All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
9:14 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

You sent us your soles!
Various for NPR

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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
1:39 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

The Good Listener: Does The World Still Need Cassettes?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the postage-paid crates we'll use to ship home the spring interns is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on cassette tapes and their utility in 2014.

Jennifer Spuehler writes via Facebook: "Will there be a place for cassette tapes in the future? What should I do with cassette tapes — especially those beloved mixtapes — that don't have a place to live anymore?

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All Songs Considered
2:24 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Photos Needed: We Want Your Sole

We Want Your Sole!
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:34 am

Our new puzzler "Sole Of A Band" mixes music with fashion by asking you to match music with a picture of an artist's shoes. I started the puzzler because I noticed that so often I could tell something about the music a person was playing by the shoes I saw them wearing.

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All Songs Considered
11:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Record Store Day Premieres From Springsteen, Devo, Joe Strummer And The Pogues, More

Clockwise from upper left: Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer during his time with The Pogues, Lydia Loveless, Devo
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:30 pm

Music nerds: gather round! This week, our show is dedicated to celebrating one of the most joyous days of the year. No, not Flag Day. Record Store Day! This Saturday, Apr. 19, is the day when masses of music lovers wait in long lines at local independent records stores, hoping to score exclusive releases on vinyl.

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All Songs Considered
1:26 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

The Sole Of A Band, April 9

Bob Boilen NPR

Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.

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All Songs Considered
10:32 am
Tue April 8, 2014

New Mix: Mirah, Fennesz, Brody Dalle, Chet Faker, More

Clockwise from upper left: Mirah, Brody Dalle, Fennesz, Chet Faker
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:20 am

This week, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton come bearing a bunch of song premieres, including a cut from singer-songwriter Mirah's first solo album in five years, Australian electronic artist Chet Faker and power punk rock singer Brody Dalle.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Viking's Choice: Swear To The Oath, Faithful Servant

The Oath.
Joe Dilworth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 7:01 am

When you name your band after a Mercyful Fate song, you'd better damn well live up to it, especially when that song swears "henceforth to be a faithful servant of his most puissant arch-angel, The Prince Lucifer." Thankfully, The Oath sounds something like the two bad-ass women in Heart raised on a healthy dose of King Diamond. So embrace the darkness and listen to "Silk Road."

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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

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All Songs Considered
8:20 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Revisionist History: 5 Crucial Frankie Knuckles Remixes

YouTube

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 9:24 am

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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
1:19 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Good Listener: What Makes An Anthem?

The Boss: Maker of anthems for the young, for the old, forever.
Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
12:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Viking's Choice: Behold, Noneuclid's Confounding Thrash Alchemy

Noneuclid.
Courtesy of the artist

When you can count the director of the Wagner Festival and Tom G. Warrior (the mastermind behind metal behemoths Celtic Frost and Triptykon) among your supporters, you must be doing something right. After all, classical music and metal aren't all that different — both can be bombastic, complex pieces of music high on drama, to put it lightly.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

The Sole Of A Band, April 3

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 6:32 am

Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.

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All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of March

Greek producer Giganta released an excellent EP, Force, on Actress' Werkdiscs label in March.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:18 pm

In the world of dance music, March will be remembered first and foremost for the passing of house progenitor Frankie Knuckles on the final day of the month. If you haven't read our remembrance by Barry Walters, please stop what you're doing and check it out. It's hard to put into words what Knuckles meant to dance music, which makes Walters' piece all the more impressive.

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All Songs Considered
10:54 am
Tue April 1, 2014

New Mix: Jack White, Ray LaMontagne, Lyla Foy, More!

Clockwise from upper left: Jack White, Teebs, Lyla Foy, Ray LaMontagne
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:05 pm

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a brand new song by Jack White. The screaming instrumental track "High Ball Stepper" is the first taste of White's second solo album, Lazaretto, which will be out on June 10.

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All Songs Considered
1:12 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Question Of The Week: Which Recent Album Will Hold Up The Best?

James Blake has a sound that draws on the past, but also points to the future. His most recent album is called Overgrown.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:04 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:49 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Which Member Of Wilco Is A Wildcat & More: A Final Four Music Quiz

Kentucky's James Young pulls up for a shot against the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 9:54 am

The Final Four is set. The No. 1 overall seed Florida Gators take on the upstart Connecticut Huskies this Saturday, followed by a matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Kentucky Wildcats.

