All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
10:28 am
Thu May 16, 2013

We Get Mail: Can You Build The Perfect Cover Song?

It is some sort of crime against humanity that The New Pornographers' members have never gathered to record a cover of Enrique Iglesias' "Escape."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:02 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:34 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

First Watch: Sam Amidon, 'As I Roved'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:30 am

Vermont folksinger Sam Amidon says he intentionally borrowed lines from older songs for his new mountain ballad "As I Roved Out." The result is an erratic narrative, played out brilliantly in an absorbing (and comical) new video about a

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Do You Have A Favorite Record Label?

Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:09 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

First Watch: Exitmusic, 'White Noise'

Courtesy of the artist

Exitmusic's Passages was one of 2012's darkest and most arresting ambient rock albums. Now, the band returns with an equally transfixing new video for one of the album's standout tracks, "White Noise."

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All Songs Considered
12:32 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

New Music: Baths, Jim Jarmusch, Sam Phillips, More

Clockwise from upper left: Baths, Daughter, Sam Phillips, The Front Bottoms, SQURL
Courtesy of the artists

We kick this week's show off with a lot of noise from filmmaker (and past guest DJ on All Songs Considered) Jim Jarmusch and his gloriously gritty side project called SQÜRL. The band, with Carter Logan and producer/engineer Shane Stoneback, originally formed to score the 2009 Jarmusch film The Limits Of Control. SQÜRL has a new, self-titled EP coming out this month and we've got a preview cut called "Pink Dust."

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All Songs Considered
12:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

First Watch: Jeri-Jeri With Baaba Maal, 'Gawlo'

Dancer Fatou Mboup during JERI-JERI's video for "Gawlo."
Ndagga

One of my favorite songs last year was a collaboration between a Sengalese drum collective and a German techno producer. The producer, Mark Ernestus traveled to the West African country to work with Jeri-Jeri, a group that plays a popular dance music called mbalax.

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All Songs Considered
1:52 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Prescription To Bang: Listen To Kyle Hall's 'Dr. Crunch'

Kyle "KMFH" Hall.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 8:40 pm

Sometimes all you need for a banging dance track is an unstoppable rhythm and a nuanced hook. Tweak the hook every couple bars, don't mess with the beat too much, and you've got a potential stomper on your hands.

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All Songs Considered
10:30 am
Thu May 9, 2013

We Get Mail: How Can A Vinyl Lover Start Over From Scratch?

For fans of vinyl records who regret discarding their collections, it's not too hard to start over.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:03 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the ironic promotional cassingles is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how a regretful fan of vinyl records can re-create her discarded collection.

Kirsten Elbourne Mathieson writes: "I'm big-time regretting getting rid of all of my record albums years ago. Any advice for someone starting from scratch with vinyl after all these years? What albums must be heard on vinyl rather than CD/digital?"

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All Songs Considered
1:29 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

First Watch: Telekinesis, 'Empathetic People'

Scene from the Telekinesis video "Empathetic People."
Courtesy of the artist

In the latest video from Seattle-based pop masters Telekinesis, for the song "Empathetic People," frontman Michael Benjamin Lerner ambles into an abandoned record-pressing factory and gets it running again. It's a curious glimpse into one of the last gasps of industry keeping music tethered to the physical world.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed May 8, 2013

First Watch: Gary Clark Jr., 'Numb'

Gary Clark Jr.
Frank Maddocks Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:02 pm

In the seven months since Gary Clark, Jr. released his major label debut, Blak and Blu, he's played for the President at the White House with Mick Jagger and blues legend B.B.

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All Songs Considered
12:33 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

New Music From The Polyphonic Spree, Jon Hopkins, Eleanor Friedberger, More

Clockwise from upper left: Goat, Eleanor Friedberger, The Polyphonic Spree
Courtesy of the artists

This week, All Songs Considered goes big with massive, heart-thumping new music from the gloriously exuberant, sprawling pop group The Polyphonic Spree, and the brilliantly experimental folk-rock band Akron Family. We also check out a gritty album from a Swedish group known as Goat, whose music is part prog-rock, part Afro-pop and undeniably awesome.

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All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Viking's Choice: Speedy Ortiz's Sweet And Sour 'Tiger Tank'

Speedy Ortiz.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 4:34 pm

Sadie Dupuis: rock 'n' roll camp counselor, poet, songwriter, snack enthusiast. If you don't already want to be her best friend based on that description, Dupuis' solo-moniker-turned-band Speedy Ortiz captures the nonsensical wit of Stephen Malkmus, but is simultaneously ballsier and more self-deprecating.

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All Songs Considered
5:24 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Song Premiere: Sharon Jones' Explosive 'Retreat'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 5:19 pm

If this song had just the tubular bells at the top and then that Motown guitar riff, I'd have been hooked and happy. But then, along comes Sharon Jones, the brilliant, powerful soul singer, and the song explodes. "Retreat!" is the perfect marriage of singer, song and band. A lot has happened to Sharon Jones and Bushwick's brilliant professors of soul, the Dap-Kings, in the three years since they last recorded. They played the Apollo, the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Opera House and SXSW. And they've just gotten stronger and stronger.

