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Bob Boilen

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.

Significant listener interest in the music being played on All Things Considered, along with his and NPR's vast music collections, gave Boilen the idea to start All Songs Considered. "It was obvious to me that listeners of NPR were also lovers of music, but what also became obvious by 1999 was that the web was going to be the place to discover new music and that we wanted to be the premiere site for music discovery." The show launched in 2000, with Boilen as its host.

Before coming to NPR, Boilen found many ways to share his passion for music. From 1982 to 1986 he worked for Baltimore's Impossible Theater, where he held many posts, including composer, technician, and recording engineer. Boilen became part of music history in 1983 with the Impossible Theater production Whiz Bang, a History of Sound. In it, Boilen became one of the first composers to use audio sampling — in this case, sounds from nature and the industrial revolution. He was interviewed about Whiz Bang by Susan Stamberg on All Things Considered.

In 1985, the Washington City Paper voted Boilen 'Performance Artist of the Year.' An electronic musician, he received a grant from the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to work on electronic music and performance.

After Impossible Theater, Boilen worked as a producer for a television station in Washington, D.C. He produced several projects, including a music video show. In 1997, he started producing an online show called Science Live for the Discovery Channel. He also put out two albums with his psychedelic band, Tiny Desk Unit, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Boilen still composes and performs music and posts it for free on his website BobBoilen.info. He performs contradance music and has a podcast of contradance music that he produces with his son Julian.

Boilen's first book, Your Song Changed My Life, will be published in April 2016 by HarperCollins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISCEilPMNak http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNy7VtSsmu8 On Sept. 30, Bon Iver will release its first album in five years. Titled 22, A Million , it's full of drama, disturbances and thrills. We have two tracks for you here, "22 (OVER S∞∞N)" and "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄," released only moments after the band performed the new music at Justin Vernon's own Eaux Claires festival in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This music represents another...

A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead's ninth and quietest record, owes much of its sound to the band's visionary guitarist, violist, electronics wiz and arranger Jonny Greenwood. On this week's All Songs +1 podcast I talk with him about how A Moon Shaped Pool came to be. Jonny Greenwood explains that Radiohead approaches each record with a different recording style or new technique. For this latest record, the group traded in "traditional Pro Tools" for an analog 8-track...

What if you could see your favorite band in a living room, without all the background noise and cellphones you get at a live show? That's the question Rafe Offer, founder of Sofar Sounds , asked himself and a few friends after they'd seen a show where he couldn't even hear the band. Sofar Sounds operates around a simple idea: You gather together a few bands, a house in which they can perform, and an eager audience. However, the lineup isn't announced, which means the audience has no idea who...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoI2C6pW9AQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCb7WjLLIzo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wqfcwgT0Ds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoUcRbnVrLQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPR-HyGj2d0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATGBUBkrUc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv3cMveVgYo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfZxtwkG5rk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNCabzJ8KJI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyzf1EKNyno The Newport Folk Festival is one of my very favorite festivals in...

When I first heard You Got Me Singing , a new record by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack, I thought, "How sweet. They probably sang many of these songs together long ago." Then I discovered how wrong I was. The story goes more like this: Amanda Palmer's parents separated when she was about a year old. She saw her father only on occasion. Palmer became a popular and provocative artist with the Dresden Dolls and other projects; her dad lives in Washington, D.C., and sings in a church...

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...

Each year dozens of new artists become part of my life soundtrack. Last year Courtney Barnett, Soak, Ibeyi, Girlpool and many more all became a huge part of my listening for the year and some wound up on my final top ten list. This year, Lucy Dacus, Big Thief, Margaret Glaspy, Mothers, Overcoats and Weaves are all part of my everyday listening, and are all artists making a debut either with their first album, EP or very first songs. So who are your favorite new artists in 2016, the musicians...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_OtfstmDgo Legendary musician Peter Gabriel has just released a new song, "I'm Amazing," inspired by the life of Muhammad Ali. In a press announcement, Gabriel — long the leader of the band Genesis , as well as a massively influential solo artist — wrote: "I wrote a song a few years back — 'I'm Amazing,' which was, in part, inspired by Muhammad Ali's life and struggles. And at the time of his death, when so many people are celebrating his life and thinking...

Hozier has just written a new song called "Better Love," and it's for a big budget Hollywood movie: The Legend Of Tarzan . Frankly, I was apprehensive when I heard that this poetic songwriter, known for brilliant songs like "Take Me To Church" and "Someone New," was going to delve into commercial film territory. It's hard not to imagine that compromises are necessary to make a song fit a film's plot and themes. But when I heard the new song Hozier put together on a three-week...

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...

Electronic musician Tim Hecker has been dismantling sounds, turning traditional song structures inside out and bending sonic worlds for nearly 20 years. For his latest album, Love Streams , he applies his unique vision to the human voice, making it the centerpiece of a deeply textured and profoundly warped collection of songs. On this week's +1 Podcast All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton talk with Hecker about his approach to music, what he calls his ...

Prince passed away today. Details are not clear as I write this. What is clear is how much he meant to so many. How will you remember Prince? Tell us in the comments below how he impacted your life, or just pick a song you love. Or find us on Twitter @allsongs . Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Is there a song that changed the way you think about life? A song that changed your path? I've been thinking a lot about this the past few years and I've posed that question to 35 musicians. Their answers are in a book I just wrote : Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It. On this All Songs Considered +1 podcast, I'll read you my introductory chapter...

