Bob Boilen

Bob Boilen appears in the following:

First Listen: Anna Von Hausswolff, 'Ceremony'

Sunday, June 30, 2013

When you put on Anna Von Hausswolf's second album, Ceremony, everything around you changes — that's its first surprise. That ability to be instantly distinct is the mark of any great record; it's a vibe, and here that vibe is dramatic and stark and, as Ceremony progresses, surprising.

Last summer ...

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Maya Beiser: Tiny Desk Concert

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Maya Beiser's Twitter handle — @CelloGoddess — says it all. She's a brilliant cellist with a stunning command of her instrument, and she's tightly tied to technology. Beiser takes the sound of her cello and runs it through loop pedals, effects and other electronics to make her instrument shimmer, ...

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Hear The Pixies' First Original Song In Nine Years

Friday, June 28, 2013

A rousing comeback single is hard to pull off, especially when it's been nine years since you've released an original song. But from the first few seconds of Pixies singer Black Francis' half-spoken, half-shouted line in "Bagboy" — "I had a bad reaction to your public hobby writings / I ...

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Watch The David Lynch-Directed Nine Inch Nails Video

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sixteen years after collaborating on the Lost Highway soundtrack, David Lynch and Trent Reznor are back together. The always eerie Lynch oversaw the video for Nine Inch Nails' first single in five years, "Came Back Haunted," which was posted early Friday morning.

The new Nine Inch Nails album, Hesitation Marks, ...

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First Watch: Lowland Hum, 'War Is Over'

Friday, June 21, 2013

The power of music paired with imagery never ceases to amaze me. For this video by Lowland Hum, three unrelated sets of found footage connect in powerful ways to the song "War Is Over."

Daniel Levi Goans and Lauren Plank Goans are the husband and wife who make up Lowland ...

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Billy Bragg: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, June 17, 2013

OK Go helped us move the Tiny Desk from our old building to NPR's new headquarters, and The National performed the first full new-building Tiny Desk Concert we posted to the site, but Billy Bragg gave us the first full Tiny Desk Concert we actually ...

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First Watch: Sonny And The Sunsets, 'Green Blood'

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I adore this song, and the video makes me love it all the more. "Green Blood" is from Sonny and the Sunsets' new album, Antenna to the Afterworld. It's a record filled with cinematic tales, told simply with guitars, bass and drums. And none of those tales are told ...

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Rhye, Live In Concert

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

This is some of the sexiest music I've heard in years, with seductive sounds that are subtle and fragrant. Rhye is the music of Danish songwriter-producer Robin Hannibal and Toronto-born Mike Milosh, a man with an androgynous and mysterious voice. In fact, when the band's music first surfaced — ...

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What's Your Favorite Concert Of The Year (So Far)?

Monday, June 03, 2013

Live music is better than ever. I've see a lot of it, so I can attest. So far this year I've seen 263 bands (at this point last year I'd seen 228, a 15-percent increase!), and I've got a ton of favorites. But none of the shows I've seen in ...

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OK Go: A Tiny Desk Concert In 223 Takes

Monday, June 03, 2013

The Tiny Desk has moved, and OK Go has helped make it so.

Earlier this year, we needed to figure out the best possible way to move my Tiny Desk from NPR's old headquarters to our new facility just north of the U.S. Capitol. We wanted to go out ...

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra: NPR Front Row

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"No Need for a Leader," from Unknown Mortal Orchestra's recent album II, is the song that really drew me into the band's recent concert at Washington, D.C.'s Rock and Roll Hotel, recorded live on Feb. 27. A cocktail of riff-rock and Black Sabbath-style psychedelia, it's a tremendous introduction ...

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James Blake, Live In Concert

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Each time I see James Blake and his band perform, I feel the extreme rush of hearing something for the very first time. The sound is sharp and visceral; it oddly vibrates the hair on my arms and, at moments of extreme bass, gets me feeling claustrophobic before the ...

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Do You Have A Favorite Record Label?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Do you have a favorite record label? These days, it can be hard to tell. Truthfully, I barely know what artists record for which label in the digital age. I love the new William Tyler guitar record, the new Baths album and Sonny and the Sunsets, but ask ...

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Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, May 13, 2013

There's something endearing, old-timey and almost vaudevillian about Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale — even the way they bill themselves as "Buddy and Jim." Both veteran musicians are in love with country music in all its many forms and influences; their music incorporates the blues and bluegrass, rock ...

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First Watch: Gary Clark Jr., 'Numb'

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

In the seven months since Gary Clark, Jr. released his major label debut, Blak and Blu, he's played for the President at the White House with Mick Jagger and blues legend B.B. King, opened for The Rolling Stones and played with

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Ólafur Arnalds, Live In Concert

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

How can music be happy and sad at the same time? Listen to Olafur Arnalds and you'll hear it. Depending on your mood, the tone changes, and a song that may have been uplifting one day sounds like an elegy the next. It's spacious, undeniably beautiful work. Much of ...

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Song Premiere: Sharon Jones' Explosive 'Retreat'

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

If this song had just the tubular bells at the top and then that Motown guitar riff, I'd have been hooked and happy. But then, along comes Sharon Jones, the brilliant, powerful soul singer, and the song explodes. "Retreat!" is the perfect marriage of singer, song and band. A lot ...

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First Watch: Alpine's Mind-And-Body-Bending 'Gasoline'

Monday, May 06, 2013

A is for Alpine and it's also the name of Alpine's debut album. Alpine is a six-piece ensemble from Australia with an airy sound led by singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The group's album, A is for Alpine, has been out in their home since 2012, but ...

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First Watch: The Handsome Family, 'Woodpecker'

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Handsome Family, the wife and husband duo of Rennie Sparks (vocals, bass and banjo) and Brett Sparks (vocals, guitar and keyboards), love telling stories, and they've been doing it in song for 20 years. A new album, Wilderness, is out May 14, and "Woodpecker," a song from ...

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First Watch: Femi Kuti, 'The World Is Changing'

Friday, May 03, 2013

"'The World Is Changing' is groove with a message." That quote, a pretty good summary of the music of Femi Kuti in just nine words, comes from Juan Gélas, the creative director of a new video for Kuti's new song. Femi Kuti is a saxophonist, trumpeter, keyboard player and singer ...

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