All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
12:29 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

New Mix: Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Laura Marling, More

Top row: Death Cab For Cutie; middle row, left to right: Laura Marling, Asaf Avidan, Ibeyi; bottom row: Modest Mouse
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 3:10 pm

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:20 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Viking's Choice: Ô Paon, 'Fille Tannée/Fille Tendue'

"With Fleuve, I was mostly writing about a potential version of myself — a more bad-ass, f----- up one," Geneviève Castrée says.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 2:51 pm

Nostalgia is a polar bear in the wild — warm and fuzzy from a distance, terrifying once the reality of its power confronts you. In her music as Ô Paon and in her graphic novels, the Anacortes, Wash.-based Geneviève Castrée often writes about the things that haunt her: violence, alienation, greed. With the loosely conceptual Fleuve, Castrée and her characters grapple with alienation from a place and time — specifically, coming of age in '90s suburban Montreal — that can't exist when you return to them.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:43 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Tiny Desk Concert Contest Phase 2: Judging Begins

This is all I do anymore.
Morgan McCloy NPR

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 12:37 pm

I've basically stopped going to concerts. For me, this is kind of like I've stopped eating or sleeping. If you're looking for me these days, you can find me at my computer, watching musicians play their heart out for a chance to perform at NPR's Tiny Desk. After six busy weeks, the Tiny Desk Concert Contest eligibility period is now closed, and we've moved on to the next stage: judging.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat January 24, 2015

The Good Listener: If You Don't Like Music, Do You Have A Soul?

Music isn't for everyone.
Cristian Casanelles iStockphoto

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the tiara we ordered as the grand prize at our upcoming eating contest is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on people who simply don't enjoy music.

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Bobbye Hall

Percussionist Bobbye Hall has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye and The Funk Brothers to Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Pink Floyd.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:27 pm

This week's Drum Fill Friday features a selection of fills and beats handpicked by the liner-note legend, Bobbye Hall, who was recently featured on Morning Edition.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Playing SXSW 2015? Send Us Your Songs

Ana Tijoux was a big part of NPR Music's SXSW 2014 coverage. Now, we're preparing for this year's festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 11:10 am

Every year around this time, many of us on the All Songs Considered team — including Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Ann Powers and me — each dredge through nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. And every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:01 am
Thu January 22, 2015

All Songs At 15: Were The '80s Really That Bad?

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 personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:43 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Viking's Choice: Native Lights, 'Blue Star'

Native Lights.
Jeremy Charles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 1:32 pm

Sometimes you don't know that you've missed something, like an old friend or a recipe tucked away in a cookbook, until it reappears just when it's needed. In August, I went to see Unwed Sailor's set in Washington, D.C., partly out of nostalgia. I came away not only fortified by the instrumental rock band's currency, but also reminded of primary songwriter Johnathon Ford's thoughtful, ardent bass playing; he also worked with the underrated Roadside Monument in the '90s. Without using words, Ford is a natural storyteller who doesn't force an emotional narrative.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:58 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield, 'Somebody That I Used To Know'

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield.
Crackerfarm

The songs of Elliott Smith are widely revered — especially by those who came of age in the '90s — but a new generation of listeners is only beginning to discover him. Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith is likely to expose new fans to the great singer-songwriter. Smith released five albums in his lifetime and died in 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest; he'd left a suicide note. His songs, which often dealt with depression and desperation, were beautiful and frequently quiet.

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:15 am
Tue January 20, 2015

New Mix: Dan Deacon, THEESatisfaction, Jackson Scott, More

Clockwise from upper left: Dan Deacon, Tanya Tagaq, THEESatisfaction, Jackson Scott
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:15 am

This week on All Songs Considered: Our favorite electronic artist, Dan Deacon, is back with another playfully infectious dance party, one he recorded both in the studio and in bathrooms and greenrooms during his most recent tour. Also, NPR Music contributor Katie Presley joins us with a hypnotic groove from the Seattle-based duo THEESatisfaction and a slow-burning jam from New Orleans singer-songwriter Kristin Diable.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:49 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Viking's Choice: Liturgy, 'Quetzalcoatl'

