All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
9:42 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Viking's Choice: Kayo Dot, 'The Mortality Of Doves'

Kayo Dot.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:31 am

Let's go out on a very distant limb here: If Mr. Mister's atmospheric 1985 ballad "Broken Wings" had been written for a proggy space opera, it might sound something like Kayo Dot's "The Mortality Of Doves." It's not just because of birds, either. Toby Driver has always been an extremely fluid composer in the realms of avant-metal and prog-rock, but this 12-minute lead track from Coffins On Io is a surprise.

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All Songs Considered
7:43 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Question Of The Week: What's Your Spinal Tap Moment?

Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist for the entirely fake band Spinal Tap, in the band's 1983 mockumentary.
The Kobal Collection

I once went to a show where the lead singer stripped naked on stage and tried to set his pubic hair on fire. Tragically, his lighter wouldn't work. Try to picture him standing there, completely naked, sadly flicking the lighter over and over and only getting sparks. Finally, one of the three or four people actually in attendance reached up to the stage and handed him theirs. The singer thumbed the lighter, his hair went up in one almost instant poof and the stench of burnt hair filled the club.

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All Songs Considered
5:54 am
Sat September 27, 2014

The Good Listener: When Was Pop Music At Its Lowest Point?

We like his early stuff better, before he sold out and joined The Stray Mob.
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and among the Penzeys Spices catalogs that help us remember our ex-roommates' names is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on pop music's nadir.

Josh in Chicago writes via email: "Paula Abdul had four No. 1 hits, spanning 1989-90. One of them featured a rapping cartoon cat. Was that period the nadir of pop, pre-Nirvana?"

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Wild Cub's Dabney Morris

Wild Cub drummer Dabney Morris getting it done.
Merrick Ales

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:38 am

Dabney Morris has been laying down beats for the Nashville-based band Wild Cub since the group first formed in 2011. The band's debut full-length is Youth and was recorded with help from (Spoon's drummer and Drum Fill Friday Alumnus) Jim Eno. There are at least a couple of fills in Dabney's puzzler you should know right off the bat. The other three, maybe not as much. Either way, good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
1:06 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

New Mix: Damien Rice (Premiere), Leonard Cohen, Caroline Rose, Afternoons

Clockwise from upper left: Damien Rice, Leonard Cohen, Caroline Rose, Medicine
Courtesy of the artist

Do you find yourself saying "no" more often than not? Robin Hilton does, which is why he kicks off this week's All Songs Considered with L.A.-based Afternoons' joyful sing-along, "Say Yes."

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All Songs Considered
11:20 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross Share Four Songs From Their New 'Gone Girl' Score

Courtesy of the artist

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and producer Atticus Ross continue to tease their upcoming soundtrack for the movie, Gone Girl. The longtime collaborators have posted four new songs from the score to their Soundcloud page.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat September 20, 2014

The Good Listener: Saying No To 'Songstress' And Other Forbidden Words

Sarah McLachlan gets called a "songstress" a lot. Translation: "Look everyone, a lady is singing a song!"
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 9:31 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the unsolicited phone books we toss straight into the recycling bin is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on words we'd prefer never to hear associated with music.

Eleanor writes via email: "You've tweeted about your hatred of the word 'songstress.' Writing about music is tricky, but what words do you think should ALWAYS be avoided, and why?"

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All Songs Considered
8:49 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For Sept. 19

We're back to basics in this week's Drum Fill Friday: No tricks or special themes, just a mix of vintage rock and iconic pop fills (okay, and one intro). Good luck, careful listeners!

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

All Songs Considered
8:19 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Viking's Choice: Beach Slang, 'Dirty Cigarettes'

Beach Slang.
Jessica Flynn Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:31 am

If you've read anything about Beach Slang, one comparison keeps coming up: Goo Goo Dolls. Before visions of Nicolas Cage montaging Nicolas Cage-y feelings to the tune of "Iris" flood your brain, stick with us as you hit play on "Dirty Cigarettes" from Beach Slang's second EP of 2014, Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street.

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All Songs Considered
12:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New Mix: Radiohead's Philip Selway, Daniel Lanois, Bedhead, More

Clockwise from upper left: Daniel Lanois, Cold Specks, Phillip Selway, Niagara, Mr. Gnome
Courtesy of the artists

On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton kicks off the show by meditating on the perils of old age, and insisting that he still wants to be Daniel Lanois when he grows up. Cue "Opera," a powerful cut from Lanois' upcoming solo album, Flesh and Machine, and an unparalleled headphone listening experience.

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All Songs Considered
11:01 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Gotta Know Mexico: A Mexican Music Puzzler

Couples dance in Vera Cruz, Mexico with government buildings decorated for Independence Day celebrations.
Mockford & Bonetti Getty Iimages

Today is Mexican Independence Day. On Sept. 16, 1810, the Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores") was delivered in the town of Dolores near the city of Guanajuato, marking the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence that ended Spanish rule.

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All Songs Considered
3:33 am
Sat September 13, 2014

The Good Listener: Do You Ever Just Get Sick Of Music?

Maybe the release of a new U2 album isn't cause to declare the death of all music.
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the Amazon Prime order containing items we could have acquired at the nearest vending machine is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on fatigue and embitterment.

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All Songs Considered
9:51 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Viking's Choice: Xerxes, 'Collision Blonde'

Xerxes.
Mary Burks Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:32 am

Slowly but surely, The Cure has permeated heavy music. From Krallice to Thou to Deftones, Disintegration's boomy production and pulsating gloom, in particular, inspires a different kind of heft. The Louisville post-hardcore band Xerxes always had some caustic melody to it, but its new album Collision Blonde explodes the palette. Listen to its slow-burning title track:

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Spoon's Jim Eno

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:39 am

Jim Eno is a less-is-more drummer. His work as the longtime drummer for the band Spoon is distinctive for its carefully plotted lines. It's elegant and melodic, never over-the-top or showy. It's a style and taste he shares with all of the drummers he selected for this week's puzzler as our guest Quizmaster.

