All Songs Considered

It's been almost five years since Phish had a new album of songs. Today, we're happy to announce that Fuego, the band's twelfth studio album, will be out on June 24. That's the album cover above. The album's ten songs were premiered live by the band on Halloween 2013 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton kick off this week's All Songs Considered with a song that's 160 years old but still resonates. Guitarist Marisa Anderson offers a transporting, solo electric version of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," an ever-relevant tune about pausing to enjoy "life's pleasures and count its many tears."

In 1963, Alabama was culturally closer to Brooklyn than it is now. The Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South created enclaves in cities all over the country, and the Civil Rights movement trained the eyes of the North on cities like Birmingham. Alabama native Naomi Shelton came to Brooklyn that year with the gospel in her heart and soul music turning her head. She found a place to sing, a bar on Flatbush Avenue, and a musical partner in keyboardist Cliff Driver. Flatbush Avenue rang out with the sound of her Southern blend of grace and grit.

A new Bob Dylan recording popped up on his site just now. You have to go there to hear it — it's a version of the classic 1945 song, "Full Moon and Empty Arms." The tune is written by Buddy Kaye — known for writing hits for Sinatra, Ella and Elvis — and Ted Mossman, and based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

At the office, in the classroom, in line at the bank, at your own wedding — there's really no wrong place to play air guitar. But the best spot is on public transportation, when you're crammed into a mass of unknown bodies about to experience the fury of a righteous guitar solo no one can hear but yourself.

Song Premiere: Protect-U, 'Distored'

May 9, 2014

"Distored" is a gritty techno track with a heartwarming story behind it — and, like so many stories, it began one night in Paris.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the flyer for a maid service that disappeared into a massive pile of papers is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when to deviate from traditional wedding-reception music.

After a few weeks of guest Quizmasters, I'm back with one of my own special blends. I'd call this a top-40 mix or, as some might say, some pretty low-hanging fruit in the world of drum fills and intros. I'm expecting a lot of 5 out of 5 scores, so don't let me down!

As always, if you have a drum fill (or intro), or drummer you'd like to hear included in one of these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday

Song Premiere: Braid, 'Bang'

May 8, 2014

We're now at the point where there's a good possibility that any of your most favorite (or most hated) '90s bands will give it another go. The shows can be great for fans new and old, but we sometimes grit our teeth when that band wants to hit the studio again. It's OK to be hesitant because, to update a parable, do we really want to pour new PBRs into old, skunked tallboys?

Well, the emo OGs in Braid have returned with their first full-length album in 16 years, No Coast, and "Bang" is our first sip.

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

Tori Amos has spent the past several years exploring other worlds of music. She released two albums of classical-inspired work, including a collection of her earlier pop songs retooled as orchestral tracks. Most recently she helped write a musical for the London National Theater. But this month Amos is back with Unrepentant Geraldines, a new album filled with her signature piano-driven baroque pop songs.

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of April

May 2, 2014

Another month means another Recommended Dose from All Songs Considered. We listen to literally hundreds of new electronic music tracks each month, test the standouts on some very loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix.

You can stream this month's mix here or on NPR Music's SoundCloud page. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the Pokemon games we purchased for our kids even though they're entirely indistinguishable from the other Pokemon games we've purchased for our kids is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what it means (and whether it's even possible) to sell out as a musician.

If you think my picks for these weekly puzzlers were hard, try guessing the ones selected by an actual drummer. Charlie Hall, who anchors the Philadelphia-based rock group The War On Drugs, is this week's guest quizmaster. He offers an eclectic, surprising and (for me anyway) challenging batch of fills and intros to identify. See how you do!

New Mix: tUnE-yArDs, Roy Orbison, More

Apr 29, 2014

On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen kicks things off with "Water Fountain," a breathless cut from the new tUnE-yArDs album Nikki Nack.

At SXSW this year, I found myself wondering whether Banks was even a real person: Every time I tried to catch one of her shows, the venue was filled to capacity, with no hope of ingress. My curiosity had been piqued by a string of intriguing singles and remixes, each of which showcased a nifty juxtaposition of coolly expressive vocals and forbidding but beautiful electronics. But I left empty-handed, forced to file her name away for later exploration.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the two quart-size tubs of barbecue sauce is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on recording and trading live shows for our private enjoyment.

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Michael Lerner, drummer for the band The Antlers. Lerner is on the short list of current favorite drummers. His work is always melodic, never too busy or indulgent. But he also never settles for the straight up four on the floor. I found the fills he selected for this week's puzzler to be... challenging. But see what you think.

Viking's Choice: Lantlôs Will Crush You With Bliss

Apr 24, 2014

What do you do when your favorite metal band "goes soft"? Take to the message boards? Subtweet until the mounting "favorites" validate your rage? Or do you open up to the sound? In the new issue of the monthly metal print magazine Decibel (No.

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.

New songs by The Jazz June and Sunny Day Real Estate, tours from American Football and Texas Is the Reason — it's a helluva time to be a '90s emo kid.

Hear A New Solo Song By Jamie XX

Apr 23, 2014

Song Premiere: The Jazz June, 'Over Underground'

Apr 23, 2014

Christie Front Drive, Texas Is the Reason, Knapsack, The Promise Ring, Cap'n Jazz, Gauge, Sunny Day Real Estate, American Football, The Casket Lottery, The Get Up Kids, Braid — no, this isn't a dream Emo Diaries compilation. These are the '90s emo bands that have, in recent years, reunited for tours or even recorded new material after long silences. (Mineral and Rainer Maria...

On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton ask big questions about the world we live in via new music from the singer known as EMA, a head-turning cut from the young country crooner Sturgill Simpson and more.

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