a song full of unexpected twist and turns, from the singer's new album Ultraviolence. We get all mushy inside with the beautiful and sentimental "Dark Side Of The Moon" from Chris Staples. "Sing 2 Me" by Walter Martin is a G-rated song the former bassist for The Walkmen recorded with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Finally we close the show out with "Birthday Song," a quirky cut from Frankie Cosmos. Clocking in at just 68 seconds, it's the perfect summation of the show: sweet, profound and a bit perplexing, too.

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New Pornographers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mapei, Moon Hooch and more...

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 10, 2014


On this week’s All Songs Considered: Premieres from pop giants The New Pornographers, hip-hop and R&B singer Mapei, the up-and-coming jangle-pop group Alvvays and more. After abandoning plans to open a donut shop, co-host Robin Hilton rejoins the program and is welcomed by host Bob Boilen, who shares an early preview of the upcoming New Pornographers album Brill Bruisers. It isn’t out until Aug. 26, but we’ve got the gloriously infectious title track. Robin follows with “Change,” an uplifting ode to the power of love and appreciating what you have in life, from the just-announced Mapei album Hey Hey.  Last fall we featured the Stockholm-based singer’s song “Don’t Wait”  on the show, shortly before it became a massive hit for her, propelled by her soaring voice and inspired mix of soul and electronics.   Also on the program: New music from Moon Hooch, the Brooklyn-based trio we’ve been raving about for the past year for its sax-powered riff rock; The beautifully textured, moody music of Dawn Golden; A gritty turn for the idiosyncratic pop group Clap Your Hands Say Yeah; And the wistfully breezy, sunny-day pop of Alvvays.   

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Spoon Readies Its Return: The All Songs Interview

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 05, 2014


Spoon’s first album in four years is called They Want My Soul. It won't be released until Aug. 5, but frontman Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno recently joined All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to play some of the record and share the stories behind it.

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New Mix: Premieres From Jenny Lewis, My Brightest Diamond, Elephant Stone, Mor

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 03, 2014


On this edition of All Songs Considered, we highlight music that reflects on the passage of time, with special premieres from Jenny Lewis, My Brightest Diamond, Elephant Stone and more.   We open with "Time Forgot," a beautiful and moving cut from Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), who sings about fleeing the past and reinventing yourself. Then we play an equally reflective new song from singer Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, Jenny & Johnny) called "Just One of the Guys," an ode to growing old and trying to find your place in the world.   Later, we've got a killer new dance track from the Amsterdam electronic producer Shinedoe that features singer Karin Dreijer (The Knife, Fever Ray), as well as a trance-inducing song from classically trained composer and producer Craig Leon. Both songs come courtesy of NPR Music's Sami Yenigun and Otis Hart, curators of our Recommended Dose feature; it's a monthly mix of the best dance and electronic music.   Also on the show: The Canadian psych-rock group Elephant Stone returns with a sitar-powered song that was surely inspired by the 1966 Beatles cut "Tomorrow Never Knows." Plus, My Brightest Diamond, the musical project of singer Shara Worden, returns with "Pressure," a stirring song powered by an incredible drumline.

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New Mix: Royksopp & Robyn, LP, Bishop Allen, More

Author: NPR
Tue, May 27, 2014


On this edition of All Songs Considered we roll the windows down with a wind-whipped, sun-dappled mix of rock and pop, starting with an epic jam from the musician Timothy Showalter, who writes and records as Strand Of Oaks. The song, "JM" — a tribute to the late Jason Molina — rumbles and roars, propelled by Showalter's scorched guitar and voice. Next up is singer Laura Pergolizzi, who goes by the name LP. She's made a career out of writing pop hits for other artists such as Rihanna and Christina Aguilera. But LP is about to release a bold new solo album that showcases her own remarkable voice. The album, Forever, For Now, includes the heart-stopping power pop ballad,"Your Town," that you can hear on this week's show.  Also on the show: The Brooklyn-based pop band Bishop Allen returns with an insanely catchy cut from their first new album in five years. Lights Out won't be released until August, but you can hear the first single, "Start Again," here. Plus, the Apache Relay channel the string-driven pop of Electric Light Orchestra, Woozy new rock from Parquet Courts and a moody collaboration between the dance duo Royksopp and pop singer Robyn.

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Jack White's 'Lazaretto': The All Songs Interview

Author: NPR
Tue, May 20, 2014


by Bob Boilen There's a stunning new album from Jack White on the way. Lazaretto, out June 10, is his second "solo" record, though the talented musicians who made up the male and female backing bands for Blunderbuss, his first album under his own name, have returned. This time around, the men and women are often part of the same band.   Jack White has been a passionate and gritty guitar player since he was a teenager, and with The White Stripes he excelled at making music that was bold and brash. But in his many projects, both as a musician and as the mind behind the Nashville label Third Man Records, he's demonstrated a love for a range of American styles, and found ways to bring music from the hills and from the distant past into the here and now. On Lazaretto, he puts those influences on full view: old-time fiddle, honky-tonk piano, wailing electronics and his own shimmering guitar.   When I spoke with Jack White last week, I was in Philadelphia and he was in Nashville, in rehearsals with his band to tour the new record this summer. We talked about the composition process behind the new album — including how he crushed writer's block with a little help from his 19-year-old self — as well as the nature of fate and coincidence, and why he rarely writes anything down. When he first sat down he told me his next stop was the studio, to record a B-side for an upcoming single.

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New Mix: Premieres From Nico Vega, Joe Henry, Priests and More

Author: NPR
Tue, May 13, 2014


Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton kick off this week's All Songs Considered with a song that's 160 years old but still resonates. Guitarist Marisa Anderson offers a transporting, solo electric version of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," an ever-relevant tune about pausing to enjoy "life's pleasures and count its many tears."   Also on the show, we've got premieres from singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Henry, and the rapturous rock group Nico Vega. Henry's epic new song, "Sparrow," from his upcoming album Invisible Hour, is a deeply moving reflection on a long life filled with awe and wonder, while Nico Vega's "I'm On Fire" is a joyful, fist-pumping pop ode to "funky dance" moves.   Plus, a stunning, mostly a cappella song showcasing the gorgeous voice of Danish singer Majke Voss Romme; the gnarled, shape shifting beats of Dub Thompson; and Priests, a D.C. band making punk rock for the 21st century.

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The Black Keys 'Turn Blue': The All Songs Interview

Author: NPR
Wed, May 07, 2014


Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney unpack the expansive, irresistibly catchy sound of their eighth studio album — featuring new adventures in sampling, falsetto and epic guitar shredding.

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New Mix: Tori Amos Song Premiere, A Wes Anderson Tribute, More

Author: NPR
Tue, May 06, 2014


Tori Amos has spent the past several years exploring other worlds of music. She released two albums of classical-inspired work, including a collection of her earlier pop songs retooled as orchestral tracks. Most recently she helped write a musical for the London National Theater. But this month Amos is back with Unrepentant Geraldines, a new album filled with her signature piano-driven baroque pop songs. On this week's All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton premiere "16 Shades Of Blue," a new cut from the album, and talk about why it's Amos' best record in 20 years. Also on the show: Malaysian-born singer-songwriter Zee Avi covers The Velvet Underground song "Who Loves The Sun;" A new tribute album showcases some of the music featured in Wes Anderson's films, including a thumping cover of The Kinks' song "Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worrying 'Bout That Girl;" and the Berlin and New York-based dream pop group Fenster is back with an atmospheric sophomore full-length called The Pink Caves. Plus: The captivating voice of singer Alice Boman and the Led Zeppelin-inspired rock of Milezo.

