All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
8:18 am
Sun September 8, 2013

All Aboard A Magical Mystery Train

One of the nine restored train cars that are part of the Station to Station public art project. This car is called Lambert's Point Executive Lounge
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:24 am

What happens when you fill nine train cars with noisemaking musicians Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Japan's The Boredoms, LA's fuzzed-out Ariel Pink and more?

I'm about to find out.

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All Songs Considered
3:04 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Good Listener: When Playing Music At Work, Can You Please Everyone?

Can you please keep your Geto Boys down? I'm looking for my stapler.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:23 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the helpful slips from FedEx reminding us that we have to be at home to receive their package even though most people work during the day, for pete's sake is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for ideas for how to play music in the office without irritating people.

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All Songs Considered
11:45 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Dancing Vegetables, Singing Ground Beef: TMBG's Old-School Video

Courtesy of the artist

They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and John Linnell have just delivered an old-school video — think "early days of MTV" — and it's a pleasure to see. Over the course of 16 albums, the two Johns (first as a duo and later as bandleaders) have always kept humor at the core of their sound and general attitude. They continue the tradition with "You're On Fire," the first single from their 25-song, 45-minute album Nanobots.

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All Songs Considered
9:30 am
Tue September 3, 2013

New Music: Paul McCartney, Moby, Tim Hecker And More

Clockwise from upper left: Paul McCartney, King Khan & The Shrines, Moby, Tim Hecker.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:17 am

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, ­co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton jump into fall by playing songs from big upcoming releases by Paul McCartney, Moby and Tim Hecker.

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All Songs Considered
11:33 am
Fri August 30, 2013

First Watch: Banda Magda, 'Ce Soir'

Scene from the Banda Magda video to the song "Ce Soir."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:39 pm

As this summer lopes towards its inevitable close, we're still hankering for one last dose of a day at the beach: bright, sunny, full of daytime languor and the tantalizing promise of a fabulous night. And what sates that desire perfectly is the totally charming tune "Ce Soir" ("Tonight"), from the New York-based group Banda Magda.

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All Songs Considered
9:42 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Good Listener: Why Would Anyone Keep Buying CDs?

In the video for Superchunk's "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo," music fans hold up copies of their favorite albums — no MP3s included.
Courtesy of Merge Records

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:13 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid our next-door neighbor's copy of Soldier of Fortune is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, multiple requests for help deciding when it's time to bail on an outdated music format.

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All Songs Considered
2:20 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

'The Worse Things Get': Life Lessons From Neko Case

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 3:51 pm

On her latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, singer Neko Case lays her heart — and her healthy sense of humor — bare. It's a deeply personal record that, among other things, offers intimate, sometimes wry meditations on the recent loss of both of her parents and a grandmother. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and I spoke with Neko Case about the music, and shared questions from listeners, in this interview that we originally webcast live on Aug. 29.

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All Songs Considered
6:25 am
Thu August 29, 2013

First Watch: Zola Jesus, 'Fall Back'

Courtesy of the artist

I suppose it would be natural, if you grew up relatively isolated in a Wisconsin forest, to find yourself fascinated by cities. And so it is for the 24-year-old Russian-American singer Nika Roza Danilova, best known as Zola Jesus. In the video for her song "Fall Back," from the new album Versions, we see Nika in two settings: the vast coldness of urban concrete and the nature of the forest. "Shooting in the forest was very important," Nika writes. "The forest is raw and naked, which is in line for my intent for Versions.

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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
6:14 am
Tue August 27, 2013

New Music: TV On The Radio, Rokia Traore, Lucius, More

Clockwise from upper left: TV On The Radio, Jackson And His Computerband, Lucius, Luray, Rokia Traore
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 8:43 am

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, co-host Bob Boilen basks in the glory of his return by making fellow co-host Robin Hilton enjoy the musings of a box that when opened plays affirming statements with Bob's name that was gifted to him by a secret admirer.

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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
12:35 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Good Listener: When Is It OK To Wear Headphones In Public?

As Melissa McCarthy's etiquette-minded character in Bridesmaids demonstrates, there's nothing wrong with wearing headphones on an airplane.
Suzanne Hanover Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:33 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the monthly bale of sunflower seeds we've decided to order from Amazon Prime via subscription is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for advice on when and where it's courteous to wear headphones in public.

Brian Bowen writes via Facebook: "When is it OK to wear headphones in public — in transit, at work, during events large or small, standing in line at the post office, etc.?"

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All Songs Considered
9:53 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Hear Dan Casey's Restless Mind At Work On 'Empty City'

Dan Casey
Tue Nam Ton Courtesy of the artist

It takes a bit longer than a full minute before Berkeley, California-based artist Dan Casey's song "Empty City" builds to its gorgeous swirl of vocal harmonies, drum machines and hook-laden guitar riffs, but the sonic pay off is worth every second. At the heart of the song lies a unique mix of bright guitar lines intertwining with up-tempo electronic production that illustrates Casey's mastery at layering the sounds from his head.

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All Songs Considered
12:15 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Viking's Choice: Smoke-Filled Riffs Clobber The Air In Windhand's 'Orchard'

Windhand.
Tony Lynch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 6:42 pm

Windhand is one of those body-rattling bands whose decibels clobber the smoke-filled air. This is especially true in a live setting, in which masses of people are drawn to the riffs like moths. The Richmond stoner-metal band gets close to that desperately heavy live vibe on its second album, Soma, especially in "Orchard."

