All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
10:19 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Embrace The Darkness: Dragged Into Sunlight Live At Maryland Deathfest

Courtesy of Handshake Inc.

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:12 pm

Ever walked into a nearly pitch-black room after roasting on sun-beaten asphalt, only to sweat it out with a host of the moshing unwashed? No? But what if candles were involved — would that make it classier? Granted, there's an antelope skull mounted on the candelabra, and there's some skin-crawling metallic noise gurgling from the backs-turned band members onstage. Maybe that's just a Thursday night for Dragged Into Sunlight. But it was also last year's setup for the experimental U.K.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:17 am
Thu April 25, 2013

We Get Mail: Should Parents Try To Get Their Kids Into Great Music?

How much should parents feel responsible for making sure their kids hear Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:05 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the solicitations disguised as tax refunds is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, what role parents can and should play in teaching their kids about classic albums.

Read more
All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Video: Music Meets Random Imagery In Yellowbirds' 'Young Men Of Promise'

Bernie DeChant

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:25 pm

Music videos are like funny math, where 1+1=3. That is, images have a meaning on their own, music has a meaning when you listen to it alone, but put images and music together and something new is born. 1+1=3. Try it randomly: put on a piece of music and watch a cartoon or an old movie ... people did it famously with The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:57 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: No Twisting, No Shouting

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats.
Ester Segarra Courtesy of the artist

Among hell-raising tour stories and loving odes to his wife Sharon, there's a nugget in I Am Ozzy, the entertaining autobiography of the original Black Sabbath vocalist, that sticks with me: Ozzy Osbourne loves The Beatles. The Prince of Darkness, mind you. I kept that in mind while listening to "Valley of the Dolls" from Mind Control, the third album by the U.K. doom-metal band Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:07 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

New Mix: Cyborg Love, Heartbreak And A Mystery

Clockwise from upper left: Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson of The Uncluded, guitarist William Tyler, singer Cassandra Jenkins and Laura Marling
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:59 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton settle into the new NPR Music offices and discover that it comes with their very own butler. After bumbling around in the studio, they also manage to figure out all the new gear and share some great new music.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:30 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

First Watch: Yellow Red Sparks, 'A Play To End All Plays'

Scene from the Yellow Red Sparks video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:47 pm

The songs of Yellow Red Sparks, a folk-pop trio based in California, are twisted tales told through cinematic, often epic orchestrations. In the group's spectacular and creepy new video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays," a couple's failed relationship is acted out like an old circus sideshow before a finger-wagging audience. Frontman Joshua Hanson, who appears as the play's host, indicts the lovers with a surprisingly infectious melody and old-timey instrumentation.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:52 am
Mon April 22, 2013

What Are Your Top Five Album Covers?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:24 pm

This past week we lost one of the greatest album cover art designers of all time. Britain's Storm Thorgerson, who died last Thursday, was just 69 years old. He'd spent more than 40 years designing and orchestrating some of the most iconic album covers of all time. Even if you don't know the name Storm Thorgerson, you know his work. That prism on the cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon? That was his.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:10 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Interview: The Zombies Remember Their Odyssey

Bob Boilen, host of NPR Music's All Songs Considered, interviews Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of The Zombies at SXSW.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:29 am

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:29 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

12 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store Day On Saturday

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Record Store Day

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 4:07 pm

It's a perfect illustration of the current age of music fandom that this year's Record Store Day comes at the end of the week when Twitter introduced its music service — an online streaming music tool that tethers discovery to acquaintances who probably know your taste about as well as the checkout girl at the grocery store does.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Fri April 19, 2013

We're Not Sure What's Happening In This Wreck And Reference Video

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 8:08 am

Albums that act like sketchbooks can be brilliant in their own messy ways, with tossed-off riffs or unfinished beats that offer a glimpse into the creative process. The uncategorizable Wreck and Reference has released two weirdly heavy and unnerving records thus far — Black Cassette and Youth (pronounced "No Youth") — by scribbling together doom metal, industrial, drone, noise and whatever else with drums, guitar and a Korg sampler.