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New Mix: tUnE-yArDs, Roy Orbison, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 29, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen kicks things off with "Water Fountain," a breathless cut from the new tUnE-yArDs album Nikki Nack. The video, which you can see on All Songs TV, is a burst of bright colors and childlike joy reminiscent of comedian Paul Reubens' Saturday morning kids show Pee-wee's Playhouse. Robin Hilton follows with a never-before-heard cut from singer Roy Orbison. The legendary crooner died suddenly in 1988, just before his final album Mystery Girl was released. To mark the 25th anniversary of the record, Sony Legacy is releasing a deluxe edition featuring multiple demos and unheard tracks, including "The Way Of Love," a song Orbison recorded on a boombox cassette tape. His sons later discovered the song and recorded new instrumentation to accompany his restored voice track. Also on the show: The hardcore band F—-ed Up returns with a nerve-rattling new album that reflects on family, aging and the responsibilities of adulthood; country-folk singer Jessica Lea Mayfield goes electric on a cut from her new rock-inspired album Make My Head Sing; The group Young Fathers, with members from Scotland, Nigeria and Liberia, mix hip-hop, rock and electronics for a surprising sound; and singer Haley Bonar is back with a new collection of wondrously ornate pop.

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New Mix: The Antlers, EMA, Yann Tiersen, Sturgill Simpson, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 22, 2014


On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton ask big questions about the world we live in via new music from the singer known as EMA, a head-turning cut from the young country crooner Sturgill Simpson and more.   EMA's beat-heavy "Neruomancer" takes a critical look at the state of humanity in a world dominated by narcissistic social media and virtual realties. Sturgill Simpson's "Turtles All The Way Down" is a strange and transfixing ode to other dimensions, space, time, reptile alien autopsies and other curiosities in his endless search for meaning in the universe. They're probably not the first things you think of when considering contemporary country music.   Not everything on the show is so existential. There's a gorgeous, soaring new song from The Antlers; idiosyncratic folk singer Jolie Holland decides to plug-in her guitar; The San Francisco-based band Papercuts has a sweetly shimmering piano pop song full of hope and wistful melancholy and French orchestra-pop artist Yann Tiersen returns with a batch of broody tunes that start small and dark, but bloom into big and bright wonder.

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Record Store Day Premieres From Springsteen, Devo, Joe Strummer And The Pogues, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Apr 16, 2014


Music nerds: gather round! This week, our show is dedicated to celebrating one of the most joyous days of the year. No, not Flag Day. Record Store Day! This Saturday, Apr. 19, is the day when masses of music lovers wait in long lines at local independent records stores, hoping to score exclusive releases on vinyl. To mark the occasion, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share six Record Store Day exclusives, starting with a cut by Bruce Springsteen, from an EP he's releasing called American Beauty. The 12" EP features four unreleased, never-heard songs from The Boss. Three were recorded during sessions for his High Hopes LP. The fourth, and one we've got, is an earlier, electrified cut called "Hurry Up Sundown." Bob follows with a live recording of Devo made during a 1977 concert at Max's Kansas City. The song, "Uncontrollable Urge," shows the punchier side to the band's sound. One of those very music fans who waits in line on Record Store Day, Ben Kessler, shares his meticulously planned list of "needs" and "wants," and explains his unbridled spending habits this time of year. On his list: A live recording from 1991 of The Pogues with Joe Strummer of The Clash (who had temporarily replaced singer Shane MacGowan in the band) on vocals, including "If I Could Fall From Grace With God." Ben then shifts gears and unearths his love for Ke$ha and Lydia Loveless. Loveless is releasing a 7" single with a new original song backed by a surprising cover of Ke$ha's "Blind." We close the show out with a strangely textured Dana Falconberry song produced by Spoon drummer Jim Eno, and "Always N Forever" by Chicago's brash, young rock group The Orwells. Merry Record Store Day, everyone!    

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New Mix: Mirah, Fennesz, Brody Dalle, Chet Faker, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 08, 2014


This week, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton come bearing a bunch of song premieres, including a cut from singer-songwriter Mirah's first solo album in five years, Australian electronic artist Chet Faker and power punk rock singer Brody Dalle. We open the show with Dalle's "Blood in Gutters," a gritty blast from her upcoming album Diploid Love. The singer, who previously fronted the band The Distillers, has a voice and sound firmly rooted in '90s grunge and hard rock. We follow with a brand new, strum-filled track from San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys. "Animal of One" is from the band's upcoming album, House of Spirits. Also on the show: Brooklyn-based singer Mirah returns with her first solo album since 2009's (A)spera; Pharmakon, aka New York singer Margaret Chardiet, covers the Cher song "Bang Bang" for Record Store Day; Veteran guitarist and electronic soundscape artist Fennesz has an abstract, multidimensional cut from his upcoming album Becs; And Bob closes out the show with a wistful, warped song by up-and-coming electronic, R&B artist Chet Faker.

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Jack White, Ray LaMontagne, Teebs, Lyla Foy, More

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 03, 2014


This version of a previously published podcast has been corrected to fix a factual error.  This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a brand new song by Jack White. The screaming instrumental track "High Ball Stepper" is the first taste of White's second solo album, Lazaretto, which will be out on June 10. The energy stays high from there. Bob shares "Call Me," by the Alabama-based soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones. The group, whose album, Half The City, came out in February, played a live set over the weekend that knocked Bob's socks off. And Robin announces that the off-beat Canadian pop singer Chad VanGaalen has finally won him over with his fifth album, Shrink Dust, out in April. The bold, loopy song "Where Are You" is a good indication of what VanGaalen has up his sleeve. Also on the show, folkie Ray LaMontagne gets psychedelic on "Lavender" and up-and-coming talent Lyla Foy gets sweet on "Honeymoon." There's also whole-hearted Americana made by Swedes — First Aid Kit's "My Silver Lining — and textured percussion from Southern California native Teebs. Finally, last week's question of the week — "Does the death of an instrument break your heart?" — prompted one listener to share a tragic tale about a guitar, a synthesizer and a snowstorm. Get your hankies ready.

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Jack White, Ray LaMontagne, Teebs, Lyla Foy, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 01, 2014


This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a brand new song by Jack White. The screaming instrumental track "High Ball Stepper" is the first taste of White's second solo album, Lazaretto, which will be out on June 10. The energy stays high from there. Bob shares "Call Me," by the Alabama-based soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones. The group, whose album, Half The City, came out in February, played a live set over the weekend that knocked Bob's socks off. And Robin announces that the off-beat Canadian pop singer Chad VanGaalen has finally won him over with his fifth album, Shrink Dust, out in April. The bold, loopy song "Where Are You" is a good indication of what VanGaalen has up his sleeve. Also on the show, folkie Ray LaMontagne gets psychedelic on "Lavender" and up-and-coming talent Lyla Foy gets sweet on "Honeymoon." There's also whole-hearted Americana made by Swedes — First Aid Kit's "My Silver Lining — and textured percussion from Southern California native Teebs. Finally, last week's question of the week — "Does the death of an instrument break your heart?" — prompted one listener to share a tragic tale about a guitar, a synthesizer and a snowstorm. Get your hankies ready.

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New Mix: The Black Keys, Swans, Metronomy, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 25, 2014


This week, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play brand new cuts from springtime releases by the well-established and widely adored bands The Black Keys and Swans. Both songs are instantly recognizable: The Black Keys for their spare, punchy, guitar-based pop, and Swans for their epic, densely layered orchestrations. Bob shares music by a New Zealand-based band called Tiny Ruins. That song's airy vocals and restrained instrumentation pair well with a pick from Robin: Dylan Shearer, who channels the folky, quiet side of Pink Floyd on a song called "Meadow Mines (Fort Polio)." Also on the program: The strangely alluring electronica of London's Metronomy; and Robin mourns the loss his beloved Jayhawks suffered over the weekend in the NCAA basketball tournament with the soothing sounds of A Winged Victory For The Sullen.   Minuet For A Cheap Piano No. 1 Artist: A Winged Victory for the Sullen Album: Atomos VII   A Little God In My Hands Artist: Swans Album: To Be Kind   Meadow Mines (Fort Polio) Artist: Dylan Shearer Album: Garagearray   Ballad of the Hanging Parcel Artist: Tiny Ruins Album: Brightly Painted One   Boy Racers Artist: Metronomy Album: Love Letters   Fever Artist: The Black Keys Album: Turn Blue

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SXSW 2014 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 19, 2014


