All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
1:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Question Of The Week: What Are The Most Terrifying Songs Of All Time?

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 1:02 pm

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All Songs Considered
11:56 am
Mon October 27, 2014

The Taylor Swift/Aphex Twin Mashup You Didn't Know You Wanted Is Here

Aphex Swift.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 1:00 pm

You have to wonder what synapse fired in comedian David Rees' brain when he heard Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" and thought, "You know what this needs?

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All Songs Considered
10:33 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Bob Boilen's Top 10 Discoveries From The 2014 CMJ Music Marathon

Bob Boilen NPR Music

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 7:50 am

Every fall, hundreds of bands migrate to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon. Many of these groups are playing their first shows in NYC and for a lot of the audience — music journalists, college dj's and fans alike — it's their first taste of these young upstarts. My previous CMJ discoveries include such favorites as Courtney Barnett, Public Service Broadcasting, Foxygen, The Blow, Zola Jesus, Caveman ... the list is long.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat October 25, 2014

The Good Listener: Where's All The Great Halloween Music?

Dead Man's Bones' 2009 debut belongs in any discussion of Halloween music.
Hama Sanders Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the fake blood we ordered for our son's Andrew W.K. costume is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on Halloween music.

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Drum Fill Friday
8:45 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss

Sleater-Kinney (and Quasi and Wild Flag) drummer Janet Weiss at the kit.
Tim Bugbee Tinnitus Photography

Drummer Janet Weiss is a force. For the past 20 years, her distinctive punch, precision and signature head swing while at the kit has been a fierce anchor for the bands Quasi, Wild-Flag, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks and most prominently Sleater-Kinney. Now that Sleater-Kinney is back together, following an eight-year hiatus, it seems like the perfect time to share some of Weiss' favorite fills (and a few intros) for this week's Drum Fill Friday.

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All Songs Considered
11:05 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Song Premiere, Robin Bacior, 'If It Does'

Robin Bacior's new album, Water Dreams, comes out Jan. 13.
Kim Smith Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on

Robin Bacior's honeyed but vibrant voice hits gently, bestowing the listener with comfort and calm. The Portland singer-songwriter knows exactly what kind of arrangements suit her best: In "If It Does," from her forthcoming album Water Dreams, that gorgeous voice is laid atop a spare but shimmering bed of piano — and paired perfectly with Dan Bindschedler's cello.

This is subtle, nuanced music: Like the rest of Bacior's work, "If It Does" doesn't grab you audaciously. But it doesn't let go, either.

Here's Bacior, writing about "If It Does":

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All Songs Considered
10:33 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Viking's Choice: Chumped, 'Name That Thing'

Chumped.
Rebecca Reed Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:42 am

Growing up sucks. Growing up is awesome. You trade in the insecurities of one age for another, and yet somehow become wiser in the process — or at least that's the idea. After just a couple of solid EPs, that seems to be the crossroads where the Brooklyn band Chumped stands right now. "Name That Thing" comes from a debut album with an appropriate title: Teenage Retirement.

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All Songs Considered
11:36 am
Tue October 21, 2014

New Mix: Sleater-Kinney, The Flaming Lips, Elle Varner, More

Clockwise from upper left: Sleater-Kinney, Elle Varner, GRMLN, The Flaming Lips
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 7:51 am

The band Sleater-Kinney (Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss) is back together, and we're all pretty excited at All Songs Considered! After an eight-year hiatus, and nearly ten years since releasing their last album, Carrie and company have announced a new, upcoming record and a brand new song called "Bury Our Friends." The album, No Cities To Love, is due out Jan. 20.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Viking's Choice: Black Clouds, 'And Then I Dove'

Black Clouds.
Chris Bavaria Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:30 am

If you're like most people, the first time you hear a song might well be through laptop speakers. But if you're listening to an instrumental rock band as mammoth as Black Clouds, those tinny sound holes become pathetic little slaps to the face. The bass frequencies and thundering drums of "And Then I Dove" are meant to vibrate through the chest, while the Washington, D.C. band's heavy melodies are tastefully driven through what's surely a spaceship-console-worthy rack of effects pedals.

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All Songs Considered
9:11 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Viking's Choice: Wildhoney, 'Fall In'

Wildhoney.
Pat McQuade Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:30 am

What happened to your brain the first time you heard the way My Bloody Valentine's seismic guitar crunch seemed to bend space? Did you bend with it? The first 10 seconds of Wildhoney's "Fall In" know that moment, wash it in a mess of crashing cymbals, and pull back the gauzy covers for a dreamy pop song that feels like the day between summer and autumn. It's bright and carefree, full of purpose and light, as Lauren Shusterich coos and leads us into the swirling foliage.

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All Songs Considered
7:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Sleater-Kinney Reunites, Announces New Album

Janet Weiss (left), Carrie Brownstein (center) and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. The trio's first album since 2005 will be out on Jan. 20.
Brigitte Sire Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:19 am

Sleater-Kinney is back together, has a new album coming out Jan. 20 via Sub Pop records, and will go on tour early next year. The album is called No Cities to Love, and you can listen to the first single, "Bury Our Friends," right here.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat October 18, 2014

The Good Listener: How Can I Become A 'Music Person'?

A reader grew up listening to Rick Astley and now needs to know: Is it too late?
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the shoes our kids outgrew in the time it took to have them shipped is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on remedial music fandom.

