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Who Says D.C. Can't Dance? The All Songs Listening Party Takes on Washington

  • The number card packet waiting for each audience member on their seat.
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    The number card packet waiting for each audience member on their seat.
    Caitlin Sanders/NPR
  • Bob Boilen, Audie Cornish, Stephen Thompson and Amanda Palmer (l to r).
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    Bob Boilen, Audie Cornish, Stephen Thompson and Amanda Palmer (l to r).
    Emily Hellewell/NPR
  • The audience unabashedly shared their take on the music with the numbered voting cards. A '1' score meant you didn't like the song and '10' meant you loved it.
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    The audience unabashedly shared their take on the music with the numbered voting cards. A '1' score meant you didn't like the song and '10' meant you loved it.
    Emily Hellewell/NPR
  • Audience voting; a view from the crowd.
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    Audience voting; a view from the crowd.
    Caitlin Sanders/NPR
  • On of the the evening's panelists was 'All Things Considered' host Audie Cornish.
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    On of the the evening's panelists was 'All Things Considered' host Audie Cornish.
    Caitlin Sanders/NPR
  • Listening party-goers crowded around as Amanda Palmer and her band performed a few songs after the voting session. You'll notice Bob Boilen sitting on the floor (bottom, left) in his standard beige hat.
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    Listening party-goers crowded around as Amanda Palmer and her band performed a few songs after the voting session. You'll notice Bob Boilen sitting on the floor (bottom, left) in his standard beige hat.
    Caitlin Sanders/NPR
  • Amanda Palmer at the piano.
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    Amanda Palmer at the piano.
    Emily Hellewell/NPR

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After months on the road, sharing new music and hearing from listeners and music fans across the country, the All Songs Listening Tour returned home to Washington, D.C., for one final show at the Gibson Guitar Showroom last week.

NPR Music Editor Stephen Thompson, All Things Considered Host Audie Cornish and musical guest Amanda Palmer sat in the hot seat as the evening's panelists. Lead DJ and ringmaster for the evening was Bob Boilen and his All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton was in charge of running the mic and facilitating (aka egging on) conversation among listeners in the crowd.

Not only did the hour-long listening session lead to a spontaneous Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song freestyle and impersonations of how DC-ians dance, but the music also sparked some pretty memorable quotes from both the audience and the evening's hosts. A few of the gems, which we've decided to keep anonymous, are below:

Thom Yorke, booo...

This is what the Boyz II Men would make if they came out in 2010... I mean, I just don't subscribe to Prozac...

Maybe it's because I've been listening to Beastie Boys...

[The Mountain Goats] just sound like wannabe Neutral Milk Hotel...

Wannabe Neutral Milk Hotel - that is the most NPR burn I've ever heard...

I really recommend everyone get divorced, then you can appreciate the music of The Mountain Goats...

Your heart just feels different on headphones...

Wait, I don't understand what's happening. How do you spell this [Buke and Gass]?...

I have to get over the hatred of female vocalists...

This is no knock on Audie's age or anything...

It's really, really hard to dance and also text your indifference.

We'll leave it to you to imagine who said what about which songs.

DC Setlist, All Songs 2012 Tour

Atoms for Peace, "Before Your Very Eyes..."
The Rapture, "No Sex for Ben"
the Mountain Goats, "Harlem Roulette"
Buke & Gase, "Fussrate"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Same Love" feat. Mary Lambert
Janka Nabay, "Feba"
Alt-J, "Fitzpleasure"
Nils Frahm, "Keep"
Aesop Rock, "No Regrets"
Tame Impala, "Elephant"

Before we left the show, we caught up with Audie Cornish. As a panelist, she got to pick a couple of songs played during the evening. One of the tracks, "Feba," she first heard during All Things Considered. The show director played the traditional Bubu song as a 'music button,' a short clip of music heard between stories on the program.

Co-host Robin Hilton said that he has enjoyed the Listening Tour for the opportunity to connect with NPR Music "uber fans" and to work with staff and DJs at NPR Member Stations.

Based on the antics of this one evening in D.C., we're not doubting that the last few months have been chalk-full of entertainment for the Listening Tour crew and each night's crowd. So until All Songs hits the road again (fingers crossed), check out the slideshow of photos from the night and hope that you don't dance like a D.C. resident. The consensus was that it's not pretty.

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