All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
11:24 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Song Premiere: Farao, 'Hunter'

Farao
Ella Schultz Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 11:31 am

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All Songs Considered
1:36 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

All Songs +1: 'Baltimore'

When we asked listeners to tell us about a song they turned to this week — one that spoke in some way to weighty events unfolding around the world and how they felt — we weren't sure what we'd get. Would it be mostly songs of solace? Songs of grief, or anger?

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All Songs Considered
1:09 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For May 1

Steve Gadd performs live in 1980.
Ed Perlstein Redferns/Getty Images

Last week's Drum Fill Friday was a tough one: I'd give it four out of five stars for difficulty. One thing that's nice about the tougher games is that they can turn you on to some great songs and bands you've never heard before. That said, I tamed this week's puzzler a bit — more like two out of five stars — so hopefully you'll be a little more familiar with the fills, while still feeling challenged. As always, good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
12:10 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

All Songs At 15: Stephin Merritt Writes And Records A Song In Two Days

Stephin Merritt records a Project Song for NPR.
NPR

This past week we held a listening party in Denver, and one of the songs we played for the crowd was Stephin Merrit's "Book Of Love," from his album 69 Love Songs, by The Magnetic Fields. Our panelist, Amelia Mason, writer for WBUR's The ARTery, called it a perfect song, and many of us in the room agreed.

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All Songs Considered
11:10 am
Thu April 30, 2015

What Song Did You Turn To This Week?

Clockwise from upper left: A woman faces riot police in Baltimore (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images); A woman and child sit amid earthquake ruble in Nepal (Omar Havana/Getty Images); Demonstrators outside the supreme court (Drew Angerer/Getty)
Getty Images

All Songs is a music podcast, and we like to have fun. But music can speak to significant political, cultural and social events that can be challenging to process on their own. Songs can spark a protest or offer peace of mind, or just be close companions.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Viking's Choice: Weedeater, 'Bully'

Weedeater.
Scott Kinkade Courtesy of the artist

Guys, the sticky is not the only thing on Weedeater's mind. Truth is, these Southern sludge rabble-rousers have been through some hard times — health scares, a lost member — but that doesn't shake up their fifth album, Goliathan. At 1:47, "Bully" isn't technically Weedeater's shortest song (if you count intros and interludes), but is a squirrely sludge-punk bruiser with bassist Dixie Dave cackling like a supervillain.

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All Songs Considered
10:56 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

Top row: Audience members rate the music during our All Songs Considered listening party. Bottom row, left to right: Susan Rogers, Bob Boilen, Amelia Mason, James Reed, Stephen Thompson.
NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:53 pm

Why do we like falsetto so much? Why is melody the single most important part of a song? And why does country music move (or repel) us? These are just a few of the questions that popped up during our All Songs Considered listening party in Boston last week.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Listen To A New Song By Mates Of State

Mates Of State's new EP, You're Going To Make It, comes out June 16.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 9:24 am

Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel aren't the first married couple to write songs about the challenges and celebrations inherent to lifelong love, but few focus more intently on a sense of play. Still, there's nothing naive or unrealistic about their songs: When they sing, "Love loud / Don't lose loud" in 2008's "The Re-Arranger," they're taking care to package a sweet little two-word slogan with a subtle but potent reminder that loving loudly is a job of endless maintenance.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

The Good Listener: Why Do People Hate Nickelback So Much?

Leave Nickelback alone!
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside flyers that assume we have the means to acquire luxury items is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: thoughts on the intensity of online backlash.

Andy S. writes via email: "Why do certain bands get singled out for seemingly out-of-proportion online hate? (See: Nickelback.)"

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All Songs Considered
12:33 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Cayetana's Kelly Olsen

Kelly Olsen at the kit for the Philadelphia-based rock trio Cayetana, performing at NPR Music's CMJ music festival show.
Loren Wohl for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 1:46 pm

This week's guest Quizmaster is Kelly Olsen, drummer for the Philadelphia-based rock trio Cayetana. This is one of our favorite new bands of the past year. We featured Cayetana in a live concert webcast from New York during last fall's CMJ music festival, and most recently for their video for the song "Scott Get The Van, I'm Moving."