Read more
All Songs Considered
4:34 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

First Watch: People Get Ready, 'Middle Name'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:10 am

It was probably the best performance piece I've seen in more than a decade. Specific Ocean, a piece by the dance troupe/rock band People Get Ready, which I saw at the New York Live Arts theater in the fall, was a model for the ways musicians can break from the standard, sometimes boring, format of playing on a stage. Some of the songs from Specific Ocean ended up on the group's 2012 self-titled album. Now there's a video, a documentation of that amazing New York performance, featuring the song "Middle Name."

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:37 am
Thu April 18, 2013

We Get Mail: Do CD Hoarders Need An Intervention?

So you've got a ton of CDs. What's the problem?
Lars Gotrich NPR

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:05 pm

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

New Building, New Mix: Songs About Change

As the NPR Music team and others prepared to leave the network's old headquarters, mysterious messages began appearing on the windows and walls: "Everything will be better!"
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 10:45 am

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Glenn Jones' Bittersweet 'Farewell' To A Family Home

Courtesy of the artist

It's incredibly calming to watch Glenn Jones play acoustic guitar. Whether he's appearing by the train tracks or in one of our Tiny Desk Concerts, there's nothing flashy about his style, only careful consideration as he gently hops over the frets like a lily-padding frog.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:11 am
Fri April 12, 2013

First Watch: Iron & Wine, 'Joy'

Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

"Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I'm only calm when I get lost within your wilderness."

That's a key line in this song, "Joy," by Iron and Wine, the project of Sam Beam. Sam is a songwriter who has a way of making the personal very universal. It's also the line that piqued the interest of director Hayley Morris, who made a video for "Joy." Morris writes to us:

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:02 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Altar Of Plagues: Scalding, Industrial Chants From Ireland

Altar of Plagues.
Barbora Mrazkova Courtesy of the artist

There's something to be said for unconventional artists who can still connect to an audience. The band Broadcast funneled oddball library-catalog music through dreamy space-pop. Shabazz Palaces is hip-hop's cubist Sun Ra. Altar of Plagues, which works outside the roots of black metal, knows a thing or two about unconventional sounds. But the Irish band has, until now, strictly been a longform outfit, stretching drones and abrasive tones across sides of vinyl.

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:48 am
Thu April 11, 2013

We Get Mail: When Someone You Love Likes Music You Hate, What Do You Do?

If someone you love likes Jack Johnson, but you don't, how do you find common ground?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:11 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fruit baskets welcoming us to our new office is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how to reconcile a person you like with musical tastes you don't.

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:33 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

First Watch: Thao And The Get Down Stay Down, 'We The Common'

This American Life's Ira Glass and John Hodgman in a video for Thao Nguyen's song "We The Common."

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:14 am

I first met Thao Nguyen in 2008, in the earliest days of the Tiny Desk Concert series. I was a big fan of her witty, catchy songs. After she finished playing the Tiny Desk, Thao said something that has endeared me to her forever. Walking toward the elevators on her way out of NPR, she said, "That was intimate and awkward ... a lot like my last boyfriend!"

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:52 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

NPR Is Relocating: What's The Best Song About Moving On?

Twenty years after if first opened, NPR's old headquarters is being torn down. The network is moving to a new building at 1111 North Capitol street NE.
Marie McGory NPR

Editor's note: NPR is moving from its longtime home of 635 Mass. Ave. in Washington, D.C. to new digs a few blocks away. All the planning and packing has made NPR Music's Robin Hilton a bit reflect-y on all the time he's spent with the old building.