On this week's show, our hosts are joined by Stephen Thompson to discuss their favorite discoveries at SXSW. Everyone had such a swell time at the musical blitzkrieg that they came down with colds. Their respective illnesses cannot dampen the colorful and illuminating memories that they made at SXSW 2014. For Bob, the band that blew him out of the water was a British jazz-punk group called Melt Yourself Down. Robin was impressed by Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl's band, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, because of their shift from sweet ditties to full-on rock. Stephen was surprised by the passion, force and energy from an instrumental, electronic group, Anamanaguchi. As much scheduling that goes into SXSW, our hosts often find that the best shows spread through word of mouth. So, they listened to recommendations and stumbled upon some fantastic gems. The airy soloist Vancouver Sleep Clinic was a notable gem, along with the Korean rock group Jambinai. To hear an array of nuanced sounds, hear the discussion. Also, don't forget to download The Austin 100 which will be available until April 2. Songs Featured On This Episode Artist: The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Album: Midnight Sun Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl are back with bold, psychedelic-rock. The band's upcoming album Midnight Sun will be released April 29.   Endless Fantasy Artist: Anamanaguchi Album: Endless Fantasy Hear a glorious chip-tune track by the New York-based band, Anamanaguchi. For more information, visit the band's website.   Fix My Life Artist: Melt Yourself Down Album: Melt Yourself Down The London-based sextet melds jazz and punk sounds to create catchy, striking songs. For more, go to the band's website.   Look Out, Look Out Artist: Perfume Genius Album: Learning Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, hails from Seattle and creates gorgeous, somber, piano-driven music. For more, go to his Facebook page.   Rebirth Artist: Vancouver Sleep Clinic Album: Winter EP Tim Bettinson, who writes and records as Vancouver Sleep Clinic, is a 17-year-old artist who woos listeners with his high voice and impressive guitar segments. To hear more, go to his website.   Hey Mami Artist: Sylvan Esso Album: Sylvan Esso The sounds of the duo known as Sylvan Esso are sleek, experimental and infectious. The North Carolina-based band will release their self-titled album on May 13.   Leaving No Traces Artist: Highasakite Album: Silent Treatment This Five-piece Norwegian band makes music with a hint of pop, powerful vocals and booming percussion. Highasakite's upcoming album Silent Treatment will be released on April 8.   Time of Extinction Artist: Jambinai Album: Difference This instrumental Korean rock band mixes high-pitched oddities with pummeling guitar segments. For updates and more, go to its Facebook page.   Maidenhead Artist: Protomartyr Album: Under Color of Official Right This group from Detroit sounds like a garage rock version of Joy Division, with deadpan poetry and driving guitar noise. Its upcoming album Under Color of Official Right is due for release on April 8.

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SXSW 2014 Late Night Dispatch Day 5

Author: NPR
Sun, Mar 16, 2014


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson, and Frannie Kelley gather at the end of day five at the SXSW Music Festival to talk about what they saw on the final day.

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SXSW 2014 Late Night Dispatch Day 4

Author: NPR
Sat, Mar 15, 2014


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley gather at the end of day four at the SXSW Music Festival to talk about mosh pit adventures and music discoveries.

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SXSW 2014 Late Night Dispatch Day 3

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 14, 2014


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, and Stephen Thompson gather at the end of day three at the SXSW Music Festival to talk about bands they've seen in Austin.  They also reflect on Wednesday's tragic accident.

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SXSW 2014 Late Night Dispatch Day 2

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 13, 2014


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Ann Powers gather at the end of day two at the SXSW Music Festival to talk about the Stubbs showcase.

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SXSW 2014 Late Night Dispatches Day 1

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 12, 2014


Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Katie Presley gather at the end of day one at the SXSW Music Festival to share their discoveries, adventures and old favorites. 

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SXSW 2014 Music Preview

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 11, 2014


As excited as we are about NPR Music's 2014 SXSW showcase with Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis and others (which you can stream live on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Central), those artists represent a fraction of the massive party happening in Austin, Texas this week.   To prepare for this week's show, All Songs hosts Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson listened to 1,540 songs by other musicians playing at the festival. Each narrowed that enormous list down to just a few songs by previously unknown bands that they're now planning to check out in Austin. NPR Music's Frannie Kelley and Ann Powers also stop by to offer a couple of suggestions, along with Katie Presley, music writer for Bitch Media and NPR Music.   Discovery is the name of the game for many at SXSW, and this show is all about up-and-coming talent. Whether it's the upbeat, celebratory feel of Louisiana's Royal Teeth or the ghostly experimental electronic music of Alligator Indian, this edition of All Songs Considered is bursting with passion and unique voices. Hopefully we'll uncover a lot more of that feeling this week in Austin.

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New Mix: Damon Albarn, Sharon Van Etten, Beach House, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 04, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered: A premiere from Beach House, the first-ever solo project from Damon Albarn, and a brand new song from singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. It's the snow-day edition of our show. With the District buried under a late-season blanket of ice and frigid air, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton were stuck at their respective apartments, left to record the show in their home studios. But Bob warms things up at the top of the program with "Gouge," a breezy sounding cut from the appropriately named duo Eternal Summers. Robin follows with Slow Club, a group from Sheffield, England that makes equally warm, joyful sounds on a brand new cut called "Tears Of Joy." Also on the show: Sharon Van Etten's latest album, Are We There? isn't out until the end of May, but we've got an early glimpse of it with the song "Taking Chances"; And after years of playing in Blur, Gorillaz, The Good The Band And The Queen (and many other projects), Damon Albarn returns with his first-ever solo record, called Everyday Robots. Plus, the disarmingly sweet sounds of Death Vessel; and Beach House take strange recordings made in space and turn them into music for a compilation called Space Project.     Gouge Artist: Eternal Summers Album: The Drop Beneath   Tears Of Joy Artist: Slow Club Album: Tears Of Joy (Single)     Ejecta Artist: Death Vessel Album: Island Intervals     Everyday Robots Artist: Damon Albarn Album: Everyday Robots playlist     Saturn Song (Beach House) Artist: Various Artists Album: Space Project     Taking Chances Artist: Sharon Van Etten Album: Are We There  

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New Mix: The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, The Faint, Perfect Pussy

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 25, 2014


On this week's All Songs Considered, we've got two premieres: A beauty called "Alexandra" by The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, and a shred-fest called "Interference Fits" by raucous Syracuse punk band Perfect Pussy. But host Bob Boilen kicks off the mix with the Omaha-based rock group The Faint. "Help in the Head," from Doom Abuse, the band's first new album in six years, is a heart-pounding thrill ride. Co-host Robin Hilton calms things down with the deep, transfixing ambient sounds of Christina Vantzou. The singer, illustrator and filmmaker recorded her latest album, No. 2, with money she saved from teaching mathematics.   Later on the show, we're joined by NPR Music editor, Jacob Ganz, who shares his song of the week: Hundred Waters' "Down From the Rafters." We also hear from Recommended Dose's Otis Hart, who shares a bass-heavy dance track by Tuscan artist Clap! Clap!   Plus, we hear about Bob's latest obsession: Goats standing on things, as featured in his weekly recommendations column "Bob's Rainbows."   'Help In The Head ' Artist: The Faint Album: Doom Abuse The bold, static-laced opening track sets the stage for a great comeback album. Doom Abuse will be released April 8.   'Interference Fits' Artist: Perfect Pussy Album: Say Yes To Love Perfect Pussy is a dynamic, gritty rock group from Syracuse, N.Y. The band's upcoming album, Say Yes To Love, will be released March 18.   'Down From the Rafters' Artist: Hundred Waters Album: Down From the Rafters The avant-folk band released this song on SoundCloud on Feb. 18, without any mention of an upcoming EP or album. Check out the lovely single, filled with airy vocals, longing violin and unusual percussion.   'Brain Fog' Artist: Christina Vantzou Album: No. 2 playlist purchase Christina Vantzou makes beautiful, minimalist post-classical music. Her second full length album is called simply No. 2.   'Elon Mentana' Artist: Clap! Clap! Album: Tambacounda EP Clap! Clap!, a.k.a. Cristiano Cristi, is a Tuscan musician who got his start playing jazz saxophone. These days he makes intricate electronic music with super-heavy bass. "Elon Mentana" is from his Tambacounda EP (out March 3).   ‘Alexandra' Artist: Hamilton Leithauser Album: Black Hours An upbeat, crooning track from The Walkmen's former vocalist, Hamilton Leithauser. His debut solo album, Black Hours, will be released May 6.  

