All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
3:29 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Four In Photos

Solange performs at Stubb's.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 4:44 pm

You can depend on Solange to be the best dressed anywhere — that pink suit! — but her commanding live presence at SXSW is a thing of wonder, even if her funky R&B can be quiet and unassuming. We also took in the crushing doom metal of Batillus, spazzed out to Metz, and got gloomy with Diamond Rings.

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All Songs Considered
11:13 am
Sat March 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Four Highlights

Noise-rock band KEN mode pummeling Red 7 at SXSW 2013.
Mike Katzif WNYC

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:32 am

"If you want to do something, just do it." Words of wisdom from Bob Boilen that sum up day four of South By Southwest for the All Songs Considered gang perfectly. Bob, along with Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers were joined by Mike Katzif and Will Butler, both former All Songs interns. Will's journey to Austin was inspired by Amanda Palmer's recent TED Talk.

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All Songs Considered
12:11 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Three In Photos

Ecstatic Cafe Tacvba fans at Alt.Latino's SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:02 pm

¡Viva! Alt.Latino presented a killer showcase from Auditorium Shores with Cafe Tacvba and Bajofondo on Thursday.

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All Songs Considered
8:28 am
Fri March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Three Highlights

The Flaming Lips on stage at the Belmont in Austin, Texas. The band played its 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Jordan Naylor Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:30 am

  • Hear The SXSW Day 3 Late Night Dispatch

The span of South by Southwest is so huge that sometimes the festival can be about the bands you miss as much as the ones you see. After the hectic Thursday on the streets, bars and venues of Austin, Texas, the All Songs Considered crew regrouped to recount the long walks, long lines, tough decisions, missed opportunities and happy accidents of day three.

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All Songs Considered
4:30 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Two In Photos

Sky Ferreira plays The Fader Fort at SXSW 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Before our eyes were glued to stellar performances by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at our official SXSW showcase on Tuesday — not too mention rapper Le1f's amazing dance moves — we roamed the streets of Austin.

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All Songs Considered
8:26 am
Thu March 14, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Two Highlights

Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O lights up the night at Stubb's during NPR Music's SXSW showcase.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:28 am

  • Hear The SXSW Day 2 Late Night Dispatch

For the All Songs Considered gang, the second day of the South By Southwest music festival was packed with familiar favorites and new discoveries. On the heels of NPR Music's SXSW Showcase at Stubb's, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers once again huddled in their favorite Austin churchyard to discuss the standouts and surprises from the day.

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All Songs Considered
2:50 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013

Twin Horns Of Joy? Members of the band The Bottom Dollars play on the street in Austin, Texas, during the opening night of the South by Southwest music festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:55 am

Listen to Stephen Thompson's conversation with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered by clicking the audio link.


The South by Southwest music festival kicked off Tuesday with the first of five straight nights of music overload: The clubs, makeshift music venues and front porches of Austin, Texas, were overrun with little-known discoveries-in-waiting and big names alike, as well as tens of thousands of fans who have flocked to the city in search of epiphanies.

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All Songs Considered
12:02 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day One In Photos

A member of Beach Fossils jumps into the crowd at The Mohawk.
Adam Kissick for NPR

What do Best Coast, Boba Fett, Beach Fossils and street yogis have in common? They were among the many artists and fans who came for the first day of South by Southwest. See a gallery of photos by Adam Kissick here and follow us on Flickr for much, much more.

All Songs Considered
8:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day One Highlights

Jim James onstage during the opening night of the 2013 SXSW Music festival in Austin, Texas.
Rita Quinn Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:11 am

  • Hear The SXSW Day 1 Late Night Dispatch

The All Songs Considered gang has made their way to Austin, Texas for this year's South By Southwest music festival. The five day event, which showcases performances by over 1500 bands and artists, takes over the city, and this year officially starts one day earlier than in the past — Tuesday night.

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All Songs Considered
8:16 am
Mon March 11, 2013

SXSW 2013 Music Preview

Clockwise from upper left: Shakey Graves, Skewby, Hannah Georgas, Hiatus Kaiyote, Air Review, K-X-P
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:07 pm

It's that time of year again! All Songs Considered is headed on another musical trek to Austin for this year's South By Southwest festival. Before hitting the road we listened to songs from more than a thousand bands scheduled to play the festival, in search of some great new discoveries. On this edition of the show hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, NPR Music editor Stephen Thompson and NPR Music critic Ann Powers come together to share some of what they found, and talk about the bands they're most excited to see.

