All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
9:27 am
Thu November 21, 2013

The Good Listener: Can You Meet Your Favorite Band Without It Getting Awkward?

You don't get many opportunities to hug Bono — better do it right!
Courtesy of beth.anderson2007 via Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:38 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the holiday gift baskets from which our interns will receive their only sustenance is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how to meet your favorite musicians without feeling like a complete stooge.

Helen Okolicsanyi writes via Facebook: "How can you not be awkward when you get a chance to meet your favorite musician in person? I never know what to say besides 'Love your music' without sounding like a fangirl."

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:59 am
Tue November 19, 2013

New Mix: Death Grips, Angel Olsen, GEMS, and More

Clockwise from upper left: Angel Olsen, Ages And Ages, Death Grips, GEMS.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:40 pm

On this episode of All Songs Considered, hear Robin Hilton explain why he has a Yo Gabba Gabba! song stuck in his head every day, and how the best remedy this week has been the new Death Grips record, Government Plates.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:13 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Pixies, 'What Goes Boom'

World premiere video for a brand new Pixies song, "What Goes Boom."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:13 pm

It's been several months since longtime Pixies bassist Kim Deal left the band, and the remaining members are still figuring out how to play together. But the group's new sound seems to coalesce on its latest single and video, "What Goes Boom."

"Since the reunion, there are sounds that I've been coming up with," guitarist Joey Santiago tells us via email. "And a lot of them just got condensed into this one song, with me going sh*thouse on guitar."

Read more
All Songs Considered
3:31 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Song Describes Your Family?

Eric Lee 20TH CENTURY FOX/FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

We need some help putting together next week's show. Thanksgiving is coming up, and for a lot of you, this means you'll be spending some close time with family. Maybe it's more time with family than you want. Or maybe you can't get enough of it. Either way, it's an opportunity to reflect on the people in our lives and how they've shaped who we are.

Read more
All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Flume And Chet Faker, 'Drop The Game'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:18 am

Nicholas Murphy chose his moniker to honor Chet Baker, the American jazz musician known both as a trumpeter and a fragile, intimate singer. The Australian electronic musician, producer and rising soul singer — a.k.a. Chet Faker — has teamed up with his countryman Flume, the 22-year-old electronic producer. Together, they're releasing this fabulous track, "Drop the Game." This isn't their first collaboration: Flume and Chet Faker worked on Flume's self-titled record, and that record is up for an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) award.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:57 am
Fri November 15, 2013

First Watch: Marian McLaughlin, 'Before You Leave'

Courtesy of the artist

I've never seen anyone play guitar quite the way Marian McLaughlin does, or sing the patterns she sings. After catching her live a few years ago, I thought this could either be someone naively noodling or deliberately taking an adventure. I've come to the conclusion it's a bit of both. You can see and hear how McLaughlin pulls this off in a new video for her song "Before You Leave."

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:50 am
Fri November 15, 2013

The Good Listener: Is There Too Much Music?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the whale-sedatives we ordered to help us endure the Green Bay Packers' losing streak is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how to handle the desire to take a break from music.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:50 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Results? The Albums Everyone Can Love

Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:07 pm

A while back (a long while back), Bob Boilen and I were sitting around the office, chatting like we do about music and life, and got to wondering: Is it possible to come up with a top ten list of albums that everyone can agree on?

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:27 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

New Mix: John Vanderslice, Hospitality, Marijuana Deathsquads, More

Clockwise from upper left: Ephel Duath, Hospitality, Toy, John Vanderslice
Courtesy of the artists

On this episode of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are still buzzing from the concerts they saw last week, from the spastic noise rock of Marijuana Deathsquads (webcast live from the 9:30 Club), to an intimate, joyful and humor-filled set by John Vanderslice.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:04 am
Tue November 12, 2013

New Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Song

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:18 pm

There's a new song from Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, and a new album coming Jan. 7, 2014. The record will be called Wig Out At Jagbags, and the new song is called "Lariat."

The former Pavement singer and guitar player says the album was influenced by a move to Germany and an odd assortment of other things, from the NBA to laziness.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:01 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do You Collect Setlists?