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Cate Le Bon

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 19, 2014


The Beatles may be an odd place to begin a Cate Le Bon conversation, but I remember being struck by the way four guys from Liverpool could sing without their English accents. That's true of most pop singers, whose words often come out sounding more American than anything else. But that's not true with Cate Le Bon. Her phrasing is completely tied to her Welsh dialect — in fact, her first record was in Welsh. I find that that draws me into her songs: The enunciation is completely tied to the loneliness and the questioning. One song she sings at the Tiny Desk, from her brilliant album Mug Museum, is called "Are You With Me Now?" There is a feeling I love Buried in my brow I have no reason to run I see no reason Are you with me now? Listen to the inflection in the line 'Buried in my brow,' and then when she poses the question; it's so intimate, such a whisper, so inviting. I'm also a fan of her clean, sharp guitar playing and the way she weaves it together with her partner H. Hawkline. If you're a fan of Tom Verlaine and Television, you'll find yourself loving this lyrical guitar duo. It works so well stripped-down, though there wasn't much excess in the original versions to begin with. These are songs of essence, clarity and drive, executed so simply here. 

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New Mix: Sisyphus, Avey Tare, Nothing, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 18, 2014


Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton open this week's show by reminiscing about a recent Son Lux and San Fermin show that delivered epic sounds with bold, cinematic rock. Bob and Robin's shared love for walls of noise leads them directly to the orchestral opening track on this week's program, "Beneath The Brine" by The Family Crest. Also on the show: A peek at the debut full-length album from Sisyphus, a genre-bending group featuring Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Chicago hip-hop artist Serengeti; Animal Collective's Avey Tare returns with a new bizarro project called Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks; plus one-of-a-kind folk singer Diane Cluck, the sludgy noise rock group Nothing and the post-punk and new wave group Eagulls.   Songs Featured On This Episode   Beneath the Brine Artist: The Family Crest Album: Beneath The Brine "Beneath The Brine" is a massive-sounding, super-orchestrated track by the San Francisco-based band The Family Crest. The group's Kickstarter-funded album comes out Feb. 25.   Lion's Share Artist: Sisyphus Album: Sisyphus Sisyphus is comprised of Son Lux, Sufjan Stevens and Chicago-based hip-hop artist Serengeti. "Lion's Share" is a tongue-in-cheek, story-centered song where each member shines. The trio's self-titled album is out Mar. 18.   Sara Artist: Diane Cluck Album: Boneset The guitarist and pianist Diane Cluck makes heartfelt, intimate folk music. Her upcoming album,Boneset, will be released on March 4.   Get Well Artist: Nothing Album: Guilty of Everything The loud, gritty quartet Nothing, out of Philadelphia, have a new album, Guilty of Everything, out March 4.   Little Fang Artist: Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks Album: Enter The Slasher House Animal Collective's Avey Tare has a new solo project called "Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks." Enter The Slasher House, the group's upcoming album, is out March 4 and includes this poppy, psychedelic track, "Little Fang."   Possessed Artist: Eagulls Album: Eagulls Eagulls, a bold and brash band from Leeds, will release its self-titled album March 11.      

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The Worst Songs Of All Time?

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 11, 2014


This week on a very special edition of All Songs Considered ... guitarist, actor, writer (and former Monitor Mix blogger) Carrie Brownstein returns. She joins us, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, to do something we don't normally do: Talk about the songs we really, really don't like. Our mission at All Songs is to bring you our favorite musical discoveries of the week. But after Stephen wrote his Good Listener column examining Starship's widely reviled hit single "We Built This City," we watched the comments pour in like an out-of-control fire hose, and got to talking about all the songs that drive us bonkers. It was so much fun we decided to continue the discussion here, with a look at some of the contenders for worst songs of all time, and why they stick in our craw. These are the relentless earworms — the songs you can't escape once they're in your head — or the annoying novelty songs. "Candyman," anyone? We also look at songs that take themselves too seriously, songs we used to love until they were ruined by a bad personal experience and more.

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Beck On 'Morning Phase': The All Songs Considered Interview

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 05, 2014


A lot has happened since Beck released his last full-length studio album. He suffered (and has since recovered from) a back injury that made it difficult to even hold a guitar. He recorded a new album, shelved the whole thing, and launched several other projects online, including an art gallery, mixtapes of his favorite songs, and "Record Club," a series of cover albums performed by Beck and his friends. There was also 2012's Song Reader, an album's worth of new songs released as sheet music for others to perform and record. Beck's last studio release, 2008's Modern Guilt, was a sometimes driving, sometimes trippy rock record, with droning slow-burners and psychedelic guitar anthems. His new album, Morning Phase (out Feb. 25), occupies a different sonic space, one more closely aligned with 2002's Sea Change. That record was among the most distinctive in Beck's catalog: A downtempo, introspective and personal journey. While Morning Phase isn't a direct sequel to Sea Change, it shares many of the same themes and sounds: less space-funk and more lush ballads, with soaring orchestral parts. It was also recorded by the same group of musicians, including drummer Joey Waronker (Atoms For Peace, R.E.M.), guitarist Jason Falkner and keyboardist Robert Joseph Manning, Jr. Beck's father, composer David Richard Campbell, is back as well, providing string arrangements — which you can hear some of in the song "Waking Light," premiered here.

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New Mix: Wye Oak, Ratking, John Lurie, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 28, 2014


On this week's show, host Bob Boilen has new magical powers. He's not sure what's behind these new powers, but it has something to do with a Romanian brass band and Tuvan throat singing. Regardless, Bob uses these new powers to introduce a brand new sound from the rock duo Wye Oak. The band, featuring Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, has built its reputation on massive walls of guitar noise. But on Wye Oak's new record, Shriek, the band trades its guitars in for synths. The album isn't out until April, but you can hear this new direction on a song we're premiering from the record called "The Tower." Wye Oak Album: Shriek Song: The Tower Cheatahs Album: Cheatahs Song: Kenworth Holly Herndon Album: Chorus Song: Chorus Moodymann Album: ABCD: The Album Song: Sunday Hotel Ratking Album: So It Goes Song: Canal John Lurie National Orchestra Album: The Invention of Animals Song: Men With Sticks

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New Mix: Real Estate, Actress, Wax Fang, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 21, 2014


On any given day, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen bombards co-host Robin Hilton with a running list of new ideas for the show. Most of them never see the light of day. But on this week's program Bob explains his latest idea, one that everyone will want to see happen. It's called "The Sole Of A Band" and involves matching photos of the shoes worn by bands with their music. You can hear more about how it works at the top of this week's edition of All Songs Considered. As if that weren't enough, we've also got a great new mix of discoveries for you, including the euphoric Columbus, Ohio band Saintseneca; the joyful, yet otherworldly music of Thumpers; the unforgettable voice of Israeli singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan, and the mesmerizing sounds of producer and electronic musician Darren Cunningham, otherwise known as Actress. Plus sunny new pop from Real Estate, and the epic, conceptual rock of Wax Fang. Saintseneca Album: Dark Arc Song: Takmit Thumpers Album: Galore Song: Marvel Asaf Avidan Album: Different Pulses Song: Different Pulses Actress Album: Ghettoville Song: Rap Real Estate Album: Atlas Song: Talking Backwards Wax Fang Album: The Astronaut Song: The Astronaut Part 1

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Discoveries From globalFEST 2014

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 16, 2014


This past Sunday was a frenzied and unforgettable night in New York City: A dozen bands from as far away as Australia and the Congo (and as close as Mississippi), left it all on the stage for globalFEST, one of the most important world music events in North America, held each January at Webster Hall. The whole thing lasts just five hours, but it's spread over three stages, highlighting the incredible - and always surprising - range and reach of what world music is: Afro-Caribbean carnival music mingles with electronic dance; punk-pop collides beautifully with Ukrainian folk; the sounds of Bollywood, Congolese-Belgian hip-hop, psychedelic cumbia and more. It all comes together at globalFEST. For this week's edition of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre, and Rob Weisberg of WNYC (who also hosts WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise) join Bob Boilen to revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.