Liturgy.
Erez Avissar Courtesy of the artist

Monotonic chants, 8-bit four-on-the-floor, MIDI strings... Get your keyboards at the ready, Metal Internet: It's "Quetzalcoatl" from Liturgy's third album, The Ark Work.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Song Premiere: Sam Prekop, 'Weather Vane'

Sam Prekop, longtime vocalist for The Sea & Cake, has gone and made a synth album.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:20 am

When I was a college radio music director in the early 2000s, there were few more important bands in my life than The Sea And Cake. I repped them hard back in the day, and that's because these Chicago renaissance men fit my (admittedly reductive) two criteria for greatness: a) sound like no one else, and b) keep it catchy. They nailed it on both accounts over the course of four albums for Thrill Jockey during the '90s, and are still doing their indie-jazz-kraut-pop thing to this day.

Read more
All Songs Considered
4:03 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Song Premiere: Bob Dylan, 'Stay With Me'

Bob Dylan's next album, Shadows In The Night, out on February 3, is a selection of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra.
William Claxton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 4:53 pm

Trying to predict a musical future is impossible. I have proof: Bob Dylan is recording songs Frank Sinatra made popular! No one saw this coming and nothing could prepare us for it. It's weird and kind of wonderful. Here's a man clearly in love with the Great American Songbook and despite his restricted vocal he's brave enough to tackle it.

Read more
Drum Fill Friday
11:41 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Drum Fill Friday: Unfailing Flailing

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 12:10 pm

I'm not a drummer. And it's a lot harder for me to articulate why one fill works over another than it is for people who've been hitting the toms since they were kids. So when our guest Quizmasters have the week off and I put together one of these puzzlers myself, I just reach for the songs that always get me air drumming. Driving in the car, waiting for the Metro, walking down the street — the fills in this week's Drum Fill Friday are all ones that get my arms flailing. I wonder if it's strange for drummers to know they've created beats and patterns that idiots like me try to pantomime.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:11 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Tiny Desk Contest Entries Just Keep Coming

Our search to find the next great unknown musician to play at the Tiny Desk ends Monday.
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 11:33 am

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:04 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

All Songs At 15: How To Get The Greatest Job In The World

Robin's redesign demo for All Songs Considered from 2000. (Don't laugh, this looked pretty cool 15 years ago).
Robin Hilton

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:34 pm

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 personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:44 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Viking's Choice: Zs, 'Xe'

Zs.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:24 am

Some noise freaks will have you believe that if the music doesn't kill you, it's not extreme enough. Since 2000, the Brooklyn band Zs and its rotating cast could sometimes be accused of that mentality, as they've looked to the caustic examples of '60s free jazz, '80s No Wave and minimalism. Zs' members take grand leaps into music with no place to land, which is what makes the approachable (but no less challenging) Xe, especially its title track, the group's most radical statement.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:34 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Song Premiere: Jackson Scott, 'Pacify'

Jackson Scott's sophomore album Sunshine Redux is due out April 28 on Bloodmoss Records.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:14 am

The young singer and guitarist Jackson Scott first popped up on our radar when he released his psych-pop debut Melbourne in 2013. It was a lo-fi wonder that included an unsettling but strangely sunny (and unforgettable) tribute to the children killed at Sandy Hook.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:55 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Viking's Choice: Mind Over Mirrors, 'Calling Your Name'

Mind Over Mirrors.
Saverio Truglia Courtesy of the artist

At the center of Mind Over Mirrors' sound lies the Indian pedal harmonium, an instrument that elicits a piercing tone; it's at once devotional and alarming in its presence and volume. Jaime Fennelly typically surrounds these song-driven drones with tape loops and synthesizers, and on The Voice Calling, he's joined by Circuit Des Yeux's Haley Fohr, whose deep baritone voice could also be described as devotional and alarming. She's an incantatory force in "Calling Your Name."

