Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton produces NPR Music live concerts and festival coverage across the country, including live broadcasts and webcasts from the Bonnaroo and Sasquatch festivals, South by Southwest and the Newport Folk Festival.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as a translator for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and, most recently, in the documentary film Open Secret. You can hear some of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

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All Songs Considered
3:13 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Watch Kishi Bashi Cover Beirut

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:54 pm

Kishi Bashi (who's real name is K Ishibashi) is known for his thrilling live performances, looping and layering his violin and voice to create a symphony of sound. But when he decided to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut, K went for "real" musicians, captured in this live-in-studio video.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:02 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Night Beds: Tiny Desk Concert

Night Beds' members perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 6, 2013.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:42 pm

Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.

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All Songs Considered
1:03 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

First Watch: Depeche Mode, 'Heaven'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:58 am

The English rock group Depeche Mode owned a chunk of the '80s and '90s with glossy electro-rock hits like "People Are People" and "Personal Jesus." These days the band doesn't have much to prove, and its members, who appear in this new video for the song "Heaven," seem to find themselves at peace, bathed in the radiant glow of light and love.

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All Songs Considered
12:16 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Added To NPR Music's SXSW Showcase, Live Broadcast Announced

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' only SXSW appearance takes place at NPR Music's showcase at Stubb's in Austin, Texas, on March 13.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:02 pm

We're thrilled to announce that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been added to the bill for our official South by Southwest showcase on March 13. The band joins Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for the concert, which will be broadcast on NPR stations across the country and streamed live as a video webcast here from Stubb's in Austin, Texas. The concert will also appear in the NPR Music apps.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Wed February 13, 2013

First Watch: Maps & Atlases, 'Fever'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:25 am

The deeply disturbed character who appears in the latest Maps & Atlases video, for the song "Fever," may not live to see tomorrow. As the Chicago-based band sings about holding on in our darkest hours, "The Man" slowly wastes away, addicted to a mysterious drug.

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All Songs Considered
2:54 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Hear Lisa Hannigan Cover Nick Drake For A New Tribute Album

Lisa Hannigan performs in one of several live concerts for a new tribute album, Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.
Courtesy of the artist

Veteran producer Joe Boyd says he'd long resisted putting together some sort of tribute album for his late friend, the legendary folksinger Nick Drake. But he finally decided to make one when Boyd realized that the recordings could be captured in a live concert. "In my opinion, the only way to make a tribute record work is to get everyone together in the same place so there's a unity of sound and spirit," he tells us in an email.

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All Songs Considered
10:35 am
Wed February 6, 2013

In New Spinto Band Video, Even Breakfast Is Cause For Dancing

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 8:41 pm

Joy can blindside you in the smallest, most unexpected moments. That's what happened when I watched this new video from Delaware's Spinto Band, for the song "What I Love." As a miniature paper cut-out of a gymnast dances and tumbles across a colorful breakfast table, I found myself filled with pure bliss.

A spiky, upright piano and bouncing rhythms from The Spinto Band propel the tiny dancer through her routine. Suddenly, something as mundane as drinking coffee and eating cereal seem like cause for celebration.

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All Songs Considered
12:32 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Question Of The Week: Which Songs Get You Through The Winter?

Fleet Foxes were among the many artists listeners say they turn to to survive the winter months.
Sean Pecknold

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:26 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:43 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Trent Reznor: New Band, New Song, New Video, Still Terrifying

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:45 am

The members of How To Destroy Angels, a collective featuring Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, his wife and singer Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the brilliant composer Atticus Ross, have an unambiguously grim view of where civilization is headed. In a new video for the song "How Long," from the band's upcoming album Welcome Oblivion, man hunts man in (surprise) a terrifying, dystopian future.

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All Songs Considered
2:12 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

From My Bloody Valentine's Many Layers, An Orchestral Pop Song Emerges

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 3:32 pm

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All Songs Considered
3:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

First Watch: Hem, 'Tourniquet'

Courtesy of the artist

Nearly a decade after releasing its deeply moving and profoundly beautiful album Rabbit Songs, the Brooklyn-based band Hem was on the verge of falling apart. "I actually believed that Hem might never make music together again as a band," songwriter and pianist Dan Messe tells us in an email. "Everything about who we were, where we lived, and how we related to each other seemed beyond repair."

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All Songs Considered
1:05 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Thao Confronts Critic In Hilarious New Video

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:42 am

Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down wants you to know she really doesn't care what critics say about her music. But in a comical new video to spoof her band's latest album, We The Common, the singer decides that one writer has gone too far.

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All Songs Considered
10:46 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Question Of The Week: Who Is Making Today's Most Original Music?

When we asked listeners who's making today's most original music, we got a lot of great picks, including hip-hop artist Lil Wayne.
Nabil Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:03 am

Editor's Note: We got a ton of great suggestions from you for this 'Question Of The Week,' so we decided to put together playlists at Rdio and Spotify featuring some of your picks.

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All Songs Considered
1:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

First Watch: Adam Green & Binki Shapiro

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:02 am

Adam Green (The Moldy Peaches) and singer Binki Shapiro (Little Joy) were both going through breakups when they wrote "Just To Make Me Feel Good," a deceptively breezy cut from the duo's debut, self-titled collection of late '60s folk-pop. In their new video for the song, Green and Shapiro wander the city streets, lamenting a lost love and all the little things each of them took for granted.

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All Songs Considered
10:54 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Nick Cave To Kick Off NPR Music's SXSW Showcase

Cat Stevens Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
3:39 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Are Your Top Five Story Songs?

Jean-Baptiste Mondino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 11:48 am

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All Songs Considered
2:03 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

First Watch: Mystical Weapons, 'Colony Collapse Disorder'

Greg Saunier (left) and Sean Lennon of the band Mystical Weapons.
Courtesy of the artist

The music of Mystical Weapons, a duo formed by Sean Lennon and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, is entirely improvised — made up on the fly without any agenda or deeper meaning in mind. But in the hands of video director and animator Martha Colburn, the group's latest single, "Colony Collapse Disorder," takes on apocalyptic themes with swirling religious symbolism.

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All Songs Considered
11:52 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Hear Jason Lytle, Sea Of Bees Cover Each Other's Work

Courtesy of the artists

According to legend, once in each millennium, the Music Gods come together and, after much debate, agree to bestow a single magical gift upon the world — a song or album or project so breathtaking, it leaves throngs of people weeping in the streets at its splendor and forever changes the way we hear music. That time is now, as Jason Lytle and Sea of Bees have opted to cover each other's songs.

Okay, fine: Maybe it's not that special. But it's still cool when a couple of your favorite artists dig each other's music and want to work together.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Drum Fill Friday, From Dinosaur Jr. Drummer Murph

Karl Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:19 am

This week's drum-fill quiz comes from Murph, longtime drummer for the band Dinosaur Jr. A couple of these are pretty easy, but this was otherwise one of the harder ones I've done. See what you think. Just drag the drum fill or intro to the album it's from. If you get it right, the song names will appear.

Previous drum-fill quizzes.

Here's what Murph has to say about the fills and intros he picked:

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All Songs Considered Blog
5:01 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

First Watch: Lawrence Arabia, 'The Listening Times'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:49 am

If it were the late 1960s, Lawrence Arabia might be one of the biggest bands in the world. The group, which is essentially the sole work of New Zealand artist James Milne, makes trippy, perfectly composed, melodic pop, similar to classic works by The Zombies or The Beatles.

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