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Ambien Dreams And Naked Desert Walks: St. Vincent On Her New Album

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 08, 2014


St. Vincent, out Feb. 25, 2014, is the fourth solo album by singer, songwriter and guitarist Annie Clark. Teased late last year in a series of cryptic status updates, the forthcoming self-titled album from St. Vincent is one of the most anticipated of 2014. In a conversation with All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, singer and guitarist Annie Clark gets into the stories behind the new record, due out Feb. 25. Though her look on the cover suggests an evil overlord, Clark says but the songs on St. Vincent were born in vulnerable moments —a chemical-induced hallucination starring a dead civil rights activist, and a standoff with a snake in which she literally couldn't have been more exposed, just to name a few. Read an edited version below, or click the audio link to hear the full interview, including exclusive previews of brand-new music.

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New Year, New Mix: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 07, 2014


Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their holiday journey to the heartland, rested and ready to celebrate the new year with a batch of new music from some of their favorite artists, and latest discoveries. Robin kicks things off with a new cut from St. Vincent, an artist who continues to redefine what it means to rock an electric guitar. Her new, self-titled album isn't out until late February, but you can get a good taste of it with the fantastically gritty, disjointed song "Digital Witness." Also on the show: Bruce Springsteen reimagines his somber, acoustic classic, "The Ghost Of Tom Joad," as massive, noisy rock song, courtesy of Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello; Lost In The Trees, a band normally defined by its lush string arrangements, is back with a brand new sound; singer, songwriter Damien Jurado takes us on a journey through an imaginary world where everyone is named "Silver," and Bob Boilen shares some bold and beautiful new discoveries from the Swedish duo I Break Horses and Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Danny Brewer, who writes and records as Besides Daniel. Songs Featured On This Episode St. Vincent Album: St. Vincent Song: Digital Witness I Break Horses Album: Chiaroscuro Song: Denial Damien Jurado Album: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son Song: Silver Timothy Lost in the Trees Album: Past Life Song: Past Life Bruce Springsteen Album: High Hopes Song: Ghost of Tom Joad Besides Daniel Album: This Marvelous Grief Song: Untouched and Burning

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Viking's Choice 2013: We Saved The Weirdest And Loudest For Last

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 31, 2013


It's been a couple of years since we last had NPR Music producer Lars Gotrich on the show to highlight the year in metal and what he sometimes calls "outer sound," a nebulous grouping of experimental music. It was time to bring his weird sonic world back. In 2013, the impeccably named heavy metal band Satan came out of the woodwork after a 17-year gap as if nothing had changed in heavy music and made its best album yet. Circuit des Yeux and Jeremiah Cymerman shook hell in their own ways. And, more than ever before, Lars Gotrich looked to cassettes and artists like Giant Claw and Katie Gately for the bizarre, inspired and even euphoric. Over on the Best Music of 2013 blog, you'll find the complete lists of Lars' favorite metal and cassette releases of 2013. 

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Bob And Robin's Excellent Holiday Adventure

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 19, 2013


For this year's annual holiday music show, All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton set out on a snowy road trip in search of the true spirit of the season. Their destination: America's heartland, where they plan to celebrate Christmas with Robin's family in Kansas. Join Bob and Robin as they motor across the country in a '71 Volkswagen Beetle, brave an ice storm and meet some special guests along the way, including Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Josh Ritter and more.

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Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums of 2013

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 12, 2013


Hear us count down through the top 25 most popular albums in this year's poll. It's always hard to predict how our audience will vote in our year-end polls for the best music. NPR has a large group of listeners with wildly varying tastes. But this year was even harder to call because we had an unusually large pool of contenders for Album Of The Year. In the end listeners picked Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires Of The City as the year's best album. No other record came close. It drew more than twice as many votes as the next closest record, Arcade Fire's Reflektor. Daft Punk's Random Access Memories followed closely in third place, with The National's Trouble Will Find Me and Lorde's Pure Heroine wrapping up our top five. (You can see the others that made the final list below). Lorde led a trio of debut albums in the top ten, each fronted by female singers (the others were The Bones of What You Believe by CHVRCHES and Days Are Gone by HAIM). Listeners seemed less interested in let's-get-a-band-together guitar rock this year and more interested in studio efforts, like the carefully composed songs from bands such as Vampire Weekend or Atoms For Peace. There was a lot of love for dance and pop, with albums from Daft Punk, Janelle Monae and Justin Timberlake in the top 25. At No. 7, Kanye West's Yeezus was the lone hip-hop album to appear in the top 25 (you'll find more in the top 100 listener picks we list at the bottom of the page). You can hear us count down through the top 25 most popular albums in this year's poll with the link above, or scroll through the list below. You can see the top 100 albums at the bottom of the page and download a pdf of the full list.

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Discussion: The Year in Music, 2013

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 04, 2013


What defined music in 2013? All Songs Considered kicks off NPR Music's year-end coverage by humbly submitting the following themes for your consideration: The long-awaited return of legends. New favorites who arrived fully formed. The triumph of elaborate promotion. The sneak-attack album drop. On this special edition of the show, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers for a roughly chronological tour through the musical high points of the year. Songs Featured On This Episode My Bloody Valentine Album: m b v Song: She Found Now David Bowie Album: The Next Day Song: Where Are We Now? Bryan Ferry Album: The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film Song: Love Is the Drug Rhye Album: Woman Song: Open Kacey Musgraves Album: Same Trailer Different Park Song: Follow Your Arrow Brandy Clark Album: 12 Stories Song: Just Like Him Kanye West Album: Yeezus Song: Blood on the LeavesLanguage Advisory: The song contains profanity. Earl Sweatshirt Album: Doris Song: Chum James Blake Album: Overgrown Song: Retrograde Vampire Weekend Album: Modern Vampires of the City Song: Step Laura Marling Album: Once I Was an Eagle Song: Master Hunter Valerie June Album: Pushin' Against a Stone Song: Somebody To Love Ty Segall Album: Sleeper Song: Man Man Lorde Album: Pure Heroine Song: Tennis Court Daughter Album: If You Leave Song: Youth San Fermin Album: San Fermin Song: Renaissance! Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes Album: I Heard the Angels Singing: Electrifying Black Gospel from The Nashboro Label 1951-1983 Song: Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes, 'Heaven, I've Heard So Much About It' Arcade Fire Album: Reflektor Song: Normal Person The Blow Album: The Blow Song: Make It Up Paul McCartney Album: New Song: Alligator The Flaming Lips Album: The Terror Song: "Look...The Sun Is Rising" Songs: Ohia Album: Magnolia Electric Co. (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) Song: Hold On Magnolia The Velvet Underground Album: Loaded Song: Rock & Roll

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Thanksgiving Edition: Songs About Your Family

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 26, 2013


How would you describe your family in a song? Would it be AC/DC's ominous "Highway to Hell," or The Beatles' warm, sentimental "All You Need Is Love"? Last week we asked you to tell us about the songs that remind you of your family. We got a lot of wonderful stories (and a few unsettling ones), along with a bunch of great song suggestions that reflect the same wide range of family experiences. On this special Thanksgiving week edition of All Songs Considered, we share some of our favorite stories and songs — from still in love to "still crazy." AC/DC Album: Highway to Hell Song: Highway to Hell The Beatles Album: Magical Mystery Tour Song: All You Need Is Love Alasdair Roberts Album: Farewell Sorrow Song: Whole House Is Singing The Beatles Album: I Want to Hold Your Hand/This Boy Song: I Want to Hold Your Hand Radiohead Album: OK Computer Song: No Surprises Sister Sledge Album: We Are Family Song: We Are Family Carl Douglas Album: Best of Carl Douglas: Kung Fu Fighting Song: Kung Fu Fighting Night Beds Album: Country Sleep Song: Even If We Try Paul Simon Album: Still Crazy After All These Years Song: Still Crazy After All These Years Jimmy Dean Album: 20 Great Story Songs Song: Please Pass the Biscuits Lead Belly Album: Best of Lead Belly Song: Goodnight Irene Joni Mitchell Album: Blue Song: A Case of You Yeah Yeah Yeahs Album: It's Blitz! Song: Heads Will Roll

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New Mix: Death Grips, Angel Olsen, GEMS, and More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 19, 2013