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All Songs Considered
8:47 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Hear How A Song Takes Shape

Jordan Geiger of the band Hospital Ships.
Adam Smith Courtesy of the artist

Did you want to hear how a song evolves? How a single spark of inspiration transforms into words and then melody and finally a fully produced complex production?

Jordon Gieger, known by the moniker Hospital Ships, has unveiled his journey as a songwriter for us. "Desolation Waltz" is a song Geiger began writing in Columbus, Ohio after "listening to a very fiery preacher on the radio, who would break into little melodies in the middle of his sermons. I decided to write songs a capella, in my car."

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All Songs Considered
6:12 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

New Music: Nine Inch Nails, Earl Sweatshirt, Juana Molina, More

Clockwise from upper left: Juana Molina, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Earl Sweatshirt, The Goldberg Sisters (Adam Goldberg)
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:38 am

All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton has been feeling a little dazed and confused lately, so host Bob Boilen gives him a "sonic hug" with a new song from the Austin, Texas rock band The Octopus Project. Robin follows with a surprising cut from the first new Nine Inch Nails album in five years. NPR's Sami Yenigun brings a healthy dose of dance beats from Seven Davis Jr.

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All Songs Considered
12:06 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Program A Dance Party For Kids?

All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Viking's Choice: Violins Swarm In SubRosa's Heavy 'Dead Empire'

SubRosa.
Brandon Garcia Courtesy of the artist

Doom is as doom does. No matter how many sub-sub genre tags you put on it — blackened, atmospheric, sludge, bedazzled (okay, I made that up, but what if) — all descend from Black Sabbath. But you knew that. Doom thrives on repetition, in both its riffs and its tributes. The Salt Lake City doom-metal band SubRosa isn't out to reinvent the stone wheel, but it does offer a unique perspective by looking back to America's melancholic folk roots for something darker and more soulful.

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All Songs Considered
1:24 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

New Music: Cults, Avett Brothers, Kishi Bashi, More

Clockwise from upper left: Cults, Lily and Madeleine, Kishi Bashi, The Avett Brothers
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 1:32 pm

While the cat's away, the mice will play rock-and-roll! On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, with Bob Boilen on vacation (to hunt through the treasure trove of memorabilia in his basement), co-host Robin Hilton and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson attempt to fulfill their vision of a perfect bizarro world episode, with premieres from Cults, Minor Alps, Weed and more.

One question remains: Can Bob really resist the temptation of trying to ruin Stephen's vision of a Bob-less show? Hear the show to find out.

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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
12:17 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Break Into Music Journalism?

The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 7:12 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the heavily taped packages that can't be opened without the aid of a utility knife and a blowtorch is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: an array of tips for anyone hoping to launch and sustain a career in music journalism.

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Viking's Choice: Stunning High Aura'd Video Reminds Us That Snails Are A Real Thing

A still from "Remain in Light."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:46 am

We forget to listen closer, look closer. As a big-picture kind of guy, I do that myself, and that means missing details that make day-to-day life more vivid. Listening to High Aura'd, it's apparent that creator John Kolodij hears life with great clarity. Last year's Sanguine Features was a personal favorite of mine: a dark and buzzing LP that, when turned up loud, felt like a dark hallway with treasures tucked away in the corners.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Song Premiere: The Avett Brothers, 'Another Is Waiting'

The Avett Brothers will release Magpie and the Dandelion on Oct. 15
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:46 am

It hasn't even been 11 full months since The Avett Brothers released The Carpenter, the North Carolina band's most recent collection of poignant and infectious, bluegrass-inflected folk-rock.

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All Songs Considered
2:12 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

First Watch: Nora Jane Struthers, 'Bike Ride'

Courtesy of the artist

For those who haven't yet discovered Nora Jane Struthers, the summery song "Bike Ride" is a great introduction to her beguiling, well-considered worldview. The first time Struthers sings the song's most important line — "I can go anywhere" — the phrase rises up out of her throat, free, wide open. The second time, a phrase later, she clamps down on it with some grit. "'Bike Ride' is a song about a re-awakening," the 29-year-old Nashville resident said in a recent email. "When you propel yourself forward through time and space on your own steam, you realize your own agency."

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Viking's Choice: Vattnet Viskar Blast Beats Into Oblivion In 'Mythos'

Vattnet Viskar.
Kenzy Dion Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:34 am

Vattnet Viskar's self-titled 2012 EP blazed through atmospheric, doom-ridden black metal with authority; it had promise for a style that's been mined endlessly in recent years.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Stars: 'Wishful' Thinking In A Fizzy New Song

Stars will release a new 7" single, "Wishful"/"The Light," on Sept. 10.
Norman Wong

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:08 am

The Montreal pop band Stars wears many faces, literally and figuratively: Singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell swap lead vocals in songs that range from effervescent pop-rock to grandiose dance music to melancholy, string-enhanced dirges. With so much to choose from in the group's toolbox, a few gems are bound to get left off its records — a wrong Stars will help right with a new single next month.

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All Songs Considered
1:16 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

First Watch: The Garifuna Collective, 'Ubou'

Courtesy of the artist

It's been six years since Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective brought the beautifully rich music of the Garifuna people to international consciousness. Their 2007 album Watina became an instant classic, and probably did more than anything else to bring this culture and language to an international audience. But less than a year after Watina's release, Palacio, a vocalist and guitarist, was suddenly gone: dead of a heart attack and stroke at age 47.

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