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All Songs Considered
3:59 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

First Watch: Alpine's Mind-And-Body-Bending 'Gasoline'

Courtesy of the artist

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

A is for Alpine and it's also the name of Alpine's debut album. Alpine is a six-piece ensemble from Australia with an airy sound led by singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The group's album, A is for Alpine, has been out in their home since 2012, but it arrives in the U.S. on May 21.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do You Hear Music When You Dream?

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Mon May 6, 2013

First Watch: The Handsome Family, 'Woodpecker'

Jason Creps, 2013 Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:24 pm

The Handsome Family, the wife and husband duo of Rennie Sparks (vocals, bass and banjo) and Brett Sparks (vocals, guitar and keyboards), love telling stories, and they've been doing it in song for 20 years. A new album, Wilderness, is out May 14, and "Woodpecker," a song from the album, tells a fascinating tale about Mary Sweeney, who, in the 1890's, was known as the Wisconsin Window Smasher.

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All Songs Considered
2:11 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

First Watch: Femi Kuti, 'The World Is Changing'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:24 pm

"'The World Is Changing' is groove with a message." That quote, a pretty good summary of the music of Femi Kuti in just nine words, comes from Juan Gélas, the creative director of a new video for Kuti's new song. Femi Kuti is a saxophonist, trumpeter, keyboard player and singer and songwriter. The son of legendary afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, he carries on the tradition of mixing Nigerian beats along with jazz and a healthy dose of politics. Juan Gélas says, "Femi Kuti continues to be a leading protest artist out of modern Africa and his voice talks to us all."

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Viking's Choice: Chuck Johnson Plays A Raga That Rages

Chuck Johnson.
Carly Hoopes Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:41 am

American Primitive music is flourishing right now. Electric and acoustic guitarists like William Tyler, Steve Gunn and Glenn Jones all have stellar releases out or on the way in 2013, and each digs different paths into this blues-based style.

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All Songs Considered
2:40 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Meet Until The Ribbon Breaks: Stark Music Paired With Enigmatic Images

Until The Ribbon Breaks.
Courtesy of the artist

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

Pete Lawrie Winfield makes music as Until The Ribbon Breaks, stark music with a good deep vibe; Massive Attack or James Blake would be good touchstones. Until The Ribbon Breaks doesn't have much music out yet, but "Pressure," a new song, has urgency. "'Pressure' was written at a time of upheaval and transition for me," Winfield writes. "I was sleeping at my studio and had no idea what I was going to do next.

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All Songs Considered
12:09 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

We Get Mail: What To Do When You've Burned Out On Your Favorite Music

Listen enough, and you can even grow tired of Jeff Buckley's music. Once burnout sets in, how do you rekindle a musical love?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:04 pm

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All Songs Considered
8:47 am
Thu May 2, 2013

First Watch: Kurt Vile, 'Never Run Away'

Courtesy of the artist

Kurt Vile is sometimes known as a shredder, which isn't exactly right. His guitar playing is accomplished, but it doesn't blow your hair back so much as wrap it gently in a worn, sun-bleached kerchief.

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All Songs Considered
1:25 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Vampire Weekend On New York, Souls Of Mischief And The Secrets Of Its New Album

Vampire Weekend in New York City: (from left) Chris Tomson, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij and Ezra Koenig.
Alex John Beck Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:22 pm

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Viking's Choice: Enter Deafheaven's Exhilarating 'Dream House'

Deafheaven.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 12:02 pm

Deafheaven makes music that's both intensely personal and incredibly universal. Its excellent 2011 debut, Roads to Judah, was a blast-beaten, shoegaze-indebted metal record that felt perfectly of its moment. With the new Sunbather coming up so quickly, I wondered where primary members George Clarke (vocals) and Kerry McCoy (guitar) could take a band with such an immediate sound. Apparently, I needn't look further than the Internet.

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All Songs Considered
1:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

New Music From Iggy Pop, Tricky, The National And More

Clockwise from upper left: Cover art for The National's Trouble Will Find Me, Iggy Pop, Walker Lukens and Tricky
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:18 pm

He's 66 years old, has beaten his body beyond belief and Iggy Pop will still out-rock you. We kick this week's All Songs Considered off with a cut from his new record with The Stooges, Ready To Die. Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton chat about Iggy and the rest of this week's mix from different cities.

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All Songs Considered
11:53 am
Mon April 29, 2013

How Are Your Music Tastes Changing As You Get Older?

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:40 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:35 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

First Watch: One Man's Dream Turns Into A 'Sea Of Dreams'

Rudolph Bekker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:13 pm

My dreams are never like Chris Kittrell's "Sea Of Dreams," but I wish they were. Watching this animation will be as close as I get. Chris Kittrell is a founding member of the band Baby Alpaca, the director of the video for the band's song, "Sea of Dreams," and the source of the video's concept — or at least his unconscious mind was.

"I got the idea from a dream I had," Chris Kittrell writes. "The whole scene was very Dada-rock. Stage set out to sea. Time and objects drifting by. Guitar riffing in the air. I love how nonsense and intuition can lead to invention."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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