On this episode of All Songs Considered, hear Robin Hilton explain why he has a Yo Gabba Gabba! song stuck in his head every day, and how the best remedy this week has been the new Death Grips record, Government Plates. We've also got an electrified cut from the arresting singer-songwriter Angel Olsen. Her new album doesn't come out till February, but it's an early frontrunner for one of Bob Boilen's favorites in 2014. Bob also shares new music from the appropriately named Quilt, a band that patches together light and airy, but droning songs within songs. Plus a new cut from the colorful dream-pop band GEMS. Meanwhile, Robin shares a song from the band Ages And Ages that's filled him with so much hope he thinks it could actually change your life - or at least how you're feeling at the moment. He also revisits his previous hometown of Athens, GA where he's discovered yet another great band called The New Sound Of Numbers. Death Grips Album: Government Plates Song: Feels Like A Wheel Angel Olsen Album: Burn Your Fire for No Witness Song: Forgiven/Forgotten playlist Ages and Ages Album: Divisionary Song: Divisionary (Do The Right Thing) Quilt Album: Held in Splendor Song: Arctic Shark The New Sound of Numbers Album: Invisible Magnetic Song: Complete GEMS Album: Medusa Song: Pegasus

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New Mix: John Vanderslice, Hospitality, Marijuana Deathsquads, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 12, 2013


On this episode of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are still buzzing from the concerts they saw last week, from the spastic noise rock of (webcast ), to an intimate, joyful and humor-filled set by . Both shows offer a good excuse to revisit their respective 2013 albums: Dagger Beach from John Vanderslice, and Oh My Sexy Lord from Marijuana Deathsquads. Later, Bob and Robin are joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich. Lars is back this week with a massive, intricately woven song from Italian progressive metal band . The group's new album, Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness, is streaming now on our . Also on the show: Bob tries to understand how the British psych rock band Toy managed to write a killer song with such a huge wall of sound; Liz Harris of and Brooklyn musician Jefre Candu-Ledesma collaborate on a new project called Raum, with a strange and mesmerizing sound; and the breezy pop band is back with a somewhat grittier sound on a new record called Trouble. Meanwhile the ghost of former All Songs intern Thor Slaughter just won't stop haunting the show. Pizza! Marijuana Deathsquads Album: Oh My Sexy Lord Song: Ewok Sadness Join the Dots Album: Join the Dots Song: Join the Dots "Join the Dots" is the title-track from Toy's sophomore release. At nearly eight minutes long, it's a mammoth and winding track, punctuated by bursts of psych-influenced punk intensity. Cover for Dagger Beach John Vanderslice     Album: Dagger Beach Song: How the West Was Won Hospitality Album: Trouble Song: I Miss Your Bones Raum Album: In The Event Of Your Leaving Song: Blood Moon Ephel Duath Album: Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness Song: Feathers Under My Skin

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New Mix: The Beatles, James Blake, Colin Meloy, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 05, 2013


On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton travel through the decades for an eclectic mix of rock, folk, and, wait for it... disco. The Beatles Album: On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 Song: Please Please Me Oscar Isaac Album: Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack Song: Oscar Isaac, 'Hang Me, Oh Hang Me' Sam Cooke Album:Night Beat Song: Trouble Blues James Blake Album: Overgrown Song: Retrograde Marisa Anderson Album: Mercury Song: Galax Shearwater Album: Fellow Travelers Song: Natural One Colin Meloy Album: Colin Meloy Sings The Kinks Song: Days Broken Bells Album: After The Disco Song: Holding On For Life

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New Broken Bells Album, How'd They Make It? Danger Mouse, James Mercer Discuss

Author: NPR
Mon, Nov 04, 2013


There's soon to be a new album from Broken Bells — the duo of James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) — and you're about to find out how it all came together.

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New Mix: Death Cab For Cutie, Rhye's Milosh, Swearin', More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 29, 2013


On this week's edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen is caught in a funk, and the only cure is copious amounts of saxophones and surf rock. To soothe his ailments, Bob introduces Moon Hooch, a group that was banned from New York City's Bedford Avenue subway stop in Brooklyn due to its danceable squeaks and squawks. Also on the show: Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism celebrates its 10th anniversary by releasing demo versions of every track from the record. It's a fascinating look at what would eventually become a revered album. We've got an early, heartbreaking version of "Title & Registration." Later in the program, co-host Robin Hilton checks back in with director Jim Jarmusch's band SQ?RL (first featured on All Songs back in May). This time the group performs a sludgy cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Plus surf-rock from La Luz, a new solo album from Rhye singer Milosh, and the band Swearin', fronted by Allison Crutchfield, the twin sister to Waxahatchee singer and songwriter Katie Crutchfield. Moon Hooch Album: Moon Hooch Song: Number 9 SQ?RL Album: EP 2 Song: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Cover for Transatlanticism Demos Death Cab for Cutie Album: Transatlanticism Demos Song: Title and Registration (Demo) La Luz Album: It's Alive Song: Morning High Swearin' Album: Surfing Strange Song: Dust in the Gold Sack Milosh Album: Jetlag Song: Jetlag

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CMJ 2013 WRAP UP

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 22, 2013


Every fall, hundreds of bands flock to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon, a large festival where independent, new and emerging musicians hope to be discovered. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was among the countless journalists, bloggers, college radio DJs, record label reps and others who attempted to navigate the sea of live performances, hoping to find new music to love and share. On this week's show, Bob's joined by music critic Maria Sherman and WSPN's Becka Schwartz to talk about and play some of their favorite discoveries out of the hundreds of shows they saw, including D.C. punks Priests, British multimedia duo Public Service Broadcasting, rockabilly singer King Dude, '60s-era soul from Nick Waterhouse and many more. Priests Album: Tape Two Song: Leave Me Alone Eagulls Album: Nerve Endings Song: Nerve Endings      Courtney Barnett Album: Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas Song: Avant Gardener Jacco Gardner Album: Cabinet of Curiosities Song: Where Will You Go Weekend Album: Jinx Song: July Public Service Broadcasting Album: Inform - Educate - Entertain Song: Spitfire King Dude Album: Burning Daylight Song: Holy Land Arcade Fire Album: Time's All Gone Song: Some Place Perfect Pussy Album: I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling Song: I Celestial Shore Album: 10x Song: Rabbit Hole

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New Mix: Sleigh Bells, Omar Souleyman, Blood Orange, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Oct 16, 2013


On this episode of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson stops by in his 1984 Dodge Omni to pick up hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for a trip down Memory Lane, revisiting artists they discovered years ago. Stephen's most recent Good Listener column asked the question: "How do you get your parents into new music?" The gang talks about the dynamic of sharing music between generations, which prompts Stephen to play a cut both he and his mother love: Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car." Also on the show: hear why Bj?rk loves the sound of Syrian musician Omar Souleyman; Dev Hynes returns with a new album under the name Blood Orange; Sleigh Bells turn up the gain with a noisy and thrilling pop-rock record; and Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow takes a surprising turn from folk to R&B. Sleigh Bells Album: Bitter Rivals Song: Bitter Rivals Blood Orange Album: Cupid Deluxe Song: Chamakay Omar Souleyman Album: Wenu Wenu Song: Khattaba Tracy Chapman Album: Tracy Chapman Song: Fast Car James Vincent McMorrow Album: Post Tropical Song: Cavalier Ex Hex Album: Hot and Cold Song: Hot and Cold Mind Spiders Album: Inhumanistic Song: Steady

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New Mix: Of Montreal, Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 08, 2013


New Mix: Of Montreal, Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, More It's been a dreary, rainy week in D.C. On this episode of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are a little stir crazy after being stuck inside during the storms. But, with thunder rolling in the background, Robin kicks things off with an ethereal cut from the Berlin-based trip-hop artist Perera Elsewhere that perfectly captures the mood. Meanwhile, Bob, who's still picking confetti out of his clothes following a recent Flaming Lips show, shares new music from his latest obsession: the mesmerizing, Boston-based duo Gem Club. Later, Bob and Robin are joined by NPR Music's Saidah Blount and Otis Hart who introduce us to 21st century gospel doo-wop from Mapei and the Australian rapper Remi. Also on the show: The psychedelic rock group Of Montreal channels vintage Rolling Stones on a new song called "Fugitive Air," and the sultry sounds of New York City-based singer Tati Ana. Perera Elsewhere Album: Bizarre Song: Bizarre Gem Club Album: In Roses Song: Hypericum Remi Album: F.Y.G ACT:1 Song: Sangria Mapei Album: Don't Wait Song: Don't Wait Tati Ana Album: Four Walls Song: Four Walls Of Montreal Album: Lousy with Sylvianbriar Song: Fugitive Air

