All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
11:06 am
Thu April 2, 2015

The National, 'Sunshine On My Back'

Dierdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:44 am

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All Songs Considered
8:30 am
Thu April 2, 2015

All Songs At 15: The Civil Wars' Tiny Desk Concert

The Civil Wars perform at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC for a Tiny Desk Concert on Thursday, May 12, 2011.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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All Songs Considered
10:53 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Viking's Choice: Sharpless, 'Franz Kafka (Home Movies Cover)'

Sharpless.
Richard Gin Courtesy of the artist

Real talk: Scäb's "Franz Kafka" is the greatest cartoon rock opera ever. Originally featured on the Home Movies episode "Director's Cut" in 2001, the ridiculous three-minute, four-movement song about The Metamorphosis is equal parts "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Tommy, and warns, "Be careful if you get him pissed / Franz! Franz Kafka! / He'll smite you with metaphor fists!" Metaphor fists!

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All Songs Considered
8:20 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Song Premiere: Heartless Bastards, 'Gates Of Dawn'

Heartless Bastards' fifth album, Restless Ones, comes out June 16.
Courtney Chavanell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:04 pm

For Heartless Bastards, rock 'n' roll entails a lot of heavy lifting, most often in the form of hundreds of club shows each year. It's a work ethic reflected on the Ohio-born, Austin-based band's albums, as singer/guitarist/powder-keg Erika Wennerstrom sets her rugged wail against the efforts of musicians churning out muscular blues-rock.

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All Songs Considered
10:48 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Mix: Ryan Adams, Jamie xx, The Civil Wars' Joy Williams, More

Clockwise from upper left: Ryan Adams, Jamie xx, Joy Williams, Eskimeaux
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:42 am

On All Songs Considered this week, we hear two songs by familiar musicians, one stripped down to his essence and one in a brand new context. Ryan Adams is at his best live, playing solo acoustic hits, with lots of comical chatter. The prolific singer and songwriter has a massive live album coming out with 42 songs recorded at Carnegie Hall. From that collection, we've got Adams' rock anthem "New York, New York," slowed waaaay down for solo piano (along with his seemingly random oratory on the film Terminator 2).

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All Songs Considered
9:43 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Can You Name That Musical Prank?

Test your wits against these musical pranksters.
Douglas Grundy Getty Images

Each April 1st, practical jokers get their kicks pulling the wool over people's eyes. There are little white lies, cunning schemes and elaborate hoaxes. Pranksters are alive and well in music, too. Test your wits with these musical smart alecks who run the gamut from clever clowns to serious scam artists. Score high and feel a surge of superiority. Score low and fancy yourself a true April fool.

All Songs Considered
9:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Zealand's Jean-Paul Sartre Experience Gets Box Set Treatment

The Jean Paul Sartre Experience.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:37 am

One of the great underground bands from New Zealand's pop heyday is getting its due. The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, which broke up in 1994 after a nearly 10-year career on Flying Nun Records, will have its entire discography remastered and re-released this year by Fire Archives.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu March 26, 2015

For Mick Jenkins, Water Is A Way Of Life

Mick Jenkins at SXSW.
A.J. for NPR

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All Songs Considered
7:45 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Son Lux: New Album, New Song

Son Lux (left to right): Ian Chang, Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:07 pm

Son Lux, the brain child of beat wizard Ryan Lott, is back as an official trio, with a new album and a new song. The album is called Bones and was co-written and recorded by Lott with drummer Ian Chang and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia.

The first single from the album, "Change Is Everything," is vintage Son Lux, with a startling mix of chopped up rhythms and sonic curiosities set against lyrics that are both grand and minimal.

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All Songs Considered
7:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

SXSW 2015 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Clockwise from upper left: Girl Band, Girlpool, Kate Tempest, The Prettiots
Courtesy of the artists

After a week of 16-hour days and little-to-no sleep, the All Songs Considered gang is back from Austin with a slew of musical discoveries from the 2015 South by Southwest music festival.

