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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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:22 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Cheick Hamala Diabate: Tiny Desk Concert

Cheick Hamala Diabate performs a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices.
NPR

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

There was an awful lot of dancing going on the first time I stumbled upon the music of Cheick Hamala Diabate. On the dance floor at U Street's Tropicalia that night was a rich cross-section of D.C. life, all entranced by the music of Mali.

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NPR Story
3:48 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

First Watch: Whispertown Shows Stunning 'Parallel' Worlds

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 7:37 pm

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 Morgan Nagler's brother (he wishes to go by "Morgan's Brother") illustrates the concept of parallel by showing a myriad of different scenarios that mimic each other. It's a bit of magic, really.

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All Songs Considered
5:43 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

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

Deafheaven's George Clarke at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, DC
Bob Boilen Bob

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:53 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:20 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Maya Beiser: Tiny Desk Concert

Maya Beiser performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2013.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:25 pm

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, drone and groove. Then there's her magnificent sense of melody.

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All Songs Considered
3:48 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Hear The Pixies' First Original Song In Nine Years

Courtesy of the artsit

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All Songs Considered
11:18 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Watch The David Lynch-Directed Nine Inch Nails Video

David Lynch.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 3:47 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:33 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

First Watch: Lowland Hum, 'War Is Over'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 10:51 am

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."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:13 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Billy Bragg: Tiny Desk Concert

Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:26 pm

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

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All Songs Considered
4:04 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

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

Courtesy of the artist

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 as endearingly as they are in this song and video about love on a distant planet.

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Live in Concert
8:03 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Rhye, Live In Concert

NPR

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 — with no press photos or posted lineup — many thought a woman was singing these songs.

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