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All Songs Considered

This week, we've got a surprise: Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton both went on vacation and left the All Songs studio unlocked. Apparently neither one of them uses two-step verification, so it took only a very minor effort for a couple of highly skilled NPR Music team members, Daoud Tyler-Ameen and Saidah Blount, to hack into the elaborate system of tubes, funnels and hamster wheels that feed podcasts from our microphones into your earbuds for a very special takeover edition of All Songs Considered.

Let The Games Begin: A Playlist For Rio

Aug 5, 2016

A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead's ninth and quietest record, owes much of its sound to the band's visionary guitarist, violist, electronics wiz and arranger Jonny Greenwood. On this week's All Songs +1 podcast I talk with him about how A Moon Shaped Pool came to be.

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and guest host Stephen Thompson play new music from Regina Spektor, experimental rap from Clipping, which features Daveed Diggs of Hamilton, and a great synth track from singer-songwriter Lowell.

What if you could see your favorite band in a living room, without all the background noise and cellphones you get at a live show? That's the question Rafe Offer, founder of Sofar Sounds, asked himself and a few friends after they'd seen a show where he couldn't even hear the band. Sofar Sounds operates around a simple idea: You gather together a few bands, a house in which they can perform, and an eager audience. However, the lineup isn't announced, which means the audience has no idea who's scheduled to perform until they arrive.

This month's Recommended Dose dance mix features the premiere of a new Hieroglyphic Being track, new music from renowned record labels like Lobster Theremin and PAN, and a remix of one of the 1990s' greatest house tracks.

There was barely a cloud in the sky all weekend at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. But the uninterrupted stretch of three gloriously sunny days wasn't the only stroke of good fortune festivalgoers encountered. Each day at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., was filled with surprise guests and moments of serendipity.

To put a spin on the Albert Ayler album title, metal is a healing force of the universe. Its riffs, wails and screams bring not only catharsis, but also metallic salvation. This is a prevailing theme throughout Spirit Adrift's Chained To Oblivion, which was written and recorded by Nate Garrett, a musician who splits his time between Arizona (Gatecreeper, ex-Take Over And Destroy) and Arkansas.

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There was only one copy of Athens, GA: Inside/Out in town, or at least that's what Vision Video would have you believe. You had to stake a claim to the VHS tape at Vision Video's Broad Street location (now closed), or know somebody with a bootleg, and then know someone with a VHS player. Until it was released on DVD in 2003, to watch this documentary about the '80s Athens music scene was a hassle, but vital if you cared about the history and culture of a Southern town that ran on its own time, and somehow still does.

All Songs Considered, Alt.Latino and The Record have teamed up to put on a show as a part of the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors summer program — and, oh yeah, it's free.

We're Off To The Newport Folk Festival!

Jul 22, 2016

For consumers, "free" is rarely ever free — especially when it comes to social media and other online platforms. In exchange for utilizing services like Facebook, for example, users allow information about themselves — everything from their ages and zip codes to the particular products, services and companies they like — to be collected, sliced, diced, and sometimes given to other advertisers, who pay for access to that information.

Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish artist who was brutally murdered in 2005, surreally captured the darkness of humanity with hellish landscapes and nightmarish figures. His work adorns the cover of Mizmor's second album, Yodh: Two grim creatures float over a fading grey horizon, one with mouth agape, as if to swallow the earth whole. It's a fitting image for the existential dread in Mizmor's looming, blackened doom metal, which is both sublime and mesmerizing.

When I first heard You Got Me Singing, a new record by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack, I thought, "How sweet. They probably sang many of these songs together long ago." Then I discovered how wrong I was.

We recently asked people what they think about new technology that can disable their phone cameras or otherwise lock away their devices while at concerts.

Guest Dose: Lindstrøm

Jul 15, 2016

A Lindstrøm DJ mix? Yes, you did read that correctly — and yes, we too were pleasantly surprised when one of the masters of Norwegian electronic music offered to make one for NPR Music.

Kishi Bashi recently stopped by NPR's Washington, D.C., headquarters to announce his new album Sonderlust, which is due out Sept. 16 via Joyful Noise. It includes the lushly layered "Say Yeah," a rapturous mix of '70s soft rock, disco and synth pop.

SubRosa's music is a ravaging deluge of the heart. The Salt Lake City metal band draws no line between beauty and doom, as crushing riffs and a sweeping duo of violins weave in and out of guitarist Rebecca Vernon's thoughtful meditations on love and death.

One of dance music's many great attractions is the standing offer of leaving behind the world's darkest tendencies and day-to-day squabbles for a few hours. Yet the primary reason such an offer is consistently valid, and more therapy than escapism, is that beneath what seem to be a simplistic, always-having-a-good-time veneer, dance music reflects the world that it is created in. In fact, at its best, dance music transcends it, becoming a possible model for organizing society's moving parts.

Love songs should be weird. Not that there's anything wrong with anthems that grab everyone's hearts in racing thump-thump-thumps (sup, RiRi), but more love songs ought to burst and break, fold and fall apart, move at an impossibly slow pace or -- gulp — not move at all. Warehouse set out to make a simple love song, but as "Reservoir" came together, the Atlanta rock band fell into love's contradictions and pulled out a tangled, jangled mess.

A number of musicians, including Beyoncé, Neko Case, Björk, Jack White and many more have been asking fans to shut off their phones at live shows for years. But just asking fans may not be enough. Last week Apple was granted a patent on technology that would use infrared signals to forcibly disable cell phone cameras at specific locations, ie. concert venues and theaters.

Is there anything that says "summer" better than ice cream? Well, beer maybe. And hot dogs. And baseball and barbecue and beach parties. Okay, lots of things say "summer," but we're getting sidetracked. July is National Ice Cream Month so that's what we're interested in here: Ice cream ... and music.

On this week's All Songs Considered, we share new music from legendary producer and ambient pioneer, Daniel Lanois, and from the friends-for-life trio Nonkeen, whose new album comes in the aftermath of a "freak carousel accident." Also on the show is a shout-along emo track from Montclair, N.J.'s Pinegrove and a psych-pop track about never wanting to go outside from Morgan Delt, who recently signed with Sub Pop.

The new video from Jamie xx, for the song "Gosh," is a small wonder to behold.
Gorgeously directed by Romain Gavras, the short film opens in a possibly future world where zoned-out club goers sit around with virtual reality headgear covering their faces. It then follows a man dressed in white as he leads a vast army of apparently devoted followers on some sort of vision quest that includes some remarkable, synchronized moves.

The huggable power pop of Dogbreth's Second Home is the work of punks who write youthful, larger-than-life songs that still wrinkle at the edges. It's the second outing from a band — its members split between Phoenix and Seattle — that plays with doo-wop rhythms, jangly Britpop guitars and ramshackle Thin Lizzy twin-leads.

Coming in at just under two minutes, the snippy "Hoarder House" acts as a self-contained short story in just five lines.

I'm sorry babe

It's only June and this year is already jam-packed with remarkable new artists who've released some of 2016's most memorable music. These are artists who released their very first songs or first full-length albums so far this year.

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