Eno and the rest of the guys in Spoon are currently on tour for their latest — and one of the year's best — album, They Want My Soul.

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All Songs Considered
10:32 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Song Premiere: Astronauts, etc.: 'Up For Grabs'

Astronauts, etc. is otherwise known as Oakland-based musician Anthony Ferraro.
cara robbins

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:18 am

Crafting dreamy, synth-based pop songs is not the traditional route for formally-trained pianists, but it's worked out just fine for Anthony Ferraro, the Oakland-based musician behind Astronauts, etc. His first singles, released online in 2012 and led by his distinctive falsetto, were full of hooks that hid just below the surface, under layers of murky keyboards and skittering drum machines.

Now comes the song "Up For Grabs," on which Ferraro swirls radiant synthesizers with an elegant, catchy guitar hook.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Wed September 10, 2014

George Harrison, 'This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:11 am

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All Songs Considered
11:06 am
Tue September 9, 2014

New Mix: Karen O Goes Solo, Lowell, Meatbodies, Bellows, More

Clockwise from upper left: Karen O, Lowell, cover art for Bellows, Amason
Courtesy of the Artists

On this week's show we share music from the intimate and raw new solo album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O, warped garage rock from Meatbodies and several new discoveries, including two music collectives, one from Sweden and the other from Brooklyn.

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All Songs Considered
10:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Song Premiere: Barbra Streisand And John Legend Together

Barbra Streisand during a recording session in Burbank, Calif.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:11 am

Barbra Streisand, one of the most loved singers of all time and the best-selling female recording artist ever (according to RIAA statistics) has teamed up with the ever soulful, gospel-inspired singer John Legend on a song she originally recorded with Bee Gees singer and songwriter Barry Gibb in 1980.

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All Songs Considered
4:11 am
Sun September 7, 2014

The Good Listener: Where Are All The Great Songs About Football?

No, "The Super Bowl Shuffle" does not count.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 9:55 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside a stuffed Pikachu the size of an ottoman is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on music to accompany the new football season.

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Drum Fill Friday
7:42 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For Sept. 5

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:44 am

We've had a good run of guest Quizmasters for Drum Fill Friday (and more to come), but this week we thought we'd feature a puzzler made up entirely of your favorite fills and intros. Each of the artists appearing in the quiz below come from listener suggestions in our comments section.

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All Songs Considered
1:01 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Aphex Twin, 'minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]'

The electronic musician Richard D. James hasn't released a new album of material under his most famous moniker, Aphex Twin, in nearly 13 years.
Courtesy of the artist.

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 9:32 am

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu September 4, 2014

The Hopscotch 5

The no-frills punk-pop band See Gulls is one of many Raleigh bands playing the Hopscotch Music Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:32 am

Life is full of choices. If you happen to be at the fifth annual Hopscotch Music Festival, taking place Sept. 4-6 in Raleigh, N.C., those choices would include the Dallas thrash-metal band Power Trip, supreme bummer (in the best way) Sun Kil Moon, L.A. electronic duo NGUZUNGUZU and the hooky-as-hell punk group Potty Mouth — and that's just on Friday past midnight.

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All Songs Considered
10:39 am
Tue September 2, 2014

New Mix: The Smashing Pumpkins, Tennis, Ex Hex, Gemma Ray, More

Clockwise from upper left: Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, Alaina Moore of Tennis, Gemma Ray, Ex Hex, Orenda Fink.
Courtesy of the artists

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All Songs Considered
11:33 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of August

Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 9:18 am

Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix.

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

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All Songs Considered
4:54 am
Sun August 31, 2014

The Good Listener: Parents Just Don't Understand?

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince said it themselves: There's no need to argue.
Jive Records YouTube

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 5:46 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the gigantic bottle of Marmite we probably shouldn't have ordered on a late-night whim is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on getting your parents into your favorite music.

Erik writes via Facebook: "How do you get your parents to respect the music of today?"

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All Songs Considered
10:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster Mark Reznicek Of Toadies

Mark Reznicek of Toadies
Tommy Moore Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:44 am

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Mark Reznicek, drummer for the Fort Worth rock group Toadies. The band is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of its breakout album, Rubberneck with a tour, and a reissue of the album with bonus tracks.

As always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
10:49 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Alt-J Will Debut New Album Live In New York

Thom Green, Joe Newman and Gus Unger-Hamilton of alt-J
Gabriel Green Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 3:28 pm

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All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Viking's Choice: Nathan Bowles, 'Chuckatuck'

Nathan Bowles.
Constance Mensh Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:19 am

Music is about connection. Sometimes that connection is a feeling, a theory or a technique, but mostly music connects time and provides a record of how we choose to interact with it.

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All Songs Considered
11:24 am
Tue August 26, 2014

New Mix: Weezer, Lucinda Williams, Sufjan Stevens, More

Clockwise from upper left: Weezer, Sufjan Stevens, Lia Ices, Lucinda Williams, Shabazz Palaces
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:44 am

On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton returns from vacation with "Back To The Shack," the fantastically hard-rocking first single from Weezer's upcoming Everything Will Be Alright In The End.

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All Songs Considered
10:21 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Come See The New Pornographers Play 'Brill Bruisers' In The Brill Building

The New Pornographers will play songs from Brill Bruisers inside New York's famed Brill Building on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Chris Buck Courtesy of the artist

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