These programs obviously have great basketball pedigree, but did you know that each of these schools have ties to some of our favorite musicians? Take this quiz to find out how the college scenes in Gainesville, Storrs, Madison and Lexington have shaped your iTunes collection.

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All Songs Considered
9:23 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

Colin Stetson at Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 12:10 pm

Every week I hear something amazing, see something inspiring and want to pass it on. These events are sometimes fleeting, sometimes iconic, but they stop me in my tracks. Bob's Rainbows is the place where I'll highlight the very best of my weekly music intake. [Editor's note: Why rainbows? They're the only naturally occurring phenomenon that can make Bob take his headphones off.]

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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
12:16 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

The Good Listener: Am I Too Old For Music Festivals?

At some point, you'll probably feel like you're too old to attend a music festival.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:04 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the hundreds of water bottles we were supposed to give away at SXSW is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when a person can rightly be considered too old to attend music festivals.

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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 Thu April 3, 2014 11:26 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
10:11 am
Tue March 25, 2014

New Mix: The Black Keys, Swans, Metronomy, More

Clockwise from upper left: The Black Keys, Tiny Ruins, Winged Victory For The Sullen, Dylan Shearer
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:09 pm

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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
10:03 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Neil Young Wants You To Truly Hear Music

Neil Young in conversation with NPR's Bob Boilen.
A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:46 pm

Neil Young wants you to truly hear the music you listen to. Over the years, the trend in audio has prioritized convenience over quality. Last week at SXSW, I had a conversation with Neil Young about an idea he has to change that trend. In this interview, he talks about Pono, the new audio player he's been helping develop. Just before the interview, I spent time listening to Pono. It's impressive.

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All Songs Considered
8:20 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Song Premiere: Merchandise, 'Figured Out'

Merchandise's new song "Figured Out" will appear on a special Record Store Day LP, along with music from Destruction Unit and Milk Music.
Timothy Saccenti Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:26 am

DIY punk bands from around the country are getting a bit more attention these days, largely due to Twitter and Bandcamp, and one of the turning points was Merchandise's 2012 album, Children of Desire. The Tampa-based band was a revelation to a lot of different music lovers; instead of the DIY garage-band stereotype, Children of Desire sounded like The Smiths. (Granted, a rough-hewn version without Morrissey's way with words, but The Smiths nonetheless).

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All Songs Considered
7:58 am
Wed March 19, 2014

SXSW 2014 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Clockwise from upper left: Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, Sylvan Esso, High As A Kite, Perfume Genius
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:55 pm

On this week's show, our hosts are joined by Stephen Thompson to discuss their favorite discoveries at SXSW. Everyone had such a swell time at the musical blitzkrieg that they came down with colds. Their respective illnesses cannot dampen the colorful and illuminating memories that they made at SXSW 2014.

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All Songs Considered
10:27 am
Tue March 18, 2014

5 Dance Moves We Learned At SXSW 2014 In GIFs

Kristina Hanses (of Swedish performance art duo Kristal and Jonny Boy) getting ready to bust a move.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Remember when you were little and you relied on friends or music videos to learn the latest dance moves? You couldn't rewind MTV to break down the steps, and you might look a fool for sashaying left instead of right, or whatnot. This is the beauty of the GIF, a motion suspended in looped animation that allows you all the time in the world to get that shimmy down. SXSW was full of crazy dance moves and we had Adam Kissick capture five worth emulating.

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All Songs Considered
12:44 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

SXSW 2014 In Pictures

Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace breaks into a smile during her band's set at the Spin day party at Stubb's.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:26 am

South by Southwest 2014 is a wrap, and it's hard to quite comprehend how much was packed into its five days. Which is why we've put together a handy guide to a small sampling of the massive quantity of music we consumed in Austin last week.

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All Songs Considered
9:41 am
Sun March 16, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Saturday

Kishi Bashi performs at The Dirty Dog in Austin, Texas during the 2014 South by Southwest Music festival.
Bob Boilen NPR
  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Saturday

Saturday at SXSW, things go over the edge. Language fails. The mind shimmies free from its moorings. Maybe it's the fatigue. Maybe it's the crowds. You could argue that the constant waves of sound that rattle eardrums over five days in Austin jars something loose inside a person's brain.

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