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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Music
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Jenny Lewis Stands Out With 'Voyager'

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:56 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs Considered Blog
9:50 am
Fri May 11, 2012

The Beach Boys: 2062

The Beach Boys on their 50th Anniversary tour. (L-R) Brian Wilson, David Marks, Mike Love and Al Jardine.
Larry Marano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 7:47 am

On Wednesday night in New York, I saw The Beach Boys play a concert. Now, if someone back in 1962 told you that the band would be still making music in 2012, you'd think them crazy. But I'm here now to tell you that you'll be able to see The Beach Boys perform in 2062.

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Field Recordings
7:49 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Filastine And The Cathedral Of Junk

Filastine performs a song on shopping carts at The Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:16 am

He'd say he was a radical before he'd say he was a musician — a laptop artist with a love of grit and noise. Grey Filastine, once based in Seattle but now a nomad loosely based in Barcelona, is a creative soul. He seems to also love a good party, a beat and a shopping cart wired for sound.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:21 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

First Aid Kit: Tiny Desk Concert

Mallory Benedict NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:08 am

First Aid Kit is two young Swedish sisters — that's Klara Soderberg on the left and Johanna Soderberg on the right — who make utterly charming, folk-infused pop music that lulls and enchants, with an obvious nod to late-'60s and early-'70s bands like Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their voices intertwine in that way sibling singers' sometimes do, with disarmingly lovely results, but the music remains distinctly alluring and adventurous.

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All Songs Considered Blog
2:25 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Listening To The Best Of Marcel Marceau, On His Birthday

Bob Boilen and the curiously-spelled The Best of Marcel Marceao.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 1:30 pm

Eighty-nine years ago today, Marcel Marceau, the WWII French resistance fighter and the most famous mime in the world, was born.

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