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
1:39 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Okkervil River: Coming Of Age In Small Town America

Click to see an interactive map of Meriden, N.H., with stories from Okkervil River's Will Sheff about his childhood there.
William Schaff

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:15 pm

I grew up in a town of about 6,000 people in rural Kansas back in the '70s and '80s. I've never romanticized it much, though it was certainly a simpler time and, for better or worse, it's where I learned to make some sense of my life. The world you inhabit when you come of age in your teen years has a way of digging its claws in you. As the years pass, no matter how far you try to get away from it, it stays with you. The people, the places, the sounds and even the smells become a part of your DNA.

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All Songs Considered
2:38 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Question Of The Week: Where Do You Stand To See Shows?

Ned Dishman Getty Images

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All Songs Considered
11:18 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Tom Stoppard's Daring 'Dark Side Of The Moon' Makeover

Posters of the iconic prism cover art from Pink Floyd's psychedelic masterpiece The Dark Side Of The Moon still adorn countless college dorm walls, 40 years after its release.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 8:51 am

Few albums hold a place in the hearts and minds of its fans (myself included) quite like Pink Floyd's psychedelic masterpiece The Dark Side Of The Moon. In the four decades since its release, it remains, for many, an almost sacred work of art, endlessly dissected by legions of fans dying to to unravel its myriad mysteries. What are all those background voices really saying? What does its iconic prism cover art mean?

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All Songs Considered
3:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Are The Best Apps For Making Music?

Apple's Garage Band for the iPad and iPhone includes virtual instruments, such as piano and drums, you can play like the real thing.
 

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:57 am

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All Songs Considered
9:16 am
Mon August 12, 2013

First Watch: Ra Ra Riot, 'Binary Mind'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:40 pm

Syracuse-based rock group Ra Ra Riot's latest album, Beta Love, is steeped heavily in science fiction and futurist theories, with tales of robots, lives stranded in space and, on the song "Binary Mind," the merging of computers and human brains. In a new video for the track, the band members' disembodied heads playfully float and bob in a kaleidoscopic, digital landscape.

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All Songs Considered
10:45 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Ty Segall Talks About His Latest Album, 'Sleeper'

The insanely prolific, mega-awesome rock guitarist and singer Ty Segall.
Denee Petracek

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 6:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:31 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Question Of The Week: Who's The New Dylan?

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan performing Aug. 28, 1963 at the March On Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech.
Rowland Scherman/National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 8:26 am

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All Songs Considered
8:26 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Why The Newport Folk Festival Is So Special

Mito Habe-Evans NPR Music

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 1:48 pm

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All Songs Considered
8:28 am
Tue July 16, 2013

New Video From David Bowie: 'Valentine's Day'

Courtesy of the artist

The latest in a series of videos for David Bowie's album The Next Day isn't a big budget spectacle, but it is thrilling and intense. The video, for the song "Valentine's Day," places Bowie in some sort of industrial, concrete warehouse with just his guitar. But Bowie's penetrating gaze and gritty delivery turns an otherwise benign performance into a chilling scene.

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All Songs Considered
1:24 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Music Will You Be Nostalgic For In 20 Years?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 5:26 am

Earlier this week week we asked you to look ahead 20 years from now, and guess what music from today you'll be the most nostalgic about. There were some great suggestions, including Wilco, Outkast and Sufjan Stevens.

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All Songs Considered
12:05 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Question Of The Week: What's Your Karaoke Jam?

Rick Diamond Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:21 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:09 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Question Of The Week: What's Your Stereo?

We asked readers what system they listen on, here is reader Andrew Limpic's music listening set up.
NPR Audience

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 6:55 pm

My first stereo had a built-in 8-track player, a turntable and a radio. My parents bought it at a local discount store for what probably seemed like a fortune to them at the time, and I used it for years. My mom eventually sold it at a garage sale. It wasn't that nice of course, but I'd love to have it back.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

First Watch: Majical Cloudz, 'Bugs Don't Buzz'

Cockroaches and beetles slither through a miniature world in a new video from Majical Cloudz.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:05 am

I won't lie to you. The new video from Majical Cloudz, for the Canadian electro-pop duo's song "Bugs Don't Buzz," is kinda gross. There are scenes so strange and slimy, I'm not even sure what's going on. But, set to what is an undeniably gorgeous, if plaintive love song, the imagery from director Gordon von Steiner is strangely transfixing. I couldn't stop watching.

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All Songs Considered
8:27 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Veteran Band Should Have A Comeback?

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 12:29 pm

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All Songs Considered
7:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

First Watch: Low, 'Plastic Cup'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:01 am

"Plastic Cup," the moody opening cut to Low's latest album, The Invisible Way, recalls a friend's substance abuse, a lifetime of dependence on others and a soul-crushing future of pointless drug tests. But in a strange new video for the song, director Ryley Fogg takes those themes in a dark and curious direction. Creepy, hooded figures intercut with black-and-white images of the band performing in period costumes.