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All Songs Considered
10:16 am
Fri April 24, 2015

All Songs +1: Why We Like The Music We Like

Guests hold up ratings cards at an All Songs Considered listening party in Boston.
Kelly Davidson for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:36 pm

What goes on in your brain when you hear a new song? Is there a formula for what makes a perfect pop song? What's better, something brand new, or something familiar? It's nearly impossible to completely explain or understand why we like the music we like. But Susan Rogers, a music cognition expert and associate professor of music production and engineering at the Berklee College of Music, gets closer to making sense of it than we've heard before.

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All Songs Considered
9:55 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Come To A Screening of 'Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)'

Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat in 1983.
Jim Saah Courtesy of the artist

For a solid decade, Washington, D.C. was firmly on the map as the punk capital of the nation. During the 1980s, you could see Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Fugazi and Mission Impossible (featuring a 16-year-old Dave Grohl) in DIY spaces all over town. And what made it vital and game changing was that do-it-yourself ethos: no corporate anything, no major labels, just kids burning with energy, rage and creativity.

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All Songs Considered
9:15 am
Thu April 23, 2015

All Songs At 15: From 2008, Songs Of Hope And Change

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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All Songs Considered
12:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

All Songs Considered: Hear Brand New My Morning Jacket, More

Clockwise from upper left: My Morning Jacket, Sharon Van Etten, Matt Pond PA, Desaparecidos
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 8:18 am

On today's All Songs Considered, we're hitting you with several premieres, beginning a heavy cut from My Morning Jacket's latest studio album, The Waterfall. On "Believe (Nobody Knows)," front man Jim James seeks meaning and truth in an uncertain world, while hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton consider a life of possibilities.

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All Songs Considered
8:01 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Viking's Choice: KEN mode, 'These Tight Jeans'

KEN mode.
Brenna Faris Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:13 am

KEN mode has always been a noise-rock band that could hang with the metal crowd. The Winnipeg trio often bolsters its heavy, angular riffs with burly bass lines and muscular drumming, and knows when to bring the grind. But with its sixth album, Success, KEN mode scales back its metallic tendencies to bring it all back home to the sort of treble-heavy freakouts found on albums by Cop Shoot Cop, Drive Like Jehu and Big Black.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat April 18, 2015

The Good Listener: How Much Should I Tip A Street Musician?

Tipping is customary for good service.
iStockphoto.com

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside bales of deep-discounted Easter candy is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on buskers, tipping and etiquette.

Holly R. writes via email: "How much of a tip is good for the street-side musician with a cup at his feet? What about for one playing in a bar?"

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All Songs Considered
11:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

All Songs +1: Our Record Store Day Must-Haves

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:37 pm

Record Store Day is that magical day each spring (this year it's Saturday, April 18) when geeks like us line up outside their favorite music shops to get their hands on a bunch of vinyl exclusives. These are the albums, EPs and singles bands and labels put out just to celebrate the day.

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All Songs Considered
9:02 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Viking's Choice: Pygmy Lush, 'On A Plain (Nirvana Cover)'

Pygmy Lush.
Alex Christopher Williams Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:18 am

It took seven years for Robotic Empire to finish its tribute to Nirvana's In Utero, featuring covers by Thursday, Jay Reatard, Ceremony and Thou. With a lineup like that, it's no wonder the vinyl sold out quickly on Record Store Day.

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All Songs Considered
8:17 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Jess Gowrie Of Happy Fangs

Happy Fangs drummer Jess Gowrie, getting it done.
Jen Cash Calibree Photography

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 1:03 pm

This week's guest Quizmaster is Jess Gowrie, drummer with the San Francisco-based band Happy Fangs. Earlier this year the group released its debut full-length, Capricorn, a collection of lean, raw and noisy guitar rock cuts anchored by Gowrie's bone-breaking beats. Given her love of power-hitters, some of the fills she selected for this week's Drum Fill Friday should come as no surprise. But there are at least a couple of unexpected picks here. As always, good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
12:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Songs We Love: Wolf Alice, 'Bros'

Wolf Alice
Jordan Curtis Hughes

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:38 am

The North London rock group Wolf Alice has been picking up steam this year with a potent mix of vintage '90s rock, electronics and moody atmospherics. It's a sound that both shimmers and glowers — part The Sundays, part Smashing Pumpkins.

Wolf Alice dances along this line memorably on "Bros," the latest cut from the band's upcoming full length debut My Love Is Cool. Propelled by lead singer Ellie Rowsell's stirring voice, the song is a celebratory but wistful reflection on the waning years of youth.

