Bob Boilen

Bob Boilen appears in the following:

Meet Until The Ribbon Breaks: Stark Music Paired With Enigmatic Images

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Pete Lawrie Winfield makes music as Until The Ribbon Breaks, stark music with a good deep vibe; Massive Attack or James Blake would be good touchstones. Until The Ribbon Breaks doesn't have much music out yet, but "Pressure," a new song, has urgency. "'Pressure' was written ...

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Vampire Weekend On New York, Souls Of Mischief And The Secrets Of Its New Album

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The four members of Vampire Weekend — Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson — made their third record over a period that began in 2009, while they were still recording Contra, the band's second album. Now the record is done. It's called Modern Vampires of ...

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Father Figures: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, April 29, 2013

In a small, packed Washington, D.C., living room late one December night, I heard a cacophony of horns, keys, drums and guitars that simply floored me. It was brash, zany, brainy, scary and danceable. At the end of a long year of amazing live music, this would turn out to ...

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First Watch: One Man's Dream Turns Into A 'Sea Of Dreams'

Friday, April 26, 2013

My dreams are never like Chris Kittrell's "Sea Of Dreams," but I wish they were. Watching this animation will be as close as I get. Chris Kittrell is a founding member of the band Baby Alpaca, the director of the video for the band's song, "Sea of Dreams," and the ...

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Video: Music Meets Random Imagery In Yellowbirds' 'Young Men Of Promise'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Music videos are like funny math, where 1+1=3. That is, images have a meaning on their own, music has a meaning when you listen to it alone, but put images and music together and something new is born. 1+1=3. Try it randomly: put on a piece of music and watch ...

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First Listen: Iggy & The Stooges, 'Ready To Die'

Sunday, April 21, 2013

No one thought this would ever happen again. Iggy Pop and James Williamson on a record again? Seriously?

The two last played on an album together almost 40 years ago, and it didn't end pretty; in 1974, the drug-ravaged Stooges drove Iggy Pop into rehab. Williamson, who was ...

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The Zombies Remember Their Odyssey

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's remarkable to still have The Zombies with us. And rather unimaginable, really. They first broke up in 1968, just before their seminal second album, Odessey and Oracle, was released. They never really sold any records in back home in England, but in 1964 and '65, they had ...

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First Watch: People Get Ready, 'Middle Name'

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It was probably the best performance piece I've seen in more than a decade. Specific Ocean, a piece by the dance troupe/rock band People Get Ready, which I saw at the New York Live Arts theater in the fall, was a model for the ways musicians can break from the ...

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First Watch: Iron & Wine, 'Joy'

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I'm only calm when I get lost within your wilderness."

That's a key line in this song, "Joy," by Iron and Wine, the project of Sam Beam. Sam is a songwriter who has a way of making the personal very ...

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First Watch: Thao And The Get Down Stay Down, 'We The Common'

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I first met Thao Nguyen in 2008, in the earliest days of the Tiny Desk Concert series. I was a big fan of her witty, catchy songs. After she finished playing the Tiny Desk, Thao said something that has endeared me to her forever. Walking toward the elevators on her ...

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Brainstorm: NPR Front Row

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

There was a "fire in the belly" feel when Brainstorm took the stage at TenOak in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest music festival this past March. In its best moments, the trio from Portland, Ore., has an edge that embodies both African highlife guitar and the sounds of ...

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Efterklang: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, April 08, 2013

Bands with big ideas work well at the Tiny Desk. Efterklang is a Danish group whose recent album Piramida took its members to an abandoned mining town between the North Pole and Norway. There, they recorded sounds of empty oil tanks, old pianos and pretty much anything they ...

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Special Delivery: The Postal Service Story

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Postal Service was a band for a generation — the soundtrack to romance, tears and friendship. More than a million people bought its first album, 2003's Give Up, then waited anxiously for a follow-up that never arrived.

Now, a decade later, comes a new tour. ...

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Ivan & Alyosha: NPR Front Row

Friday, April 05, 2013

Playing a free concert comes with risks. Sure, more people will show up, but they may care less about who's on stage than they do about catching up with friends; ironically, it often means the band has to work harder to win over the crowd. Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha ...

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First Watch: Lord Huron, 'Lonesome Dreams'

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Think of Lord Huron as an imaginary world as much as a rock band. Bandleader Ben Schneider has created characters and stories that fit together within an entire narrative filled with mystique. It's a bit dreamlike. To get an idea of how many layers there are in Schneider's invention, look ...

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Blaudzun: NPR Front Row

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Dutch band Blaudzun had its work cut out for it at the SXSW Music Festival, as it somehow wound up opening for a March 15 showcase of Turkish music. But Blaudzun's songs are so undeniably infectious that, by the time the band played "Elephants" — the song featured in ...

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First Watch: Efterklang, "The Ghost"

Friday, March 29, 2013

"The video has a puzzle structure: the whole story progressively makes sense to the viewer as minutes go by."

That's director Victor Carrey telling us about the new video by the creative Danish band Efterklang for the song "The Ghost." The subject of ghosts is a fitting one ...

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New Sigur Rós, New Direction? Watch The Video For 'Brennisteinn'

Friday, March 22, 2013

This is the most exciting new Sigur Rós song I've heard in a long time, and I love the band's music. "Brennisteinn" (sulfur) is a remarkably aggressive piece of music for musicians who can sound so ethereal: Dreamy elements remain, but they provide an underpinning rather than driving the pulse ...

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Sinkane: NPR Front Row

Thursday, March 21, 2013

There's a saunter to the music of Sinkane that feels breezy and a bit mysterious, like it's just a build-up to a hypnotic frenzy. That vibe is on display in this song, "Jeeper Creeper," performed on a perfect Thursday night at Clive Bar's Filter magazine-sponsored show during SXSW 2013 in ...

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Telekinesis: NPR Front Row

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You don't often see drums set up right near the lip of a stage, but not every band has a drummer as its focal point. Michael Benjamin Lerner formed Telekinesis by himself, and he plays most of the instruments on his records. But live at The Parish during South by ...

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