A remarkably illustrated setlist for musician Dan Wilson.
Anonymous Reader

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 1:33 pm

Earlier this week we asked you to submit photos of the setlists you've collected over the years. We got a lot of amazing pics. Some, such as the Elliott Smith setlist from 1999, felt like rare treasures. We've added some of our favorites to the gallery below. Click the info icon or mouse over the images for captions and explanations for each one.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:23 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Butch Walker, 'Coming Home'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:58 am

"I really wanted to stay away from anything too literal in favor of something bigger, more fantastical and ethereal." And with that concept, director Olivier Agostini completely drew me into a sweet story while turning me on to Butch Walker's new video for the song "Coming Home."

Butch Walker was a guitarist in a glam metal band (SouthGang), a singer and guitarist with Marvelous 3, and later-turned-producer for Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, and Pink. Go figure. He's also been making his own songs, and his latest is "Coming Home" from the EP Peachtree Battle.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:02 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The Good Listener: The Right And Wrong Way To Go Solo

George Michael (left) and Andrew Ridgeley both went solo after Wham! broke up. One fared just a little better than the other.
Brian Aris

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:53 am
Fri November 8, 2013

The 2013 Mountain Oasis Festival In GIFs

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, performing live at the 2013 Mt. Oasis festival.
Adam Kissick NPR Music

Late this past month, the first-ever Mountain Oasis music festival popped up in Asheville, N.C. for three days and nights of glorious weirdness. Officially called the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, the event featured bands both big (Nine Inch Nails) and small (Adventure Club), thrilling audiences with thumping dance, mind-blowing electronic, fist-pounding rock and more.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:36 am
Fri November 8, 2013

The Five Best Things About This Year's Mountain Oasis Festival

A crush of fans dance together at a Bassnectar performance, from the 2013 Mountain Oasis festival.
Adam Kissick NPR Music

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:07 am

Late last month I witnessed the most creative music festival I know, and I'm back with some astonishing new music discoveries. The first annual Mountain Oasis festival took place in a number of venues in Asheville, N.C. the weekend before Halloween. Asheville's a city that, much like Austin, Texas or Portland, Ore., lives up to that often-used slogan "Keep (insert city name here) Weird." As music pours into the streets, you'll see people dressed up as gnomes in illuminated hats, traveling in packs along with jellyfish, various monsters or even giant butterflies.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:38 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Mix: The Beatles, James Blake, Colin Meloy, More

Clockwise from top: The Beatles, James Blake, Colin Meloy, Marisa Anderson
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:53 am

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton travel through the decades for an eclectic mix of rock, folk, and, wait for it... disco.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:45 am
Tue November 5, 2013

America, The Primitive: 5 New Guitar Records That Would Make John Fahey Proud

Bill Orcutt has reinvigorated and befuddled our ideas about the guitar.
Hans van der Linden via Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:12 pm

The American Primitive guitar record is the soundtrack to the open road. It breathes in dust and exhales smoke. Blues, country, rock, psych, drone, folk, ragtime, bluegrass — it encompasses all of them and none at all. But ultimately, it's evocative of a landscape that doesn't know its boundaries. That's why, in particular, 2013 has felt like a 6- and 12-string renaissance that both celebrates and extends this music, especially since the passing of the beloved Jack Rose four years ago.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Perera Elsewhere, 'Giddy'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:06 am

The music of Perera Elsewhere sounds like it was picked up from outer space, like a strange, haunting frequency drifting through the ether from god-knows-where. So it makes sense that the Berlin-based DJ and ambient trip-hop artist brings an otherworldly vibe to life on the video for her song "Giddy."

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:56 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do Music Reviews Matter To You?

Arcade Fire's new album, Reflektor, was the target of mercilessly negative reviews. But did any of them change the way people feel about the band and its music?
Guy Aroch

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 11:56 am

Last week's merciless onslaught of negative reviews for the new Arcade Fire record, Reflektor, sparked a conversation here in the All Songs Considered office about the weight of a writer's words, and whether those words have any real effect on a band's level of success (success in this case being album sales, or otherwise building a fan base).