At first, it's an unlikely pairing. I think of Sam Amidon unadorned, his yearning voice perhaps paired with a guitar, banjo or fiddle. On the other hand, San Fermin, the project of Ellis Ludwig-Leone, is about the mighty power of great arrangements and orchestration. It took Sam's young son to pull the two sounds together for this song new collaboration, along with words taken from a poem called "Against Winter" by poet Charles Simic. Ellis Ludwig-Leone wrote to us, describing the simple...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8g88bhQm68 I get more out of connecting people to music than critiquing it. Our Tiny Desk Contest , for example, forges small communities as friends get together to make a music video in hopes of playing a Tiny Desk Concert. This year's winner, a singer and violinist from Duluth, Minn. named Gaelynn Lea , was encouraged by her fiddle students to submit her winning video. Two of the contest judges, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from the band Lucius , who helped...

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,...

There's new music from Iggy Pop and it's pretty great. The album, Post Pop Depression, is a collaboration with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age . What you hear on this album is a more crooning and thoughtful Iggy then the image you may have in your minds eye of a stage-diving, unpredictable punk. To find out how this all came to pass, we invited them both to sit and talk. They were at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. and I was in Washington, D.C. The entire interview is lively...

I'd already been thinking a lot about George Martin. I've spent the last year writing a book about the songs that changed the lives of musicians, and in the introductory chapter I offer my own selection. "A Day in the Life," by The Beatles, changed the way I think about music. It's a song George Martin, who died on Tuesday at the age of 90, had a clear hand in. George Martin was 36 when he began working with The Beatles in 1962, a decade and a half older than Paul and John. When you think of...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNjlR65IneE The new HBO series Vinyl explores the seedy underpinnings of the music business in the 1960s and '70s. The show, whose executive producers include Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, has been resurrecting and recreating great songs from those days in each Sunday night episode. One of the exciting "cover" tunes done for next week's show is "Watch Your Step," an R&B song made famous by Bobby Parker in the summer of '61. Here it's covered by The...

"'One More' is in your face. It's raw." Those words from Jasmyn Burke are plainspoken and true. Her band Weaves was my No. 1 discovery at CMJ 2015, quirky, loud and mysterious, four amazing and downright fascinating players. "One More" is the first song off their very first album. The Toronto-based band has worked on its upcoming debut for the last two years, almost as long as the musicians have been playing together. They've spent that time refining their frenetic sound, the one that drew me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miFepGMB55Q I knew this would be a thrill but I didn't expect the new Sturgill Simpson record to have bagpipes, a Nirvana cover and the Dap-Kings! Sturgill has announced that his new album, A Sailor's Guide To Earth , will be out on April 15, and he's released a single called "Brace For Impact (Live A Little)." It's a guitar-sliding rock dirge that wavers between Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones in its winding instrumental break. Its message encourages...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb1oCjiIu9M There were 6,100 entries in this year's Tiny Desk Contest , representing every state in the nation. We asked you to send us a video of an original song, behind a desk of your choosing. We didn't care much about the quality of the video or even the sound. We wanted something singular, a song and a sound that felt original and a performance that felt inspired. We at NPR Music watched all of those 6,100 entries and in the end our six judges — Dan...

There is new — and quite wonderful — music from Mitski. Mitski Miyawaki is an intense singer and guitar player who has been putting out albums since 2012. Yesterday she announced a new album, her fourth, which will be called Puberty 2. It's as impassioned as her previous records, but there's something warmer in it. It also deals bluntly and emotionally with issues of identity that are personal to her. In the chorus of the song "Your Best American Girl," which we played on All...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2osJjSNxTE Note: If you're on mobile, we strongly recommend opening this video in the YouTube , Littlstar or Facebook apps. Since we started making Tiny Desk Concerts almost eight years ago, we've had more than 500 artists play the Tiny Desk, our own little makeshift concert venue right in the middle of NPR's offices in DC. From huge stars like Adele to T-Pain to up-and-comers like Car Seat Headrest and actual big bands like Mucca...

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," which we also featured as a First Watch . 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...

Martin Atkins knows many of the secrets of life, especially band life. He's played in Public Image Ltd, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, Killing Joke and more. These days, after a life of touring nightmares and general music business foolery, he writes and teaches about music in Chicago and he's distilled his knowledge of life into bits of wisdom. Like how the French cooking idea of mise en place — putting things in place — will make your band's tour and your musical life, or even non...

There is new music from Quilt and that makes me happy. The band's third album, which is out next week on Feb. 26, is called Plaza, and its winsome, wandering electric folk thrills my late-1960s soul. The songs on Plaza , a combination of brand new material and newly invigorated older tunes, often revolve around place and family. We asked Anna Fox Rochinski (vocals/guitars), Shane Butler (vocals/guitars) and John Andrews (drums/vocals) to tell us how they were made. Below,...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IQERvKITJU It's been a good year. I'm about to have my first book published. I'm making an album with my band Danger Painters . I have a great job, a music show I love and a concert series at my desk . I directed All Things Considered for 18 years. I feel like I'm becoming a pretty decent photographer. I'm a proud father with a cool son. But with all that I've done, the one thing that seems to drop jaws the moment I mention it is that I was cast as a...

"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

Sometime between today and tomorrow, more than 67 million Americans in 19 states are facing blizzard or winter storm warnings. So we at the Tiny Desk had an idea. We're two weeks into the 2016 Tiny Desk Contest . We're looking for the next great undiscovered musician to come play at my Tiny Desk . Frankly, there's nothing like being snowed in and undisturbed to get the creative juices flowing. So this weekend, use your phone or whatever you have at your disposal to make a video of an original...

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