Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

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, Georgia.

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 knew I had a rare gem of a song when even Bob Boilen couldn't place it, especially since it was by The Kinks, one of his favorite bands. The cut was "Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" and I'd discovered it in the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies, Rushmore.

Guitarist and singer Chris Porterfield has done a lot of soul searching since his previous band, DeYarmond Edison, broke up in 2006. Other guys in the group went on to start their own projects — Justin Vernon formed Bon Iver, while some of the other members formed Megafaun. Porterfield, meanwhile, hung back in his native Milwaukee and took a job as a student union administrator at Marquette Univeristy.

Kishi Bashi (who's real name is K Ishibashi) is known for his thrilling live performances, looping and layering his violin and voice to create a symphony of sound. But when he decided to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut, K went for "real" musicians, captured in this live-in-studio video.

Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.

The English rock group Depeche Mode owned a chunk of the '80s and '90s with glossy electro-rock hits like "People Are People" and "Personal Jesus." These days the band doesn't have much to prove, and its members, who appear in this new video for the song "Heaven," seem to find themselves at peace, bathed in the radiant glow of light and love.

We're thrilled to announce that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been added to the bill for our official South by Southwest showcase on March 13. The band joins Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for the concert, which will be broadcast on NPR stations across the country and streamed live as a video webcast here from Stubb's in Austin, Texas. The concert will also appear in the NPR Music apps.

The deeply disturbed character who appears in the latest Maps & Atlases video, for the song "Fever," may not live to see tomorrow. As the Chicago-based band sings about holding on in our darkest hours, "The Man" slowly wastes away, addicted to a mysterious drug.

Veteran producer Joe Boyd says he'd long resisted putting together some sort of tribute album for his late friend, the legendary folksinger Nick Drake. But he finally decided to make one when Boyd realized that the recordings could be captured in a live concert. "In my opinion, the only way to make a tribute record work is to get everyone together in the same place so there's a unity of sound and spirit," he tells us in an email.

Joy can blindside you in the smallest, most unexpected moments. That's what happened when I watched this new video from Delaware's Spinto Band, for the song "What I Love." As a miniature paper cut-out of a gymnast dances and tumbles across a colorful breakfast table, I found myself filled with pure bliss.

A spiky, upright piano and bouncing rhythms from The Spinto Band propel the tiny dancer through her routine. Suddenly, something as mundane as drinking coffee and eating cereal seem like cause for celebration.

The members of How To Destroy Angels, a collective featuring Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, his wife and singer Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the brilliant composer Atticus Ross, have an unambiguously grim view of where civilization is headed. In a new video for the song "How Long," from the band's upcoming album Welcome Oblivion, man hunts man in (surprise) a terrifying, dystopian future.

Nearly a decade after releasing its deeply moving and profoundly beautiful album Rabbit Songs, the Brooklyn-based band Hem was on the verge of falling apart. "I actually believed that Hem might never make music together again as a band," songwriter and pianist Dan Messe tells us in an email. "Everything about who we were, where we lived, and how we related to each other seemed beyond repair."

Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down wants you to know she really doesn't care what critics say about her music. But in a comical new video to spoof her band's latest album, We The Common, the singer decides that one writer has gone too far.

Editor's Note: We got a ton of great suggestions from you for this 'Question Of The Week,' so we decided to put together playlists at Rdio and Spotify featuring some of your picks.

Adam Green (The Moldy Peaches) and singer Binki Shapiro (Little Joy) were both going through breakups when they wrote "Just To Make Me Feel Good," a deceptively breezy cut from the duo's debut, self-titled collection of late '60s folk-pop. In their new video for the song, Green and Shapiro wander the city streets, lamenting a lost love and all the little things each of them took for granted.

The NPR Music Team has been hard at work putting together plans for this year's South By Southwest music festival and conference, and we're happy to announce that Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds will kick off our showcase on the night of March 13 at Stubb's. The show will also mark the official beginning of the band's North American tour.

The music of Mystical Weapons, a duo formed by Sean Lennon and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, is entirely improvised — made up on the fly without any agenda or deeper meaning in mind. But in the hands of video director and animator Martha Colburn, the group's latest single, "Colony Collapse Disorder," takes on apocalyptic themes with swirling religious symbolism.

According to legend, once in each millennium, the Music Gods come together and, after much debate, agree to bestow a single magical gift upon the world — a song or album or project so breathtaking, it leaves throngs of people weeping in the streets at its splendor and forever changes the way we hear music. That time is now, as Jason Lytle and Sea of Bees have opted to cover each other's songs.

Okay, fine: Maybe it's not that special. But it's still cool when a couple of your favorite artists dig each other's music and want to work together.

This week's drum-fill quiz comes from Murph, longtime drummer for the band Dinosaur Jr. A couple of these are pretty easy, but this was otherwise one of the harder ones I've done. See what you think. Just drag the drum fill or intro to the album it's from. If you get it right, the song names will appear.

Previous drum-fill quizzes.

Here's what Murph has to say about the fills and intros he picked:

If it were the late 1960s, Lawrence Arabia might be one of the biggest bands in the world. The group, which is essentially the sole work of New Zealand artist James Milne, makes trippy, perfectly composed, melodic pop, similar to classic works by The Zombies or The Beatles.

The latest tease from this fall's upcoming collection of remixed Philip Glass tunes comes from Beck. The 20-minute song, "NYC: 73-78," includes snippets from more than 20 Glass songs, which Beck cut together and re-imagined.

After raising more than $125,000 on Kickstarter, the synth-psych-rock group Black Moth Super Rainbow is set to self-release its fifth full-length record. The gritty, beat-heavy Cobra Juicy is due out on Oct. 23, but the band is giving fans an early taste now with the thick and dirty "Gangs in the Garden."

This will be the last in our summer-long series of polls in search of the albums everyone can love. We've featured a few hundred records since we started back in May, and have found a lot of surprises.

My favorite new artist seems to change week to week, or sometimes even day to day. It turns out there's a lot of great music being made. But for now, my new favorite is Dana Falconberry. She's been putting out records for a few years, but only popped up on my radar this week. She's got a fantastic new record coming out soon called Leelanau, which includes this meticulously crafted little gem, "Crooked River."

It turns out people really like The Beatles! Every record we've featured from the fab four have consistently rated higher than any other albums in these polls. According to last week's, 85 percent of you love Revolver.

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