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.

This week's Drum Fill Friday features a selection of fills and beats handpicked by the liner-note legend, Bobbye Hall, who was recently featured on Morning Edition.

Every Thursday 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 personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

I'm not a drummer. And it's a lot harder for me to articulate why one fill works over another than it is for people who've been hitting the toms since they were kids. So when our guest Quizmasters have the week off and I put together one of these puzzlers myself, I just reach for the songs that always get me air drumming. Driving in the car, waiting for the Metro, walking down the street — the fills in this week's Drum Fill Friday are all ones that get my arms flailing. I wonder if it's strange for drummers to know they've created beats and patterns that idiots like me try to pantomime.

Every Thursday 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 personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

The young singer and guitarist Jackson Scott first popped up on our radar when he released his psych-pop debut Melbourne in 2013. It was a lo-fi wonder that included an unsettling but strangely sunny (and unforgettable) tribute to the children killed at Sandy Hook.

I hope you had a good, long, refreshing break over the holidays. Or should I say... drum break? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Sigh.

Fifteen years ago this month, All Songs Considered posted its very first episode. When you listen to that debut (with the link above) and hear host Bob Boilen say it's "a music show for your computer!" it feels very quaint by today's standards. But when ASC first launched, it was considered groundbreaking.

For the past few weeks, the NPR Music team has been huddled together, trying to agree on a list of our 50 favorite albums. We'll post our final list on Dec. 8, followed by hundreds of our favorite songs on Dec. 9 and much more to follow. But we want you to get in on the act by telling us your favorite albums from 2014.

Luluc's new video for "Tangled Heart" is a grainy, melancholy ode to New York and the city's remarkable community of artists.

In a montage of mostly black-and-white found footage, people come and go, shuffling to work or school, or wander the streets as nameless faces. They're anonymous on their own, but collectively offer a breathtaking and prosaic portrait of humanity.

You might want to sit down for this one. The song is "Bored In The USA" and it's the first single from Father John Misty's upcoming album I Love You, Honeybear.

A biting spin on Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," "Bored In The USA" is a scathing takedown of the mindless materialism and overmedicated emptiness that has come to define the lives of far too many Americans.

This week's Drum Fill Friday has something from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and today! (I hope you read that in the deepest, most resonate radio voice possible).

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, careful listeners!

Trust me, this is the best thing you'll watch all day.

This week's guest Quizmaster is Brandon Barnes, drummer for the Chicago-based punk band Rise Against. Known for packing a punch at the kit, Barnes actually got his start in jazz and was influenced early on by drummers such as Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. So some of Barnes' picks for Drum Fill Friday are from drummers who often weave elements of jazz into their otherwise heavy rock beats. Give a listen and see what you think. And as always, good luck, careful listeners.

Amason, 'Duvan'

Nov 13, 2014

In the past 20 years, the world has gotten windier. Maybe it's global warming, maybe it's some kind of cyclical pattern. But whatever it is, winds have picked up by about five percent, and extreme winds caused by storms are up 10 percent.

Guest DJ Dave Grohl

Nov 11, 2014

Americans can be pretty grumpy on the outside, even when they're actually happy and content on the inside. The Japanese are often the opposite: Civilized and happy on the outside, but perfectly miserable on the inside. (At least that's the assessment my Japanese friends shared with me back when I lived there).

No special theme to this week's Drum Fill Friday, unless you count "awesome" as a theme. I've got a little bit of metal, a little bit of R&B, some disco and '90s rock and roll wrapped up in this baby.

The creatures you are about to see are not Yetis. They're not aliens or mythical beasts. The truth is, we don't really know what they are, who they are or where they're from. We only know they call themselves "the one and only PPL MVR," and claim to be some sort of ancient species (mostly seen around the Los Angeles area).

It's been more than a decade, now, since José González first burrowed into our hearts with his inspired and deeply moving cover of The Knife song "Heartbeats." (Remember that bouncing ball video?) That track appeared on the Swedish singer-songwriter's 2003 debut album Veneer, a collection of sometimes moody acoustic songs that swelled and swooned with surprising momentum.

It turns out all Chaz Bundick really wants to do is dance. Since releasing his debut album as Toro Y Moi in 2010, the 27 year-old musician has staked a career on making sometimes idiosyncratic but soulful pop, with occasional shades of R&B. But for his latest project, Bundick assumes the name Les Sins and drops throbbing dance beats, with minimal lyrics, deep bass lines and pulsing synths. It's a full-throttled, unapologetic leap to the dance floor.

This week's Drum Fill Friday comes courtesy Otis Brown III, a young jazz drummer and composer who's best known for his work with Joe Lovano, but who recently released his own debut solo album, The Thought Of You. Brown's selected a number of intros and fills from some of his favorite vintage jazz tracks, along with some funk, soul and R&B classics, showcasing some of the greatest drummers of all time. Good luck, careful listeners!

It's easy to define the world in absolutes, but it rarely leads to truth. Reality is usually more complicated, mostly colored in shades of gray, and often unknowable. It's a never-ending struggle to make sense of each other, ourselves and our desires.

"Paradise Girls" is bright and upbeat, defined by fluttery percussion and syncopated guitar lines. The song was inspired by the band's long roster of female heroes, including 'Joan Jett, Janet Jackson, [and] Kim Gordon.' For more on La Isla Bonita, visit the band's website.

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