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All Songs Considered
8:16 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Time To Shake: Clutch's Earth-Rocking One-Two Punch

Clutch.
Dirk Behlau Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:34 pm

There's a statement of intent in the sequence of an album's opening one-two punch. There's Harvey Milk's The Pleaser, a title reversal of set 'em up ("Down") and knock 'em down ("Get It Up & Get It On").

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All Songs Considered
1:31 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

We Get Mail: Picking The Perfect Travel Playlist

This little scamp gets ready for Norway's Trondheim Metal Fest by psyching himself up with the music of Napalm Death.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:14 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:24 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

First Watch: Julianna Barwick, 'Offing'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:38 pm

In a way, singer Julianna Barwick's ethereal voice and seemingly shapeless songs are a form of abstract art: colorful and curious, with lines that drift and flow in unexpected but beautiful directions. For her latest video, and a new song called "Offing," Barwick finds commonality in architect Philip Johnson's Glass House and a strange sculpture from artist Ken Price. Barwick performs alongside the sculpture for a live audience, filling the Glass House with layers of her sublime voice.

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All Songs Considered
10:24 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Run From Life And Crash Kvelertak's Blast Beat Party

Kvelertak.
Stian Andersen Courtesy of the artist

For a party-friendly metal-punk band like Kvelertak, "Spring fra Livet" sure is a curveball. The stomping, AC/DC-style intro? That's a party-starter. But 20 seconds in, there's a twangy, melodic riff that sounds like an Allman Brothers-indebted '90s alt-rock band, like Better Than Ezra or Toad the Wet Sprocket or maybe just the Empire Records soundtrack — if the Empire Records soundtrack were about to lay into a blast-beaten chorus. Respectfully, Kvelertak, just what is going on here?

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All Songs Considered
12:46 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Our SXSW Plans: Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Youth Lagoon, More

Mito Habe-Evans NPR Music

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:03 am

Get some earplugs and a case of your favorite caffeinated beverage ready: The annual sensory-overload-joy-fest known as South by Southwest is almost here. Bob Boilen, Ann Powers, Stephen Thompson and I, along with a small army of other NPR Music peeps, will be there next week for the whole thing. Whether you'll be in Austin for the festival, or watching and listening on our website, we hope you'll join us for these events:


WEDNESDAY, March 13

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All Songs Considered
10:16 am
Tue March 5, 2013

This Week's Mix: New Flaming Lips, Surfer Blood, Sufjan Stevens, More

Clockwise from upper left: Flaming Lips, Sufjan Stevens, Maria Schneider, Surfer Blood.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:52 pm

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by some familiar friends from the NPR Music team, who share their latest musical finds.

Bob starts things off with a brand-new track from the Floridian indie-rock band Surfer Blood. Its new album Pythons isn't out until June, but you can hear "Demon Dance" before anyone else right here.

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All Songs Considered
4:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side,' 40 Years Later

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 9:04 am

It begins with a heartbeat. Released in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon was Pink Floyd's eighth studio album. It would become one of the best-selling albums of all time, and its iconic cover image still hangs in college dormitories everywhere.

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All Songs Considered
8:45 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Take A Kaleidoscopic Train Ride In Zs' New Video

Greg Fox

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:24 am

After 10 years of gleefully dismantling genres and challenging audiences to submit to its avant-prog-jazz-drone-noise-whatever hypnosis, the New York City band Zs promptly dismantled itself last summer. Only founding member and saxophonist Sam Hillmer remains, joined now by guitarist Patrick Higgins and drummer Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, ex-Liturgy). So it's only fitting that Grain, the first taste of new Zs material, features unreleased leftovers of previous line-ups completely dismantled.

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All Songs Considered
12:34 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

We Get Mail: With Kids In The Car, Who Controls The Stereo?

This little scamp has no say over the car stereo.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:14 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:39 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

First Watch: The Zolas, 'Escape Artist'

Courtesy of the artist

In "Escape Artist," the new video from Canadian pop duo The Zolas, the band plays around with audience expectations about race, culture and sexuality. As frontman Zach Gray sings about his mysterious alter ego, a group of kids kick around their neighborhood, playing basketball, chatting up girls and passing the hours. One of them clearly feels like an outsider.