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New Mix: Fuzz, Danny Brown, Linda Thompson, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Oct 01, 2013


On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen has a confession: everything in the world is actually a dream in his mind. (Just listen to the podcast, it will make sense.) If that's true, co-host Robin Hilton is grateful that Bob has at least imagined some great new music. You'll hear some of it on this edition of the program, including rapper Danny Brown, Swedish electronic duo Jonsson & Alter, and the beautiful voice of singer Tom Brosseau. Also on the show: When was the last time you listened to an album three times in a row? For Bob, it was this past weekend when he discovered the new, self-titled record from the pop duo known as The Blow. Hear why he loves it so much. Plus folk singers Linda and Richard Thompson are reunited, and garage rock revivalist Ty Segall is back with yet another band - his eighth or ninth (we've lost track). The group is called Fuzz and it sounds exactly like the name. The Blow Album: The Blow Song: Make It Up Tom Brosseau Artist: Tom Brosseau Album: Grass Punks Song: Cradle Your Device Linda Thompson Artist: Linda Thompson Album: Won't Be Long Now Song: Love's For Babies And Fools Jonsson / Alter Artist: Jonsson / Alter Album: 2 Song: Brevet Hem (Vocal) Danny Brown Artist: Danny Brown Album: Old Song: Red 2 Go Fuzz Artist: Fuzz Album: Fuzz Song: Sleigh Ride

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Fall Music Preview

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 24, 2013


On this week's show, we've got a massive amount of new music from an incredible list of fall releases, including special premieres from Poli?a, Son Lux, Mount Eerie, Anna Calvi, Luscious Jackson and more. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers from NPR Music's The Record join hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to talk about these and more, with a bonus debate about synth pop versus guitar rock. Artist: M.I.A. Album: Matangi Song: Come Walk With Me Artist: Luscious Jackson Album: Magic Hour Song: So Rock On Artist: Jucifer Album: There Is No Land Beyond The Volga Song: Shame Chvrches Artist: CHVRCHES Album: The Bones of What You Believe Song: We Sink Artist: Deltron 3030 Album: Event II Song: The Return Son Lux Artist: Son Lux Album: Lanterns Artist: Anna Calvi Album: One Breath Song: Suddenly Poli?a Artist: Poli?a Album: Shulamith Song: Smug Yuna Artist: Yuna Album: Nocturnal Song: Someone Who Can Artist: Mount Eerie Album: Pre-Human Ideas Song: Hidden Stone Los Campesinos! Artist: Los Campesinos! Album: No Blues Song: What Death Leaves Behind Artist: William Onyeabor Album: Who Is William Onyeabor? Song: Body and Soul

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New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, Cate Le Bon and More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 17, 2013


On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June, and by far the strangest (i.e. best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck has in the works, which he hopes to release before the end of the year. Also on the show: Summer never ends in a shimmering, joyful new track from the Los Angeles-based duo Best Coast; Joanna Gruesome (a play on harpist and singer Joanna Newsom) delivers a burst of gritty, infectious garage rock from the Welsh group's new album, Weird Sister; singer Cate Le Bon, another artist from Wales, has a new cut with shades of Nico and The Velvet Underground; electronic artist Huerco S. morphs dance beats into alluring ambient soundscapes; and the musician known as Arp swaps the instrumental electronics from his previous two records for guitar pop. Beck Album: Gimme Song: Gimme playlist Best Coast Album: Fade Away Song: I Don't Know How Joanna Gruesome Album: Weird Sister Song: Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers Cate Le Bon Album: Mug Museum Song: Are You With Me Now? Huerco S. Album: Colonial Patterns Song: Prinzif Arp Album: More Song: Judy Nylon

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Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic Share Memories, Unreleased Tracks From 'In Utero'

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 10, 2013


All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton spoke recently with Nirvana's two surviving members, drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic, about the making of In Utero, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The two shared their memories from when they were just kids in the studio, piecing together what would become the band's last studio album. Featured tracks: 1. The Jesus Lizard: "Boilermaker" 2. Nirvana: "Serve The Servants" (Original version) 3. Nirvana: "All Apologies" (Demo) 4. Nirvana: "Heart-Shaped Box" (Steve Albini Mix) 5. Nirvana: "Forgotten Tune" 

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New Music: Paul McCartney, Moby, Tim Hecker And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 03, 2013


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, ­co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton jump into fall by playing songs from big upcoming releases by Paul McCartney, Moby and Tim Hecker. Also, All Songs Considered intern Thor Slaughter has spent his final week with the show living with Bob in a 21st-century spin on The Odd Couple. The two even enjoyed an evening head-banging at a concert by two of this week's featured artists: Brooklyn's So So Glos and Nashville's Diarrhea Planet, the latter of which has four guitars in its lineup. The show closes with a rousing psychedelic anthem by the garage-rock band King Khan & The Shrines, but not before a little farewell twerking. Son Of An American Artist: The So So Glos Album: Blowout Kids Artist: Diarrhea Planet Album: I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams New Artist: Paul McCartney Album: New The Perfect Life Artist: Moby Album: Innocents Live Room Artist: Tim Hecker Album: Virgins Born To Die Artist: King Khan & the Shrines Album: Idle No More

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New Music: TV On The Radio, Rokia Traore, Lucius, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 27, 2013


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, co-host Bob Boilen basks in the glory of his return by making fellow co-host Robin Hilton enjoy the musings of a box that when opened plays affirming statements with Bob's name that was gifted to him by a secret admirer. The theme of good vibes continues when artists that were featured on some of the earliest episodes of All Songs Considered, like TV On The Radio and Rokia Traore, return with new music. NPR Music's Lars Gotrich joins the discussion to explain post-metal in light of a new track from metal juggernauts Pelican. NPR Music intern Thor Slaughter brings the self-described "#1 cut" of Jackson and His Computerband. All that and more on this week's episode, and don't forget: "You're the best, Bob." Million Miles Artist: TV On The Radio Album: Million Miles When they first emerged, we called TV On The Radio "one of the most unique acts of the new decade." That would be the last decade. "One of the first bands we ever featured on [All Songs Considered]," Robin recalls. The longtime indie favorites have a full length in the works but are tiding us over with another one-off single, featuring a lush and dreamy sound. Tempest Artist: Lucius Album: Wildewoman "The songs build in really potent ways," says Bob Boilen of this Brooklyn-based indie pop five piece. Maybe it's the dual lead vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig that give Lucius, which is quickly becoming a favorite, something extra. Deny the Absolute Artist: Pelican Album: Forever Becoming "They came up at a time in metal where post-metal happened," says Lars Gotrich of Pelican. "It was more melodic, resembling post-rock." The group, which has been around for 13 years, is readying a new album. Dead Living Things Artist: Jackson & His Computerband Album: Glow Glow is Jackson and His Computerband's second album, following Smash in 2005. "It's glitchy, big and boisterous. It's a bit harder than most electro-pop out there," says Thor Slaughter. Tidal Ground Artist: Luray Album: The Wilder Taking the name of the Luray caverns in Virginia, banjo player Shannon Carey got help from her brother Sean Carey (Bon Iver) to produce this beautifully lush album. Kouma Artist: Rokia Traor? Album: Beautiful Africa Another artist featured on an early episode of All Songs Considered. "Kouma" is the work of the amazingly talented Rokia Traore. An extremely accomplished guitar player as well as singer, Rokia released her new album Beautiful Africa in April.

