Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton produces NPR Music live concerts and festival coverage across the country, including live broadcasts and webcasts from the Bonnaroo and Sasquatch festivals, South by Southwest and the Newport Folk Festival.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as a translator for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and, most recently, in the documentary film Open Secret. You can hear some of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

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All Songs Considered
8:05 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Interpol's Sam Fogarino

This week's guest Quizmaster is Sam Fogarino, drummer for the band Interpol. The group is set to release its latest album, El Pintor, in September. It's Interpol's first new record since 2010's self-titled release. Can you identify the songs he selected from just a few seconds of drumming?

As always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
6:53 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For July 18

This week's puzzler for careful listeners has a little something for everyone, from jazz and classic rock, to punk and thrashing metal. It also features several fills listeners suggested from previous puzzlers. So, as always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, heroes!

All Songs Considered
8:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Eternal Summers' Daniel Cundiff

Daniel Cundiff, drummer for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers, working up a sweat during a live performance.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's drum fill puzzler comes courtesy of guest Quizmaster Daniel Cundiff, percussionist for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers. The band's latest album is The Drop Beneath.

For Drum Fill Friday, Daniel picked cuts by some of the artists who've influenced his own work over the years, from smooth jazz to new wave and noise rock. Good luck, heroes!

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Fourth Of July Edition

Bruce Springsteen belts out his hit song "Born in the USA" before a sellout crowd as he kicks off his 1985 US tour in Washington, DC.
Doug Mills Bettmann/CORBIS

This week we celebrate our nation's independence with drum fills (and one intro) from songs that say "America, we love you!" Some may be more blatantly patriotic than others, but all capture, in some way, the spirit of freedom that unites and binds us.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Mike Kinsella Of Owls

This week's guest Quizmaster, drummer Mike Kinsella (Owls, Joan Of Arc, Owen, American Football)
Connor Feimster Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 6:35 am

This week's guest Quizmaster is Mike Kinsella, the drummer for the bands Owls, Joan Of Arc and Cap'n Jazz and a singer and guitarist in Owen and American Football. When I first took a stab at identifying the fills and intros he selected I was immediately reminded that sometimes this little game can turn me on to some pretty awesome music I hadn't heard before. Maybe that'll be true for you. Good luck, rock stars!

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All Songs Considered
11:42 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For June 20

This week we're back to a mix of classic rock and pop, with a few (relatively) recent loves of mine thrown in. As always, if you have a drum fill (or intro) you think should be included in this weekly puzzler, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For June 13

You don't always have to love the music to appreciate the talent behind it. Some of the artists featured in this week's puzzler are masters in genres I rarely reach for (fusion anyone?), but lord are they gifted musicians. I also think some of the fills in this batch are particularly challenging, but give a listen and see how you do. Safe drum fill-naming, heroes!

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For June 6

Most of the time, I just pick songs with moments that get me air drumming, regardless of the genre or drummer — or the programmer behind the beats. But for this week's puzzler, I've selected works by undeniable legends in the business, from classic rock pioneers to jazz virtuosos. Good luck, heroes!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs Considered
8:19 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For May 30

Drummer Topper Headon, seen overhead, with the rest of The Clash, at the band's first U.S. performance, in 1979.
Roger Ressmeyer CORBIS

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:02 am

The warmer weather brings out the air-drummer in me, which means I'm remembering and rediscovering some of my favorite fills, including the ones in this week's puzzler. I think most of these will sound familiar to anyone who's had commercial FM rock blasting with the windows down. So turn it up, pay attention, and good luck!

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Michael Benjamin Lerner Of Telekinesis

Michael Benjamin Lerner, drummer and lead singer for the band Telekinesis, performing live at Austin City Limits.
Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:38 am

Michael Benjamin Lerner is the drummer, lead singer and songwriter behind the Seattle-based band Telekinesis. There are times, while listening to his music, when I think it's just about the greatest pop band on the planet. Every song is perfectly realized and memorable.

Michael sits in as our guest Quizmaster for this week's puzzler, sharing fills and intros from some of his favorite drummers who've inspired his own work. Good luck, close-listeners!

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All Songs Considered
11:43 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Question Of The Week: What's Your Go-To Windows-Down Song?

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:02 pm

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For May 16

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 9:29 pm

This week's fills (and, yes, yes, one intro) come from a range of styles and periods, from jazz and heavy metal to classic rock and '80s synth pop. Can you match all five?

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For May 9

After a few weeks of guest Quizmasters, I'm back with one of my own special blends. I'd call this a top-40 mix or, as some might say, some pretty low-hanging fruit in the world of drum fills and intros. I'm expecting a lot of 5 out of 5 scores, so don't let me down!