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All Songs Considered
9:56 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Highasakite, 'Heavenly Father'

Norwegian band Highasakite covers Bon Iver's "Heavenly Father."
Aleksander Jason Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:38 am

When Bon Iver's Justin Vernon saw Norway's Highasakite perform at the 2012 Oya Festival in Oslo, he fell in love. Soon the two bands were touring together. Now the only band I know that tours with a flugabone has taken one of Vernon's songs and made it even more majestic than the original.

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All Songs Considered
8:34 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Viking's Choice: Radioactivity, 'Silent'

Radioactivity includes members of The Marked Men, Mind Spiders and Bad Sports.
Courtesy of the artist

After two decades in punk rock, Jeff Burke still writes songs with the ecstatic energy of a kid picking up a guitar for the first time. Among the Denton, Texas, guitarist and singer's several bands, the most beloved is the currently dormant The Marked Men, which is why the similar sensibility of Radioactivity's self-titled 2013 album was such a welcome surprise. With guitarist/vocalist Mark Ryan (Mind Spiders) in tow, it was essentially The Marked Men 2.0.

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All Songs Considered
2:23 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Songs We Love: Algiers, 'Black Eunuch'

Algiers' self-titled debut album is out June 2.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:43 am

If I had to pick one new band that you should absolutely listen to, it's Algiers, three young men who grew up in Atlanta. Sonically, they make really eerie gospel music that's a rock-inspired amalgamation of all different stuff. In "Black Eunuch," you can hear the sounds of both black and white churches of the South and great guitars. Though they now live in London and New York, their roots are definitely southern based and their lyrics deal with the conservative politics of where they grew up. I've never seen them before and they're completely new to me.

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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Viking's Choice: Circuit Des Yeux, 'Fantasize The Scene'

Circuit des Yeux.
Julia Dratel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 12:06 pm

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All Songs Considered
11:47 am
Tue April 14, 2015

New Mix: Built To Spill, The Milk Carton Kids, Brown Bird, Protomartyr

Clockwise from upper left: Built To Spill, Brown Bird, Holly Miranda, The Milk Carton Kids
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:50 pm

Idaho's Built to Spill were one of the most beloved rock acts of the '90s and now the indie rock pioneers are back with a new rhythm section and the band's first album since 2009. This week on All Songs Considered, we bring you a new track from upcoming album Untethered Moon, which you can hear in its entirety on First Listen.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Viking's Choice: Tau Cross, 'Fire In The Sky'

Tau Cross.
Courtesy of the artist

When Amebix returned after two decades with 2011's Sonic Mass, it was an adventurous take on the crust-punk legacy the English band had left behind. Unfortunately, it was the only album to come out of the reunion, but that lush, brooding, melodic sound continues and evolves with Tau Cross, bassist/vocalist Rob Miller's new band featuring members of Voivod, Misery and War//Plague. Case in point, here's "Fire In The Sky" from Tau Cross' self-titled debut.

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All Songs Considered
12:13 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Hear Protomartyr's New Song With The Breeders' Kelley Deal

Protomartyr's split 7" with Kelley Deal's band R. Ring is out June 16.
Courtesy of the artist

"Take it from somebody who knows." The opening words to Protomartyr's new single, "Blues Festival," are sung by frontman Joe Casey, but they could easily refer to the song's star guest vocalist, Kelley Deal of the Breeders. Deal has lived through a lot in the past 20-plus years, from opening for Nirvana in the early '90s to doing the whole "reunion" thing with her identical twin sister Kim, to releasing small-batch 7" singles by her most recent project, R. Ring.

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All Songs Considered
11:15 am
Fri April 10, 2015

All Songs +1: Your Song Of The Week, Kendrick Lamar's 'King Kunta'

Kendrick Lamar's latest album is To Pimp A Butterfly, which includes the song, "King Kunta," the number one song in our listener survey this week.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:37 pm

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With The Vaccines' Pete Robertson

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 11:01 am

This week's guest Quizmaster is Pete Robertson, drummer for the English rock group The Vaccines. The band recently announced a new full-length, English Graffiti, due out May 26. It's their first ever recorded in the U.S.

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All Songs Considered
1:18 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

All Songs At 15: What A Life Of Rock And Roll Will Do To You

Courtesy of the host

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

This week's Throwback Thursday is offered without comment, and just enough context to help us make our point:

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