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New Music: Nine Inch Nails, Earl Sweatshirt, Juana Molina, More

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 19, 2013


All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton has been feeling a little dazed and confused lately, so host Bob Boilen gives him a "sonic hug" with a new song from the Austin, Texas rock band The Octopus Project. Robin follows with a surprising cut from the first new Nine Inch Nails album in five years. NPR's Sami Yenigun brings a healthy dose of dance beats from Seven Davis Jr. and NPR Music's Frannie Kelley shares a new cut from Earl Sweatshirt, whom she calls the "strangest and most cerebral" member of the L.A.-based hip-hop collective Odd Future. Robin offers up the alluring beats and soundscapes of the former Argentinian actress and comedian Juana Molina and we close with a new cut from The Goldberg Sisters, a.k.a. Adam Goldberg, the actor and musician known for his role (among others) in the 1993 movie Dazed And Confused.

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New Music: Cults, Avett Brothers, Kishi Bashi, More

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 14, 2013


While the cat's away, the mice will play rock-and-roll! On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, with Bob Boilen on vacation (to hunt through the treasure trove of memorabilia in his basement), co-host Robin Hilton and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson attempt to fulfill their vision of a perfect bizarro world episode, with premieres from Cults, Minor Alps, Weed and more. One question remains: Can Bob really resist the temptation of trying to ruin Stephen's vision of a Bob-less show? Hear the show to find out. Weed Album: Deserve Song: Silent Partner "I love the way the vocals are mixed behind the guitars; it gives it this really dreamy quality," says Robin Hilton of this fuzz-filled Vancouver four piece, which is currently readying its debut album, Deserve. The Julie Ruin Album: Run Fast Song: Ha Ha Ha Kathleen Hanna's (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) new project is heavy on punk synths and shoutable and infectious choruses. Lily & Madeleine Album: Lily & Madeleine Song: Devil We Know "This song is so pretty, it makes me wish I actually listened to this show more," says Stephen Thompson. This teenaged folk-duo (one member is still in high school) gained popularity after its videos caught fire on YouTube. Lily & Madeleine are preparing their self-titled full length for October. Minor Alps Album: Get There Song: Buried Plans Nada Surf's Matthew Caws teams up with Julia Hatfield to form the new group Minor Alps. The pairing brings out the softer side Nada Surf sometimes delved into while reaching for something new entirely. Cults Album: Static Song: I Can Hardly Make You Mine The duo known as Cults is back with its second album, Static, due in October. This track's gorgeous vocal hooks and retro production remind us of the band's breakthrough single "Go Outside" and we're excited to see how the album develops its classic sound. The Avett Brothers Album: Magpie And The Dandelion Song: Another Is Waiting "Recorded close to the same time as their last album The Carpenter, Magpie And The Dandelion is in a similar vein," says Stephen Thompson of the soon-to-be-released album by The Avett Brothers. The group has one of the most die hard fan bases in modern music; from this new Rick Rubin-produced single, it's easy to see why. Kishi Bashi Album: Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! Song: Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! Released on a seven-inch for Kishi Bashi's upcoming tour, "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!" contains the singer's big sounds and beautiful melodies.

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New Music: Elf Power, Bill Callahan, FKA Twigs, More

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 06, 2013


In this week's episode of All Songs Considered, co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, who tries to find a solution to the problem of cell phones at concerts in light of The Lumineers stopping their international hit "Ho Hey" to tell people to put their phones down. Bob surprises everyone by having actually seen the 1980s children's movie Lars Gotrich uses to describe Aloonaluna. Also find out what Brookyln high school hip-hop collective is sampling the Carol Burnett show. Premieres include Elf Power and Bill Callahan.

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New Music: Yuck, Electronic Music Pioneer Roedelius, Chastity Belt And More

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 31, 2013


On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen returns from a long, arduous weekend of work, looking tan and rested. That's because he just got back from the Newport Folk Festival, where he spent three glorious days surrounded by love, rainbows and amazing music. But leave it to co-host Robin Hilton to harsh Bob's mellow, when he shows Bob the most horrifying publicity photo either has ever seen for a band. The perpetrator? Chastity Belt, a Seattle group that makes what its members call "the worst music you will ever hear." (It isn't anywhere near the worst music you'll ever hear — in fact, it's awesome.) Also on this week's show: a new song from the sometimes gritty, sometimes droning rock group Yuck; the woozy, strangely captivating psych-pop of Jackson Scott; and veteran electronic-music pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius and his latest collaboration with bassist Stefan Schneider. The Lone Bellow Live At Newport Song: You Never Need Nobody Hear The Lone Bellow's full set from the 2013 Newport Folk Festival. Rayland Baxter Live At Newport Song: The Tower Song Chastity Belt Album: No Regrets Song: Black Sail playlist Jackson Scott Album: Melbourne Song: Evie playlist Yuck Album: Rebirth-Single Song: Rebirth playlist Roedelius Schneider Album: Tiden Song: Umstunden

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Why The Newport Folk Festival Is So Special

Author: NPR
Thu, Jul 25, 2013


It isn't the biggest or the flashiest festival of the year, but Newport Folk, which NPR is covering all this coming weekend, is certainly one of the country's most prestigious and historic annual musical gatherings. Its legacy stretches back more than 50 years, with a long list of memorable performances from some of the most influential artists of all time: Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and many, many more. These days the festival continues to challenge people's expectations for what folk should look and sound like, with a surprising lineup of artists that includes the gothic rock singer Cold Specks, Nigerian Tuareg guitarist and singer Bombino, and shape-shifting rock artist Beck. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talked with Newport Folk Festival producer Jay Sweet about this year's lineup and why the annual event is so special.

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New Music: Sebadoh, Moderat, Typhoon, The Civil Wars And More

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 23, 2013


On this week's episode of All Songs Considered: Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up huge premieres, including a preview of '90s lo-fi rock pioneer Sebadoh's first new album in 14 years. There's also new music from folk duo The Civil Wars, which finished its new album just before going on hiatus, and pianist singer Lucy Schwartz. NPR's Sami Yenigun plays a song by Moderat, the electronic group featuring the ambient sounds of Apparat and dance beats of Modeselektor, that amazed him so much he couldn't sleep. NPR Music's Jacob Ganz reveals listening secrets for productivity. Plus, the debate continues between Robin and Stephen Thompson about mix-tape etiquette. Who do you think is right? Typhoon Album: White Lighter Song: Young Fathers While the subject matter can sometimes be bleak — it's often inspired by songwriter Kyle Morton's health struggles as a child — Typhoon's music is always beautiful and uplifting. This Portland, Oregon band that sometimes includes up to 17 people is set to release their second full length album White Lighter on August 20th. Sebadoh Album: Defend Yourself Song: I Will The All Songs team has spent a lot of time this year talking about big comebacks from '90s artists and, more importantly, how all these releases have lived up to the hype. Now, after a fourteen year hiatus, Sebadoh returns with Defend Yourself, out September 19th. Our own First Listen series will feature the album a week before it's release. Moderat Album: II Song: This Time Moderat is collaboration between electronic dance music group Modeselektor and dark electronic pop artist Apparat. NPR's Sami Yenigun said of "This Time": "I put it on to unwind after DJing. I like to calm down after the adrenaline of a show — this record did the opposite. I was wired after hearing it." F**k Buttons Album: Slow Focus Song: Red Wing NPR Music's Jacob Ganz says the music of this electronic production duo with epic rock leanings is motivational: "I spent a lot of time as an editor reading copy and when this is on I feel like a superhero." Archers of Loaf Album: Icky Mettle Song: Wrong Brought in to discuss the ongoing feud over mix-tape etiquette that has been chronicled here and here in his advice column, The Good Listener, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson declared that Robin Hilton — who argues that one mix-tape deserves another — is in fact wrong, and picked this song for him: "You are wrong, I dedicate this song to you, Robin Hilton. This is the Robin Hilton song." The Civil Wars Album: The Civil Wars Song: Dust To Dust Bob Boilen on the latest song from the now-on-a-break folk duo The Civil Wars, whose self-titled second album will be out on August 6: "What I like most in this song is also the thing this pair of musicians does best, what Johnny Cash and June Carter did best: a conversation, a duet between two people with underpinnings of tension that add to and even confuse the meaning of the song." Lucy Schwartz Album: Timekeeper Song: Captain Sunshine Lucy Schwartz has had her music featured films and TV shows (including both Twilight and Shrek). On August 27, the Los Angeles, Calif. singer-songwriter will release her third album, Timekeeper.

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