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Preview: NPR: All Songs Considered Podcast

All Songs Considered

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton spin new music from emerging bands and musical icons.

Copyright: Copyright 2011 NPR - For Personal Use Only.

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

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:15:00 -0400

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

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:23:00 -0400

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

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:04:00 -0400

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

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:38:00 -0400

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

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:18:00 -0400

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

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:27:00 -0400

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

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 08:37:00 -0400

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

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:42:00 -0400

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

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:20:00 -0400

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

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 15:43:00 -0400

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

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:14:00 -0400

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

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:57:00 -0400

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

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:56:00 -0400

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

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:36:00 -0400

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?

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 11:01:00 -0400

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

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:50:27 -0400

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

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 12:51:00 -0400

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

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:32:00 -0400

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

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:00:30 -0400

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

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 15:49:00 -0400

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

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:41:00 -0400

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

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 11:04:00 -0400

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

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:07:00 -0400

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

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:45:00 -0400

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

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 15:37:00 -0400

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

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:40:00 -0400

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

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:32:00 -0400

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

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:24:00 -0400

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)

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:20:00 -0400

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

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:04:00 -0400

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

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:09:00 -0400

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

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:00:24 -0400

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

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 14:27:00 -0400

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

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:14:00 -0400

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)

Tue, 31 May 2016 12:55:00 -0400

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

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The Monkees, Esmé Patterson, Adia Victoria, More

Tue, 24 May 2016 14:08:00 -0400

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 Esmé 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

Thu, 19 May 2016 09:43:00 -0400

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

Tue, 17 May 2016 14:05:00 -0400

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

Fri, 13 May 2016 14:40:00 -0400

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

Tue, 10 May 2016 12:15:00 -0400

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 Beyoncé To James Blake

Fri, 06 May 2016 16:31:00 -0400

It really started nearly two weeks ago when Beyoncé 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!

Tue, 03 May 2016 13:26:00 -0400

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

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:09:00 -0400

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

Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:15:00 -0400

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

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:00:00 -0400

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'

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 12:11:00 -0400

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

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:24:00 -0400

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?

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:10:00 -0400

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

Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:54:00 -0400

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 Górecki's Third Symphony

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

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:37:00 -0400

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

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:15:00 -0400

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

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:20:00 -0400

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 Hüsker Dü 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, Einstürzende Neubauten, noise rock and recording/mixing/soundboards.

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

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:08:00 -0400

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: Thursday

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 07:46:00 -0400

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: Tuesday

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 07:49:00 -0400

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

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 15:28:00 -0400

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

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 12:29:00 -0500

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 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

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 14:08:00 -0500

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

Fri, 04 Mar 2016 14:28:00 -0500

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

Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:23:00 -0500

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

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:40:00 -0500

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

Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:47:00 -0500

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

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 13:49:45 -0500

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, 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

Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:08:43 -0500

"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

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:01:28 -0500

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

Wed, 27 Jan 2016 07:11:45 -0500

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 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

Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:34:01 -0500

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

Wed, 06 Jan 2016 18:10:20 -0500

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

Tue, 29 Dec 2015 10:45:20 -0500

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

Mon, 21 Dec 2015 13:14:58 -0500

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

Thu, 17 Dec 2015 13:09:56 -0500

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

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:57:46 -0500

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?

Mon, 07 Dec 2015 12:34:56 -0500

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

Wed, 02 Dec 2015 11:55:41 -0500

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

Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:02:15 -0500

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

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:23:45 -0500

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

Tue, 17 Nov 2015 14:13:54 -0500

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 Âalam, 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

Thu, 12 Nov 2015 09:16:20 -0500

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

Tue, 10 Nov 2015 14:44:33 -0500

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

Wed, 04 Nov 2015 21:38:19 -0500

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

Mon, 02 Nov 2015 15:40:45 -0500

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

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 10:02:41 -0400

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

Tue, 27 Oct 2015 12:19:56 -0400

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

Fri, 23 Oct 2015 12:54:40 -0400

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

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:43:35 -0400

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

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 10:16:30 -0400

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

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 16:11:17 -0400

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

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:10:56 -0400

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

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:12:20 -0400

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

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:27:11 -0400

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

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:44:50 -0400

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

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 12:37:33 -0400

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

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 10:50:06 -0400

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

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 07:53:43 -0400

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

Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:43:29 -0400

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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