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 curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

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 an interpreter 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 also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

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

I grew up in a town of about 6,000 people in rural Kansas back in the '70s and '80s. I've never romanticized it much, though it was certainly a simpler time and, for better or worse, it's where I learned to make some sense of my life. The world you inhabit when you come of age in your teen years has a way of digging its claws in you. As the years pass, no matter how far you try to get away from it, it stays with you. The people, the places, the sounds and even the smells become a part of your DNA.

Regina Spektor has spent much of the past decade perfecting an oddly lovely mix of sweet melodies, piano-driven pop, flashes of experimentalism, and cheery but wistful ruminations on love and heartache. But Spektor writes and performs with the passion of punk, and her otherwise innocent story-songs take unconventional turns.

The Los Angeles-based singer Simone White has a voice like ether. It's sweetly airy and hypnotic. Hearing it can pull you under to a strangely beautiful, glittering world where nothing seems real.

On "In The Water Where The City Ends," from her latest record, Silver Silver, White's voice is at its most haunting as she recalls, in disjointed poetry, the tsunami that devastated Japan's Tohoku region last year.

Drum Fill Friday

Mar 2, 2012

I think this week's are pretty easy. Below are six drum intros and fills. Match the intro or fill to the album it's from. If you get it right, the artist and song names will appear.

As always, if you've got a drum fill or intro you think would be good for the quiz, let us know in the comments section.

More drum fill quizzes.

Drum Fill Friday

Feb 3, 2012

Below are six drum intros and fills. Match the intro or fill to the album it's from. If you get it right, the artist and song names will appear.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.