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All Songs Considered
12:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

New David Bowie, Phoenix, Wavves, My Morning Jacket Covers John Denver, More

Clockwise from upper left: Nathan Williams of Wavves, David Bowie, John Denver, Phoenix, and Kanene Pipkin of Lone Bellow
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:32 am

On this edition of All Songs Considered, we've got a brand new song from David Bowie, from his first album of new songs in a decade.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

David Bowie's New Song Is...

Cover art for David Bowie's single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:49 am

There's another new song from David Bowie and it's called "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)." This is the second Bowie song in the past few months after a dry spell that lasted ten years. You can hear the song and watch the video, which contains some nudity.

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All Songs Considered
1:37 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

It's Your Favorite Song: Did You Get It From A Movie?

Promotional poster for the 1999 film Rushmore.
Courtesy of the Touchstone Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:31 pm

I knew I had a rare gem of a song when even Bob Boilen couldn't place it, especially since it was by The Kinks, one of his favorite bands. The cut was "Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" and I'd discovered it in the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies, Rushmore.

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All Songs Considered
11:38 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Prepare Thy 'Sky Burial': The Lumbering Heft Of Inter Arma

Inter Arma.
Tony Lynch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:39 pm

At some point, a long string of colorful adjectives doesn't accomplish much for any band. "Hypnogogic math-pop," "blackened uber-popadelica," "avant seapunk-rap" — it all gets a little silly. Metal, or at least the folks who describe it, often falls into this trap, present company included. Exhibit A: the second album from Richmond's Inter Arma. Sky Burial ingests several forms of metal, but the goal is demonstrable heft. Maybe you should just listen to its opening track first; it's called "The Survival Fires."

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The Good Listener: Do I Come To SXSW If I Don't Have A Badge Or A Billion Dollars?

Whether you buy a $795 badge or show up with a little spare cash on hand, SXSW has something for you — and will expect you to stand in line at some point.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:06 am

[This story originally ran on Feb. 22, 2013, but still applies today.]

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Valentine's Day cards that got returned with no forwarding address is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how music fans could and should approach SXSW, the gigantic music festival held every March in Austin, Texas.

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All Songs Considered
1:28 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

A Dance Video Inspired By An Encounter With An Oddball

Courtesy of the Artist

I first saw Cat Martino at the best concert of my life. It was the summer of 2011 and Sufjan Stevens was performing at Celebrate Brooklyn. But within the spectacle -– a troupe of maybe a dozen performers on stage — was a singer and dancer named Cat Martino. I know that because a number of my friends at the show knew Cat and were screaming her name at the top of their lungs.

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All Songs Considered
11:08 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Playing SXSW? Send Us Your Song

This member of Middle Brother had someone send an MP3 to All Songs Considered a couple years back, and now look at him: He's on the NPR Music website again.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 4:08 pm

Every year around this time, all four members of the All Songs Considered roundtable gang (Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Ann Powers and me) each dredge through more than 1,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We base our coverage and festival schedules on the music we've researched in advance — and have found some of our favorite artists, like Kishi Bashi in 2012, as part of these blind pre-fest taste tests — and this year, we want to be sure we're considering yours.

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All Songs Considered
12:32 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

First Watch: Field Report, 'I Am Not Waiting Anymore'

Courtesy of the artist

Guitarist and singer Chris Porterfield has done a lot of soul searching since his previous band, DeYarmond Edison, broke up in 2006. Other guys in the group went on to start their own projects — Justin Vernon formed Bon Iver, while some of the other members formed Megafaun. Porterfield, meanwhile, hung back in his native Milwaukee and took a job as a student union administrator at Marquette Univeristy.

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All Songs Considered
9:10 am
Wed February 20, 2013

NPR Music Presents: Josh Ritter Live From New York City

Josh Ritter.
Courtesy of the aritst

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:24 pm

NPR Music will present and webcast a "First Listen Live" concert from Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band on Monday, March 4, beginning at 8 p.m. ET in the intimate New York City venue (Le) Poisson Rouge. Josh Ritter and his band will play most of his new album, The Beast in Its Tracks.

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All Songs Considered
1:13 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Watch Kishi Bashi Cover Beirut

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:54 pm

Kishi Bashi (who's real name is K Ishibashi) is known for his thrilling live performances, looping and layering his violin and voice to create a symphony of sound. But when he decided to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut, K went for "real" musicians, captured in this live-in-studio video.

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