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All Songs Considered
1:11 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Question Of The Week: What's Your Favorite Song Of 2013 (So Far)?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:03 am

Earlier this week, while we were prepping our list of favorite songs and albums of 2013 (so far), we asked you to tell us your own No. 1 track for the first half of the year.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Mon June 10, 2013

First Watch: Young Galaxy, 'New Summer'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:01 pm

The latest video for the Canadian electro-pop band Young Galaxy is a study in stark, disturbing contrasts. "Here it comes again, the beautiful, warm weather," sings frontwoman Catherine McCandless, just as all hell breaks loose.

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All Songs Considered
1:03 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

First Watch: Grant Olney, 'Not From Body'

A tiny owl tries to find its way in the world, in a new animated video from singer-songwriter Grant Olney.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 7:15 pm

When singer-songwriter Grant Olney started working on his latest album, Hypnosis For Happiness, he never imagined it'd take six years to finish. But after laying down the first tracks in 2006, Olney left for the U.K. and the Netherlands to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. After finishing a 300-page dissertation on something called "high dimensional geometry," Olney returned to music and found himself reflecting on identity, friendship and what it means to really know someone. It's a knotty mix of emotions and ideas he tackles in a touching new video for the song "Not From Body."

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Fri May 24, 2013

What Does It Mean To Listen?

Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock uses a massive ear trumpet to really listen.
Wendy Lynch

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:00 pm

We got a lot of thoughtful comments and replies from readers this week when we asked whether they really listen to full albums from start to finish. Much of the discussion focused on the ways we listen and what constitutes actually engaging with an entire album in a full-on listening, as opposed to merely having it on.

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All Songs Considered
11:08 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Do You Really Listen To Full Albums?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:17 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:34 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

First Watch: Sam Amidon, 'As I Roved'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:30 am

Vermont folksinger Sam Amidon says he intentionally borrowed lines from older songs for his new mountain ballad "As I Roved Out." The result is an erratic narrative, played out brilliantly in an absorbing (and comical) new video about a

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All Songs Considered
1:09 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

First Watch: Exitmusic, 'White Noise'

Courtesy of the artist

Exitmusic's Passages was one of 2012's darkest and most arresting ambient rock albums. Now, the band returns with an equally transfixing new video for one of the album's standout tracks, "White Noise."

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All Songs Considered
1:29 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

First Watch: Telekinesis, 'Empathetic People'

Scene from the Telekinesis video "Empathetic People."
Courtesy of the artist

In the latest video from Seattle-based pop masters Telekinesis, for the song "Empathetic People," frontman Michael Benjamin Lerner ambles into an abandoned record-pressing factory and gets it running again. It's a curious glimpse into one of the last gasps of industry keeping music tethered to the physical world.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do You Hear Music When You Dream?

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
11:53 am
Mon April 29, 2013

How Are Your Music Tastes Changing As You Get Older?

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:40 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:30 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

First Watch: Yellow Red Sparks, 'A Play To End All Plays'

Scene from the Yellow Red Sparks video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:47 pm

The songs of Yellow Red Sparks, a folk-pop trio based in California, are twisted tales told through cinematic, often epic orchestrations. In the group's spectacular and creepy new video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays," a couple's failed relationship is acted out like an old circus sideshow before a finger-wagging audience. Frontman Joshua Hanson, who appears as the play's host, indicts the lovers with a surprisingly infectious melody and old-timey instrumentation.

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All Songs Considered
10:52 am
Mon April 22, 2013

What Are Your Top Five Album Covers?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:24 pm

This past week we lost one of the greatest album cover art designers of all time. Britain's Storm Thorgerson, who died last Thursday, was just 69 years old. He'd spent more than 40 years designing and orchestrating some of the most iconic album covers of all time. Even if you don't know the name Storm Thorgerson, you know his work. That prism on the cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon? That was his.

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All Songs Considered
12:52 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

NPR Is Relocating: What's The Best Song About Moving On?

Twenty years after if first opened, NPR's old headquarters is being torn down. The network is moving to a new building at 1111 North Capitol street NE.
Marie McGory NPR

Editor's note: NPR is moving from its longtime home of 635 Mass. Ave. in Washington, D.C. to new digs a few blocks away. All the planning and packing has made NPR Music's Robin Hilton a bit reflect-y on all the time he's spent with the old building.

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All Songs Considered
2:21 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

First Watch: STRFKR, 'Beach Monster'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:20 pm

The new video for STRFKR's song "Beach Monster" is an absolute horror show disguised as a breezy day at the sea. The band members, decked out in matching Buddy Holly suits and glasses, play against an blank blue background while staring blankly into the camera. The scene is intercut with a smiling couple at the beach with two children who draw in the sand and uncover something deadly.

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All Songs Considered
12:48 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Song Premiere: Emily Wells, 'Los Angeles'

Courtesy of the artist

Singer and violinist Emily Wells was one of our favorite discoveries at last year's South by Southwest music festival. Her 2012 album Mama was a surprising and beautiful mix of hip-hop beats and strings, with folk-flavored pop arrangements. Now Wells is back with a re-imagined, all-acoustic version of Mama, with the songs stripped bare and her voice more fragile than ever.

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