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All Songs Considered
10:18 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For Oct. 17

One thing that really struck me while putting together this week's batch of drum fills is how different they sound. I don't mean the timing or fill patterns themselves. I mean the timbre of the drums and the way they were recorded. You've got the super tight kits that pop with no ambient trails, the roomy kits that sound like they were captured with a single microphone twenty feet away, a brushed kit that rumbles and rattles. I love it! And all of the chosen kits and recording choices have a massive effect on how we ultimately feel about the song.

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All Songs Considered
9:40 am
Thu October 16, 2014

RSVP For NPR Music's Showcase During The CMJ Music Marathon

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 10:22 am

Next week, the CMJ Music Marathon will fill New York City with even more great music than normal. Every fall, the festival brings hundreds of bands to the city's many venues, and NPR Music will be there again this year. On Oct. 22 at (Le) Poisson Rouge, we will present a free concert featuring a multi-genre lineup of rising stars, and we'd love to see your smiling faces there.

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All Songs Considered
12:43 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

New Mix: Röyksopp, Hozier, Deerhoof, More

Clockwise from upper left: Röyksopp, Hozier, Helado Negro, Deerhoof
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 2:36 pm

Host Bob Boilen kicks off this week's show with a buzzing song from Toronto-based The Rural Alberta Advantage's new album, Mended With Gold. Inspired by the track's killer percussion, Robin Hilton shares the neurotic, upbeat "Paradise Girls" from Deerhoof's upcoming album La Isla Bonita, out Nov. 3.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat October 11, 2014

The Good Listener: When You Need To Concentrate, Which Music Is Best?

With Twin Peaks coming back in 2016, it's a perfect time to let Angelo Badalamenti's score return to your headphones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat October 11, 2014 9:33 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the promotional ghost peppers we unwittingly spilled on our pants is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for music to fill your head with sound, but not distractions.

Quint Smith writes via Twitter: "I'd love to see that editing playlist with Stars Of The Lid you mentioned on [Pop Culture Happy Hour] posted somewhere. I'm in need of ideas."

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Drum Fill Friday
11:58 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa

Drummer Stella Mozgawa, performing with Warpaint at South By Southwest earlier this year.
Jessica Alexander Geisler-Fotopr/dpa/Corbis

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

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Stella Mozgawa, drummer for the L.A. rock group Warpaint. The band is currently on tour for its moody, self-titled album, released at the beginning of the year. Mozgawa's picks for this week's quiz range from '80s pop to experimental rock, R&B and electronic music. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
1:56 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Guest DJ John Congleton

Producer, engineer and musician John Congleton.
Jeaneen Lund Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 8:42 am

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All Songs Considered
1:20 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

The Lone Bellow, 'Then Came The Morning'

The Lone Bellow's second album, Then Came The Morning, comes out early next year.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:41 pm

Brooklyn's The Lone Bellow seemed to arrive fully formed: Its self-titled 2013 debut came stuffed with intricately assembled bundles of crowd-pleasing folk-pop, each more dramatic and infectious than the last. Charismatic, photogenic, endlessly hooky — The Lone Bellow has been the complete package since day one.

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All Songs Considered
12:02 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Viking's Choice: Hungry Cloud Darkening, 'I Am Seen'

Hungry Cloud Darkening.
Kenneth M. Piekarski / Paul Benson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:41 pm

In the uncertainty between dreams and reality, there's a moment before waking when images blur into a glassy-eyed soup. Originally released on cassette in January and now seeing wider release, Hungry Cloud Darkening's "I Am Seen" embraces that beautiful unease on the trio's forthcoming Glossy Recall.

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All Songs Considered
7:45 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Song Premiere: Asaf Avidan, 'Over My Head'

Singer, Asaf Avidan
Dudi Hasson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:43 pm

Earlier this year I heard a voice like no other. In fact, when I heard the song "Different Pulses," I was sure it was a woman. I imagined someone like Janis Joplin. But the singer, the young Israeli Asaf Avidan, is the man in the photo above. He's well known back home and in Europe — an unauthorized remix of "One Day/Reckoning Song" has fifteen million views on YouTube. When he came to the U.S.

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All Songs Considered
3:50 am
Sat October 4, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do I Avoid 'The iTunes Pit Of Despair'?

The "Playlist" feature will help keep you from losing track of the albums you absolutely must hear.
Stephen Thompson NPR

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the ingredients to an Ozzy Osbourne costume that'll fit a 10-year-old girl is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on managing a library while maintaining one's connection to music.

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All Songs Considered
8:37 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Edition

The soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy was the first soundtrack composed entirely of previously released songs to top the Billboard 200 album chart.
Courtesy of the artist

I don't get out to see many films these days. But I did recently catch a matinee of the super duper popcorn movie Guardians Of The Galaxy. In addition to some spectacular CGI, the film was supported by a solid foundation of Top 40 Hits, largely from the 1970s, such as Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" and The Runaways "Cherry Bomb." At some point it occurred to me that the soundtrack had a lot of good candidates for a puzzler. So ... here it is: The Guardians Of The Galaxy edition of Drum Fill Friday. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
5:34 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of September

Xosar's full-length for Opal Tapes' vinyl imprint Black Opal is scheduled for a December release.
Courtesy of the artist

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
1:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New Mix: Thom Yorke, Robert Plant, Aphex Twin, Trent Reznor, More

Clockwise from upper left: The 2 Bears, Thom Yorke, Robert Plant, Aphex Twin, Mina Tindle, Jon Hopkins
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:32 am

This week's All Songs Considered kicks off with a pair of anniversaries.

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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 Thu April 9, 2015 3:44 pm

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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