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 curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

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 an interpreter 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 also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more 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
11:20 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross Share Four Songs From Their New 'Gone Girl' Score

Courtesy of the artist

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and producer Atticus Ross continue to tease their upcoming soundtrack for the movie, Gone Girl. The longtime collaborators have posted four new songs from the score to their Soundcloud page.

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All Songs Considered
8:49 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For Sept. 19

We're back to basics in this week's Drum Fill Friday: No tricks or special themes, just a mix of vintage rock and iconic pop fills (okay, and one intro). Good luck, careful listeners!

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
6:03 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Spoon's Jim Eno

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:39 am

Jim Eno is a less-is-more drummer. His work as the longtime drummer for the band Spoon is distinctive for its carefully plotted lines. It's elegant and melodic, never over-the-top or showy. It's a style and taste he shares with all of the drummers he selected for this week's puzzler as our guest Quizmaster.

Eno and the rest of the guys in Spoon are currently on tour for their latest — and one of the year's best — album, They Want My Soul.

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Drum Fill Friday
7:42 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For Sept. 5

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:44 am

We've had a good run of guest Quizmasters for Drum Fill Friday (and more to come), but this week we thought we'd feature a puzzler made up entirely of your favorite fills and intros. Each of the artists appearing in the quiz below come from listener suggestions in our comments section.

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All Songs Considered
10:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster Mark Reznicek Of Toadies

Mark Reznicek of Toadies
Tommy Moore Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:44 am

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Mark Reznicek, drummer for the Fort Worth rock group Toadies. The band is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of its breakout album, Rubberneck with a tour, and a reissue of the album with bonus tracks.

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
1:22 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From The Dismemberment Plan's Joe Easley

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:44 am

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Joe Easley, drummer for the D.C.-based rock group The Dismemberment Plan. It shouldn't be too hard for fans of the band to hear why he loves the fills and intros he selected from some of his favorite artists and songs.

The Dismemberment Plan is currently performing select shows for its latest album, and first in more than a decade, Uncanney Valley.

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All Songs Considered
10:13 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Song Premiere: Electric Würms, 'I Could Only See Clouds'

Electric Wurms
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:16 am

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne and secret weapon Steven Drozd are back with another song from their side project Electric Würms. The polyrhythmic, prog-rock space jam "I Could Only See Clouds" is from the band's upcoming debut album Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk, which roughly translates to "Music That's Hard To Twerk To."

Coyne, who normally fronts Flaming Lips, plays bass with Electric Würms, while Drozd takes lead on vocals, guitars and keys. The Nashville-based psych-rock band Linear Downfall provides backup.

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All Songs Considered
5:53 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol Of Spillway

Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol is the drummer for the Connecticut-based rock band Spillway.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

The drum fills and intros for this week's puzzler have something in common. In addition to being selected by Spillway drummer Matt Sokol, they're all performed by open-handed drummers. This means they play the hi-hat cymbal with their left hand, while their right hand plays the snare. (Most drummers cross their right hand over their left to play the hi-hat). If you're up on your open-handed drummers (Matt Sokol is an open-handed drummer himself), this week's puzzler will be a breeze! If not, well ... you might find some of these to be pretty challenging. Good luck, fellow fillers!

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

Drum Fill Friday, With Interpol's Sam Fogarino

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:45 am

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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:46 am

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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:49 am

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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:49 am

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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:49 am

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 Tue October 14, 2014 10:50 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 Tue October 14, 2014 10:50 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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:51 am

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

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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 Tue October 14, 2014 10:51 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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:51 am

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

Drum Fill Friday: Revenge Of Drum Fill

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:52 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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