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:28 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Broken Bells Shares New Song, Accidentally Channels Bee Gees

Broken Bells — James Mercer (left) and Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse) — are back with a new album. After The Disco is due out in January.
James Minchin

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 8:38 am

There's soon to be a new album from Broken Bells — the duo of James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) — and you're about to find out how it all came together.

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

10 Memories Of Lou Reed

Christopher Felver CORBIS

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:31 pm

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:38 am
Fri November 1, 2013

The Good Listener: How Long Is The Perfect Concert?

We're giving The Decemberists 10 minutes with this crowd.
Courtesy of FOX

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 9:21 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the 500 pounds of generic Circus Peanuts we intend to melt down for home insulation is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for a unifying theory of concert length.

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Thu October 31, 2013

James Vincent McMorrow, 'Cavalier'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:29 am

James Vincent McMorrow first popped on our radar back in 2010, when he released his breathtakingly beautiful debut Early In The Morning, a collection of acoustic folk notable, in part, for McMorrow's remarkable voice. But it turns out McMorrow never really wanted to be a folk singer. His latest album, Post-Tropical, is a sultry, slinky R&B album, with drum machines and soul-inspired harmonies. Now comes a dark, sometimes unnerving new video for the album's first single, "Cavalier."

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:11 am
Tue October 29, 2013

New Mix: Death Cab For Cutie, Rhye's Milosh, La Luz, More

Clockwise from upper left: Death Cab For Cutie, Milosh, Swearin', La Luz
Courtesy of the artists

On this week's edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen is caught in a funk, and the only cure is copious amounts of saxophones and surf rock. To soothe his ailments, Bob introduces Moon Hooch, a group that was banned from New York City's Bedford Avenue subway stop in Brooklyn due to its danceable squeaks and squawks.

Read more
All Songs Considered
4:03 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Tyler, The Creator's Video For Anonymous Artist

The latest video directed by Tyler The Creator is from an artist who wishes to remain anonymous.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:38 am

The latest video from Odd Future co-founder Tyler, The Creator isn't at all what you might expect. The Los Angeles rapper and producer, known for his dark, dystopian hip-hop, takes on a breezy pop ballad for the short and vividly beautiful film. Tyler didn't write the song and isn't saying who did. But he was so moved by it he agreed to write and direct the video.

Read more
All Songs Considered
3:04 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Does Lou Reed's Music Mean To You?

Matthew Peyton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:48 am

Read more
All Songs Considered
5:52 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Song Premiere: Colin Meloy, 'Do You Remember Walter'

Courtesy of the artist

Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy is back with another covers project. This time its for music by The Kinks. Meloy began releasing Colin Meloy Sings cover EPs in 2005 to coincide with his various solo tours.

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Song Premiere: The Flaming Lips, 'If They Move, Shoot 'Em'

J. Michelle Martin Coyne

The Flaming Lips have always had a fondness for science fiction and fantasy, with a vast catalog of songs about robots, spontaneous human combustion, telepathy, wizards, and UFOs. The band's latest source of inspiration is the sci-fi novel (and new movie) Ender's Game, which tells the story of Earth's futuristic battle with insect-like aliens called "Buggers." A new EP from The Flaming Lips, The Peace Sword includes six songs inspired by the story, including this dark, strange, synth-heavy jam "If They Move, Shoot 'Em."

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:57 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Our Favorite Discoveries From The 2013 CMJ Music Festival

Lucius was just one of the many bands worth discovering at this year's CMJ festival.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:14 am

Every fall, hundreds of bands flock to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon, a large festival where independent, new and emerging musicians hope to be discovered. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was among the countless journalists, bloggers, college radio DJs, record label reps and others who attempted to navigate the sea of live performances, hoping to find new music to love and share.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:53 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Question Of The Week: Are Concerts Too Loud?

Fans at this GWAR show from the Roseland Ballroom seem to have no problem with the volume.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:39 am

Earlier this week we posted a poll asking whether you think concerts have gotten too loud, and whether you've started wearing earplugs at shows. After a week of voting, the results are in, and respondents have what seems to be a pretty clear message to clubs and concert venues: Turn it down!

Read more

Pages