As always, if you have a drum fill (or intro), or drummer you'd like to hear included in one of these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday

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All Songs Considered
8:55 am
Wed May 7, 2014

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

Patrick Carney (left) and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 7:54 pm

  • Listen To The Black Keys On All Songs

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All Songs Considered
2:41 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises

Cover art for Jack White's new album Lazaretto.
Courtesy of the artist

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Drum Fill Friday With The War On Drugs Drummer Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall, drummer for the band The War On Drugs, is this week's guest quizmaster for Drum Fill Friday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 8:30 am

If you think my picks for these weekly puzzlers were hard, try guessing the ones selected by an actual drummer. Charlie Hall, who anchors the Philadelphia-based rock group The War On Drugs, is this week's guest quizmaster. He offers an eclectic, surprising and (for me anyway) challenging batch of fills and intros to identify. See how you do!

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From The Antlers' Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner of The Antlers, performing live.
Andy Sheppard Redferns

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Michael Lerner, drummer for the band The Antlers. Lerner is on the short list of current favorite drummers. His work is always melodic, never too busy or indulgent. But he also never settles for the straight up four on the floor. I found the fills he selected for this week's puzzler to be... challenging. But see what you think.

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All Songs TV
1:02 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Neil Young Covers Bert Jansch's 'Needle Of Death'

Neil Young in a recording booth, tracking a cover of Bert Jansch's "Needle Of Death."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 8:39 am

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster S. Carey

Sean Carey, who writes and records as S. Carey, performing live with Bon Iver.
Ollie Millington Redferns

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:28 am

This week's drum fills (and intros) were hand-selected, using only the finest ingredients, by Sean Carey. The Bon Iver drummer, who writes and records as S. Carey, just released his second solo album, Range Of Light. I thought some of his picks for this week's puzzler were pretty challenging, but I managed to get three of the five right. See how you do!

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Bride Of Drum Fill

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:25 am

People often stop me on the street and ask, "Dude, what's with Drum Fill Friday? How are you picking that stuff?" Most of the fills come to me in peyote-induced fever dreams. Otherwise, I mostly just pick songs that have moments in them - fills and intros - that make me want to air-drum. They aren't all legendary or particularly defining moments — just awesome moments. As with all the stuff we do on All Songs Considered, they're songs I love.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Question Of The Week: The Last Song You'll Ever Hear?

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:37 am

This week, we asked you to think about the end of your life. If you could pick it, what would you like the last song you ever hear to be? For me, it was easy. Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky," from Dark Side of the Moon would send me off into the unknown with its perfect mix of sorrow, anguish, majestic awe and celestial wonder.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Name That Drum Fill: Revenge Of Drum Fill

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:50 am

This week's batch of drum fills comes from a mix of classic rock and pop, and more recent cuts. As always, I was drawn to them simply because I love the songs themselves and was captivated at some point by the percussion. Pro tip: If you don't recognize a fill, try matching the timbre of it — the power behind it, the sound of the recording, etc. — to one of the album covers pictured (or to the period the album was recorded in).

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: March 28

You know what's awesome? Drum fills. A killer bass line is pretty great, too. And guitar solos. And melodies and chord progressions. But a really great drum fill is often the one thing that makes a song truly take off. Think of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" and try not to get that song's classic fill stuck in your head immediately.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Mr Little Jeans, 'Good Mistake'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:51 am

Don't let the precious name fool you. Mr Little Jeans, a.k.a. Norwegian singer Monica Birkenes, makes propulsive, sometimes epic pop music with gnarled synth lines and alluring textures. In this brand new Mr Little Jeans video, for the moody song "Good Mistake," a trucker hopped up on meds finds himself traversing the haunted backroads of his past.

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All Songs Considered
2:15 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Question Of The Week: Does The Death Of An Instrument Break Your Heart?

All Songs Considered Soundcloud Dropbox

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:01 am

Few things make us cringe quite like hearing about the untimely death of a musical instrument. A table or an appliance may be swept away by a hurricane, or a set of golf clubs may be mangled by baggage handlers, but they don't hold quite the emotional pull of seeing a crushed guitar or piano. It feels like something living has died.

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All Songs Considered
1:04 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Question Of The Week, SXSW Edition: What's Your Fake Band Name?

 

Every year Bob Boilen, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and I prepare for South by Southwest by listening to songs from roughly 1,500 artists. And when you go through that many bands you start to see trends in the names. The two most commonly occurring words are always — always — "black" and "DJ." In addition to those two, this year we noticed that "white" appears an awful lot, too, as does the name John. Michael, Paul and Jesse are also pretty popular. Go figure.

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All Songs Considered
11:37 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Question Of The Week, Valentine's Day Edition: What's 'Your Song'?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:59 pm

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Song Premiere: Death, 'North Street'

Death, in 1976. Left to right: David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney.
Tammy Hackney

When you listen to "North Street," a just-released song by the band Death, it's hard to believe it's more than 30 years old. The cut, with its urgent beat and relentlessly propulsive guitars, is part punk and part avant-garde rock. Death originally recorded the track in 1980, but it never saw the light of day — until now.

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All Songs Considered
6:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

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

Beck's 12th studio full-length, Morning Phase, will be released Feb. 25.
Peter Hapak

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:33 pm

  • Hear Beck Discuss 'Morning Phase'

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