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All Songs Considered
8:01 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Wake Up To Breakfast Tacos With Avalon Emerson

Avalon Emerson hits up Mi Madres for some breakfast tacos in Austin, Texas.
A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

On the final morning of SXSW, we woke up early for Austin's signature dish — breakfast tacos — with house and techno producer Avalon Emerson at Mi Madres Restaurant. "It nails Tex-Mex perfectly," she says, making everyone think about breakfast tacos right now.

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All Songs Considered
7:23 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Lower Dens' Jana Hunter Explains 'Escape From Evil,' Track By Track

Lower Dens singer and songwriter Jana Hunter writes that her band's new album, Escape From Evil, is typified by "warmth and physicality."
Frank Hamilton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:28 am

There's something mysterious, almost opaque, about the songs of Lower Dens. The ones on the band's new album, Escape From Evil, are lush but distant, beautiful things held just out of reach.

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All Songs Considered
1:51 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Wish You Were There: 42 Photos From SXSW 2015

Avan Lava performs on Saturday night at Cheer Up Charlie's during the 2015 South by Southwest music festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

South by Southwest 2015 has wrapped up, and NPR Music's team in Austin has once again begun to scatter across the United States. For some of us, these five days were amazing and exhausting in equal measure — Stephen Thompson counted 76 bands he saw and sorely needs to rest his feet — while others — really just Bob Boilen — could keep going forever.

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All Songs Considered
11:39 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Watch 5 Late-Night Lullabies From SXSW

Torres performed a late-night South X Lullaby on our final night at SXSW.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 4:50 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:04 am
Mon March 23, 2015

SXSW 2015 In 10 GIFs

El-P (left) and Killer Mike of Run the Jewels play the Spin party at Stubb's.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:31 am

While you catch up on our favorite discoveries from the SXSW Music Festival, watch

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All Songs Considered
5:33 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Song Premiere: Geronimo!, 'Fires Of Hell'

Chicago punk band Geronimo! is breaking up on a high note.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:09 pm

What you're about to hear is the final song of a band's career. Chicago indie-rock act Geronimo!

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All Songs Considered
12:26 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

Go Record Shopping With Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield

Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield goes record shopping at End of an Ear in Austin, Texas.
NPR

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 2:08 pm

Maybe it goes without saying, but if you're a musician and have time to kill on the road, you're going to hit up a record store in town. In Austin, Texas, there are many, many options to throw down cash for vinyl, and for Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, her favorite record store is End of an Ear.

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All Songs Considered
9:13 am
Sat March 21, 2015

NPR Music At SXSW: Friday

Swedish rock band Indevotion performs at Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin during South by Southwest 2015.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 9:43 am

The rain arrived in Austin on Friday, but it didn't wash away the weirdness. One-legged kung-fu dance moves, fog machines that sent off fire alarms that blow out electronic instruments and all sorts of other challenges couldn't stop the music, though, and our team at SXSW has sent back proof: photos, recommendations and a video of Laura Marling playing a song from her new album, Short Movie, at 2 a.m. outside a church.

Here are some of the best things we heard at SXSW on Friday.


Day 4 Picks

Laura Marling

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All Songs Considered
6:04 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Have Brunch With Bleachers' Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff shares brunch with friends at Austin's Driskoll Hotel during SXSW 2015.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 9:46 am

"I've been coming here for so long," Jack Antonoff says of SXSW while waiting for a breakfast table at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. "The first time I came, in 2003, I had one show at a sushi place that like nine friends came to. Which I thought was the coolest thing because I was like, 'I'm at South by Southwest!'"

