NPR logo All Songs At 15: An Insider's Guide To Great Moments In ASC History

Nerds!

All Songs At 15: An Insider's Guide To Great Moments In ASC History

Austin's 6th Street during the SXSW Music Festival. i

Austin's 6th Street during the SXSW Music Festival. Michael Buckner/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Austin's 6th Street during the SXSW Music Festival.

Austin's 6th Street during the SXSW Music Festival.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Thursdays this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email:allsongs@npr.org.

Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are still out of the office, so we (that'd be All Songs Considered contributor Katie Presley and ASC intern Julian Ring) are going to keep running with our takeover of the show. Today, for our Throwback Thursday post, we're sharing our favorite personal memories of the show. We were both fans long before we arrived at NPR, though we'd never admit that to Bob's face, and for both of us, the show — and the music loved and shared by Bob and Robin — has helped us through some tough moments.

Listen to the songs and read the memories below.

Our Favorite All Songs Memories

Cover for Moon Hooch

Moon Hooch Plays At SXSW

My favorite memory involving Bob and Robin starts with a tragedy. At SXSW 2014, I walked out of the NPR Music showcase at Stubb's BBQ just in time to get caught up in the horrific car crash that took place a block and a half away. It was a devastating night, and I, like many Austinites, took a step back from the festival to recover. Days later, I ventured back out for a few minutes when Bob invited the whole team to a set by Moon Hooch, a band he featured first on a 2013 ASC episode. By the time I got there, the surf rock sax-and-drums trio was almost done with its set, drenched in sweat and playing to a packed tent of joyful revelers. I caught Bob's eye in the crowd, threw my backpack into the corner where non-dancers Stephen Thompson and Robin were holding court and dove in to meet him. I laughed, I cried, I got a bloody nose from dancing too hard, and I'll never forget what a comfort and release those ten minutes were. And yes, even Robin eventually started to dance. --Katie Presley

Buy Featured Music

Song
Moon Hooch
Album
Moon Hooch
Artist
Moon Hooch
Label
Hornblow
Released
2013

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for 'The White Album' 40 Years Later
01'The White Album' 40 Years Later
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/421141960/421162282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'The White Album' 40 Years Later

All Songs is best known as a place to discover new music, but my introduction to the show was a 2008 episode about the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' White Album. That chilly November, I was spending Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house in Boston. Desperate for solace from close-quarters interactions with my family, I retired to my bedroom with my dad's laptop and a pair of headphones. Music calms me when I'm feeling frustrated, and as a moody 8th grader, there was nothing I wanted more than to drown out my surroundings with rock 'n' roll. Except this night, rather than shuffle my usual mix of songs, I decided to see about this "podcasting" thing I'd read about online.

I was somewhat directionless, so exploring the most popular music podcast on iTunes seemed like a safe bet. Double-clicking on the most recent episode of All Songs, I laid back as the opening guitar jabs of "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey" filled my ears. Then I listened, first absentmindedly and then rapturously, as Bob Boilen and Beatles historian Bruce Spizer lovingly deconstructed the band's most eclectic album piece by piece. Their analysis was methodical, dealing primarily with facts and sources, but they ultimately honed in on stories — from the band and from their own experiences — that helped elucidate how The White Album was constructed and what it meant.

I'd never heard the record before. An hour later, I felt like I knew every drumbeat and tape loop (and who played them) across both discs. All Songs had gained a new convert. --Julian Ring

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.