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 Considered
3:04 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
7:03 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Rhye, Live In Concert

NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:57 pm

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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All Songs Considered
4:06 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

What's your Favorite Concert of the Year (So Far)?

The Music Tapes turned the Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. into a giant circus for this concert on Jan. 13, 2013. The performance was among Bob Boilen's top five favorite shows so far this year.
Bob Boilen

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:57 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:00 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

OK Go: A Tiny Desk Concert In 223 Takes

OK Go performs a special Tiny Desk Concert.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:14 am

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 with a bang and arrive at our new space in style, so our thoughts naturally turned to a catchy pop band we love: OK Go, whose unforgettable videos have been viewed tens of millions of times on YouTube.

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NPR Front Row
11:58 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: NPR Front Row

Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs live at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2013.
Lizzie Chen NPR Music

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:28 pm

"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 to the trio, which began as a solo project for frontman Ruban Nielsen.

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