Bob Boilen

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.

Significant listener interest in the music being played on All Things Considered, along with his and NPR's vast music collections, gave Boilen the idea to start All Songs Considered. "It was obvious to me that listeners of NPR were also lovers of music, but what also became obvious by 1999 was that the web was going to be the place to discover new music and that we wanted to be the premiere site for music discovery." The show launched in 2000, with Boilen as its host.

Before coming to NPR, Boilen found many ways to share his passion for music. From 1982 to 1986 he worked for Baltimore's Impossible Theater, where he held many posts, including composer, technician, and recording engineer. Boilen became part of music history in 1983 with the Impossible Theater production Whiz Bang, a History of Sound. In it, Boilen became one of the first composers to use audio sampling — in this case, sounds from nature and the industrial revolution. He was interviewed about Whiz Bang by Susan Stamberg on All Things Considered.

In 1985, the Washington City Paper voted Boilen 'Performance Artist of the Year.' An electronic musician, he received a grant from the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to work on electronic music and performance.

After Impossible Theater, Boilen worked as a producer for a television station in Washington, D.C. He produced several projects, including a music video show. In 1997, he started producing an online show called Science Live for the Discovery Channel. He also put out two albums with his psychedelic band, Tiny Desk Unit, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Boilen still composes and performs music and posts it for free on his website BobBoilen.info. He performs contradance music and has a podcast of contradance music that he produces with his son Julian.

Longtime NPR fans may remember another contribution Boilen made to NPR. He composed the original theme music for NPR's Talk of the Nation.

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All Songs TV
9:46 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Colony House, 'Silhouettes'

Colony House
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:53 pm

All Songs Considered
4:03 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Jack White's 'Lazaretto': The All Songs Interview

Mary Ellen Matthews Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:29 pm

  • Listen To Jack White On All Songs

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All Songs TV
12:12 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

The Acid, 'Fame'

The Acid (from left: Adam Freeland, Ry X, Steve Nalepa)
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:42 pm

The video for "Fame" was directed by Dugan O'Neal and The Acid's Ry X. The Acid's debut album, Liminal, will be out July 15 on Mute Records.

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All Songs Considered
11:02 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Hear A Song From 'Fuego,' The First New Phish Album In 5 Years

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:55 pm

It's been almost five years since Phish had a new album of songs. Today, we're happy to announce that Fuego, the band's twelfth studio album, will be out on June 24. That's the album cover above. The album's ten songs were premiered live by the band on Halloween 2013 in Atlantic City, N.J.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Bob Dylan Covers A Classic Tune

Courtesy of the artist

A new Bob Dylan recording popped up on his site just now. You have to go there to hear it — it's a version of the classic 1945 song, "Full Moon and Empty Arms." The tune is written by Buddy Kaye — known for writing hits for Sinatra, Ella and Elvis — and Ted Mossman, and based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

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All Songs TV
9:23 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Sharon Van Etten, 'Every Time The Sun Comes Up'

A still from the video for Sharon Van Etten's "Every Time the Sun Comes Up."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:36 pm

Tiny Desk Concerts
2:09 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Chvrches: Tiny Desk Concert

Chvrches performs at a Tiny Desk in April 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 am

For a brief moment, I imagined hearing Chvrches perform "Recover" or "Gun" with a couple of acoustic guitars and perhaps a shaker or two. And, though these songs would surely stand up well when broken down and bared, I'm thrilled that Chvrches came with a small arsenal of synthesizers to perform a few highlights from last year's album The Bones of What You Believe.

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All Songs TV
8:58 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Agnes Obel, 'Dorian'

From a film by Maya Deren, 1958
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 4:00 pm

A mix of daydream and pop, Danish performer Agnes Obel chooses legendary filmmaker Maya Deren's film, "In The Very Eye of Night," performed Metropolitan Ballet students to accompany her song 'Dorian.'

All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Bob's Rainbows: May 10, 2014

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. as part of the birthday celebration for Big Tony of Trouble Funk.
Kyle Gustafson Washington Post/Getty images

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:55 am

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All Songs TV
9:03 am
Fri May 9, 2014

The Collection, 'The Gown Of Green'

The Collection's David Wimbish
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:18 am

If you love an uplifting big band, The Collection is for you. These dozen-plus players from Greensboro, N.C., with a house-filling sound get a video to match for the song "The Gown Of Green."

All Songs TV
6:22 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lucius, 'Don't Just Sit There'

Lucius, 'Don't Just Sit There'
Peter Larson Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV
1:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Honeyblood, 'Killer Bangs'

Singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale and drummer Shona McVicar of the Glasgow duo Honeyblood
Laura Coulson Courtesy of the artist

Tiny Desk Concerts
3:03 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Public Service Broadcasting: Tiny Desk Concert

Public Service Broadcasting performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in March 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:34 pm

These guys don't speak or sing a word, but each song sends a clear message. Public Service Broadcasting is a duo featuring the nerdy J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo and electronics and Wrigglesworth on drums. The source material for the music is British public-service films from roughly the 1940s through the 1960s.

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All Songs TV
9:03 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Nickel Creek, 'Destination'

Nickel Creek.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 12:22 pm

All Songs Considered
10:02 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Bob's Rainbows: May 3, 2014

Future Islands at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC.
Photo by Zac Visco for NPR NPR

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All Songs TV
2:15 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Air Review, 'Young'

Air Review from their video for 'Young'
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 4:01 pm

Air Review, from Dallas, mixes cheery music with fantastical imagery in the video for "Young," a surreal adventure in storytelling that travels through cityscapes, landscapes outer space.

All Songs TV
8:33 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Dub Thompson, 'No Time'

Dub Thompson video for the song "No Time:
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:38 am

All Songs Considered
10:11 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

Young Fathers at U Street Music Hall in Washington, D.C.
Bob Boilen NPR

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:42 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Quilt: Tiny Desk Concert

Quilt performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:00 am

It's right there in the band's name, but the music of Quilt is truly a tapestry. Its songs are made of small bits of verses and choruses that, heard individually, may not seem to fit. But in the hands and voices of this band, they stitch together beautifully. Interweaving harmonies and guitar lines from Anna Fox Rochinski and Shane Butler set the tone for these tunes — soft and benevolent, dreamy and quivering, with poetry that's thoughtful and playful. The opening song at this Tiny Desk Concert, "Arctic Shark," questions and enchants.

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All Songs TV
12:23 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

The Shackeltons, 'The Ache'

Courtesy of the artist

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