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All Songs Considered

Guest Dose: DJ JNETT

Apr 15, 2016

Welcome to Guest Dose. Every month, NPR Music's Recommended Dose crew invites a knowledgeable and experienced DJ/selector to share with us their personal perspectives on electronic and beat-driven music, and make a mix from some new tracks they are digging.

Sturgill Simpson's 2014 album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, took a lot of people by surprise. While the song forms were firmly rooted in Nashville traditions, the stories he told and observations he made were more like something from a metaphysical self-help guide, with existential meditations on death and dying, religion and the never-ending search for a higher purpose.

For the past three years, the Robotic Empire label has released album-length tributes to Nirvana for Record Store Day: In Utero, In Tribute, In Entirety and Whatever Nevermind.

Three silhouettes stretch across the flat earth, facing each other at a tense distance. Heat squiggles through the air like baby snakes dancing in the sand. The one facing west is long and cracked like old leather, his face determined but his eyes wet with worry. In a rush to claim his bounty, he's replenished his bullet belt, but has left his gun in the room where his antenna'd lover lies. He is thinking about last night, knowing it was likely his last.

Is there a song that changed the way you think about life? A song that changed your path? I've been thinking a lot about this the past few years and I've posed that question to 35 musicians. Their answers are in a book I just wrote: Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St.

It's been more than a decade since Erin Tobey's last solo album, and if the name sounds somewhat familiar, she was part of the early- to mid-'00s Bloomington punk scene in bands like Abe Froman and Mt. Gigantic.

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a mix of new songs by veteran artists and shiny premieres from up-and-coming bands. Robin leads off the show with a cut from the country-folk flavored alternative rock group The Jayhawks, while Bob wheels out a premiere by the Australian band Oh Pep!.

Bands don't always like to admit their influences — after all, at some point your musical environment just becomes second nature. Ahead of releasing its first album in six years, the ever-evolving rock band Aloha recently offered a "Deep '80s" playlist of works that inspired Little Windows Cut Right Through, from Steve Roach's bubbling synths to Iron Curtain's somber and grandiose pop to Prefab Sprout's glossy soul.

The Piave River flows into the Adriatic Sea, irrigating the vines of the Veneto wine region and sharing a bloody history with two battles during the Napoleonic Wars and WWI. Like that river, life and death are the ever-shifting currents that guide the Italian musician Marco Spigariol on his debut album, Requiescat In Plavem, recorded under the name Krano.

Welcome to the April Fools' edition of the Dose – no pranks, just serious bizness. O.K., maybe not so serious – maybe Team Dose just takes it seriously, because we care.

There's adventurous new music from Explosions in the Sky and you can hear a conversation with the band and some of the music on this week's +1 podcast. The Wilderness is the instrumental rock band's first album of non-soundtrack songs in five years, and the sound on this record stretches the already expansive sound of this instrumental guitar band from blissful and emotional to mind-bending and downright scary.

On Saturday, The Glands frontman Ross Shapiro died from an undisclosed illness at 52. We remember the musician with one of our favorite songs.

At first, it's an unlikely pairing. I think of Sam Amidon unadorned, his yearning voice perhaps paired with a guitar, banjo or fiddle. On the other hand, San Fermin, the project of Ellis Ludwig-Leone, is about the mighty power of great arrangements and orchestration. It took Sam's young son to pull the two sounds together for this song new collaboration, along with words taken from a poem called "Against Winter" by poet Charles Simic. Ellis Ludwig-Leone wrote to us, describing the simple beginnings of this new song:

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, Bob helps Robin Hilton out of his annual NCAA March Madness depression after his Jayhawks lose yet again. Bob plays a mind-obliterating track from Explosions In The Sky.

Overthinking a good pop song can ruin the big fat grin one can elicit. Portland, Ore.'s Mo Troper makes grinningly great power-pop songs, while remaining ridiculously good at covering up his labor-intensive songwriting choices.

As The Smiths know, sometimes you just need someone to sing you to sleep. So while our team was at SXSW in Austin, Texas last week, they asked a handful of our favorite artists in town for the festival — Lucius, Maren Morris, Holly Macve, Mt. Wolf, Timmy Thomas, A-WA, Declan McKenna and Miya Folick — to do just that. They brought the songs. We brought cameras and microphones.

There's new music from Bob Mould. His latest album, Patch The Sky, comes out March 25. One of this legendary musician's biggest fans — from his punk days of Hüsker Dü to the land of Sugar and his prolific and exciting solo records — is musician Ryan Adams. And as a fan and friend, Ryan invited Bob to his PAX-AM Studio and pressed record.

The extreme-metal visionary Ihsahn likes to play with expectations — in fact, he delights in upending them. In a career spanning three decades, Ihsahn has subverted expectations in every project that bears his name, Emperor and Hardingrock among them. It's a desire to make something grand, make something new.

SXSW 2016 In 10 GIFs

Mar 23, 2016

If the SXSW music festival feels unwieldy, we've got you covered with our favorite

SXSW 2016: Photos Of The Week

Mar 21, 2016

Amid the mess of heat, rain and tacos, there was a rich gallery of motion and color at the SXSW music festival. Here are the most stunning images of the week from photographer Adam Kissick and our own Bob Boilen.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Weekend

Mar 21, 2016

Three hours before the members of our team at SXSW began to depart from Austin, Texas, they gathered for one last late-night recap. At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Stephen Thompson pondered an eternal question ("How did we survive another year of this?") to which everyone offered more or less the same answer: The music. Bob Boilen remembered Diet Cig defying gravity and his day of stellar voices — from Holly Macve to New York group Overcoats.

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