Read more
All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Wed April 10, 2013

30 Years Later, Sodom Is Still All Brass And Knuckles

Sodom.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:27 pm

Tom Angelripper has been a part of the brash German thrash-metal game for more than 30 years now. Sodom's damning 1989 anti-war screed, Agent Orange, is a bona fide classic, but the impeccably named bassist and vocalist still has plenty of targets to hit and thundering bass riffs to deploy. Therein comes crashing "Stigmatized" from Sodom's 14th studio album, Epitome of Torture.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, Guest DJ

Wayne Coyne (center) with the rest of The Flaming Lips.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:17 pm

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:41 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Special Delivery: The Postal Service Story

Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard discuss the unexpected success of The Postal Service.
Courtesy of the artist

The Postal Service was a band for a generation — the soundtrack to romance, tears and friendship. More than a million people bought its first album, 2003's Give Up, then waited anxiously for a follow-up that never arrived.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson Returns With A Plea To 'Make Good Choices'

Sean Nelson will release his first solo album, Make Good Choices, on June 4.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:05 pm

There'd be nothing wrong with "one-hit wonder" status if the term didn't suggest some sort of creative limitation; if people didn't assume that one hit means only one good song. But for Sean Nelson and Harvey Danger, the 1998 smash "Flagpole Sitta" has had a way of overshadowing the superior but less widely heard material that followed. By the time Harvey Danger self-released the tremendous 2005 album Little By Little..., the group's incisive, catchy, thoughtful post-hit songs were known mostly to obsessives and cultists.

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:21 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

First Watch: STRFKR, 'Beach Monster'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:20 pm

The new video for STRFKR's song "Beach Monster" is an absolute horror show disguised as a breezy day at the sea. The band members, decked out in matching Buddy Holly suits and glasses, play against an blank blue background while staring blankly into the camera. The scene is intercut with a smiling couple at the beach with two children who draw in the sand and uncover something deadly.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Cayucas Spins A Twinkly Summer Daydream

Zach Yudin of Cayucas.
Courtesy of the artist

Consider the one-man band: those brainy, studio-savvy musicians who can get the right sound out of any instrument they pick up. Solitary reflection is a given in their process, and that helps make them natural vessels for songs about summer romance — the most poignant of which take place long after the fling is over and only the memories remain.

Read more
All Songs Considered
3:22 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

First Watch: Lord Huron, 'Lonesome Dreams'

Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 4:44 pm

Think of Lord Huron as an imaginary world as much as a rock band. Bandleader Ben Schneider has created characters and stories that fit together within an entire narrative filled with mystique. It's a bit dreamlike. To get an idea of how many layers there are in Schneider's invention, look at this website for author George Ranger Johnson. According to the site, George Ranger Johnson lives in Tuscon, Ariz. and writes adventure novels whose titles are identical to the song titles of the band Lord Huron.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:48 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Song Premiere: Emily Wells, 'Los Angeles'

Courtesy of the artist

Singer and violinist Emily Wells was one of our favorite discoveries at last year's South by Southwest music festival. Her 2012 album Mama was a surprising and beautiful mix of hip-hop beats and strings, with folk-flavored pop arrangements. Now Wells is back with a re-imagined, all-acoustic version of Mama, with the songs stripped bare and her voice more fragile than ever.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

We Get Mail: Digging For Gems In Genres You Think You Hate

The Pistol Annies' Ashley Monroe recently released a solo album, Like a Rose, which helps stretch the boundaries of mainstream country music.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:12 pm

Read more
All Songs Considered
7:51 am
Thu April 4, 2013

First Watch: Junip, "Your Life, Your Call"

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:40 am

I love the crazy surprises you get when two or more artists get together and turn their creative ideas over to one another. When the band Junip wrote the song "Your Life, Your Call," frontman José González says, it was meant to be an unambiguous meditation on growing up, moving on and taking responsibility for your life. But in the hands of video director Mikel Cee Karlsson, the song, from Junip's new self-titled album, takes on a whole new (and disturbing) meaning.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Your Picks For The Best Headphones

 

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:59 am

We got a lot of great suggestions when we asked readers to tell us their picks for the perfect pair of headphones last week. We also learned a lot. For example, you all know way more about this than I do.

Read more

Pages