Bob Boilen

Bob Boilen appears in the following:

Anna Von Hausswolff Finds A Pipe Organ In New York City

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

One of my most surprising discoveries of 2013 is an artfully poppy pipe-organ record called Ceremony, by Swedish singer Anna von Hausswolff. Though she doesn't consider herself an accomplished pipe organist, von Hausswolff quickly learned the instrument's power, as well as some of its subtleties.

When we learned that von ...

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Baths: Tiny Desk Concert

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Baths, a.k.a. Will Wiesenfeld, plays mysterious and textured electronic music. When Wiesenfeld came to the Tiny Desk, I expected contemplative tones and a laid-back performance; he does, after all, call his project Baths. But what sets him apart from the vast majority of like-minded performers is that his music ...

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First Watch: Zola Jesus, 'Fall Back'

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I suppose it would be natural, if you grew up relatively isolated in a Wisconsin forest, to find yourself fascinated by cities. And so it is for the 24-year-old Russian-American singer Nika Roza Danilova, best known as Zola Jesus. In the video for her song "Fall Back," from the new ...

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Hear How A Song Takes Shape

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Did you want to hear how a song evolves? How a single spark of inspiration transforms into words and then melody and finally a fully produced complex production?

Jordon Gieger, known by the moniker Hospital Ships, has unveiled his journey as a songwriter for us. "Desolation Waltz" is ...

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The Front Bottoms: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, August 19, 2013

When I first saw The Front Bottoms, I was stunned to see 350-plus singing, shouting club-goers repeat verse after complicated verse back at singer Brian Sella. Then it happened again at a hot, sweaty club in Philadelphia, and later in D.C., and then again in Baltimore. The community that's ...

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First Listen: Typhoon, 'White Lighter'

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Underneath Typhoon's booming sound and dark lyrics lies a sincere appreciation for the gift of life. After spending his childhood battling a serious illness, Kyle Morton writes songs ...

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First Watch: The Orwells, 'Who Needs You'

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"They look like the kids from Stand By Me or an old Norman Rockwell painting canted a few degrees," director Eddie O'Keefe says of the teenaged Chicago garage-rock group The Orwells. "I wanted to capture that aspect of the band in a video." The Orwells' new song, "Who Needs You," ...

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The Old Tiny Desk Gets Demolished

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The old NPR building is gone for good. In particular, the last part of the building where our first 277 Tiny Desk Concerts were held is gone — the place where folks like the late Vic Chesnutt brought us nearly to tears, Macklemore punched the ceiling tiles ...

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First Listen: Pond, 'Hobo Rocket'

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From Ty Segall to Tame Impala to Pond, psychedelic riff-rock is in the midst of a major renaissance. It helps that many of its practitioners are prolific and, in some cases, related to each other: Tame Impala and Pond share three members. (Both groups are based in Perth, ...

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Guards: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, July 22, 2013

Guards' music captures the pop sound of the late '50s and early '60s, but with more power and polish. It's hard not to hear a bit of Buddy Holly's melody and spirit — think 1958's "Rave On" — when you hear Guards play "Silver Lining," the first song in this ...

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Song Premiere: The Civil Wars' 'Dust To Dust' Is An Ode To The End

Monday, July 22, 2013

Joy Williams and John Paul White are The Civil Wars, a duo of passionate performers. The first time I saw them perform there were such positive sparks flying between them, but these days they can barely speak to one another. The Civil Wars are about to release a ...

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First Watch: Kingsley Flood, 'Sigh A While'

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's one thing for an artist to talk about his failures — that's easy fodder for a good song — but art at its best incites positive change. "Sigh A While," this song from Boston's Kingsley Flood, is written to inspire. Kingsley Flood's Naseem Khuri says this tune is about ...

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Alice Russell: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, July 15, 2013

There's nothing restrained about an Alice Russell performance: It's emotionally fiery from the start and just gets hotter and grittier — especially when she's singing "To Dust," the title track from her first new solo album in almost five years.

Russell is a classic soul-infused singer — close your ...

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Maps And Music: Explore Okkervil River's New Album

Monday, July 15, 2013

The next album from the Austin, Texas, band Okkervil River will tell the childhood tale of its lead singer and songwriter Will Sheff, a self-described awkward, nearsighted, asthmatic kid growing up the small town of Meriden, N.H. The music on The Silver Gymnasium, out on Sept. 3, is some of ...

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First Watch: John Vanderslice, 'How The West Was Won'

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"This is just an awesome, inspiring place to make music." Those are the words of Jake Wachtel, who directed this music video for John Vanderslice. And the place he's talking about, well, it's John's heart and soul really: It's a recording studio called Tiny Telephone located in San ...

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The Best Concert-Finding Mobile Apps

Monday, July 08, 2013

A few months ago, I reviewed a handful of new apps that show you which bands or artists are playing in your area. Some of those apps were hit-or-miss, and some have made some improvements since my initial review. This week All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton and I ...

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Skinny Lister: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, July 08, 2013

I wish I could say I first found Skinny Lister in a pub some late evening while folks were dancing on the tables. I trust that that happens, but my unforgettable experience with this kick-ass English folk-punk band was at a hotel lobby in midday, in the midst of a ...

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Watch The Music Video For Franz Ferdinand's 'Right Action'

Monday, July 08, 2013

The Scottish band Franz Ferdinand has teamed up again with director Jonas Odell for a music video for the song "Right Action." This new song, their best in years, is a jangly, odd-ball single that perfectly sums up all the reasons the quartet made it into our hearts in the ...

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First Watch: Whispertown Shows Stunning 'Parallel' Worlds

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Merriam-Webster defines parallel as, "extending in the same direction, everywhere equidistant, and not meeting." The luscious and expansive song, "Parallel," from Morgan Nagler's indie project Whispertown and the accompanying music video both explore the term in magnificent ways. The video, made from creative commons videos on YouTube edited together by ...

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Question Of The Week: Who Is The Most Intense Performer You've Ever Seen?

Monday, July 01, 2013

Last night I witnessed an intense and commanding performance. The band was Deafheaven and lead singer George Clarke kept me riveted. Here's what it looked like captured by my phone:

Now this is not a vocal style I gravitate toward, but something happened last night that I don't ...

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