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:07 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Discoveries From globalFEST 2015

Clockwise from upper left: Puerto Candelaria, Emel Mathlouthi, Sam Lee, The Jones Family Singers
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:53 am

The news headlines weren't always easy to read last week, between the mass shootings in Paris and the relentless violence in Nigeria. But over the weekend, in New York City, some of the most remarkable global music groups in the world converged for a moment of musical solidarity.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:02 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Viking's Choice: Blacklisted, 'Burnt Palms'

Blacklisted.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 1:34 pm

It's been six years since Blacklisted's No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me, a gritty hardcore record that outwardly plays with melody, noise and lunging tempos that felt truer to Soundgarden or Nirvana's Bleach than anything else. Now comes When People Grow, People Go, a record that leans more on the band's straight-ahead hardcore fury, but with experimentation lurking beneath the surface. Here's one of the album's major ragers, "Burnt Palms."

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:01 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Viking's Choice: Visigoth, 'The Revenant King'

Visigoth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 1:35 pm

If wizards, battles and crunchy riffs roll your 20-sided die a critical hit, heed Visigoth's call. On its debut album, the Salt Lake City power-metal band looks to Manowar, Judas Priest and Manilla Road ("Necropolis" gets covered here) for that classic '80s sound, but the production is decidedly heavier, with mammoth choruses led by Jake Rogers' regal voice. Take a listen to the title track from The Revenant King and try not to raise your fists in triumph.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Bob Boilen's Favorite Concert Photos Of 2014

Ty Segall on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
Bob Boilen NPR

I go to so many shows, and for years I've been taking photos with my phone and posting them on my Instagram account @tinydesk. But a few months into 2014 I bought one of those tiny little mirrorless cameras by Sony. Then I caught the photo bug pretty bad (or good).

Read more
All Songs Considered
11:15 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Drum Fill Friday: Beat Week Edition

I hope you had a good, long, refreshing break over the holidays. Or should I say... drum break? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Sigh.

Read more
All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri January 9, 2015

662 Shows In 365 Days: Bob Boilen's Year In Concerts

St. Vincent's Annie Clark, who played Bob Boilen's favorite concert of 2014, on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:28 am

I missed another year of TV shows. I missed every single Netflix and HBO series. I did, however, see four times as many movies in 2014 as I did in 2013: four, instead of just one. What I did see once again was a whole lot of live music, 662 performances to be exact. (I count each band as a show or performance.) In a year packed full of concerts, I saw 555 different bands in 144 venues across 16 cities. It turns out I saw exactly the same amount of shows this year as last, which made me laugh ... guess I've hit my ceiling.

Read more
All Songs Considered
2:53 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday: A Milestone For Internet Radio

All Songs Considered host and creator Bob Boilen in 2000, back when he still had a luxurious, full head of mink-like hair.
NPR

Fifteen years ago this month, All Songs Considered posted its very first episode. When you listen to that debut (with the link above) and hear host Bob Boilen say it's "a music show for your computer!" it feels very quaint by today's standards. But when ASC first launched, it was considered groundbreaking.

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:59 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Viking's Choice: The Body & Thou, 'Terrible Lie (Nine Inch Nails Cover)'

Thou & The Body.
Megan Acosta Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 9:46 am

If you haven't been following along, know that between making gorgeously seething albums, Thou has a thing for cover songs: Soundgarden, several from

Read more
All Songs Considered
1:06 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

A New Mix For The New Year: Panda Bear, The Go! Team, More

Clockwise from upper left: Panda Bear, Jessica Pratt, cover art for Red Baraat, Ian Parton of The Go! Team
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:04 am

In case you missed it, we took a rocket ride to outer space for the holidays. But this week we re-dock at the mother ship Earth to ring in the new year toting a new mix that includes premieres from The Go!

Read more
All Songs Considered
8:04 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Viking's Choice: The Year In The Loud And The Weird

Members of Unconscious Collective getting ready for ritualistic jazz-rock battle.
Ginger Berry Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 8:18 am

"I thought I'd kick you in the pants."

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Have An Oddly Jolly Christmas: A Quirky Holiday Playlist

Crate-digger and director Mitchell Kezin shows off one of his Christmas finds in a still from his documentary, Jingle Bell Rocks!
Elaine Littman Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:27 am

Searching for Christmas music you've never heard before? Well, Mitchell Kezin is a collector of what he calls "Christmas orphans," those Christmas songs hardly played and mostly unknown. After being a closet collector of Christmas music for years, now he's directed a documentary about obsessive crate-diggers who specialize in rare Christmas music.

Read more

Pages