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All Songs Considered
8:08 am
Fri March 20, 2015

NPR Music At SXSW 2015: Thursday

Vebjørn Guttormsgaard Møllberg of the the Oslo band Haust, playing a late-morning set at the outdoor venue Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin, Texas during SXSW 2015.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Some days at South by Southwest, everything goes right. You see the bands you want to see, every one of them puts on an amazing show and the heavens open and angels give you shoulder rubs. NPR Music's Robin Hilton had a day like that on Thursday, with epiphany after epiphany. Things went well on Day 3 for the rest of NPR Music's team in Austin, too.

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All Songs Considered
8:53 am
Thu March 19, 2015

NPR Music At SXSW 2015: Wednesday

Stromae proved to the audience at Stubb's in Austin why he's a major star just about everywhere but the U.S.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:54 am

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All Songs Considered
10:48 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Viking's Choice: Wild Throne, 'War Is A Romance'

Wild Throne.
Mike Azria Courtesy of the artist

Within the first minute, "War is a Romance" gives you everything you need to know if you're going to be onboard with Wild Throne: a deranged hardcore twang a la Converge, a galloping Motörhead riff, fusion-y Mars Volta-style guitar acrobatics — oh, and a whistle. And then there's Josh Holland's voice yelping and squealing and scaling burning buildings with insane octave jumps.

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All Songs Considered
9:08 am
Wed March 18, 2015

NPR Music At SXSW 2015: Tuesday

A musician plays on the street in Austin on the opening day of the 2015 South by Southwest music festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 7:43 am

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All Songs Considered
5:22 am
Tue March 17, 2015

SXSW 2015 Music Preview

Top row, left to right: Soak, Little Simz, Andy Shauf; Bottom row, left to right: Bully, Dale Watson, Kero Kero Bonito
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:24 am

If you love music as much as we do (we really love music), there's a good chance that this is one of your favorite weeks of the year. This is when the massive South by Southwest music festival and conference bubbles up and spills over into the streets of Austin, Texas. For five days, live music pours out of every alley, doorway, club, restaurant and street corner. Whether it's sensory overload or total nirvana, March 17-21 is all about discovering some new band or sound that sets your ears on end.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat March 14, 2015

The Good Listener: How Can I Experience SXSW Without Actually Going?

Even if you're missing SXSW, lots of people are taking pictures of it for you.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 9:45 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside laminates containing SXSW's most coveted VIP party passes, all of which are set to arrive the day after we leave for Austin, is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on SXSW envy.

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All Songs Considered
10:25 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For March 13

Eagles drummer and singer Don Henley takes it to the limit during a 1975 concert.
Neal Preston Corbis

I don't have any special tricks or themes to this week's Drum Fill Friday. (Well, I may have slipped one little trick in here. See if you can catch it.) But there should be a little bit in here for everybody, from funk and soul to vintage Top 40 pop and rock. If I star-rated these for difficulty, I'd give this one a two out of five. So see how you do, and good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
10:31 am
Thu March 12, 2015

All Songs At 15: Björk Plays DJ

Inez & Vinoodh Matin/ILC

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:34 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Sufjan Stevens, 'Should Have Known Better'

Sufjan Stevens' latest song is a return to his folk roots.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 2:30 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:07 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Hear Lydia Loveless Cover Prince's 'I Would Die 4 U'

Todd Cooper Courtesy of the artist

Last year, as an April Fools' Day joke, the label Bloodshot Records announced that it had brought together 21 affiliated artists for a roughed-up roots take on the music of Prince, to be pressed as a "purple swirl colored double vinyl LP" set.

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All Songs Considered
10:57 am
Tue March 10, 2015

New Mix: Villagers, Joanna Gruesome, Young Fathers, More

Clockwise from upper left: Joanna Gruesome, Trish Keenan of Broadcast, Conor O'Brien of Villagers, Eskmo, Young Fathers
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:04 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, we look at one of life's immutable truths: Nothing's ever easy! Or, at least some things are way harder than they need to be. That's part of the message in the new kiss-off song that opens our show, "Hot Scary Summer," from the upcoming Villagers album Darling Arithmetic.

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